The swim started like all the rest of my races do. The gun goes off, I dive in, start swimming, and panic sets in. Sometimes it takes minutes or just seconds. Today it was seconds. I stop, stand up, gain my composure, and get back to it. The rest of the swim went well with the exception of feeling like I was swimming on my own for the most part. Coming out of the water I fumbled around trying to find my leash. I remember putting it on my collar before the race, so where is it now? I finally find it after running most of the way up the chute into T1. Now at the bike I quickly put everything on and head out for the bike with no more mishaps.
The bike is a 2 loop hilly course. The bike is definately my strongest of the 3 events so, with that in mind I decided to push it hard from the get go. I quickly started passing people but found my heartrate climbing into the high 170's. The second loop is where I knew I started out to hard. Half way through the second lap I had 2 people pass me back and my heartrate had fallen into the low 160's for the rest of the ride. Coming into T2 I was all alone and sitting in 13th place. I quickly racked my bike, bent down, put on one shoe, and then had my quad go into spasms. There I am all alone in T2 with one shoe on and one shoe off just standing there. Nowhere to hide. Finally it relaxes a bit and I am able to put on my other shoe and head out on the run.
The run is 2 loops on trail with most of it in the shade. The leg didn't seem to bother me after a few minutes of running and I was able to settle into my pace. I had one person pass me early on the run and then found myself alone until the second loop. The second loop was a bit easier/harder because I found myself asking as I passed or got passed, "are these people on their first or second lap." Not once did I look at my heartrate on the run. I was too scared of what I might find. With the finish line 1km away I picked it up and finished strong 17th overall.
I have raced this event 2 previous times and had pb's in both the swim and run today. All in all it was a good day.
One of the most interesting aspects of my training this year has been the signs warning of `Bear in Area' .. which has a way of motivating me to pick up my cadence either on the bike or run like no coach ever has!
I also wanted to add that Andreas ( my partner) decked out the kids (all 4) in all the Polar gear( sans cap which I adorned) to cheer on everyone at world's ....it was quite the site! very cute.....many people commented on it ....especially one of my 2 yr olds Mikaila, with the Polar jacket on .....it was like a tent dress with rolled up sleeves with the logo "listen to your body" covering her whole body ! He forgot the camera in the car.....,so, we'll have to re -create that scene at another race.
Speaking of listening to you body.........my heart rate in the race at Worlds remained in a relatively good zone, because you can't reach the upper echelons of heart rate when you've got bronchits......so, thanks to the monitor it probably helped get me to the finish line
First off congrats to Charlene and anyone else that has recently raced........:)
I'm still alive after an interesting experience of racing ....if you can call it that at World's at English Bay.
The weather and the water was by all accounts a real challlenge for the ITU with regards to the age group races on the Saturday. (and Friday)
COLD waters ,chop, and current forced the organizers to scramble and make a decision starting with women 50 and over and all Men
to race a Duathlon.
The Swim was technically 1100m (what the sprint racers had to endure on the friday without the chop,wind, strong currrent (....but, when was a sprint race 1100m ?opps! ) but it was more like god knows........ We were the 2nd last group to enter the water and right way we could tell the conditions were getting worse .I passed people on their backs, swimming breast stroke ,and ,generally floundering, including myself ,in absolute freezing waters . One kayaker manning the race was having so much trouble hanging around a bouy that was madly swinging every which way, (like a large fish attempting to get loose from a net ), that, he flipped....poor bugger......I laughed , then started coughing uncontrollably, (my fault .....being in very cold waters with bronchitis).
The bike was very entertaining ......lots of drafting and groups .....by the time we (the old ladies hit the road ) it was full on .....like the good old days racing Pro......except I didn't have the gas in my legs and my lungs were absolutely burning and I was hacking. Generally speaking I had fun on the bike .....I love Stanley Park with no cars , you get to pretend you're in the tour de france .....yes , I know......tour de france for beginners.with no bike handling skills, but, it's still a thrill.
....mental note.....never race a triathlon with bronchitis in the cold even if it's World's and your kids woke up bloody early to see you cross the finish line..
Then, I got to the run.........pain FULLexpereince.... ( I have a pulled calf muscle /achilles which I had done in a previous race in May)...couldn't feel my feet , good thing ! yet the people cheering were getting excited and my kids at that point were sceaming at the top of their lungs....whether in frustration/crying or joyful glee....who cares! the racers were lapping it up.....then a very strange thing occurred .....50 yr olds were passing me like I was standing still and men were running the other direction at full tilt like a swarm of bees after a loud bang....things got confusing out there. The race course turned into people running everywhere, even , spectators.
