On Sunday I completed my first Half Ironman distance triathlon (2000/90/21) at the MultiSport Canada Rose City Tri in Welland. While I didn’t have a fantastic race, there were some great parts, some good parts and I figured out lots of stuff that I need to work on for the rest of the summer leading up to my Ironman Muskoka goal in August.
Transition set up was smooth and uneventful. Had a slight moment of panic when I was leaving to head down to the water and my hair elastic snapped and I couldn’t find my back up. Luckily there was a girl in transition who had about 50 (probably had been in my position before) and I was saved!
Water was pretty warm – balmy compared to my dip at Sunnyside Beach a week before! It was an in water start and it felt super congested for about 400m but then things suddenly opened up and I was pretty much on my own. I felt smooth and easy in the water I was convinced that I was going far too slowly, but I was trying to minimize my kick to save those legs for the rest of the race. Stubbed my foot coming out of the water on a big rock that they had warned us about at the swim start. But I was quite pleased – Coach and I had discussed that I thought I’d be about 35 minutes for the swim and I was a little under that, so yay 🙂
Run up to T1 was painful on the feet, but alright. Got my food in my pockets and I was ready to ride!
This is the story of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bike ride.
I felt good out of transition, was settling into my intended groove when…. BANG. Five minutes in, I ran over a nail, popping my tire and tube. Hopped off my bike and started on the change. Triathletes are awesome – almost everyone passing me asked if I needed any help/tools and while I was fine, I appreciated the gesture. Had a little trouble getting my wheel back on, but was up and riding again in 11 minutes. But I couldn’t get back into a rhythm for the longest time. Cadence was low. My front brakes kept rubbing. I was concerned that I was going to go over a pot hole and the punctured rear tire would blow and I’d be stranded. My foot cramped up and the bike shoes (which I already disliked heavily and wanted to replace) became The Worst Thing In The World. Essentially my mental game was thrown and I couldn’t get it back. The rain was actually welcomed because it broke me out of my self induced pity party. A girl passed me close to the end and I thought she said that we only had 15 minutes until the time cut off, scaring the crap out of me and got my butt into gear. Turns out she was saying we only had 15 minutes left until we were done 😛
It was about 30 minutes slower than I wanted, and the slowest ride of the day, but I learned a lot about myself.
And I bought some new bike shoes yesterday. I don’t care if its a mental thing – I really hated my old ones.
Ooh, legs forgot how to work after dismounting. Changed shoes. Grabbed hat and was off. Apparently I spend almost 2 minutes in here, but it felt super fast.
Left my watch on my watch, so I ran by feel – it was a slow, but consistent, shuffle! I liked the course on the bike paths, but it was a little lonely on my last loop because mostly everyone else was gone. Just kept shuffling along. Stuck mostly to water and ate some snacks at the aid stations because I got hungry (as if I done a lot of exercise that day). Finished with a smile on my face, laughing at The Husband laying in his deluxe lawn chair waiting for me 🙂
Final Time – 7:28.
Definitely slower than my goals coming in but all said and done, I’m proud of myself. I’m a finisher! I don’t normally wear my race medals for long (its a swimmer thing) but this one I wore until I was back in the car.
The Husband asked “So, could you do that again, right now?” and my response was that I’m genuinely terrified for Ironman Muskoka. That bike course is so tough and today’s bike went so poorly when it was flat that I’m really worried about that bike cut off time. A couple days out, I’m feeling better about it. I have lots of time to spend on the bike between now and then, and I can only improve.
I’m just going to keep moving forward.