A week of training camp

A week of training camp
So I spent 12 days down in Arizona over reading week to get in a good block of training. The primary goal obviously was to get a good tan, which I was successful in doing.
I only take my watch off for showers. 🙂 
But really it was to get in some good bike miles in the warm weather and fantastic roads (there are wide bike lanes on pretty much every road in Tucson), and keep up some swimming and running. Rather than go into details that no-one cares about I decided that I would post what 7 days of training camp looked like for me. I’m sure I can’t be the only person who wonders what other triathletes get up to with their training, but not very many people post what they do. So hopefully this provides an interesting read J I arrived on Thursday night, so there were a couple of easier days before this, and a few days (also easing off the intensity) after.
Sunday:
AM- 60min run- easy
                2hr15min bike- easy aerobic
PM- 90min swim- hard
Monday:
AM- 35min water run
                90min swim- moderate
PM- 3hrs bike- 2x20min in the middle
Tuesday:
AM- 100min swim- ez
PM- big brick of 1hr ride, 1hr run, 1hr40min ride (all aerobic)
Wednesday:
AM- 90min swim- moderate
PM- 2.5hr ride (hard but very fun intervals in the middle), 45min of drills/strides/core
Thursday:
AM- 30min warmup run + 50min step machine (so much fun) 😉 + 10min core
                – 2hr15min bike- aerobic
PM- 90min swim- moderate
Friday:
AM- 3hr45min bike (to Mt. Lemmon, 40min tempo up, down and back home)
PM- 80min swim + 20min water run
Saturday:
AM- 75min run- aerobic
90min bike- ez
PM- 90min swim- hard

This is definitely a volume of training that I have worked up to, but still left me pretty tired at the end of the training block and in need of a few days recovery. Overall it was a fantastic camp and I definitely feel I am moving in the right direction. I’m looking forward to March where I will start to add in some intensity into my running (I’ve just been building base up till now), and continuing the countdown till I am done university (46 days!).
Oro Valley pool. A picture’s worth a thousand words.
at Gates Pass
The climb at Gates Pass- this picture doesn’t do it justice.
just out for an easy run
runaway horses. traffic was stopped and the police were attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to lasso the horses

Don’t dive in the pool, and other lessons learned…

Don’t dive in the pool, and other lessons learned…
So last week was the culmination of the varsity swimming season at the Ontario Championships (OUAs) held in Ottawa this year (apart from those who qualified for the Canadian Championships). I had been looking forward to this for a while as I feel that my swimming has really improved over the last few months and was ready to set some great PBs. Unfortunately it didn’t quite pan out as I had hoped.
In an honest assessment of when things took a down turn I think it is traced back to December, when I went a little gung-ho on the training. Exam time for most people might be time to relax, perhaps even study, but I have always seen it as an excellent opportunity to get in more training, so did exactly that. At the time it seemed like a fantastic idea, and in principle it was, but I went a little overboard and did more than I was ready to handle, leaving me quite fatigued towards the middle/end of December. I took a few days easier, but not easy enough, and then went to swim training camp, where I thought that keeping up the cycling, adding in some running, along with the extra swimming would be a great idea.

Although I was able to handle it, (ie. i’m still alive) I was definitely very fatigued by the start of January and as a result my immune system was not functioning as well as it should. Add in thousands of other students on campus who were sick with something or other and I also fell victim to the colds going around. A week of clogged sinuses was followed by a week and a half of non-stop coughing up phlegm and general tiredness. A week out from OUAs I started to get better, but even by the time we were leaving for the meet I was still not feeling great and was extremely tired. I told myself that I would be okay as adrenaline would kick in at the meet and I would be fine, but I think I was just too tired for it to really make a difference in the end.
I started off the meet spectacularly by being the first person to be DQ’d, right at the beginning of warm up. I was nervous and did what seemed to be a perfectly normal thing and dove into the water, anxious to get swimming and calm the nerves. What did not occur to me at the time was the fact that diving in during warm-up is technically against the rules, although a rule that is rarely enforced. However, the officials at the meet were enforcing all the rules and I was called out of my lane after 50m of warm-up.  A few choice words were muttered and I gave a short rant to the official (something about swimming 16 hours a week, no-one was near me in the lane, no signs were up saying no diving [which is also one of their rules, but one they chose not to follow], etc) but he had absolutely zero sympathy and gleefully took my name down telling me I was now disqualified from my first event (400 free).

