This is the third year I have raced in Victoria and it was just as exciting as the first two. I love this venue and it is pretty close to home. I wasn’t in my best shape going into this race, but I got the work done enough to land a second place on the podium. After racing IM Texas, I had to get a toenail removed, and then was on a longer strain of antibiotics due to an infection. Not that I’m making excuses, but this definitely didn’t help with the recovery from Texas. It would be fair to say I had more challenging training days than good ones, so I really wasn’t feeling “on top” going into this race.
So here I was, toeing the start line again with major mixed emotions. I wanted the win so badly but knew it would be a hard day to get it. I was up against a field of strong swimmers and runners, so knew I would more or less spend half the day chasing and the other half being chased. I had a solid 29min swim, which for me is good…. Actually anything under 30min I am usually happy about! This set me up in a good mental state going into the bike.
The bike course in Victoria is beautiful, challenging, and most definitely not flat! I love this route, and one of these days would love to go back and ride it to take in the beautiful surroundings instead of keeping my eyes glued to the pavement 5m in front of me. After the first 10km, I had moved through a good chunk of the field, and was happy with my position. I was not hitting the power numbers we had hoped for, as my legs were not feeling great, so the numbers were sitting on the low side. I knew if I tried to push those with the way my legs felt, I would have a really rough run. The more you train and race, the more you get to know your body. While numbers are a great tool, sometimes trusting your body is a better choice. I knew I was going to have to execute a hard ride to get up to the front, but couldn’t risk crossing that line into failure. I didn’t know how much, if any, time I had put into the front girls, but decided to play the patience game instead of blowing myself up! I believe it was the 40-50km mark that I caught up to Jen and then Rachel. These girls are tough and I’m not going to lie I’m still a little scared of them;) I played it smart, riding strong and steady, coming into T2 with a race best bike split, and 3.5min lead on Rachel.
This run is a beautiful trail run around the lake. It is very undulating and has a challenging little out and back on a hill (the only part of the race you can see your competitors). I didn’t feel super great getting out on the run, but felt better than I had in some of the training days leading up. I got into a pretty good rhythm, and when I got to the out and back, was able to see who was behind me. This is around the 8km mark. Rachel was there, gaining some time on me, sitting a little less than 3min back. Quickly doing the math in my head, I knew I could still get to the finish line first if I could maintain my pace. I also knew that Jen and Lindsey were back there as well…… both super strong runners, so the day wasn’t done yet! Then… in the back half of the run, at about 14-15km, my legs shut down. They just didn’t want to move any more at all. This course is so sheltered that GPS doesn’t work properly, but I knew I wasn’t running as fast as I wanted. I kept telling myself “You don’t have to feel good to do well”, but at 17km, I glanced back and Rachel was right there. She passed and I tried my hardest to stay with her, but my legs were saying no. I swallowed the hard reality that I had just lost the win, and just needed to run as well as I could to keep second. I managed to do this, coming in a minute behind first. Am I happy? Yes. Disappointed? Yes. But that’s the way racing works. It’s another second place finish to add to the resume….. hopefully the next one will be a first
Thanks to all my family, friends, coach and sponsors for helping me fulfill this crazy dream of mine!
JonnyOCoaching, F2C Nutrition, Skechers Performance Canada, Felt Bicycles, Swagman Racks, Wattie Ink, EnergyLab Wheels, Velofix, Podium Imports, Pioneer, BlueSeventy, The Bike Barn, Nuvista Chiropractic and Wellness, Zizu Optics