Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Guelph Lake 2 Race Report

This past weekend I raced in the Subaru Series Guelph Lake 2 Triathlon. This race was the very first triathlon that I was first female across the finish line (back in 2008). This made it very special for me. I had a few goals: get a personal best in the swim, to hold an average power of 200W for the bike (about 4W/kg) and run under 28 minutes. Well, I was one for three of those (I PB'd the swim!). Nonetheless, it was still a great day! I finished first female overall and Adam took the title in the Swim-Bike.

Now, this blog will take on a different format than previous ones...rather than give a detailed analysis on the day I have decided to try something a little different.

1. The following is a list of a few take-aways from the race, in the form of a little Q and A (corny, yes, I know!).

Q: What went wrong?
A: Getting kicked in the swim in the left hip really hard during the initial 100m of the swim.

Q: How did you deal with this?
A: At first I panicked and thought "OMG, my race is over, this hurts so much!" Then, I practiced my "thought stopping" that I learned in psychology class and only let myself think positive thoughts, like "oh, my arms feel good today" and "that swimmer is not too far up ahead, I can catch him." Before I knew it I was running up the big hill to transition and the hip pain was a distant memory.

Q: When you found yourself slipping below your goal race power on the bike, and your legs started hurting, how did you continue to push yourself?
A: I hit LAP on my bike computer and focused on keeping my power at goal effort for as long as I could. A fresh start always helps :) I kept my goal power for almost the rest of the race (just until the super bumpy last few km of the course, when my focus then became staying upright).

Q: How did I stay cool on the super-hot run?
A: When at an aid station I dumped water on my head (first), drank water (second), dumped another water on my head (third). Keeping your body cool with water/ice is the most effective method.

Q: Is there anything you would do differently?
A: Try to run just 10 seconds faster so that I could have broken 28 minutes!

2. A little comparison on my times in Guelph 2 over the years to give you a snap-shot of my fitness (note: 2008 it was a slightly different course)

Swim - 12:31 (2008), 12:19 (2011), 11:41 (2015)
Bike - 53:29 (2008), 49:56 (2011), 50:21 (2015)
Run - 28:14 (2008), 27:49 (2011), 28:09 (2015)
Final - 1:34:14 (2008), 1:32:22 (2011), 1:32:36 (2015)

2008-I raced almost all the races in the Subaru Tri Series beforehand. I was in school/working (30-40hrs/week).
2011-I quit my full time job in May of that year and was training full time all summer.
2015-Knee surgery in February and no runs longer than 14km in 6 months. In school/working all summer long (40-45hrs/week).

I will leave it to you to draw conclusions about my fitness, but I am proud that my reduced training volume this summer hasn't effected my fitness over the short distance :) Look for a blog upcoming about how I've balanced, school, work, training and family.

3. Thanks to FinisherPix, I can re-cap the race for you in pictures:

Into T1

Adam in T1

Taking a corner on the bike

Adam looking strong

Out on the run thinking "this is harder than I remember"

Close up of my hurting face

Breaking the tape!


A special thank you goes out to:

- The volunteers, officials and race organizers
- Kim Lumsdon, my swim coach
- Adam, you are the reason I never stop pushing
- Spectators and fellow racers for being there to cheer me on
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, The Urban Athlete, Altra Running Shoes, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

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