Before I go over how my day went on Sunday, I just want to say how much I love this race! The community, volunteers and race course really hit home as it really reminds me of Penticton and Ironman Canada. It really gives me a “hometown” feel, adding to the beauty of the race.
I really had no expectations going into this race. I am 100% focused on Ironman Lake Placid, and Ironman specific training, not half distance training. This is a fun race to do as a training day as it is close to home, and as I mentioned before, a beautiful race. I’m not sure if it’s just because I felt like I had no pressure on myself, but I feel better going into this race than I did going into Victoria…… which is interesting considering I had no taper going into this race!
The swim here in CDA has always been slower for me. It was a little choppy race morning, and the water was quite cold this year. I’m happy it was a wetsuit swim, but I haven’t had much open water training yet this year as our lakes here have been taking their time to warm up. So when the gun went off, I managed to find some feet…. But they weren’t the faster feet I wanted. I was really hoping for a 28-29min swim, so I wasn’t thrilled when I exited at 31min.
As I headed onto the bike, I got comfortable and settled into a rhythm quite quickly. The first turnaround is quite early in the bike….. I think around 10km or so. This gave me a chance to see where I was sitting. Haley was way out front as expected with her speedy swim, and then the rest of the girls were all within a comfortable distance to me. This course is challenging- very undulating with a decently long steady climb. It pays to be patient on this course and not hammer out the first 25km. Sarah and I had come out of the water together and I knew with her cycling strength that she was going to challenge me. Not to mention that she can run a hell of a lot faster than me at the half distance. We played some cat and mouse through a good chunk of the course, picking off the faster swimmers one by one. I eventually managed to pull away from her, but was never able to catch Haley who had a 6min lead on me out of the water. Overall I was happy with the way the ride went. I rode higher watts than Victoria and felt much stronger and more comfortable.
I came off the bike in second, still 2min down on Haley. She ran a couple minutes faster than me last year, and I knew I would have to have the run of my life to catch her. My legs felt surprisingly good…. Much better than my last race. I just focused on staying relaxed and keeping a good turnover going. At the first turn around, as expected, Sarah and Lindsey were right there. Sarah passed by 7km or so, with Lindsey right there as well. Not that I was “giving in” to them, but realistically I am not capable of running faster than maybe a 1:27 in a standalone half. So knowing these girls would run 1:20-1:25, I knew I didn’t have a chance of fighting this one. Reminding myself that this is just a training day, I focused on all the things I would normally focus on in a training run. I managed to run super consistent, and my legs didn’t shut down like they did in Victoria. I ran away with 4th place with a 1:30 run…. Not my fastest, but 2.5 min faster than Victoria and I felt 100 times better.
So overall I was happy with the way the day went. OK swim, pushed myself on the bike and rode higher watts, and ran a solid (for me) run feeling better than I have in the past. This was really all I needed to boost my confidence for the next big race: Lake Placid on July 22!!
Thanks to all my family, friends, coach and sponsors!
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