Another race report… yawn. I’ll try to keep it brief and mildly entertaining. After weeks of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to move up to Olympic distance and, in short, it was a success. I easily met my goal of sub-2:00 and I placed well in a strong field that included four elites/pros. As usual, here’s the ADD version and the long-winded version.

Executive Summary

Guelph Lake I Olympic Triathlon (June 17, 2012)
1:58:13, 4th overall (1st amateur)

Split | Pace | Rank | Comments

Swim (1.5km):   20:23 | 1:22/100m | 7th | cruisy
Bike (40km):      1:02:08 | 38.6km/h | 6th | bumpy, gusty
Run (10km):       33:48 | 3:23/km | 2nd | great!
Nutrition: 150 Calories, 280 mg caffeine, ~50 ml lake water

Tl;dr Version

Swim: Despite starting conservatively, I managed to escape from the tangle of thrashing limbs unmolested. I swam at relaxed pace, surging occasionally to draft swimmers ahead. An unintentional addition to my nutrition plan was a gulp of goose shit-laced lake water—only marginally less palatable than my sports drink. I exited the water in 7th and picked up a couple spots on the long grassy run up to the transition area. The trend continues; the less I swim, the faster I get.
Bike: The sky looked ominous and the wind was picking up. I started second guessing my decision to use a deep front wheel and a disc. Lightweight riders—even pros—can get buffeted all over the road. Speaking of roads, part of the course is in really rough shape. Nonstop wheel-wrecking potholes and bone-jarring cracks. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a Himalayan goat path and 10 being the Autobahn, this road is a 3.
After my near-bonk experience in Milton, I really needed to sort out race nutrition. I never use sports nutrition products in training, so this was uncharted territory. I opted for a sports drink and a Columbian guava paste bar wrapped in a plantain leaf (biodegradable yay!). The bar was a BIG mistake. I spent 5k with the thing crammed in my cheek. I finally worked up the nerve to masticate it to a sickly sweet pulp that lodged in my throat like a glob of phlegm. Next time I’ll take a gel instead of hippy food.

Other than that the ride was uneventful. I’m always on the lookout for speed limits to break. I crushed the 50km/h maximum riding through the aptly-named hamlet Speedside. My pacing was fine and I’m happy with my 38.6km/h average given the conditions. My position did not change and I came off the bike in 5th.

Run: In transition, I heard the announcer gushing about the running ability of the guy 30 seconds ahead of me. Great, I thought, this won’t be easy. I slowly reeled him in, closing the gap to 10 meters over the first 5k. He eventually reopened the gap, but I managed to pick up a place at 8k. For once, my legs surprised me with finishing kick and I could see third place coming back to me, but I ran out of runway.
I ran a 33:48 10k, not much slower than my standalone 10k race last weekend which uses part of the same course. This is why I avoid checking splits during races. I probably would have freaked out had I known my pace. Better to listen to your legs than your watch.
Triathlon uses all the muscle groups—even jaw muscles.