Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nineteen Seconds

Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon Race Report

I know it’s not best practice to compare one year’s result to another for the same race. That is, unless you are incredibly consistent.

I still haven't figured out why the race organizers would put up this slow poke as their head banner. =)

For the past three years, Shawnigan has been the official start to my summer race season. Perhaps this race is an indicator of how the season will shape up.  

Despite the twist and turns of the new route changes (swim was short and run was longer or at least felt that way) and lack of using Garmin this year (one has short battery-life, other is being fixed), somehow my predicted finishing time can be almost measured by military precision. The swim route must had been short by a 100 metres or a bit and the new addition of the wooden trestle run route is pretty spectacular.

I managed to finish comparable to my results from previous years, which is somewhat an achievement (Or is this loser talk?).

This unique finding can only be interpreted as both good news and bad news.

The bad news... is simply I haven’t improved at all since I debuted in this race in 2010.
The good news? I can’t really pretend my work/life balance has a signifcant effect and fabricate it as an excuse for slowing me down. In 2010, I had just graduated and was training like a full time madman athlete. This year, I’ve juggled with work commitments as well as trying to maintain my training schedule.

I am also starting to feel stronger at the finish. I didn’t feel super tired as I cross the finish line. I think it can be best summed up as being my stamina has increased but my intensity probably haven’t improved one bit over the years. Maybe I should start pretending to look more tired at the finish line? So people don't think I'm not trying hard enough. =)

Overall it was a very fun weekend, which included a well deserved trip to the buffet! Read Brendan Naef's full team report here.

My next A-race is Ironman Switzerland, which is coming up. Watch out world, a winstorm is brewing! Can't wait! =)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Marathons in Three Weeks!

I had this romantic idea that doing another marathon in less than 3 weeks was a brilliant idea.

After Boston, I just had to try the new course this year in my backyard at Vancouver BMO marathon. It featured the best of what the city had to offer. This was only 20 days afterwards and I "felt" like I had fully recovered. But let's be honest, the social aspects of watching some friends achieve new distances and then going to eat out at Chill Winston was what really attracted me. Read team update

Of course I wasn't recovered. Who was I kidding? Certainly not the running gods. My legs were absolutely struggling already at 15km. Normally they would fatigue around the 30km and I would had to survive the last 10km. I always had got to at least the halfway point in control and relative ease. I guess the rule that it takes a day for every mile you race in the marathon to fully recover really holds true.

It's just too bad I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I was regretting not signing up for the half distance despite the earlier start time. 

There was another interesting road block on the marathon course. A literal one, and by one I mean two. There were two corrals on course at Granville and Oak along 49th ave that would permit automobiles traffic to gain access momentarily as the runners crowds fizzled out. Unfortunately any straggling runners would be asked to stop running and get their time credited on the chip time.

To allow for these traffic gaps, the race field had 5 corrals each starting 5 minutes apart to allow for the gaps to occur.

Unfortunately I was caught starting in the second starting corral. I must had been one of the top 4 in my corral to catch up to the tail end of the first heat. It was a very bizarre feeling because I felt I was leading the race, despite the hundreds in the first heat starting 5 minutes earlier. Because of this, I was told by the kind volunteers to STOP. I was trying to run past them, but a human wall formed. I wasn't disgruntled and understand the first year little kinks and race logistics, I was just confused since I had never been told to stop in a race for non-emergency reasons.

But despite this awkward pause, the route was great. This route is definitely an improvement from last year's route.

 PROOF that I am a runner.

It was a very long 27 km struggle to the finish. I realized my time wasn't going to be a PB. It did prove to be great preparation training for the ironman run though.

I figured a "mr. winston" salad was fitting given we were at Chill Winston.