Friday, August 5, 2016

2016 Kingston Triathlon and Pokehunting Race Report

Last year I accompanied my hubby to Kingston and he raced the Long Course triathlon. We drove the bike course together and I was able to spend a weekend on site to appreciate the city and its surroundings (Wolfe Island is great for biking! I still have a QOM there by the way, ha! Don't you get any ideas...). Look at all the Zzzz's!
But since the triathlon is not on Wolfe Island, let's move on. I decided last year that I would race there one day, a bucket list item for sure. I could not be happier when Zin decided to return this year and because I follow him everywhere like a good sherpa, I signed up for the shorter version of the race, which was still the longer breed of sprint triathlon: 750m swim, 30km bike, 7.2km run. I was a little apprehensive because the longest I had run this year was 6km, and I was hoping that my knees were going to take me 1.2km farther without much complaining. Overall I was in a good head space and without competitive goals this year, I was only looking for a happy finish.

The Friday before the race I took the day off work again, so I can have a mega long weekend (Monday we were also off for Civic Holiday) and went on another bike ride with Mellen. This time we planned to go to Schomberg and ride about 78km. Mellen had ridden 160km the day before, so I wasn't too scared of the speed she'd impose on me with that many kms in her legs. Easy, peasy so I thought. In our enthusiasm though, we decided to go a bit too far north before turning towards Schomberg and got stuck in no man's land, which added approximately a 23km detour to our route. Besides, once we got to Schomberg the usual road was in construction and we had to take another detour...Oh well, we made it, we had a coffee at the Scruffy Duck restaurant (the only one open on a Friday, why??) and a Bounce protein ball (those are pretty awesome if you've never tried them). We realized that the Bounce headquarters for Canada were in the same place as the Scruffy Duck and they were the most appropriate snack that we could buy there.
Oh Scruffy, what a mighty duck you are!
Bounce baby, bounce!
Taking over a Pokemon Gym may not have been in the plans, but it was too tempting.
Sorry for the detour to the race report, but it was worth mentioning that I went into the race with a few more km in the legs than I had planned for... Thankfully Saturday we drove there, mostly, and I could rest them. Soo... after a long and painful drive, we made it to the race site with 15 minutes to spare for kit pickup. That was quick and easy, but I spent a little more time around the harbourfront to catch a bunch of Pokemon. Yup, that place was Pokemon Central apparently and you would not have recognized the transition area if you saw it. People and Pokemon everywhere!! There was even a Pokemon themed fundraiser in the middle of it.
View from transition. Gotta catch them all!
Transition? What transition?!
Is that a rat in my portapotty?
 After catching enough of them digital creatures to satisfy my appetite (mostly Magikarp, Psyduck, Poliwag, Staryu and Squirtles), we went to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Howard Johnson Inn and got a cool little room on the second floor, super clean, with all amenities included and a mighty AC unit, which we had to switch off after it turned our room into a freezer. Because we skipped lunch, we were quite hungry, so we didn't lose much time and went back to the waterfront to find a place to eat dinner. We pretty much stepped into the first place that we found, which served mostly Mexican style seafood dishes, conveniently located on top of a lured Pokestop.
Tacos for days!
We went for ALL THE TACOS and supplemented with a salad and guac on the side. It was so-so in my opinion, but definitely hit the spot.

We didn't spend too much time on our feet because at least one of us was thinking about podium. Ok, just one of us, who am I kidding. So we went back to the hotel, hoping to find a channel that would show Luke Aikin's jump from 25000 feet without a parachute. By the time we got back though, it was already on You Tube. Watch here if you are inclined.

I don't even remember what we ended watching on TV, but I think we switched the lights off around 10:45pm and we woke up at 5:30am... maybe? Jeez it's such a blur already. All I remember is that Zin wanted us to be in transition by 7am, and after turning around the block a few times to find parking, we made it on time. We went to pick up our tracking chips and get body marked, then chatted with the many friends who were also attending the race.
Kimtor ready to race and volunteer!
Selfie with the Kyrasdair.
Kyra and Alasdair, serial racers.
We went to the nearby Tim Hortons to pick up breakfast and I packed on the goodies because I still had 2h ahead before the start of my race. Back in transition, I set up my little spot and chatted some more. Found Mari and Janet, as well as Nathalie, who were all going to do the "little" tri with me. I was still very sleepy by then and to be honest, not very motivated. I even joked with Mari and Janet that we should rather go as a relay team, but after I realized that they were dead serious to switch, I backed out of my proposal. I still wanted to do this race, sleepwalking or not.
Long course guys racked in the sprint area... hmm.
Colour of the day, pink!
After getting all my stuff in order, I put on my wetsuit, went to cheer on Zin and Kim who were coming through T1, then headed over to the lake for a warmup swim. Once I jumped in, I could not believe it how warm the water was. For Lake Ontario, it was almost a miracle, or maybe that's what happens when you start behind 150 athletes from the Long Course. :-)

I was in the third wave, and the gun went off at 9:06. I was already in a much more enthusiastic mood and ready to take on the course! I went straight for the first green buoy and caught some feet for a bit. After making the first turn, I was a little more lonely since many athletes were way ahead of me by then and I was stuck with a few breast strokers who were going for my ribs. I managed to swim around them, then concentrated on the battle with the chop. After the third turn buoy, all was smooth sailing back to the shore and I was very much enjoying every minute of it. I came out of the water with a huge smile on my face, despite feeling rather dizzy and wiping out on the ramp (thank you volunteers and Hector for helping me out!). Swim time, 16:43.

I had one of my slowest transitions ever. Just when I made it back to my spot, a girl came out of the water rather panicked and asked me to help her get the wetsuit off. Her zipper was stuck and after struggling with it for a few seconds, I managed to get it to open. I told myself, she better not be in my AG, lol. Eventually I got moving as well and then spent another 30sec at the mounting line, struggling to get on my bike. The chain was jammed and I had not checked it when I racked it. Oh well, after a big push, praying that I don't break it, I finally put it in the right gear in order to make forward progress.

Hubby had given me a power number to try to hold for the ride (near my FTP), but not only that number felt rather unattainable on the bike without blowing up, I had plans involving my heart rate instead. I really, really wanted to have a pleasant race and I was already thinking about my run.
So after passing "the" hill and saw my HR around 175, I decided to bring it under 170 for the rest of the bike leg. I think it was the right decision because I had a blast. I played leapfrog with a few girls, I didn't care about those passing me, aside from one dude that was veering so much in and out of his lane, he was making me nervous. I tried to kill the downhills as usual. I seriously bike for the downhills, I think I mentioned this before. It's the only way to redeem yourself after being constantly passed on the uphills, right?
I had a gel and some water about halfway and concentrated on keeping the rubber side down. Since the ride was an out and back, it went by really fast. I finished this leg in just over 1h, then managed to get lost in transition, again!!
Yep. Wrong row. And since mine was pretty hard to access, I beat another record for the slowest transition ever. I should have had my other half of muffin and finish my breakfast lemonade while I was at it. But I found my bearings eventually, went around the round benches Pokestop which thankfully was not lured at the moment and changed into my running shoes. Took my cap, race belt and my chews and off I went. Where was that run exit again?? Oh yes, towards the fountain Pokestop. You Pokemon, get out of my way!!

The run was completely in unknown territory, so I followed the crowd. I quickly discovered that it was a beauty, very scenic along the lake, with well stocked water stations and a lot of people cheering along. I was having such a great time, I almost regretted not doing the long course. That is, until we hit "the" other hill before the turn around. I didn't even notice that we ran by "the" Kingston maximum security penitentiary where all the bad boys used to be locked up until 2013 when it closed. But I did notice the helipad and wondered if it was a hospital or some government building. Not far, I suppose... Did you know that Kingston had 7 Correctional Institutions?
My goal with this run, was of course, to finish. I chose not to look at my watch at all and go by feel. I was so happy to be there and race, nothing else really mattered. And so I ran happy, giving thumbs up and thanks to those who were cheering, encouraging runners when I was passing them and saying "good job" when they were passing me. I took water at each station, drank half of the cup, the rest went on my chest and back. I ate my Gu chomps at the turn around, ran back up the hill and down, letting the gravity do its thing to settle my heart rate. I promised myself not to walk during the run unless absolutely necessary. I had many of these occasions in the past when I had a stomach cramp or worse, knee pain, but this time there was no reason. I gave high fives to Nathalie, Mari, Janet, Alasdair and Kyra. I saw Matt, our club coach and friend zooming by. He was really killing it. I kept wondering if Zin was having a good day. I was a little worried to tell you the truth, he seemed to me far back from the leaders, but in fact was just a perception because people from 3 races were mixed together.

I started thinking that the ideal scenario was be that he'd catch me in the last 100 meters and we'd run together to the finish (run time 43 minutes). But I crossed the finish line ahead of him, hoping that he would follow not far behind. Thankfully I did not get to worry for too long, as he arrived merely 5-10 minutes later. I was elated to find out that he actually finished second in his AG, improving in all disciplines by a big margin since the previous year. Here he is with Matt, who took 1st in his AG! FMCT on the podium again, booyah!!
We waited around for the sprint and long course awards, and I took the opportunity to hunt Pokemons and talk strategy with Matt in leveling up, taking over gyms and evolving for most points. This was serious business, according to this pic.
We also spent some time with Nathalie, Kyra and Alasdair who ended being the racer of the day! Zin won a cute Timex watch and I got 2 dozens Magikarp and a cute medal because the organizers realized that us Sprint Tri people did not get any for "The Legend" and it was a mistake. Better late than never, for sure. Hey, just for the medal I will be back!
I am kidding. The medal was a nice surprise, but I was not even expecting one.  I also finished 5th out of 12 in my AG with a total time of 2:07:24, which was another pleasant surprise. I will definitely be back, medal or not. I absolutely loved everything about this course, and the Pokehunting was the cherry on the cake. Always such a pleasure to race with Multisport Canada, and Steve Fleck even got my name right. All in all, a very successful weekend and I had just about the perfect race. No pain, no disappointment, and so much fun!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha! Love our new name, Kyrasdair! :) And I bike for the downhills too!!! Best part of every ride. :) So great to see you out there again. You did awesome. I look forward to seeing you on your birthday at the Barrelman!!