Knock knock, anyone home?? I have a couple of race reports to share for the five people who still read this (thank you!) – the likes of which have not been seen around here for a while! Unfortunately my marathon training was derailed this summer thanks to an aggravated hamstring, but this hiccup led me to return to two former favourite past-times in an effort to keep fit and stay sane. Thankfully my trusty bike and goggles welcomed me back with open arms!
After logging a couple weeks of swimming and cycling, I decided it would be fun to enter a tri to keep things interesting and lift my spirits after backing out of Erie Marathon. I wasn’t expecting spectacular results on such limited training but I felt good about my overall fitness and mostly I just wanted to go out and have some fun.
Wasaga Beach Sprint Tri
I lucked out with an absolutely beautiful morning for racing. It was cool to start (especially getting in and out of the water) but the sun kept things comfortable without getting too warm. Couldn’t have asked for a better day!
I got there nice and early, as usual, with Mark and Nancy in tow and seemed to remember the logistics easily enough. Number pick-up, body-marking, ankle timing chip, check wave start time, set-up transition, slither into wetsuit and wait!
The swim start is very shallow and even with us starting in knee-deep water, we had to trudge and splash for a good stretch before we could start swimming. And once we could, it was absolute chaos! I had forgotten just how crazy a triathlon swim is, especially over such a short distance where there isn’t really time to spread out. It felt like non-stop contact and craziness. I had more than one brief wave of panic, but forced myself to keep my head down and ignore it. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. I was relieved after making the turn to head back. We hit shallow water again with a long way to go before reaching shore, but I kept swimming as long as possible with my hands brushing along the bottom because I knew that standing up and running through it would be much more tiring. Finally, I was out of the water!
750m | 16:22 | 2:10/100m | 185/458 overall | 79/226 females | 15/30 F35-39
Run-up: 0:23 | Transition: 1:49
I tried to hustle through transition although I felt like I was in slow-motion. I managed not to forget or drop anything, so I’ll call that a win!
The bike course was out-and-back, mostly flat with a few gentle inclines, one sizable climb and a net uphill first half. I found it pretty crowded throughout and never really felt like I was settling in. The biggest problem I find with racing on my hybrid is that people seem to feel the need to pass me/do not want to let me pass them. I constantly had someone pull in front of me only to slow down and force me to pass again.
My favourite moment was when a fellow named Jerry hollered out that I “can really haul ass on that thing!” Thanks, Jerry! He also told me to go see him after the race to get a “real bike.” 😛
All in all, though, I was feeling good and having fun out there. Unfortunately I had a mechanical issue in the last 5K – I knew I wasn’t going as fast as I should be, especially for this net downhill stretch, but I had no idea why. I later found out that I had a dented rim, broken spoke and my rear brake was rubbing. Yikes!
20KM | 41:53 | 28.6 kph | 229/458 overall | 92/226 females | 16/30 F35-39
It was a relief to rack my bike and throw on my running shoes. The only real climb on the course is right at the start and it felt like running through peanut butter on my way up, which had me a little concerned. Luckily I found my legs pretty quickly after that, even though my feet were almost completely numb. I hadn’t noticed on the bike, but now they felt like ice blocks and I wished I had worn socks. I kept wiggling my toes around as much as I could and feeling slowly started to return by KM 2.
The run course was pretty busy with just a narrow path open for two-way traffic with a lot of passing, but it made the time fly by. Before I knew it, I was past half way and on my way back. My legs felt heavy but I knew I could probably be going a bit faster so I tried to buckle down and push harder toward the finish. [Laps: 4:53, 4:51, 5:00, 4:43, 4:33]
5K | 24:13 | 4:50/KM | 180/458 overall | 63/226 females | 13/30 F35-39
Final: 1:25:33 | 179/458 overall | 62/226 females | 13/30 F35-39
Was it hard? Yep! Was it fun? Hell yes! The bug was back and I couldn’t have been more excited that I would get to do it all again the following weekend!
Guelph Lake II Sprint+ Triathlon
Another Saturday, another early morning! This time Andy joined us to play cheerleader/photographer and couldn’t believe how many people were already at the race site with well over an hour to go. Usually I drag him to races so early that nobody else is there yet. 😉
Through the motions again and it was soon time to line up on the beach. It was an even chillier morning, only about 5 or 6 degrees C at the start. Thankfully the water felt nice and the sun was out!
Guelph has a run-off-the-beach start which brings a different kind of craziness. I nearly chickened out and started off to the side, but put myself front and centre to go barreling into the water with the masses. It’s all part of the fun! I seemed to find space a lot faster this time and the swim felt much less chaotic and congested than Wasaga. I was able to settle in and relax a bit more – I might have relaxed a bit too much because I ended up with a slightly slower swim, but felt much better throughout so I’ll take it!
750m | 17:03 | 2:16/100m | 135/482 overall | 31/167 females | 5/30 F35-39
The bike course at Guelph was longer at 30K, a distance I had only covered once in as long as I can remember (3+ years). I knew the rolling hills would provide a good challenge but I had an ambitious goal of completing it under an hour. A brutal headwind through most of the second half ended up making that impossible but I gave it my best effort. Any trace of disappointment was quickly erased when I realized I had the 3rd fastest bike split in my category.
30K | 1:03:40 | 28.3 kph | 157/482 overall | 24/167 females | 3/30 F35-39
I could tell pretty quickly that the bike course had trashed my legs and 7K was going to feel long. I also realized the route was a lot hillier than I remembered from doing the relay a few years ago. At least my feet didn’t feel numb this time! (I had shoved my feet, along with all the sand and grit attached to them, into socks before the bike)
The first couple of kilometres ticked by slowly and I thought I was going to be in for a slog, but managed to gradually find a better rhythm. I was looking out for Emma and was excited to snag a high five from her shortly after the turn-around. She was looking strong and I spent the remainder of the run imagining that she was hunting me down to pass (she started 2 waves behind me). It seemed to do the trick! (Laps: 5:10, 5:15, 5:04, 5:07, 5:05, 5:05, 4:38)
7K | 35:08 | 5:01/KM | 143/482 overall | 24/167 females | 2/30 F35-39
Final: 1:58:27 | 142/482 overall | 24/167 females | 2/30 F35-39
I didn’t think for a second that I might have placed in my age group so we didn’t stay for awards, but it was a nice little surprise on the way home.
I’m eager to get back to marathon training again soon enough, but this has been a fun little side gig in the meantime. I have actually been enjoying swimming and cycling much more than I thought I would so who knows, maybe I will even keep this up.
Thanks for reading!