750m swim, 20.7k bike, 5k run
1/7 AG, 8/50 OA female, 38/110 men and women
Breakfast: bacon gouda egg sandwich, grande skim chai, citrus nuun
|Ready to race!|
This is one of my "not to miss" races, I've done it each year since I started triathlon in 2013. Normally I make a weekend of it, as Brockville is a lovely town with charming B&Bs, terrific waterfront along the St. Lawrence, some little shops, and a decent pub. But due to logistics this year, it was a down-and-back day.
I'd been on vacation since a couple days after Nationals -- and got back a couple of days before this race. Managed a little running while I was away, but hadn't been on my bike or done a swim workout since Nationals. Add jet lag, and a very sore neck from who knows what (sleeping in the airport/on the plane? Too much time since my last chiro adjustment? Just getting old??), and it wasn't a recipe for peak performance. But I just wanted to go and enjoy this race as my last race of the season, now that pressure from Nationals was off.
Apparently I left my brain on vacation, as I wandered around trying to pay for parking, then forgot my phone in the car (which I needed to pick up my race kit) so had to do some walking around before getting racked and ready. I also realized I forgot my race belt -- thankfully Clare offered up an extra. Got to the transition zone too late to get my preferred rack, but managed to eke out a bit of space nearby.
|Oldest train tunnel in Canada -- I haven't tried it yet as an alternate exit to the transition area|
Swim + T1: 21:28
In the interest of simplicity, I chose not to wear my wetsuit -- marking the first time I've gone without in a wetsuit-legal race. Though I didn't see an official measurement, the water temperature was pleasant enough. Got in the water a little earlier than necessary and got a bit chattery in the teeth before the start, but quickly warmed up once we got going. I couldn't really lift my head to sight (owing to the sore neck), so I just followed the crowd. Unfortunately I think I chose poorly, and dipped in too far on the way to the far buoy. Before the race, a bunch of us were marveling at the men's 1500m Olympic swim we'd witnessed the night before -- the winner barely produced a 2-beat kick, his legs flowing behind him like streamers. That's not how I swam (or, let's face it, have ever swum). But it's good to have goals! Running to my bike, I had to pause for a couple of beats when I almost turned the wrong way. Corrected my course, ducked under a tree, and kept going.
|A little more chill this race... no shoes on the pedals|
Bike: 43:14 (28.36 km/h)
Felt ok on the bike, considering how little time I've spent on it in the last month. Got stuck behind a pair of minivans, and had to sit up and hit the brakes about 40 feet from the turnaround. Frustrating, but not much you can do on an open course. Rounding the turn, we got soundly smacked by a headwind, which persisted most of the way home. In keeping with my "enjoy the race, reduce stress, have fun" mentality, I didn't bother with a flying mount/dismount... so that cost me a little. On to the run.
Run + T2: 26:36
The run course changed somewhat this year, and began with a really nice loop of Block House Island along the water's edge before heading down Water Street and onto the Brock Trail. It took me awhile into the run to muster any energy, but about 3k in and headed for home I started to feel the pull of the finish line. Passed a woman from my age group as she stopped at the aid station. Passed a few more people, which gave me an additional boost. Rubbed a pretty decent set of blisters into my right foot, despite thinking I'd applied plenty of Body Glide -- should have made socks part of my "chill out and enjoy" plan!
All in all, a good day. I ended up at the top of my age group and 8th overall, having chipped away at the field after an abysmal swim by catching 6 women on the bike and another 6 on the run. I swear, if I ever figure out how to swim fast, things are really going to take off!
In closing out this season, I'd like to extend sincere thanks to nuun and to Dr. Patrick Kirkham at Britannia Chiropractic for their support in 2016.
|1st AG! Yay!|