This race was hard. This race was amazing. This race was a PW.
Despite this race being my worst result in terms of time and placing, I am walking away from this race feeling as though it was a hugely positive experience.
While 'winning' is always nice, success doesn't always mean coming in first.
I can honestly say that I will be taking more away from this race than any other half
IM that I've done and that, in my opinion is a success.
It started with the morning prep. I just wasn't feeling the desire to go and rip it up. I was there and was happy to see my friends, but I just wasn't feeling the hype that I normally feel going into a 5 hour race. I also had this weird feeling that something was going to happen. I have been racing tris since 2005 and have been lucky enough that I have not had any kind of mechanical issue on the bike. I knew my time was coming... it was just a matter of when. For some reason, I felt like it was going to happen in Muskoka. Maybe I set myself up. Maybe I'm psychic. Who knows (yes, I will tell you your future - for a nominal fee).
The swim was awsome. I found some fast (male) feet. This was new for me. I was working but it was very controlled.
My time was not fast, but I was within 3 minutes of Mirinda C. and that`s the closest I`ve come to her so I`m okay with it.
The run to transition was a long steep one. A foreshadow of what was to come.
I moved quickly through transition and was out on the bike. BRRRRR. Maybe racing in a swimsuit was not such a good idea - definately not in AZ anymore.
The bike was tough. Like 7000ft of climbing, 94km tough. But I felt good. I was moving pretty comfortably through the miles but still didn`t feel like I was in `the zone`.
It was probably around 30 km that I felt like my front tire was going flat. I kept riding until I knew it was going flat and when it was close to rim on road, I conceeded to having to stop and change it.
I thought it might have been a slow leak and maybe I could refill it and keep going. I used one CO2 cannister and instantly found out that was not the case.
I changed it pretty quickly and pulled out another CO2 to fill it. The tire filled but the valve was `f`ed, and the air came back out. I took my last CO2 out and tried again - same result. By now, I was cold and starting to think I would be better off being a spectator instead.
I stood there, in my bathing suit and watched a million people go by. I decided that I would catch a ride in the sag wagon and call it a day.
Instead of a van, I was greeted by a man in a motorcycle. I asked him where we were going to put my bike.
He said giving me a lift wasn't an option but he had a couple of CO2`s.
This time, the air stayed in. Lucky me.
I have no idea how long I stood at the side of the road. I didnt have a computer, but it was long enough for me to want to sit (lay) down on the side of the road. It was long enough for my body temp to drop to `uncomfortable`.
I got back on my bike and TT`d for the next 60 km. I think I pushed too hard.
I started the run and immediately went to the `bad place`. Both of my calves were cramping and I was moving ssssslllllllooooooowwwwww. I wanted to walk. I wanted to stop. I wanted to swear and cry like a baby. But I kept going.
This awful, black vail stayed with me until around the 5 km mark. Then, I passed a girl who said she saw me on the side of the road. She told me to `never give up`.
I decided right there to put on my big girl pants and worked my way out of the rut.
I put myself in the hurt box and did my last 10 miles in 1:11 and negative split the run.
I took away many valuable lessons. 1 - being 8 pounds heavier than race weight hinders performance - especially on the run(30 seconds, per pound, per mile can really make a difference) and I now have the motivation to cut back on this:
(only available in Canada, and I got my fill while I was home).
Two: I got to practice changing a Zipp flat in a high stess situation. 3. I can pull myself out of a very dark place. Four: exertion cramps can go away, even if the exertion doesn`t. 5. this is not the best activity to revisit the day before a race:
Six: My Mommy, Daddy and sis are the best spectators ever.
7. Never give up.
Next stop, Soma.