Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guelph Lake and more

Boy...have I been a delinquent in the blogging department lately.  I blame my work schedule for this and then trying to squeeze in all my training sessions.  I have been managing to log about 16-19 hours of training a week on top of working a full time job plus overtime shifts.  However, I think this is taking its toll on me a bit as I struggled through some training sessions last week.  I did take a couple of easier days and then managed to knock off a pretty decent 30km run yesterday.  In between my night shifts to boot, night 4 and 5.  Plus, it was my fastest 30km training run to date! Yay!  I also am up to 150km on the bike, did that last week in the heat and humidity.  My garmin measured a high temperature of 39C! Yikes!  So I am pretty happy with where my training is at now.  My left foot with the plantar fasciitis is also pretty happy! ;)  I ran pretty much pain-free!  It hurt some afterwards but the treatment is working!  Now I just have to deal with my right hamstring which is not so happy.  It's been hurting since Oceanside and I have been getting treatment for it as well.  Hopefully it will sort itself out soon.

A couple of weeks ago I raced in my third tri of the season at Guelph Lake.  On Jun 17th, Father's Day, my dad and I spent the day together as I raced the Olympic distance event.  I went into this race wanting to do really well and post a strong bike split.

There were threatening thunderstorms that morning with the risk of the swim being cancelled.  Surprisingly, the swim was not cancelled despite the sounds of thunder.  I had a pretty strong swim and felt great in the water until about the half way point when my left shoulder was hurting me quite a bit.  I could not muster strength from the left shoulder and not quite sure what happened.  It was useless but I still swam strong and got out of the water in just over 25min.  I clocked in at 26:24 by the time I ran up the hill and crossed the timing mats.  This got me 4th out of the water in my age group.

I started the bike feeling pretty good and I wanted to ride hard.  The wind made it a bit tricky though so even though I felt like I was hammering the bike, the wind slowed me down a bit.  I just tried to focus on strong pedal strokes.  But then about a third of the way into the bike I felt a rubbing sensation and heard a weird noise coming from the bike.  I was looking around to try to figure out what it was.  I looked down, tried to look behind, under my saddle and could not figure it out.  Then I started to wonder if I had flatted.  However, I did not lose control of the bike on the downhills so I figured that was not the case.  Maybe there was a slow leak?!  Well I continued on and just tried to stay strong.  I came back to T2 and noticed there were only 2-3 other bikes on my age group rack!  Woohoo! Really!?  Was happy with that and my friend also came in from the bike right after me and made up quite a bit of time on me.  After the race I found the source of the noise...my rear brake pad was rubbing against my wheel! Argh!  Rookie mistake!  I thought I had checked my wheels but maybe it got knocked a bit and shifted just enough to rub my back wheel!  Not sure how much time I lost from that mistake!  Bike time was 1:17:49 for 40km, averaged 30.8kph, just a bit slower than last year.

I started the run shoulder to shoulder with my friend!  She has improved quite a lot over the past couple of years and was definitely kicking my butt out there!  I tried to run with a quick cadence and see how long I could hold onto that!  We played cat and mouse for a bit.  She definitely helped me push myself out there.  But my hamstring was really unhappy with me and I could not push it as much as I wanted to.  A couple of times I felt defeated as she had passed me and I could not make up the gap anymore but I made sure she was within eye shot of me.  I ran the 10km in 53:40 which was just a bit faster than last year and I believe my fastest 10km in an Olympic distance tri.  My friend finished just 20sec ahead of me!  Props to you!  You were awesome and helped me stay honest and push myself.

