I made it!!! I finished the triathlon!! There were a few tough moments, but I plowed through and lived to tell the tale! I ended up meeting all my “reasonable” goals, but none of my “dream” goals. I think I underestimated just how much the chaotic swim and hilly bike ride were going to slow me down. But, let me start at the beginning!
I slept almost straight through the night. I drifted in and out of sleep after 5am, and decided to get up 10 minutes before my 6am alarm. I immediately made a lovely bowl of oat bran and a giant glass of iced coffee.
In the bowl:
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
- half a banana
- chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
The iced coffee just had some almond milk and stevia in it. No way I can drink the iced stuff black! The iced coffee was a great idea. I was able to drink it quickly with my oats, and it was good to go from the fridge as soon as I woke up.
I got to the race site a little after 7am. Took my time registering, setting up my transition area, and walking around the course. I felt pretty hardcore all marked up!!
Here’s what the transition area looked like…
Mine was third from the right on the back metal rack. I spent a lot of time in here making sure everything was set up in the order I’d need it. Walking up and down, making sure I could spot my stuff and knew how to get out.
My exit point from the lake:
Different from where we started on the beach.
And the giant hill everyone had to run up as soon as they hit the run leg. This photograph does not capture how steep it was.
Chris arrived a little after 9am. I also ate that Clif bar around the same time. I’m glad I went with it, it was just the right amount of fuel, and digested well before the swim. I may have used the washroom 4-5 times in the three hours I was there before the race though
I wasn’t nervous at all until I watched the Olympic distance folk jump in the water. Then I was like “oh sh*t, I’m going to do that!”
The Sprint people had a 10am start. I was soooo cold by that point after being outside all morning. I think it was around 15C? It sprinkled on and off, but nothing serious.
They let everyone in the water about 10 min before to warm-up. Some people were running around to warm-up, but I felt loose enough after walking around all morning.
I got in, and the water temp wasn’t that bad. They said 18C, coldest it’s been in a while, but not like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean!
Then they called us out of the water and we lined up to go.
Aaaand we’re off!!!
This is everyone as we were swimming out to our first buoy. I didn’t put my head in the water right away because there was just too much splashing. There was a point after we went around that buoy that I swallowed major amounts of water and had a little freakout. For a split second, I got that “flight” response. But I just stuck my head back in, went to the outside of the pack, and tried to get into a groove. It was hard to maintain any sort of swim pace though, because I would either swim into someone, or someone would swim into me. All I have to say is, thank goodness the swim is the shortest triathlon leg!
See? Trying to smile! Here I am fresh out of the water, running on the path barefoot up to the transition area. I was burping like mad from all the water I swallowed! The girl running ahead of me actually turned around and gave me “a look.”
Swim time: 19:00 – 83/111
I don’t think it matters how prepared you are, you’re going to be confused as hell when you enter the transition area. I ran down the wrong aisle and had to manoeuvre through a few bikes.
This one felt a little slow. I had to get my shirt and shorts on, which were both tight and sticky on my wet skin. My new socks were at least easy to put on! Also…running with a bike in shoes with clips is not easy.
Transition #1 Time: 2:23 – 87/111
On the list of my worries was having issues getting clipped into my bike. It definitely took me a few extra seconds to get it.
And had to bike with one leg for a few revolutions before my left foot finally clipped in. But I managed to do it!
Honestly, as soon as I hit the bike course I thought “ahhhh…that’s better!!” It was such a relief to be out of the water and on my bike.
The bike course was hilly. Like, maybe 65-70% of it was at some sort of an incline. I didn’t mind the short steep ones so much, but there was this looooong gradual one that was just killer.
We did two loops of the course. We had one lane of traffic closed for us. My legs were killing me after the first loop, and I was feeling really drained. I decided there was no better time to dig into the dates and PB I had ever-so-expertly attached to my handlebars. I was only going to eat three of them, and save the last two for the end of the bike ride. But it was like I got hit with a bolt of energy the second the peanut butter hit my tongue. I started salivating and gobbled up the whole bag! I guzzled it down with my coconut water/water mix, then proceeded to pass three people sprinting uphill.
I definitely didn’t push it the whole time for the bike leg. I used the flat/downhill portions to recover from my climbs, rather than using it to gain speed. I’m not sure if that made it any easier for me, but I was wiped, and it was all I could do at the time. I went way slower than I wanted to for the bike leg, but I will say it was the most fun part of the triathlon for me. So that makes up for it!
Bike Time: 53:37 – 96/111
I also managed to successfully unclip without falling! Can you imagine how embarrassing that would have been? Check that off the worry list!
Transition #2 was pretty smooth. I struggled a little to get my bike racked again, and I wished I’d gone with the indented boxes they had instead.
My legs actually felt pretty good as soon as I hit the pavement… but that was about to change…
Transition #2 Time: 1:30 – 99/111
I grabbed a gatorade when I entered the run course and tried to run and drink it at the same time. Bad idea. It went up my nose and ended up throwing it away. I probably could have used it too. As soon as I hit that steep hill, I immediately started wheezing and seriously doubting I was going to be able to run the whole 5k. About 1k into it, I took a 30 sec walking break. Regained my composure, and proceeded to run the rest of the loop at what felt like a slow pace. I got passed by a lot of people!
Finishing the first loop, happy to be running on flat pavement for a second…
Then re-entering the woods to run up that huge hill again…
When I re-entered the course, I grabbed two cups of water and stopped to drink them. Then I proceeded to walk up the giant hill (helllloooo leg pain!). But after that, I got a little spurt of energy and felt pretty good for that last loop.
I tried to sprint to the finish, but I don’t think it worked.
The only thing that kept me going was knowing I was almost done!!!
Run Time: 33:27 – 94/111
And then I felt like collapsing.
I’m not trying to be cheeky there, that’s my “near death” look.
However, I think my biggest smile was post-race.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance. Okay, I’m just happy I finished it! But I knew going in I was going to be at the bottom of the pack. I was racing alongside some pretty stellar athletes. I really just wanted to do it in under 2 hours, and close to 1:50 is good enough for me. Especially considering I had to deal with an injury during training!
Chris and I afterwards. I look super awkward in this photo, maybe because I can’t move my limbs.
Then I hit up the free barbecue!
A BIG thanks to my photog for the day
Then we proceeded to drive home in a random torrential downpour and I stretched properly, ate lots and plopped on the couch. I’ve got more food photos from today (including the biggest dessert ever!). But I’ll post them all tomorrow.
Oh…and will I do another triathlon? Not this summer. Duathlons may be in my future next year. Chris and I were talking about doing one together, or as a team (I run, he bikes). I still hope to do a 10k in September and a 5k in October. For now, I’m really just looking forward to getting on some long bike rides and running the trails around my place again – without a schedule!
THANK YOU for all of your wonderful support!!! There were definitely a few times during the race I thought of the blog and how wonderful this experience has been for me. I’m super excited to get my new blog off the ground soon! (next week!)
Hope y’all had a great weekend!!!