Last weekend I raced my final triathlon of the year – the Strathmore Women’s Triathlon. I figured a fun, no pressure, beginner friendly race would be a great way to finish off the season. Except as the race approached I all of a sudden got really nervous about it! Luckily I had a lot of friends racing that day too, so it was great to have them for company to help calm the nerves.
Neil, Tara and I drove out to Strathmore nice and early in the morning, aiming to arrive with plenty of time to set up in transition and be there in advance of the 8 am athlete meeting. We found a spot to set up near some fellow teammates, then headed over to get our timing chips and get body marked.
After the meeting I had a lot of downtime waiting for my swim heat. Since this race has a pool swim the relay racers and the slower swimmers start first. All of the waiting around was just making my nerves more jumpy! Finally it was time to start lining up in the pool!
The line moved quickly and before I knew it, it was my turn to get in the pool.
Swim – 500 m
I felt really great in the water. We were well spaced out and I stopped to let one lady pass me part way through. With two laps left to go a lady got in the water just ahead of me and started breaststroking. I was motivated to pass her so that helped me to speed up at the end.
12:11 (including the walk to the lane and the run out of the pool)
Bike – 20 km
The bike course is fairly flat, but it was crazy windy out! I tried to spend as much time in aero as possible and keep my turnover high. It wasn’t long before Tara passed me. It was next to impossible to hear her as she went by as the wind was so loud in my ears! The kilometres ticked off quickly and before I knew it, I was at the turnaround. My teammate Shannon was just ahead of me so I figured I should be able to catch her. I also figured the wind should be at our backs but somehow I didn’t get the reprieve I thought I should!
Shannon was pretty wily on the bike! She must have seen me at the turnaround and made it her mission to put the hammer down. I could not close the gap between us at all! I also chewed on some Honey Stinger chews in the last part of the ride.
T2: 0:36 – Pretty sure I hit the lap button late here!
Run – 5 km
I tried to boot it out of transition as quickly as possible. Shannon was still just head of me, so I hoped I’d be able to catch her on the run.
I also really wanted to go sub 30 on the run and I knew the pace I needed in order to make that happen. Just like on the bike I could not reel Shannon in. I just made it my goal to keep her in my sights. I was able to hold the pace I needed through the half way point but you could tell I was working hard. My breathing was not easy and my legs were fading. I had to take a few walk breaks and my goal was slipping out of reach. I couldn’t see Shannon anymore either. I forget how hard 5Ks are!
Finally the finish line was in sight.
Today wasn’t my day to hit my goal, but it will be there soon enough! Overall it was a really fun day. I love the atmosphere at this race as everyone is so positive and cheers each other on. There were some speedy girls out there too, so I’m pretty happy with a finish in the top 10 in my age group. Thanks to everyone for a really great race!