Well the race is done, and I am going to feel this one tomorrow. This was probably the coldest I have ever felt in my life. Pouring rain on us and a stiff wind from the north made the first half of the race nearly unbearable. At least 5 people did not finish the bike portion of the race, I assume they threw in the towel.
I am pretty happy with my performance considering the conditions. Did I mention it was cold?
Run #1 was a little slower than I was hoping, because I was held up in a couple spots by the people in front of me. Near the start we crossed under the railroad tracks and the water had washed out part of the path making it a difficult point to maneuver. I kept Kevin in sight and made it to transition before he left, strategy point #1 complete.
The Bike was brutal. Straight into the headwind for the first half. Pouring rain. Soaked to the bone. COLD! My hands completely lost feeling. I had to shift gears by using the palms of my hands because the fingers just didn’t work. I tried to pull out my water bottle from the cage, but my fingers were so stiff and numb that I could not grip it strong enough to pull it out of the cage. My shoes also filled up with water so that it felt like every down stoke I was splashing into a puddle. I passed Kevin about 2km into the bike, strategy point #2 complete.
At the half way mark I could not pull the brakes hard enough to slow down for the 180 turn, so I made this really wide turn and almost fell off the bike. I started looking for Cam, I was expecting him to pass me before this point. I found him about 2 minutes later. This meant I had about a 4 minute lead on him. Fending off older brother on the bike was working, strategy point #3.
From there on the wind was behind us, and it was all down hill to the finish line, so the speed really picked up a lot. I topped out at 62.5kph on one of the hills. This was a really cold moment, I think the temp was only 6 or 7 Celsius and did I say it was cold and raining? So This created a first that I found in the pictures later. That is ICE on my butt below the Canada flag. I guess I was going fast enough to create some low pressure and temperature drop around my body, such that I had little ice packs on my butt at the transition area. (They melted off by the time I hit the actual finish line.) At this point Cam had not yet caught up to me, strategy point #3 complete.
Run #2 was hard. You have no idea how hard it is to motivate your body to move when your that cold. I was numb from the knees down and leaving the transition area I felt like a pirate on two wooden pegs. I had to stop and walk a few times in the first 2 km. I didn’t really warm up until I hit the park area. Once there, I started to increase my pace from small baby steps to normal jogging pace. This is when the mental game really started. I knew I had two brothers behind me that were both looking to catch me. So I needed to keep the pace up.
The real game is to keep your focus on the finish line. My body was telling me to “stop” “take a break” “why are you working so hard?” “HEY! your knees and hips really hurt down here!” Ignoring your body can be really tough. Luckily There were several signs posted along the way to give competitors some extra motivation. My favorites were :
- Order of extra fries tonight
- Running is a mental sport, and we are all insane
- If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Those helped me shift focus back onto the finish line and ignore the fact that my brothers were now gaining on me. By the time I hit the last bridge there was only 1.8km to go. My joints were really screaming now because we were back on pavement. I was glancing over my shoulder to see if my brothers were catching up, but, I ended up crossing the line first of the us three. So my strategy had payed off.
4th in age group, 18th overall out of 100 finishers. And 2 hours 35 minutes of pure torture that I plan to repeat next year. Hopefully its a little warmer and not so wet.