Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hinton Mountainview Olympic Tri

Perfect race day conditions today. Warm, cloudless, and only a hint of wind...suweeeeet!
We had a 8:50 start time and I was thrilled to be able to sleep in until 7am and take my time in getting ready to go. Had our breakkie and coffee and gathered up stuff to head over to the rec centre for the race start.
I had submitted 29 mins as a swim time and was in a lane with 3 other girls. They had it set up really well with 2 people starting from each end and the first 2 leading out 5 seconds before the second 2. I was one of the first two to go and I knew during the warm up I was going to have a great swim. I felt strong and smooth in the water and it wasn't long before I started passing. I ended up passing all of the others at least 5-6 times. It was a bit frustrating at times when I would be on someone's feet for almost 25m only to have them push off at the wall rather than let me pass. Ah well. I am so used to swimming by myself I get a little territorial in the lane :-)
The swim went quickly and before I knew it, it was time to hop out and head to the bike. I had a decent transition, although I struggled with my helmet strap and realized later that it was not wound through properly.
Off I went, onto one of the most beautiful and challenging short courses I have done. The first 20km are all pretty much a gradual uphill, finishing with a climb up Obed Summit, the highest point on the Yellowhead highway. I was feeling really good, and kept my gearing light and my cadence high pretty much the entire way. After the turnaround I turned it on and was flying. The downhill and slight tailwind helped :-) but I felt like a rock star. My ride time was 1:16 by my bike computer, an average speed of 31.1 km/hr.
I came off the bike feeling good and had a quick T2, other than struggling to get my still wet and sockless feet into my runners. I had tightened the quicklaces after my warm up run in the morning and shouldn't have. The run started well, I kept my steps small and did the first km in 4mins. Then the trail took an incline and continued going up and up for 1.5km. At one point I thought I was at the top and came around a bend to see another incline...eeep. Km number 2 was 4mins 50...ouch. After the hill I felt like hell. I was breathing so heavy, my calves were tight and my foot was hurting from too tight laces. I stopped briefly and fixed my shoe, trying to pull myself together. The road then went into the woods and turned into a single track trail. It was kind of run! I was pushing as much as I could, but was having a hard time getting my breathing under control with all the undulations... I finally reached the turnaround and was relieved to know that there would be some downhill to make up time on. I managed to find another gear and pick up the pace on the way back. I finally came out of the trail and was soon on the downhill. The first km down felt great, I was flying. Then my legs started to talk back and I was ready to be done with this downhill. I reached the bottom with another km to go and was worried my legs were going to bail on me. I held on and was able to push through to the finish. I saw D there taking pics and coasted through the finish chute. This is the first race I have done (including Ironmans) where I did not sprint the finish. It was a conscious choice, I remember thinking it was not necessary. But as it turns out it was the difference between being the first female and the second. The girl that beat me by 2 seconds actually finished after me, as she was in a heat after, so I had no idea. It was a good reminder to me about finishing strong, no matter what! There is never a time in a race where it is ok to coast. My goal is always to give 100% from start to finish. I pulled out about 8 seconds early and it bit me in the butt. Good lesson.
We stuck around and had bbq's burgers (veggie for me!) and collected our prizes for winning our respective age groups- bottles of wine...yeah!
D had a stellar race and ran a 37min 10km on a tough course! That guy just continues to amaze me. He won outright and I was so happy for him it took away the sting of the 2 second bite :-)
I am overall very happy with my race. I felt great on the swim and bike and had splits I feel good about. I need to work a bit on my run, the hill really sapped my energy and I was struggling at that high intensity. I have been doing a lot of running with clients and groups, and it is all slow. My own runs have suffered because I am tired and have not been pushing enough speed. All of this can and will be remedied and hopefully the next race I do I'll be able to run to my full potential.

16th Overall
2:31:13 Amber Dawn MORRIS 1/6 F3039 Swim 18th 27:42 1:51 Bike 20th 1:17:24 31.0 Run 10th 46:08 4:37

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