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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Edmonton World Cup

Sport is strange. I was thinking about it leading up to the race in Edmonton this past weekend, and it really is crazy what goes into racing. I'm not talking about training though, I'm talking about the time-consuming rituals and small nuances that go towards increasing the odds of having a good race. Things such as compression socks and specific foods, going to foreign places and spending nearly the entire time in the hotel out of the sun, stretching and planning, drinking electrolytes all day long, and only small amounts of training with just enough accelerations. If you do everything right you may have that amazing day that you were hoping for. But that is rare. You can however lessen the chances of a bad race, which makes it worth the effort.

We got to see Alexander Hinton have one of those amazing days. The kid out-ran past and present Olympians to come 2nd in his first ever World Cup! It was insane to watch!

My race went pretty well. For those of you who don't know, the race in Edmonton was a sprint-distance triathlon, which I haven't done for three or more years (I normally race Olympic distance). The swim was awesome, short and sweet! I had one of my best swims of my life and came out of the water in 4th or 5th. I was super excited about that because swimming lately has been on and off. One day I'll have a breakthrough awesome practice, and then the next week and a half will be fail swims. Needless to say I was really nervous about the swim. Especially because such a small field combined with a fail swim could equal a solo race.

I'm the one leaning back

The bike was awesome but really hard. There were four laps, and each lap had two big hills in it. The first two laps felt pretty bad as seems to be my standard for races, but the last two felt much better. There were two bike primes of $500 each on the first and third lap, and my plan was to go for at least one of them, but on the third lap I completely forgot until everyone started sprinting. On the last lap I had a scare where at the bottom of the last hill my chain fell off, but somehow I calmly levered it back on without having to stop, thank the lord. On the top of the hill I was going around the 180 and my wheel got stuck in the crack between the road and the gutter! There was a moment where I was completely certain I was going down and that the whole pack was coming with me. Somehow I managed to pop out of it despite the screech of my wheels, and as I rode down the hill to catch up I gave myself a "GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME COATES" mental-yell.

T2 (photo credits to Arnold Lim obviously)

My run wasn't what I was hoping for. I know what it feels like to run a 5k off the bike all-out, but I simply couldn't get into that gear on Sunday. I pushed as hard as I could up the two 800m hills, and tried my best to run as fast as I could down them, but I really found it hard to get to the level I wanted to. I think that this is most likely because I have barely done any speed work since getting back into training, and that I'll definitely need to have a lot of good quality run sessions before I am able to run as fast as I know I can. (Let's not talk about how fast Ellen ran her 5k off of NO hard sessions!)

photo cred: Jairus Streight
Either way I finished the race in 10th, which checked off my goal of a top 10 finish and I got some prize money! Hooray! Thanks Edmonton for another awesome race!


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