Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MSC Toronto, Wasaga and season recap

At the beginning of this season, I'd thought I wasn't doing a season at all. Now, 5.5 tri's later, I'm very happy I did. Was I in my best shape? No. Was it a fun season anyway? Heck yes. I'll start here with a quick recap of the last 2 weekends of the season.

Toronto Island sprint du

Toronto Island is an interesting course because of its location on a relatively small island, and therefore the necessity of loops of the bike and run courses. This makes it very spectator friendly, but does also make the course congested most of the way through. I've done it before so was prepared (and was also prepared for the 5am wake up time) but as per most of this season I wasn't nervous going into the race. To my delight, the high winds forced the swim portion to be cancelled.

Run 1 - It was SO hard to hold back at the beginning of the race, as running races usually are, especially with a group of 3 quick girls pulling ahead right off the start. But I stayed at a steady effort and was still fresh running into T1.

Bike - It took a while to get into the flow of the course, lots of turns at the beginning kept me out of the aero bars for the first bit. But the road was smooth and once I settled into a rhythm it went well.

Run 2 - It was weird having such a short run to finish off (it was 2.5k). Unfortunately I didn't have the energy to pick up the pace and I think it was about the same pace-wise as the first one. I crossed the line entirely disappointed in my run fitness and thus decided to wait on reporting on the race until after the (hopefully better) Wasaga race.

Wasaga Beach olympic tri

On the drive over to Wasaga Beach from Collingwood Saturday morning, my entire focus was on what the water conditions were. Last year's swim was choppy to the point of being nauseating. Luckily the waves were significantly more calm this year. Adding to the calmness was a much later race start than normal - 10:30. I actually slept in for this race rather than having to get up early! It was also nice seeing Lauren, who I hadn't raced against since this race last year, and Anne who'd switched into the Pro division last minute so would be starting with us. I really had no idea how we'd do relative to each other right at this point which made for an exciting race.

Swim - It was a small swim start in the pro/elite age group division. Billy recommended I not draft him this time, because his swim fitness has been suffering with a longstanding rib injury. So instead I started off on my own, and got into a decent pace that I wasn't entirely sure I could hold the whole time. As it turned out, I felt better and better as the swim went on so kept pushing the pace a bit. On the way back though, I couldn't see the swim exit so went WAY off course - enough so that I was told a kayaker was heading over to point me in the right direction by the time I finally realized where I was - I'd recommend for future races to have a brighter exit arch, because brown is REALLY hard to see from the water, with sun in your eyes! Anyway, I still somehow got out of the water in a decent position - possibly second in my wave.

Bike - The bike started off feeling nice and strong, and the course was pretty flat. I couldn't hold the pace I'd started with though, and 10k in started slowing down and quickly lost my female lead. Whether this was starting too fast or simply less bike fitness overall I'm not sure, but once I slowed down I maintained that pace for the rest and came into T2 with fuel left in the tank.

Run - The weather had become deceptively hot thanks to the later race start, and I felt this right away. As with the previous weekend, I ran at what I felt was about steady effort but I knew it wouldn't be the pace I was hoping for. So I just stuck it out and finished comfortably uncomfortable.

And another season over, just like that. As much as I was glad to have done it, I'm equally glad that it's now over. I've got a long-anticipated cross-country season ahead, ending in the Club National Champs in Kingston at the end of November. Having a week of straight run training under my belt I'm looking forward to what the season has to offer. I'm also looking forward to a week long hiking trip in England with my dad at the end of the month - about the best cross-training you can get! Everything after these plans is still up in the air, but I'll update periodically when I can.

Thanks to everyone for reading! Your support means a lot :)
Thank you in particular to MultiSport Canada/Recharge With Milk, MaimCycle Hamilton, teamLPC and my wonderful family, friends and training buddies.

Till next time! :)

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