Toronto Triathlon Festival 2013 - Race Report
4:00 wake up, hit the snooze button once, but didn't feel too bad. Started the water for the coffee. Did number 1 a few times and a number 2 (yes, I talk about this in the report. Live with it.). Also had a few sips of water before my mom came to get me. No problems getting into the vehicle (I wasn't sure how this would go since we have some "construction" going on outside the house & I was forced to use the side door for the bike. I was a little worried there would be problems, but it was all good). Traffic was light getting there and there was no issues. Got to parking lot 1 and had a 5 min walk to transition area. I got re-numbered because I had it done Saturday morning at the expo, but of course I had sweated it off during the day & over night. Got set up in my proper place (not too far from the bike exit). I was set up pretty quickly and then just stood there thinking. Making sure I had everything. My friend Irina was going to be 3 bikes down from me but wasn't there yet and I noticed a long line for the bathroom, so I went and stayed in the line. Not enough bathrooms for 1800 people (900 in Oly). I had a good 15 min wait. At 1st I thought it was just going to be #1, but it ended up being both. It's a good thing I stayed in the line! I almost left, figuring I could pee in the water.
I got back into transition and put on the wetsuit. I drank my Genucan way earlier then I was suppose to, but the transition area was going to close at 6:35 and I wouldn't have been able to drink it at the appropriate time. I took my time drinking it & had a bit of water to make it go down. I also tried something new today, I know… don't do anything new, but I had wondered about my bib. In the sprints I usually just pin it to my tri suit, but I wanted a bib belt & Irina was able to get me one the day before. When I got back into transition she was there and I got my bib belt ready for the bike. Irina's husband, Zindine, met up with us in transition & then the 3 of us left & headed over to our swim start. Since we had lots of time from transition closing to wave start the 3 of us just chatted. I'm glad we did. I think it kept me at ease.
I was in the 2nd last wave and far from the start. Wasn't really paying attention to the other swimmers, just before we started we could see the 1st wave going by us though. That was cool. I just spent most of that waiting time trying to relax. I'm certainly glad Irina was there, it stopped me from thinking stupid thoughts. Having a great conversation with a woman from St. John's, Newfoundland! When it was our turn we all jumped in the water and HOLY F***! IT'S BLOODY COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! They had said the water was 21 degrees celsius Saturday morning but expected it to be cooler on Sunday. Apparentl it was 19. No way, much colder, it certainly felt colder then Binbrook. Now this is where people may think I was going to panic. But I didn't. I was still good. We had to wad in the water a minute or so and then we started off. I lost my friend Irina pretty quickly as she was able to get in front of me. Also helps that I'm blind so I couldn't see well around me. I watched for orange buoys as they were the turns & yellow buoys were guides. It also helped that there were quite a few people out there in kayaks incase we went off course. Thank goodness! I was able to stay steady. I didn't go fast and I didn't do any kicking. Got to the first turn around with no problems. The orange caps (my wave) were a little ahead of me, but there were a few stragglers around me, some doing breast stroke some freaking out a little. I just kept going. After the first turn however I noticed a problem. Sun, right in my eyes. Now I was wearing my AquaSphere tinted eye goggles, but that wasn't enough. I couldn't see the buoys very well, but I could see bobbing heads, so I just watched that. It also helped that the kayaks were there, I got pretty close to a few of those. I also saw a blue cap guy hanging off of one of the kayaks. Woah. Scary. It was also around here that the yellow caps started passing me. I knew that was going to happen. I was pretty slow, and there were some pretty amazing athletes in this triathlon. "Don't worry, Carol", I told myself, you're doing fine. The water was still cold, but as we got more & more into the area between the island in the main land there were warmer spots. I also was able to "use the facilities" as I like to say. I also had a bit of a scary incident where the grass (seaweed as I call it) was a little too much. I felt like I was tangled in it and another green cap (the wave ahead of me) was having an issue with it too. Yikes! I turned the last turn and water got colder, but there were also a lot of people cheering. This is one thing I liked about this tri, most triathlons do not get that cheering when you are in the water, but we were so close to shore we could get it. I also had a really long pee when I was about to get to the end, seriously over 30 seconds or so. Woah, glad I got that done before the bike!
As I got to the dock I was able to get out with no problems. They had people helping us onto the steps. Didn't have too much lightheadedness. My mom was also there cheering me on. I had a smile on my face, so she was glad that I didn't have any problems. I walked out for a few steps and then once I was in transition area I started to run a little. I got to my area and I couldn't find my bike! I was looking at the #s & saw 827 but couldn't find 826. I thought my bike was gone! Calmed down a little and back tracked and found my bike, I kept going the wrong way. D'oh! Pulled off the wet suit with no problems and made sure to have my genucan for the bike, a bottle of gel, my GPS, sunglasses, & bib belt. Got the helmet on and I was good to go! I started going the wrong way, but they told me and I turned around fairly quickly and went to the Bike Out. I had been concerned about the hill to get out onto the bike course, but it wasn't that much of a problem. There wasn't too many people around me to cause a problem. When I got to the dismount line nobody said anything to me and I was about to get on my bike, finally the woman stopped me and pointed at the line, I was oblivious because there were a few people just standing there with their bike & I couldn't get around them. They finally moved over and I said "helpful", then another guy said "it was in the rules". Um, sorry, yeah, thanks. I really hate being rude to people & I felt bad, but OMG! Get out of my way. This was a single file area & the guy was just standing there on the bike, what was I suppose to do? The guy let me go around him and I was off. I didn't put the bike part on my polar on until about a minute or so after so I thought I had done 1:22 but apparently I was slower.