My coach did his best to get this reversed, but to no avail. Fortunately there was a time trial at the end of the morning session for anyone who wanted to swim an event (basically a few heats with everyone doing something different within the heat), so I was slotted in to that so that I could still do the race. Getting calmed down and then amped up again 2.5hours later is a challenge, but I did my best and tied my PB (4:53) with no one to race against. I’m not going to complain about the situation (I did break the rules after all), although I do believe that I am capable of swimming at least six seconds faster than that.

The rest of the weekend (the meet lasts 3 days) did not provide any earth-shattering results- I had small PB’s in the 100 and 200 and a very disappointing 800. I don’t think I could have done anything differently at the meet or during my races, I gave everything I had but was exhausted. To be properly ready for the meet would have required different/smarter decisions back in December and throughout January so that I could have a chance of feeling fresher. Not getting sick would have been a good idea too. So overall, it was a disappointing end to the swim season, although I definitely have learned a few lessons along the way, and look forward to continuing to improve my swimming abilities. 

The bright side of things is that taking 4 days off biking and 5 days off running seemed to do the trick and I am back to my usual self- a very good thing since I am down in Arizona for reading week to train outside in the glorious sunshine (details to be in a later blog post)

New Year check-in

New Year check-in
So I said I wouldn’t drop off the face of the earth, but was reminded by some loving relatives over Christmas that they had no idea what I was up to since I hadn’t written for a while. JSo below I will outline some of the changes I have made to my training and the shenanigans I have been up to for the past couple of months.
A couple of the big changes that I have made with my training are that I am using a power meter, and I am logging my training. These are two things that I have been told over and over to do but for one reason or another did not. I cannot say I am in love with the power meter, mostly because when it fails to calibrate (which happens at least once a week) I tell myself how useless technology is and get frustrated with it. However, I am persisting and will see how this benefits (or doesn’t benefit) my training in the long run. It is interesting to note that even when I don’t look at my watch I am very accurate with gauging what watts I am at. Logging my training is something that I have generally been on/off with, because I never found a place that was a)free and b)easy to use, in order to log my training (and found that it took too much time- I have little patience). However, with some searching I did find a site called triblogs.com that is fantastic, and using the basic version is free. It allows me to put in a variety of different types of training (actually a very extensive list), totals things up (time, distance) by sport and overall, and can produce graphs and such. I am finding it very useful and it gives a good eye-opener as to how much training I can handle and is easier to put some structure to what I am doing.
I was at a training camp (at our pool in Waterloo, nothing too exciting) with the varsity swim team over the Christmas break and it was a ton of fun. Although only a week long it has been great to put an extra focus on swimming for a bit and be with such an amazing group. I am working on changing my stroke at the moment to have a deeper catch (so the opposite of the ‘high-elbow catch’ –which is what a lot of people tout as the best way to swim). It takes more effort (likely because it is not natural to me), but when done properly is definitely faster. So i’m having fun working on that J


deep catch
high elbow catch
And I am (once again) on the slow progression to getting back into running. I started last week and will be trying a slightly different approach than before, since I will not be racing for a while. The plan is to only do easy running for 6-8 weeks to build up leg strength before adding in any interval work. This is in addition to adding a lower-body strength program to my training so as to hopefully have the muscles absorb the impact of my running rather than it being transferred to the bones.
The plan for racing in 2015 is to focus on the Olympic distance (non-drafting races) for at least the first half of the season, hopefully getting my legs used to the idea of running hard without breaking on me. Ultimately I want to be racing at the half-ironman distance, and with the developments in the Challenge series it looks like it is going to provide some great opportunities.

So I just have four months left of university before I get the most expensive sheet of paper ever, and then it’s full-time triathlete life!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 

Cross Country Season

Cross Country Season
It’s taken me a while to write this, stared at the screen for far too long, started over a half dozen times- this is not how I imagined my cross country racing coming to an end.

I raced only 3 races this season, which is less than normal, but in my opinion there is far too much racing in the university cross country season. I skipped the first race to do Barrelman instead (a very good decision).  My legs were quite sore after this race, but nothing alarming. 

