Toronto Triathlon Festival 2014 Race Report

4:15am wake up call. Ugh, I'm not a morning person on the best of days and 1 issue I have with this race is the 6:50am start time. No problems getting up though and had my instant coffee. Gross. Had a banana with peanut butter and that's it. Not exactly hungry that early in the morning and with an Oly I'm not too worried about having enough food. It was suppose to start raining around 2am, but it looked like it had held off until my mom came to pick me. Then it started spitting, but nothing too hard.

Photo Jul 13, 6 49 04 AM

Got to the race and just took my time getting stuff together. I went and used the facilties as per usual. Took some pics and then gave the phone to my mother. Went back to my spot in transition and started putting on the wet suit. Glad I did, it then started to rain. Got my rain suit completely on and then it rained hard. Like really hard. I was thankful I got my mom to give me a plastic garbage bag to help keep most of my things dry. Eventually the rain subsided and we were asked to get out of transition and into the starting area for the swim. While waiting for the start it started raining hard again. This ended up delaying the start of the race. While I was waiting for the start I saw my friend Irina, who had decided not to do the race due to the weather conditions and the fact that she has an Ironman coming up in a month. Wasn't worth it for her to risk an injury!

I was in the 2nd last wave and when we saw the wave in front of us get in, there was a woman panicking and she was pulled from the water. Water conditions were cold again, like last year, and due to the late winter I knew it was going to be bad again this year. Although in the past the woman panicking ahead of me did't deter me, I knew I was going to be able to do this, I just had to remain calm. Got into water and it was so cold just like last year, but this year I used a neoprene cap under my swim cap. I swear it saved my life. We were off and right away the water was rough. Lots of waves and I was starting to feel panicky. I had to calm myself down a little. I pushed through. But there were many others who got pulled from the frigid water and becase of that there were boats out there getting people and those boats caused more waves and made it worse. Gulped so much water. I almost panicked again, but pushed through it more. I had a few people pass me, but  near the end I actually was able to catch up to somebody and pass her. That felt nice.

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Slow transition 1, but faster by a few seconds then last year. I'll take it. I grabbed the bike shoes and walked with them up the ramp. Good call, so wet and very slippery.

Once on the bike I took it easy until I got onto the Gardiner. It was narrow due to instruction but wasn't too bad as there wasn't a lot of cyclists around me. Some water on the roads, but able to avoid it. Saw a few cyclists with flat tires again on the Gardiner and in the same place. Thankfully this triathlon has people out there helping out with flats, which is nice. I was thankfully able to avoid that. This year I was able to be in aero and I think it really helped. That's what made me faster. Pushed it more then last year too, but there was a nasty headwind on the wind back, which was the opposite of last year.  Good ride and felt great.

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Had a really slow transition. I wore my shoes going back to my spot and I think that didn't help. I should have taken them off at the dismount line. It would have helped and probably would have made my bike time faster as the mats were at the bottom of the hill, not at the mount/dismount line and I took my time getting down the hill. Was able to get out and started off just checking to make sure I was good, then I booted. I saw Irina as I was heading out on the run. Encouraging me, thank goodness, because I kind of need it going out on the run. Sometimes I get a little exhausted and need a little push. Since I didn't have my HRM or GPS unit on I couldn't tell my speed or heart rate, so I went by feel. I definitely felt like I was going fast, but I didn't feel like I was going to puke, so I figured I was doing good.

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Once I got to the 1/2 way point I went slightly faster. Was able to maintain a good speed and was able to pass a few people. Only a few people passed me running and they were mostly the duathletes. But passed a few younger women and some older men that would have been way ahead of me at the start. When I got to the last turn and saw the finishing shute I just poured it on. I found someone to pick off right at the end and was able to speed right by him.

Rain held off mostly during my race. There was some rain while on the bike and it was hitting me like hail, but it wasn't raining hard, I think that was just my speed. A few minutes after I finished it started to rain and rain hard again. So I got my free coffee (no line up) and decided against the free burger (long line up).

Although my bike was a PR and my run improved from last year, the swim and T2 were so slow that I was actually 1min & 8 seconds slower this year then last year. Oh well, Considering weather conditions were less then ideal, I'll take it.

Thanks again to my coach, Rebecca! Thanks again to Irina for cheering me on! And to her husband, Zindine, for helping me push beyond my limits. Another thanks to my mother for being my sherpa again. It wasn't easy in the rain and she hadn't been feeling well either, so I appreciate her help. And thanks to my "friend" who came out to cheer me on at the end. It was greatly appreciated as well. :)

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