Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thank you to my supporters



Earlier today, I wrote a formal email to each of my supporters to thank them for their support this season. I thought I would share with you, my readers, how incredibly important their support was to my 2017 triathlon season. Below I have included some of what I wrote to them:

Bill (The Urban Athlete): Thank you for everything. I seem to battle through injury after injury, and this past year was no different. Yet, I was still able to achieve good results because you keep me going.

Scott Judges (Fitt1st Bike Fitting): Thank you. I feel aero and fast on my TT bike. My power numbers aren’t too impressive, but my position is (thanks to you) and that allows me to race at the top of the sport. In fact, I had the second fastest female bike split in Barrelman this past year.

John Salt (Multisport Canada): Thank you for such a wonderful race series and for naming me to the Ambassador Team. It truly has been awesome to spread the word about your series and race as much as did. I got into this sport because of local races, I re-entered the sport after injury because of your local races and I continue to strive in the sport because of your local races.

Rob Milligan (Blade Carbon Wheels): Thank you for introducing me to your fast wheels. They are both durable and aero (and good looking) and I absolutely loved racing on them this year. Without your generous deal on the wheels I wouldn't even have had race wheels and my season would not have been the same.

Don (One Capital): Thank you for giving me a place to stay when I train in the winter and for supporting me with new kits! I started the race season in top shape, partly because I was able to get a couple great weeks of training in Southern California. I wish I could train and race more with the One Capital team. Hopefully in the future.

Chris and staff (Enduro Sport): Thank you for getting and building me a REALLY fast bike with all the components I asked for and for always being there when I needed mechanical help.

Nick (Velofix): Thank you for all the tune ups! You can get the bike so clean and make it feel so smooth to pedal. No doubt I saved some time in my races because of your brilliant mechanical skills.

Mamma and Papa (High Rock Capital): You have done nothing but believe in me. You taught me to go after my dreams and you supported me all the way, both financially and emotionally. There is not a chance I would have been able to achieve what I have without you. Thank you, a million times and more, for everything.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Be thankful, even when you are injured

With the US Thanksgiving festivities yesterday, I was, yet again, reminded to be thankful for the things I have. Good family, good friends, good fitness and a job that doesn't feel like work being among them. It is easy to forget what you have, when dealing with the daily stress that comes with just living. Being late for an appointment can seem like the end of the world, missing a workout can make you frustrated, living in a freezing cold place like Toronto can make you wish you were born in southern California. It doesn't do any good to dwell on these details, and yet, I and most people do.

It has been an incredibly frustrating fall season with my training, in particular. With so much to balance, I expected my training time to decrease significantly in November. I was OK with this. I was going to cut back on cycling and swimming in favour of a bit more running. Running takes the least amount of time up for training compared to the other sports (especially when you have a treadmill in your bedroom) so this was expected to work out well. Adam laid out a training plan that looked perfect. I set out a few run specific goals that I wanted to hit in the spring. This was all great on paper, but when I actually started to execute the plan, the hamstring injury that had been nagging at me since after Mont Tremblant came back in full force. I got through my first two weeks of base running, had a decent run test and was feeling pretty good until the third week of training. In that third week I did a set of intervals and, while I felt OK during the set, it was clear afterwards that there was an issue. It hurt to straighten my leg when walking or running, right at the sit bone. While all the self-tests I did for proximal hamstring tendonitis were negative, I still worried. I started seeing my Chiropractor, Bill Wells, and he said I have an enthesopathy of the hamstring attachment. Basically, there is damage to the entheses which is where the hamstring tendons attach to the sit bone/ishial tuberosity.



Bill treated me with a lot of ART and that seemed to fix things. However, after a run the symptoms would come back. After an unending cycle of me running, hurting, Bill fixing me, me running, hurting, Bill fixing me, etc. I decided that enough was enough. My running goals would have to be put on hold until I was over this injury. It has been almost one week since my last run, I've been doing a lot of eccentric hamstring strengthening exercises, getting treatment from Bill, focused more on swimming and cycling because that's completely pain-free and I have an ultrasound booked for Monday to determine how bad this injury is. So, I am thankful that I am able to be proactive about this, that I am swimming really well (2 sets of 4x200 in 2:45 on Wednesday!) and can ride my bike a lot!

So, be thankful for what you can do, don't dwell on what you can't do. Be thankful for what you have, don't dwell on what you don't have. And be thankful for family, friends, love and laughter.

