First, catch up on part 1…
I have never been one to wear jewelry. That may not be surprising as I am a guy. The first real piece of jewelry that I began to wear consistently was my wedding ring. However, because I never wore a ring before, I wanted to find a wedding band that was light and I wouldn’t notice. I found one at a jewelry store for less than a Benjamin. It was titanium and I could barely feel it when it was on. It scratched easily and annoyed me whenever I did anything with my hands. I needed a better solution.
A few years ago I discovered silicone wedding rings. They are great. I have more than a half dozen. Cheap, light, safe, they are what I needed. I have one special silicone ring. It is my race ring. It is jet black and I only wear it on race days. I got to wear it for the first time in a long time at the Island Lake tri.
Race day was as perfect as any race day could be. The sun was out. The weather was cool. The water was cold. The crowd was amped up. There was even a steel drum band. It was the best venue for a race that I have been to yet. I was confident in my training and I felt prepared.
The first event was the swim. 750 meters. In all of my previous races I had just swam in my tri suit. However, the weather was pretty cold leading up to this race so I decided to rent a wetsuit. I had never used one before but I thought it couldn’t be that much different. I was just looking to stay warm. WRONG! My time was the fastest it has ever been. I was shocked at the improvement from equipment technology alone. I never knew what I was missing. My eyes have been opened and I liked what I saw.
The next event was the bike. The course was a little shorter than other races I have done in the past. That was ok with me. Historically I feel the bike leg is my weakest event. The course was a 12 mile, one lap ride. There were some hills but nothing too overwhelming. I raced pretty hard and came in ok. The trickiest part is preparing your legs to get ready to run as soon as you get off the bike. If you have never experienced it can be challenging to get you feet moving right.
The last event was a 5K run, I got off the bike feeling pretty good. I was, however, passed on the bike by a few racers. I wanted to catch up and pass them on the run. I did. Some of them. The run course was all paved trail. It was out and back and took us from Island Lake Park into Kensington Park and back. My legs were a little more tired than I had wanted. I might have pushed harder on the bike that I realized. The way out was hard. It seemed like it was all uphill. The way back was much better. I felt like I picked up the pace better in the second half of the run. There was a big downhill section with about 100 meters left that helped me finish strong.
So, in my last post, I set a goal of 1:30 to finish in. My official race time was 1:23.07 and I finished second in my age group. Overall I was very satisfied with my performance. I learned where I need to pick up my training and that a wetsuit is like magic. I’m sure the race ring gave me the power to muscle through but really it was probably my fan in the stands.