This weekend I did another sprint tri up in Muskoka as part of my training effort. I had planned to do a couple of races to get into the crowd and learn to manage both nerves and adrenaline. This race was a good one for me!
As we were driving up to it, the skies looked like they are going to open wide and soak us. As a postive to that was the lack of humidity as a result of that happening. On the obvious side, it is never fun to race in pouring rain. Well, Mother nature seemed to be in a good mood and held off for the entire day in our race world.
The event itself was not the most organized that I have participated in over time. Registration was kind of scattered, volunteers not very aware of what was suppose to take place, parking was a bitch! Oh well!
The swim was a one way swim rather than out/back. We were down a river to our exit with a water start. The water start was good as it is an opportunity to be doing the same is IMWI. The route allowed you to swim on either side of the buoy, so I placed myseld in the ideal best shortest line for the swim. I decided that I should be using the tools that I have been working on to practice in a competitive environment what the coach had told me. It worked out well. Although my time was the same as my last event swim with a 2:00 per 100m, I came out of the water far more relaxed than last race and was able to do a faster transition. I was able to pass quite a few from the heat ahead of me which is also a good mental charge in the event.
The bike course was a typical Muskoka course with hills and hills! Right out of the mount area was a small hill to start from. I got out fairly strong and was able to ramp it up from that point. I kind of dropped my training attitude a bit once I started rolling on the bike. As I picked up I started flying by people, they set the heats from slow to fast so there were a lot of people on the road. I felt great on the bike with the exception of one hill. A long drawn out one that was a bit of a false looking uphill, within 750m of 'climbing' I was in the small ring making my way up, I was happy to see everyone struggling on it! I quickly got back in my comfort zone and started to push again. I had noticed a guy playing cat and mouse with me for a good part of the ride. After the turn he rode past me and thanked me for pacing him. WRONG for him! That pissed me off so I hit the throttle and sped off. In retrospect I want to thank him as it sped me up a tone. It was the last time I saw him! When I rolled into transition, there were very few bikes around.
My transition 2 was fairly strong although I fiddled around! I got off my bike quick and got my shoes on in a hurry with my new speed laces! But fiddled with my wet feet getting socks on, BOO! I then messed around with my Garmin to get it set up for the run. I have been to dumb to read the directions to get the multisport set up so I understand it! My time on T2 was fast but I could have been 20-30s faster had I not been messing around! The run course was a 2 loop hilly out and back course, not the best one I have run to date! Oh well! Right out of the chute was an uphill to get the heart pumping. I need to learn to roll out gradually and build up my speed rather than blowing it all right away! The run is where I need to make my biggest strategic and logistical changes if I am going to continue to improve, this race helped out on that learning curve. Once I got over the first hill, I was able to decently manage the course for the run. You saw a lot of people along the way as you were continually turning and coming back along the route. I was moderately satisfied with my run, great lessons for future races!
As I crossed the line I did it with a great satisfaction! I was happy as could be about my effort, I pushed harder than I have before and managed most of the race like a triathlete. I had nothing to be disspointed about.
As they started posting results I went over to look at the board. Hmmm, it looks like I am so far leading my age group, kind of cool I though and it stopped there. Then, my pal looked at me and said 'WOW, you placed'. I told him that the race was not over and that it would change. He looked at me like I was a dizzy blonde and told me it could not as we all went out in the same heat!
How cool is that! I went to a race to train and ended up getting a 2nd place finish in my age group in a triathlon! Last time I one a sporting event was skiing 25 years ago! It was a great mental push and a confidence builder for me moving forward! Wahoo! I loved this sport before, now I have a piece of hardware to show that the training I have put myself through has some logic!
Congrats to the IMLP racers I know who kicked butt this weekend! Awesome race by all of you!