Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chestermere triathlon race report - Part 2

Alright, so we left off where I had just gotten out of the lake...

I felt kind of dizzy and disoriented right after getting out. At first, I couldn't even run, so I settled for a brisk walk, during which I got my wetsuit unzipped and down to my waist. About halfway to transition (it was probably 100 metres in between), I started jogging.

Transition 1

I headed all the way to the end where my bike was. I tossed my goggles and cap down at my spot. Ack! It wasn't my spot, but the person next to me. Who does she think she is having a helmet the same colour? Okay, little mistake. I pulled the wetsuit down and got one leg off. Then, pulled some more and fought with the other side. Remember the timing chip the size of a cereal box? (Okay, 2 decks of cards...) What a pain! Not good for getting wetsuits off.

Anyways, I pulled a bit more and it popped over. I actually think it would have been faster for me to take the timing chip off and put it back on after getting the wetsuit off. Put my sunglasses and helmet on first. The organizers make it very clear that you don't touch your bike till your helmet is on and buckled. I figure by having it on top of the other stuff, there's a better chance I'll do it in the right order.

Then I rolled my socks onto my feet. Better choice of socks this time! They went on way easier. Went to slip my bike shoes on and realized that I had once again forgot to open them up ahead of time! Stupid mistake. Not going to make that mistake a third time.

Then I was ready! I headed to the transition exit, which was thankfully very close. I went past the dismount line and off to the side a few feet. The lady there was trying to remind me that I could mount. I smiled sheepishly at her and told her that if I was going to fall over, I didn't want to block the way for others... (I actually feel pretty good with my clipless pedals now, but I still felt a little disoriented from the swim.)

The Bike

As soon as I started riding my bike, I felt great. The swim was behind me and I knew I was ready for what lay ahead. I had planned to push hard on the bike, so I got my cadence up and started changing gears pretty quickly. Almost immediately, I started passing people. (Possibly due to the fact that I started biking after a lot of them since my swim was slow.)

I had been a bit concerned about all the passing, but it went great. I'd get close to someone, ride until I was right outside the drafting zone, then I'd pick up the pace to get past them, then back over. There was one guy in an orange shirt whom I passed at least three times, and he passed me back. A bit of cat and mouse, but that's okay.

I kept my effort up on the bike and felt great. It was a double loop course for the sprint triathletes, so when I got to the loop point, I headed right for my second lap. There was a bit of a slope going up (not really a hill), but I stayed in my big ring for the whole thing. (Aside from the very beginning, as I'd intentionally left it in the small ring to start.)

The only thing that I think really needs work is my cornering. And, not even my ability, but my confidence. I slowed down quite a bit any time I cornered. I know you should slow down some, but not as much as I did. It also meant I sometimes slowed a bit early, since I tried not to pass anyone too close to a corner either.

Before I knew it, I was reaching the end of the bike. As I got close to transition, I saw my husband and kids. It gives me such a boost seeing them on the course. I gave a smile for the camera, dismounted, and carried on.

I always clip out a little early. Never realized how dorky it makes my legs look...
Transition 2

Transition 2 was pretty quick. My only mistake was in trying to put my bike facing the wrong way. I'd had it set up to just drive out, which meant I had to back it in this time. Once the bike was racked, bike shoes off, run shoes on (love yankz!). I took the helmet off, threw my hat on and put my race belt (with number) on while I ran away. (Many tris, you need it on your back on the bike, but they said you only had to wear it on the run for this one.)

I did remember to hit my garmin coming in and out, and T2 only took me about 30 seconds, including running across.

The Run

Going into the run, I knew I had taken a risk. I'd gone much harder on the bike, and I didn't know how much I would pay for it on the run. Last time, I'd went too easy on the bike, and while I had lots left in the tank, I knew I could take a bigger risk.

I definitely had more of the brick and jelly leg feeling upon starting the run. I felt like my legs just didn't want to move. Having said that though, when I checked my garmin, I was maintaining about a 5:40/km pace (fast for me!). So far, I've always run faster post-bike then I do on a stand alone run.

About a km in was the hill we'd be warned about. It was a bit steep, but quite short. Then we continued upwards at a more gentle incline. It was definitely up, and it slowed my pace, but never made me feel like I had to stop and walk. Along this section, there was a family out front cheering people on. They'd put their sprinkler on so that it went over the sidewalk. It was HOT, so I took my hat off and ran right through. Felt fabulous!

Soon, after that was the water stop. I grabbed some water and partially drank, partially drowned. Methinks I need more practice drinking out of those little cups...

From here, it was downhill to finish the loop. I didn't push it, but didn't hold back my speed either. I still had another loop to go.

When I got to the turn around point, I saw my family again. I slowed down a bit too much to smile and wave. (My husband claims I almost stopped. Looking at the series of pictures, and seeing everyone pass me, he might be right...) Can't blame a girl for wanting good pictures!

Back along the lake, up the hill, through the sprinkler (thank you!), past the water stop, and down again. My pace had slowed a bit on the uphills, but I was still holding strong! I was well on my way to another sub-30 minute run - something I've only done at the end of triathlons.

When I figured I was about 1 km away, I started picking up the pace. I decided to try to pass a couple people before the end, and easily did. (Truthfully, I think they were doing the olympic distance, and had another lap, so they probably weren't pushing that hard...)

Then I was across the finish line, and receiving my medal. I hadn't even known I'd get a medal for this race. Bonus! I grabbed some food and found my family. Mmm, I think oranges are possibly the best post race food ever. (The chocolate muffins were good too.)

Soon after, my son informed me he wanted to play "tag, you're it!" This is about how I felt about that idea...

Overall time: 1:41:43
Swim: 21:14
Bike (including both transitions): 52:40
Run: 27:49

(Transition 1 was probably a couple minutes. Transition 2 was about 30 seconds.)


  1. Great job! Celebrate all the good stuff you did and be proud.

  2. What an awesome, AWESOME race! You kicked A$$! Way to go on that run girl, that is soooo cool that you get a sub 30 minute 5k!!!

  3. Congratulations! I just started reading your blog after I discovered my desire to run a half marathon. I am week 3 into a Couch to 5k program and you leave me completely inspired to keep going after the half. Great Job.

  4. That is amazing! You totally rocked it!

  5. Congrats!!! You did it!! What a great race! The open water swim is definitely a mental game- glad you were able to get through it!
    Was the lake better than you expected?