Monday, 2 September 2013

Race Recap: Ontario Womens Triathlon

Yesterday was a hard day, a stressful day, and a great day all rolled into one. Yesterday meant it was time to move forward, but moving forward is scary. I have spent the last 3 weeks at home with my Mom and my sister contained in a safe little bubble. For 3 weeks it felt like life stood still, but yesterday it was time to get back to real life, face what has happened, and accept that life has changed.

We got up at 4:45am, packed up the car, and made our way to Milton for the Ontario Women's Triathlon. The triathlon was taking place at the Kelso Conservation area, and the drive in gave me a taste of what I was looking at - Hills (lots of 'em). I knew it was going to be a technical course and great if you were looking for a challenge - which if I am being honest - I wasn't. I hate hills, and I had done almost no hills on the bike. So I knew it was going to make for an interesting race.

We parked, I got registered and racked, and before you knew it the warm up was over and it was time to race.

 Swim (750 m) 
Time: 11:12
I am not exactly sure how this happened. In fact I am not even 100% convinced that this is my time. But I checked my numbers 3 times before I left, and this is the number they posted every single time. I even took 2 pictures of it, just so I could double check it at home as well. But it appears that I ended up crushing the swim - cutting 7 minutes off my last swim time.

Admittedly the swim felt great, and I do think that this is my strongest sport overall. The water temperature was perfect and I was ready to go. I learned during my first triathlon that sighting is required to have a seamless swim, so this time I did that from the get go, and swam straight and fast. Apparently I was just in and out of the water, because Jamie didn't even see me finish, he just heard my name announced on the bike as I ran out of the transition area.

Bike (20 km) 
Time: 1:00:26
The bike on the other hand is by far my weakest sport overall. I have done a total of 6 training rides this summer, 2 of which were my actual triathlons. I know this part of the trifecta needs work, especially when dealing with a hilly course. And this was a hilly course.

The course didn't start out on the right foot. The straps on my helmet were twisted in my rush through the transition zone, so it took me a few minutes to get myself comfortable and organized on the bike. Then I felt like I heard "on your left" a million times while I was out on the course. I got passed left, right, and center, while battling the hills, and navigating the cars. I knew that this part of the race was not going well. It took me a little over 10km to find a gear I was comfortable in, and by then I had wasted a lot time. So it was just time to finish it and call it a day.

Run (5 km)
Time: 31: 42
I felt back in my element when I started the run. But my legs were sloppy after the bike and the run started with a very nasty hill. The run was a 2.5 double loop, which meant I had to tackle that nasty hill twice. The first time I ran it I tried to run the hill, but my quads were on fire and my calves were aching. So I decided to walk it the second time, and actually found that this ended up being more efficient. I actually passed several people marching up that horrible hill, and had more energy to burn when I finally made it to the top.

I was able to regain some of the ground I lost during the bike portion of the race.I maintained an average 6:21 km/pace which isn't stellar, but isn't horrible either given my serious lack of preparation.

Overall Finish: 1:43:20
I finished the the race in 1:43:20, which actually ended up being 2 minutes faster than my goal time of 1:45. It is not very often that I get to say that I beat my goal time. In fact, I usually feel like I am writing about how I just fell short, so crossing the finish line with this time felt absolutely amazing.

I crossed the finish line and into the arms of my waiting family. It meant so much to have them all there with me. We cried. We laughed. We hugged. We took pictures. And we healed. This race meant it was time to move forward, but it also showed that we could. It would be hard. It would take time. It would take effort. But eventually we will heal. Eventually we will all be okay.

Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,