Verdun Sprint Tri

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Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby SickBoy » 13 Aug 2014 02:17

Sun Aug 10th 2014
750m OW swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Chip timed.

My first tri in Montreal and my first in about a year since the last time I raced was back in 2013 in a last minute affair before leaving the UK.

Training took a bit of a hit with the relocation but I've got into the swing of things more this year, although not at the levels of 2012 I think according to Endomondo I've been avg under 4 hours a week mostly but I did bump that up to about 5 in the few weeks before the race.

I did get a big block of bike work in at the start of the year with the tour of Sufferlandria (although cruelly I was not awarded a prize, unlike some). I also did a last minute 50k sportive around Montreal which surprised me a little in that I performed a lot better than expected.

I have been getting out biking and running more with weekend rides usually taking me to do a few laps of circuit Gilles Villeneuve which is one of the best things about being here. That and rides out to Mont Royal which is basically the only hill around and is a cat 4 climb.

Metrics were showing good numbers. I started continually posting PBs on training rides in the weeks before, 10 miles and 20k, although it obv. Helps that I was riding the fast bike on a race track - and I bought a new helmet, and ordered new wheels for.my bike. Although they didn't arrive in time (perhaps for the best).

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby SickBoy » 13 Aug 2014 02:30

I'm going to do this in segments since Tapatalk sometimes fails to post and I lose what I typed...

Running was also going better than expected. The benefit of having a full lunch hour here means I have time to go out and do almost 10k, perhaps that's a challenge for one lunch. Plus I've found a path along the rail track that doesn't involve constant stopping at intersections.

On a side note running or cycling in the city can become a brutal interval session between blocks. Also here the have a countdown on the green lights before they go amber/red which just invites people to race them.

Swimming was kind of going backward a little. Training time was good as normal but I feel I am desperately in need of some coaching to progress. I'm very technique focussed when I train but probably due to me trying to tweak stroke mechanics I seem to be a bit off my best.

Race Day.
The event was in Verdun which is on the South side of the island. It was very well organised and also has a duathlon and a load of kids races. The event was also an ITU qualifier and as such the men's sprint was split into two waves. Triathlon Quebec members and not. Which put me in the not category. Generally a lot of people around with CAN tri suits.

Since it was so hot the water was 21 degrees and wetsuits were declared optional. I did um and ah about wearing mine as I'm crap at getting out of it quickly but since Is spoken to a work colleague who's done the race a few tines he said it was easier in the river with the suit especially on windy days due to chop an current. I almost take it off but see a CAN guy wearing his so decide that the speed boost/reduced effoet I'll get from wearing it will probably be worth it.

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby SickBoy » 13 Aug 2014 02:31

You can tell this will be good, 2 posts and the race hasn't even started yet!

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby Jack Hughes » 13 Aug 2014 05:48

SickBoy wrote:You can tell this will be good, 2 posts and the race hasn't even started yet!


Dickens did all his novels in instalments.
Omnia Vanitas

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby jonathon.e » 13 Aug 2014 06:46

Excellent start so far, keeping us all on tenterhooks.
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby CCS » 13 Aug 2014 08:43

Don't keep us in suspense!!!
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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby Tritans » 13 Aug 2014 17:10

Global domination baby !


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One who doesn't, will find an excuse.

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby flavadave » 14 Aug 2014 08:39

DNS?

What happened???
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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby SickBoy » 14 Aug 2014 13:24

Pre race briefing given by a Triathlon Quebec official, all in French. While my French is improving I don't get most of it but there are some English speaking Canadians behind me who I ask to clarify some minor points, like how many laps of things we need to do. The relay is going in this start too so lots about that, changeovers etc. It's all pretty straightforward though, the usual rules about drafting - keeping to the side, apparently you don't need to wear your race no. while on the bike but I decide to do so anyway, no harm in doing what I usually do in a tri. I decide not to put the number under my suit - I'll try it one day but I'm always worried about ripping it whilst de-suting. It's a really well run event - has been going 17 years and also probably to do with being an ITU Qualifier / Coupe de Quebec race. I can't fault the organisation - and the weather is great too.

 

Swim.

A single loop of a 750m course in the St Lawrence river, it's a very big river. This must be a sheltered part because the flow down by the old port is always very fast. Too fast to swim. I'm guessing around 125 people in my wave and since all the TQ members went in the first one I should be pretty quick so I take up position at the front on the outside.

Apparently the current is pretty strong going across the course and we're as advised to correct for that as people were missing the first buoy earlier.

Hooter or countdown, can't quite remember but off we go, I head out quite quick to avoid getting caught up, not too much traffic. Get to the first buoy OK, the current is pushing us off course bit I seem to be pretty good in OW at going in a straight line. I'm glad I chose to wear the wetsuit. This is my first OW swim in over a year and I instantly notice the difference and the extra buoyancy, especially in the legs.

After the first buoy I find myself on my own about 50m behind a small lead pack and so I settle into a good stroke, breathe and follow them. It's easier to sight on them rather than the next buoys. I try to keep my head down and sight occasionally. Don't need to correct too much.