My feeling in my legs returned .......bad thing.....I wanted to run on stilts and no feeling ....it's better than the pain of a calf and achilles......I call that being comfortably numb...........anyway, got to the finish, and saw my 4 little faces ....MUMMY!. best part .....they think you're the greatest ....even if you've had a shocker. I came 43rd. I guess ......it's all an experience.....this one ranks in my all time yucks top 10 list . My partner , Andreas, said after the race " you have an all time top 10 worst list ? Then after listening to me hack and wheeze....he said ....".maybe you should go back to the Doctor."...I laughed and started choking........and said "and......say what?" WE then both looked at each other and started laughing ....me choking/laughiing.....yes, that would be a real good story to tell the doctor , who had already given me 2 sets of antibiotics (it's viral bronchitis....they didn't work ) and told me to rest....yes CRAZY! Well doc, I decided to go into the ocean for a swim and then get on bike for a ride with wet clothes on and...........you get the picture.
Instead, the nest day, I endured the humiliation of going to physio the next day and my therapist asked" what's the numbers on the backs of your legs? '''oh" I said...." my kids were drawing on my legs" !
This weekend I'm doing a training race in Whistler called Comfortably NUMB 25km....it's an awesome trail race that covers the northern part of Garabaldi Provincial park . 25km of mountain bike trail that the Whistler Mountain bike assoc created and Kevin Titus ( a great trail runner / winner of Knee Knackers and Vancouver Marathons) thought it would be great to have a running race on this trail and it is a Epic race.....beautiful scenery. As is Rubble creek in September , southern part of Garabaldi ( also 25km) absolutely stunning trail race.....which I hope to do as well.
Some photos of Lees Triathlon 2 wks prior to World's in Stanley Park. I crossed the line after the first 2 males....fun!
Enjoy....hope you're all well......and maybe see some of you in Osooyos in July.
And ......does anyone have the password for the shutterfly on the Polar web site?
Well, it’s race time again…this Sunday June 21st I get to race in my personal all time favorite sporting event. The Aquathon.
In this race I swim 1000 meters in Buntzen Lake…yup…I hope it is at least 10 degrees…then get out of that artic, glacier fed wonderland and run into the “undulating” (ß sarcasm) trails of Buntzen lake…for a 10km hammer fest….that heart rate monitor is going to being going CRAZY out there!
No bike…My kind of race.
If your smart and don’t feel like catching your death racing penguins in the water, you can just run the 10km as a running race.
Well, another world championship in the history books for me.
I woke up race morning, had everything packed up and ready the night before (except that I had to download my race song to pump me up for the event, and I did that at 5am).
Thank goodness I have such a great family and wonderful friends. I had my cousin, also known as my race captain and sherpa, come to the house and pick me up at 5am (On her weekend …) my mom was up as well to see me off…we drove up to Traci’s house (she was 18th in her heat the day before…not bad at all!) Helen who I run with as well was waiting there to come down and heckle.
My stomach was doing back flips as we drove down First Ave…got to our prime parking spot…I headed on in to transition.
I was VERY lucky on my bike rack as there were only four bikes in total. Other racks had at least eight bikes per rack. I got all my gear ready…walked around, figured out were I needed to go for which run in, bike out…swim in…all that good stuff. It is like no other race…I get to walk up and down the isles looking at girls from Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Australia even Mexico !
I packed up my wetsuit, took one last look at my gear and then with my pals at my side, we walked “the Green Mile” to the swim start.
When I got to the beach, I saw my WHOLE family and all my friends there…some with tired sleepy eyes and very large coffees!
There were so many people there to watch and support me in this event that I was overwhelmed.
I got my suit on and jumped in the water for a quick warm up, or cool off as it was 12.5 degrees of FREEZING, got out…and lined up for the start…96 girls jammed onto the pontoon, looking as the wind picked up and made the water turn into a white cap washing machine. Gun went off, and we were in it…The temperature did not bother me until about 600 meters, that was where about I lost the feeling in my hands, and the waves were just everywhere, I took in so much water that I was having trouble finding oxygen. I drank so much of that lovely salty motor oil, I was struggling out there, and I knew it…but I pushed through, I just said get it done, try to relax, you’re a good swimmer you can handle this.
After passing by a bunch of girls I was just behind the leaders out of the water, I was happy with that. Ran into transition, Focus...BIKE.
The transition from swim to bike with frozen hands and frozen feet was not smooth whatsoever…I fumbled out of the suit knocking all my gear off my bike…attempted to put on my jacket (had to stay warm as possible) the first loop of the bike I was fumbling with my jacket trying to do the zipper up, ending up just tucking it in to my shorts…put on gloves….and rode.
