The Brick Race Report

I am doing this really, really late and I am back-dating it but I just want to have a record of what happened at the race in May.

Overall the race was pretty good. I managed to get just under 5 minute kilometres on the first run and just under 5:30 on the second run, which was a little too slow in my books but not too bad for the beginning of the season.

The weather was kind of hard to figure out. It was very windy (winds probably in the 25-40km/h range) and the temperature was in the 10-13 degree range. I started the race with arm warmers but I was a little too hot in the first run and ended up taking the arm warmers off in the second transition. It was also threatening rain the whole day but the most it did was a very slight drizzle.

The Good
The first run was pretty good, coming in at under 5:00 k's. The first k was under 4:30 which really is too fast for me and probably affected the third and fourth kilometers. I started to feel a little out of gas at around the 2.5k mark.

Another good part was the first part of the bike. It was extremely windy and in the first half of the bike the wind was at our backs or from the side.

Finally, the second run was fairly good but as usual at this time of year I wasn't quite as prepared for a full-length, full speed brick like that. My second run was about 1:30 slower than my first run.

The Bad
The flip side of having the wind at our backs on the first half of the bike was having the wind in our faces on the second half. That one road that has most of the bigger hills on it was very tough because we had a 25-30km/h headwind on that whole stretch. It was tough to go over 30km/h even on the downhills. The bike came in at an average speed of just over 30 km/h which wasn't too bad but probably could have been faster if it weren't for the wind.

My transitions were pretty slow at 1:35 and 1:33. I didn't have the speed laces in my running shoes yet so that was probably a big factor.

The Ugly
The weather was pretty ugly mostly because of the wind. The other ugly part was probably my weight. I was nowhere near race weight for this race, probably coming in at around 104 kilos. For me this year ideal race weight would probably be as close to 100 kilos as I can get and as I write this in mid-June I am in the 101-102 kilo range.
category: Race posted on Sunday May 14, 2006 at 08:08:00 by: 0xCC


We did the final tri of our season today.

I was pretty confident that I would be able to rack up another personal best on this course, I have only done this race 2 times before and last year I was recovering from a knee injury (sprained knee playing soccer in late May, ended up developing patella femeral syndrome aka "Runner's knee") so my time last year was pretty easy to beat.

My goal was to finish the swim in around 13:30-14:00, get out on the bike in less than 15-16 minutes, finish the bike in a little more than an hour (1:05-1:06 or so) hoping to get out on the run at the 1:20 mark or so. If I could manage to knock off 5 minute kilometres like I have for the past two races then I should be able to finish the 7k in 35 minutes giving me a 1:55 or so total time, more than 5 minutes better than my fastest time on this course.

Things didn't go according to plan. I was out of the water in under 13:30 and I was out on the bike in just over 15 minutes. I had a pretty good bike. I finished in just over an hour and after the transition I was headed out on the run in just under 1:20, right on track. Now all I needed to do was bang out those 5 minute kilometres and I would meet my goal. Well my body had other plans. thinking back I could feel this coming on the bike. At around the 20 km mark on the bike (with 13k still to go) I was thinking "Yeah, that was pretty good. Can I start the run now?" I ran the first kilometre in around 5:20 which wasn't bad because it is mostly up hill. I could feel that I didn't really have a lot left in my legs. I struggled through the next kilometre and actually had my gel at the aid station just after the 2k mark. I think that my second kilometre took me about 5:45 or so to complete. Just before the 3k marker my left hamstring started to spasm on me and I actually had to come to a full stop to stretch it. I struggled through the last half of the run not being able to get into any sort of rythm and having pain with every step in my left leg. My hamstring was always on the verge of cramping up in the last half of the run so I couldn't push at all. I managed to cross the finish line just a little less than 3 minutes faster than my previous PB. I should have been able to get 5 minutes faster but it just didn't work out this year.

The good: My swim was very good (and M had one of her best swims of the year). The bike was also good, allowing me to get out on the run course in about 80 minutes.