October 4th was Waterloo Open for cross country. Most schools don’t bother to come to our race as many are in the US for some big races down there. So it wasn’t the most competitive race, but I won, which is the first time I have ever won a cross country race. 🙂  We had some spectacular weather, sleet and rain, lots of mud, and a little chilly. I guess you could say a ‘true cross country race’.  My legs were sore afterwards, but I chalked it up to first time racing in spikes in a year. 



The following week we were off to Queen’s to race at Fort Henry. This was to be the course for OUAs so there was a good turnout of schools, although Guelph and Western were noticeably missing, as were others. (for those that don’t know, Guelph is rather dominant on the university cross country scene, to put it lightly). We had fantastic weather (no sarcasm) for this race and it is a course that really suits me as the ground is fairly hard-packed (basically a grass-covered rock), without any steep hills. I had a pretty good race coming in 6thoverall in a time of 21:52 (6km- 3:38/km). Since I was still under the weather from a cold I’d had all week I was really happy with the result and was ready to come back in two weeks even better.  But that didn’t happen. 
Things went downhill pretty quickly after the race as my leg was causing me a lot of pain. I went to the university athletics therapy where they informed me I had several knots in the muscles in my right leg. By the end of the week I was skeptical about the diagnosis and had a bone scan arranged for a few days before OUAs. I ran only twice between the Queen’s race and OUAs two weeks later, but wasn’t too worried about fitness as a 22 minute race is really not that long. Easy to tough it out, right? I was not contacted with the bone scan results before OUAs so I just assumed that there was no problem.

OUAs is the Ontario Championships for cross country- the end of the season for many as not all schools will pay for their teams to go to the Canadian Championships (which can be located anywhere in Canada- this year they are in Newfoundland, the past four years they have been in Quebec/Ontario). The race started out at a brisk pace, with me going through the first kilometer in about 3:18, which is faster than I would have liked but was not so fast that it would screw me over for the next 5km. I slowly worked my way up the field over the first 3km, but the pain was setting in fast and I was struggling to hold on. The last two kilometers were complete agony, to put it nicely, but being competitive I kept pushing. My quads and calves had seized up by the 5km mark and I would estimate that my last kilometer took about 4 minutes (i should have been running about 3:35/km for the first few kilometers); I went from 12th to 18th pretty quickly but there was literally nothing I could do. I was informed after by my friend’s parents that my face was as white as a ghost and they didn’t think I was going to make it to the finish line- I would say that accurately describes how I felt. (Finish time was 22 minutes on the dot, 3:40/km). I did not take one step past the finish line but opted to crawl under the finish chute rope and lie in the grass for the next 25 minutes. I don’t think I have ever hurt so much in a race before, so looking for the positives, I have learned that I can push through a lot of pain and still make it to the finish line. I think the positives may end there though.

The bone scan results came back a couple days later, and yes, you guessed it, I have another stress fracture. I have no idea how, given my very limited run volume, so if you have the magic answer, let me know.  So no more running for me this year, and no more cross country, ever. The bright side is that my team gets to go to the Canadian Championships because we did well enough as a team (although the school doesn’t think I deserve to go since I won’t be able to run, despite the fact that I was our top runner and team captain; ending rant now, but so much more to it than that), and my swimming has improved remarkably already from not running for a week.

So that is the update for the time being- I will be taking the break from running as an opportunity to really work on my swim to hopefully see some improvement there. I know I said I’d have a season review part 2 post but that is going to have to wait a little longer as I am waiting to hear about what the Rev3/Challenge merger is doing with their races, as well as if the recent partnership between Ironman and LifeTimeTri is changing anything with those races.

As always thanks for reading! I will try to think of some things to write about over the winter so I don’t appear to drop off the face of the earth.  

