Saturday, July 11, 2009

2009 Half Ironman Peterborough Race Report

This is the third time doing this course. I did this course three years ago and it was my first course going long. In essence, this course brought back a lot of memories. Looking back, it didn't seemed so hard to go long. Eat gel, drink and watch your heart rate. When I first started, I really don't know what I was doing. It was a lot of unknown.

That's also why I enjoyed the longer-ish race. I never know how well I will be in the last few km of the race. Patience with good pacing will lead to a good race in the end. Poor discipline and going all out will lead to blowing up on the run.

Last year I finished this race in 5 hr 45 min. Since then I had been working on my runs. At Half Marathon Mississauga, I did a 1 hr 38 min. Speaking with Darren, the goal for this race was to run a 1 hr 45 min. 5 min/k for 21 km.


I placed myself in the mid pack of the race. The swim was two loops. A bit rougher than I thought. I got whacked lightly on the back of the head and heard a lady scream in the swim. 42 min. Not too bad. (goal is to swim sub 40 min next time around).

Off on the bike. Spent the first 10 km trying to keep the heart rate down. Was messing around with the timing chip on my ankle and had to put it on my wrist. My seat was wobbling from the beginning. Uh oh. I did what i could to keep the seat straight. By the end of the ride, I never got up and stretch. Glad the seat hold up until the end. Next time gotta check every nut and bolts.

They changed the course and made it more hilly. I love it. Did my nutrition and hydration plan. Eat gel every 30 min. Drink gatorade and water. Stand up and spin on rolling hills. 2 hr 46 min for 88 km.

On to the run, my legs felt great. Right from the beginning I was running 4:45 min/k. It is only 15 sec. But by 10 km we know they would add up. I slowed down. It was an out and back. As we left the park and run out on the road with no shades, I smiled.

This is what the race is all about.

By 11 km, I was feeling it. Legs were tired and resorted to counting every steps between telephone poles (60 steps). There were no one around me and the temptation to slow down became very strong. I didn't know how fast I was going. I stopped for two steps and started moving again. I told my mind that my body could handle this distance. There was no reason to walk. My pace was off by 15 seconds.

The last few kms became a tug of war to keep going. Keep the feet moving and stay relax. When I saw the finishing line and saw the time, I was ecstatic. I thought I would be around 5:30 and a 5:20 was a good surprise. Run a 1:49 (not too bad).

Looking back, I remembered those humble beginnings when I first learning to swim and to tri. In three years, I went from 5:56 to 5:20. That's 36 min faster. I don't think i have particular genes or talents. I simply fall in love swimming, biking and running and kept it from season to season.

Saw Darren and Aaron afterwards. They both did great on the course. I bumped into another friend and this was her first time doing this race. She is training for Ironman Canada and she looked very strong.

So what's next? If not for the bike seat, I think I can ride a 32 kph. That will trim about 5 min. Work on my swim trim another 5 min? That's 10 min. That's 5:10. Then sub 5 is not too far away.

Faster is good. However, I am going back to what brought me here in the first place. Just go out and do stuff. Swim. Bike. Run. Go hard and have fun. Speed will sort itself out.

I want to thanks everyone for reading. There are many supporters. This definitely not a solo race ;o)

I have been doing triathlon for four years and I still feel like a beginner ;o)


Anonymous said...

You are SO inspiring!! I loved reading your race report- thanks for sharing it and your thoughts and feelings along the way. God bless- Christine

Unknown said...

Great job. and nice photos. Thx for sharing. :-)

ShirleyPerly said...

Very nice job on your race, Cliff!!

I feel exactly the same as you do about preferring the longer distance races as there is time to settle in and not feel like you're killing yourself the whole time. And certainly true that just sticking with S-B-R and falling in love with them makes it so much more fun and makes you faster too.

Thanks for the great race report and inspiration!

cdnhollywood said...

Awesome buddy! Love the finish line pic. I can't wait to get one like that. ;)

Brent Buckner said...

Great stuff!

They added *more* hills? Ooof. Good bike time!