5k/26k/5k – 1:26:25 – 12th OA, 5th AG
The first multisport race of the season is a new one in the Ontario calendar. The Run Waterloo series is a well established and well organized series (I’ve run a few of their events in the past), and this is the first year they have offered a duathlon. The event replaces the Tillsonburg Duathlon, and it was great seeing George Papadakos out there both helping run things and racing the event.
Before talking about the race itself, I thought I would talk about weight, a tricky topic both in general and amongst multisport athletes. My typical pattern is to put on around 10 pounds over the winter, then in the first couple of months lose the weight to be at ‘race weight’. While friends are often puzzled in the spring when I talk about losing weight, it’s just about getting back to where I was before the winter. So, last year I was racing at 144 lbs, and came into the new year at 154 lbs. However, this year, month after month I found myself unable to consistently lose the weight. I would make progress, then put it back on, make progress, then put it back on. Overall, I just felt too stressed out to do the rigorous management of diet needed to drop 10 lbs. So, I came into this race still at 154 lbs and knowing that my run would be tricky.
On the day of the weather was threatening, with cold temperatures and rain pretty much up to the start, but it did ease off and warm up right before the start. I was glad we wouldn’t be repeating the horrendous experience of the Overdrive Duathlon last fall. My plan was to take the first 5k out in 20 minutes, hammer the bike, then hang on until the finish.
Run 1 – 5k – 19:53
As anticipated, out the gate I could feel the extra 10 lbs. Imagine putting on a 10 lb backpack and going for a run? It was like that. However, I was able to hold well to just under a 4:00 pace, but was concerned as it was quite clearly quite quickly that I was well outside the top 10 (my realistic goal for this race). But a 5k opening run at least felt quite short compared to the 10k of the Olympic or international distance. Before I knew it we were coming in to get on the bike.
Bike – 26k – 42:16, 36.9 kph
With the cool air and high humidity from the rain, my glasses were starting to fog up by the end of the run. I was riding with a visor on my helmet for the first time, which I had tested once and really liked how it kept the wind off my face. However, the test day it was much different conditions. It was only a kilometre into the ride before my visor started to fog up. I tried to wipe it but couldn’t fit my fingers inside. So I tried to push it up, but it didn’t go high enough to not be in my vision. So I ended up just riding with it and as the water trickled down the inside I was able to see a little through the streaks left behind. Fortunately it was a wide open course with reasonable road conditions, so being able to see wasn’t a huge factor.
I quickly set about passing people who had outrun me, just focusing on catching people one at a time. I managed to hunt down about 6 riders and knew that this had put me well into the top 10. The only real sketchy moment was two stop signs which had no police support, including one that was only a 2-way stop for us and was 80 kph for the opposing traffic. Fortunately I got through with no issues and no traffic. I was quite happy with the 5th fastest bike split overall, and know I can do even better than that when I sort my visor problem and a bit of a seat position issue.
Run 2 – 5k – 22:31
Unfortunately, the hard work quickly became for nought as I was again being outrun and watched all but one of the people I passed now pass me. Where my run is typically my secret weapon and a chance to gain places, this wasn’t the case here. However, this has proved the rude awakening I need to get serious about race weight.
Overall, I felt ok with the race as a season opener. Obviously, I feel like I can do better, but I also know I have to do the work to get there before Denmark in July. Thanks to Spencer Summerfield for the ride to and from the event, and to Jan de Visser for motivating me not to just give up on the last run.