My training, racing, things that go through my head, memorable moments, and such.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

IXxxxxtaaapaaa report

Race number 2 of the season is over and done! It was a long hot trip, so I am happy to say I had a pretty solid race to make it worthwhile. This was my third finish of a Continental cup, and I think I am getting used to the Olympic distance.

Warming up for the race I felt pretty bad. I felt heavy, slow, tired and shaky. And too nervous! Luckily (other than maybe the too nervous part), most people didn't seem to be feeling too good either. It is very hard to feel good in 35 degrees and almost 100% humidity. You pretty much just want to lie motionless in the shade. Probably partly why a lot of the locals were overweight.
Kyle pre-race. He doesn't look too nervous. 

Me, pre-race

The Men's race started at 10:00 am, and the women went off three minutes later. The waves weren't too bad for the start and the exit, so that was good. It sucks when you are supposed to be racing and you get owned by a wave on the start or the exit. 
Men's start
Before our race started, Manon and I discussed what the best path to the first buoy was going to be, so when I ran into the water I had a pretty good line going. 

Manon and I discussing

Unfortunately the first wave hit, and with my short legs I kind of just belly flopped. 
That's me in the middle
Somehow that ended up being advantageous (perhaps because while the other girls were still trying to run, I was dolphin diving/swimming), and i was the first person to the far buoy! Hooray! Unfortunately after that girls started passing me, and I wasn't ever able to get into a pack. No excuses, they were just stronger swimmers than me. I ended up swimming alone, just behind front pack, making random futile surges in an effort to catch them. The run out of the water was ridiculously painful. I'll spare you the picture of me running with a pain face. I knew that because the run was so long, I would have the opportunity to make up time lost in the swim. I must have done something right, as I tied with another girl for fastest T1! Woot!
Run to transition
Once on the bike I felt a lot better, and began to hammer to catch the girls in front. I caught two girls, and immediately dropped one of them. The other stayed on, but when I got her to take a pull, I realized she must have been new to racing, as she sat up on her hoods and we slowed down very noticeably. I ended up biking almost the full first lap (20k) solo... well solo with tag along. The front pack got their act together after a couple of minutes, and so I had no chance of catching them. No Spirig trains in this race alas. 

Shortly after being caught
After a chase pack caught me, the bike remained equally frustrating, as everybody was in "fear of the run" mode, and refused to do any work. I guess because the bike felt so deathly hot, nobody wanted to waste any energy in order to be able to survive the run. Basically if I were to sum up the pack in one word, it would be "pathetic". We are in a triathlon people! Luckily at the end of the second lap myself and a mexican girl broke away, and made quite a bit of time in the last 3-5 is kilometres.

Start of run
Manon having an amazing race
Run started. I felt like I was going to die. I had mentally prepared for that though, so I didn't really get too worked up about it. The phrase on repeat in my head was "slow and steady wins the race". This kept me from picking it up, which definitely would have caused me to pass out later on, and it made me feel better about my shuffle. "Just shuffling along, gradually gradually catching people. "

They provided bags of water every 500 meters or so, and so I grabbed two every time. I am positive I wouldn't have been able to finish the run if they hadn't of had so much, so THANK YOU race organizers for that!
The water bags
Grant Burwash

Aruss going around for another lap

On the last lap I knew I couldn't pick it up any, even though I wanted to. I stumble twice at the stations, and I felt my legs getting pretty wobbly. I had promised myself that I wouldn't finish the race if I was overheating too much, as I didn't want to give myself brain damage (It is a legit concern. I learned about it in physiology).  I really wanted to finish the race though, so I was just keeping it steady. At the very end I felt my body go through a small wave of "the cold feeling", which definitely means bad things are happening, but luckily I crossed the line and got to join the Med tent party! 

Me finishing

They covered me in cold towels after the race
Med tent party

I ended up placing 9th overall, which I am happy with. Top 10 woot! Huge congrats to Kyle Jones who placed 1st with a very fast run split in the heat! Also congrats to Brent who came third, Andrew Russell who placed 5th, and Andrew Yorke 9th. Also amazing race by Manon Letourneau who had a great swim and run and took home Bronze! And congrats to all the other canadians! And thanks to Coaches RossAnn and Austin for the support, as well as momma and poppa for the airmiles and the opportunity.

This guy ran the race with a snake on his neck... maybe he killed his baby crocodile in the race last year. 

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