This morning was Saskatoon’s and my first actual triathlon of the season. It was a spring/super-sprint race and they actually had to turn people away because it was so full. This is my first time doing this race and even though I’m training for Ironman I thought it would be fun to do a short one to get me back into the mode of racing. I haven’t done a race since last August so it was a good decision. Plus, I had heard that it was a really fun race and super chill. And indeed, it was!
The guys started in the pool first thing in the morning. I was a little annoyed at the fact that they split up the men and women, but once I got on the bike course I understood that it was for our benefit so that we could actually see where the racing was happening. I liked being on the course with just the ladies and felt encouraged by the comradery and competition.
I was in the first heat of women and we all went out hard for the first 100m. This completely slammed me. With no warm-up and my training for long-distance just did not feel good. I finally got my bearings around lap 6 (out of 10) and felt comfortable again. I lost count and they had to yell that I was done. I was thanful, but didn’t feel like it was long enough. Next time I need to practice swimming 500m (or whatever short distance it is) without a warm-up and sprinting just to see how it feels. I ended up being last out of my lane, which I am always all right with – someone has to do it, right?
I got on the bike and immediately passed some people on their mountain bikes. The route was 2/3 packed gravel and 1/3 pavement (if that), so some people opted for the mountain bike. I rocked it with my road bike and I was just fine. There were some soft corners that I slid through, but I’m good at recovering because of my mountain biking background. I ended up passing a whole bunch of people, which was kind of nice. Usually I get passed after the swim so it was a good change. I did the bike and again felt like the 10km distance was just a warm-up.
The start of the 5-km run felt pretty crummy. My legs felt tight and I didn’t feel like I had anything left. My lungs were fine, but my legs felt like lead. I noticed this week that I have definitely lost my kick lately. There has been no spark in my legs lately and that’s because of the peak training I’ve been doing. The next 3 weeks of my training will be about chilling out and getting the kick back. I probably shouldn’t have biked for 3 hours yesterday, but training is training. So I didn’t have a kick left, but I went as hard as I could anyway. I got passed more times than I could count. It was fun, though, to see these extremely fast runners racing each other! There were some great runners out there and in a triathlon with the distances that we had, it was definitely a good thing. For me, though, where runnning is my worst sport it was a little tough. However, I finished strong and was happy with how much fun I had and that I finished in under an hour. When I got passed the finish line, I really felt like I could have done the whole thing again but much faster. I guess that is the slow-twitch muscles becoming engaged. My fast-twitch muscles have went to sleep and may never come back. I’ll have to test that out in my training at some point.
The volunteers and the organizers did a fantastic job! Also, I had some great friends who were there to cheer me on and I appreciated that they were there. It was a gorgeous day and I got to see people do their first triathlon, which is always a lot of fun. Overall, a great race that I will definitely do again!