Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Race Report: Welland Long Course

When planning my races this summer I was fairly stuck on where I wanted to race on June 25th. I debated whether I should go to Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant or whether should I race in Welland. Ultimately, the pros of racing in Welland won out: the proximity to Toronto, the timing (doing a half-ironman just 9 weeks before a full Ironman wasn't enough time to recover and ramp up the training and then taper - for a full time working step-mum anyway!), the venue, the community, the course is better suited for me (windy and flat!), practice on the Barrelman course, getting to race alongside my sister (Sara), and mostly because I LOVE racing with Multisport Canada. And what a great event the Multisport crew and volunteers put on in Welland! It truly is a spectacular race. The course, the location and the organization are tough to beat.


The week before the race was far from an easy week. I had raced a half-ironman two weeks prior to Welland which I had put in a good two week taper for. That meant that I would race Welland at the end of a Build Week. I usually taper for all my races, but with Ironman on August 20th being one of my key races this year, it meant that I would not be able to do so for Welland. So, the week leading up to this race was as follows:

Saturday: 95km ride + 4km run
Sunday: 6000m swim
Monday: 7km descending run
Tuesday: 3000m swim, including 2000m race pace swim & 22km run
Wednesday: 1500m swim, 90minute ride with 6x(1min at VO2max-4min at Threshold)
Thursday: 2000m swim
Friday: 1500m swim, 30min bike & 3km descending run
Saturday: 1hr bike with 3x(2min at race power) and 3km run off the bike, and then I got married in the afternoon!

Still a bit of low volume week, but add about 50 hrs of work (including giving about 20 x 1hr massages) and it's a lot!


The Swim

I positioned myself close to Nigel Gray (NRG head coach, great guy and super speedy). I knew that I could swim at around his pace and draft him if I needed. So, when the gun went off I tried to stay on Nigel's feet. I don't have a lot of speed at the start so I found myself working really hard to stay with him, but eventually I settled into a rhythm. I tried to pass him a couple times, but when I was out of his draft I couldn't pass so I stayed on his feet. This worked well until about 1400m into the race, when speedy Hector caught us from the 2nd wave. Nigel was able to hang on to Hector's feet, but I was left behind :( So, I swam solo the rest of the way, worrying about how much time speedster Angela Quick would gain on me by the end of the swim.

Stats: 2000m, 29:11, 1:28/100m, 38 strokes per minute

The Bike

I had a quick transition and was off and on my bike in 2nd place, with my main focus being to try to make up time. I knew within a few pedal strokes that I didn't feel as fresh as I did at Eagleman, but I put that out of my mind. I just tried to push hard, and that's just what I did the whole way. Yes, my heart rate was higher than I wanted, and the power was a bit lower, and other athletes seemed to be just flying by me on the bike, but I tried to stay positive and focused on my nutrition, my cadence and staying low and aero. When things happen that are beyond your control it's best to focus inward and on what you can control (like nutrition, cadence, bike position). I got a bit frustrated as the winds picked up, but I continued to remained focused and *eventually* I was back at T2.

Stats: 1:33:31, 36kph, Garmin Says: 200W NP (198W avg power), avg HR of 165bpm, cadence of 83rpm

The Run

I started the run with spectators saying I was about 2 minutes behind the leader, so I put aside all thoughts of properly pacing myself for a 15km run and just decided to run as hard as I could for as long as I could. If I got in the lead I would slow things down a bit. I remained focused on what I could control: taking in fluid/nutrition and pouring cold water on my head at the aid stations. But I didn't pay attention to my heart rate, which said I was running to hard! My first 7km were at around a 4:10/km pace until I made it into the lead. Then I slowed down a bit to try to get my heart rate under control, but that was proving difficult. In the last few kms I had to slow my pace significantly and I was experiencing signs I had run to hard at the start. Then I got an extremely bad cramp in the last km that forced me to slow to about a 5:00/km pace and I was so glad the finish line came when it did!

Stats: 1:04:29, 4:17/km and Garmin says: avg HR 173

Overall, I'm extremely happy to take the overall female win! An added bonus is that I got to win a race on my honeymoon. Who else can say that?!? I'm also happy that I can compete at this level, while working full time and dealing with a lot more stress in my life than ever before!

Next up: Gravenhurst Olympic Triathlon

Thank you:

- The Multisport crew, volunteers and officials
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My sisters for being my inspiration to work hard and never give up. Seeing Sara out there on the run helped me push through my own discomfort (Sara had the 4th fastest run time in her age group!)
- Adam for keeping me calm when I get anxious and for making me want to be the best version of myself. It helps so much to have him there on race day.
- My health care team of Dr. Mark Schofield, David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Kim Lumsdon at KLSC
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially Sara and everyone at WattsUp and TTC!
- Endurosport for building me the perfect bike and all your mechanical help
- My sponsors: Title Sponsor:High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, Blade Wheels, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to you and Adam on tying the knot. Oh yeah, great race - it is great to see you able to manage (never balanced) the significant demands of life and still be a highly competitive triathlete.