Sunday May 25, 2015 was my first triathlon of the season. I signed up for this race again for two reasons. 1. - I loved the race last year and will likely do this one every year; and 2. - It was exactly six weeks out from my 70.3 (half ironman) and I wanted to get an idea of where I am at when it comes to racing.
It turned out to be a pretty great race for me. I was disappointed in the run, however I am okay with this given it was so hot outside. Last year I finished this race in 2:02:43. I wanted to try my best to get under 2 hours. My training has been going very well and I have been training hard. Going into the race I was a bit fatigued from my 70.3 training, however was raring to get out and see what I could do.
I got up at silly o'clock and got ready to go. My blood sugar was at 6.8 when I got up which I was fine with. Bolused 75% for my breakfast and headed out the door by 5:45am. Transition was closing at 6:45am so I wanted to be there in plenty of time to set everything up. Got to the race site in plenty of time, met up with Linda and we got our transition areas set up. We lined up to get body marked, met up with Tammy and headed into the pool to wait. I estimate my swim to be between 19 and 22 minutes and was not due to start swimming until almost 9:30am. Long time to wait.
An hour before go time I tested my blood sugars and was a bit high at 10.2. I was feeling nervous and knew that this was the reason. I dialed back my basal by 50% for 2 hours. I saw Tammy and Linda off on their swim and sat and watched everyone swimming. I started to get excited and was ready to race.
Here is how it played out.
The Swim - 1,000m
I have been swimming a consistent 3/week since the middle of February. I feel stronger in the pool than ever before and have definitely improved my form and speed. I stood in line until it was my time to hop into a lane and swim. Before I knew it I was in the water and swimming. The pool was a 50m pool which I prefer over the 25m, more time to get into a groove. I kept a consistent pace and passed a couple of people in the water. My adrenalin was certainly running high and I felt good! I got out of the pool and headed out to T1. The run from the pool to T1 goes up a grass hill and then down into a parking lot. My swim was 19:20 and the time shows 20:52 to include T1.
The Bike - 26km
A quick blood sugar check before getting on the bike showed 9.4. I ate a couple of honey stingers and was off. I love this bike course. It is a 4 loop course where you get to go down and back up Groat Road in Edmonton. Groat Road is fun and I felt much more confident on the downhills this year. All of my hill training proved that it was paying off when I passed lots of people on the way up. I had fun during the bike and pushed hard. It was however starting to get really hot outside. When I finished my fourth loop and headed to transition I saw that the temperature was 26. It was going to be a hot run! I was delighted that when I got to T2 a bunch of my friends and Ryan were there cheering for me. Gave me a great boost! After hopping off my bike it was a good 200m or so back to my spot. My bike time was 50:02 and the time shows 51:52 to include T2.
The Run - 8km
I checked my blood sugars before taking off for the run and they were at 12.7. WTF? I took half a unit of insult and was off. This is where things did not play out the way I wish they could have. The first 4km were not too bad and I kept a consistent pace of about 5:10/km. It was hot out! I drank water at the aid stations and dumped water on my hat to keep my head cool. At the 4km turnaround my stomach felt bloated and a bit off. The heat was definitely getting to me. The last 4km has a large portion that climbs uphill and I did end up taking a few small walk breaks. I was overheating and bloated right up. It felt a bit like a slog. I picked up the pace for the last 1km and was so happy to see the finish line and hear my name. I ran hard and crossed over, finishing the run in 43:52, two minutes slower than the year before. I was happy to see Ryan, give him a hug and then chugged some cold water. My blood sugars had climbed to 14.9, I took some insulin and increased my basal rate by 50% for 2 hours (3 hours later I was down to 5.5).
I ended up finishing the race in 1:56:34, a big PB over last year for me. I was 14th out of 52 women in my age group which I am very pleased with! Looking back I know I could/should have pushed harder in the run. I let the heat and the voice in my head get in the way a bit. Overall I am super happy with the race. It was a big confidence booster in getting me ready for my 70.3.
Stayed tuned for the next race!