Saturday, April 25, 2009

Race Report: Langley Pond International

Short form:
swim 1500 meters: 46:26
T1 (including a long run from the water to transition) 00:06:18
bike 24 miles: 01:39:22 (14.5 mph)
T2 02:28
run 10K 01:32:12 (pace of 14:50)
total 04:06:43

I'm actually very happy with that result, because I really wasn't trained for the distance. I did about half and half power walking and running, so I was happy to end up with a run pace of under 15 minutes per mile. My last international distance, almost two years ago, was 3:59. And it was hot today: 79 degrees by 11 am.

I didn't pack for the race until right before I left, but the only thing I forgot was my Garmin. I had found a cheap hotel ($55 with tax) about 10 minutes away, so I got to sleep until after 6. I had my usual microwaved frozen quiche for breakfast and a banana about 15 minutes before the start. It was 63 degrees at 8 am--I didn't need my wetsuit to keep me warm. But I wore it--the water temperature was 70 degrees. I had swum in the lake up here on Wed. and the water was cold enough to make it hard to settle down and breathe, but the water felt a lot warmer in Langley Pond and I was comfortable from the start. I felt rather alone the second half of the swim, but I wasn't the last one out of the water. Having forgotten my Garmin, I didn't even wear a watch, so I had no idea of my times.

I had driven the bike course so I knew that there was a long hill in the first quarter and then some small rollers, but the big hill wasn't too steep. It was a two loop course and during my first loop I was passed by a lot of people doing their second loop. I took two salt (Succeed) capsules and ate a gel and a half a peanut butter sandwich. I was glad I had the gel--I started to flag fairly early on and the gel fixed that. I usually prefer one loop bike courses but this time I liked knowing what to expect the second time around.

My legs were pretty sore after the bike and it was beastly hot. But I ate a gel with caffeine and started out power walking and once the road turned downhill I was ready to run. I would run until I felt my legs were tiring and then walk fast until I felt like running again and that worked amazingly well. I was immensely grateful to a man who sprayed me with his hose in the part of the course with the least shade. I knew I was last but the water stations stayed out for me. At the prerace meeting they had told us the trains wouldn't run until noon, so I was happy when I heard a clock strike noon shortly after I crossed the railroad tracks. I was also happy when I saw the finish clock--I had expected to be slower.

I was the last finisher by about 25 minutes, and they had finished the awards ceremony when I finished. But I asked, and I was third in my age group. They didn't have an award printed up but they said they would send me one. The food wasn't quite gone--I got chili, chips, and salad. There was no line by the time I went to take a shower, so I got the pleasure of driving home clean (about 3 hours). I'm a bit sunburned and chafed and my legs are very sore. But I'm happy that doing this race despite not being well prepared worked out so well.

Pictures are here (link goes to 3 of 5--it should be possible to page through all 5).

No comments: