:) Aw the great outdoors.
(Hubs has hidden the camera from me, I'll update with photos later)
I was a bit of a bundle of nerves going into this race, but somewhere along the line I decided I was being ridiculous. I was putting time pressure/goals on myself, and I just started doing these a month ago. I didn't bike or swim at all before the end of June, so why was I being so hard on myself? I went into the race determined to put forth my best effort, but not to let time spoil the accomplishment of finishing my first Olympic distance tri.
Hubs and I arrived in Ottawa a little after 6, and race kit pick up went only until 6 (or early the next morning), so we decided to stop by just in case they were still there, and to scope out the race venue at the very least.
We were unable to pick up my kit, but I did get to see where the beach was (and the no swimming in the water - apparently there was a risk of swimmers itch due to the rain and humidity.... uhhh gross!) I also noticed that the transition area was a good 300+ meters from the beach, up a grassy hill covered in Canada geese poop.
Still, I remained excited and positive and felt good knowing where I had to go the next morning, so Hubs and I went out for a nice Italian dinner near our hotel and called it an early evening.
I slept on and off throughout the night, and was relieved when my alarm went off at 5:30. I just wanted to get this race on with!! I ate a banana, got dressed and headed over. We stopped for coffee and bagel and PB on the way.
One thing I love about tri's is that once you are at the race location in the morning, you have no time to be nervous. You need to rack your bike and set up your transition area, pick up your time chip and race kit, get body marking done, use porta potties at frequent intervals, put on your wetsuit, and attend a pre-race meeting.
My pre-race set up went well. The Sun was coming down strong already and I knew that I would have to stay hydrated. There weren't enough porta potties though and the line up forced me to rush to put on my suit and I didn't have a warm up swim.
The Swim: 1500 meters + T1
Time: 38:29 (2:34 per 100 meter) Note: I wish the transition were separated out. I want to know how well I swam, and how well I transitioned to the bike, next time I will make sure the race I pick separates the two, some do, some don't.
My strategy for the swim was just to relax and not push. I tried drafting a few times (allowed on the swim) but found I couldn't never find anyone my pace or heading in the right direction, so I headed it alone. I felt great and verrry relaxed. Maybe too relaxed, the swim seemed to be over quickly and I was a little sad when I exited the water.
I stripped my suit on the beach instead of running the distance to the transition zone, and Hubs took the suit handed me a gel and a cold bottle of sports drink which tasted sooo good!! I tried not to think about the bird poop as I ran to the transition zone.
The first transition went well, I tried to be purposeful and not rushed. I didn't want my bike to start out the same way it did last time!!
The Bike - 40 km - Time 1 hr 30 minutes, 20 seconds
Speed 26.6 kph
The bike course was 4 -10km loops along the canal - beautiful, although sunny. I felt really good on the bike. I tried to keep a steady pace and focused keeping my cadence above 90, which I was able to most of the time. I caught myself humming on the bike, so I was in a zone where I was working, but still enjoying myself. I felt myself tire towards the end, but overall felt pretty good.
T2 + The Run -10 km (or should I say colossal disaster) - Time 1 hour, 9 minutes, 54 seconds
Pace 7 min/km
Yikes, well I came off the bike feeling good, but I knew the run would be tough. It was hot and humid, and I never run well in these, let alone after two hours of intense swimming and biking. The run really humbled me.... I have so much to learn about tri's.... the people that do these things are really truly strong, and as a beginner, I must not feel compelled to compare myself, only strive to do better next time.
The run was along a curvy, rolly bike path. Long and short, I didn't like it. It was sunny hot, and I could never get a rhythm since it was up, down, turn, watch out for the bubble in the pavement etc... I would have preferred a regular road run, but I think what was the worst part was that when I went to run I felt nauseous, so for the most part I had to walk. In retrospect, I took my last gel on lap three of the bike, so maybe I bonked?!! Experienced tri people, any advice? I was drinking e-load regularly. Needless to say, this was the slowest 10K I have run in ages, even my recovery runs are faster than this, but the tri is a different monster that has humbled me!!
Anyway, regardless I was still excited and proud to cross the finish line!!!
3 hours, 18 minutes, 42 seconds.
Something to build on, and I did it. I am motivated now to get even more focused for Muskoka 70.3. My goal will be to complete it, I realized after this race I am not in a position to declare time goals yet, but I still think I can do this. I need to up the BRICK runs and incorporate hill repeats. Apparently Muskoka is one of the toughest 70.3 courses.
Anyway I am off to read and comment on your blogs. Special shout out to X-Country Squared for rocking her first sprint triathlon!!! Thanks for reading (Pictures to follow)