The bad: The run. The run was very tough even though it shouldn't have been. Also I took a little long in my first transition. I ended up with a lot of sand on my ankles coming into the first transition and I took about 10-15 seconds to get some of that sand off before putting my bike shoes on.

The problems: Other than the obvious run issues there weren't really any other big problems. We left the house at almost exactly 5:30am for the 8:00am race start, getting to the race at about 6:30. It was just starting to get busy then, if we had maybe left about 10 minutes earlier we would have had an extremely smooth time. We still managed to get good parking and we had enough time to get set up and warmed up.

Tips for next year: Stay on top of doing bricks in the 3 weeks from Bala to this race! I think my run issues were because we had basically stopped doing bricks after the Bala race. Also we need to make sure we are doing the AE training. It is really tough to keep the motivation to do the training all the way through to late August but it is only 3 more weeks, not too tough. Finally, on this run course when you make that left hand turn on the road that the turn around is on try to run in the middle of the road. The road slopes badly along the sides and I think this was the cause of my left leg pain and hamstring issues.
category: Race posted on Sunday August 21, 2005 at 18:17:00 by: 0xCC


Did the Bala race this morning.

Overall the race was pretty good. There were some issues with the swim (it was probably closer to 900m than 750m, we heard a race organizer talking after the race saying that a buoy drifted away on them a little bit). The bike was pretty fast (for me, over 32km/h average including transitions) and although the run was hillier than other races we have done recently I was able to keep my pace under 5:00/km (which is fast for me). Once again I used the strategy of really controlling my pace on the first kilometer of the run (which I did in about 5:20 or so, the second km was under 5:00) so that I can maintain a strong pace over the whole run instead of blowing up before the halfway point.

The weather for the race was good, maybe even a little on the cool side (my feet were cold during the second part of the bike). After the race during the awards ceremony it started to rain lightly on and off.
category: Race posted on Sunday July 24, 2005 at 14:20:00 by: 0xCC


We had our race today.

The weather was pretty good for this race. According to www.theweathernetwork.com the temperature in Peterborough at 09:00 was 23C and at 10:00 was 26C. M and I were both finished the race before 10:30 so I don't think it was much warmer than that, the 11:00 temperature was 28C.

We ran into a little bit of a problem first thing in the morning. The race site is about a 1.5 hour drive from our house. We generally like to get to the race site around 2 hours before the race start. So that means getting there around 7:00am which means leaving the house at 5:30am. We went to bed at around 11:00pm last night which was a little too late and m set the alarm for 5:00am (or a little earlier than that). Unfortunately the volume on the alarm was a little low and we didn't hear the alarm. M woke up at about 5:35am and we scrambled to get on the road by about 5:55am (we had most of our stuff ready to go the night before). We managed to get to the race site by about 7:15-7:20. So all that stuff added to the stress a little bit. M felt it a lot more than I did but being that far off plan didn't help a lot.

As for the actual race, I managed to shave about 50 seconds off my previous PB. There was a little bit of confusion during the swim. For some reason the buoys marking the swim course were moving as the race was going on. When my wave started it looked like we had to swim past 3 buoys, make a left around the third buoy and then another left around the next buoy and back past 2 more buoys on the way back to the shore. As we went along on the swim it seemed like the third buoy on the way out disappeared. I don't know for sure if we actually did a full 750m as a result of this.

Anyway, I was able to get out of the water at about 11:55. I got into the transition at about 13:05 and made the longish run along the right side of the transition. My transition was right around 1:00 and I was out on the bike in just under 14:00. After almost getting run into by a lady trying to get her feet into her bike shoes I was off on the bike (shoes clipped in on the bike). The first part of the bike was really fast as we had a nice cross/tailwind. Once we made the right hand turn on the road that has the turn-around we were facing a bit of a head wind. After the turn-around that turned into a tailwind. Then after making the left turn to the road that takes us back to the park we had another head wind to deal with. I was able to do ok with this, averaging just shy of 33 km/h by the time the bike was finished. I left my bike shoe on my feet and went into the transition, this was a minor mistake. After an other ~1:00 transition was out on the run, about 51 minutes in.

