Race Reports

Race Report: Oasis Toronto Zoo 10K

What a glorious day running amongst all the animals and athletes at my 3rd Oasis Toronto Zoo 10K race this morning! It was a hot one. But always the most fun! Went out way too fast in the first few KM, and it was hilly as usual. But super fun nonetheless. Ended up with a 10K PB of 49:31.1 and a 5K PB! YES, HIT MY SUB-50min goal! Now all eyes on my rematch with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront marathon in 4 weeks.

My idea is that the much slower pace and endurance from Haliburton 50K in combination with the high speed tempo run of the Zoo 10K will come together for the marathon.

Strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/2727515788

Race Reports, Trail Running

RACE REPORT: HALIBURTON FOREST 50K Ultra Trail Race

INTRO

On Saturday September 7, 2019, I officially became an ULTRA-MARATHONER. An “Ultra-Marathon” is any race that is longer than a standard marathon distance. Meaning anything further than 42.2KM or 26.2Miles. 

I set out on a goal this year to complete the 50K Trail Race in beautiful Haliburton Forest. I’ve been working up to this distance ever since I started running 2 years ago. I’ve run 2 marathons in the past and this was an inevitable event. My motivation started years ago when I read the books “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll and “Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek. 

PRE-RACE


Booking accommodations near Haliburton Forest Reserve isn’t really simple as all the cabins on the compound were well reserved in advanced. And the nearest lodges and hotels were at least 30 minutes away from Base HQ. Regardless I got myself and my parents a room at the charming Oakview Lodge & Marina. It’s been family run for the last 4 years by Anna and Greg. They are absolutely awesome people. The lodge was very cozy, rooms well sized, and they accommodated my vegan meal request. Having a handful of trail runners staying with them, they actually prepped the fruit bowl, made vegan muffins, and started the coffee pot at 4AM for those doing the 100-M and 50-M races.

GOALS

I learned very quickly that a trail race is not remotely comparable to a road race. And each trail run is totally different. There are so many variables. For one, the distance is super long, and the terrain from course to course could be extremely technical with a lot of tough uphill climbs and scary descents on rocks. So my 5 hour goal was immediately tossed out. I just wanted to finish this as best I could and have the most fun. Being it my first 50K, any request would be a PB day for me. 

THE RACE

Strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/2688540279

This has been the hardest thing I’ve physically and mentally done thus far out of all my races. Every step needed to be accounted for with full alertness. No zoning out here. 

A huge difference between Ultra trail and road races are the aid stations. The aid stations were like buffets. I learned to only take carbs like boiled potatoes with salt, jelly beans, pretzels, cola I had some PB&J but felt the fat was hard on my stomach. Race was good up to the 25km turn around. Then something happened, everything of my body seized up and stomach didn’t feel right. it took about 30 mins for things to get normal. Then I was able to run again and started passing people again. There was good weather overcast with shade for the vast majority of the race. However, we did have heavy and light rain downpour near the end. Overall, this was a tough yet really fun experience. I really felt one with nature. 

POST-RACE

The final few KMs or so lead us out of the forest and finally back on to the road heading to the Finish Line at Base HQ. This road happened to be uphill of course. But with the orange chute in sight, it just made me want to throw it all down and rocket to the the finish. It was an awesome feeling. After receiving my medal, that was it. I became an ultra-marathoner. I FOUND ULTRA. 

I ate a banana and drank a ton of water on the drive back home. Took a shower, watched Bianaca Andreescu win the US Open defeating Serena Williams. And then went to India’s Taste buffet for dinner. 

LESSONS

  • I need bigger trail running shoes
  • I need a tighter fitting hydration vest
  • Apple Watch still had 44% battery life after a 7 hour workout!

THINGS TO DO

  • Need to do more trail running locally for practice

CONCLUSION

I’ll be damned, but I love running, and I think I love trail running even more. I can’t wait to do my next one. Currently eyeing Sulphur Springs in 2020!

Cycling

Ride Report: Ride4UnitedWay 60K, 2019

I’m started to like non-race events. I get to practice some road handling skills, meet like-minded people, and simply have fun. 

Ride4UnitedWay took place in Durham, ON. A place I haven’t been since graduating from UOIT! 

Initially, I was going to do the 100K route, but there was a severe thunderstorm warning. So I switched to the 60K to be on the safe side. But in a strange turn of events, there wasn’t a drop of rain. We had some gusts and a very welcomed overcast. 

My cycling has improved significantly. I am now comfortable and can pass people on steep climbs, and am confident on thrilling descents.

To-do: I still really need to learn to grab my water bottle, and eat while riding.

