|Coming into the finish.|
|The Team TriLife Crew Post Race|
After Wasa Lake the focus turned to half iron distance training for one of my favorite races, Great White North Triathlon. I had been 4th in 2014 and was very focused on getting on the podium in 2015. I nailed all my training going into this race. My running was fast and holding race pace in training felt easy. I was riding fast and was able to get three really good long rides in before race day. I was ready for this race! Unfortunately my body had other plans and I became ill with a stomach bug 8 days out from the race and remained ill for the whole 8 days. I had no idea how my energy would be on race day. I swam strong and was quite happy with my swim time 27:38.
|Photo Credit Ken Anderson|
I took a week off training after GWN to help my body recover not only from the race but from the illness. After that it was back to short and fast work to get ready for ITU World's in Chicago. Before getting to my next tri I decided to throw one more track race in at the Athletics Alberta provincials for a nice little visit to the pain cave in the 3000m. I didn't taper going into this race so knew it wouldn't be a PB day but was thrilled to finish it just short of my pb in a time of 10:43.
Up next was the Chinook Olympic Distance Pro Chase! I was so excited to be part of this race with male and female pros from Canada and the US. The ladies were given a head start on the guys and then the chase was on!
|Team TriLife Crew post race|
|Yeah that's me and one of the best in the world! Heather Wurtele!|
|After Chinook I had a big 5 week break from racing to really focus on training for Chicago and have everything firing on all cylinders. Two weeks before Chicago was the Edmonton ITU race and Triathlon Canada Age Group Sprint Nationals. The plan was to do the sprint race as a warmup / final test before Chicago. I trained into this race with just a small taper, but was feeling so strong and fast. Race day ended up being awful weather so the race became a Du, with a 5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run. With the last minute changes there was some confusion on my part on the run course for the first run and I ended up running a bit extra but was thrilled with my avg pace of 3:45 and a time of 20:05. The bike was wet and cold and windy so I was more cautious than normal on some of the descents and corners but still had a great time of 34:15. On the second run I just went as hard as I could knowing it was only 2.5kms and I was able to avg 3:45 again and do the second run in 9:56. I do run well in the cold! I finished the race in 1:07:25, first female in my age group and first female overall! Bring on Chicago!!
I went into Chicago fit and ready to go and hungry for a podium. I knew if it was warm and humid it be a lot harder for me but I was confident in my fitness that if it did slow me down, it wouldn't be much! I had an awesome swim despite very choppy conditions and averaged 1:30/100m and a swim time of 23:36 6th in my heat and 14th in my age group. The bike was very congested and quite technical. Part of the course was underground in tunnels! We didn't have a chance to preview the course so I had no idea what the course would be like other than seeing it on a 2D map. Despite the corners and ramps and u-turns I rode very hard in my first lap to stay out of the draft zones and didn't slow down much in my second lap. I was very happy with my bike. I had the 7th fastest bike split in my age group and a time of 58:36 on the 38km course. I went out on the run hoping to hold 3:55 like I did at Chinook. The aggressive ride and humidity slowed me down some, but I was still able to hold 4min/km. The run felt hard and I gave it everything I had in the tank, not knowing at all what place I was in. My run time was 42:19 on the 40.5km course. When I crossed the line I was done! When I learned I had finished fourth and missed the podium I couldn't even be disappointed because I had my best race ever. I had raced to a new OD pr in a final time of 2:10:30. It was a great way to finish the tri season off and even better was two full days to enjoy and explore the city with Marty and the kiddos. Bring on the deep dish pizza!!
|So happy to have my husband and kids there to support me and celebrate after the race!|
I would like to wrap this blog post up by making some thank-yous. First and foremost to my husband Marty for his support. I wouldn't be able to follow this passion of mine without his love and support. To my kids for their support and putting up with me. They are teens and I'm thrilled that they will still come out and cheer their mom on and even give me hugs post race :) To my coach Angie... You are always there for me and know just how to push me and when to back off. I have learned so much from you over the years and respect your experience and vast knowledge in the sport. By being my coach you have not only made me a better athlete, but a better coach! To my Team TriLife athletes, teammates and triathlon friends from across the province and the country. You inspire me with your own training and racing and I am blessed to have you in my life. Following you and your races is as exciting for me as racing myself. To my family and friends... I feel so fortunate to have such a group always supporting me and checking in on me. The messages of support you send me via text, email, facebook or phone mean the world to me. Also a special thanks to Cranked bike shop in Airdrie and Louis Garneau bikes for helping set me up this year on the speedy GennixTR1!
And finally, the running and triathlon world and my own family has lost one of the very best of us this year. A woman who always put others first and had the kindest heart. She was always one of the first I heard from to get a good - luck wish or a congrats on a race. And she was a damn good runner too! Doris Henry, your family and friends will miss you fiercely and you will never ever be forgotten.