If you are interested, below is my core and glute strengthening routine, that I complete 3 times a week, with hamstring exercises added:

1. 3x60s plank (with 5 straight leg raises during each 60s interval)

2. 3x15 bird dogs/side

3. 3x60s side plank (with 30s per side) with 5 hip abductions during the 30s

4. 3x15 single leg glute bridge per side



5. 3x8 hamstring lifts with focus on the lowering/eccentric component



6. 3x10 push-ups

7. 3x8 single leg deadlifts per leg with 40lbs dumb bells



8. 3x25 theraband side walks per side

9. 3x10 nordic hamstring exercises



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Finding Balance

Just a short post about where things are at...

It's been just over 3 weeks since I finished off my 2017 triathlon season at Ironman Louisville. The race went fairly well, with a solid swim, a strong bike, which followed with a bit of a collapse on the run. The same theme that has plagued all of my long distance racing this season. Not that my running has been terrible, it has just not been at the level that it has been at before and the level that I believe I am capable of. Nonetheless, I finished 13th female pro. My race season this past year (from June to October) consisted of 2 Olympic distance races, 2 Long Course races, 2 half-Ironmans and 2 Ironmans. And it was largely a success. Highlights included being the Multisport Triathlon Series Elite winner, Ontario Provincial Long Course Champ and Elite Long Course Triathlete of the year. This past summer was also one of the most stressful of my life, with lots of other obstacles unrelated to triathlon to overcome. But, I persisted through it all, knowing that triathlon is what I love and nothing (and no one) can stand in the way of me doing what I love.



The next step in my triathlon journey is to try to find the best balance between training, recovery, work, family and everything else. This past summer I tried to do too much of everything. This may have worked out ok in the short term, but I know it won't in the long term. So, I've decided to take a step back from long course racing in 2018. This will allow me more time to work on my running and allow a bit more time for rest, since I won't be cramming in long rides in the morning before I am on my feet for 5hrs or more. While I'm not thrilled about the fact that I won't get to race an Ironman next year, I do believe that this will help me in the long term. Tim Hurson said "We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short term and underestimate what we can do in the long term." If this is true, then I hope that by focusing on the long term and not trying to achieve too much in the near future, I can achieve my goals. If this plan doesn't make me a better triathlete, it will definitely make for a better balanced life.

I will try to post a bit more regularly about how I am going about finding this more balanced life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Race Report: Barrelman Triathlon

The past weekend I competed in Multisport Canada/Rev3 Barrelman triathlon. After a busy summer of racing, I knew that I was a bit tired for this one. It was one of those days where lots went wrong, but I maintained a positive attitude throughout the race and held on to finish 4th women, 3rd Pro and defend my title of Ontario Long Course Provincial Champion!

The first thing I want to say is that Barrelman is an amazing event that is held at a fantastic venue! The Flatwater Center in Welland is the perfect spot for an open water swim. Beginners will love the calm water and the buoy line underneath the water to sight from. Even experienced swimmers like a nice smooth swim. There is also TONS of room for spectators to cheer on the triathletes. You really do get a boost running from the swim to the bike with all the cheering fans. The bike course is flat and fast! Don't worry, there are enough turns so that it doesn't get boring - there is no stretch of road that seems to go on forever. The bike course is broken into two sections: the loop out and back from the Flatwater Center, then the final stretch from the Flatwater center to Niagara Falls. This makes the time go by pretty quick. When you arrive in T2 after the bike, the volunteers tell you exactly where your run gear is. The two transition zones make people nervous, but the race crew and volunteers have this very well organized. The run is a bit of a beast! It is one of the most challenging half-ironman runs, with almost 400ft of elevation gain, a few steep sections and false flats. The highlights are that it is two loops, which is great for spectators, and that you get to run right by the falls. Not only is it held at a great location, but the race crew, the volunteers, Steve Fleck (the announcer) put on such a great day. Barrelman truly is a fantastic experience.

