Monday, July 30, 2012

Calgary 70.3 Triathlon

Calgary 70.3 2012 is officially in the books. My best ½ ironman to date. I would have broken 5 hours if the bike course wasn’t 4 km long. My time was 5:03. I only decided to do this race after I didn’t get an Ironman Canada slot in the Desert Half. But get this, during the warm up iconic tri announcer Steve King announced that this year’s IMC might be a wetsuit ILLegal swim. Apparently the temps have been so warm that the water temp is also high. Man...I don’t do non-wetsuit swims (w/out wetsuit floatation not only would I be slow, I’d be scared of drowning!). Good thing I didn’t get that slot!

I’d done the Calgary 70.3 the innaugural year (2009) and the next year, 2010. So my challenge was to see if I could get better. My swim was 1 minute slower. You never know with the courses though, they tend to vary so much. The Ghost Lake is so cold! Fortunately I have a neoprene beany to go with my wetsuit. It makes the 16C water so much bearable. A swimmer actually drowned just 1 week to the day before the race. He’d jumped off the bridge we swim under, but probably due to the cold water was unable to make it to shore. A sad thing for sure.

After the swim I jumped on the bike hoping for a little improvement from the previous year. I was 6 minutes faster. My tubeless clinchers really performed well on the rougher roads. I wouldn’t doubt if the better rolling resistance accounted for some of that improvement. Even though 90km is pretty long, the km’s just seemed to fly by. I love the bike!

Onto the run. After burning a good couple of minutes draining my bladder in the porta potty in t2 it was off to the races. The day turned out kinda hot, but nothing like the 38C I’d encountered earlier this year in Osyoos. My pace seemed good, but my body wanted to go faster, but every time I dialed it up I felt a little "bonky". My energy stores seemed right on the edge, so I tried to be conservative. With about 5 km to go though it was time to rip. There was a lot still in the tank so it was fun to finish fast.

The last 8km or so I ran with a 55 year old guy that set a record this day for his age group. I ended up dropping him. As I passed and began a long surge I reminded him that I wasn’t in his age group. He sounded relieved that he didn’t have to fight me off. He made an interesting comment earlier in our running together though. He said that he was going faster in triathlon than when he was 31. The improvement curve was still on the upward trend. That’s kinda cool. So is mine!

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