High off of finishing the Kelowna Women’s 10K race I was ready to find another race to do. I checked my schedule and I had 100-120 km to ride the following weekend. The Chinook triathlon was also happening that same weekend. They had a long course aquabike – a 2000 meter swim and a 96 km bike – which sounded perfect. I viewed the race as a supported workout.
The night before the race there was a mandatory meeting and dinner way on the other side of town. I knew if I went to the dinner I wouldn’t be getting home until 9 pm. With an early start the next day I opted to stay home, read the rules and take my time getting my gear ready for the race the next day.
I got to transition on race day shortly after it opened and started setting up right away. I spent some time running around and finding friends, eating up the limited time I had to get body marked, into my wetsuit and into the lake for a warm up swim.
Finally it was time to get body marked!
And time to put the wetsuit on. Luckily Brian from Tri-It was there to help us get out wetsuits on and made sure it was properly adjusted.
After that I only had a few short moments to get in the water and warm up. It definitely wasn’t long enough. Do I look nervous here?
After crossing over the timing mats and some announcements the gun went off and it was go time.
I had a terrible swim. I could not find my groove and I felt like I was flailing around. As I neared the end of the first lap I looked at my watch and saw that I was way slower than expected. No sense of hustle here, eh?
As I rounded the buoy I heard my friends cheer me on so I gave them a thumbs up.
It was a lonely swim and I didn’t swim any better on my second lap either. By the time I got out of the water my Garmin showed 2600 m which might explain part of why I was so slow. Apparently I’m not the only one who measured the course long.
A very helpful wetsuit stripper was there for me as soon as I got out of the water. We could not get my wetsuit off over my Garmin though! Race officials were yelling for me to keep walking towards the timing mat, but all my brain could process was that I couldn’t keep moving and get my wetsuit off at the same time.
Swim: 58:22 for 2000 meters (supposedly)
Transition was a lonely place since I was one of the last ones out of the water. I took the time to sit down and put my socks on rather than hopping around. I had laid out a bunch of clothing choices should the weather be a little inclement that day. I had a t-shirt, arm warmers and a long sleeve top I could have put on. Since the sun was out at the start of the swim I opted to leave it all behind. That was a mistake… Transition time is included in the bike time.
A few moments after setting out on the bike it started to rain. And it was also really windy!
Honestly, it was pretty darn miserable. I instantly regretted my decision to not put anything warmer on. I also got passed in pretty short order by any folks that had come out behind me on the swim. It was a very lonely ride. Really, I think loneliness was the key word for the day!
Soon I discovered that my rolly, flailing swim had caused other issues for me besides a slow swim time. I had one heck of a gas baby in my belly. It was past the point of burping doing any relief. As the gas began working its way through my system it got really painful. I needed to toot but I couldn’t. As a gas bubble would make its presence known it got so bad that it was making me cry.
I envisioned quitting at the halfway point but then someone would have to come get me. I also knew that if I did quit I’d be pretty darn disappointed in myself. I had the presence of mind to know that crying can also mean calorie deficit so I told myself to eat. When I hit the turnaround point I’d get off my bike, hit the porta pottie and turn this race around.
Luckily that seemed to help things. The way back was definitely more comfortable. It was also a bit more downhill so the way back also went by a bit quicker. The sun also came out to warm things up a bit (and apparently enough to give me a wicked sunburn despite wearing sunscreen).
Even though my race would be over after the bike I took some time in transition to swap out my bike shoes for running shoes and to take my helmet off in order to put on a visor. I was supposed to do a run off the bike but after all that painful gas I just couldn’t. Regardless, I wasted more time in transition instead of running for the finish line.
Bike (96 km) + transitions: 4:03:16
One cool thing about this race was that we got cowboy hats instead of medals at the finish line. Given that this year is the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede I thought that was pretty appropriate.
Total time 5:01:37. My triathlete besties were waiting for me after the race. You can somewhat see in the picture above that I had some wicked chaffing on my neck from my wetsuit. It was really bad!! It was on both sides of my neck and I had to wear a scarf at work for a couple days after the race to hide it.
All in all it was a tough day out there, but I powered through. I fixed my problems while out on the race course. I was also reminded of things that I need to work on (like avoiding the dreaded gas baby on the swim) so there were some good takeaways that day.