A little bit about my race:

The Pre-Race: I have been having trouble with my Di2 shifting on my bike, with the battery dying after only about 400-500km (I've been told they should last about 10,000hrs). Sure enough, after making sure my Di2 battery was fully charged on Saturday, I woke up on Sunday to the battery completely dead. Luckily enough I do have a spare battery (that was fully charged) so I switched them out (quite the process, as the battery is stored in the frame of the bike). We were about 15 minutes late getting on the road. Next stop was for a coffee and muffin and, of course, our usual spot was closed for some reason. Not a great start to the morning! We did end up making it on time to Welland for registration (we had to check in race day, because Adam was racing Centurion the day prior). It was an uneventful time from then on. I racked my bike, set up transition and then did my swim warmup.

The Swim: I started the swim right on the buoy line, which was great. So, when the gun went off, I put my head down and just followed the line. Unfortunately, this meant I missed catching a pack of fast swimmers that started far to my left. It's hard to know whether I could have swum with them or not, but because I hadn't made that front pack I was swimming solo for the whole swim. I did feel good though! I've been doing a lot of pull paddles work since Ironman and I could feel the strength in my back and arms during this swim. At one point I let my mind wander and lost the buoy line. I looked up and noticed I was way to the left of the course! Oops. I got back on track and eventually I found myself at the swim exit, about 2 minutes or so behind the female leader, and super strong swimmer, Sheila. I was happy with my swim :)

Stats: 28:42 (1:26/100m) Garmin says: 2.08km, 28:42 (1:23/100m)

The Bike: After a relatively fast transition, I headed out onto the bike course. Legs were feeling good, headspace was good, but my front aerobar shifters didn't want to work :( I was cursing electronic shifting at that point! I fiddled with the junction box a bit and they started working again, but they were sporadic the entire race. Sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't. Luckily I could still shift from my bullhorns, but I would have to break aero to do so. Even with this issue I was able to catch and pass Sheila and finish the bike as the lead female. I may have biked too hard. My heart rate was higher than it should have been, but my legs felt good. I didn't know whether to go by feel or by my physiology...so, I went by feel. This may have been a mistake I would pay for on the run.

Stats: 86km (2:18:25, 37.3kph), Garmin says 196W NP (193W avg power), 162bpm avg HR, 82rpm avg

The Run: I started the run, and, within the first few strides, I knew it was going to be a struggle. This seems to be the theme this year in my longer distance races. Is it fatigue from spending about 30-40hrs on my feet each week? Is it that I'm biking too hard? Is it poor nutrition? Is it just lack of fitness? Am I still tired from Ironman 4 weeks ago? I have struggled this year on the run and I don't know what I am doing wrong in comparison to previous years. Anyway, I focused on running at a steady heart rate. I knew I could sustain a 165-169bpm heart rate for 1hr40mins so I just focused on staying in that zone, regardless of whether the pace was slow (which it was!). When Sheila passed me I was happy for her, she looked so strong! Next I was passed by Jennie Hansen, who I have so much respect for. She went through countless surgeries in the past few years and is back to competing and stronger than ever. Yes, I was upset that I wasn't running faster. But, yes, I was running as fast as I could. So, I stayed positive and, one step at a time, I made it through two loops of the gruelling course. I even re-passed Sheila in the last 3km of the run. I finished 4th female, 1st Ontario female. I had nothing left at the end. I even started hyperventilating after I crossed the finish line, reminiscent of a similar experience I had after my first ever 100m breast stroke race when I was 11.

Stats: 1:39:45 (4:45/km), 173bpm

Finishing time: 4:30:07

What's next for me? I may do one more race this year. Then, next year, I plan to take a break from long course racing and race a few of the races on the Multisport circuit (I'd love to be able to do Barrelman again). Working 4 jobs and trying to train for longer triathlons really took a toll on me this past year. When I can work less, and train more, that's when I plan to tackle the long course events again. Competing in Kona is still my dream. Sometimes, the reality is that you have to put your dreams on hold.



Thank you:

- The Multisport crew, volunteers and Tri Ontario officials
- High Rock Capital Management, my title sponsor. Check out the video about what they do
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My sisters for being my inspiration to work hard and never give up.
- Adam for coaching me again!
- My health care team of Dr. Mark Schofield, David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). A high stress life makes you more prone to injuries. I am so fortunate to have these guys!
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially Sara and everyone at WattsUp and TTC!
- Endurosport for building me the perfect bike and all your mechanical help
- My sponsors: Title Sponsor:High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, Blade Wheels, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Race Report: Multisport Canada Lakeside Triathlon

This past weekend I raced in the Lakeside Olympic triathlon, the final event of the Multisport Canada triathlon series. I had done this race once before (in 2015). It was a memorable event that year, because it was my longest race after surgery. I had done a few sprints that year, but completing this event was what gave me hope that I would get back to long course racing again! So, Lakeside triathlon holds a special place in my heart.