I came around the corner and there was a CRAZY group on my left side standing on the side of the course yelling and screaming and jumping around…oh gees…they are all here with me…made me smile…
I passed people going up the hill at Prospect Point and hammer pasted more on the down hill…Four loops later…I was heading in for the run…wait…where are my feet…oh dear…they are frozen solid!
Into transition, that crazy group of people were all standing at the fence yelling at me...I felt like an animal at the zoo…bike to run was much better the swim to bike, tossed the jacket and gloves, put on the runners, chucked the helmet grabbed my POLAR visor and I was outta there!
As for my feet…I was not sure if they were there or if I left them in my bike shoes…just ran as fast as I could...until the cramps hit. Had swallowed so much water that I got the side cramps really bad, I just tried to relax and let them work out. They did, and each lap I ran a little faster and a little faster…by the last lap I had my grove back…I ran down a lot of girls, when I finished I knew I did the best race I could. And it was all because of the family and friends I had there cheering me on. I love those crazy people.
I ended up 50th at a clocking of 2:16:23. My goal was 2:20.
I volunteered yesterday for the event. In a briefing to the team managers, they were told that the swim portion of the Age Group race would be shortened to 900m if the water temperature did not warm up before tomorrow. Somehow hard to imagine this happening given that the sun has yet to make an appearance, and it's a big ocean
I have been meaning to get a few pitures up from the Westside Cycling Classic .... Sorry ladies, I was not able to get close enough to Trevor Linden to get a picture of him in his riding gear. I guess the weather was better in Vancouver compared to that in Oliver, albeit still on the cool side.
The Bike Gallery did a wonderful job wth the wheel support and made some new friends as I worked the Polar tent on their behalf. A good day of racing, although I did overhear one lady say "I hoped to see more crashes" - I wondered if she was always that positive . The Symmetrics team were the big winners for the elite.
Well, I am finally getting around to posting a little note on the Oliver Half Iron. I am starting to wonder if the Rain Gods have started to follow me around, as the last three major races I have done have been absolutely horrid with regards to the weather. The Oliver Half Iron was no exception. The trip down on Saturday was great, with sunny skies and a temperature of about 29 degrees - perfect for racing! We registered loitered around the community center for awhile, and then it was off to Nk'Mip Golf Course for a pre-race dinner and get together with about 25 people from the Balance Point Racing Team. About half of them were racing, and the other half were spending the weekend in the area to get some training in on the IMC course. Before dinner I did a little blurb on Polar and the cycling and running monitors and set a few people up with the demos to train with over the remainder of the weekend. Then it was off to bed to try and get a good nights sleep.
The next morning, to my dismay, the sun had dissapeared and had been replaced by rain. Not just a drizzle, but full on rain. There were a lot of glum looking people in body-marking and transition and a few people even packing up their stuff and leaving. Most people though just tried to grin and bear it, including Michellie Jones who was racing in Oliver this year. She turned out to be the top female, with Tom Evans coming out on top for the men. Personally, I struggled with this race. After a decent swim, I got on the bike and a sore back which has been bugging me for the last few weeks flared up and caused me some grief. However, I pushed on through and after the first few km on the run (being up-right again!) it was feeling better. Not a race for my PB record books, but a good day of training and prep for IMC in August. Hopefully the rain stays away for the rest of the summer!
P.S. The bright red "Polar Poncho" was a hit for this rainy day . . . .
Well, it is Wednesday … I have 3 more sleeps left before the race. I hope I can sleep as last night was NO good for that! When I was sleeping I was having the pre race nightmares! You know the ones … bike is missing ... forgot the wetsuit at home … one cycling shoe MIA …timing chip falls off in the swim…
The last two weekends I spent in downtown Vancouver memorizing and preparing myself for the race. Attempting to practice the run course was very challenging with out the transition map to make sense of it all.
My friend Traci (she is in the sprint on Friday) and I were riding on Sunday and we meet a girl from Great Britain, she was lost, we showed her the way.
We also meet two guys from Australia … they were dressed for winter - they had jackets, toques, booties and all … and they said they were FREEZING … it was quite funny as we were riding in shorts and t-shirts. I asked if they had gone for a swim yet … they said **** NO, and a not bloody likely!!!!
**They were both beautiful weekends warm and sunny.
As for this week … not so much … good thing Tri Canada gave us rain jackets and pants as uniforms!!
Nothing we can do about the weather (hope for no thunder and lighting) … these are the cards that have been dealt … just have to play them how they land … I’m telling you … I will chase the river FOR SURE!
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