I decided to race the sprint distance at the Peterborough Triathlon as a last minute tune up to my Half Ironman this coming Sunday. Ideally I did not want to race two weekends in a row, but since the last race was taking place in heavy rain and cool temps, I bailed on my first ever triathlon that day in mid June. This Sunday the forecast was also for rain but with temperatures in the mid 20’s and the fact that almost EVERY Sunday it has rained in the last 2 months, I realized I had better get some practice racing in the rain. So I was going rain or shine!
After getting back late Saturday night from visiting my daughter at camp, the alarm went off at 5:15 a.m and the skies were grey. Driving out to Peterborough, skies went from gray to partly cloudy to even seeing a bit of sunshine. Once at the race site, I figured it would be okay. Just as I thought that, the rain started. It rained off and on until the start then the rain tapered off but still left the roads wet for the ride.
Getting ready for the race, I was a bit nervous as usual for the swim portion. It’s not that I think I won’t be able to do it, but I hate the contact aspect of it! I worry that I will get beaten up or that I will run out of oxygen. Even after 13 years in this sport, I still get butterflies before the start. I think it also has to do with the pressure I put on myself to do well! The water was nice and temperate but very weedy. And it was not until after the race that I heard of the high E.Coli levels! I took off in the first wave (Elite Age group, plus Elites and all 20 somethings.) The beauty of this wave is the clear bike and run courses. The downside is getting pummeled by the 20 something males! However this swim was relatively contact free and I got out of the water in just under 15 mins. About 1 minute faster than 2 years ago. My swim never really seems to improve, but a minute is not too bad I felt.
I had a pretty quick transition and then onto the bike. I took it a bit easier at the start to suss out the road conditions. And took all corners super slowly. It is not worth getting hurt over losing a few seconds. I was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s race wheels and I think this along with the new bike program I did over the winter helped me to ride 33.8km/hour for the 20km.
My favorite part of the race and my goal in every race is to get out of T2 in under 1 minute. Success…..52 seconds. Onto the run, I felt a bit tired as I had not tapered at all for this race and ran 16 km two days before the race. The run in Peterborough is also 90% on grass which I can’t stand running on. I was careful with my footing and just tried to keep my cadence up. 20:52 for the 5km run was surprising to me . I thought I was slower. Must have been my Mizuno Wave Universe shoes helping me to be quick on my feet!:).
When racing in the Elite Age group wave you have no idea really where you place since there could be others racing faster who started behind you. I managed to get online at the race site and with the speed of the internet these days, the results were immediately uploaded. Lo and Behold I won my age group! I have never won a Suburu race before. Always the bridesmaid or 3rd/4th…. This time I won the coveted race winner hat!
I was really pleased with how this race went and feel good to get one under my belt leading into the half . The only thing I need to do now is figure out proper pacing since racing a sprint and racing a half are two totally different levels of intensity.
Next stop Geneva New York for the Musselman Half Ironman. Rated #2 or #3 I think in the Slowtwitch and Triathlon Magazine top races to do. I am looking forward to it. Forecast is for hot conditions though, so will have to just take the day as it comes. I just want a dry bike course!