The venue for Lakeside Tri is spectacular. At the site there is lots of parking, the transition area is right at the edge of the lake where we swim, the registration and race expo is just beside transition. On top of that, there is even a park for kids to play at while their parents race! The course at Lakeside it great for a beginner and a seasoned athlete who likes a challenge. The swim is usually calm, the water is warm (but still wetsuit legal!) and it's two loops for the Olympic (so you are never far form shore). The bike is a rectangle so you make mostly only right turns, the terrain is rolling and the roads are mostly well paved. There is a short 5km section near the end that has some steeper pitches, but, for the beginners - you are nearly done by then and for the faster athletes - this is a good chance to make some gains on your competitors. The run is on a half dirt/cement/gravel road, with a bit of a hill at the 2.5km turnaround. The packed dirt is a nice change from the hard gravel roads we usually run on. All in all, you get an enjoyable and fairly fast day at Lakeside Triathlon.

How was my race at Lakeside? It was great! I have to admit that I get cold very easily, so I was a bit chilled to start the swim (even with a good warmup). When the gun went off to signal the start of the race I just tried to move my arms and legs as fast as I could to get the blood circulating to those muscles. I felt a bit like a flailing fish! I used male Pro Dan Clarke as my carrot and just tried to keep up with him. We swam together for most of the race, but I really fell behind on the last 200-300m of the swim. I think that when the water gets shallow the tall people can just run through it, but I have to either swim or dolphin dive as I'm too short to run through that depth of water! I was also experiencing some really bad left calf and hamstring tightness after my 25km run on Friday, so I didn't want to chance running more than I needed to. So, after a slow swim exit, I cautiously ran to my bike, then I put on my windbreaker vest (yes, I did!) and was off on the ride. I didn't know how my legs would feel. I had done a 200km ride on Wednesday, so I knew I wouldn't be fresh. To my surprise, I actually did feel really good. I focused on holding right around my threshold power (210-215W) and pushing a bit harder than I normally do up the hills. I could see a few guys who passed me early on in the ride up ahead and I tried to keep them within my sight. Eventually, I caught up to and passed one near the end of the ride. For the first race this year, I held the same power in the first 5km as I did in the last 5km. Success! Then it was on to the run. I had no idea what to expect. I had not slept much the night prior because I was so worried about my left calf and hamstring! It was hard to descend stairs on Saturday, so I was thinking "how will I get through a race on Sunday?" Somehow, my body knew what to do. I took the first 1km a bit tentatively, but then I realized that I was going to be OK. I pushed hard for the next 6.5km and then realized that I had a good lead, was getting tired and wanted to save my legs a bit for Barrelman this weekend, so I backed off the pace a tiny bit. I crossed the finish line and was ecstatic to take my 4th win of 4 races in the series :)

Stats:

Swim - Garmin says: 1664m, 22:52 (1:23/100m) - and that I swam on course, SportsStats: 22:51

Bike - Garmin says: 206W (210W NP), 87rpm, 167bpm, SportStats: 1:07:44, 35.4kph *this is my highest power for an Oly*

Run - Garmin says: 42:21, 4:13/km, 174bpm, SportStats: 42:21

Overall - 2:14:53







Thank you:

- The Multisport crew, volunteers and Tri Ontario officials
- High Rock Capital Management, my title sponsor. Check out the video about what they do
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My sisters for being my inspiration to work hard and never give up.
- Adam for doing A LOT of driving, for keeping me calm when I get anxious and for making me want to be the best version of myself. It helps so much to have him there on race day.
- My health care team of Dr. Mark Schofield, David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). A high stress life makes you more prone to injuries. I am so fortunate to have these guys!
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially Sara and everyone at WattsUp and TTC!
- Endurosport for building me the perfect bike and all your mechanical help
- My sponsors: Title Sponsor:High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, Blade Wheels, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Race Report: Ironman Mont Tremblant

This past Sunday, I raced Ironman Mont Tremblant. First, I just have to say that this was an extremely well organized event. The entire experience, from the days leading up to the race to the day after the race was amazing. The location of the venue, the Ironman village, the course itself were among my favourite parts. If you haven't raced an event at Mont Tremblant, I highly recommend it. I will most certainly be back here.

