Change of plans at Summerside…

I decided to do a last minute registration to race at Summerside in the olympic distance triathlon… I figured that with a solid 215 km bike ride and my lsd run still comfortable somewhere around 2.5 hours I was in good enough shape to register and race purely for fun. My goals were:

  1. Give the swim my best shot but stay aerobic
  2. Cycle at approx anaerobic threshold minus 3-5 beats, perceieved exertion steady-plus-plus. I was aiming for above a 36 kph split, considering that the roads are brutal.
  3. See how I would manage on the run, not particularily interested in aiming at the 43-45 minute range that I think I was capable of but making the bike split count and having a tough run. I hoped I would be challenged to keep it under 50 mins if I had the chance.
  4. Have an enjoyable time at all costs, I love triathlon and that is the point.

ready to race

I had a good swim… it was really cold and I opted not to warm up in the water because I didn’t want to stand around and get cold arms (sleeveless wetsuit) waiting to go. I crawled out of the pond after just less than 33 minutes which was pretty good considering the only swimming I had done that month was a little splash the wednesday before (even colder!). I got into transition and fumbled getting the arm warmers on due to a combination of cold hands and wet arms (well duh!) I was out on the bike and ready to get to work.

I averaged 37 kph through the first half (out and 2 laps. I was stoked and had really picked up a huge portion of the mens olympic field. I passed at least 28 guys, which in retrospect means that I had moved up to nearly 5th place.

Then things fell apart, summerside is a brutal course and there was construction and deep gravel on the road. Volunteers had swept gravel from the corners to give a bare patch to ride across. The corners (luckily only 4 on each lap) were a big bunching up spot for riders and I ended up going into one following someone around. I paid attention to just matching their line instead of getting through the gravel and I ended up in the gravel bank. My front wheel went out from below me and I landed on my side. Bleeding from the hands and knee I tried to get going again but I had bent my front derailleur. I stopped, caught my breath and decided that I would take it off the bike instead of trying to fix it, I only needed the big ring anyways. That worked alright and after 15 minutes of fiddling to make the bike ridable I got out of the ditch and headed “home” to T2. I had bottle cages hanging out of my bike shorts (littering is a DQ so I was careful) and looked an interesting sight, there was no flying dismount, I came to a complete stop and steped cautiously off of my bike.

After paying a visit to the paramedics to scoop the gravel out of my knee I headed out on the run and met up with my friend Jill who was doing a sprint distance race. I ran her 5 kms first and got her in to the finish in just over 28 minutes and then I headed out for my last 5 kms. I was aiming for a 21 minute run which would certainly be a stretch but I figured I should make it a challenge. I got my 2.5 km split correct and was starting to experience cramping in my left (bleeding) side. I didn’t feel like I slowed down but obviously did as I finished in 21:30, still inside 50 minutes for the run but outside 3 hours for the whole shebang.

run with jill

All in all it was still a fun time and the most important goal was still realized. We had a great pasta lunch, I stopped bleeding and the sun came out; things turned out great!

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