Tuesday, August 4, 2015

K-Town Long Course Race Report 2015

The entire family made the long, traffic filled drive to Kingston this past weekend so I could race the K-Town Long Course Triathlon.

Sunday morning I woke before the wake up call and quickly called the front desk to cancel the call as to keep the family sleeping. I will be honest, I didn't feel like racing. As I'm sneaking out to hit transition early (which was about 100 feet from our hotel), my little guy popped up and was not going back to sleep.  It's nice he's at an age now that he can join me on these things and his face lit up when I told him to get his shoes on he was coming with me.

While I got to transition at exactly 6am when it opened, I was the second to the rack and therefore did not get the "best" spot but I was able to take the second best spot on the rack.  I just left my bag and my bike and Jensen and I head to the Tim Hortons to grab a bagel and coffee for breakfast.  Sadly, as we neared the gas station / Tim Horton's it hit me that is was under construction and not open. My morning was not going as planned.  I scrambled to come up with plan B and that landed JJ and I in the hotel restaurant when it opened at 6:30.  I had a scrambled egg, fruit and an english muffin while JJ put down a bowl of sugar and artificial  colouring with milk, also know as Fruit Loops.

We went back up to the room so I could check out the swim course from the balcony and was happy to see it didn't look too choppy.

I went back down to transition to get it all set up and prep for the race.  I wasn't feeling all that great mentally and really didn't have that great feeling I had earlier in the year at Welland.  I went through the motions setting up my transition, chit chatting with fellow racers and stuffing myself into my wetsuit.  I went down to the swim start to get on with my day, still not feeling "it".


It was a deep water start and I was in the first wave with the pros, elites, Men 34 and under, Woman 44 and under.  Even though the water was warm at 72*F I started getting a chill waiting for the start.  Finally the horn went off and off we went.

I had planned to really push it in the swim but I just wasn't feeling it when it mattered.  I thought I was swimming OK but was having a lot of trouble sighting and following the course.  I had not studied the swim course beforehand and that came back to bite me.  Once I made the final turn buoy things really unravelled and I had no idea I just need to swim straight for the swim exit.  I didn't wear my Garmin in the swim so I have no idea just how far I swam off course. Like always Barry was at the swim exit and when I asked the time he shouted 40 minutes.  Worst official 2k swim time ever at 40:52. Needless to say I was not impressed with myself.

Interesting note about this swim - you finish at a deep water floating dock and are pulled out of the water by volunteers.


I ran into T1 and found my bike quite easily - since there weren't many bikes left on the rack.  I made good time getting myself together and running out on the bike.  Official T1 time 1:30.  It was nice to see my kids at the bike out and that cheered me up a bit.


It was a beautiful day for a 56 K ride.  Since I am neck deep in Ironman training, a 56 k bike ride has the potential to be super fast.  However, coming off a weekend of big training in Muskoka I knew my legs wouldn't be super fresh but it was less than a 2 hour bike ride.  I was all in for the ride.

The course heads East for 27 km and then turns around and heads back west.  We had a great tail wind on the way out and I really crushed it.  There weren't many people on the course at this time.  I passed a lot of people and wasn't passed by any woman and only a few men.  It's a beautiful bike course with some nice rollers and a couple good sized climbs.  I got to the turn around and checked my stats to see my average power was 162 and average speed was 35 kph.  I knew there would be a head wind when we turned and sure enough I felt it right away.   I also knew I was averaging a much higher wattages than planned.

I continued to push and enjoy the ride which was great until we joined up with the folks doing the short course (short course started at 9am).  The final 12 km of the course was very congested with traffic and bikes.  Passing was tough but critical.  Getting to and over the metal bridge was a bit of a nightmare and a definite time suck.

I finished the bike in 1:41:22 with an average power of 157w.  This was about 12 watts higher than I expected.  Again it was great to see the kids as I came off the bike but truthfully, I wasn't looking forward to the run.  I had some funny conversations with myself over this run - it was 15 km - one of my most favorite distances ever - a common long tempo distance run for me.  I told myself this over and over.


This transition was not fun.  When I came in from the swim I didn't put my watchband on as planned so I had to do this in T2.  The problem was I couldn't find my watchband OR my headband!    I finally saw it neatly laid out 2 spots to my left.  I got out of T2 in 1:42 which while dismal is better than I thought I did.


So off I run, with my handheld filled with CarboPro and Nuun, fiddling with my watch and watch band.  The run course basically heads west along the river with a triangle loop at the end.  Again, I didn't study the run course too too much and that came back to haunt me as well.  And this is not a flat run course at all.

My first two kilometres clocked in at 4:31 and 4:32.  While pleasantly pleased and longing to hold that pace for 13 more, I knew there was no way I could.

The first 3 1/2 km is on the sidewalk or a very narrow curb lane and is very congested with the short course runners coming back.  Once the long course broke off from the short course, it was much quieter and was run on a very narrow fitness trail.  The course markings were not as good as I expect from a Multisport Canada race and for sure they needed at least 4 more marshals out in the park.  Twice I ran the wrong way and once I thought I needed to do a U-turn.

I Saw Barry right at the fork - 7km mark for me, 8km mark for Barry.  By this point my calves felt like they were filled with cement and every step was heavy and I couldn't find my kick.  As I made my way back to the finish, I just focused on finishing.  I had to walk up the "wall" - an extremely steep, short climb.

I kept looking at my watch and it seemed like the kilometres were taking forever to change.  Finally I could see and hear the finish line.  My heart jumped when I saw Calli Anna with her hand outstretched and for the first time ever, Calli Anna crossed the finish line with me.

Official run time 1:10:36, 4:42/km pace.

All said in done, I finished in 3:36, 4th/18 in my age group, 14th/78 woman, 47th/196 over all.  So while I was super disappointed right after the race, upon reflection I had a pretty good race and learned some good lessons!

Thanks to John Salt and his crew at Multisport Canada for another great race - hopefully next year you get some more volunteers out on the run course, otherwise a pretty great race.  Thanks to my kids for putting up with prerace / post race mom and cheering me on throughout the day.  And of course the biggest thanks to my sponsor, biggest fan, photographer and race sherpa Barry.

That's it until August 30th and Ironman Muskoka!