Larry's Blog Pages

September 23, 2010

Lakeside Olympic Tri - Race Report

My final triathlon experience of the season has now passed and the result was a mix of emotions for me. I had a goal time in mind of 2:10 for the Olympic distance event but I was almost ten minutes off that target. Certain portions of the race went well, and I am proud of the effort I placed out on the Lakeside Course, but a few other aspects left me a touch dissatisfied.

The 1.5k swim was a two loop journey in the cool Lakeside Resort waters. My plan was to turn things up a notch and see what I could manage for a time. I had big expectations and would have been happy with anything less than 28 minutes.

Out of the gate, I got my effort up substantially higher than usual for a water start. The water was not very clear so I could not tell how the others were doing around me but I seemed to be moving well and my sighting was bang on so I was not wasting time trying to stay on track. For much of the first lap I was feeling strong and was getting excited about my progress. I was even tempted to stop for a second before starting the second loop to check my split but decided to carry forward.

My second lap seemed even better and I was breaking each side of the rectangular final loop down into small bits to help make it feel like they were shorter little wins. Even on the last stretch to the beach I found more motivation to press harder for the last few hundred metres.

That’s why, when I was able to touch the bottom of the sandy beach, I was instantly dejected when I looked down to see just over 30 minutes had passed during my swim. I could not believe it! For the effort I placed out there, I was sure I was going to see a good time. To make matters worse, I was getting dizzy and could not get my shoulders out of the wetsuit on the slow walk to my bike.

The zipper in the suit had snagged on the flap inside and was only down halfway so the opening was very tiny. The rental was also new and the cuffs at the bottom of the sleeve seemed glued on to my wrist. I was starting to get flustered and even more light headed. I finally wiggled free and took a seat on the grass to catch my balance and throw on some socks for the bike ride.

Getting out to the road, I had a good mount and was off along my way. I was tired at this point and moving up a slight slope was not helping me. I knew this section was not going to be fast but I was hoping to be moving better than I was. It wasn’t until we made the turn around at two kilometres (extra little piece to the east first to make sure we hit 40k) out from transition that I started to find my cycling legs.

This next section was down wind and downhill so I started to fly past many of the other riders. I was making very good time on the field now so I started to feel good about the race again. At the 10k mark, I turned north for 2k which was now uphill with the wind angling into my front, right side. I did not want to give back all the speed I had just built up so I pushed hard on this road knowing the next right hand turn was going to be the toughest stretch of asphalt.

Sure enough, this is where everyone started to give back time as the mighty headwind and uphill battle really hammered the legs. This 16k slugfest was quickly dropping my average speed but I just stuck to the heart rate plan and figured I would eventually enjoy some wind benefit for the last 12k of the race.

After getting through this tough section, I turned south (around 28k area of the bike leg) and started to pick up some high speed but it was short lived as the final 9k heading west were much tougher than expected, even with the assistance of the wind. There were several rolling hills that were not close enough to use the benefit of momentum to keep the speed consistent.

With one final turn south back to the park, I knew I was minutes off my goal for the ride and was sure I was not going to be reaching any pb’s on the day. For the last several kilometres on the bike I was all by myself so I had lots of room to safely dismount and run into transition where I could tell I had still made some movement on the rest of the field. This gave me a little spark to finish the race in style.

The run part of the course I was more familiar with as I raced the Sprint in 2009. The bike course is very different from the Sprint but the running roads are pretty much the same.

The 10k run was two loops on mostly gravel sideroads with some hills thrown in for good measure. One being right at the turn around that was steep and on a loose, rocky running surface. I had moved through the first 2k in pretty solid fashion and was knocking off some more positions. By the time I hit the midway point of this hill, though, my legs were ready to fall off. The last push up was almost a walk to get around the turn indicator before free falling back to the bottom.

While out on the run course, I could see that I was not going to be top five as many of those spots were being filled by familiar faces well ahead of me. I made sure to encourage them as I continued and only hoped that I was hitting a respectable time so that the other Age Groupers (in later waves) were not closing in on my time.

On the second loop, I really dug deep and gave it everything I had. Even the gravel hill near the turn around seemed to flatten out as I cranked things up. Finally, I had made it back to the park and was directed into the finishing chute in 2:19, well off my hopeful race time.

So, although, most of the race did not go as planned, I was still happy to finish 11th overall with the 6th fastest bike time and the 2nd quickest run time on a challenging course. Many said the run course was actually a bit long so this made me feel even better as my run effort was deserving of a quicker pace on paper.


September 20, 2010

Lakeside 2010 - Oly Tri photos

For the past couple years I have done the Lakeside Triathlon as it is a chance for my Mom to come to one of my events to cheer me on. She lives closer to Sarnia and I do not do too much racing over on that side of the province.

At this race we also set aside some time for her hobby during and after the event. She loves to take pictures and we got some more great shots that you don't usually get from the race pics as they are always shooting head on and miss the side shots of the bike.

