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Welland Triathlon - Half Distance - Triathlon

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Welland, Ontario
Multisport Canada
21C / 70F
Total Time = 5h 56m 14s
Overall Rank = 174/250
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/8
Pre-race routine:

I was up and at em early. Went to the hotel continental breakfast and had a bagel with cream cheese and some water. The hubby packed up the car - he was the most excellent race sherpa! We got to the race site in plenty of time to unpack my stuff.

My front tire could have used a pump but i couldn't find anyone in transition with one. I had the dudes racking around me check it out and said it would be fine.

The weather forecast was showing 70-80% chance of rain and thunderstorms all day so I packed my swim-to-bike stuff into a kitchen garbage bag and then the bike-to-run stuff into a second one and I still also put on sunscreen. I got really burned last year so i didn't want to take a chance. I joked to the others in transition about it.
Event warmup:

I wriggled into my wetsuit and got over to the canal. The water temperature made it wetsuit mandatory so I dipped in and did a few minutes of strokes and got my face in the cold water to get used to it. Once i did that I was fine.

I was in the first wave after the pros so not too much time to wait!
  • 41m 31s
  • 2000 meters
  • 02m 05s / 100 meters

This swim went really well for me. And despite my overall, I know I did well because I was racked with others, both men and women under 39 and not even half the bikes were gone when I got in.

I started at the back and stayed well with other pink caps. I saw people panicking early on but i was so comfortable. I could see one girl back stroking in the first 300m or so and felt back but I was so glad i've spent so much time on my swim.

I also notice many people swimming wide on the far side of the canal and I seemed to be one of a very few staying closer to buoy line. Fine with me. I saw some of the faster red caps come by me on the second half.

There were several contact points where i was swimming with others and we were getting in each others way but it was always manageable. It feels really nice to have come so far on the swim and have it be no big deal anymore. :)
What would you do differently?:

I could probably swim a little harder and give it a harder effort. From my swimming this year I know i can do it but I still avoided the scrum
Transition 1
  • 02m 27s

It is a long run into T1 from the canal to the arena but i ran it and was huffing and puffing. I saw Darren and Felicity so that was good!

I had to sit down in T1 to get my darn wetsuit off my legs. But other than that I just used my garbage bag to sort myself. I did everything well except i forgot to put my garmin on my bike.
What would you do differently?:

More wetsuit practice but this is an early season race so it's tough.
  • 3h 05m 24s
  • 90 kms
  • 29.13 km/hr

This is where I knew early on I wasn't going to do as well as last year. The rain was staying away but there seemed to be a slight headwind. I did decently in the first 30k - i was in aero and managing decent paces. But i had to pee. I thought about peeing on the bike but couldn't quite make myself. By the time we got to the first bottle exchange I decided to just stop and pee or i'd never be able to get it off my mind. Luckily, the porta-potty was free so i didn't have to wait and the stopped time is maybe a minute or two

I couldn't quite recoup the speed from there. I was always hoping to catch a tailwind and get some of the awesome splits I got last year but it wasn't to be. I could feel my quads working and I needed to get nutrition into me. I already had my sport drink which I started with in my aerobottle but i was neglecting proper fueling. I dug into my bonk breaker but I wasn't doing enough and I could tell because i was cranky with myself and just anxious to be done the bike.

I didn't even enjoy the section along Lake Erie which I thought was really nice last year. I barely even noticed the lake. Finally back on the Feeder Road i was just in the 'keep going' mode - trying to stay aero even though my neck and shoulders were getting stiff and I was getting saddle sore.

It started rain just as i had less than 5k to go, so i took the last corners pretty gingerly. I made it back! But my nutrition wasn't good. I was hungry. And I was mad at myself. That is a rookie mistake and I am no rookie.
What would you do differently?:

Truth be told, i just didn't put in enough bike volume. I needed to do more training so this is what the day gave me which isn't too shabby given my previous races.

I also needed to take fueling more seriously. It is a key part of long-course racing and a good bike split also needs to have smart nutrition and hydration.
Transition 2
  • 02m 49s

It had started to rain just as I was heading back to town on the bike so now transition was getting wet.

It took a bit of effort to shove on my run shoes and I stopped to readjust and clean my one foot because i had dirt i already felt. I nearly forgot both gels i planned to take which was dumb since I was hungry.
What would you do differently?:

For transition, nothing much other than be faster
  • 2h 02m 14s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 05m 47s  min/km

So, i ran out of transition knowing i would have to do some work to:
1. Correct the nutrition issues
2. Get close to last year's time.

