Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Riding with boys

Chinook Olympic triathlon was on Saturday. What a great race!

Short version: decent swim; felt strong on the bike/had a minor mechanical issue/got passed by 3 men, no ladies; tough but solid run; ended up 2nd overall female by only 20 seconds, and a PB for Olympic distance.

Long version: read on...

I had to head to Calgary on Wednesday for work stuff so ended up in Calgary 4 nights total. The weather was $h!t leading up to the weekend - pouring rain and 8C on Wed/Thurs, and a little warmer on Friday. Luckily it turned around for the race - it was sunny skies all the way and 21C for the high!

The walk to the race site from the car...
A race is never complete without an 'incident', and this occurred during body marking. They asked me my number, and I told them: 1280. Later when I went to pick up my timing chip, 1280 was missing. So the volunteers asked me if I had the wrong #, and then I realized - 1280 was my hotel room! Whoops! They looked up my actual race #, and it turns out... my number was 1286! Imagine that - so my body marking only required the 0 to be changed into a 6! Hilarious. Geoff pointed out that it was lucky that someone had already taken 1280, or I would have been racing as someone else...

The half ironman wave went off at 8am, and everyone had to be out of transition by that time, so I got my stuff set up and then had 1hr 15 minutes till the Olympic start. Plenty of time! I was able to get in a nice 15 minute jog, then took the time getting my wetsuit on.
Pre-swim warm-up dork picture!

I waded into the water so I could do a quick swim warm up, put my head in, and the water was C-C-C-COLD! Man, it was freezing! My hands and feet were completely numb, and I had the classic ice cream headache. The temp could not have been more than 16C!

Swim: The swim start was pretty calm, and I got out fairly well and had some clear water quickly, just the way I like it. This also happened to be my first open water swim in nearly a year (since GWN last year). I would not recommend this! It just didn't work out that I was able to get in any open water swim training before the race.

During the first lap of the swim, I felt very out of shape.I was able to get into a good rhythm during my second lap and stretch it out a bit. The water was pretty chilly, and my feet and hands were numb from the cold. I exited the water in 3rd, behind 2 guys. The times were very slow, and I estimate that it was probably around 150m too long, based on my swim split (22:24).

My first transition was not overly efficient, as I was fumbling with my sunglasses in my helmet and my helmet straps with my cold fingers! Finally I was able to get my helmet on and set off on my 40km ride.

The bike ride was awesome! It was an out and back on a very nice course, with some rolling hills. I had no watch and my bike computer still isn't working, so I wasn't aware of my time or speed. One guy passed me during the first little bit, then I re-passed him, and I didn't see anyone else until sometime after the turn-around, when another guy went past. With approximately 5km to go, I was hammering along in my 2nd biggest gear and tried to switch gears, when I heard this loud noise and couldn't pedal anymore. I looked down and my chain had fallen off! Oops! I had to carefully slow down and come to a stop, and as I got off my bike, my hamstring/glute attachment cramped up. Ouch! It went away quickly, and I was able to put the chain back on, spin the pedals a couple times, then get back on my bike, getting passed by 2 guys during all this. Of course when I started, I was in one of the biggest gears and it was difficult to turn the pedals!

However, I got back into it okay and finished off the last part of the bike strong. My second transition was lightning quick and I was off onto the run! Bike split ended up at 1:09.17 according to results (includes transitions).

They had a cyclist to accompany the lead female runner in this race (like they do with the pro's), which was very cool! I got to enjoy his company throughout the (almost) entire run. The run course was beautiful and followed the trails through Fish Creek park. I felt average but struggled along at times. There was a little out and back around 8km, and I got a chance to see that there was another female creeping up on me, only about 20 seconds back. Yikes! Just after 9km, there was a huge hill to run up which was very challenging. Around 9.5km, I was passed for the lead... tried to stay with her but was hurting too much and ended up 2nd by only 20 seconds. Final time was 2:19.00, which was a personal best.

Someone pointed out later that my stop to fix the chain on the bike cost me the win. D'oh! The chain thing did take me about 45 seconds to deal with, so that is probably true. Oh well. Doing all these races this year gave me a chance to blow out the cobwebs and iron out the kinks prior to Great White North.... which is coming up in just over a week! Time flies!


mike said...


Great Work Friendo

Hope I can keep up to you at GWN

runningman said...

Nice report/pics lisa!! Good job, even though too bad about the chain and being sooooo close to the win. You still had an awesome race! Good luck in GWN.

Naomi Rae Nicholson said...

Awesome job, Lisa! :)

I love the new pic and the new layout of the blog!!!


Julie said...

YES!!!! You broke the 2:20 mark!!! AWESOME job!!! :):) :)

That is so hilarious about you telling the body markers your room number -- HAHAHAHAHA!!

When I arrive in Coeur D'Alene last Thursday, I had a room booked at Motel 6. So, why did I try to check in at the Super 8? OMG, I felt like such an idiot! Hahahahaha!!

Congrats on a spectacular race -- good for you!!