Hope you enjoy a few of the shots! I will post more when I have a few extra minutes this week.

September 10, 2010

Good Things Happening in our Backyard (Meadowvale)

Hi All,

I have been going to a local gym (McFit in Meadowvale) for a few years now, especially, on the colder days. During those visits, I noticed one gentleman that was a fixture on the treadmill, day after day, always putting in a very solid effort. Being the cautious people we are these days in the big city, I never introduced myself and we just went about our workouts not knowing anything about each other, except we both liked to run.

Well, a few weeks ago I was taking my little guy out for a bike ride on the trails of Meadowvale when we came across a charity walk/run at the Community Centre. It was just wrapping up so most of the organizers were packing up the event and loading the vehicles around the site.

I could tell I had just missed a fun run in my neighbourhood so I finally let my curiousity win over my shy side and asked a lady about the event. She told me that her son had organized the 5k walk/run in support of Team Fox and then she pointed over to him. Right away I recognized the fellow as the runner from the gym so I finally introduced myself. He then told me about his great cause and g.ave me some reading material that I would like to pass along via his website.

If you would like to read on about John Buchanan's story, please visit his site...

If you have a little extra to donate, please follow the link to help John reach his fund raising goal in support of the fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

Thank you so much!

September 7, 2010

Fall Preview - 2010

Coming off a few easy weeks post Timberman, it is time to re-focus and gear up for the fall season. I was going to do the Wasaga Olympic Tri but it did not work into my family schedule so I can wait for Lakeside to take a run at my Olympic Distance Tri debut. This should be interesting as the distance is one I have completed on the duathlon stage many times. I know from last season that my long term goal of sub 2 hours was getting closer to being realized but with the additional swim, I have to re-work the goal.

Sub 2 hours in a triathlon is years away so I would like to push towards a sub 2:10. This is probably a lot to ask at this point of my triathlon life but I like to challenge myself.

With Lakeside taking place on Sept 19th, I am missing out on a large number of events. I am shocked at how many great things are happening on this date. Take a look below for a short list of the interesting happenings, most of them I would have signed up for if they were any other date.

- Terry Fox Run (I really wish I could make this as it is such an amazing event, Worldwide!)
- Centurion 100 (lots of Falcons hitting this event)
- Tour de Mississauga
- Run for the Grapes Half Marathon (want to race a half before it gets too cold)
- FMCT Team TT (thankfully the club changed the date after they saw all the events on Sept 19)
- Greg Stobbart Memorial Ride (Kelso CA, Milton )
- etc!!!!

As you can see it is a busy weekend, and that is just the evens close to home. After Lakeside, I would like to take a few shots at running events in the area. I don't want to travel too far and don't want to head downtown Toronto on a busy weekend. Here is a list I have put together and will work with Tyler to come up with a schedule that works for everyone.

*Erin - Sun, Sept 12th  (5k or 10k?, might be too much with Tanya's plans this weekend, very close to home)
*Toronto Scotia  - Sun, Sept 26th (half marathon, don't want to go right downtown TO, too soon after Lakeside)
*Caledon Kinetico -  Sat, Oct 2nd (5k or 10k?, new date and course! works better (was on Sept 19th), free kids run that we did last year)
*Toronto - Sun, Oct 3rd (5k x-country, would love to do one xc before guelph but this may not work with other events)
*Guelph - Mon, Oct 11th (5k, on Thanksgiving so may be tough with family)
*Oakville - Fri, Oct 15th (5k or 10k?, want to do a fast 10k at some point)
*Base Borden - Sat, Oct 16th (half marathon, maybe too far of a drive?)
*Toronto Good Life - Sun, Oct 17th (half marathon, same as Scotia, don't want to go downtown)
*Niagara Falls - Sun, Oct 24th (half marathon, done the marathon here, too far a drive?)
*Oakville - Sun, Oct 24th (5k or 10k?, depends where I pick my half, close to home)
*Waterloo - Sat, Nov 6th (5k or 10k?, want something for early Nov but is this too far of a drive?)
*Hamilton - Sun, Nov 7th (half marathon, too much downhill???)
*Angus Glen - Sun, Nov 7th (half marathon, love the course, may not be as fast as I was looking for)
*Guelph - Sat, Nov 27th (5k X-Country, awesome event, will sell out - sign up early!)
*Terra Cotta - Sun, Dec 12th (10.8k, ran last year and a big Falcon showing, sub 40 this year on those hills?)
Ideally, I would like to race once every two to three weekends as I have not even raced close to the amount this summer, compared to the last few years. I have some lofty goals in mind (when don't I??) for the 5k, 10k and the Half Marathon and I feel as quick as ever these days thanks to Tyler and the track. If I can manage my weight, I am pretty sure I can hit some respectable times for an older dude this fall.
If you are racing, let me know which event and I will see if it works. It is always more fun to make it a social day as well!