There is something about being at the cottage that makes me want to eat junk food and drink pop…we arrived at my family’s cottage 2 days before the race and I tried really hard to behave myself nutritionally, and I didn’t even go wakeboarding even though the lake was like glass both days.
I slept terribly the night before the race, the whole family was out and there lots of activity in the cabin. Race morning came early, but nevertheless I felt great!! My stomach actually tolerated all the food I feel I need to stuff in it race morning and it was the first race that my hubby and I were both doing. Having him with me for the drive and registration/transition set up/warmup was an awesome distraction. He helped me with my wetsuit and kept me calm. Usually I have a stomach ache from the nerves, but on race morning it felt great.
I have to admit I had been creeping on my competition…I had checked her race results from a June race so I knew she was faster than last year, but then again so was I. Marty was doing the sprint, which started 45 min after the oly so he told me he’d be at the swim exit to tell me how far ahead of me she was when I got out ( last year she beat me out of the water by 1:07). The swim went pretty well. I was between two swimmers for most of the first leg and the guy on my right kept running into me. I was working pretty hard to keep up with both of them so made the decision to drop behind him. The effort immediately felt easier, and I stayed on his toes until rounding the second buoy at which point I began doubting my effort and passed him. I had clear water for the rest of the first lap and all of the second lap. I was completely surprised when I came out of the water and Marty was pointing to Emma just in front of me! I came out just 2 seconds behind her! The RB tri has a unique element in it….the lake is in the Qu’Appelle Valley so they have a T1 where you strip off your wetsuit, put on your shoes and run 650m to the top of the valley to head out onto the bike. They actually take the time from the hill and add it to your total run time, and subtract the distance off the final run (this makes for a slow run split) We jogged up the hill together and had a brief chat about how long the swim course seemed (she was 2 mins slower than last year and I was 1 min slower than last year).
Once I got out on the bike I realized I was pushing a little harder than I wanted to. Emma was behind me so I was the prey being chased. I figured I would be able to outrun her so decided on a little experiment…I was going to push really hard on the bike and see what the result was on the run. The bike was great, I wasn’t passed by any men and really enjoyed digging in and seeing how fast I could go. My bike split was 5 and a half minutes faster than last year although the conditions last year were not as favorable as this year. As I finished the bike I saw my family there cheering me in; that was awesome!!
After speeding through transition I hauled off down the 650m hill thinking of the time I wanted to make up because of how slow it is going up (I really wanted a fast run split on this course). Felt great, got to the bottom, they announced my name, went through the first water station at breakneck speed and then it happened…my vastus medialis on both quads started to cramp up. I slowed down and did some butt kicks, finally had to walk, couldn’t stretch them because then the hamstrings wanted to cramp. So did some walking butt kicks for awhile, then eased into a slow jog and finally got back up to a reasonable pace. I walked through the next two water station to make sure I got enough, took it really easy at the turn around point which involved a good hill climb before turning around to head for home. Was passed by a couple of guys on the run which made me mad because I knew I could be faster, but I hung in there, ran through the last water station and finished the run. The guy at the finish line was asking for my chip and I told him I couldn’t stop walking because my legs would cramp up…managed to get it off while walking, which was kind of impressive…. Almost my whole family was there at the finish line which was fantastic, Marty had come in just before me too so got to congratulate him on his first open water triathlon.
Final results: swim 25:07 (7th with the men,last year 24:12), bike 1:06:58 (5th with the men, last year 1:12:28), run 48:22 (11th with the men,last year 50:31) total time: 2:20:26 (1st female overall, 6th with the men, last year 2:27:10).
Oh, and Marty was 7th overall in the sprint and 2nd in his AG!!
Side note: I think the muscle cramps were perhaps a direct result of my fast bike, but also the fast run down the hill…I need to try the experiment again when there are no huge descents at the start of the run! Oh and the aftermath of muscle cramps-delayed onset muscle soreness, it’s like doing a thousand squats with heavy weights, severely aggravated by wakeboarding and waterskiing. 2 days post race, having trouble going down stairs or hills and sitting down in chairs. Easy run scheduled for tomorrow…might not happen.