The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Cornwall Triathlon 2013

Andrew rockin' the bike (photo by Paul Couture)
Laura hammering (photo by Paul Couture)
Guylaine, post race, with Laura (photo by Kathleen Hay)
Me, suffering, head in exactly the wrong position (photo by Jane McLaren)

The Kids rocked the Young Champions Day on Saturday. Andrew claimed 1st place in the 12-14 year old group, for the second year in a row - but his last year as a Young Champion. Laura conceded over a minute in the swim this year, but fought back and won the race into T2 - she started the run in the lead, but was chased down very quickly, and had to settle for second place for the third year in a row. All in all an excellent day for the kids. And as always, it's way more nerve wracking watching the kids compete on the Saturday as opposed to us competing on the Sunday.

So, onto the adult race...

This year has been somewhat hit-and-miss with training. The May marathon tired me out enormously, and I only started biking this year, in June (Ed. Note: You know the race was tough when the excuses are starting this soon in the race report). The last month or so has seen a big volume in Biking and a lot of "maintenance Running". It has felt somewhat like cramming for a final exam - the tricky part is, that the Final Exam is  a two parter. Part 1 was today - the Olympic Tri, and Part 2 will be next week - the Ottawa Half Ironman. Back-to-back "A" races is probably something I don't want to schedule again... but that's how the chips have fallen this year. Guylaine and I were a little on the tired side, having catered a wedding the night before (Ed. Note: Excuses, excuses, excuses); it was going to be a let's see how fast we can go on the legs we've got today kind of race. Sub 2:30 was the goal (again).

How did it go...

We were onsite and set up with enough time to settle our nerves, and get (wet) suited up without any problems.

The Swim
I had a good feeling about the swim. I had swum the course Friday night, and managed a 13:30 for a hard-effort 750m loop. If I could get a good (legal) draft - that would set me up for a good day. The start was pretty chaotic, it seemed to take over 100m to get organized properly. I kept swimming into the feet of the guy in front of me, and then it dawned on me -- this is my good (legal) draft. So, I kept up right behind him, and he took me to an astounding 13:05 first loop. The swim was going swimmingly, we were swimming straight, I was saving energy, and going fast... on the back-stretch of the second loop, I got dropped from my guide, but hit the shore at 28:00 flat. I was happy with this. Over 2 minutes faster than last year.

Swim exit went well, I got my wetsuit down to my arse-crack easily enough to have an efficient wet-suit strip. No problems finding my bike. Took some relief to note I was at transition before Adam W (my new nemesis as of late). I quickly scoffed back a Tri-Berry Gu, and hit the bike-mount line, (eventually) at 2:26. Which was slower than last year by a lot, and even last year, I felt I had taken a long time. Not to worry.

The Bike
The first few hundred meters were exceptional. I was up to 42kph licketdy-split. "This is going to be LEGENDARY" was all I could think. The ride out to the turnaround was pretty good. I spotted Jen S on her way back from the turn, about 400 meters ahead of me: "Target-Acquired".

Post-Boundary-Road-Turnaround: "Hello, Wind!". Of course, it never fails, the wind always comes out to slap some humility into you on this course. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 kph..... come on 30.... eventually. After a short eternity, I'm swooping left down on to Marlborough, and the wind is now at my back. Loop 1 in about 19 minutes... That math: 1:16 for the bike, "Damn, I gotta go faster!"

Loop 2 around Nav Canada and a giant rookie mistake, I changed both derailleurs at the same time, and ended up pulling my chain right off the chain ring and around my pedal. "crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap". I coast safely off to the side, and do my best Andy Schleck imitation. Finally, after an eternity (probably only 30 seconds), I've got my chain back on and I'm hammering 2kph - big ring on the front, 11-tooth in the back. Eventually, I'm back up to speed for the downhill and swooping right-hand turn onto Montreal Road; and that's when my Nemesis casually passes me like he's out for a Sunday bike ride: Adam W.

"Oh no you dit-ent" I manage to make the pass after Glen Stor Dun Lodge, and I'm hammering into the wind and through the crowd at the school, trying desperately to put up a big number on the police Speed display board. Adam passes me again near McConnell --  this could be okay, I convince myself... a little (legal) leap-frogging. The cat and mouse continued until the last lap, where I finally managed to drop him by the last turnaround at Boundary Road.

The bike this year, was so-so. I never really felt like I had my full mojo. It certainly wasn't as legendary as the National Capital last year. But it seemed to go by quickly, and I never had that "oh my god, is it ever going to end" feeling. Official bike split was 1:15:20 (31.9kph)... a minute slower than last year.

Made it in safely. First thing I hear... "Where's Phil???" ... "He's right behind you!" ... nice to know I had Jen S on the defensive :-)  A bit of an awkward moment getting my shoes on, but other than that I was out running in 52 seconds.  ... a sub 45 10K would get me close to my goal.....

The Run
Out like a rocket. I'm always fast coming out of T2. Way too damn fast. Too much testosterone, too much pride. Immediate goal... Bridge the gap to Jen S.  I did that quickly enough, but had too much momentum to cruise at her pace, and ended up blowing by her. "Uh oh, now what have I done?" I split the first km at 4:05. Deep down inside I knew I was going to pay for that, but I still managed to convince myself... "Time in the bank buddy, let's keep it up and bust this popsicle stand".

2K at 4:24 (met with big cheers from the kids who were manning the 2K aid-station). Picked up a gel for later. By 4K, I was falling back in pace to over 4:30 - and now I noticed it was starting to get warm. 5K turnaround at 4:40, I was still feeling good, and I noticed I had a pretty good lead on Jen S, and a decent lead over Adam W.  "Keep going, it's still possible" I told myself. "We've come too far, to give up (who we are)" flashed through my head, and I made a surge in pace from 5 to 6K, but then the heat and exhaustion caught up to me at 7K, Jen had reeled me in - I did the quick math: I needed a 12 minute 3K... and then I checked out mentally.  I'd like to think that if I wasn't racing next week, I would have opened up the suitcase of courage, but I don't think I would have. I'm a big wimp like that. Final run time was 46:08. (which frankly, is pretty good for me).

Good race, a bit tired going in. Awesome swim, mediocre bike, blew up on the last 3K of the run.

1500m swim @ 28:00 [1:52/100m];
T1 @ 2:26 (1 gel) ;
40K Bike @ 1:15:11 [31.9kph] (1 gel @ 50mins, 1 bottle Gatorade);
T2 @ 0:52;
10K Run @ 46:08 [4:36/km] (1 gel @ 5K, water at each station).
Final Time: 2:32:41 (32/106 OA, 10/22 M40-49).

PS: And Guylaine performed like a champ: Surviving a minor crash on the bike, and still setting a Personal Best for her (on even tiered-er legs!).

10K Run splits.