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Victoria 1/2 IM Race Report

I have been thinking about this race for over a week now.  It was a tough one and I had not expected that.  Not that a 1/2 IM is ever easy, but I felt prepared and ready to race.  I have done this one before and remembered it being amazing.  The swim, bike and run course are scenic and challenging and familiar.  Being familiar with the course, I thought I had it made.  That, it seems, may have been a flaw in my logic.

My two big races this year were Lavaman and St. George 70.3.  Both I had never done before.  They made my stomach churn in anticipation of race day.  Since I had never done them before, I was excited but never set a solid time goal for either.

For Victoria, I was calm, confident and had set some solid time goals.  I set my 2013 time goals based on my previous time in 2009.  In 2009 my time was 5:47:37.  It was my second 1/2 IM and I remember feeling great in and after the race.  This year I can easily do 5:40. My swim is about the same or faster that it was in 2009, my bike is much stronger and my run will be steady.  This was the plan.

So why did I end up with a 6:07:51?

  • I was slower in the swim.  In 2009, it was reported that the swim was short.  That was probably why I swam 2 minutes slower this year.  On the positive side, I felt like I executed really well by going out in the front and then finding some fast feet to draft.  I ended up 1st in my age group out of the water.  Yay!

  • I was slower on the bike.  Even with my fancy new aero helmet and my new Cervelo P3, I was slower.  This still baffles me.  I went to Victoria to pre-ride the course a few weeks ago and felt very good.  The course is hilly but nothing compared to St. George.  The bike is two loops and after the first loop, I was already well off my goal time.  I did pick it up on the second loop but mentally, I had already given up.

  • I was slower on the run.  This did not surprise me but I had not expected to be so much slower.  Highlight of the day was running the second loop of the course (10kms) with Sam, a young man raising money for TNT.  It was his first 1/2 IM.  We kept each other company and kept each other running.  This is really what triathlon is all about.  

Finishing the first loop of the run.  Looking down and not really happy that I sill have 10kms to go.

I have thought a lot about this race.  I think knowing the course and feeling confident were my achilles heal.   

I had no process goals for this event, only a time goal.  
I never once thought about what I would do if I was not meeting the goal during the race.  I had no Plan B or milestone goals.  

Retirement crossed my mind a few times this week.  Maybe I could kick ass in Olympic Distance and give up the 1/2 IM and IM distance?  

I have been in a 'running funk' the past few weeks which contributed to my slow run time.  Feeling slow, sluggish and generally heavy footed on the run.  The thought of going for a run has been blah.  

And what about Challenge Penticton?  That is only 9 weeks away.  

You see how my mind spirals...

Take aways from this race:
  1. set more than one goal
  2. have a Plan B if my primary goal isn't met
  3. this was not my A Race, this was a race to work out kinks and practice 
  4. be confident and know the course but don't think that will get you through
  5. you can never ride or run a course too many times before a race
  6. remember it is the process and not the destination that make the best memories
  7. better to learn this now than on August 25 during Challenge Penticton
  8. jumpstart my run training to a new level - embrace the run
  9. now is the time to focus
  10. celebrate successes - Yay 1st in my AG in the swim!  Yay - 10/17 in my AG!

Happy Training!


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