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Archive for September, 2013

A+ Race: Ottawa Canadian Sprint Triathlon

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

With the Smiths Falls race being more of a tune up and just a plain fun race this one has turned into my A race for the year.

I had always enjoyed this race as it had a long bike leg and a longer swim leg as well, with the usual 5k run at the end. So the runners would have a lot more Tri before the run started.

Here is how it went down last year:

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Last year I called it my most complete tri yet. But I wanted to do better this year.

The problem has been that I have reached the start line usually a bit under my optimum. Thus the plan, sign up for and do two Olympic Tris in the weeks proceeding. You can train a lot, but really the best training is to race. So I did the Brockville and Cornwall Olympic Triathlons. I did ok in both but mainly I build up my form and came to the start line feeling pretty good.

Swim

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In the Tri last year I had a moment as the swim began and struggled with breathing as things got underway. No such challenge this year. I have not been doing much in the way of swimming at all but the combined 3km racing conditions of the previous two weeks paid off and I exited mid pack, and about 20 seconds faster than in 2012

Bike

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My bike was over a minute faster and it was beyond fun. Again just the joy of zipping along and past folks is great, but I hooked up somehow with a really fast woman (she must have been about 5 minutes faster) and an older gentleman (leg said 62!) and basically we were neck and neck for the entire 30 kms. Sometimes I was in front, then the woman, then the man. I never drafted and I don’t think they did either but it was a game of cat and mouse that was a joy to be part of.

I pushed hard for the last 5 kms and pulled ahead, but they both beat me in the transition and started their run 1st. Still was fantastic and here are the stats from my Gamin at least.

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I will take 38kph+ any day and my power was where I wanted it to be at around 211 W average. Full stats can be found here. Last year I was unable to get a good Garmin track due to user error but here is how I did in 2011, so a fantastic improvement in two years.

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Run

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My transition, even with putting on my socks (which I won’t do again, not sure why I did that?) was about 5 seconds better than in 2012. No biggee but I do need to get this below 2 mins.

With really very little run training this year I knew I would be slow but I still felt pretty good and my run was only a little under a minute slower, and nobody seemed to be blowing by me in my age group (although a lot of the faster women came blasting by).

I pushed as hard as I could and soon the finish line was in sight.  I could tell that if I just ran as fast as I could I might break 1:40.

And I did!!

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Wow…almost a full minute faster and more important a great position. 24th overall (out of 187). 19th out of 96 men and more importantly 3rd in my age group (out of 10 in the 45-49 group).

I stuck around and attended the medal ceremony. Yes its corny but great to hear my name and get a medal!!

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This will be my A race next year and aim is to beat 1:35.

Some last general notes. I have noticed that in most of the races I have done this year there has been a decrease in numbers. This race had 264 participants in 2012 and only 187 in 2013. Other somersault events as well were down. Sydenham Olympic Tri 2012 63 versus 61 in 2013. Smiths Falls 141 in 2012 versus 107 in 2013 (although it changed to a Saturday). Cornwall wasn’t in the Somersault series and it up, 71 in 2012 for the Olympic tri and 106 in 2013 so not all dire news.

There are a lot more options these days, with lots of runs, Spartan race, Prison escape, muddy buddy etc. so maybe getting a bit tapped out. Hopefully not a bust coming up!

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Quick BB30 swap

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

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So still working on improving the Diamondback podium sport in the few areas it needs. Wheels I am now using the Soul s4.0s with TT season over and now the lumpy FSA Omega crank has to go. Pretty easy swap with the BB30 bottom bracket stuff staying in. Think it took all of 3 minutes to slap on an FSA Gossamer Pro. Nice!

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B+ Race: Cornwall Olympic Triathlon

September 14, 2013 2 comments

imageSo just as with the previous efforts in Brockville this race was really about getting myself back into shape after a few weeks of vacation and relaxing. I have an A race in the week after this one and there is nothing like a race to force you to push yourself and get to the next level.

