70.3 Calgary and creepy clouds

I’ve been trying to write a Calgary 70.3 race report for the last week, but have been rather short on mental energy. Plus, this laptop is so hot I can’t keep it on my lap long enough to put together a full paragraph. Sit a table you say – haha, yeah right. Horizontal or bust.

It was a very last minute call to take part in the Calgary 70.3, but I’m more than glad I did. Not only did it serve as a great way to break up this crazy Ironman training, it also gave me my best result to date in a 70.3 event.

*Not actual cloud. But it may as well have been.

Two days prior to the race I was getting my training done on the roads around the Calgary suburb of Tuscany Village and the smaller city of Cochrane. Avoiding the scariest thunder clouds I’ve ever seen in my life. It really felt like i was going to get crushed by a big black cloud. Hard to explain how creepy that was.

My fear of clouds aside, I was really having a hard time finding any desire to race on Sunday. I really didn’t think I’d have any energy to race hard, the thought of slogging it out in another half ironman didn’t seem very appealing. Thankfully, very thankfully, I put those thoughts aside the day before the race. Instead of worrying about who or who wasn’t going to beat me on race day I really just worried about myself. I was going to swim hard, get on some feet and hold on. I was going to stare at my power meter and hold on to my goal watts. I was going to run a solid first half of the race. That’s all I cared about. Once I accomplished that, I could make the decision to either race the remaining 10.5km, or just keep it at a steady pace and call it a training day for Ironman Canada.

My swim was OK. Bloody cold. My fingers were actually cramping by the end of it. All the times were generally a bit slower than normal so it’s hard to say for sure. Gauging myself off of guys that I race against quite often I can say I didn’t screw it up too badly. Losing almost 4 minutes to the leaders out of the water is still just ridiculous if I want to win one of these things. I’ve been as close as 3 this year, but really, I need it to be at two minutes in order to be in with a shot at the win.

On to the bike, coach Paulo told me to simply let it rip and take a couple risks with a slightly higher power output. Right away I knew my legs were going to be alright. Sometimes it’s a horrible feeling, and you can work your way through it. Other times it’s an amazing feeling and you’re looking at the power meter thinking ‘REALLY? It feels so much easier.’ The later was me on the day. Phew. My optimistic power avg for the 94km ride was 310 watts. Through the first hour I was bang on that number. Working my way up through the field a bit. Trying to stay positive when i was getting splits from spectators. People were giving me splits that I was 6 minutes behind the leader. I was getting a little frustrated at that. I really just wanted to know what place i was in.  I also didn’t realize it was 6 minutes to Tim O’Donnell who was crushing EVERYONE else. Note to spectators: If there’s a guy that’s 6 minutes infront of me, but he’s also 3 minutes infront of 2nd place, and 4 minutes infront of 3rd place…I’d appreciate the ‘2minutes to 3rd place’ split WAAAAYYYY more. Granted, I know how hard it can be to keep track of splits. The easy way to do it is just fire off the time to the leader….but in this case that was really misleading.

Anyway, I got off the bike with a great bike time. My power avg really fell off by the end, perhaps due to the net downhill course as well as that hard first hour. I find it really difficult to keep the power up on downhills when I’m tired. In the end, 2nd fastest ride of the day, but still a crazy 4min behind Tim….plus the 4 he took out of me in the water.

Even heading out onto the run I had no idea where I was in the field. I guess I could have counted bikes hanging on the transition rack, but that’s a detail I always forget while trying to put shoes on. All i wanted was a placing, but nobody was saying anything. Even the announcer, “and here’s Trevor Wurtele, about 8 minutes behind the leader. His wife Heather having won IM Lake Placid just last week”.  Seriously? Finally, at kilometer 3 someone gave me another; “You’re 8 minutes back of the leader”, I rather aggessively asked “WHAT PLACE AM I IN”.  I was getting so angry I really couldn’t believe it. I’ve never had the desire to punch someone while racing like I did just then. I’ve never been that far into a race and had absolutely no idea what was going on around me. Oh wait, I did know I was 8 minutes back of the leader. Awesome.

I guess I should say, my pre race plan of just doing my thing was pretty much out the window by this point. I kinda had the feeling I was doing OK and should probably race it.

"8 minutes back, Trevor. If you were me, you could do it."

FINALLY, ‘you’re in 6th place’ came at me. I could also see the guy infront of me that would give me a top 5. Done, top 5 I can do if I just ran like I’ve been running all year. What surprised me the most was getting to the far end of the course and seeing Graham Ogrady, then Brian Fleischman, then Jordan Rapp sitting in 4th coming back the other direction, really not that far away from the turnaround. Once I got to the turn I realized I was only about 1minute behind Jordan. The course is twisty and treed-in enough that I hadn’t seen him up ahead of me at all. At that point i started thinking that it could be possible to grab 4th place. Well, after about 5 more kilometers of giving it my all I started to fade pretty badly. Nobody in sight on even the longer straight stretches. Hats off to Jordan who ran his way into 2nd. He crushed the last half of that run course. I was really in rough shape the last 20minutes of the race and wasn’t even thinking about trying to get another notch higher in the placing. I was totally satisfied with 5th right then. Really, I’m still satisfied with that placing right now. All 4 guys ahead of me are class acts on the long distance tri scene and it was a great personal confidence boost for Ironman Canada. Feeling good.

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~ by trevorandheather on August 8, 2011.

8 Responses to “70.3 Calgary and creepy clouds”

  1. Looks like you found a chip to put on your shoulder and it worked!

  2. Note to self….DO NOT yell out splits to Trevor Wurtele, unless of course he is hammering the competition, then he might like to know by how much…just sayin’ Have a great race in Penticton 🙂

  3. Haha, I was getting unrationally angry for sure. Everyone was just trying to help, i know. For some reason I wasn’t seeing it that way at the time. All good!!

  4. […] below and look through my photos:     – My Flickr Photos     – Trevor & Heather Wurtele’s blog     – Article about the winners on Iroman website     – Report from […]

  5. Hey Trevor, really sorry about the whole splits thing. We should have known better! Really, really sorry. We’ll be better next year, promise! P.s. you were AMAZING in Penticton!!!!!! Really wish we could have seen you after the race! And kill it in Arizona! Good luck!!!

  6. Ohhhh, Seaera, don’t apologize for that. You guys were great. I couldn’t hear anything you guys were saying anyway. It was coming from all directions on that day.
    Too bad I didn’t get to see you guys at ironman Canada. Great to have you out on course, though! Hope you had fun.
    Trev

  7. P.P.S. watch IM 70.3 Calgary on TSN, tomorrow (Aug. 31) at 8:30pm mountain time!!! =D

  8. Thanks again!!! It was so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!

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