Hope and a Prayer – 2010 Thousand Island Olympic Triathlon Report

Good evening everyone! I’m back home in one piece after a long day. As I mentioned last night I had my last triathlon of the year this morning. I chose to do this race to finally break 3 hours for an Olympic triathlon. I wanted to do it this year and not wait for next year. After my triathlon I met my buddy and I walked 18 holes of golf less than 2 hours after finishing my race. Ok so here’s the report. No idea how long it’ll be so be prepared just in case 🙂

Alarm goes off and I’m up. Well awake. I can hear it raining…not happy! Check weather forecast for the race site and it shows sun and no rain. Happy if it’s true.

After taking my sweet ass time getting going I finally pull out of my driveway.

Finally get to the race site. Took much longer to get there than I figured.

After getting to and dropping off my bike and gear in transition I’m standing in the race kit pickup line. After getting my stuff I still have to get my transition zone set up and get to the swim start. Cut it too close so need to remember this for next year!

And we’re off! As soon as I realized where we were swimming I wish I had been getting my swim training in…we were swimming in the St. Lawrence River! The water was nice temp. as I again went w/o a wet suit. The only problem I had the whole swim was the waves. It was by far the choppiest water I’ve ever swam in to date. It wasn’t too bad going with the current but when we turned into it, oh man! On both lengths into the current I was drinking a LOT of water! It seemed like I was passing just as much of it through my system if you get my drift 🙂

After 41+ minutes I believe I finally got to the swim exit! Obviously with no training the last 5 weeks I was very tired. On the run to my TZ(transition zone) I was very light-headed and wobbly on my feet. That’s part of the reason I don’t remember my time out of the water. While getting ready for the bike I pretty much figured breaking 3 hours was going to fall just short at least so took my time getting ready and letting my light headedness pass. As you will see later in hindsight I maybe should have tried a little harder in TZ.

I finally hit the mount line for the bike after 46:17 of race time. This is about 5:18 slower than my OLY last month but it was a tougher swim. I knew that I needed to crush my bike if I was going to have a chance to beat 3 hours. So I gave it everything I had! I thought I biked really well considering I hadn’t been on the bike since my last triathlon 5 weeks ago. My thinking on this is that my marathon training helped compensate a bit for the lack of training? Overall I liked the course better than last months but it was tough in its own right.

I of course forgot to make sure my Garmin was ready to go but it said I finished the bike in 1:17:xx. I was happy with this as it was roughly the same time as last month’s OLY. This however meant I needed to in my mind pull out a sub 57:00 10k run if I was going to have a shot at breaking 3 hours. I have run a sub 55 minute but that was NOT after a 1500m swim and 40k bike ride so I didn’t expect to pull off the sub 57. I wasn’t even sure what pace sub 57 was because I was so tired that I couldn’t do the math too well.

After running for a few minutes and getting my legs back I looked at my Garmin for a while. It seemed without trying I was running at a 9:15/mile pace. I decided that I’d gun for that same pace for the first 5k loop and then I’d try to pick up the pace for the second half. I was pretty successful averaging a 9:16/mile pace for the first 5k. I knew I needed to pick it up for the second 5k but I couldn’t. I ended up seeing my pace drop. I feel my nutrition was lacking for this race and didn’t help me near the end of the race.

I was a little over a KM(kilometre) away from the finish when I switched my Garmin to the clock screen. If they started right on time at 8:30am I had to run a sub 5:00 kilometre which I’ve never done before. I resigned myself to the fact I wouldn’t break 3 hours and just tried to pick up my pace a bit to finish strong. When I saw the finish line a couple blocks away I picked up a bit more and crossed feeling pretty happy with myself even though it meant no sub 3hr.

I finally left the finish line area after downing about a dozen cups of water and Eload and a banana. I was going to head to the bike but stopped at a vendor selling Cliff Bars. While chatting with the guy I felt really light-headed so I just picked a nice piece of grass nearby and laid down for a while.

