Now that it's nearly a week after the fact and the race is old news, here are the deets:
Edmonton enjoyed absolutely glorious weather leading into this race - sunny and 30C. I love this kind of heat! While it makes for a tougher run, it certainly makes things more enjoyable race morning, during the swim/bike, and after the race finishes. Race morning dawned with blue sky, sun, and a forecast high of 32C! My wave wasn't scheduled to start until 9:55am, which was kind of nice as I had loads of time to get things organized in transition (how long does that really take anyway- 5 minutes?) and to get in a little pre-race joggy jog with Christina.
Gary, Christina and I - STARRT peeps!
I went into this race unrested, untapered and overall kinda tired! My workouts from the previous weekend took a lot out of me and I did my best to recover during the early part of the week. With Calgary 70.3 only 3 weeks after this race, there really was no time to taper. I backed it off a bit in the week leading up and felt pretty decent race morning. Also, the night before I ate a bunch of Swedish fish and polished off nearly a whole bag of chips so was totally all carbed up.
All racked and ready to go
For some reason the start of my wave was delayed so I don't think we got started until around 10:15am - I think that's almost the latest I've ever started. The swim was no wetsuits allowed, since the lake temperature was above the 22C cut-off. Nice to see that some triathlon corporations actually enforce the rules, instead of babying the athletes like others do and shortening/cancelling races because it's raining and the water is wavy! But I wasn't as overly enthusiastic as I normally would be, as I would have preferred to have more of my skin protected from the duck poop lake water!
They didn't let anyone in the water prior to your wave start, not even to wade in and get wet - thank goodness for that, as I happened to see mini-leeches slithering around in the water as I was on the start line. Ewwww. Women and men 30-39 all started together and I was just hoping that the punching/kicking/aggressive *guy type* behavior would be kept to a minimum. Luckily it was, and the start was clean and I had clear water immediately. I swam with 2-3 guys for the 2 loop swim, with one of the guys near my feet and swimming into me every few strokes, as apparently swimming straight was not in his vocabulary.
I felt good in the water and ended up around 20:30 for the 1500m. Last time I did this race I think I was 19:52, but then again that was with a wetsuit. I wanted to be sub-20 but it wasn't to be on this day. The long run from the lake to the transition is always killer, and mine certainly could be better as my T1 was over 2 minutes. Onto the bike!
I rode as hard as I could during the 4 loops, and got passed by some crazy fast men who blitzed the course, but no women. I think I may have fallen asleep out there in the middle of it, as at one point I looked up and said to myself, 'You're not even tired right now, get going!'. I seemed to really lose focus and concentration and slowed down as a result. It's time to invest in a bike computer. I need to have some feedback on how I'm doing. And with all the different waves starting at different times, I felt like I wasn't 'racing' anybody, as everyone is on different laps, etc.
During the 4th lap while trying to switch into my hardest gear on Saskatchewan Dr, my chain fell off. D'OH! It seems that this happens to me in at least one race every summer. I had to stop, get it back on, then switch gears into a smaller gear before getting back on, because it's next to impossible to start from a standstill in your hardest gear. So I lost some time, and not to mention momentum, for this incident.
The other incident occurred as I was coming up to the dismount line, and apparently left my brain somewhere out on the bike course. I started running off the bike and the marshal yelled 'You crossed the line, that's a stop and go penalty!'. So I had to stop right there and serve my penalty, which was only about 10 seconds, but still - it was 10 seconds. As I was coming off my bike for some reason I had it in my head that I needed to dismount after the line (no, dumb @$$ - that's the mount line!), so it was completely my fault. My bike time of 1:08.31 reflects my lack of concentration and errors. I know I can and should be a lot faster than that.
My T2 was pretty quick and I headed out onto the new 4 lap run course. I felt like crap the first 1-2km and worried I would feel like that for the entire 10km, but things came around and I started feeling better. The course changed this year so a little under half the 2.5km loop is on the dirt trail, with some rolling hills and branches sticking out of the ground to dodge, and then the remainder is in the park on the pavement. Again, I felt like I was racing myself on the run as you have no idea which lap anyone else is on and what age group they were in. I really enjoyed this course, though - the change was an excellent idea! I think I held it together alright and was able to finish strong. My 47:50 run time was at least a few minutes slower than it should be, but it seemed that everyone's run times were slow. I suppose it's the heat/humidity's fault!
Running to the finish!
I was happy to be crowned W30-34 national age group champ in 2:20.00. I really really wanted to be sub-2:20 and was so close! The daft stuff that happened on the bike would have put me well under that time. So I have a lot to improve for next time! Overall, I placed 7th female, which I am not ecstatic about, but again there's much work to be done and a lot of improvements to be made!
Post-race it was fun to hang out with my bud Christina, refuel with complimentary burgers/salad/beer, bake in the sun, and catch the Elite World Cup sprint race, which is always exciting. Overall, the race organization was a success and the volunteers were fantastic!
Post-race, all cleaned up and ready for our burger and beer!
Only two weeks to go till my next race - until then, there's lots more training to be done!