Quick post, but soon to follow...
June is coming up to a close, and once again, I haven't exactly been on top of blogging. Call it busy with work, distracted by lots of happenings, or trying to conquer the wild kingdom otherwise known as my back yard. None the less, I intend to start writing again.
To very quickly recap, I completed the Oliver Half IronMan on June 5th. It was probably the least I have ever been to prepare for a race, so my confidence wasn't on top of it's game. I went in with low expectations, and curiosity as to how the body would react and perform. The race is held in desert country in BC's Okanagan area. Surrounded by beauty and dotted with farms and vineyards, it really is a beautiful spot. This race has been happening for about 10 years, so it has gained a solid reputation for being a great race.
To sum up the race, the swim was a struggle for me. I had only swam a couple of times prior to the event, and put the wetsuit on for the first time this year on raceday morning. I went in knowing that it would be a slow swim. It's a weird triangle-shaped swim, with 800m, then 300m, then 400m and finally 500m. Everything went over pretty well, until the final 400m. Out of nowhere, this guy from the silver caps category (aka 50+ age categories) swam by me, and smacked me in the lip with his elbow. Ouch. It threw me off of course, and slowed me down a bit because I couldn't concentrate because my lip was swelling up nicely and bleeding. Oh well. Finished the swim, had the wetsuit strippers help me with the wetsuit (an awesome detail I was most happy about) and then 600m race to T1. And then onto the bike...
The bike was good, I was able to get into a quick rhythm and move. I found my biking legs last year, so my speed was able to build as I progressed. I was worried that I would blow up on the bike, and leave nothing for the run. However, I managed to maintain a pretty steady pace throughout. Surprisingly, I had my fastest bike time ever on the bike (3:03 for 93km) which was good. And then onto the run...
By the time I started the run, it was starting to get hot, like super hot. In fact, the temperature hit 31C that day, which felt like a supreme punishment, since I haven't experienced that heat since Egypt in November and of course, IronMan Canada. Tough to run through, when I could only muster the mental strength to run from one aid station to the next. I had my worst run- 2:24, but it really didn't matter. You could say I blew up on the run, which is quite a likely factor, but the heat just really got the best of me. I just focused on getting to the finish, so I could collect my medal.
Total time: 6:24:14.
What I unfortunately learned from this experience, was that I could squeak by with minimal training, and still pull out a respectable time. But I also did learn that with solid training, I can kill it out on the course.
I would recommend Oliver Half Ironman to anyone who wants a scenic course that doesn't have a terribly difficult ride and super well organized. Hats off to the Dixons, who not only organize this race, but have it all down pat with their experience of organizing IronMan Canada.
Following then, I have been resting and thinking of the next steps. That seems to be including signing up for the Delta Half marathon in August, and thinking about signing up for Victoria half marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. Someday I promise to rest, someday. :-)