After a few years of lurking around the website and being interested in the sport, I can now say I have actually done a triathlon. The experience was amazing, even though certain aspects of training and racing didn't go according to the 'plan', I'm really happy with the day. Really great event in Oliver, seems like the entire town is out cheering on the streets. The volunteers were great, they did an amazing job and truly went the distance for the athletes.
Swim (2.0km) - The lake was calm and warm (~18C), this was my first open water swim, but I think the conditions were ideal. Gun went off and into the drink I went. I felt strong, I tried drafting, but I hadn't ever done it before and the bubbles were really throwing me off. Decided to swim just off to the side on my own. My effort felt consistent the entire time, didn't feel any fade towards the end. Came out of the water and the strippers had me peeled in no time. This was my longest continuous swim, and my back/lat muscles were letting me know on route to the bike.
30:12 1:31/100m (9/783 OA)
T1 - This started with about an 800m run to get to the actual transition located at a nearby elementary school. I didn't really practice this, so it winded me! My location in the transition was pretty good though, fairly close to the bike start, can't complain about that. I took a gulp of water and a couple seconds at the end to make sure I didn't forget anything.
4:47 (162/783 OA)
Bike (93km)- The course was a relatively flat 2.5 lap loop, I rode it two weeks before, so I was somewhat familiar. The day was heating up though, it reached about 30C and due to the poor spring weather, I hadn't trained at all above 20C. Went out onto the bike not really knowing what to expect. I figured I would keep my fuel the same just add a little more water into the mix. Got some really bad cramping in my back on the first lap making it hard to take a full breath, I think it was a combination of swim and cycling position. I typically ride exclusively on the hoods, but spent a lot of the race in the drop position. The cramps calmed down a bit after about half an hour.
Overall, I felt good, but my heart rate was a little high, tough not to get caught up in the excitement. My nutrition was a home brew of malto and electrolytes, it seemed to work well. I could feel my legs growing tired on the last 1/2 lap, I was having a hard time getting my heartrate up.
2:43:42 34.1km/hr (161/783 OA)
T2 - Jumped off the road bike and ran into the transition area. Put on my gear and had a quick gel and out onto the run course. No complaints here.
1:38 (89/783 OA)
Run (21.1km) - The run course was a two loop out and back (super boring at times, but it was nice and flat!). I was a little unsure how this leg of the race was going to go, my running had been sidelined for the last month due to a lower leg injury, so it was totally up in the air. Running out of the transition area was a total wake up call for me. Originally, I had plans of running the first 5km at a conservative pace... After the first few kilometres, I realized that my body had other plans, there was no way I could come anywhere close to my original goal. The gel from T2 wasn't sitting well, a little bit of sloshing, but this wasn't the decider, my legs just didn't have anything left. I don't know exactly what my split times were, but at least I felt consistent on both laps. I was really happy to hit the finish, I just didn't have the energy to show it!
2:12:44 6:20/km (353/783 OA)
Felt I went out a little hard on the swim and bike, as I didn't have much left for the run. I felt I did a good job of spreading my efforts evenly during each of the events, just not over the entire race. A new respect for triathletes, it's a really tough gig!
5:33:01 (175/783 OA) (19/48 AG M3034)
Happy with the event in general, but I do feel I put way to much pressure on myself in the months leading up to it though. I would like to get a few shorter distance events under my belt before returning to the half distance.
There are definitely areas of the race that I can improve on, but I think one thing for me to focus on is enjoying the moment. I don't want time and speed to determine my experience of the event, I feel I got a little too caught up on that stuff this early in the game. I'm not even sure where I got a lot of my goal times, they just appeared one day and I decided to aim for them, many of them were unreasonable given my training volume and experience level. I might ditch my garmin for the next one, focusing too much on numbers really takes away from the sport in my experience.
One last thing, huge thanks to my family for their support, they made this event for me, it's unreal how far a couple of encouraging words from loved ones can propel a person.