I ripped off the first 3 kms way too fast and I was quickly getting into a dark place. I knew I couldn't hold the 5:20 kms and I was wondering how on earth i could finish. I was talking to myself about walking, about quitting, and generally feeling sorry for myself. I decided to get some gel and water into me so i started on it before getting to an aid station. I walked through to make sure I got it all down and water to wash it down. I immediately got out the next gel for the next aid station.

The walk lasted up the little hill that curved by the aid station and by the time i made to the top of the first loop (really an out and back) and I was feeling much better. A slower pace and some calories helped immensely. I was still annoyed with my time and fretting about my splits and run time so finally I changed the screen on my Garmin to just show me my total race time not the run time on its own. It was barely past 5 hours. I had plenty of time to make it in under 6 hours. That lifted me quite a bit.

The rain was still coming down hard but my face was hot so i would also dump water on my head to cool off more. I stopped caring about puddles because I was so soaked anyway. The gels had helped but I needed more so around 14k I started taking coke at the aid stations too for some quick calories. My quads were getting quickly fatigued and the last part seemed to take forever - by the time I was coming back there were ever fewer people on the run course - but still several going out on their second loop.

By the time I was done in the park I was pretty much on my own - i could see one guy ahead of me and I finished on the sopping grass finish line. I was so relieved to finish. Darren and Felicity had parked closer to finish line and were waiting under the hatch of our car!

I was a little disappointed that I was 10 minutes slower than last year but I was happy that I still finished strong.
What would you do differently?:

Start a little slower and do better on the bike nutrition.
Post race
Warm down:

I staggered into the arena for some post race food. Found Darren and Felicity and we sat in the bleachers so i could eat.

I had packed a dry clothes bag so i changed before I left.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training - i just didn't put in the volume I needed. And as I write this I've found out that my vitamin B12 levels are low (which I suspected) - so the general fatigue I've felt probably could have been managed better.

Also I just got complacent - this was my 4th HIM and i didn't take it as seriously as i needed to. Especially nutrition-wise. This distance is no cake-walk, even for the experienced

All that to say that I am still happy with how I did. I have to keep perspective about doing a HIM. It's no small thing to be able to line up and then finish. I hit my main goal (under 6 hours) and managed some tough conditions.

Event comments:

I really like this race. It's a small but competitive field. It's built for a PB. The bike is super fast even if a little boring. The roads are in good shape and very quiet. Now that i've done in the sun and in the rain - the run course is quite nice as well with lots of shade cover

MSC is very conscientious as race organizers and they go the extra mile. Really nice t-shirt, medal and finisher hat. I would recommend this race to anyone.

Last updated: 2015-01-22 12:00 AM
00:41:31 | 2000 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
Age Group: 7/8
Overall: 149/250
Performance: Good
Course: A rectangular swim in the Welland Recreational Canal
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 15C / 59F Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:05:24 | 90 kms | 29.13 km/hr
Age Group: 5/8
Overall: 200/250
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: A lollipop. Very flat through Niagara farm country.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:49
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:02:14 | 21.1 kms | 05m 47s  min/km
Age Group: 5/8
Overall: 174/250
Performance: Average
Course: Two loops of the mult-use trail in Merritt Park. Nice and shady.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2015-06-22 11:35 AM

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Subject: Welland Triathlon - Half Distance

2015-06-23 10:10 AM
in reply to: #5123998

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Welland Triathlon - Half Distance
Congrats on your sub-6 finish! I really enjoyed reading your RR, so thanks for sharing. It is so easy to get down on yourself for what is perceived as poor performance, but I really liked how you pinpointed exact things that you can address for an improvement next time. A lesson I plan to take for myself for sure. That's a nice swim time, too.
2015-06-23 6:54 PM
in reply to: #5123998

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Subject: RE: Welland Triathlon - Half Distance

Great RR.  I think you did awesome.  Some really solid fast times!!  Especially the swim given your late entry to swimming.

I think too you are a bit hard on yourself re: this years finishing time.  It's different having a toddler vs. an infant - they are more demanding on your time.  AND you are back to work full time so you had a LOT on your plate but you came through with a really solid race and that's something to be proud of!  CONGRATS!

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