I have been waiting to write my race report, hoping that I will have a better understanding about how I feel about the race. It has been 3 days and I have yet to clarify my thoughts and emotions. On one hand, I feel incredibly grateful that I was able to race another Ironman. I am incredibly proud of a time of 10hrs22mins and 17th female overall. I can't believe that I was able to run 42km within an Ironman, when I had been told 2 years ago I would never run more than 10km ever again. I feel happy that I had an Ironman experience that wasn't marred by a cyberbully attack 2 days prior like in IM Arizona, in which websites, facebook pages and twitter accounts were created to defame me. The individuals responsible claiming they wanted to "out me from the triathlon community." Yes, there are a lot of positives that came from this race. On the other hand, I wanted more. I feel frustrated that I couldn't run faster. In 2012 and 2013 I was consistently running 1:27 - 1:30 for my half-marathon runs within a 70.3. I ran a 3:35 in my marathon during Ironman Arizona. Running was my strength and not my weakness. I haven't been able to get back to that same run fitness and it's been incredibly frustrating. I know it's in me, but I feel lost trying to find it. Details about the training and the race itself are below.

The Training

After really only being focused on Eagleman 70.3 for most of the winter and with a minor foot injury and a cold and rainy spring, my true Ironman training didn't begin until July. I had about 5 weeks to build up the endurance I needed for Ironman Mont Tremblant. This was not ideal, but I had great base fitness and I knew I could do it. My biggest weekend of training was on the Ironman course...3 days included 220km of riding, 45km of running and 5km of open water swimming. I also included some shorter races in the Multisport Canada Triathlon Series to keep in some high intensity training and ensure I maintained a bit of speed. 3 weeks before Ironman I did a 150km ride (finishing the last 40km at above Ironman goal power) and then completed a 24km run off the bike and averaged a 5:13/km during that run (done at 28C - hot!!). I simulated my race nutrition exactly. I thought this would set me up well for a 42km at around the same pace or (hopefully) a bit faster. My taper for Ironman was about 3 weeks, but also included Kingston Long Course tri 2 weeks before. Other than having to work a lot during this time, I felt fresh and well rested on race day.



The Pre-Race

We arrived on Thursday night after a fairly easy drive. Friday I did an easy bike and run, then check in, the Pro meeting, TTC group photo, cold bath in the pool and then dinner with my parents.











Saturday I did another short bike, run and swim. Then I had my interview with Bob Babbit! He's a super nice guy. See the interview here:



Race Day





The swim was uneventful. I may have started off a bit too slow as I missed the first swim group. I have been able to swim with Magali and others of similar speeds if I can get on their feet. However, I missed this opportunity and swam the 3.8km (or 4.2km according to Garmin) leading the second group or solo. This was not ideal, but 3-4 minutes lost in the swim was not something to worry about.

SWIM STATS: 59:55 (1:34/100m, 5th Pro, 6th Female), GARMIN SAYS: 59:55 (1:27/100m)



The bike was great. I was within my power and heart rate zones and I felt good. I did back off a little during the last 20km to save a bit more for the run. I was able to have full conversations during the ride and I took this as another good sign that I was pacing myself correctly. I was a bit surprised that so many people were passing me, but I remembered "patience" and focused inwards. In fact, I think this strategy worked because I only got passed 4 or 5 times during the second loop and passed a few people who had passed me early on. This course was a mix of flats and hilly. I am much stronger on the flats (I just can't hit high power that some can for steep climbs), but the mix of terrain was just perfect. As soon as I was sick of the flat section, the hills came. When I was sick of hills, the flats came. I heard that the course was windy, but I didn't notice. I probably owe that to my fast bike and Blade wheels breaking the wind for me :)

