I signed up for this triathlon back in January, mostly because it was close to my parent's house. I figured it would be a fun morning if they could bring the kids over to watch the race. And my friend Kim signed up too, so I would have some company! I was also intrigued by the fact that the race sold out in two hours - what on earth do they have going on in Kincardine that a triathlon would sell out that fast?
Going in I was looking at this race mostly as a chance for transition practice and getting some race experience in a low pressure environment. The sprint at Niagara next weekend will be my next chance to truly race, since I'll be coming off a rest/recovery week. This race I trained right through, so was going in decidedly NOT rested.
|Making sure everything was organized the night before the race.|
There was a lot of back and forth on the race Facebook page in the days leading up to the race, since the water temperature in Lake Huron was flipping around a bit. The day before the race it was looking like the swim would be cancelled because the water was going to be too cold. But when we got to the race site, the good news was that the water temp was high enough that the swim was on - although the race announcers were being decidedly cagey about the actual temperature, just saying it was 'acceptable'. I figured we were going to be in for a very cold swim, even in wetsuits!
|Transition in the early morning sun.|
|I wonder if the pool lifeguards will appreciate that very bright swim cap? Love the graphics on the race shirt.|
|All set up in transition. Just before a frantic search for my sunglasses, which I eventually located inside one of my bike shoes. Too organized for my own good.|
|Kincardine beach at the swim exit. Really lovely beach.|
Soon it was time to get out and line up for the start. Go time!
|Second wave lined up for the swim start. I'm on the far right, turquoise wetsuit sleeve. Note how our swim camps are the same colour as the turn buoy in the distance... Photo via Owen Sound Sun Times.|
Swim: 375 m in 8:46 (2:20/100m)
Overall place: 58/189
Thoughts during the swim:
Yep this water is still cold. I just got kicked. Damn it. I started at the outside, where did all these people come from? Kicked again! Auuuuuuuugh! I hate this! OK time to sight, look for the buoy. Wait, there's a million orange caps in the water I can't tell which orange blob is the buoy! look for the biggest one! Damn it! Kicked again! Breaststrokers! Everywhere! I cannot freaking wait for this to be over!
repeat for 8 minutes or so.
|Another pic from the Sun Times, orange wave heading off to the first turn. Not sure if the people not wearing wetsuits are crazy or deserve mad respect. Maybe both.|
Once we reached the shore, it was a short run on the beach up to transition. I managed to get my wetsuit half stripped before hitting the timing mat, so that part went well at least! But I was exhausted from the swim - really, I just wanted to lie down and take a nap. Not so much from the physical effort, but more the mental effort. Swimming in open water in a race is definitely a work in progress.
Bike: 12k + T1 + T2 in 25:35
Overall place: 8/189
(I don't know my actual bike speed because although I thought I started my watch as I ran out of transition, I didn't press the button hard enough and then I didn't notice it wasn't running until I was 1.5k in. My speed over the part I did record was 32 km/hr, which seems about right)
Into transition, found my bike no problem, and geared up. That went OK, although since the official results combine the bike time with the two transition times I don't know the time breakdowns.
The bike itself went well. My main goal for the bike was to not let anyone pass me, and pass as many people as I could, which I did! OK, I did get passed by one person, but they turned out to be a guy on a fancy Cervelo who wasn't in the race. So I don't think that counts. That said, however, I definitely didn't push as hard as I could. I think there were two things going on. First, I was so off-kilter from the swim that I just wasn't in the right headspace for a short, hard effort. Second, I'm still very uncertain how to pace the bike leg so as not to blow up on the run. And that is leading me to hold back a bit on the bike. It's a tricky balance. In retrospect, I could definitely ride 12k on that course much faster without hurting my run leg.
The course was lovely - mostly flat (one small climb on the way out, and one small climb on the way back), and on a closed road so no traffic at all to worry about. I enjoyed it and as always would have liked it to be longer. I wasn't paying much attention to the scenery, but I know we were riding right along the side of the lake at one point. Very nice.
|Running into transition, feeling proud of myself that I knew exactly which rack to look for. Photos via my mom!|
|Where the hell is my stuff?|
Run: 3k in 15:20 (5:07/km pace)
Overall place: 28/189
Quick shoe change and then the run. This was decent. But again I just wasn't in the headspace for a hard effort, so I didn't push it to the redline. Short out and back with a little bit on a boardwalk, and some wonderful citizens of Kincardine spraying sprinklers and hoses over the running path!
|Heading out onto the run course, It's like Where's Waldo, can you spot me!|
|Finish line in sight! YES!|
And then in the finish chute a woman came flying past me, and by the time I processed that the age on her calf was in my age group, it was too late to do anything about it. DAMN IT. I was seriously regretting that I hadn't pushed a bit harder on the run and stayed ahead of her! Especially when I checked the preliminary results and found I'd finished 4th for my age group!
|Crossing the finish.|
Final time: 49:40
Overall place: 13/189
Age group place: 5/32
However, the official results revised the placings a bit and I ended up 5th. Much less annoyed after that. Still, why must my age group be so darn competitive!
As an aside, wow do the results of this one ever illustrate the importance of the bike leg in triathlon - I mean, 58th fastest swim and 28th fastest run and I still ended up 13th overall? I know where my strength lies! (not that there has ever been any question of that)
|BLING! What can I say, I like getting a medal.|
|Post race with Kim|
The race swag wasn't bad, either:
|Why are so many races giving out such hilariously bright shirts this year? This is a really nice shirt, even if I'm pretty sure you can see me FROM SPACE when I'm wearing it. The back says 'persevere' (photos taken in my mom's garden)|
|Nice bit of additional swag from the race kit - bike water bottle! I can always use more of those!|