Monday, September 14, 2015

Barrelman: Pre race

Well, that's about it for training for this thing. The hard work is done; this week just leaves a few workouts to maintain my fitness, and then it's race day. Started tapering last week and that's been fun - suddenly I have a whole lot of energy! Who knew that when you exercise like a normal person you have energy left over for minor details like cleaning up the wildly disastrous living room (with both my husband and I training for goal races, things around the house got a little out of hand over the summer...).

The two weeks before taper. That's some crazy shit right there.

There are a few logistical things to work out - like I hope the gear bag thing described in the athlete's guide makes more sense once I have my hands on them! And we have to decide if my family will come watch the start/swim/T1 or if I need to scam a ride from someone to get to the start/shuttle bus on race morning. But I'm physically ready, I'm excited, and my race outfit is clean* and ready to go, so pretty much I'm all set.

*very important so the Iron Canucks cheer squad will recognize me! I want those cheers and encouragement!

There's something about putting on a team uniform that just makes you feel about 3 times more badass on race day.

The training really couldn't have gone any better. Sure, in an ideal world I'd have gotten in more swimming, and some of the run workouts were skipped, or cut short, or didn't go very well, but overall? I came through with no injuries, and I feel strong and fit and ready to rock this thing. Or at least finish it successfully!

Early morning at the race site/flatwater centre
When it comes to the swim, I'm really excited. My tri club did a training day at the venue and it's pretty sweet. The canal makes sighting simple, the water was lovely, and I have no nerves at all about this. I've swum 2k in open water a bunch of times now, and did a 3k swim a few weeks ago that felt amazing. I am set! I won't be breaking any speed records but I'm really looking forward to this swim. Not something I thought I would be saying at the beginning of the summer, that's for sure!

Photo via Coach Nancy

On the bike, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Especially confidence boosting were a 60k race pace/12k brick run workout, a 90k flat ride on part of the course, and a 110k solo ride a few weeks ago. I can now ride 90k+ and get off the bike feeling pretty good! I have a nutrition and hydration plan. I need to remember to shift my position around a bit when I eat, because 90k in aero gets a bit uncomfortable, but the ride should be a good one.

Welcoming committee after a brick run
For the run...Just survive. I've run many half marathons before. One foot in front of the other. Running is really very simple compared to the other two sports! I'm a little worried about the double loop nature of the run course, since psychologically it suuuuucks so much when you start that second loop, but my husband and I did a long run together where we deliberately made it a double loop and it wasn't so bad. Possibly because I took a caffeinated gel as we started the second loop and that put a little extra pep in my step (note to self!).

This has nothing to do with anything but what a rainbow that was!
Goals? As always when I tackle a new distance, I mostly just want to finish the thing successfully. This will be the longest race I've ever done and I don't think I need to put a lot of time pressure on myself with this one.

Current Welland forecast. It could be a lot worse!
I would, however, be pretty thrilled if I can finish it in 6 hours - I think that's within my capabilities but it's going to be VERY dependent on weather. If it's really windy from the wrong direction, the bike could take longer than I'm anticipating. And we all know how much I just love running when it's hot out, so the half marathon could be All Aboard the Struggle Bus. So that's not a goal; more of a dream, really. There are just too many outside factors for me to be confident in making it a goal!

Now I'll be resting up, going over my race day checklist a million times to make sure I have everything, and generally getting nothing else done because YOU GUYS I'M GOING TO DO A HALF DISTANCE TRI! For anyone who will be at the race on Sunday, good luck if you are racing, and if not, and you spot me, please do give me a cheer and some encouragement - especially on the run. I will appreciate every single one!


  1. You are ready to go! Good luck and can't wait to hear all about it.

  2. I have such a huge smile on my face!! You are more than ready and you're going to blow this triathlon's socks off!! Can't wait to see you at the finish line!!

  3. And we both posted the rainbow, just because. Love it!

  4. Can't wait to see how you do! You're going to surprise yourself, I'm sure!

  5. Emma, the bags will make much more sense when they are in your hands. :) I'm very excited by a forecast of 10 km/h winds, compared to the nearly 60 km/h gusts last year! You will do awesome!! (I'm assuming you know for the swim that you should hug the shore when you're swimming up current and the middle when you're swimming with the current?)

    1. Yep, I know all about the current - did the Welland sprint :) Although I will say I didn't notice any current when we did our test swim at the venue!