Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Race report: New Balance Victoria Half-Iron

Date/Time: June 20, 2010, 6:45 am
Weather: 10ish and cloudy
Distance: Half IM
Gun time: 5:05:04 <--check it new half im pb
Swim: 38:13 (2:01 per 100m pace)
T1: 2:07
Bike: 2:49:13 (30.8 km/hr)
T2: 1:26
Run: 1:34:07 (4:45 per km)
Age Group: 4/7
Overall: 79/401

I always knew that training makes a difference, it’s only this year I started to truly appreciate the benefits.

The Victoria half ironman is the first event in this distance that I’ll be able to compare myself to a previous year’s result, barring against variables such as slight course change and weather conditions of course.

My training duration between the months of January and May looks something like this:
Swim 49hrs (+ 53.5% from 2009)
Bike 65hrs (+58.5% from 2009)
Run 42hrs (+35.8% from 2009)

And the comparison of Victoria half im from the two years.

Hey presto! Two big factors for such a dramatic difference. The first being that last year, I had very little time to train leading up to Victoria since I was on a weeklong vacation the week beforehand. This was partly due to bad planning on my part. The second being is simply more training and better familiarity of the race course.

Race morning was eventful. Going on a training ride the day before to scope out the bike course with some friends, I somehow applied my oh-so mighty brute force and yanked my crank off its moorings (or a fancy way of saying I lost a very critical bolt). And luckliy or unluckliy I did go on the training ride, the bike mechanic from Trek named Bill ordered in some used bolts just for me but none of them had fit. He told me it was a very specialized bolt, so I should try my luck the next morning. Race morning my day came down to two bolts, the first candidate didn't work. Then I saw a big smile from Bill and knew the second one had work. Big thanks goes out to Bill from the Trek bike tent. Crisis averted!

A perfect weapon.

The swim felt dreadful. Swimmers were passing me left and right, all I could do was to hang on and play human dodgeball. I swam with a bit of fear and that motivated me to go faster. Surprisingly this swim is my fastest open water swim pace at 2:01 per 100m. The draft benefit with 400 other swimmers was amazing.

The only picture I'm not smiling.

Surprisingly, despite a harder bike course for this year’s event, improvements were all around. Perhaps a little experience came in handy. Racing in Shawnigan a couple weeks beforehand also had helped me fine tuned my performance for Victoria, as I achieved one of my fastest transition times ever, which is always a good confidence booster. It’s a good thing I worked on this hidden fourth discipline because it very well could have been the difference between pb’ing or not. I learned the swim cap and goggles inside wetsuit sleeve trick from this video!

All the half ironers met an unkind monstrous 400m long 80 m vertical hill detour on the bike course near the airport, TWICE. This little beast destroyed my legs for the run and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty for the run, while doing the second of the two lap bike course.

Boltin' away! Okay no more bolt jokes.

The run course was absolutely gorgeous. Running around Elk Lake was very enjoyable despite the very bricky legs I was talking about earlier off the bike. My legs locked up and I had to stop for a moment at the 1km marker. I survived the next 2km to reach the next aid station and only then I was able to get my rhythm back. Eventually I was holding about 4:39 /km pace for the first lap, and subsequently I was averaging 4:45 /km pace overall on the run course. Not bad, but there is room for improvements. Stayed tuned for Vancouver!

I love the run!

I’m tickled by the fact I will be racing on my new bike.

My new friend!

My friends were already giving a lot of crap about not racing on it for Victoria. My dad had convinced me earlier not to race on the new bike in Victoria just yet, because I couldn’t bear to scratch it up just yet (that new car feeling). I had everything set up as a mock run, but ah, aching heart! But come Vancouver, I’m finally ready to make the exciting debut! Look out. Look out!

1 comment:

  1. I'm pumped to see the result with the new bike! Vancouver is going to be awesome!