Monday, June 5, 2017

Race report: Milton sprint triathlon 2017

My expectations heading into the Milton Sprint Tri were not really bottom of the barrel. More like if you took a shovel and dug down 30 feet below the barrel. Not very high, is what I’m saying. While I’m now back to being fully healthy* (yay!), I’ve only got a couple of weeks of real training under my belt, and running in particular has felt mostly awful.

*except for the seasonal allergies. Stupid trees.

So I wasn’t exactly super enthused about this race, and was really regretting having signed up for it. Especially when Sunday morning it was pouring rain. It was soooo tempting to just stay in bed.

But I’d paid good money and at the least wanted my t-shirt, so off on my triathlon training day (that happened to have announcers and several hundred other people participating). Milton is the closest triathlon to home for me, so it was a pretty relaxed morning with no need to rush out the door at a crazy early hour. 20 minute drive to the race site? I’ll take it!

Given the forecast, the thermos of hot and heavily sugared chai seemed like a good idea. And it was. I am a race prep EXPERT now, yo.

Waiting to get into Kelso in the rain. Yeah, this is definitely better than sitting at home in my PJs eating bagels and fruit with the kids. Obviously.
Because the Try a Tri started first, the nearest parking lots were all full, and I basically wound up parking back at home and then doing the long trudge to transition hauling all my gear and bike in the rain. Enthusiasm level, EVEN LOWER. But I checked in, organized my stuff, got that big old ‘40’ marked on my leg (pretend there's a grimacing emoji here), and realized that despite the rain I was feeling somewhat overheated in my sweatshirt and jacket. Hmmmmmm. I’d been concerned about being cold on the bike, but maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

At least we don't have to climb up that?

But my birthday isn't until the end of the month! Waaaaaaaa!
(There would be a pic of my transition setup here but I covered it with a garbage bag to keep my shoes dry, so it would be a weird looking picture. Also I forgot to take one.)

Watched the start of the Try a Tri, hiked back across the province to the car to drop a few things off, and then it was time to struggle into the wetsuit. Chatted with Kristin, Anna, and Kyra (& Alisdair!) at various points, and realized as I waded into the lake that the rain had stopped. Hey, this might be alright!

Try a Tri swimmers swimming. Swim courses always look so very very long.

I was in the second to last wave, so there was a lot of standing around waiting. The water was nice – not too cold, but not overly warm; about perfect for wetsuit swimming. I was starting to feel positive and optimistic about this whole triathlon thing again!

Swim (750m)

Time: 16:20 (2:10/100m)
Category: 11/17
Gender: 58/116
Overall: 236/424

Eventually they counted us down and we were off, with only a little kicking and grabbing until we thinned out enough to get clear water. The overcast day meant the orange buoys were easy to see, and my sighting was decent. I just tried to keep relaxed, follow feet when I could, and not scream like a small child every time I grabbed a handful of weeds or had some sort of hideous water grass slime its way across my face. So many weeds in the first half of this swim, which I was not expecting at all! Usually those are just closer to shore, not out in the middle of the lake!

Informative Strava Screenshot. Yep, it's a box.

After what felt like about 40 minutes, I was finally on to the beach and running up to transition. I don’t know why that swim felt so long (first race of the year?), but it went well and I can’t complain about any of it. Except the slimy face-grabbing weeds. Those I could do without.

T1: 2:21

Training day, remember? I’m surprised it’s only 2 minutes, considering I took the time to dry my feet off with a towel and put on my socks and road cycling shoes!

Bike (30k)

Time: 1:00:32 (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr damn that 30 seconds!) (average speed 29.74 km/hr)
Category: 8/17
Gender: 46/116
Overall: 228/424

About 30 seconds into the bike, when I made my first pass, I remembered why I do this.

I really, really love bike racing.

30k of fun. I decided a few weeks ago I’d use Foxy (my road bike) for this race, since she has better gearing for the Big Fucking Hill that comes at about the 4.5k mark of the bike course. Then I saw the weather forecast and that confirmed my decision, as I wanted to have hands on the brakes if it was pouring rain during the race.

Bike course elevation - let's just say the second half is a lot more fun than the first half!
Of course, it totally cleared up and the sun even came out during the bike (!), but I was still glad to have Foxy for the hill climbing. I could really feel how much fitness I’ve lost over the last few months on the climbs, so having the lower gears was a help. I pushed fairly hard, trying to keep as close to a 30 km/hr average as I could, and although I didn’t quite get there, I’m really happy with how this bike went. The base is still there; the speed and strength will come back. 

(If I had any sort of bike handling skills at all I’d consider actual bike racing, but I seriously suck at cornering so I’ll stick to triathlon, thanks.)

T2: 1:59

Taking my time, Sam style. Definitely in no rush to start the run.

Run (7k)

Time: 41:58 (pace 5:59/km)
Overall time: 2:03:09
Category: 10/17
Gender: 60/116
Overall: 279/424

Took off out of transition, sucking on a gel, and was surprised to feel pretty good.

That lasted about 500 meters, where I encountered the first steep climb on the run course. The Milton run doesn’t have any particularly long hills, but hooooooo boy were there some steep ones. I just tried to run steadily and not look at my watch, grabbed water at the aid stations, and started really wishing the run course had been 5k. Or 3k. 3k would have been great.

So it wasn’t a super enjoyable run…but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d been expecting. I had enough mental energy to trade jokes with a guy who was behind me most of the race (lots of short out and backs on the route, so we saw each other a bunch of times). If I'm being sarcastic out loud instead of just in my head, it can't be that awful! I was really expecting to have to walk a lot more, but I kept the walking to the aid stations and the couple of really steep climbs. But I was mostly able to run, and I didn’t feel like death! I will absolutely take that as a victory!

(trying not to think about having to add 3 more km onto that in two weeks at Guelph Lake. That’s Future Emma’s problem)

Post race smiles are the biggest smiles.

So, all in all, I'm really glad I did this one. I remembered how much I like this stuff, and although I can feel my lack of fitness and it's driving me slightly crazy, it's a nice confidence boost to have a decent result after not a lot of training. Guelph Lake is still going to fall on the side of  'let's just have some fun and get through this thing in one piece', but I'm kind of eyeing Iron Girl in August as a potential 'let's go all out and try and puke at the finish' sort of race. And I might just have to tack Guelph Lake II onto the schedule. Stay tuned!

Oh nice got the thumb in the shot. I ain't editing it at this point.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back 😀 You did very well in your new age group 😉