 

The rest if the swim is spent on my own. My left shoulder starts to hurt about halfway. I think my wetsuit is a little tight, had this problem last time. Also need to warm up properly before races.

Focus on good technique, long stroke, breathing and head for the exit pontoon, try to keep a good steady pace, haul myself up out of the water slowly, it's a straight climb out rather than a ramp and begin the long run to T1...

 

TO BE CONTINUED...

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Re: Verdun Sprint Tri

Postby SickBoy » 14 Aug 2014 18:17

T1:

Exit the swim and it's a long run to T1, about 350m by the time I get to my bike and on to the mount line. I pass the WAT who is back on speaking terms after I failed to wake her early enough to have a shower but that's a whole other story. (We got over on the Metro as we live kind of the other side of Montreal so despite race start at 08:50 it was still an early start to get to Verdun). Apparently I'm about 7th or 8th out of the water she tells me later, not too bad (though the faster swimmers all in the earlier wave.).

 

Not too slow getting out of the wetsuit but it still sticks on the ankles, now I've had it 4 years I might cut them shorter... I don my new Giro Air Attack Shield, step into my number belt, shoes on (no preclipping for me) and off to the mount line. Maybe 1:00 to 1:30 plus all the time spent running there.

 

Bike:

 

The bike section is on closed roads, a pretty flat J-shaped 4km lap which we complete 5 times. I've made sure I reset my bike comp so I can see how far I've gone incase I lose count. My strategy is to race hard, I get into the gear I usually go with on the track which should get me around quick and pedal fast, I'm also working on efficient pedalling, making sure I get all power of of the downstroke and once I settle into a rhythm I focus on pushing all the way down, pedalling good circles. The remnants of the ladies womens TQ race are currently on the course.

 

The road surface is pretty good for Montreal though there are a few potholes here and there, despite it being a hot day I don't really notice the heat, I feel like I'm going well on the bike, I just keep going past people, I think only 1 or 2 riders come past me and I'm sure I take one of them back later.

 

I have to start shouting "à gauche!" a lot, to get people to move out of the way, mostly I'm passing women but the course starts to fill up and with it being laps you keep passing people. There are motorbike marshalls out on the course, I start to worry about drafting penalties, I know you have to stay 10m back but can't remember how long you get given to overtake but most of the time I am shooting past people. I hit one or two small potholes pretty hard and make a note to look out for them on following laps.

 

I'm crap at the U turns, with slower people infront I'm usually trying to overtake as the corner comes up, but most of the time I'm not taking a smooth line through. I get up to something like 41.5km/h max (checking the bike comp after) and I think I'm crusing at around 35km/h, IIRC it's a little windy in one section which drops the speed a little and there's a faster drop through one of the corners, I try to push hard at this and carry the momentum up the follwoing straight. About the 3rd or 4th lap I fly through this as my confidence is building but the surafce is uneven and the bike is bumping up and down quite alarmingly and I find it hard to follow the bend drifting out wide I come a bit close to the kerb - that was close I think and power on.

 

At the U-turn by transtion I get a shout of "Good corner!" which I can only assume is sarcastic. At the U-turn at the other end at one point I lock-up slightly as I come in fast trying to get past people (anti-clockwise loop and passing on the left means slower rides on the outside where you want to be for the entry).

 

The laps go by pretty quick and before long it's the last lap, I'm making a note of the run up to the dismount line and start to push hard on the final lap.

 

And this is where it goes wrong, on the return leg of the final lap with about 1.5k to go I come through a corner too fast and too tight on the entry, I think I might have been looking down to have a drink from the speedfill just before, not noticed how fast I was going or that the corner was coming up, looking at the map now it was a 90 deg left hander straight after a shallow right. I came in on the inside of the turn too fast, maybe 35km/h, and couldn't turn left fast enough, drifting outside toward the kerb there was a horrible moment where I realised I was going to hit it, I shout "Oh f%*k!" and a second later there was an impact and I'm flying off - the edge of the road handily lined by temporaray "No Parking" signs one of which I plough right through but thankfully no pedestrians/spectators. The only memory I really have of it was seeing the visor of my brand new $300 helmet skip across the sidewalk infont of me as I had landed in a heap.

 

I pick myself and it up, can't believe I've crashed, worried about all my bike and helmet and then all I can think of is I'm not going to DNF after coming all this way and having one race and especially if my bike is screwed and I won't be able to ride it again. I retrieve the visor and snap it back on (magnetic), I think my hands were shaking a little. I pickup the bike and climb back on, I will try to ride it away to see if it is functional - I look down and the chain is still on, someone says "Are you ok?". "I'm fine" I reply, "Are you sure?", "Yes. I'm fine.", I desperately want to finish - it's not far to the run. I check my shoulder which appears to have take the brunt of the impact and is grazed, my leg is cut but I clip in, pedal away and get back onto the bars...

 

TBC again - lunchtime is over - back to work!

 

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