I have just heard that my issue of Triathlon Plus is now available in Barnes and Noble. Get em while they are hot. I think they are like nine bucks!
I was supposed to race Steelhead today. But I was not able to fit a 9 hour drive into 3 hours and race day check in was not allowed. I needed to race, Curt is racing in Ithaca on Sunday….. so Wilson Wet and Wild became the race to do. I have won this race a bunch of times in it’s old venue and it has a beautifully disproportionate bike to run… meaning 20 mile bike / 3.5 mile run (typically in a sprint race the bike is 12 and the run is 3.1). I knew the advertised 600 yard swim would be long….. so I was all set to go.
This race is put on by WNY triathlon and I will be very honest, I worried about this race. Some of their races have had the reputation of having an unsafe bike course. Personally I have not experienced this in their races but I had heard that in this race in 2009 it was an issue. I knew the bike course, and I know that it is also my responsibility to be safe out there. In no race, not even Ironman is it ever safe to bomb through an intersection without looking. NEVER. While a safe bike course is the responsibility of the race director, they can’t guarantee it 100%.
A few years back I was in the bike portion of a race, and a guy and I were having a ton of fun cat and mousing back and forth. About 1/4 mile from transition I backed off a bit and began to spin and get my feet out of my shoes. He happened into the intersection first, which not only had a red light, but about 8 police officers protecting it.
A car ran the red light and through the barricade to cross the intersection, hitting this guy, who luckily “only” broke his arm. In all honesty before this incident I bombed through intersections as races like it was my right. Never again. And I haven’t lost a race because of it.
I’m also a second chance kind of a girl. Many people have given me second chances and I choose to believe the good side of people. I wanted to give this race another chance from all I’d heard.
Surprised that I would be allowed to sign up race day, I began to make my way to Wilson NY at 5am this morning. Half way there I realized by roof rack was hanging off my car, with my bike on it!!!!! Luckily I fixed it and then only had to stop about 5 more times to keep fixing it before I arrived in the quaint little beach town of Wilson NY.
I went completely old school for this race. I am a member of the QT2 Elite Triathlon Team, and we wear our uniforms for races which consists of a tri top and tri shorts. I hate tri shorts of any kind, especially during a sprint race. I like to wear a Speedo. I hate anything on my legs. So the wonderful ladies as Splish made me up a QT2 speedo suit with my name on the butt.
YES! THANK YOU!
It’s been so long since I have raced a sprint, and a local sprint I felt unprepared. No X lab on the back, one water bottle, nothing special. I had my garmin just to record distance and pace. No HRM. I thought about wearing my aero helmet but I hate it. Scrap that!
It was awesome to step back into the local scene. I saw people I haven’t seen in ages. It was like a reunion!
The water was perfect, 76 degrees. warming up I noticed several high school female swimmers. HOORAY! I thought to myself…. I planned on tucking myself right in the middle of them and catching a nice draft! There isn’t a lot of strategery in these sprint races except pick a good line and a good draft and go!
The swim was actually about 875 yards. A 600 yard swim would take me less then 8 minutes.
It was uneventful, the girls gave me a pretty good draft and as we rounded the final buoy into shore I realized I was just getting started. So much long course racing was definitely showing up! come on, one more loop! 9:03 minutes??? That’s all????
We ran onto the beach and ascended about 30 stairs, hopped into transition and got on my bike. This was a 20 mile bike and as usual I knew if i was going to win it’d be on the bike. Especially this one. So I tucked in, kept my cadence at 90, and rode strong. No one passed me.
After a quick T2 I headed out for the run. I tucked my garmin in my sportsbra. This was not a day to be looking at pace but a day to get accurate distance measurements so later I could see what I held or didn’t hold. I was curious as to where my running was after the injury. What injury? Everything felt great. I have been racing in the K Swiss american flag shoes and I love them.
My run was awesome the first 1/2 mile. Then we hit the trail! Oh man. I am not a good trail runner!!! I did well picking up my feet and holding my running form, but I am not good at off road!!!!!! I only fell twice, literally landing flat on my face both times!!!!!!!!! There was a turnaround and I did see the ladies were not that far behind me! So it became a game of staying out of their sight. I knew I wasn’t going to run something record-breaking, but if I could stay out of their sight I’d be a leg up.
I was glad I had brought my garmin because the run was about 3.5. I ended up running high 7′s which was slower than I would have liked, but it was trail and I fell so when I look at the files it all actually looks good.
I was able to hang on and come home with the win. There were some pretty amazing ladies very close behind me and it was an incredible honor to race with Marit (now I know two marits!) and to see so many old friends.
The volunteers, road marshalls, and the police allowed this to be a beautifully safe day. The race management was excellent and treated everyone like a rock star.
It felt good. It’s been a while. My comeback is coming along. I can’t thank my coach …. Jesse Korpelnicki…. enough for coaching me for the past 1+ years. When I signed on I understood this would be a process, I understood I needed to be patient, I understood there were many things I needed to do. There still are. This is turning out to be a solid year and while that’s all awesome, I know I have a lot more to go. I shouldn’t call this a comeback because I am not aiming to return to the athlete I used to be…. I am growing into the athlete that I have always been. And I couldn’t do it without the Wizard and the entire QT2 Team. I also couldn’t do it without the Train-This team. They know why.
And I could do nothing without my husband and son. The true wind beneath my wings. They know that I know that they know. That we know.
No, this wasn’t a world championship, but it was what I needed. Low key, old school, just a girl and her bike with a little swim and a little run. Grassroots, simple….. relaxed. I never take these races for granted or the incredible people I get to compete with when I come home!
Thank you all for the many kind words, facebook comments and well wishes. Whenever we all race I feel like we support each other as a community, a family. That’s why I fell in love with this sport, it’s all of you who give so much to one another that’s so addicting. Thank you for sharing it with me as well.
We are going to be adding as many sprint races as we can to the schedule. I want to race where my little heart leads me. And right now it’s leading me back home to Canada, where it all began.
I need to hurt more on the run and I need to red line more often. I was happy with my stats….. we’ve just come off a run injury and have done nothing but base since April. Let the good times roll.