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Canadian Half Ironman

My big race for the year once again was the Canadian Half Ironman in Ottawa, just minutes from my parents house. The swim is 2 loops in Mooney's Bay for 1.2 miles. The bike is 6 loops down the canal for a total of 56 miles and the run is two loops down the canal for 13.1 miles. My goal was to try and beat my previous years time of 5:30.

The race started off well. I kept the swim at a decently hard pace and finished in 37 minutes. Just ahead of my previous time of 39 minutes. After a prompt transition I was off onto the bike course in 40:43

The bike is where I made my big mistake of the race. Determined to beat my previous time I pushed pretty hard Hammering the bike on the bike. The day was a little more windy but I figured I had a good shot at beating my previous time. Even though the course was fairly congested I didn't see any obvious drafting amongst the half ironman racers. The only real drafting seemed to be coming from the sprint racers who appeared several laps into the race since they had a later start time. Overall there were probably a few too many people for the course. Even given the wind I was still able to drop my bike time to 2:36:46 averaging just over 21.4 MPH as I hit the second transition.

As soon as I was off of the bike I realized my mistake. I was pretty exhausted. I hobbled out onto the run and started with the goal of not walking. That lasted a total of 2 miles at which point I knew I was in trouble. I finished the first lap with a combination of walking and running with a time of just over an hour. I was only a couple of minutes slower than my first lap the previous year. At this point the wheels came off though as my left knee for the first time in months began to hurt. It felt best if I ran fast instead of plodding along so my walking breaks began to increase in duration. On the plus side when I did run it was at a decent pace. At any rate I finished the second lap in a miserable 70 minutes for a total run time of 2:12.

I was excited to see my family as well as my inlaws waiting for me at the finish. I found that I was not as exhausted as the previous year but my time with transitions ended up 2 minutes slower with a total time of 5:32:31. Well under my running capabilities. Next time I think I'll hang around on the bike for an extra 10 minutes or so and watch my run go 20-30 minutes faster. Too bad I had to learn the hard way, in triathlons hard bikes usually mean slow runs.

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