Season Review- Part 1

Season Review- Part 1

10 steps back, 12 steps forward

Now that the triathlon season is over it is time to look back and evaluate the good and the bad. Some White Chicks quotes are thrown in for smiles. The 2014 season did not pick up where I left off in 2013, in fact it was far from it. I feel I was somewhat spoiled in 2013 as I don’t recall having a bad race (some were better than others, but I was always happy with my results). 2014 started with a stress fracture that forced me to miss the first two months of racing, and trying to get back into it was a struggle.
The Bad

Gravenhurst
Perhaps I still haven’t gotten over this race, but it certainly taught me some lessons. This is how I felt: 
But really I set myself up to have a bad race as despite not running more than 7km easy prior to this race, I expected myself to run a sub-40minute 10km off the bike, all while knowing that this was a particularly challenging course. The swim and bike were okay, but I tried to set off at an unsustainable pace on the run and paid the price. This really taught me about the principle of training and racing to your current ability levels, not where you want them to be.
Nutrition

Without getting into too many details, I have had my fair share of eating problems in my teen years and some of those obsessions have stuck with me. This has led to improper fueling of workouts and races which means I am not reaching my potential. This has impacted my races (another factor at Gravenhurst). I know better, but putting it into practice is easier said than done.
Strength training

Or more importantly- the lack thereof. Full time work sucks (to put it bluntly), and having less time to train than usual, the first thing to be cut from training was strength work. I told myself that doing big-gear work on the bike and the handful of push-ups done before swim practice most mornings would be fine, despite knowing this really wasn’t the case. I don’t know how much this really impacted my racing short-term, but long-term it can lead to injuries due to muscle imbalances. It may have prevented the injuries I ran into in August that forced me to miss racing in Bracebridge.
The Good

Riding my TT bike more

In 2013 I did most of my riding on my road bike, usually only riding my TT bike once a week, twice if I was racing. I love my road bike and I think it is more comfortable for riding, but the position on the TT bike is different meaning that it needs to be practised if you’re going to be (somewhat) comfortable on race day. This year I rode my TT bike 4- 5 days a week, which made noticeable improvements in my ability to stay in aero as well as bike handing skills. This was very apparent during Barrelman in the strong winds.
Keeping up with swim training

By being in Waterloo for the summer it meant that I could train with the varsity swim team. This was extremely beneficial to me as I find it hard to motivate myself to go hard in the pool if no-one else is there. Didn’t make the pace time?

This was very apparent in 2013 when all my swim training was on my own- my swimming got worse as the season went on. Keeping up the intensity and working on other strokes has really helped my swimming and led to some respectable swim times throughout the season.
Barrelman

This is probably the most obvious thing for the “good” list of the season. I was so happy with this race that I had trouble sleeping for the next 3 nights. I had a very different taper approach into this race, which meant keeping high volume until Wednesday morning, then dropping off dramatically until race day. This is in contrast to the gradual 10-day taper that I have used in the past. I felt very energized on race morning. I listened to the advice of others and actually fuelled this race, which was crucial to set me up for a good run. And when Lionel Sanders is the only person who runs faster than you on race day, you can’t complain.
I will have a follow up post to explain the plans and goals for next season, but in summary 

Barrelman!

Barrelman!

Wow… I still can’t believe that just happened, race of the season for sure and hopefully only a glimpse of my future potential in this sport. Too bad the season has to end now L


Although I’m sure most people are aware, I should start off on a note about the weather. A week before the race the forecast was 23 and sunny for race day. 2 days out it was forecast for humid and raining. Saturday morning it was a gloomy outlook of thunderstorms all day. But the weather gods came to our aid, and after some brief rain while in transition, it cleared up and turned out to be a beautiful day. Literally couldn’t have asked for better weather for the race.
Arriving at transition an hour and a half before race start meant lots of time to chill and chat with some of the other competitors. This turned out to be extremely beneficial because I was under the impression that I was still starting with my age group wave, and not with the pros. Turns out this was not the case and I got to start in the pro wave, which was a huge relief and could have saved me a lot of stress if I had known this earlier. So it was with excitement that I headed down to the swim start, knowing that I was not about to get pummeled to death by a bunch of other swimmers. Yay!
At 8:59 the pros set off (10 of us I think), which meant a nice clean start. I tried to draft off Angela but this lasted only about 50m or so and as soon as I lost the draft there was no catching up. After that it was a solo swim. The back stretch felt pretty brutal going against the current and waves- probably the longest 960m of my life, but swimming with the current in the opposite direction made up for it and I ended up less than a minute down from Angela (so better than Kingston where I was 90 seconds down).
Off onto the bike the roads were still pretty wet but it was no longer raining. The wind was pretty strong but I was feeling good and didn’t pay too much attention to it. About 2-3km in Lionel passed me and for a fleeting moment I literally had the impression that I wasn’t moving. I looked down at my legs just to make sure I was still pedalling, which I was, so smiled, shook my head in admiration, and kept going. Just after the 10km mark I caught up to Angela and could see she was struggling with the wind. Fortunately for me (at least in this instance), I am a little more compact in stature, so could stay down in aero and keep a relatively straight line- a few times the wind gusts caught me and I had to stop pedalling briefly to make sure that I didn’t end up off the road, but all in all it wasn’t all that bad- I actually enjoyed the extra challenge. I was expecting Paolina to catch me at some point during the ride, but 60km, then 80km, then 85km came and went without her passing me, which was extremely motivating as I knew I had to be riding well to keep ahead of her. I think in the end she was about 45 seconds to a minute back from me in T2 (she rode 2 minutes faster over the 92km).

