Race Report: Frank Dunn Triathlon 2019

Pre-Race:

My pre-race routine included my birthday… it was a big one… 40! People ask me if I was worried about being 40, but I just tell them that I’ve been in the 40-44 age category all year so the transition has been easy. I had friends and family around me all weekend, which was wonderful. My good friend Christine came out to do the race as a last-minute decision. It was a great weekend!

Here are my times over the years, including 2019:

YearTotal TimeSwimBike
w/transition
Run
20034:23:0021:132:36:001:25:33
20044:42:3733:352:36:061:32:56
20054:23:2929:552:26:161:27:19
20063:52:0625:392:08:411:17:45
20074:22:3135:322:13:521:29:15
2008DNF
20094:09:2428:132:15:35 1:25:37
20114:31:0533:312:31:441:25:51
20144:59:0740:312:29:181:43:31
2015*4:38:0236.462:351:26:12
20164:54:4434.352:39:011:41:09
20174:33:4333:372:28:251:31:41
2018DNF**
20194:23:0327:532:24:571:30:15

* This was the year I broke my foot and my cousin ran for me.
** This was the year that I had a stress fracture for part of the summer and my grandma died only a couple of weeks before the race. I was not emotionally able to race (nor physically ready in any way, shape or form), but I did the swim and part of the bike. Even that was a feat for me last year.

The Race:

Swim – The swim was a bit short, which I said made up for the Great White North swim, which was about 300m long. It ended up being a beautiful day; the day before was miserably cold and windy so it was a welcome change. The swim felt good though. I got into a rhythm and had fun. That’s the goal, right?

T1 – I might have to get a bigger wetsuit because mine is hard to get off after being about 8 pounds heavier than when I bought it. It sounds like nothing (some people lose that during a race), but 8 pounds is a lot for someone under 5 feet. And trust me when I say that I’ve tried to lose those 8 pounds. In 2019 I did everything from raw food to cutting out most breads to saying “fuck it.” It did not change. At one point I lost 3 pounds, but when I started training more it came back. It’s just a thing I’ve had to deal with. Anyway, the fucking wetsuit won’t come off easily anymore! It’s a struggle during every race.

The struggle is real!

The Bike – It’s amazing what some training will do! I haven’t biked that fast since 2009! It was a fantastic day, which helped, and I had been doing quite a bit of hill training. I was very happy with my bike ride. It was actually fun. I haven’t had fun like that on a bike in a long time. The GWN half ironman definitely helped too. Here are some photos:

T2 – Nothing to report. Good times all around.

I think I need new sunglasses next year.

The Run – Always, always, always after the bike the legs feel like lead. I walked and ran the first km or so. Then I joined up with another woman who was my speed and we worked together to get ourselves through the run. We had lots to talk about so it helped take our minds off the suffering of the run. I was really hoping to catch up to my training buddy, but he was too far ahead after the bike and he had a good run. I take credit for that since I told him I’d be chasing him down. Anyway, the run ended up being my fastest in many years. My legs definitely hurt after. I was grateful for my new triathlon buddy to help me get through the run, especially the second half. “Want to walk to that tree?” was our favourite line.

Post-season thoughts

Frank Dunn was my last race of 2019 and it was a good one. What a season I had! It’s the best one I’ve had in many years. I raced a lot, triathlon and training were the centre of my world and I was grateful for it. It helped me get through my grief of losing my grandma last year and my dog in the spring. It helped me find focus and meaning in my life, at least for a while. My focus has shifted as life has changed. Next year I won’t race as much, but I’d like to keep this year in my memory for the future when I want to race again. I felt so happy and satisfied with each race’s finish. I’m still running a bit and swimming. Biking has gone to the wayside for now, but I’ll be putting my bike on the trainer this winter and putting in some time for that.

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