The first race of the year has now come and gone. While the end result was not what I had hoped for, there were many positive take-aways and things learned. I know I have said that before, but every race is different and there are ALWAYS things to learn. I arrived in St George three days before the race, and was immediately concerned with how hot it was. I hadn’t been doing any heat training, mostly due to our incredible long Canadian winter, but also because we didn’t think it would be 30 degrees! They were also calling for some crazy winds gusting in on race day, which made me second guess rim depth. We have some pretty crazy winds here in Penticton, but they were calling for winds up to 60km/hr. The last section of the bike is a nice long fast downhill, and I didn’t want to be hanging on for dear life! I never bring a second race rim, but this time I brought my 60mm. In the end, with the advice from EnergyLab, I decided to just go with the faster 90mm. The really bad winds didn’t come up till after I was off the bike, so I’m glad I went with the deeper rim!
The Swim: The time was not as fast as I had hoped, especially considering the number of hours I have spent in the pool over the last 4 months. But…I did come out in the third chase pack, which is a major improvement relative to the field. I was able to find some feet and comfortably stay on them for the whole swim. I didn’t have a panic attack either, so that was another positive for me… seeing as I haven’t been in open water since last November!
Onto the bike: I was able to get into a rhythm pretty quickly, feeling relaxed and fast. I had ridden and driven most of the course beforehand, so I knew what to expect: Very rolling with lots of hills! There were a few girls in front of me that took off hard right away, but reminding myself that I had lots of time, I caught up to them fairly quickly. Then…. About 40min into the bike, I blew a flat. I have no idea what I hit, but it was not a good feeling. I was most of the way through changing it when tech showed up. He offered to swap out another rear wheel, but seeing as I was almost done, and that wheel was not aero at all, I declined the swap. As I got my CO2 out, I realized that my tube had a longer stem on it, so my valve extender was sitting way too far into my disc. I had to crack the cover to get the CO2 onto the valve, only to find the CO2 was faulty. It only had enough pressure to make the tire look round…. So next problem.. I ALWAYS carry two CO2’s for this reason….but my other one was nowhere to be found! I must have lost it on one of the cattleguards. OK… so tech has a pump right? You bet…. But couldn’t find his “crack pipe”. Really?!?! At this point, the sinking feeling set in as I realized I could never make this time up. We got the wheel on and off I went after 7min on the side of the road. I tried to stay positive and just kept thinking about Chrissie Wellingon in Hawaii the year she got her flat. I still stuck to the plan, being careful not to gas myself, and I was able to make up a good amount of time, catching enough women to come off the bike in fifth.
The run was hard. That pretty much sums it up. Hard because I wasn’t run fit after coming back from my injury. Hard because it was ALL hills. Hard because it was hot and windy. But, in all honesty, I KNEW it was going to be hard. I knew that I wasn’t in the shape I needed to be in to be up with those girls. My legs felt like lead, and just couldn’t get any turnover. I managed to hang in for 10th, which I am truly happy with considering the field, my flat, and lack of running fitness.
What I learned: I need to run…A LOT. My hamstring didn’t bother me at all during or after the race, so I know now that I can 100% get back to some major running volume. Bike: get outside more. Riding indoors just isn’t the same. Hopefully we will see some nicer weather in the near future!. Swim: Keep up the volume and try to swim with a group as much as possible. Swimming is the most frustrating of all three as gains are seen very slowly and very small. But… gains are gains:)
Nutrition: I am confident I am on the right track with hydration now. I took in more on the bike this time and felt WAY better going into the run. I am now using F2C products, and my tummy has been very happy with them, and performance has been great!
Next up: Bare Bones Duathlon and then Victoria 70.3! Thanks for following along!
Thanks to all my sponsors and supporters: Skechers Performance Canada, F2C nutrition, EnergyLab Wheels, Swagman, Nuvista Chiropractic and Wellness, BlueSeventy, and Podium imports