There was definitely room for improvement with my nutrition. Although it had worked well in training, sometimes the race day nerves can change things and make your GI system much more sensitive. During the 5.5hr ride I took 600 calories from eLoad, 600 calories from Bulk Barn OMGs (will try to find an alternative solid food for next time with more carbs, less fat), 200mg caffeine from 5 hr energy at 90km point and about 3-4L of fluid (hard to quantify). This was 1200 calories (220cal/hr), 225g CHO (41g/hour - a bit low a it should be closer to 55g for me), 0g fiber (good), 33g FAT (6g/hr but this should be 3g/hr or less), 2522mg Sodium (460mg/hr - will definetely experiment going a bit higher than this, but it was cool and I don't sweat much - I've also gotten side stitches when I approach 750mg per hour), 579mg Potassium (unsure recommendations for this), 8g protein (may need more than this). BIKE STATS: 5:24:51 (33.5kph, 10th Pro, 11th Female), GARMIN SAYS: 5:24:44 with 2:40 first loop, 2:44 second loop (148bpm, 175W NP (180W first loop, 171W second loop, 169W avg power, VI = 1.04 )





The first few km on the run I felt OK, but not great. It's hard to predict how your run is going to go at this point. Either you start to feel good and get in a rhythm or you deteriorate even more. Unfortunately for me, the latter occurred. My heart rate was really high (170s) and my legs continued to feel stiff. I switched to thinking "1km at a time, try not to walk" instead of what I should have been thinking, which was "pace, heart rate, pace, heart rate, smile". I tried taking a gel, but my stomach turned at the idea. I ate nothing and only drank during the first half of the run. Luckily I seemed to tolerate coke and red-bull ok. And at around 28km in I saw Cliff Shot Blocks at the aid station and those seemed appealing. I took two HUGE handfuls and ate them one after another. I wished I had taken more! They sat well with me. Now I know what I will be relying on during my next Ironman run. Of course, once I had eaten something I felt a bit better. However, in the last 5km I felt my calves seizing up. Rather than push myself to the finish and risk injuring myself, I slowed even more, even though I had more energy there. Of course, I moved down 2 places during that time :(

RUN STATS: 3:51 (5:29/km), GARMIN SAYS: 3:51 (5:29/km, 179bpm avg HR - which may be wrong as I had gels stuffed down my sports bra)

OVERALL STATS: 10:22:41 (17th female, 13th Pro)









My next races will be Lakeside Olympic and Barrelman Triathlon! Both events are organized my Multisport Canada. I also want to take this opportunity to mention that the MSC triathlon series helped get me and a lot of people into the sport of triathlon. I became involved in the sport, because there happened to be a local race just a short drive from my cottage, so I thought I would give it a try. I think we forget that without our local race series getting people involved in triathlon, companies like Ironman can't grow and if they can't grow then they can't put on such elaborate events like Ironman Mont Tremblant. So, be sure to give back to your local race series and participate in a few events close to home.

Thank you:

- My homestay hosts, Andre and Renee. They were absolutely wonderful and I wouldn't have had the experience I did without their generosity.
- The race organizers, volunteers and other athletes
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My sisters for being my inspiration to work hard and never give up.
- Adam for doing the driving, for sherpaing, for keeping me calm when I get anxious and for making me want to be the best version of myself. It helps so much to have him there on race day.
- Toronto Triathlon Club and NRG for cheering so so loud for me on race day! I always gave a little bit more out there knowing you were watching and supporting!
- High Rock Capital Management, my title sponsor. Check out the video about what they do
- My health care team of Dr. Mark Schofield, David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). A high stress life makes you more prone to injuries. I am so fortunate to have these guys!
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially Sara and everyone at WattsUp and TTC!
- Endurosport for building me the perfect bike and all your mechanical help
- My sponsors: Title Sponsor:High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, Blade Wheels, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Monday, August 7, 2017

Race Report: MSC Kingston Long Course

Let's start this race report with a flashback to Kingston in 2012: I'm training full time, living with my parents, I have just started coaching triathlon and I work a couple times a week at WattsUp. Life is not busy. Basically I eat, train, do a bit of work, sleep and repeat! A lifestyle that is ideal for a pro triathlete. While I worked hard for my win that year, I didn't appreciate it as much as my win in Kingston this year. In stark contrast to 2012, the week leading up to Kingston 2017 involved 25hrs of giving massages, 16hrs of coaching, time spent running errands, cooking meals, cleaning, making lunches, paying bills, etc. Life is quite different now than it was back then. Yet, I've somehow learned to adapt. With proper planning, positive thinking and a strong will I am able to compete at the same level. That's what makes me the most proud about my performance on the weekend. Two of my favourite quotes are "don't wait for the storm to pass, learn how to dance in the rain" and "an athlete must persist with hope in her heart and dreams in her head" ... which I interpret to mean that no matter what life throws at you, you've got to press on and make the most of the hand you've been dealt and don't find excuses.



