Tupper Lake Tinman 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

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Very early on in our work with coach Dave Harju, he suggested that we do the half iron distance triathlon in Tupper Lake, NY.

I thought he was nuts – we were training for the half IronMan Muskoka in September 2008, so there was no way we’d be ready for a half iron race known the Tinman in Tupper Lake, NY in June.

As it turns out, he wasn’t exactly nuts.

We did it, enjoyed some awesome time away from home (we rented a wonderful cottage in Tupper Lake and stayed there for a week of pre-race preparation and post-race solitude!), and feel really good about where we are.

My wife hasn’t trained nearly as much as I have. And, as usual, I still only beat her by a little bit.

The Swim

I’m fairly certain I pissed a few people off in the swim. I couldn’t swim straight if my life depended on it. Nor could I avoid bumping into other people. The bottom line is that this swim was probably the slowest out of all the times I’ve ventured to swim this distance or longer. It just didn’t feel “right.”

Oh, and one new thing—I really didn’t like coming up for air about 3/4 of the way done the swim and catching a faceful of diesel fumes from the patrol/support boats.

The Bike

The bike started in near disaster for me—they don’t close the roads for this race, so when you’re leaving the transition area and arrive at the road, you need to stop and wait. I was running with my bike, and the order to “STOP!” kind of took me by surprise and I nearly ended up on my rear. Stopping in cycling shoes with cleats on the bottom just isn’t easy.

Within the first 5 minutes of the bike ride I was ready to pack it in—my right hamstring (which gave me problems in the Ottawa half marathon earlier this year) started to cause me some serious grief. Was it a pulled hamstring or a cramp? Not a clue. It got worse – it started to move into my groin/adductor and I thought I was done for the day.

I kept going and eventually I didn’t notice it at all.

I passed Kathryn at about the 15km mark, feeling pretty good and just kept going – there were lots of hills, but none that seemed to stressful. I don’t think I got out of my saddle at all, managing to use a lot of hamstring and buttular regions to pull my way up the hills at a decent pace.

The turn around point comes, and I start heading back into town after 45km of riding and about 2 minutes behind me, I see Kathryn. Good. She’s close and she’ll make it to the finish. Time for me to go, then.

So I decided on the way back into town I’d go a little faster. I ended up finishing in just under 3 hours for a 90km bike ride through some pretty decent hills—definitely my best ride ever. Off the bike, it was time to start running.

The Run.

Okay, this part of the race sucked. I ran the first 5km in 31 minutes, and felt pretty good that I could hold that pace to finish the half marathon in around 2 hours.

Not so fast, cowboy. You’ve got some hills to contend with. That did me in. My hamstring started to hurt again, I couldn’t lengthen my stride and I had to walk up a lot of hills. We hit some beautiful scenery with a bit of “off-road” running for sections of the course.

All told, I finished the half marathon in 2:31—that brought me to a finishing time of 6:22:17.

The support we had from our family was great – the kids were there, my mom and day and my brother and his wife. They all cheered, took photos, looked after the kids.

The best part of the day? Tough to say, but its a toss-up between seeing the kids all at the finish line (and crossing with them), and meeting Kathryn at the finish and getting the best hug from her as she finished.

Notice how they’re both related to the finish?

Derek Featherstone
Derek Featherstone
Web Designer/Developer, Speaker, Trainer, Author, IronMan Lake Placid 2007
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