I was now looking for a sub 27 minute run. I suspected that the reason I had so much trouble at the last race was that I went out too hard in the first kilometre or two and then could sustain any sort of pace. So for this race I wanted to really try to calm down in the first kilometre and allow myself to settle into a rhythm. I resisted the temptation to push it in the first km even though I was getting passed by some pretty quick runners. This strategy seems to have paid off. I past the first km marker in just under 5 minutes which is a pretty fast pace for me. The first km is pretty flat but the second is about 1/3 uphill. I looked at my watch at the second km marker and I was at about 10:20 for the first 2k so my second km was about 5:20, still a pretty good pace. By the third km marker my time was at about 15:10 so that was another sub 5 minute kilometre. By this point I could feel I was running out of gas a little bit and I debated taking the gel that I had brought along. I find that a gel takes about 10 minutes to deliver results and I figured that at the current pace I only had about 10 minutes left in the race so I decided not to use it. I past the 4k marker at just over 20 minutes (another sub 5 minute k) and I knew I was in a good position for a new PB. I did the last km in under 5 minutes for a total run time of just under 25:00. The first time I have broken a 5 minute kilometre pace in a race.

The good: A new PB for this course! The run was good, making sure to stay under control in the first kilometre of the run seems to have really paid off. Also, I was able to find a person to pace me on the run, that I was slowly reeling in before the turn-around and I passed at the turn-around. The bike was also pretty good but not outstanding. The bike computer put the actual bike distance at about 19.80 kms, not a full 20k.

The bad: The second transition. I should leave the shoes on the bike. I probably lost about 10 seconds on that alone. Also with my new race outfit I need to make sure that I lube around the zipper area on my chest. M had an ok race until the last km of the run. She got a big abdominal cramp and could barely run the last km. She also had some problems finding her spot in the transition area when coming into the swim to bike transition. She probably lost about 30-45 seconds on this.

The problems: Something strange happened on the swim course. I don't know if the total swim was actually 750m, I suspect it wasn't. However, taking into account that the previous PB was set on the previous transition set-up (with about a 10 second run from the swim course end to the transition area instead of the 1:10 or so with the current set-up) I think I was probably within seconds of a 'real' PB. Also, leaving the house late caused extra stress and probably affected our spot in the transition area.

Tips for next year: Don't try to get into the transition area by the bike entrance/exit. Go around to the side and go in through the non-timed entrance. In fact, avoid the whole bike start/finish/washroom area until after the half IM starts. The drive to the race site can be done in less than 1.5 hours, if you leave the house by 5:30am you will get there in good time.

Wow, I had a lot to say about this race.
category: Race posted on Sunday July 10, 2005 at 19:08:00 by: 0xCC


Did a race this afternoon. It was quite hot but this didn't cause a problem really until the run.

I finished this race (Guelph Lake) just 50 seconds off my PB time for this course. The swim was pretty good and I managed to get out of the water in just under 14 minutes but it takes awhile to get up the hill into the transition area at Guelph lake. I was out on the bike course by about 16 minutes into the race. After about 38 minutes on the bike I actually left the transition onto the run very much on track for a PB. I looked at my watch just as I was starting the run and I was just under 57 minutes meaning that I only had to run about a 28 minute 5k in order to get a PB. Unfortunately the heat caught up with me and I was getting some scary symptoms, nausea and chills. I couldn't even manage to finish the run in under 30 minutes.

The good: A pretty good swim, an average bike, pretty good transitions.
The bad: The run. The heat really got to me and mentally I just wasn't tough enough.
The problems: Some hamstring cramps when trying to get my feet in the shoes on the bike. I probably started off the race a little bit dehydrated and I wasn't able to recover from that which affected my run performance. Also, I don't think I have been doing enough training of biking at race pace followed by a race pace run.
category: Race posted on Saturday June 25, 2005 at 20:45:00 by: 0xCC

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