Pre-Race

I did my usual prep bike-run on the Saturday morning. Loops around High Park were a great setting to get in a mix of hills, flats, race pace work and to test that my bike was in good working order. Then a short run off the bike with some accelerations got the legs feeling loose. We left Toronto at 10am, I had my McDonalds coffee and muffin in hand, and we headed to the 401 to endure the long drive to Kingston. Not much excitement on this drive: stop, go, repeat, Bulk Barn pit stop, go, stop, etc. After 4.5hrs we were at the race site...right on the water, in the heart of downtown Kingston. A perfect spot for a race. Lots for the spectators to do, while the athletes are racing. Then it was time to check in to the hotel. I had a meal I had pre-made of pasta alfredo with chicken and Adam got his standard pizza. We were asleep before 9pm.

The Swim

The swim course was changed at the last minute due to the fact that the waves past the break wall were pretty high. So, it would involve doing two loops of a large triangle. However, this swim was challenging. The waves were high and the skies were grey, making it difficult to sight the triangular buoys that were about 300m apart. Luckily for me, I do really well in big waves for some reason. I am not phased at all by the chop. The first loop I sighted based on the splashes in front of me, likely coming from speedy Angela Quick, Alex and other fast swimmers. Knowing that I wouldn't have them to sight in the second loop I matched up markers in the distant horizon that I could use to sight during my second loop. That worked well and I swam relatively straight. And, lucky for me, I was passed by a relay swimmer at after cornering the last buoy was able to stay on her feet. I rode her waves for the last 500m of the race, and likely made up a bit of time that way. When I came out of the water only 75s back of Angela I knew I had a good swim (normally I'm 2min or more behind at this distance).

STATS: 32:35 (Sportstats) and 32:24, 2160m, 38 strokes per minute (76 strokes both arms), 1:30/100m (Garmin)



The Bike

I wasn't fresh for this race after a busy week and a hard block of Ironman training that concluded last Saturday with a hard 5hr ride and 2hr run off the bike (in the heat!). I really didn't know how I would feel on the bike on race day. I knew that late ride fatigue was definitely possible. The bike did start out well. I was right at goal power and heart rate to the turnaround. I enjoyed the scenery and the rolling hills and the strong tailwind. Then, just after the 30km mark, the switch happened. I went from "push push" mode to "just hang on" mode. Every pedal stroke felt like a struggle. Luckily I have an incredibly fast bike and super fast Blade carbon wheels so I used this free speed to my advantage, but I was still slowing. Although I was upset that the last 20km were a struggle, it wasn't completely unexpected. I was physically and mentally tired.

STATS: 1:34:40, 35.6kph (Sportstats) and 1:34:44, 36.5kph, 56.1km, 199W avg power, 203W NP, 163bpm avg HR, 85rpm (Garmin)

The Run

I started out the run feeling good. This surprised me given how I had felt on the bike just minutes earlier. I was holding about a 4:05/km pace and felt like I was running strong. When I reached 4km on the run I heard that I was 1:55 back of the leader. Shoot. I knew I would have my work cut out for me. By the turnaround point I had cut that to 30s, but I was starting to hurt. I pushed through 1km at a time, and at around 12km in, I took the lead. I used the energy of the sprint racers around me and forced myself to keep up the pace. When I crossed the line I was so happy to finish as the top female! It was a hard fought battle.





STATS: 1:03:25, 4:13/km (Sportstats) and 1:03:07, 14.84km, 4:15/km (Garmin)

Total Time: 3:12:24





Next race up: Ironman Mont Tremblant then Lakeside Olympic Triathlon

Thank you:

- The Multisport crew, volunteers and officials
- High Rock Capital Management, my title sponsor. Check out the video about what they do
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My sisters for being my inspiration to work hard and never give up.
- Adam for doing A LOT of driving, for keeping me calm when I get anxious and for making me want to be the best version of myself. It helps so much to have him there on race day.
- Paula Van Nostrand for my new aero water bottle!
- My health care team of Dr. Mark Schofield, David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). A high stress life makes you more prone to injuries. I am so fortunate to have these guys!
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially Sara and everyone at WattsUp and TTC!
- Endurosport for building me the perfect bike and all your mechanical help
- My sponsors: Title Sponsor:High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, Blade Wheels, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting