CDA has to be one of my favourite races on the circuit. It is both beautiful and challenging, and the volunteers are awesome. It really is a race where it feels like the whole community is behind it. This was my third time racing here, and while the temps have always been hot, I have enjoyed it every time (even when I was dying in the heat 2 years ago). Fortunately the 6am start time helps with finishing before the hottest part of the day. It was a last minute decision to come down to this race for a few reasons: I went into full Ironman training mode after Victoria, so volume was high and there would be no taper. I also crashed my bike the week after Victoria, which put a bit of a damper on everything. It wasn’t that bad, but I was pretty bruised up, and couldn’t ride aero because of the bruise on my forearm. Fortunately bruises heal fairly quickly, and I was able to get back at it:)
It’s funny how when watching a race, especially someone you know or have been following, how splits can pretty much tell the race story with no words. Swim times can definitely be affected by water conditions, but at the end of the day…. It was either good or bad. In my case, it was not a swim to be proud of. This is extremely frustrating for me as I have put so much time into the pool, and did see some improvements, but now with leg volume getting higher and higher, my swim has taken a few steps backwards. I knew right away when I got in race day morning to warm up that today was not my day to shine in the water. I couldn’t control my breathing and couldn’t get relaxed. I tried to calm myself down and get in a zone, but when the gun went off, it all fell apart. I didn’t have a panic attack thank God, but my breathing effort level felt like I was sprinting when I was probably barely moving. After a few minutes, I decided that I just needed to be ok with the fact that this wasn’t going to be a podium swim and to get my game face on when I got out of the water…… which is what I did.
I knew I had a massive deficit going out on the bike, but when someone yelled at me 6min….I was both mad and worried. 6 min is a lot of time, especially in a half. Of course as I settled in, I noticed that my bike computer wasn’t picking up my power consistently. It kept jumping in and out. I did have my watch as a backup, but I was defiantly prepared to go old school if I had to. Back to just listening to your body and trusting it;) The bike, and especially this course, is a patience game. While I knew I had a HUGE deficit to make up, the hill in the first half of this bike course can be the game changer for your race. If you hit it too hard, there is a pretty good chance the rest of your race will be tougher than it needed to be, or just fall apart altogether. Once again, I was patient and trusted my plan. It took me a long time to catch the top three girls, only catching Haley (who led out of the swim by a long shot) in the last few km’s. I do have to say tho that it was a total motivational booster when I racked my bike in first on our rack!
I had very strict instructions for the run portion of this race: If the one in front is too far ahead to catch, and the one behind is way back, then to just cruise the last bit of the run. This run is a two loop out-and back course, so you can see where the other girls are at almost any point on the run. Haley quickly moved into first in the first couple km’s, but after getting 1:15-1:30 ahead, we pretty much maintained the same spacing for the entire run. I did loose about 20seconds to her in a bathroom stop, but I came out running faster after it…lol. At about halfway through, I thought I could make up the time, but my legs were tired. The “no-taper” was starting to kick in. I was still able to maintain my pace, with the exception of a couple dark moments, but I just couldn’t gain. I didn’t want to totally destroy myself, knowing that I have a lot of training to get in before Whistler, meaning I couldn’t risk a long recovery. With about 5km to go, I knew that third was five min or so back, so I knew I could tone it down a bit…. But still didn’t know what shape first was in. I didn’t “destroy” myself, but I just maintained with a small hope that first might blow up. It didn’t happen, and I did come in a solid second, less than two min down.
I am very happy with my results, and prove that my sub 1:30 run in Victoria wasn’t a fluke, as I ran almost identical here in CDA. So while I did in fact loose these last two races on the swim, my bike/run fitness has improved greatly. My nutrition, thanks to F2C, has proven itself again to me as I had zero stomach issues both during and after the race. I know that their line of products have helped my fitness gains as well. Thanks to their recovery products, I have been able to be more diligent about post workout recovery in my busy life, as I quite often don’t have time to get food in me in that 30min window. These are all little things that add up to a lot at the end of the day.
Time to move onward to Whistler!! A huge thank you to all of my sponsors once again for helping me get to the Podium! Skechers Performance Canada, F2C nutrition, EnergyLab Wheels, Swagman Racks, Podium Imports, Blue Seventy, Nuvista, The Bike Barn, and of course to JonnyO Coaching:)