Off onto the run next- the first couple of kilometers I was feeling a little tired, mostly because of the headwind, but I knew that if it was in my face at the beginning it would be at my back for the finish, so no worries. The run course was beautiful and fairly challenging with some nice hills in there. Kudos to the volunteers as they were all totally on top of having nutrition/water ready for the athletes as they came by. I was intent on laying down the fastest run split I could, mostly just to prove to myself that I could run, so there was no letting up (I think I ran a pretty even pace too). I could feel blisters forming on the bottom of my feet during the second lap, but it was a small price to pay for victory. In to the last couple of kilometers I picked up the pace, glanced at my watch as it read 1hr18min and pushed to the finish, intent on not letting it get to 1hr21min. I was successful (9 seconds to spare), and although the run course was a tad short, it still would have been a PB for an open half marathon distance. Clearly I should always swim and bike before I run.

Post-race I was educated by Paolina on how to open champagne bottles- I still failed. http://instagram.com/p/tOL_O_sXLx/
My result far exceeded any expectation I had and I’m still pinching myself and wondering if this is real. It’s hard to believe that 2 and a half years ago I didn’t really know what triathlons were and didn’t own a road bike. Hard work and many hours of training evidently pays off.
I was asked for honest criticisms and compliments of the race so here it is: I can honestly say I have no criticisms of the race. Everything went off without a hitch (in my eyes)- clean clothes and wetsuits were brought to T2 for us to pick up at the end of the race, my run gear was waiting for me at the right spot when I arrived, the bike course was well marked, police officers were alert and controlling traffic well, volunteers were at their stations and making sure we knew where to go, and the roads were well paved. Same goes for the scenic run course- volunteers and police did a great job, and running past the Falls was amazing. I would highly recommend this race to anyone. Hats off to John Salt and the Multisport Canada Team for organizing a world-class event.

Huge thanks as always to those who have helped me through this season. C3 for providing continuing support, guidance, and training partners, Multisport Canada for having the elite/pro division that attracts the best athletes in Ontario and for supporting their Ambassador Team, I had an awesome boss over the summer, Ron McCarville, who allowed me to have flexible hours some days to train, Jeff Slater, Waterloo Varsity Swim coach, who continues to help me improve in the water, and of course to everyone who actually reads this blog and cheers me on at races- I really appreciate it!! 

Lakeside

Lakeside
Celebrating the fact that I am back in school and free from 8-hour desk jobs (for the time being), I had my highest volume week of training since April 2013 coming into this race. My body handled the extra training well and I wasn’t too worried heading into the race as it was really just a “check the box” race (to get my 4th race in). I had no expectations; all I had to do was cross the finish line. Then I had one of my best races of the season (arguably the best race).  (edit: just checked and this is actually a lifetime PB for the Olympic distance triathlon)
Swim
This was a two lap swim course in a fairly calm lake. I communicated with a couple of the men standing near me on the start line about what line they were taking (going left or right around the green buoy ahead of us) and therefore had a great start and didn’t  get hit once. We were allowed to dolphin dive the first section of the swim, but barely reaching 5’4” this was useless and I started swimming right away (the tall guy beside me did about 5 dolphin dives). The first lap was very smooth, but coming into the second lap it was a bit of an obstacle course to avoid the two waves that had started after and were still on their first lap. Since I wasn’t worried about my overall time I kept my stroke very relaxed. Evidently I should do this more often as I had my fastest swim time of the season (although they are hard to compare as timing mats at the exit vary in their placement from race to race).

