Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Tale of 6 years - Oliver RR

Flashback to exactly 6 years ago on another June 1st, I completed my very first half-ironman in Oliver. 

Just re-reading the race report, I said,  "It sure felt like a million bucks finishing in that form. I was ecstatic about my time. 5 hours 46 minutes and 42 seconds. This race was an eye-opener and something I would definitely try improve upon in the future years."
Yep the retro days...proof that it is okay to rock the jammer shorts in the half iron! I know I know, my colours coordination was pretty phenomenal back in those days. :)

Man has a lot have changed since then. I went on to complete 16 more half iron distance events. So it was nice to finally return to Oliver to do this well organized race again in the wine country. 

Fun road trip and great hospitality, we stayed near the beautiful Gallagher Lake 
Overall, I guess despite the differences in the race course and conditions, I noticed a rough 10-20-10 minutes improvement on the swim-bike-run. I think despite my nutrition mishaps on a hot day, it was interesting to compare yourself to an earlier retro-version.

Swim - was a confidence booster, first time hitting the 35 minutes marker.
Bike - felt good as I was more committed on the bike with the benefit of all the trainer rides we did in the winter. It's amazing what steady pedaling can do.
Run - was just death. Of course my nutrition on the bike was a bit lacking, so the run kinda took a hit. I had my garmin on auto-split per km and it was one of those races where you didn't want to see those splits.

Overall, maybe 'feeling like a million bucks' in this race was a far thing from the truth. I finished in 5 hours 3 minutes and 37 seconds. Great lesson in nutrition.

Speaking of which, some wine tasting was in stored.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Trestle Challenge - Shawnigan Lake RR

WTF is a trestle challenge you might kindly inquire? Good question! :)

My interpretation is it’s basically an option to do more running over the Olympic Distance and I figured since I could use more run fitness anyways, might as well, right? Turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking this way…

It seems like almost all the people who wanted more running were up to the same no good logic. This made for a strong running field. I was chased down by runners instead of passing them after T2. It was weird but a fun atmosphere. The guy who was chasing me down yelled out “make me earn it!” meaning to go faster you slow poke! ;) Luckily I was able to hold him off just barely and finishing the last kilometre with a 4 minute per km split. Another detail I should add, of course there was a porta-potty at the final turn-a-round and I would have loved to occupy it at the time, but having a small glimpse of a guy running you down called for moments on relying on your trusty steel bladder, which worked out nicely. 

A little bit of rain kinda dampened the bike portion. It felt fast considering we only had to do two loops, I was still used to the 4-loops half iron course.

The swim also felt fast and was definitely a good first test in the wetsuit for the season.

PS - Job pursuit is still on. Little did I know, I managed to chat with someone interested in hiring marine engineers of all people at the race. It's a small world and nice to do some networking at these chilled races.  

Click here to read the team's UBCTC recap.