Learning to Suffer at Woodstock Sprint

Woodstock sprint triathlon was my first sprint in 3 years and also my first time racing in the Elite category, so I knew I was in for a world of hurt! My goals were to swim and bike hard (BIKE REALLY HARD!!) and then just hold on for the run.

Swim exit photo

Swim – 750m in 14:43

I started first with the elite wave, and was totally expecting to get dropped quickly as I’m still working on my swim compared to the other two sports. I wanted to see how long I could draft and Paolina wanted me to practice swimming hard anyways, so I wasn’t worried about overdoing it with a hard swim and went out really hard, basically redlining it the whole way. I lost my focus a few times and found the conditions quite choppy, so (for the second time this year) I was disappointed when I saw my time at the swim exit (14:07 plus run up to the timing mat). It seems that my speed in the pool simply isn’t translating into open water this year, so I will be looking at doing some more open water practice before my next races.

I wasn’t surprised to see my bike looking all lonely on the elite/pro rack – hey, at least it’s easy to find! I put on my totally cool ratcheting road bike shoes on in transition and managed not to trip on my way to the mount line.

Bike photo

Bike – 20km in 37:26

Okay, can we all agree that the bike was crazy windy?!? I was very happy that I let Hector use our 3SIXTY5 disc because I would have been blown around like crazy.

One of my goals this summer is to really learn how to suffer on the bike the way I can running, so my goal for Woodstock was to ride as hard as I possibly could – as if it was a standalone time trial rather than part of a triathlon. I’m happy to say I dug deeper during this race than I ever have before! Although I know I still have a way to go before I reach my potential in this area, this was a lot of progress over previous efforts.

I had started the bike in 3rd of 3 elite age group women, but managed to catch second place about a kilometer before transition. My bike shoes slowed me down a bit on the dismount (and I managed to almost take out Spencer Summerfield between the dismount line and the transition area – oops, sorry Spencer) so I saw her again briefly as I was heading out on my run. So of course I was scared she would catch me at any second. Fear is a good thing, right?

View Photo: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/viewphoto/19889-110-26773057/1/

Run – 5km in 24:28

Umm, where are my legs??? …first thought as I started running.

I was expecting a relatively stupid hard/slow run because of my purposeful lack of pacing on the bike, but I wasn’t expecting to be running at my “easy run” pace while feeling like I was about to die in the first kilometer! Ouch.

There actually isn’t a whole lot to say about the run, other that it sucked the whole damn way through. I paced off some of the guys as well as I could, but there just wasn’t much I could do to go faster. I’m sorry to all of the people who waved/cheered at me and got ignored…I could hear you and I really appreciated the effort, but I was buried in the pain zone and was unable to control any muscles unrelated to running. I remember seeing Garima, Hector, Paolina, Parichit and a few others, which was awesome.

Finally in the last kilometer, I realized why it felt so hard at the beginning…the run starts uphill! Well duh. I flew back towards the finish line, and even managed to catch Steve Fleck announcing my name on the mic. What a way to finish.

Finish – 1:18:31

Although I was the second woman across the line, there were others in later waves who beat my time – but I still finished 12th place with a personal best time by 8 minutes, and 2nd elite age grouper! Pretty stoked about that…and accomplishing all my goals and such. :)

View Photo: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/viewphoto/19889-110-26772106/1/Did I mention that I got to meet all these awesome Multisport Canada Ambassadors?!? Many of whom I have been stalking chatting with on Facebook all winter.

Also, please note that Lionel Sanders is in this photo. DUDE I AM SO COOL, I AM IN A PHOTO WITH LIONEL.

Post Race

We went shopping! 3SIXTY5 Cycling recently (not that recently) opened a store in Cambridge, so we stopped by and I bought some really amazing neon pink socks which i’m sure made me faster at the 15km Thursday Night Time Trial (TNTT) 5 days later, because I went considerably faster than I did at Woodstock:

Photo credit: Scott McMann
Photo credit: Scott McMann

OMG EVERYTHING MATCHES.

Also, pretty wheels.

Next up – getting married to this handsome guy, honeymooning in Barcelona and Mallorca, then racing the sold-out Olympic distance triathlon at Gravenhurst!

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