Bike
After a ridiculously slow transition (I told the volunteers that I was demonstrating how NOT to do a transition), it was off onto the bike course. I caught one person in the first 2 kilometers and from then on it was a solo ride. I could see one person occasionally up in the distance, but I wasn’t catching him, and I couldn’t see anyone behind me. After a lot of biking during the week I was feeling fairly tired so didn’t go too hard. I thoroughly enjoyed the tailwind as we headed east, but as we turned again to head south and then west again, my motivation was waning. With no-one around there was little incentive to go any harder so I just kept turning the pedals. Finally, someone caught me in the last two kilometers to bring me back to the fact that I was still in a race and I tried to keep with him (at a legal distance of course).
Run
T2 was a little slow as my hands and feet were cold which made it a little harder to get my running shoes on, but soon I was off with the guy who had caught me on the bike. I thought this was awesome because it looked like I was going to have someone to run with. Unfortunately he only lasted about 900m at my pace and once again I was on my own. I felt pretty good on the run up until about 4.5km when the contents of my digestive system decided they didn’t really want to stay there. The second lap I was contemplating finding a bush, but couldn’t face having a slow time on Sportstats, so continued to run while listening to things shifting around with every step. Not pleasant to say the least. Counting down the kilometers it was a relief to get to the finish line (and the porta-potties) and was shocked and happy to see my time of 2:06:28. My fastest time ever for an Olympic distance race. Although my run time is still a far cry from what it was last year, I am taking the slow but steady improvements with a smile.
2:06:28!!!

The reason for the high volume week is because I have decided that I will give Barrelman a shot next weekend. I am not ready for the season to end and my leg (knock on wood) is still in one piece so I am excited to support MSC with their race- I know it will be well-run as always and a great experience. I have never done a half-iron distance race so this will be a foray into new territory. I have no real expectations other than to try my best. I am sure that I will learn a lot of lessons on race day.

World Championships Edmonton

World Championships Edmonton
(**pictures to be added when my parents get around to sending theirs to me. could be a while…)
I should preface this by saying that my frustration and negativity with being injured 3 weeks out from worlds was evidently unwarranted, as although I don’t think it helped me any, it didn’t appear to do too much harm either. With some careful planning around training and some rehab I was able to put in a solid but short block of training before the race which left me ready to go on race day.
Race morning dawned a chilly 7 degrees or so, very reminiscent of London last year. Water temperature was slightly warmer though at 17.7, meaning we could do the full 1500m swim.
Bikes were racked the day before so there was little to do in transition before the race. Then it was down towards the swim start where we waited around for 20 minutes or so before our wave. Chatting with LaurenHeinken and Meg Lamers helped to calm the nerves and treat this as just any other race.
The swim start was on the sand, although there was an immediate drop-off in the water so there was only room for two steps into a dive to get going. The horn went and I dove into the water, did a couple dolphin kicks and began to swim. To my astonishment this left me clear of most of my competitors as they didn’t do the whole dolphin dive thing (I must thank the varsity swim team for teaching me these skills). This left for a fairly uneventful swim. I could see that there was a small group way ahead, but I was expecting this, as there is usually a small contingent of those who come from a swim background that leave the rest of us behind. I wasn’t worried about it because, (apart from Angela Quick) it has been my experience that most age group athletes that have a great swim don’t back it up with a strong bike/run. Two laps of the pond and we were into the long run up to transition. I have to assume that the timing mats were somewhere along the way and not by the water, as the swim times all seemed rather slow, but I don’t know for sure.

