Victoria is a BEAUTIFUL city!!! It's like what you would dream a community of the future would be like...community composting gardens where you take your pile of banana peels and learn how to do your own composting; miles and miles of paved and unpaved trails; and a local culture that is active and healthy - everybody is always outside doing things! :) :)
Onto the race report...
Swim was great, I felt a lot more confident and assertive in hitching onto other people's drafts. I actually went after a couple of guys that way. But, for the most part, I was alone for the entire swim and even felt a little lonely! Hahahahaha!
The Sperminator was out again in full force. LOL! I found the bike course very challenging. I wouldn't call it hilly and I wouldn't call it rolling -- it was a mixture of both. It was a good thing I rode part of the course the day before, because I knew I had to conserve energy to make it up all those hills for 4 laps...
The pavement was total shit. Big time. Frost heave and gravel and railroad tracks. I was amazed there weren't more flats out there on the course, just due to the fact that all of my fillings bounced out and were left on the pavement. Hahahaha!! My Profile aero bottle doesn't fit tightly into the space between my aero bars, so it rattled the WHOLE race. It was sort of funny, I'd come up behind someone, and they would look back on alarm at the racket I was making. LOL!!! They were probably wondering, what in the heck is behind me?? :) :) :)
The bike was really, really lonely. It was beautiful, mind you, but it was like I was all alone out there.
Ahhhh the run -- my work in progress! Hahahahahaha!! This was the very first 1/2IM where I felt strong and good for the run --- well, for most of the run. Hee-hee! It was also the first run, where the heat (anything around 20 degrees Celsius this time of year is "hot" for me!) didn't bother me. I settled into a pace that I felt I could plod along at, and went along.
The trail we ran on was also challenging (for me!) Hills and more little undulations were particularly difficult, and gradually people started to pass me. I didn't worry about though -- I always think to myself, "Oh, that person is on a relay," or "That person is an Olympic athlete." I tell myself all kinds of made-up stories to get the focus back to myself. As a quick aside, I do this a lot when I am training -- especially when I was swimming with all the big fish in Victoria. Even when I swam with the normal folk, once I was correcting my stroke, it was like I was learning how to swim all over again. So, instead of trying to keep up with everyone else doing their sets, I did my best at doing the same sets but swimming correctly...
It was funny, because before I was told how to correct my stroke, I was swimming slightly ahead of a couple of girls. But, when I started doing it properly I slowed right down, and by the time I got to wall, I was panting and wheezing trying to catch my breath. I got a lot of strange looks, but I really didn't care. I just got in line to be the slowest and concentrated on doing what I needed to do....It was frustrating knowing what I needed to do and not be able to physically DO it -- but near the end of the swim session, it finally tweaked a teeny weeny bit.
It definitely felt different -- different enough to the point that my body "got it." It was really weird for most of that workout though -- I was trying so hard to swim right, and Sara's coach kept repeating, "Elbows up! Elbows up!" I was telling my arms, "Come on, dammit! Listen to him!" :) :) :)
Okay, now where was I.....
Ahh yes, back to the run. I eventually got passed by a lot of people on the run, including the two girls who won 1st and 2nd in my age group, but I was quite tickled that I had gone as far as I did before the passing happened. :) :) Another success was finally getting my nutrition figured out on the run -- Hallelujah!!!! FINALLY!!!
So, there you have it -- a deeply personal race for me, and quite the boring race report. :) :) One thing crystallized for me though during my stay in Victoria...I get an immense amount of personal satisfaction from triathlon. :) :) :) :) :) A very deep sense of joy and satisfaction. :) :) :)