Monday, August 24, 2009

Falling on my head, BC domination and good stories like that!

So I just decided that I better make the relay race report as a separate post from the real race report, so that everyone doesn't get mad at me again for writing too much. The relay was by far the most intense, exciting, nerve wracking event I have ever done! Ha it was soooooo much fun. We knew we had the potential to win, and we really really wanted that win, but we also knew that it would be a close one. We all had our part to play-We had to use lots of strategies. We knew we had to get a lead on team Ontario, so that I wouldn't have to be running head to head with speedy ms. Joanna. Alison lead out, and her goal was to work together with the other leaders to drop Dorelle. They ended up making a few seconds on the bike, but mostly Sarah and Alison just pulled away by 10~15 seconds on the run. Then Christine's goal was to work with Stevie if she was close enough after the swim, and if not- to just TT the whole bike and to gain as much time as possible on Domnicka from Ontario. She ended up TTing the whole thing- but I think she still had one of the fastest bike splits! She said her bike finally felt like her old biking self which was great. And she made up tons of time.
I was so nervous waiting for the handoff- because my job was just to solo the whole race. And hopefully to have at least 30 seconds on Joanna before the start of the run because we estimated that she would run about 30seconds faster. So many BC teams came down to watch, and the whole cycling team was cheering for me at the handoff. I didn't know how much of a gap I had, so I just had to try and go as fast as I could the whole way. It was hard because since I was all alone I never knew if I was swimming fast or not, or if they were gaining on me or not.
Heading out onto the bike was where I crashed! it was sooooo embarrassing. You see in warm up I had been practicing jumping onto my bike in a harder gear than usual so that I would be able to hammer right from the get go. But that didn't work out because since I was just practicing- I wasn't using elastics, and so when I went to stand up on my pedals I got one of my shoes stuck on the pavement, and I flipped myself right over the handlebars. That kind of hurt. I was wearing lots of clothes though, so I didn't get much road rash- just a scrape on my elbow and my bum. But anyways in the race when I jumped on my bike, one of my elastics broke! I didn't want to have a re-run of warm-up, so I was calmly trying to flip my shoe over so that it wouldn't hit the ground, and I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and I rode right into the curb, and flipped over onto the grass! Two crashes on the same corner in the span of like an hour! Ugh and this time it was right in front of everyone who was cheering for me. I felt like an idiot. Patrick was flipping out because he thought I might have messed up my gears- or my brake pads or something, but luckily nothing was wrong and I got up and going again super fast.
My bike was actually really strong- I think I gained time on the other girls! I was too scared to ever look back, but I saw how much of a lead I had at the turn-around, and I realized that I had loads of time on Rachel, and even more time on Joanna. The run felt rough. 2k is a hard distance because it is short enough that you should be able to just go all out the whole way, but coming off the bike you feel so terrible that 2k actually feels really long. I went hard, but I didn't ever need to sprint or anything because I had so much time, so I relaxed into it for the middle section of the run. Regardless I was totally beat after the sprint. I had worked really hard in the real race a few days earlier, so the relay finished me off. We had lots of group hugs at the end, but the other girls were kind of holding me up haha. And then we had interviews with TSN and stuff which was pretty cool. I think our guys team did a much better job of the interviewing than us though ha.
The boys race was equally as nerve racking and exciting. We ended up winning by a lot- but it was super close between us and Ontario the whole way. The Nova Scotia team's chain fell off in T1 of the third leg, and I think that might have changed up the race a little because Nova Scotia could have maybe worked with Ontario to catch back up to BC. But luck was on our side today.
Barb got some great photos! Of the individual race here:
and the relay here.
Check 'em out!
oh and PS. Our development guys did Amazing in Kelowna!! Paula came third to Lauren and Kathy. Andrew Fifth, Austin 7th (2nd U23 to A-Mac) . And Alex came 3rd U23 in her first Olympic despite dropping her gels on both the bike and the run, and having to tough out the ensuing major bonkage!

