Last weekend I wrote a post about how tired I was… Well, I guess everything caught up with me and I got sick! It completely knocked me out and I wasn’t sure if racing the Chinook Olympic Triathlon would be a good idea or not. Ironman training camp in Penticton is next weekend and I want to be healthy for it! When I woke up yesterday morning I was not feeling 100% but I decided to go ahead and race anyway.
Transition opened at 7 am so Neil and I left home early so we could be there in time for transition to open. We had an hour to get set up in transition before it would close. Our race didn’t start until 9:15 but we had to clear out of transition to let the half Iron distance racers through.
With being sick this week I didn’t have a chance to make it down to the lake for an open water swim. My first lake swim of the year would be on race day. That made me a little nervous! I will say the best happy accident was when my old wetsuit ripped last year. I love my new Huub Axena suit so I felt confident that I’d be comfortable in my suit at least.
I got body marked, hit the bathrooms, and once the half Iron distance racers were off I started to get into my suit.
Team Tri Life picture time!
With about 20 minutes before race time I got in the water. It was so cold!! It was a little tough to put my face in the water initially, but after swimming around for a bit it got easier. With a few minutes before go time we made our way to the beach for some last minute announcements and tips.
We sang the national anthem and then we were off!
Swim – 1500 m – 33:58
The swim felt aggressive to me. There were people all around most of the time. I was getting scratched, kicked and I even got clocked in the jaw! My goggles fogged up really quickly and I was having troubles sighting. I wound up having to stop and tread water to give them a wipe, then they were clear all the rest of the swim! I felt like I was swimming pretty lazily, but I surprised myself when I got out of the water a couple minutes faster than when I raced back in 2010!
T1 – 3:16
I was able to get my arms out of my suit quickly and found a free wetsuit stripper. She had my suit off in a jiffy and I was up and running off to my bike.
It was sunny out when I got out of the water. I had left a ton of options in transition for warm clothes to put on the bike as I had expected it to be cool and possibly rainy. I could hear a spectator telling someone next to me in T1 that folks were dressing pretty lightly heading out on the bike. Between her and the sun I left all those extra clothes behind and just got ready to ride my bike.
Bike – 40 km – 1:20:59
I had read my race report from when I last raced the Chinook Olympic back in 2010. That year I had biked the course in just over 1:14 and I felt like I had over biked that day. The course is an out and back and I knew the out would be uphill and possibly into the wind. I kept an eye on my power and biked conservatively, letting a ton of people pass me. I wanted to stick with my plan and not get caught up in keeping up with people.
I saw some terrible race etiquette on the bike course. The majority of the participants didn’t give the usual “on your left” when passing. I saw big draft packs and I noticed that some racers weren’t making an attempt to drop back after being passed. I even saw someone pass on the left! I passed one lady who had her front wheel right beside the rear wheel of the woman in front of her. They were chatting away and as I passed I commented that they were drafting and I could hear them laughing as I rode away. In my opinion this is a race and we should all be making an attempt to follow the rules and ride clean. This is not a training ride. Okay…off my soap box now!
On the way back I took advantage of the net downhill and pedalled a little harder. I also made sure drink my EFS on schedule and top up with a bit of EFS Liquid Shot. As I got closer to T2 I could tell that all those fluids were making their way through my system and I really had to go to the bathroom. I decided to try and see if I could pee on the bike…and success!! Free pee time!
T2 – 1:30
Bike racked, running shoes on. Enough said.
Run – 10K – 1:02:19
On the bike I could feel that the cold air was bugging my chest in combination with being sick. Despite drinking a bunch on the bike I was feeling parched. Oh well, time to run! I could tell that my conservative bike had paid off and my run was actually feeling good. Well, my feet were numb from the cold, but otherwise my legs were feeling pretty good! I knew that I left T2 right at the 2 hour mark so if I wanted to come in under 3 hours I’d have to run a speedy 10K. I was actually able to hit the halfway mark just under 30 minutes. I was stopping to walk the water stops and get my fluids in because I was still feeling really parched. After the half way point the heaviness in my chest was getting worse and I didn’t have the desire to push hard to get that sub 60 10K. I took a few more walk breaks.
I was also playing a bit of cat and mouse with my twitter friend Carla on the last few km of the run. She passed me with just a few turns left to the finish and encouraged me to keep running because we were almost there! Alright, time to suck it up and run to the finish! Thank you for pulling me to the finish Carla!!
I crossed the line in 3:02:03. I was just over 2 minutes off my time in 2010 so I was really happy about that! Not too shabby for not feeling my best today.
All in all I’m really glad I raced today. It felt good to work out some nerves on the first triathlon of the season. I felt like I finally learned something about biking conservatively to save my legs for the run and I had a really great swim! I also love the energy at triathlons. I had so many friends there…teammates, twitter and instagram friends and a coworker. I even had a lady recognize me, tell me she reads my blog and that I inspired her to race her first triathlon that day. How amazing!!!
I feel so lucky to have such amazing friends in this sport. Thank you everyone for making triathlon so fun!
And my hat is off to the great volunteers and race organizers. They did a great job and were always smiling and cheering us on. As part of our race swag we got a bike jersey as well!
Next up…Ironman training camp in Penticton next weekend!!