Where did July go?? Yikes! It feels like I was racing just yesterday! Oh wait, that was the race simulation day with our club... So I better get this race report written before another one comes looming over me. Here we go!
*scratching head* Wait, that was quite a while ago... Where did my memory go?? Jeez, I'm getting old.
Belwood, Belwood, Belwood... I think I remember now...
Second race this year for me in the Multisport series. As I said a few months ago, I decided to take the year off from long distance racing and focus on getting stronger and faster (maybe). Less pressure, more fun. And get the hips and knees working again! That's THE mission.
IM Muskoka 70.3 swim and relay/volunteering adventure and needless to say, I was pretty pumped about it. However, a little cautious and nervous too, because I had not run more than 5K this year and this was going to be a longer type of sprint tri, with a 30K bike and a 7.5K run. *gulp* But I have to trust the process and put faith in my body's ability to overcome. I could not have been more careful until now, and worst case scenario I'd have to walk a few kilometres. No big deal, it's not a marathon after all.
With this "plan" in mind, I managed to let go of most of the stress and embrace the "whatever" attitude that has been driving my season thus far. Zin was going to be my sherpa for the day and together, we woke up at the crack of dawn to drive the 70km from our house to the Belwood Conservation Area. This race is of my favourites and I could not wait to get the day started! Once on site, I was surprised to see so many people compared to last year. The field was packed and as usual, my AG is one of the most competitive. Of course, all my expectations went out the window.
I racked my bike in transition and set up my little mat, then went to pick up my bib, chip and get body marked. A lot of members of our club were there, so I was chatting left and right, which kept me relaxed. A girl told me in transition that she knew me from reading my blog. Well, hi there stranger!! Leave me a comment *wink wink* (ok, this happened after the race, but most likely I'll forget to talk about it once I get there, so I am taking the opportunity now).
Then I squeezed myself into my wetsuit and joined the troops by the lake. I was going to be in the second wave, along with the older guys, and from my experience at the races that I've done this season, it's been working pretty well for me. These guys aren't the most aggressive, and they swim rather carefully. Once the horn went off, I put on my best motor boat impersonation and tried not to swallow too much water while grunting underwater. It felt like a super hard swim catching feet here and there but mostly a solo effort. I looked at my watch coming out of the water: 15:00 min - very happy with the result! Quite the difference from the first swim in Woodstock.
average of 32.5kph. I kept my expectations in check though. I was there to give it my all, but not die trying to beat my PB.
Back in T2, I did a quick body check - all systems a-ok. It was a scorcher of a day, so I decided to take my cap with me. I was also racing in my brand new Coeur Sports team kit and I was feeling all kinds of fast and fabulous in it, just like the pros (hey, guys, have you seen my logos?? ;-)). The cap was, of course, matching my kit and my nails, which I had done for the first time this year - just for the occasion. I may not be a girly girl, but I could not pass on the opportunity to wear ALL THE PINK. Did I just say that out loud??
I stopped looking at my watch and went by feel. I've started doing this more and more lately since I don't have a lot of expectations and it's been quite liberating. I am learning to stay in the moment, listen to my footsteps and my breathing, taking it all in and just enjoy being able to move, you know. If I were to start thinking about the heat, the wind, what could happen to my legs, what happened last year, what went wrong, etc, I find that it completely ruins the experience. Who wants to run cranky anyway?
I took water at each station - one cup to throw on my face, and one to throw on my back. Whatever I managed to drink was good enough. By the turn around, I had put on the turbo and I was feeling awesome. Let's take a look at the effort thanks to Strava...
Eventually I saw the finish line and I was pretty relieved to be reaching the end of my longest run without pain in my knees. I kept running strong and I was so glad to reach the chute, when all of a sudden a lady passed me and I saw that she was in my age group. She was sprinting hard and I tried to stay with her, but I had no more gears, alas. I finished just a few seconds behind her, without regrets.
Julie waited for me and told me that she chased me the entire day and thanked me for making her work hard. Remember the lady I passed on my bike in the first 5K? Well, it was her and she had made it a mission to beat me. This absolutely made my day. Knowing that I was someone's competition made this race even more special.
5 minutes slower than last year, all lost on the run. At the end of the day I had an awesome swim, an awesome bike and a decent run, and I met my goal of running under 6 min/km. For my longest run this year, it was not too shabby, me thinks.
And that's all folks! A little abrupt, I know, but I've delayed this post long enough, plus I'm too sleepy to keep writing. See you next time!!