Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Goderich Olympic Triathlon-oh-wait-Duathlon 2016

Back for another crack at the Olympic distance at Goderich this year. Training has been solid for the last couple of weeks, but I've been lazy and haven't felt like updating the blog. Refunds available on request. Oh wait...

I had glanced at the weather, but had really only just paid attention to the temperature and the lack of rain, so I was pretty excited to have a great race day. Until I got a Facebook notification from Kyra Saturday night asking if I'd noticed the wind forecast.


40 km/hr winds, out of the West?

I was about 95% sure we wouldn't be swimming in those circumstances. Perfect weather for big waves on Lake Huron. And sure enough, when I got the race site as soon as I saw the lake I knew the swim would be cancelled. There's no way the lifeguards would be on board with the number of people they'd have to rescue out of the swells!

It's hard to capture the scale of the waves with my iphone. Trust me, swimming in it wasn't happening. Surfing, maybe!
After confirming the lack of swim, I checked in to get my kit and set up my transition area. Setting up for a du takes a lot less time, since there's no swim gear to mess about with. I felt like I should be doing more as I killed time visiting the bathroom, applying a second layer of sunscreen, and chatting with blog reader Brian-from-Oakville*, who introduced himself to me during the briefing.

*I think. I'm terrible with names. I'm so sorry if I have that wrong! Congrats on what looked like a great race!

Running shoes on at the start? This just feels wrong.
The organizers split us up into three small waves for the start, which was a great move on their part. The run course is on a rail trail, so starting everyone at once would have led to some potential bottlenecks. I was in the second wave, and tried to mentally prepare myself for a solid but restrained 10k. When I'd realized the night before that we probably wouldn't be swimming, I'd switched my mindset on this race to it being more of a training day. Overall, running 15k was probably a better option for my Barrelman training overall anyway, so I wasn't terribly disappointed in the swim being cancelled.

Yeah I was in a good mood at the start. Camera hog! Photo via Heather Bell
10k run: 57:40

An unspectacular run. I kept it easy and relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. Almost lost my visor going across the (rather pretty) wooden pedestrian bridge thanks to the crazy wind, which told me I was going to be having some good times on the bike. Fortunately, the rest of the run course was completely sheltered from the wind. I spent some time contemplating how grateful I was the organizers had put the 10k run first instead of last, letting me get it out of the way early, at least.

About 2k from the finish it suddenly occurred to me I was wearing socks. I don't wear socks with my bike tri shoes, ever. Hmmmmm. Obviously I didn't want to test how socks would feel in them in a race (and my tri shoes are a fairly snug fit even with bare feet), so I figured I'd have to strip off the socks with the shoes and then let Post-Bike Emma figure out the whole getting them back on for the run thing.

Heading in from run #1, salt mine in the background. Photo via Heather Bell.
T1 - 1:03

Man is T1 easier when you are taking off shoes instead of a wetsuit...

Heading out of T1. Photo via my mom.
Bike 42k: 1:29:55

OK so the bike. Ugh. Pretty much my one goal for this race was demolish my bike time from last year, and not only did I fail at that, I was almost 2 minutes slower.

Heading out of transition, and I can't get my $#@$ing left foot clipped in. Photo via Heather Bell.

STILL WON'T CLIP IN. Great start to the ride. Photo via Heather Bell. 
The first part of the bike was fine. After getting the first two bitchy hills out of the way, there was a nice 12km stretch with tailwind. That part was fun.

Guess which segment had the tailwind...

The rest was...not headwind, that's for sure. This bike course is hard. Hard in a way I normally like (rolling hills of fun!), but climbing hills into a headwind...that's a lot less fun. By the time I got back to transition I was glad to see the last of my bike for a bit.

And. Last night when I was cleaning my bike I discovered my rear tire may have been rubbing a little bit. I'm not 100% sure, but AUGH. I didn't check it over that closely when I swapped out the trainer tire last week, so there's a chance. Frustrating to screw up something so simple!

T2: 1:24

Not bad. Had to turn those damn socks back rightside out before I could put them back on. If I'd thought about the duathlon possibility earlier I'd have brought a second pair!

Run 5k: 30:02

I made essentially 0 effort to push the pace on this one. Since I'd decided to treat it as training rather than an all out race, I was pretty unmotivated. The scenery was still pretty nice! And I'm happy with how the run felt overall after the bike.

And done. Yay!
Total time: 3:00:02 (D'oh)
Gender place: 11/33
Age group place: 5/7
Overall place: 43/84

Overall, not a particularly memorable race, at least in terms of my performance. The duathlon format doesn't suit me at all, really. I'm far too average a runner and end up way behind after the first run. You don't lose nearly as much ground as an average swimmer. I did pass a lot of people on the bike, but at a certain point you just can't make up that much ground.

The race organization, though, is fantastic. Race Huron does a great job with this triathlon (duathlon), the course is challenging but fun, and I will definitely be back again. I need to throw down a much faster time on that bike course!

Chatted with a few people after the race, including Kyra and her husband, and had another person introduce himself as a blog reader, but due to the aforementioned sucking at names thing I can't remember his name to give him a shoutout. My Goderich race report is one of the more highly trafficked pages here, I'm sure because there aren't exactly a lot of race reports out there!

Post race with Kyra and Alasdair. I think my hair makes it obvious just how windy it was... photo via my mom
Then after checking to see if I'd won any draw prizes (no, dang) I packed up and headed home. Not exactly the day I'd imagined I'd have at this race, but a solid day of training nonetheless!

Whoever does the graphics for this race does a great job.
Next up...another crack at the Olympic distance. What??! I won the Racer of the Day contest for Wasaga this weekend, so I will unexpectedly be doing the Olympic tri there on Saturday! Fingers crossed we get to swim! I won't be racing this all out since I'm supposed to be peaking my training for Barrelman right now, but I wasn't about to say no to a free race entry + swag. So the approach here will be Catered Training Day With T-shirt. I'm looking forward to it!

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