Ray Miller- Oliver Half Race Report
Day Before – Saturday June 6th
The weekend started out good we drove up on the Saturday Morning, and picked up the race packages in the afternoon, before going for a light swim to check the water, and the wetsuit out.
The afternoon swim felt good, my shoulder is still stiff, not really sore anymore and I can do full rotation in the water. As long as I keep my body position good, I can swim without any pain.
We checked in our bikes into transition and headed out for a nice Veggie Lasagna for dinner before turning in early.
Race Morning – Sunday June 7th
I got up early, and had some breakfast. I was the the swim start by 6:00 and setting up my transition. and got to body Marking late, almost too late. It was 7:00 by the time I realized that I had not got my chip yet, and my wave started at 7:30. Thankfully they pulled all the first wave out of the line, and that whole process moved really quickly, I even managed to get in a light swim before the race started.
Swim – I am a slow swimmer, so I start at the back, and only swim with the pack for the first few hundred meters. the swim started out good, and I think I only got kicked once for the whole time. I was mostly on my own and sighting often to make sure I did not get lost.
1800 meters – Out of the water and wetsuit in 51 minutes and 24 seconds, with a 600 m run to get to my bike.
Bike – I was worried about this one because since the bike accident in May I have only done one 80 km ride, and my nutrition failed at the end of that (Which is why we don’t eat donuts in Deep Cove after 2 and a half hours).
The ride was smooth, I played Tag with a lot of riders. I take liquid nutrition with me on the bike, and took in about 700 calories during the ride plus half bottle of Gator-aid, and water. I am in the Clydesdale class of triathlete, so I pass a lot of people on the flats and downhills, only to get passed again on the climbs, this works out for me and I always have lots of people that just can’t seem to catch or lose me. They always mention that at the end of the race which makes me smile.
93 km – Off the bike and back into transition in 2 hours and 55 minutes avg speed 31 km per hour.
Run – I had no idea what to expect on the run, I have been feeling really good in my long runs, but my brick workouts have been weak, and I had no idea ho much my legs would have left in them after the ride. I started the run shaking out a stiff hamstring muscle, then settled into my stride. I took my own bottle for the first time in a race and bypassed the aid stations taking only sponges for the first lap.
I am one of the runners that is always passing out encouragement for anyone on course, from the volunteers to the photographers, and other runners. I caught up to one lady at the first turn around at 6 km, and I could tell that she was already feeling rough. I told her “Just remember there is no Wall” to which she said thanks, and pushed on again with a smile leaving me behind. I saw her again at the same place on the second lap and she was really hurting by this point. I said “do you remember what I said?” She said “what did you say?” I said “NO WALL”…I passed her and continued on my run, hurting a little, but not too bad. Soon I had a runner on my heels that I could not see, so I called out, “Hows my pace?” he said “great…Thanks, keep it up”. He followed me for another 4 km or so until my legs started to feel the lack of gas and I stopped for a short walk break.
The guy on my heels had fallen back a little by this point, but when he caught me he encouraged me and got me running again. I kept up with him for the last couple kilometers. I knew I was not gunning for a PB so I took it easy for the last km, I wanted to remember the finish this time. You never think about that when you are pushing for a best time. I soaked it in for the last 800 meters. There were tonnes of people lining the street, cheering and taking pictures. I ran down the ramp to the finish line and saw that despite my lack of urgency I was still running less than 6 hours, which I had not even considered would be an option with my shoulder not 100%.
I finished in 5:58:24 with a 2:03 run
After the finish I waited around and stretched out, the lady from the turn around came through 4 or 5 minutes later, and man was she happy. I reaffirmed one belief. Positive words of encouragement can do one of two things, 1. they can do nothing, or 2. they can help. The hug she gave me at the finish tells me that I helped that day, and that was worth it.
Post Race – I am feeling good, my shoulder is still a little stiff, but no worse than on Saturday before the race, and my legs feel like they got a workout. Overall I say that was really good race and I will do that one again. 82 training days left to IMC, now to get back to work.
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