We woke up at 4am since we had a 3h drive ahead of us. We needed to make the trip in order to pick up our boys from two weeks of camp anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity to pepper our drive with some good sweaty fun. We arrived at the race site early enough to stop for breakfast at a nearby Tim Hortons and to drive the bike course. It was still the crack of dawn and the fog was making the landscape nicely eerie. Ooooh, spoooooky......
This swim was in a river and it was a time trial start. Basically we had to line up in the order of our bibs, then start swimming at 3 seconds intervals. It was pretty neat, my first experience with this type of start. Alas the river was rather narrow and I found myself zigzagging right off the bat, especially going out with the current. There were swimmers everywhere and lots of breast strokers, which made for quite an interesting, non linear swim. After the turn around, and once we started going against the current, it appeared that everyone ahead of me decided to do the breast stroke. I lifted my head and saw a wall of people looking around them, kicking sideways. I feared for my ribs and so I started moving towards the median line. Not sure whether the current was stronger there, but ironically, that seemed to be the path of least resistance. I pushed through and before I knew it, I reached the shore and I was done.
|Does this picture make me look mean? Don't mess with me!!|
Transition went ok, but I struggled to take my wetsuit off, as usual. There is no way to just step on this one and see it coming off. I have to help it around my ankles with my hands and it almost ends with me falling back on my butt. Classy. Oh well. I can't always win.
At least I look classy enough pushing my bike out of transition. Like a boss!
I am glad that I didn't trip and fall on my face because I could not see a thing. My sunglasses were all foggy but I pretended that I was seeing perfectly so I don't get pulled over for impaired biking. Thankfully by the time I hit the road, everything was a-ok! The course was still fresh in my memory and I was ready for some hills, so I rode conservatively, using all my gears on the uphills and coasting as much as I could on the downhills, just like I was planning to do at the Ironman. This was almost like dress rehearsal, but without the dress, thank God.
For some reason I felt rather sluggish during the ride, most likely due to the hard trainer workout from a few days prior... But that was ok, I still ended with a decent time (42min for 20km) and besides, I had nothing to prove. I remember the last words that Phaedra's hubby told me before I started the swim, and they stayed with me throughout the race: "If anything hurts, STOP. This race means NOTHING." Yes, indeed. It didn't matter a bit what was going to happen this day. Eye on the prize, this was JUST a rehearsal. As usual, I was getting passed on the uphills and I was bombing the downhills, but I was also staying alert and careful. Made it back in one piece, and left behind no regrets.
Then, the real test began: the run. Right off the bat I had a hill to climb, on grass. Not my favorite, but I got it done, then up along the river and over the bridge towards the opposite shore. That's where I saw Zin who had 1km left. I was happy to see him finish so strong. I was just starting, but what else is new, he IS a beast.
I was listening for any sign of pain, and it first came around km 2. However, it was manageable and I realized that the more I was running, the more it was fading out. Or maybe I was the one doing the muffling, I will never know. Fact is, I got through 5km of running without ever wanting to stop, or feeling that I needed to. It was not one of my fastest runs, since I can't say that I tried to stay speedy in the 5 weeks before this race, but it was decent. And you know what? I was darn happy with decent (and little pain).
Oh, and a PR that got me 5th in my AG again. This was actually my first ever real sprint distance in 3 years of racing triathlons. As I said a few times before, I like doing things backwards. I have yet to do a try-a-tri, y'all!
After the race we hung around for a little since Zin ended on the podium by taking 3rd in AG. His first triathlon podium, there was no way that we were going to miss it.
I am so freaking stoked for him!! There are 2 more races left for him and he's having a great time with these shorter distances. He even tried to convert me a few times, but for now I am still in love with the slow and steady dose of pain.
And that's about it folks... we left quickly afterwards to pick up the boys from camp, then drove back home with ice on my knees and ITBs. A day well spent, a full system check before THE big race. You have to give it to me, I know how to keep the taper crazies away! ;-)