Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Road to Kelowna and Beyond

As promised, the continuation of the story of my triathlon summer.  It will probably take two posts to finish because I'd like to do a post for race weekend... there is a lot to say about a three sport event!

Where was I... oh right...

After Iron Mountain, we jumped right back into training.  At the start of the whole thing, sixteen weeks seemed like a really long time.  Now with only eight weeks to go (really seven weeks because the last week was for tapering for the race) it seemed to be coming up really, really fast.

Knowing that my run was definitely my weakest sport, I laid out a pretty aggressive training plan and signed up for a 10k road race, the Diva on the Run 10k to give me some sort of benchmark for a 10k time.

Two things went horribly wrong with that race.

Two things went well in that race.

The first horribly wrong thing was that I injured my knee on the Monday/Tuesday of the race.  Monday was a double work out day (8km run followed in the afternoon by a 50k bike ride).  My run went pretty well, nothing special, but I felt FANTASTIC on the bike.  I pushed super hard and flew up the last hill on the way home (keeping up to Matt for basically the first time ever).

I did my usual post workout stretch, hydrate and fuel and went to bed feeling fine.

In the morning, I did not feel fine.  My knee felt like someone had driven a nail down the back.  I decided I would R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compress, elevate) for the day and see how it felt in the morning before I began to panic - maybe it was just a tweak or something that would leave as fast as it came?

No luck, still hurt like crazy in the morning.  I called my physio to book an appointment to figure out what I had done and what I should do about my Sunday race.

Again, no luck.  My physio, Trish at Envision Physiotherapy was on holiday. Until Monday.  If I wanted, I could have an appointment with someone else on Friday.  I don't know how many people know, but I crashed my bike in late March and have been quite a regular of Trish's for months (I was fine!).  I wasn't so sure how I felt about someone else, but I figured I might as well take it and hope that things were going to be feeling better by Sunday.

By Friday, things were looking much better although it still hurt to run and I had been off since Monday (not my optimal race prep by a long shot).  I found out I had a mild strain to a muscle that connects into the back of my knee.  Or something like that.  Anyways, the physio said as long as the pain wasn't sharp or didn't escalate I was good to go!

On to the second horribly wrong thing.  The day before my race, Matt raced The Gearjammer, a 52km mountain bike race in Squamish.

At the start!

To make a long story short, I ended up sitting on a logging road, in the hot sun, without food or water, for 3.5 hours.  Not, again, my optimal race prep...

So I had had a fairly lofty time goal going into the race.  About 500m from the start, I renegotiated with myself that a personal best, any personal best, would be just awesome.  By about 3k, I was worried about even that. And spent the rest of the race counting of meters and wishing I was anywhere but there.  Even at 9k I wanted to stop, which doesn't usually happen to me.  Usually I get to that point and it's so close to the end, it's hard to envision quitting.  I would have gladly quit.  Any time.

One good thing that happened in the race is that I managed to hold on to my personal best with a time of 49.05 - about 30 seconds faster than my previous best.  However, I did it with the worst splits ever, finishing the first half in 23:14 and the second in 25:51.  Oops.

Diva on the Run 10k

The other good thing? I still managed to win my age group!

Diva on the Run 10k

Goals for Kelowna Apple Triathlon:

I figured out at the beginning of the season (and didn't tell almost anyone because of the pressure) that the Apple Triathlon is the big World Age Group Triathlon Championships qualifier for Team Canada.  I worked out that I needed about a 2:30:00 race to be even close to qualifying... scary fast.  I would be looking for about 27.5 min in the water, 1:15 on the bike and 45 min on the run (with some time left over for transitions).  I had no idea if it was possible... I hoped it was possible!

Up next Kelowna race report!

You can also read about our awesome training weekend in Merritt/Kelowna if you haven't already: Speaking of Cows

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