I racked my bike and got ready to run. Putting my running shoes on was hard, yet for some reason I refused to sit down and do it. I grabbed my brand new Spibelt with three gels in it, my visor and headed off. As I started on the run my legs felt really fresh! Way better than I expected them to feel after a 90 km bike ride. In a few minutes I was running past the Team Tri Life tent amid screams and cheers. It was impossible not to have a smile on my face!
I looked down at my watch and I was running way faster than my usual pace! Whoa…slow down Leana!! My effort felt in check so I just made sure my running still felt easy.
The water stops were plentiful and well stocked with water, Ironman Perform and Coke, plus I spotted cookies, bananas and gels out there. I stuck with water and Coke. As I continued out I started to spot my teammates running toward me. I was loving the changes to the course with the increased opportunities to see all my friends out there.
One thing I had forgotten to mention about the bike was that I tried *really* hard to pee on the bike. I was pretty sure I’d have to go but I didn’t want to stop at a porta potty. As I ran along I was pretty sure I’d have to stop. I kept looking at the porta potties as I ran past, wondering whether I should be stopping or not. I kept going though.
At the 4 km mark the heavens opened up and it went from being a sunny day to being in this crazy downpour. Wow it was raining! Within about five minutes the rain had stopped, the sun came out and it was now humid. And my shoes were squelchy!
As I ran up the teeniest incline on a sidewalk it completely took the juice out of my legs. I then realized that trying to run this race on just Coke probably wasn’t going to cut it. Time to take a gel! I then realized I’d need to hit a porta potty ASAP! Luckily there was one a few minutes ahead. With an empty bladder and a gel in my stomach I felt better, although it was tougher to hold that fast pace that felt easy earlier.
As I hit the Team Tri Life tent there were so many screams and cheers from my friends. Deb even had a great cheer with dance moves that totally made me crack up! It was then time to head out on the second lap.
My pace definitely slowed down on lap two , but I still stuck with my same run/walk intervals. I also made sure to take my other two gels along the way in addition to taking in Coke and water. I smiled and thanked the volunteers and encouraged the other folks I saw out on the race course. And for good measure there was a second crazy downpour on my second lap. Luckily when it hit I didn’t have too much left to go.
One last pass of the Team Tri Life tent and then it was on to the finish line.
I had hoped my run would come in under 2.5 hours as that would be 10 minutes off my BMO Vancouver Half Marathon time. I figured a 10 minute difference for a 90 km bike seemed like an okay idea. My run duration came in at 2:29:55. It was also a 23 minute improvement over my run at Great White North last year.
Final time 6:38:27, 35 minutes better than last year.
All in all I’m really happy with my race. I felt like I raced the bike well and set me up for a strong run. If I would change anything it would probably have been to take a gel earlier on the run instead of waiting until my legs lost some juice. I’m proud that I kept the same run/walk intervals up the whole time though, even if I just slowed down.
Having so many Team Tri Life athletes out there was a very special thing. The new course was great for seeing them on the course a lot. I feel lucky to be a part of such a great group of athletes and wonderful people! It was also very special to have Neil and Coach Angie out there cheering. Thanks for being such a supportive husband and awesome cheerleader Neil!
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