Guelph being an afternoon race meant I got to sleep in! So I woke up at around 7am, made some hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. Did a 20 minute yoga session, because my legs and shoulders still felt stiff and a bit fatigued. This REALLY helped to loosen me up and get my muscles ready for the race. Any triathlete that does not get in at least one yoga session per week definitely should. I met Sara at around 9am, we loaded up the bikes onto the car and headed to the race! Made a mandatory Tim Hortons stop where I grabbed a black coffee and whole grain blueberry muffin. Yes, I realize that is probably not the best choice of pre-triathlon meal. However, I forgot to pack my usual PB with banana on a bagel so I opted for something that I eat every day. We arrived in Guelph a bit early so Sara and I drove the bike course. The route was pretty hilly, but the road seemed pretty decent (from what we could tell, anyway). This was about when Sara realized she forgot her race bag at home! This caused momentary panic, but there was still about 2 ½ hours till race time so lots of time for Mamma, Kevin and Rikki to bring the race bag. Once at the race site, Sara and I signed in and picked up our race kits. She would be in the first wave and I would be in the third. Then we headed to transition zone, located the bike and run exits and set up our bikes...luckily, Mamma arrived with Sara’s bag about 35 minutes to race time. Perfect timing! Then we headed down to the water to warm-up. At 1 o’clock Sara started her swim close to the outside to avoid the goggle grabbing crazies who start near the center. I watched her head out to the first buoy near the front of the pack! Ya, Sara, she was out front! Definitely got me excited for my race. 6 minutes later I started from the same spot as Sara. I had a good start and was the leader of my wave. A good and bad thing...for the second race in a row I had no feet to draft off of. I ended up swimming a bit off course on the swim in and some guy from the second wave almost tried to drown me by pulling on my feet as I passed. Other than that everything felt pretty good. The swim + a long run uphill to transition had me at a time of 11:52...12th best swim of the day, 2nd best of all the women!
After finishing the swim I headed to my bike only to find someone had racked their bike almost on top of mine so that the two were stuck together. Grrr. Un-stuck the two bikes and then headed to a crowded bike mount area, fiddled around trying to get my feet in to my shoes and eventually I was off! 4 speed bumps later I was finally able to get into aero position and focus on sprinting the bike course. I passed Sara and made sure she was OK. She was still smiling! Awesome. On the hills I noticed that I would get passed near the start of the hills, but the hills were long enough so that I passed back whoever passed me by the end of the climb. Not sure what that means – maybe I am in the wrong gear to start the climbs. On the descents my new 11/28 rear cassette definitely got me moving! It was amazing. It’s too bad the road was one step better than a gravel road for the whole ride....it made for a very bumpy ride! Nonetheless I finished the course (it was probably closer to 19km than 20km) in 32:34...sweet! Fastest female bike split of the day.
The run felt good. My first 1km split was 3:48 (avg HR 181bpm)...OK, on pace! I passed 2 girls. Next km was 3:55 (avg HR 182bpm) and I was still feeling good. At the turn-around I started to feel like I was getting in a groove, the 3rd km was 3:57 (avg HR 183), the 4th km was 4:00 (avg HR 183), almost there! And there was Sara!! I cheered super loud for her, so exciting! I couldn’t believe how fast she was off the bike! OK, up this hill which is brutal...good thing I had Adam and his boys there to cheer me on! Finished the last km in 4:03 (avg HR 183). Run time of 19:43! A PB, top female time and the 12th fastest time in the day! Yay.
Another race done for me (which ended up being tied for second as for the fastest female time ever recorded in the race’s 14 year history!) and Sara’s first. She was 7th after the swim-bike and then finished 11th in her age group out of 23. AMAZING!