There was a bit of zig zagging, but not a lot of people around so that was good, then I was off onto the Gardiner. It's a major highway going into Toronto. Now I had done this in the past on the crappy bike (Ride for Heart), so I was hoping to do so much better on this bike. I did. Phew! But there was a nice headwind on the way out. We were warned though at the start of the race. I was able to pass a few bikers going up to Eglinton. Those were people who didn't have a road or a tri bike. A few people on road bikes I passed, I figured they were noobs because I had assumed most of my age group were way ahead of me. I wanted to make it to Eglinton in 45min, that was the 1/2 point, but it would also mean going back much faster, then what I was doing to get there. It was also where I was thinking I'd have the other genucan. I made it to Eglinton around 44min, good! A slight down hill but a nice place to have my genucan. I had been sipping on some water & heed a few times on the ride. Didn't feel too dehydrated, so I felt good. Finished up the genucan and was able to pick up the pace. I started picking off some people, which felt pretty good. I figured people would be passing me left, right & centre! I had a few people pass me, but they were hard core triathletes, at least they had tri bikes, so I didn't feel too bad. I pushed it down those hills too, I mean I didn't go crazy or anything but I was going 22-26mi/hr which is nice. I can't get that speed riding in Toronto on the bike! The wind was at my back, but it wasn't giving me that much speed, it was more of a hinderance on the way out, then helpful coming back in. At one point I felt like I had to go pee again. So I picked a hill that I was going down, got up on the bike & tried. It just wasn't coming. I was losing some time from this, so I stopped. When I got to the place where we got onto the Gardiner (Jamieson exit) I slowed down because I thought I had to go in there, but there were pylons so no, I had to go further. Lost some time there and did about 1km out and then came back in (with that stupid headwind) and a sharp right turn up the ramp. It wasn't too bad though. More zig zagging and I got to the bridge, off the bike just before dismount and I was good. My mom saw me coming down the ramp as I was about to go into transition & cheered me on, I felt great! Got to my area and had no problems. Switched shoes, took off helmet & put on my hat. I made sure to get rid of the genucan bottle & I was off.
Took it easy to get out of transition and then as I started running onto the Martin Goodman trail I realized, not only do I have to pee… I had to do a #2. Gah! Ok, can I hold out? I kept up my pace around 8:20/mi or so, happy with that as I was thinking I had to do 8:40 for 55min finish on the run. At 1 point we passed by bathrooms and thought of going in but there was a lock on it. D'oh! They must have locked it because of the tri. That's just mean! No problem, it wasn't causing me any distress. I made sure to grab some water at each station. around 2.5 I felt a little discomfort in my upper abdomen, but I still felt like I could run through it. Around 4k I saw my friend Irina on the other side. Woah! I thought, she's at 6k & 2km ahead of me. Then I realized that the place where we turn isn't 1/2 way and she was only just over 1km ahead of me. Good, I'm still doing well. I get to the turn around point & see the 5k. The 4-5 k felt the longest though. Once I turned the corner my speed also dropped a little, I was hoping to do negative splits, but I wasn't getting any faster. I kept on passing people though, which felt amazing. I was starting to have a bit of an issue with my ankles. Oh crap, I thought, then I realized it was from the chip ankle bracelet. The velco was rubbing against my ankle. No worries, I'll live with that. I didn't want to pour it on yet, so I waited until I got to the hill, remained steady and then after that I started to get faster. This is where I started passing more people. I got to the last water station and grabbed a gatorade & I was going to get someone to throw water on me but a man ahead of me had someone do the same thing & then he splashed his water on her too. lol, it was funny, but I didn't have the time after that to get that done to me, so I kept going. I told him that was funny and he mentioned "hey we're almost done, just a little bit left to go". Then he pulled ahead, but then I think his friend started walking and he remained with her, so I passed 2 more people! When I passed the Start I could see the Junior sprint triathletes had started their run. This gave me another burst of energy and I picked up the pace even more. 1km to go & I cranked it up a bit more. There were more & more people cheering at this point. Then we make the turn into Coronation park and I pick it up more & more. There was a woman ahead of me. She had been ahead of me for awhile. Probably about 100 feet or more. We made a turn and onto the grass. This scared me, I was afraid that I'd do something to the ankle! Then I see the Finish. And I see the woman ahead of me was slowing down. It was at this point I poured it on. Leaving nothing out there. My mother was there cheering & my friends Irina & Zindine were there cheering. It was awesome, I pushed it so hard. The announcer even said stuff about it, I wasn't paying attention though. Too focused. I then pass her right before the finish line and beat her. It was great! I was going so fast that I missed my medal. A woman came over to see if I was alright," yep, I'm good" I said, "Ok", she said, "because you have to go back and get your medal!" Oops. The woman I chased came up to me after and said "Nice sprint!".
Run: 52:36 (A new PR! by 2:06)
Finish time: 2:56:13
Thanks to my mom for taking me & being supportive. I grately appreciate that! Also thanks to Irina & Zindine for being so patient with me and helping me train a few times this year. I've asked them many questions and they were very helpful and informative as well as supportive. Also thanks to my coach Rebecca Adamson, thanks for telling me I can do this. I couldn't have done this without all these people. Thanks so much!
Check out my bib & medal here.
The full set of photos on flickr.