Boy! So BUSY! What has been preventing me from writing my blog? Is it too much time writing my Thesis that I am fed up with typing? Unfortunately no. But on that note, I have started writing and have a group of pages started. Hopefully more to be written in the days to come.
Back to business. I didn't write a race report for Shawnigan or Victoria, because, well quite frankly, they didn't go all that well.
In a nutshel: Shawnigan, coldest race I have ever done, feet frozen the entire time I was on the bike and until 5k into the run. Had a decent considering the amount of training I have done swim and bike. Came off bike in 8th and decided to quit the run because my ankle wasn't doing great. Smartest race decision of the day. Also my first DNF. Shoot. On the plus side I did get to run in with Mel since she was just finishing up the Olympic race as I quit the half.
Hey, its Mel! And who is that good looking guy behind her? I swear I'm just watching my footing, I did have a sprained ankle after all.
On to Victoria. Quick and simple; Painful. I woke up Friday before the race with the start of a cold, and it just kept getting worse. By Sunday, I was congested and coughing and had a sore throat. This cold was bad enough that I actually took Monday-Tuesday off from work (Making them my 3rd and 4th sick day in 3 years).
Knowing that with zero training since Shawnigan, and a week of drinking at home that this wasn't going to be a great race, I had a fairly relaxed attitude towards it. When we were late leaving Sunday morning and only showed up to the race 30 minutes before the gun, No problem! When they called 1 minute to go before the start and I still hadn't started putting my wetsuit on, no problem! The cannon went off and I quickly got a very stressed spectator to zip up the suit and off I went. The swim as expected, not great. I had to manage my way through 400 people to get up to my pace. The bike, ouch. Just had nothing. Was 14 minutes slower than last year on the bike. Was coughing up a lung. The run, stopped and sat in transition to put on my ankle brace while my friends heckled me, and then started the slow jog. Mel training for a marathon ran the second lap with me, it went something like this:
Vince km 11: Mel, you set the pace, I don't want to go at a speed that is too fast for you since I am just jogging this for training
km 14: Vince realizes he is actually slowing down Mel and not the other way around.
km 15: Vince has to walk for a minute while Mel is forced to wait.
Despite how grumpy I was, it was nice to have company on the run.
Finished the race in 5:02. Slowest Half Iron in the books, but finished which I guess was my best result of the year...
I got over the cold and managed to get a few training sessions in, physio once or twice, and then before I knew it, Vancouver!
I'll put a little more details here. Had a great morning. Race site nice and early, got in the water for a warm up. It was a beach start which I have only ever done twice (Vancouver past two years). There was a false start, this made everyone take a few steps run and then stop and come back. In doing so, I went from 1-2nd row to 4th. Not ideal since despite my being a slow swimmer this year, I am still decent and shouldn't start behind too many people.
Moments after the false start
This was by far the roughest swim I have ever done. I was getting pummelled. The water was wavy and people were thrashing. I got to the first buoy and someone walloped me in the face. Nice! After 300m it started to spread out and despite swallowing half the pacific, I had a great time. At 600m I noticed that Amy Kirkham was right next to me and I decided to keep her at my side for the rest of the swim, I knew she was going to work hard, and it was nice not to focus solely on chasing people down.
Getting punched by a girl in the swim
Onto the bike, I felt terrible. I always do for the first 20-30k. After 1.5 laps (of 4) I started getting into a groove and was working well. I lost 80 seconds on Amy by 40k and managed to catch up that 80 seconds by 80k and we rode into transition more or less together. She had an awesome race finishing 3rd overall in the Women's pro field. My bike splits were nice and even. Fastest lap 34.6kph and slowest lap 34.48kph. Not too bad. There was a girls relay team from the club who very modestly stated that they were going to pass all the guys doing the Half. I would be lying if I said this hadn't kicked my ass in gear when I saw Kim closing down on me after the first lap of the bike.
Getting to the run I decided that I wasn't going to hammer. Amy caught up to me by 1k and was really moving (running is her strength). Normally I would have tried to stay with her, but with circumstances this year that just wasn't in the cards. Trying to avoid what happened in Victoria, I kept it controlled but mainly just focused on not twisting my ankle and getting in enough nutrient. Finished the run in a respectable 4:41 pace, for a half iron time of 4:42:##.
This was a really fun race because we had lots of teammates from UBC at it. The whole time I was running I rarely went 5 minutes without seeing someone I knew who was cheering me on. Especially the group of girls who had raced earlier in the morning who were all at the finish line. A guy I was running with made a remark that I sped up each time we went by.
The positive note of the day. I am able to run again. My ankle didn't feel great, but gave me no real problems, so after 10 weeks of nothing, I am finally able to try and rebuild again. I have 5 weeks until Sooke, and lets hope I can bring that 4:41/km pace down closer to 4.
If I had more energy I would mentioned everyone who raced. There were a lot of UBCTC first timers, and a lot of new PB's. So I will just group you all together and congratulate everyone at once on making it an awesome day!
Also, check out 5:10 into THIS video!!!
Hope this wasn't too boring. And maybe now that I am caught up. I'll post more. And if not, I'll blame it on my Thesis!