This was a fun event because my friend Randall came along. His longest ride was 40K, so this was a big event for him, and I’m so proud of his fast progress! 

Strava log

At the end of the ride, we feasted on a free lunch. We had a veggie burger with quinoa salad. Good times!

Race Reports, Triathlon

TORONTO TRIATHLON FESTIVAL 2019 – OLYMPIC RACE REPORT

INTRO

This event marks my 1-year anniversary of Triathlon. And it will forever hold a special place in my heart. I pushed myself into very new uncomfortable, and to be honest quite terrifying zones.  You may recall my first ever experience with open-water swimming (OWS) at TTF Sprint last year. And how I bought and “taught” myself to ride a bike just 3 weeks prior to that. I’ve been running for about 2-years. And basically had to teach myself how to swim and bike. There’s just something really intriguing and exciting about the sport of triathlon. For some reason I keep pushing forward. 

PRE-RACE

I had to keep reminding myself that I only just did IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka 2-weeks before. There was some residual fatigue, but for the most part, I felt pretty solid going into TTF. It will have been my first Olympic distance triathlon. I hear this is a favourite, as it’s a good balance of speed and endurance. 

GOALS

Have fun and make the most of this amazing local urban race. 

SWIM (1.5KM)

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2551190210

I know it’s only been a few weeks since Muskoka, but I got a lot of good feedback on my poor swimming technique. So at least a had a wee bit of time to try implement some new skills. Despite the weather being really hot, the waters of Lake Ontario was still really cold. I felt like it kind of affected my breathing, but I managed to stay calm. I swam freestyle continuously without stopping, panic, or backstroking. In the last quarter, my left goggle got flooded, so that made sighting hard, and overall slightly annoying. Out of the 4 triathlons I’ve done, this is my best pace of 2:56/100m. Despite this, I fell like this was actually harder than Muskoka for some reason. 

BIKE (40KM)

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2551195078

Finally, a relatively flat bike course for me! This is a fun out and back on a totally closed Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner. Free of traffic. My dream! However, I felt like I lacked power on the first half. I think I was pretty drained from the swim or possibly still experiencing some fatigue from Muskoka. But after the turn-around, I absolutely loved the ride back. This is also the longest i’ve rode without dismounting for any reason! I still need to work on my arms and hands getting numb though. Also, my PowerTap P1 pedals weren’t responding so I couldn’t track my wattage. I’ll check them out and see if the batteries were dead. 

RUN (10K)

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2551121753

This was a hot and humid run to say the least. There were no large trees like in Muskoka to shade athletes. So, we had the sun beaming straight on us. I dug deep and pushed through 2-laps and almost PB’d my 10K. 

POST-RACE

After getting my silver donut-shaped finisher medal. I enjoyed a nice big veggie burger. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Hello post race delicious veggie burger ?? Had a blast this fine and hot Sunday at @TorontoTriathlonFestival! Met up with so many awesome IG Tri-buddies like @pacing.and.racing, @mrtdoespe, & @pkperformancecoaching ??Had a nice swim, though Lake Ontario was still pretty cold. I really need to work on this part of Tri. But swam continuous without panic attacks or backstroking. Glad to get onto a flat bike course. However, I felt pretty drained from the swim, and my legs didn’t want to pump out the power I wanted to on the first 20KM. Not sure if it’s residual fatigue from Muskoka 70.3? Anyways, things got a lot better on the second half of the bike. I love cycling without the fear of traffic on the DVP and Gardiner! This 40KM ride is actually the longest distance I’ve gone without getting off the bike for any reason. And as usual, I was stoked to get to the run. I actually almost PBed my 10KM too! It was a hot sweaty run, but I pushed through to the finish chute. Thank you so much to all the phenomenal triathlete community, volunteers, and organizers for another epic race in the heart of downtown #Toronto! #NOLIMITS #TriathlonTO #TTF2019 #TorontoTriathlonFestival

A post shared by Sean Chin (@seanchin) on

LESSONS

Figure out why I couldn’t put out the power I wanted on the first half of the bike leg. 

THINGS-TO-DO

  • Learn to use clip-in pedals
  • Get a true bike fitting with Saddle pressure mapping
  • Invest in an actual Triathlon bike
  • I need a real triathlon watch 
  • More outdoor riding to get bike-handling skills 
  • Learn to take hands of bars and eat/drink while riding
  • More Open Water Swimming and add speed
  • Get stroke analysis and improvement 

CONCLUSION

TTF 2019 is my final triathlon of the year. So, as of now, I’ve done 2 sprints, an olympic, and a 70.3. I can’t wait for my next season of triathlons in 2020! 

For now, I will continue improving my swim stroke efficiency, and road cycling skills. 

And my training build to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October resumes.

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