Sunday, September 14, 2014

Guelph Lake II Sprint Triathlon

Sure it's been a few weeks since I participated in the Guelph Lake sprint tri but good things come to those who wait.....or so they say. I can't say that I've actually experienced this to be true. Any way.... I went into this race with high expectations! I've been swimming weekly, I have an awesome bike that did not come from Canadian Tire and I have two legs that can move fairly quickly when they want to. What could possibly go wrong?!

Race day, Derek packed his lawn chair and book into the car and drove me up to Guelph Lake to meet up with Emma. We got there a little later than I would have liked but I got my kit, body marked and set up fairly quickly. Emma was nice enough to bring me a banana and I ate that before stuffing myself into my wetsuit. I even got the wetsuit on the right way round on the first try! Woohoo. I did have to ask a girl to help me zip it up but that's cool. In hindsight I probably got the wetsuit on a little too easily but what harm could there be in not being 100% fitted properly? I packed up my bag and took it down to the water to find Derek and ask him to hold it for me. At this point in life he is used to toting around my bright pink Under Armour bag at races. I think he may even want to borrow it for his boys weekend one day. Unfortunately I couldn't find him so I ran the bag back up to the transition area and put it under the bike. Hopefully it wasn't in anyone's way! I walked back down to the beach and got into the water to try to warm up a bit. I was feeling pretty nervous but I'm still brand new at this triathlon stuff so that's to be expected. I submerged myself and started to swim and realized that maybe things weren't going to go so great at the swim because I just couldn't control my breathing. I swam for a few minutes and thankfully spotted Derek and went and joined him while we waited for my wave to start. Finally the horn blared but I stayed back a bit so as not to be engulfed in the swarm of swimming bodies. I got maybe 100m out and had to switch to the breast stroke to try to calm myself down a bit. My heart rate was through the roof and I just couldn't get a breath. I looked ahead to the buoy way out in the distance and wondered how the hell I was going to get through this swim. Should I wave my swim cap in the air like they said and call for help? No! I was going to finish this swim no matter how long it took me! I swam behind the same woman for the entire race but I think she was just slow and not having a panic attack like I was. As long as she didn't get ahead of me I was happy with that. So what if I was doing the breast stroke, my most favourite hated stroke. Twice I flipped myself onto my back and stared at the sky to try to collect myself and thankfully as I turned the final buoy my body and mind relaxed enough that I was able to finish the swim. Of course this was also the same moment when the fast swimmers from the wave behind me caught up to me. I also started to realize here that the wetsuit was riding right up in the crotch so at least I had something other than getting the eff out of this water to keep my mind occupied for that final stretch. Finally the shore came and I was on my own two feet unzipping this stupid wetsuit and running to the bike! Frick man, get me outta here!

Get me to the land! And ignore the man from the next wave behind me

Yeah, beat you out of the water buddy! So what if you started 6 minutes after me?!
SWIM TIME 17:09 750m
AG place 16/26

I got into the transition area and found my bike fairly quickly. There weren't too many bikes left on my rack but that was ok. I'd catch up. Maybe. I quickly threw everything off and then on and ran out to the bike mount area. My heart rate was still pretty high so I didn't work too hard at the start and all the fast men from the wave behind me went whipping by. I ate a gel and cruised along noticing that there were far more hills in this 'flat' course than I had anticipated. Hills are the devil. Unless you're Emma. The bike course went by fairly uneventfully until a big trasport truck decided that he needed to turn left, but because of all of the bike traffic on the other side of the road he had to stop, causing me to have to go onto the loose gravel shoulder. All of a sudden my back tire started skidding and I started to fall. Thankfully I got my foot unclipped at the last second and saved myself right before my head cracked the side of the truck. I righted myself and got going again, all the while the girl behind me was screaming. "I'm sorry, are you ok?" I turned and said to her. "Am I ok? Holy shit! How's your heart rate right now?" she asked me. "Through the roof" I replied. She rubbed my back and then rode past, leaving me to catch my breath and notice the cut I had somehow gotten on my knee in all that craziness. I got to the turn around, unclipped my left shoe, and kept as tight to the cone as I could. Once again the ride was uneventful and I was counting down the distance remaining while noticing the crosswind that was a little annoying but still having a fun time out there. Around 22k the top of my head started hurting, like I had a hair clip in or something. I stuck my finger in my helmet to see what was up only to realize my helmet was inches above my head. Doh! I awkwardly fixed my helmet and walla!
I hope I don't need this helmet to protect my head today!
I pedalled along and saw a big downhill coming up! Woohoo I love the downhills! As I flew down a bee flew into my neck. The G force had him stuck there and so he stung me. Aaaaand he was still stuck to my neck. I grabbed the bee and threw him off to the side yelling "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!". Thankfully no one was in close enough ear shot to hear it. I had officially had enough of this race. My neck was throbbing like a mother and I was swallowing back tears of frustration. I finally rounded the corner to get back to the park and I rode as fast as I could so I could get off this bike.
BIKE TIME 1:12 30k
AG place 23/26

