Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Race Report - UBC Triathlon 2011

Immediate thoughts after the race: "It wasn't that cold!"

Thankfully it wasn't snowing, nor was it raining. It was actually sunny-ish on March 6th. Something I could only dream of before. Nevertheless, the race was fun, albeit I bonked pretty hard on the run but more on that later. Right now, here's the recap:

For a 12:40 start, I had no idea how to manage my nutrition for this race. Normally, I just feast the day before, wake up 2 hours prior to the race, eat a banana and bagel, and go for it. This time however, plans were different. I slowly nibbled through food for a good 3-4 hours before realizing that I shouldn't eat more for fear of cramps and more importantly, washroom breaks. This was a bad idea because as the race was about to start I started to get hungry. Not a feeling you want to feel before a race. However, I manned up and swam like a champ, beating the generally good looking Vincent Lavellee by a couple dozen seconds on the swim. That was all I secretly wanted to acheive.

It's too bad the rest of my race didn't fare as well. The bike ride was fun, but I didn't have enough nutrients to sustain 40km, so I had to reserve my carb reserves and bike slower to conserve the carbs and burn off the non-existent fat I carry on my body. It's probably all on my face.

My bike time was about 5 minutes slower than what I had anticipated, but in all honesty, I probably shouldn't have fiddled with my seat position the day before the race. Lesson learned.

my trademark face of pain courtesy of Thomas Belsheim

Coming off the bike has always been insurmountably difficult for me. I always feel as if I am on the brink of death. My legs at this point tell me that I shouldn't have pushed that hard on the bike, but I tell myself that I didn't push that hard and my legs are just trying to complain about nothing. Unfortunately, it wasn't nothing. I did not manage a single minute in my entire run where I though to myself "This is fun". It was more "I am about to die! Where is the turnaround!". When I finally reached the 9km mark, I felt as if I had a new breath of life in me. What were once rotting logs that I called my legs were suddenly healthy oaks gleaming with a spondaic harmony.

Approaching the finish line with my trademark face of pain, there is nothing left in me. Not even to stand up. The shallows of my face no longer have shape. They are just vacuoles looking for sustenance to feed them. When I crossed the finish line all I could think about was how far I pushed my body on that run. It wasn't a run to prove how fast I was. Nor was it a run to show off to my mates. Or my race endurance. It was a personal experience of how far I could push my body on limited resources and see how it could stand up to the punishment. I had to transcend beyond what I thought were the physical limits of my body to pursue my goals. And once I reach my goal, it only gets more difficult from there. I live everyday as if the previous was easier and push the limits just that much further.

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