I was also going to try out a few other things this race, I wanted to try out my PowerCal HR strap in the water (supposedly its water proof…time to find out!) and wanted to try running with my Garmin Forerunner to see if I can get some more info on my running, an area that is increasingly starting to hurt me.

The Cornwall Triathlon is a stand alone event so not in the regular somersault series I partake of. I have never done this Tri before but heard a lot of positives. Also it has a purse so a lot more fast folks show up and its certainly a little bit more of a serious event. The city seems to adopt it a bit as well and the local support seemed better than I have seen at other place which added to the atmosphere.

Another awesome feature is the Saturday youth day, place for the younger ones to start catching the Triathlon Bug. Short Pool swim, bike and run around the park. So safe and very controlled.

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Both my young sons did their first Tri here and placed well, maybe the start of something greater??

Also we decided to make this a Tri weekend including camping so it was really a great family weekend get away with a Tri theme. My wife would be doing the lens work as well so more pictures than usual.

There is a sprint tri here but I needed some extra training so Olympic for me. 106 folks, 67 men and 38 woman were in the mix.

Everyone had a designated rack which was nice, no having to jostle for space and have somebody take up space towards the start of the race and pushing you out. There is also a short transition run which I prefer. Had enough time so was able to get my HR monitor and wet suit on with time (unlike the rush of Brockville). Noticed the wet suit has gotten a bit tight this year…need to think about that next year.

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Swim

The swim in in the St. Lawrence and is a nice two lap course. The entry to the water was well prepared with a nice mat and a rope to help with the steep exit. My swim has suffered a little bit since last year as it hasn’t been a focus so just wanted to do well.

Time up, and off we went. It was a very narrow course and everyone started at the same time so 100+ folks and it was the most congested and violent start I had done.

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And it never really got better as there were people around me at all times during the 1.5 Km course. Was hoping to be able to do around 30 minutes and I was a bit over that.  Don’t remember where the timing chip went off (I think after bike transition) but was given a 34:55.

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There were wet suit removal volunteers but I wasn’t sure of the process so decided to skip that phase. I saw how it worked later and may try it later. 

Short grassy run to the Transition and I had no problems getting my bike ready on off I go.

Bike

The Cornwall course is 4 laps of a 10k loop, which was interesting. You got the sense of where you can push and where you can coast a bit. I am always much more tired after the longer swim and again like in Brockville I didn’t feel 100%. At one point there is an interesting loop through an office complex with a tough climb.

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Decided to not use my Disc wheel here mostly as I didn’t know what to expect on the course and since it was more of a endurance course didn’t mind.

 

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My Garmin stats tell the tale as always. It picked up my heart rate fine so yes PowerCal strap is water proof. I have now done some hour long efforts at 215-220 watts and that is my power reference now. This race leg I averaged about 195w so a bit less than usual.  Officially by my Garmin averaged around 35 kph which is quite a bit off my usual speed as well.

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Still I was passing lots of people and ended up with the 20th best time, so a bit below where I can be but still quite good in a tough field.

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Official time was 1:09:08 with a bit of transition time and the fact that it took a while for the Garmin to lock into the satellites, which is annoying.

The course was also very technical with lots of turns, and I found my back was getting very sore by the end, some of that naturally due to my weight problem still.

Passed by the family about 8 times so that was cool!

Run

Did take time to put on the proper set of socks, shoes and my Garmin Forerunner. I wanted to take some more stats for some of these longer rides. At an A race I won’t do this.

I felt I did ok, but again running is not my strength. I wanted to get below an hour, and well I did, but just barely! 59:58!

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The course is beautiful, along the seaway then into a nice forest. It was an out and back course so no laps and it was easy to get a sense of where you fit among the riders.

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Ended up with transition 1:02 flat. Around what I usually do. Sad smile

Add it all up and ended up fairly low, 46 out of 67 men with a time of 2:46:05. A good reference time for next year.

But for what I wanted this race to do, get some of my race base down, was great and I appreciated the great organization and course. I will be back.

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