Total time was 2:40:50....a new PB for a full Olympic triathlon and three minutes faster than last year.  I was 10th in my age group and 26th female overall.  Boy these girls are fast.  Even though I have improved in my running these girls are still whooping my butt.  Lol!  It was a fun day to spend with my dad though and I think he had fun too! ;)

This coming weekend I am off to Tupper Lake, NY to race the Tinman half ironman.  I have pretty high goals for this race and I hope I can pull them off!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Milton Race Report

Milton Sprint Triathlon
June 3, 2012

On Sunday,  I raced my second tri of the season in Milton.  The forecast was calling for rain and luckily it held up for the most part.  We did have to contend with cold temperatures and a nice head and cross wind though.  I was thinking I really have to stop doing this race because the weather at this time of year is hit and miss.  I have done this race in freezing cold and wet weather before as well as hot, sunny, and humid weather.  I had a bit of a race plan which was to swim hard, bike hard, and see what I can do for the run.

The swim went ok for me.  I am horrible at starts and this race was no different.  I tried to go hard right away but I was not very successful at maintaining it.  I went hard, then kind of got caught in the mix of slower swimmers who go out too hard and die right away, and then I was able to push the pace after I passed the jumble and swim hard home.

The bike I was a bit disappointed in.  I thought I was able to ride faster than what I did on Sunday.  However, the wind made it a bit tricky so I am going to blame that! ;)  I started the ride pretty comfortable and just started hammering it.  Got to 6th Line hill, looked up, and thought that the hill actually did not look all that bad.  Guess all the hill training is helping me in that respect.  I was passing lots and tried to maintain the effort but I found myself slowing down and being a bit cautious when I was faced with the wind; or more like pushed from the side by the wind.  Then at some point it felt like I was not trying as hard especially as I was approaching the big downhill.  As I started to descend 6th Line hill, I went into full on chicken mode.  I have no other explanation but that I was way too cautious.  I hit my brakes and went down the hill quite slowly.  Probably the slowest I have ever gone down that hill.  I know of one too many bad crashes that I think it is starting to play with my head now.  I ended up averaging 30kph for the entire ride which was slower than last year.

The run went better that the bike.  I started the run with very heavy legs and was holding a slow pace.  I slowly got my running legs under me and by the turnaround I started booting it to the finish.  I felt like I finished the run strong and in much better shape than last year.  My run time was also just a bit faster than last year's time.  Overall, I was 2min slower than last year but we were faced with harsher conditions.  I placed 12th in my age group and was 36th women overall.   I am hoping I can build on this and have a strong showing at Guelph next weekend.

I also want to give props to my friend Leanna who won the race!  Woohoo! Way to go!  And I want to wish another friend who I travelled to the race with a speedy recovery after crashing in the last 4km of the bike.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

GFNY 2012

A couple of weeks ago I headed to the big apple to ride the Gran Fondo NY.  It was a fun weekend and a good way to get a real long training ride in.  We started on the George Washington Bridge in NYC to Bear Mountain and finished in Weehawken NJ by the waterways terminal.  Initially I thought the ride was 160km, then I learned pretty much the day before that the ride was 177km.  Great!  An Ironman distance ride!  Perfect!  This was not a race per se, the only thing that was timed were four climbs.  The rest was a cycle at your pace and have fun kind of event.  Since I was cycling on my own (the guys did not ride with me), I decided to treat it like a training ride.  I was not in race mode at all and did not even race the climbs.  I just took them steady.  I also took minimal time at the stops with just enough time to refill my bottles when needed.  It was a long day but a good one with over 8600ft on climbing.  I am really happy I got that ride in!  I wish I could have performed better in terms of rankings but I am ok with my performance.  Total ride time was just over 8hrs, yes a long day! lol!  My total climb time was 1:10:44 which placed me 60th in my division (W19-39) out of 113 starters but 77 finishers and 162nd female out of 312 starters/205 finishers.  On another note, the guys I went down with rode together and I caught them at the last aid station with 40km left of the ride.  I was pleasantly surprised to see them there and shocked at the same time.  They were taking their time at the aid stations fueling up so I ended up catching them!!! Hehe!  Here are some pics of the ride:

heading to the start at 5am taking the subway in NYC
waiting on the GW bridge

bird's eye view of the start


and more climbing

35km to the finish