Well. First race of the season is now under my belt! I've heard the first race is often known as a "rust-buster", and that definitely applied here. My training has come a long way in the off-season, but putting it all together can sometimes be something else completely. On the other hand, it was great to be out on a race course again, seeing familiar faces and putting all the training to the test.
This was a much nicer swim than when I did the Woodstock course 2 years ago - the water was pleasantly warm this time! I got off to a good start, finding feet right away and sticking with a group for a decent part of the course. The water conditions were pretty choppy though and I went a bit off course, losing the pack and having to swim the last bit on my own, but the initial drafting advantage helped me get out of the water in a better spot than my relatively weak swim usually does - 7th woman overall.
The strong swim, however, took more of a toll on my body than I'd realized, getting onto the bike and struggling for a good 5 km to recover. Despite my efforts - and my brand-new Campi disc wheel - I couldn't make up positions as I'd hoped and rolled back to T2 still in 7th, having also lost significant time on all the women ahead of me.
I was happy with my run considering having just started back after injury - before the race this was the part I was really worried about. I started at a fairly conservative pace but was able to hold it all the way through. Woodstock is a great run course and I really enjoyed seeing part of the 3-way battle for second place on the men's side, as I was going out and they were coming back. At the end, my signature sprint finish just wasn't happening - which is a good thing, meaning I pushed pretty hard throughout the race and drained the tank already.
Overall, time-wise this was not a great race but for a first race of the season, I was happy with it. Getting back into racing does wonders for my motivation, and now I know what I need to work on. I'm so happy I was able to start the season with such a fun race, on such a great (and warm!!) day.
Big thanks to Multisport Canada/Recharge with Milk for your support this year and to my fellow MSC Ambassadors who all did so well! Big thanks also to everyone at teamLPC and my Hurdle Project teammates for all the encouragement, and endlessly pushing me in training :) And finally, big thanks to my dad for all the last-minute help with my bike 15 minutes before race start - I would probably have missed the race entirely otherwise!!
Thanks for reading! And if you, also, raced in Woodstock this weekend (or anywhere, for that matter) awesome job, and I hope you had fun!
Stay tuned - my next confirmed race is MSC Gravenhurst but I'm trying to schedule some in before that as well...