I had finally picked up my gear from transition and headed back to the Clif Bar guy to buy a few for some solid food to eat on the way to golf. While there I noticed the crowd had finally gone down around the results area so I parked my bike and gear against a light pole to go see my official time. Sure enough I did finish over 3 hours. I even finished a little bit slower than last month. I finished in 3:01:58 which was 1:06 slower. I did get a surprise though when reading over to see the separate discipline times. I saw a 1/2 under “category place”! I again registered as a Clydesdale(over 200lb man) as I knew I’d never finish top 3 in my age group. Well this race only one other guy did the same and I beat him by 21:10 for my first 1st place in triathlon 🙂 I’ll take it but can’t help but laugh at that 1st place too.

As I was heading back to my bike to go home I heard over the PA the OLY awards were going to take place in 2 minutes so I left the bike and went to get my award. I was expecting the same as 3 years ago when I got 3rd. They gave me a little stick on 3rd place for my finisher’s medal. So I was surprised after grabbing my “Gold” lanyard and turned to leave the guy taps my shoulder and says “you get this too”. It was a nice New Balance duffel bag. It has a separate compartment to put your shoes in and keep the dirt out of the rest of the bag so it will definitely get used a lot. After this I finally grabbed my bike and headed for the car so I could get to the golf course to play my buddy on the way home.

Final Thoughts:
1. You know I forgot this Olympic Tri had a slight distance difference than most. Most OLY tri’s are 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run. However this one had a 41.2km bike!!! That means even though I didn’t train for the bike or swim for the last 5 weeks. That even though the swim time was brutal. I still could have broken 3 hours if they didn’t add that 1.2km to the bike ride. I did the math and I would have finished in 2:59:43 if only it was a 40km bike but alas it wasn’t 🙂

2. I need to get swimming lessons! I’m feel pretty dreadful normally and in today’s choppy waters it was even worse. Besides if I’m ever going to try an IRONMAN it would be nice if I wasn’t in the water for almost 2 hours 🙂

3. I was really happy with my bike ride today. I almost averaged 20mph today and did improve 1/2mph over last month and that was w/o training. Next year I’d love to average well over 20mph. Today’s winner averaged 25.6mph!

4. I was really happy with my run today knocking 4.5 minutes off my last OLY.

5. I wish I had worn my Garmin in my OLY last month. Today with it on my run I was able to keep a lot better pace.

6. I think if I had done a better job with nutrition today I may have had more in the tank for the end of this race. I need to make sure I take more time pre-race to get all my gear and food together rather than leaving it to last-minute and not being properly prepared.

7. Said it before, will say it again. I’m pretty pleased with my race today even though training was lacking. I’m pretty pleased with my will power and determination today. There were a few times I wanted to go slower during all three phases of the race but I kept chugging along. I don’t think anyone would have blamed me if I had based on my training but I couldn’t allow it. Just because I didn’t give my all in training didn’t mean I could take this race off too. I would have felt like I was wasting my $90 entry fee otherwise.

Ok I think this has been long enough and besides I can’t think of anything else. Here’s the stats and a picture to end it.
See you tomorrow with the weekly weigh in.


Swim including T1: 46:17
Bike alone: 1:17:46 (31.8km/h or 19.76mph)
Run with T2: 57:57 (5:48/km or 9:20/m)
Total Time: 3:01:58
Gender Place: 61/72
Overall Place: 103/126

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5 Responses to Hope and a Prayer – 2010 Thousand Island Olympic Triathlon Report

  1. Jan says:

    Way to go! You did a great job.

  2. Wes says:

    great job on the race and congratulations! having a time goal is ok, but you just never know when waves or extra distances is going to screw it up, ya know? Way to leave it all out there!

  3. Great job! It is always so hard to compare races because of the difference in terrain and those oh-so-subtle length differences.

  4. Great job John!!!!! My hubby had to swim in choppy waters for his OLY this weekend too, and many people dropped out of the race after the swim!

  5. biz319 says:

    You did such a great job John – considering the choppy water and all! And first place to boot – congrats!! 😀

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