Transition went smoothly and it was out onto the bike course. It was a two lap course with one steep but short hill and a couple of long, but gradual hills each lap. One of my bike shoes had been giving me grief all week by not clipping in easily and race day was no exception. It took about 5km before it clipped in and then I started to pick off my competitors one by one. About 13km in I took the lead but kept up the strong pace, hoping to give myself as much of a buffer into the run as I could. Not much happened throughout the rest of the bike course- I got rather cold and could feel that affecting me, but knew everyone else was dealing with the same conditions so didn’t think too much about it.
heading to T2

First into T2 I knew the race was on. There were two girls only a short ways behind and I knew they were capable of running fast. Taking my sweet time in T2 they probably gained another 10 seconds on me, leaving me with about a 20 second gap. I set out at a fairly good pace but due to the layout of the run course (sort of like a “T”) I couldn’t see where everyone else was until about 4km in. Turns out I was putting in a small amount of time to 2ndand 3rd place, who were running beside each other. Making sure I looked like I was having a great time (I smiled at them) I increased the pace a bit as we crossed paths, not wanting them to think that they would catch me easily. I have no idea whether this worked or not, but by the turn around at 9km I had put in about 15 more seconds on 2nd place (3rd place had dropped back).  Then it was into the final stretch on to the blue carpet and the finish line. The cheers from the Canadian crowds were amazing and it felt awesome to repeat as World Champion on home soil. Although I doubted my ability to run going into the race, I had the second fastest run split, so can’t have done that badly…

Finish chute

Although this was initially to be the end of my season, not racing Bracebridge means that I still need a fourth MSC race to qualify for the elite series awards, so I will be at Lakeside in a week’s time. After a short “break” in Jasper, it is back to regular training. After being on co-op for the past 8 months I am sincerely looking forward to going back to school, because it allows for a lot more training time! 😀

Bracebridge- DNS

A few people have asked why i wasn’t at Bracebridge so here is the short answer- I injured myself training and so it hurts to swim and biking and running are impossible, ergo, no racing (or training for that matter). Frustrated, upset, angry, irritated, and disappointed don’t really even begin to describe how i feel. I kinda feel like doing something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOjKfqeiQvo   But obviously won’t since bikes are expensive. Hopefully next year things go better (its not like they could they be worse right?)
(yes i’ll be in Edmonton, and the athlete/competitive person in me thinks i can have a great race, but the realistic/logical part of me realizes that i likely won’t be able to have the race i want to have since i won’t be able to train for at least another week)

Kingston Long Course

I was excited to do the Kingston long course triathlon this year as it slight increase in distance from Olympic but not quite a half ironman and I wanted to see how I would fare with the extra kilometers. It looked like it would be a relatively flat and fast course and although it turned out to be slightly hillier than I expected, it was still a great course and a fun race.
The swim to the first buoy was horrendous. My initial plan was to try and jump on Angela’s feet, however this plan was quickly thwarted when I got hit multiple times, people grabbed my arms, someone managed to grab both my legs (how is that even possible…?) and another guy swimming right in front of me was doing a zig-zag the whole way to the buoy with his feet right in my face, causing me to have to slow down. Fortunately I don’t have to start with you violent men again this year. 😀 Once around the first buoy it was like everyone disappeared and I was swimming on my own the rest of the way.  Aside from swimming a less than straight line, the swim went well.
Onto the bike I knew Angela was ahead and I was unlikely to catch her so I just focused on pacing the bike leg so that I would have something left for the run. It was a great course, although as I mentioned, hillier than I was expecting.
Onto the run I was excited to see that my legs were feeling decently good. I had my bike fit looked at last Monday which resulted in moving the saddle back a couple of centimeters, and that seems to have solved some of the problems I was having earlier in the season J I didn’t know how much of a lead Angela had on me so I was looking for her. The course had lots of turns though so I couldn’t see too far ahead at any one time. At about 5km I saw her and probably unconsciously picked up the pace until I caught her at about the 6km mark. I found out later she was having cramping issues which is unfortunate for her as she had an excellent swim-bike combo to start the race. After that I just kept plugging away and felt surprisingly good for the majority of the run. I could feel the leg fatigue setting in just after the 10km mark and knew I was slowing down, but tried not to slow down too much. I crossed the finish line with a run split of 1:01:48 which is probably the best run I’ve had this year, although I wanted to break an hour. Next time. JThe run course was really nice as a lot of it was down on a path by the water, so it was quite enjoyable.
survived the 15km run! and having bib #1 was really cool too 😛
Post-race I enjoyed some food, caught up with some athletes, took some pictures, and found out I get my name on a trophy which is pretty cool. 😛
found these cute little baby ducks in the water post race!

I’d like to once again thank Multisport Canada for their support and for hosting a great race, C3, and my swim coach Jeff Slater.