Friday, August 14, 2015

Duathlon means Deadly Calves – Point Grey Du RR

Well friends, sorry it’s been a busy month, so I apologize that this post is a bit of a ramble.

Ironman Canada weekend was supposed to be spent volunteering and cheering our many friends doing the epic race. Last year I had a blast (pun to come) to say the least; I passed the first bottle of water at the first bike aid station to Marino Vanhoenacker and basically blasted as many bottles I can to everyone passing by. Oh and cheered on some friends too.

Of course as luck would have it, two very good friends’ (James and Stef’s) engagement party was during the exact same afternoon for this year’s event. So, I figured I would make my morning productive and sign up for a local triathlon ehem duathlon race, anyways without realizing what I was really up against.

What the heck is exactly a duathlon you say? 

Lots of deadly calves pain. That’s what I get for chasing the wrong guy, who I thought was in my age category. More to come on this.

5k run, followed by 20k bike and another 5k run. 

Ekks! My brain hurts just reading that second 5K.

For such a short race, we had terrible conditions. At least it was consistent. Heavy downpour of rain. We were all bunched up together under a tent to stay warm before the start. I was debating all morning on whether to use A or B runners, A or B cycling shoes, two shoes or the same pair, two pairs of socks or one...etc etc. Ended up using A shoes, and B cycling shoes and one pair of super soaked socks. 

We were also thinking of the poor people doing the race in Whistler, they must had had it worst. Funny that we were wearing arm warmers in late July, when during the UBC tri in mid March this year, we got away with only sleeveless tri top and shorts. Of course just hours after the race, the rain would stop.

The 5k loop consisted of a lollipop figure (i.e.  a stick and two loops around the thunderbird stadium similar to the crit bike race on Tuesdays). 

The 20k bike was a stick and two loops of the same UBC tri course.

The duathlon portion of the Point Grey (which also had Sprint and Short tri distances) was also sanctioned as the official Provincial Championships and I was secretly eyeing the potential belt buckle. I knew the guy I had to beat was Jen's friend Nick. 

The small field was deep. Many versions of Team Canada outfits were proudly represented. Jen and I had our UBCTC outfits, which was fitting considering we were on home turf.  

The gun was off and the first 5k felt like a open road race. Jen, Nick, and another guy named Mike exchanged the leads many times and I was struggling along about 10 metres back the entire 5k. The first 5k was actually 5.1k, and as the trio approached T1, I caught up to the pack and cheekily passed them for my very short lived TV time as they say in the Tour de France (about 4 seconds before I lost it). :) 

It wasn't a smart move on my part. I have lots to learn about tactics and duathons...Jen also joked afterwards that someone mentioned the water run 5k and swim was done. What's next? Paddle boat the ride of course! Another instance, Matt and Vanessa was also making fun of me before the race and my nutritional bento box plans for short course racing. Ugh...seriously Winston? C'mon...

One person had a fast transition with last year's camo, I thought that must had been Nick. The one person I had to chase down. It was a bit frustrating because the leader stayed within 10 seconds gap the entire 20k. In a long distance race, you can chase them down easily. I was thinking wow the leader is definitely making me earn this!

T2 was mind-numbing slow despite being only around 40 seconds. I had my wet socks still on that I was suppose to discard during T1, and couldn't see with all the rain. It wasn't a flawless transition, one shoe I couldn't get out in time, because the appraoch to T2 was a mini climb. 

I ran the first kilometre of the second 5K (aka run KM 6) going 3:50 per km pace on dead calves. I guess averaging 38.8km/hr on the bike doesn't exactly give you the freshest calves either. By 2km in, and approaching the loops, I can see the leader running a similar pace as me. It was a bit disheartening because I was already going at threshold pace and the pain was the only thing I could control. The gap wasn't closing. 

Turns out the leader beat me 12 seconds on the run and bike portions, and absolutely destroyed me by 30 seconds on the transitions. Talk about an ITU style racing. I crossed the finish line and was surprised to see the Mike, who was also wearing the Camo suit. Nick was close behind, and it was a good thing that Mike lead the race for the most part, otherwise I would have likely needing a sprint finish with Nick, who would had likely beat me given his experience. 

I guess my fitness is coming along, but I still have a lot to learn on the tactics and those mundane transitions. 

I was racing the people in an older age category because I'm turning 30 next year for a Canada slot for the worlds in Spain, but it's probably 99% safe to say I won't go because James and Stef wedding is during that weekend ironically. Also my finances are a bit broken after Sweden this year. :)

Thanks for reading. My goodness, the recovery for a duathlon was brutal for me. I couldn't stand up straight because of DOMS calves on day 2-4 post race. It wasn't pretty to say the least.

Also a huge thank you to TriBC for drawing me in their wonderful prize pack giveaways! The Rudy Project and Aqua Sphere gear are fabulous! Perks of being a member, I guess. :D

No belt buckles, but the medals seem like a bit more classier touch! :)

Photo cred: Naiely for coming out to cheer in the rain! I was too confused after the race and couldn't spot her.

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