Race Report! Toronto Island Triathlon (or the triathlon fuelled by mystery meat and cider)

Hey y'all, happy Thursday!

I am writing to post my third (and likely last) race report of the season. Long story short: I was not very well prepared or fuelled, but I did pretty well! Read on to find out more (how exciting!)...

The Pre-Amble:

It is worth noting that I had a pretty slothful week prior to the race. I feel mixed parts of guilty/gross about it. I did eat a lot of junk food, and probably WAY too many calories, but c'est la vie. Besides, I'm 25, so I should enjoy my relatively fast metabolism while it lasts. The primary culprit was Thursday night, when my office had it's bi-monthly patio drinking session. I try not to go too wild at these things, as we are often at expensive places and we pay for our own drinks. I don't exactly have the kind of cash flow to afford many beverages, so I don't typically stay forever. This night however, we 'pre-gamed' at a friends apartment, and he was nice enough to buy some cider. Not being one to turn down free gift beverages, I had two large ciders...followed by thee more pints of cider at the patio...and then a glass of wine with dinner with my other friend...topped off with another cider at a bar near my house where I met boyfriend finally. So yes. A lot of alcohol. I was very, very, hungover on Friday. Whoops. So that was likely detrimental to my pre-race prep to say the least. And then on Saturday, I had a softball game with a post-game BBQ. I consumed some more cider (only 3 cans this time), combined with mystery meat (a.k.a. hot dogs). I ate a few hot dogs and a lot of chips. Again, let's just say it wasn't the ultimate pre-race dinner. But you know, I was happy to be there and sometimes my social life trumps training. I'm not sure where hot dogs rank on pre-race meals, but they're probably fairly low on the list!

SUNDAY (RACE) MORNING

Foggy Toronto morning!
5:00AM wake-up.  I think by far and away, one of the hardest parts of racing is getting up early. But, I dragged myself out of bed and put on my race clothes, followed by a Boost shake (tastes gross, but delivers enough calories and doesn't upset my tummy). I grabbed my bike and race gear and headed out the door and into my car. I was nice enough to get a ride again and moral support from Sam, who is winning brownie points galore! To get to the race site required parking and getting on a ferry to the island, which was a non-event thankfully. Everything ran pretty smoothly. I got bodymarked and grabbed my race kit on the mainland, and was able to get on the 6:30 ferry. After arriving on the island, setting up transition was a breeze, and I was ultimately ready to roll by 7:15. Which was a bit annoying actually, because my wave didn't start until 9:12. So I killed some time wandering around and trying to decide if I wanted to switch to the duathlon. Why would I ever think of doing that, you say? Because the water temperature was only 55F, or 12-13C. COLLDDDD. They shortened the course to 375m, but also gave triathletes the option to opt-out and do the duathlon instead. Thinking I'd rather be a popsicle than run twice, I decided to stay in the Sprint Tri event.

THE SWIM (375m)

Soooo...yeah. This was COLD. TTF was also cold...but this was worse. I was aching before the start, and when the horn went off, I think I was perhaps bordering on hypothermia. I wasn't shivering yet, but my limbs felt sluggish, and I have never had so much trouble breathing or moving my body before. This was my worst swim yet, by far. I couldn't breathe, my head hurt, I felt like I couldn't see, and no matter how hard I willed my limbs to work, they simply wouldn't. But, I persevered and exited the water several degrees colder than I probably should have been.

Swim: 7:46 (2:05/100m pace).
A cold run into T1

T1

There was a long, sandy run to the transition area, which was a boon because it gave me a chance to get my breathing under control and warm up a bit. I had no issues with my wetsuit, and the only minor snafu I had was getting my bike out because the transition racks were lower than the height of my seat. This meant I had to tilt my bike to get it out, and this was far too complex for my race brain to comprehend. All in all, a decent transition.

T1: 1:54

THE BIKE (20km)

Biking out! Dem quadz
The bike was 2 loops of a 10km course.  It was flat, so I was pumped to see what I could do. I was killing it for about 2km, and then an ambulance pulled in front of me and cruised along at 25km/h. I'm not sure why they weren't going faster, but I knew I couldn't pass the vehicle safely, so I hung out behind it for about 3km. It was very aggravating, because it killed my average speed. Once the ambulance pulled over (and they weren't even treating anyone at the time, so I'm not sure what they were doing. P.S. Toronto Island has no cars except ambulances, so this is why I was particularly confused), I zipped on past it, knowing I had about 16km to bring my average up and salvage my bike.  Again, I was doing really well until the turn around to start the second loop, where I misinterpreted the signage and went to the bike finish, not the loop turnaround. I then had to backtrack/off-road to get back to where I needed to be, which likely added 30-45 seconds of time. DAAAAARRRNNNN ITTT (this is a friendly
translation of the inner monologue I had going).  The second loop, I cranked out as fast as I could, and polished off my bottled of HEED I had with me. I averaged something like 34km/h for the second loop, ending up with an OK time.  Dismount was a non-issue (yay!), and getting into T2 felt really easy compared to TTF!

Bike (from hell): 39:19 (30.5km/h avg.)

T2

T2 was uneventful. I still had issues with racking my bike, but it didn't add THAT much time. I do wish I was a little bit faster, but I don't think there was much to be done. I got my bike shoes and helmet off and slipped on my running shoes.  I skipped a hat because I didn't think I needed it and I didn't feel like fussing around with it.  Off to the run!

Coming out of T2!
T2: 1:15

THE RUN (5km)

So this is the part I'm actually proud of. The run! Who knew I could have a positive running experience? I started off conservatively, allowing time to settle in. I think this was key. The run was going to be 4 loops of a ~1.1km course. I liked this because it let me pace myself accordingly. I don't wear watches or anything, so this was a new experience. Each loop, I strived to push the pace a little faster. I focused on reeling in athletes ahead of me, and not slouching.  I remembered to breathe evenly, and to keep my turnover high.  It was great! I actually felt like I had speed left coming into the fourth loop. During the fourth loop I passed a lot of people (yes, they were mostly older men but still).  It was a lot more encouraging PASSING people than being PASSED constantly. I picked up my pace until the turn to the finish line, and then I booked it as fast as I could to the end. I was all by myself by the end, which was surprisingly nice (no stress trying to beat someone nearby).  I crossed the finish line actually being proud of my run, and for how I handled the race in general.
My race number was the area code for Pittsburgh!

Run: 25:55 (5:11/km)

FINAL STATS: 9th in my age group (out of 56), 31st female overall (out of 178), 154th overall (out of 399).

AFTERMATH

I felt fine! It was awesome. I honestly have nothing to report other than feeling really pretty awesome afterwards, and that the chocolate milk they had at the finish was DELICIOUS. I think I have definitely learned from my races this season. I think this race will be my last until next year, so I'm happy to end on a high note.

Until the next random thing I decide to write, ciao!

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