I had hesitated in entering the Squamish Tri, because i wasn't sure if i was ready to compete. If i was in good enough physical shape. But, it is like everything in life. you have to bite the bullet, and go for it. I have all the necessary equipment... sweet pink race belt, purple and pink and black race kit, pink and blue bike, and an amazing super wet suit. so, in all aspects, i was ready to go. I had a great week of tapering, which included some open water swims, a brick w/o, leisurely day of cycling, and sea kayaking while in washington state, and climbing the grouse grind on thursday afternoon... By friday afternoon, i was walking about 6 inches higher off the ground because my energy level was almost too much to handle.
Other than a few blips in transportation, I loaded up on the carbs from friday, and on saturday. And becasue I am chronically dehydrated, I was cruising back water, gatorade, juice. Was feeling pretty good. Gave my bike a look over, threw some new tires on, and was good to go. Set out my race gear, and was in bed by 9:30. Erika (my roommate) and I woke up at 5:30, I ate some cereal, banana, and packed a bagel with cream cheese and a banana. We took off at 6am, did a ramant search for some coffee, but the only place open was starbucks. so, non-fat, double shot latte, we were good to go.
Get up to squamish, and meet up with a new friend that entered the tri on a whim, and got ready to go. Set up my T2, and loaded my bike into a truck, jumped on the bus, and got transported up to Alice lake. Set up my T1, and started putting my wetsuit on. was somewhat surprized that in total, I only went pee about 2 or three times.... then all of a sudden, I realized that we were close to start time!!! eep! so, i went down to the water, finished pulling up my suit, capped up, and lined up. And off we went...
Swim: THe water was not as clear as Lake stevens, but still nice and warm. but, I think that I had felt to rushed start, and hadn't given myself a good enough warmup. THe first 500meters of the 1.5km were awful. I felt paniced, short of breath, and my shoulders were not getting going. So, i stopped, took about 10 breaststrokes, and told myself "Get yourself together, take some deep breaths, and get your head in this game." and, it made all the difference; I put my head down, and got going. The rest of the swim felt good, esp the last 500 meters. I was about 5th out of the 40 and under women, averaging about 1:45/100meters. Now, I know I can go faster than that. goal for next time: 1:30min/100 meters.
T1: not so bad, had a hard time finding my zipper tail. wetsuit off quickly. Decided to wear socks. next time, I don't think I will until T2. reminder: buy a pair of sunglasses, add another water bottle cage onto bike.
Bike: Cruised out of T1, down a steep hill... nice way to start. Slurped down a caffinated power goo. Cycling went great. my bike felt awesome with the skinny tires, and the new clean and lubed drive train shifted like butter. The ride was a loop ride that you go 4 times around, for a total of about 37km; challenging parts were the corners, and a 3 km steady hill (about 6% grade) up highway 99. but, it felt great. The only mess up: I blew a snot rocket, and in avoiding snoting on the guy behind me, I ended up steering off the pavement, and onto some gravel. almost fell there, but controlled it just fine, back up to pavement with only lost time. Also lost my saddle bag, because i tossed it off, because after getting my jelly beans, it wouldn't stay still... Average time: 26.9km.hr I also loved having erika there to cheer me on every lap. I looked forward to the next time i would see her every time. goal for next time: no driving off road. spin in last 1km, stretch legs out. have a more convenient way to get nutrition. average 28km.hr
Run: T2 went fine, but forgot to drop my air pump. Not quite sure that i like my "Quick laces." The run was a 2 loop, 10 km trail run. the first 1/3 of each loop was uphill, and that was a killer. My legs felt super bad on the uphill portions, but the rest was okay! I felt strong on the "rolling hills and flats," though was starting to feel quite dehydrated. my calves cramped up a few times as well; also felt like i was going to have a "stomach reversal" during the first loop. but, didn't ;) At this point, couldn't get enough gatorade and water at the aid stations. Also, my feet were quite hot, as the weather was dry and hot. reminded me of the 1/2 marathon in jordan, just not nearly as bad! i finished in 1hr, 58 seconds. goals for next time: focus my brick workouts on running, not cycling. run some hills. drink more on the bike, to feel better on the run. I want to get about 55 minutes on the run.
following the race, I was on a high. I loved it, felt pretty decent, but just wanted nutrition, and my legs rubbed down. it was so hot after the race, so i just lay in the shade, and Erika gave me a nice calf rub. She complained about my sweat. so, for 2 hours, i was on a high. I even discovered that i won my category, in a final time of 2 hours, 50 minutes! oh yes, you are hearing from #1 of 8 in the Athena category (150lbs+) of the squamish tri. in women, i got 33/93 in total. I couldn't stop smiling throughout my cooldown spin, lunch, and gelato. however, about 2 hours later, i just crashed. Felt like i had the worst hangover, and didnt want to stop lying in the fetal position for about 4 hours. Headache, stomach upset, the works. once i finally ate dinner, i started feeling better, and was anxious to sign up for my next one....
however, the one i was planning on doing in august, is cancelled for lack of participants. So, i was debating doing a sprint distance, but i think i am going to focus on studying for MCATs... so, tri #2 will be on labour day, here in stanley park. So, please come out to watch it, i love having cheer-ers!
keep tuned for photos!