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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Binbrook- Swim-Bike-Stop

Binbrook marked the start of race season for me, although I’m still recovering from the stress fracture so can’t run. It definitely felt good to get back to it, experiencing the race atmosphere and among fellow triathletes! J

My alarm went off at 4:50am after a restless night listening to my neighbours play their terrible music late into the night (one thin wall between us does little to block the sound). I immediately rolled over and hit the snooze button, but 5 minutes later was re-awoken and forced to get up and make some coffee. Forty-five minutes later I was packing the car and ready to hit the road, sleepy but still looking forward to the race (this contrasts to the usual pre-race anxiety that has me wide awake, usually before the alarm goes off- apparently when I know I’m not running I don’t get nervous?)

I arrived at the race site at about 7:15, checked in, got my stuff set up in transition, and was off to warm up on the bike. I headed to the water about 8:00am to warm up in the water a bit, but was feeling fairly sluggish. I knew this would likely happen as there was no taper into this race and I have been feeling kind of tired for the past couple of days- however Sunday was spent volunteering at the Caledon KOS race so I should be rested and ready to get back at it on Monday.

A few minutes to race start I found a position near the outside of the start line, hoping that it would prove to be calmer waters. Apparently most people thought this would be a great place to start too, so a couple minutes to go I decided to go over to the other side near Lionel Sanders, my C3 team mate and someone I knew was about my speed. The horn went off and as usual, people started out way too fast. I was in the mix of things but was able to stay calm despite the flailing arms and legs around me. I don’t really have a top speed, just one race pace, so I didn’t go with the front group, but by 200m in I was catching and passing those who didn’t start at a reasonable race pace (I don’t really understand the mentality behind starting way faster than you know you can swim for 750m, but to each their own I guess).  By the first buoy there were few people around and fairly calm waters, so I just concentrated on swimming in a straight line (towards the buoy) and maintaining proper form as I know when I am tired my swim form completely falls apart.
I exited the water and commenced the run up to transition. This was by far the hardest part of my day- having not run for several months my body was kind of shocked at this particular movement (technically I shouldn’t be running yet, but soon, so I figured my leg would hold up to 100m of running). I guess a taste of what is in store for getting back into shape K

Transition went well enough, faster than last year but still slow- it seems so easy to get my wetsuit off in training, but as soon as I am in a race it doesn’t seem to want to come off so easily. :( 

On to the bike course I was feeling good. A nice flat course such as this one is conducive to fast times, so my plan was to just go hard for the 30km and see what kind of time I could achieve. I passed a couple of guys, one of whom passed me later, as well as a few other men that flew past me like I wasn’t moving.
Back at transition I looked at my watch and figured I had taken about an hour, which is what I was aiming for. Overall, the swim was about a minute faster than last year (largely due to me swimming in a straight line this time), transition was moderately faster, and the bike was slightly faster as well. I can certainly say that I am looking forward to when I can run again.

I’d like to thank a lot of people for contributing to my training and putting on races, I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks to Jeff Slater, the Waterloo Varsity Swim coach who has (for some reason) not given up on trying to teach me how to swim, Nineteen Wetsuits for making my swimming so much easier, C3, their sponsors, and all my training teammates, and Multisport Canada, for putting on amazing races and giving everyone the opportunity to race at beautiful locations.

Next up is a bike race in Waterloo later in June, because, well, why not? (I am mentally preparing myself to have my ass kicked)

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