I ran into the transition area and noticed a sign for my AG on a rack that didn't look like where I had been, but it was my age group so it was right. Right? Wrong! I ended up running around the transition area trying to remember where I had been when I saw my pink bag sitting all alone amoung the returned bikes. There were a lot of them. Oh well. I had a drink, changed my shoes, threw on my headband and ran out of transition. "Go Sammy" my husband yelled to me. "OMG. I almost got hit by a truck and stung by a bee! That bike did not go well". Later Derek told me that I looked like I was having a smoke break in T2, because I was taking my time. Harhar.
Leaving T2
Mid bitch

Immediately I felt hot on the run and was glad that I had brought my handheld water bottle. I heard a girl ask a volunteer how long until the water station and he told her 3k. Yikes. Good luck, girlie! I got a few hundred meters into the run and came across a hill. "What's with all the hills?!" a girl beside me asked. Right?!?! We both stopped and walked the hill and she wished me luck when I started to run again. And then I walked again. And then I ran again. And walked. And ran. It was hot. My legs were tired. I was fed up. Gah! Just run and get this over with I thought to myself. And why the hell are these people looking at me? IS MY NECK SWOLLEN from this bee sting?!?! Am I like Sloth Fratteli out here?
Hey you guys!!!
I saw Emma on her way back from the run and asked her how her morning was going. "I'm on the death march right now" was her reply. Don't I know it?! Eventually I got to the run turnaround and I was feeling a bit better. At least I could focus on running and passing all these girls with D30-39 on their legs and the old dudes who had passed me on the bike. I did not see a single girl from my AG but I was sure seeing a lot from Emmas! I wonder..... With 2k left to go I passed another old guy who said to me "Looking good!" "Thanks" I said "Keep it up!" he replied "I'll try!!" I responded. "I better not see you out here again today!" he yelled out to me and I laughed. Message heard. Finally I turned the corner and saw the finish line. Thank God that's over!
Yeah yeah yeah get me over the finish line

RUN TIME 44:30 7K
AG place 12/26

AG place 22/26

All smiles. Yeah, that wasn't so bad. Not. 

Turns out my rock star friend Emma finished 3rd in her AG at the Duathlon, and I was lucky to get out of the sprint tri alive. At least now I know where I need to work next year if I want to compete in more triathlons, especially the half iron that Mari has talked me into. Open water swims are a must to get past the panic. I've never liked dark water swimming so I need to get more comfortable there. Even with a good bike (thanks Irina!)I was crap and probably I should actually try brick runs before race day. So after I run the Ottawa Marathon in May my focus will change to the tri and I'll become a crusty bitch as Derek would so graciously put it. LOL 


  1. You are something!! Whatever happened that day out there, must have been the stars aligning against you. Glad to see that you aren't giving up. Which 70.3 are thinking about? This time I'm coming with you!!

    1. Yeah you're coming too! I don't know what one I'm getting coerced into doing though. LOL

    2. I guess I have to wait before I make my season plans then! :-P I would suggest Muskoka - it's a bitch, but oh so rewarding! Most likely I'll be doing it next year. You'll have to come with us in some trips up there. ;-)

  2. Great job pulling through, sounds like it was tough. I like the mid-bitch picture.

  3. Congratulations on finishing no matter what! I would've left at the swim or when the truck hit or when the bee attacked, tough race...

  4. I still can't believe you got stung by a bee! That was some bad juju for that race.

    So, open water swim, you, me, Gulliver's Lake, it's a date in 2015. Especially if this 70.3 thing is actually going to happen. Gah.

  5. This race report was well worth the wait! You had quite the adventure out there and you made it through. So, if you can make it through that, you can make it through anything! Congratulations to you! You did so great, heck even with a bee sting! Can't wait to follow your Tri adventures!

  6. I always love reading your race reports Sam... I can almost picture your "Mid Bitch" face throughout.

    That's awful that you got stung by a bee DURING a race! Between that, the swim, and the heat, I'd say you did pretty well all things considered.

    Best of luck next time!!