Monday, 27 June 2016

Race Recap Qualicum Tri 2016

So my lovely coach, Matt, has suggested I write myself a race recap to reflect on when I go pro. (ha!) 

Let’s start with my training:

I did my first swim on April 24, 2016. I bought a 10-punch pass on May 7, 2016 and used 8 punches from then until June 23. That means I swam NINE times before my race. Some of those swims totaled less than 30 minutes time in the pool. I have never swum freestyle in my life. I have never worn goggles, a swim cap, and haven’t worn a one-piece suit since I was 12. My best time for 400m was 9:04 on Thursday, June 23.

In 2016, I ran:

·         April 3 – 5km
·         May 1 – 5 km
·         May 20 – 3.14 km (after teaching spin)
·         June 4 – 3.81 km (after teaching spin)
·         June 16 – 5.78 km
Yep, I ran five times before my race. Most of these were not even race pace, except the last one where I averaged a 5:06 pace. (min/km)

I biked indoors more times than I would actually like to count. (Thanks Swet Haus!) I biked outdoors 2.5 times. I say half because Matt and I went, it started raining & thundering so we called it after about 10 minutes. (fair-weathered rider right here)

Gym time was basically non-existent. Maybe once every 2 weeks max. I know this isn’t much training. That is just my life right now. I run two successful businesses, teach/sub spin a lot, and try to balance family life and downtime (and sleeping!?) I’ve also had a lot of $h!t happening over the last few months that derailed me a few times emotionally. So needless to say, I almost threw in the towel with racing this year. (bear in mind I’ve never done any sort of “race”, marathon, 5k, nada) I had originally planned to do the Westwood Tri, but my severe lack of swimming was making that task seem downright impossible. After talking with a good friend who was already signed up for Qualicum, (her first tri as well) she reignited my spirit, and I registered on May 19 for the Qualicum Tri.

Pre-Race Day, Saturday June 25, 2016
My lovely partner/coach/best friend lets me sleep in, and a fellow instructor subs my 8AM spin class. I wake up at 7AM, drink my lemon water and try to decide what to have to eat all day. I’ve done my reading on pre-race nutrition, and plan on eating mostly white carbs and lean protein, with little to no fibre all day and no dairy after lunch. (I really don’t want any gastrointestinal issues come race day!!)

For breakfast, I have an A&W English muffin bacon egg breakfast sandwich. We go and pickup my race package at noon, head home and I go for a 3km easy slow run to keep my legs moving. I have white spaghetti with plain chicken for lunch, tossed in olive oil & coconut oil. I have the same thing for dinner. White carbs are so unfulfilling. I drink Total Reload throughout the day and have lots of plain water. I organize and pack all my race gear. Triple check it. I have a protein shake before bed, with just vanilla protein powder, half a banana, almond milk, and ice. Sleep like a baby, thanks to my Relax & Sleep herbal supplements.

Race Day, June 26, 2016
7AM Alarm goes off. Stoked! Have my lemon water when I get up. A toasted white bagel smeared with coconut oil for breakfast. Start sipping on my Total Reload mixed with a bit of preworkout. 

8:30 AM Arrive at race course. Setup my transition area, get my body markings, still sipping my spiked water. 

9:30 AM Have 2 homemade date energy balls. I have to be at the pool by 10. Pee twice. Just in case.

10:15 AM Race Time! 
We have our swim rotation explained to us. I’m in lane 3, position 3. There will be 5 people in my lane, spaced 5 seconds apart. First cap goes, EEK, second cap goes, deep breath, GO! The first two people ahead of me are swimming really fast, and I try not to freak out. I focus back to MY race, and dial in on my form and breathing. By the start of the 2nd lap they’ve slowed down so we’re all touching each others feet every stroke. I move out of the way and the girl behind me passes two of us. Then I pass the girl in front of me. I continue to just barely graze the feet of the girl in front of me, decide I’m comfortable with this pace and just keep swimming. (Ha!) I also have this intense fear of them miscounting my laps and making me swim extra, so I just go with it. Swim feels strong, anxiety is fairly under control. The kick board gets put in front of me, meaning one more lap. Thank god!

Matt and my family are outside the pool cheering for me, I run to my bike. Tear my gross yellow latex cap off; put shoes & helmet on, my hands are still wet so my bike gloves are a struggle to get on. I debate not wearing them, decide to try again and shove them on because they’re my safety blanket (falling on my bare hands freaks me out). Almost forget my bib, whoops! Run to the bike start, mount, and off I go! 

Realize I haven’t started my watch until I’m about 1km in. Start it so I can try keeping my time in line. I have a goal of 40 minutes. The wet tri suit isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I’m a little psyched up from the swim, so I take some deep breaths and have some water. Decide to take the first half of this lap somewhat easy because I feel really worked up. Legs start to feel powerful rather quickly so I go for it. There’s a lot of annoying corners on this route so it keeps making me slow down. I wish it was straight. My aero bars feel super comfortable. I climb like a beast up the first hill, pass my adoring fans, then realize the slight hill is still going. Ugh. Just keep moving, aim for 80-90 rpm I tell myself. The straight away is just around the corner so just keep going. Aero, punch it to 45 km/hr for this one straight flat. Feel like a beast. Here come the thousand tiny corners. My back starts to hurt in aero so I sit up quickly to stretch it out and grab some water. Do a Swet Check for my form. Climb the hill like a beast again, not as bad this time because I know the steady hill keeps going. Adoring fans give me a boost. Eat 2 of my Stinger gummies and more water (which is mixed with Total Reload and preworkout) Punch it as fast as I can on my last lap. I take Matt by surprise when I arrive in T2 already.


Feels way less hectic. Slip my socks/shoes on, grab my visor/water bottle, turn my bib and start running. 

Shit. My legs feel like they have been dipped in concrete. My calves feel like they are 10 times bigger than they really are as they surge pain up to my hamstrings with every step. Check my watch - pace is 6:30, 6:50, 7:10. Damnit. I never did an intense brick training, so I don’t know if this is normal. Am I supposed to suck this up and just move faster regardless? Is this pain going to be here the whole time? Do I walk? I decide to keep shuffling, and tell myself lap two will be better. I pour ice water over my head. Enter the trail; damn this trail has a lot of roots. It’s also a slight uphill for almost the whole thing. There’s some guy walking in front of me. Every time I get close, he starts running. Then walks again, and runs when I’m near. He irritates me. I run a little faster. I’m nearing the area where my loving fans will be. There’s a lady in front of me so I pass her at a 4:40 pace for a photo op. She’s actually really fast so she catches me quite quickly, and then gets smaller and smaller ahead of me as she keeps that 4:40 speed up and I drop to a 5:10. “Nice move, show off”, I think to myself (referring to my move, obviously)   

My legs are finally starting to feel somewhat normal, so I speed up and just do what I can for the rest. I’m almost done so I check my watch and it says 23 minutes, I know I started it late but I can’t remember HOW late. Fuck it. JUST GOOOO. I sprint the 100 metres to the finish line where Matt and all of my lovely family & friends are yelling my name. Matt is waiting for me right at the chute, he hugs me but I need to walk or I’ll pass out. 


I have no idea what my time is. I’m just happy to be done and surrounded by all these amazing people who love me. A friend says he thinks my time was around 1hr 12min. WHAAA?! My goal was 1:15, so that would be sweet. Matt thinks I’ve placed but we won’t know until 1PM and it’s only around 11:30. I eat lots of watermelon, orange slices, chocolate milk, granola bar. Dance and jump around with my sweet niece. 

Still have no idea what my time is. Fingers crossed. All the kids, youth, young adult, etc go first. Finally it's time for adult female, aged 25-29. Two names are called for 2nd and 3rd.. and then 1st place…. Me!!

Final Results (out of 135 people – including relay teams)
SWIM 8:03 (21st overall)

BIKE 39:03 (28th overall)
RUN 25:47 (24th overall)
TOTAL 1:12:53
(24th overall)
5th fastest female overall!

Not bad for my first triathlon if I do say so myself! I'm hooked for sure.