Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Calgary - 2011

Now, it's time to talk about Ironman Calgary. The race in my own backyard, literally. The bike route comes right past our backyard somewhere post 70K...

 Ever since I started Triathlon, I wanted to do this race. Made sense. Close, familiar, Ironman sponsored (again, should be run pretty professionally). In this case, given my pending move back to the U.S., it would be a "last hurrah" for me in terms of my Canadian racing, at least for now.

Unfortunately, again, my family couldn't be here for the race. Except for Drew, Madison (girlfriend) and my grandson Caden, my family was all in Gilbert, AZ having moved there a month or so ago. That didn't stop some great friends from coming out to wish me the best and congratulate me (Cly, Darcie, Grant, Tara, etc.).

Swim: Ghost Lake is never warm and this year was no exception. It was, however, warmer than Lucky Peak Rez in Boise. Having endured that earlier this year, I knew I would survive whatever Ghost gave out. It's a tougher swim than I thought given the time of day - you swim out into the sun and take a hard left at a buoy you can barely see... You then swim under the highway bridge in a big rectangle. Boise had about 20 buoys guiding you along the path and providing small little bite size goals for the swim. Calgary did no such thing. 4 total buoys. This meant that it was easy to get off course, which I did a few times... I came in at 48 minutes which was about right for me.

Bike: Beautiful course leading out from Ghost and traveling around the countryside of Calgary. I seemed to stay in a pack of a few of the same people... Funny, I thought I was going pretty fast but then all of the sudden someone would get further in front of me and eventually almost dissappear. Put me in my place. The bike course is actually longer than the perscribed 90K - clocks in closer to 94K in reality. More challenging than Boise also. No wind, though, which is a rarity for Calgary rides.

I really enjoyed that aspect. Felt very comfortable on the bike and had a lot of energy for the last 20K. Drew parked himself near our backyard and I estimated when I would be coming by... Sure enough, he was there and snapped a few photos of me as I passed! Had to pee twice on the bike and lost some time there... Still, even with a more challenging course, two pee breaks and 4 extra K, I came in at 3:03 which was equal to Boise!

Run: By the time I hit T2, it was starting to get hot. I welcome the heat but knew I was going to burn. The race organizers had promised sunscreen for T2 but when I asked they volunteers said there wasn't any. Luckily I brought a small tube of sunscreen in my T2 back - jammed it in my back pocket and was off... Put on the sunscreen as a ran the first K. Lucky for me, I found. It was hot and I ended up missing some spots... The first 6K was brutal. I have to admit I struggled. I thought a couple of times I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish! Then I saw Grant my coach and he gave me a high five and said I looked great. It made a big difference and I started to shrug off those thoughts of inadequacy. I knew I had done the training necessary to perform and I just did it. At almost the 1/2 way point Darcy and Cly were sitting out in lawn chairs! They took some pics and cheered me on also... It was great to see them. Right after was the turnaround point and then I knew I would be OK.

The last hill coming up to the final 4-5K is a real ball breaker but some guy coached me on as I started to walk it... He got me to run it, which I did and off I went. I did great for the next 3K but the last 1-2 K was brutal... I felt alone and I was very tired... I still plugged on... Drew was at the finish line snapping photos and then I crossed! It was a great feeling. Dedicated the race to Drew!

Here is the final tally....

Swim 48:40; Bike 3:03:39; Run 2:19:33. 323 out of 710 racers and 29/64 in my age group.


No comments:

Post a Comment