Canada Games Race report

Heyyyy! I'm back in Vic now after the big Canada Games adventure. I've been pretty exhausted these past couple days, so despite my huuuuuge list of things that have to be done before I leave for worlds, I've mostly just been lying around, doing some light training, creeping facebook pics, laundry, grocery shopping, wasting more time on facebook.. that kinda stuff. And now blogging! Not necessarily a high priority on my to do list, but more fun.
Canada Games was Awesome! Because it was a smaller field, smaller race.. I wasn't really expecting it to be so exciting, or so much fun. But it was a really great experience- so thanks Patrick, and Barb, and everyone who had to work so hard to get everything organized for that. My individual race wasn't the greatest physically. I'm not really sure what was up. I didn't sleep At All the night before (like maybe 1 hour max) so that may have played a part, but I think that just happens sometimes. You can't always be 'on' for every race, just like you can't be 'on' for every workout. I started the race with a great swim despite the huge waves! I was 100% in front pack right up until the last 40meters where the leaders pulled ahead a bit. I'm having trouble finding the results, but I think I was only out of the water 10ish seconds back from the leaders, so that felt great. Alison kept knocking off my helmet for all our events- Jeez Alison!! ha it wasn't her fault, but I lost some more time trying to find my helmet and sunglasses. We were focusing on team tactics for this race which was really cool because we've never done that before. So Alison and Christine were waiting up for me. Luckily I was up with them almost right away, and together we headed out on the ride with Dorelle, Stevie and Sarah-Anne. Since we've all trained together before our pack was super efficient. But my legs weren't there at all! I had to take smaller pulls than everyone else because I could just tell that I was slowing our pack down. I took a gel on the last lap of the bike with hopes of boosting my energy. And then the run started and I could tell that I wasn't myself at all. I pushed myself through the hardly moving feeling for the first lap, but I was barely holding on, and then as I came around the turn-around last I think my mind and body gave out on me, and I quickly lost time to the other girls. I knew that I should be able to stay with them easily, but I just couldn't get going. And then half-way through the run I had a complete turn around. Again I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden Kyla was back. And I was shocked because I have never gone from feeling that terrible, to good so suddenly before. And I didn't know what to do because I felt like I had already lost my race. I decided to go for a medal still, so I really began to pick up the pace. But it looked completely impossible. With only a lap to go I didn't truly believe that I had a chance of making up such a huge gap. But then I passed Patrick and I think he could tell that I was feeling better and he yelled at me to give it my all- and to go get that medal. So I kicked it up another notch, and all of a sudden I was gaining on Christine. I just kept pushing and with 600 meters to go I had caught her! I just kept on sprinting though- not daring to look back. I finished 15 seconds ahead- totally frying my legs. In retrospect I know that if I had been able to keep contact I could have still been in the race for the win, but I'm still proud of how I did out there. I don't know if I've ever had to dig that deep to catch up before. I definitely never worked that hard in any of my wins earlier this season. So if a bronze was the best I had that day then I guess I'd better be satisfied with that.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Race Report?? how about Walk Report..

First of all- I didn't get sick! I thought I was doomed- but nope IIIIIIIiiii beat it! haha take that nasty cold that is taking down the whole group.
Today was the Victoria Self Transcendence Tri- an annual nondrafting race. I have to admit I was a little nervous. Not so much about the results.. because it's just a training race, but I guess I was just scared of sucking. (mainly due to the non-drafting part). TTing on the bike has always been my weak point, so non-drafting races aren't really my specialty. I know my biking has improved a ton this year though! I think I've gone from one of the weaker cyclists in the Junior Series, to one of the stronger ones, but still.. I can't help but equate non-drafting to death.
At 7:05 am we were lined up girls and guys together in the water for the start. Since it was just a free for all, we were all shoving our way to the left side to get the best line and the best draft. That turned out to be a gongshow. After two strokes I hadn't caught any water-only bodies, and then my turn came as both kids to either side of me simultaneously dunked me, and the girl behind me swam right over top. Luckily I could still touch the bottom, so I popped back up again, emptied my goggles and somehow found my way back onto Alison's feet. Perfect. She pulled us right up to the tail end of the guy's pack (+Christine and Hilary). So we chilled there for awhile. (Maybe chill isn't the best word.. I actually was working my butt off the whole swim ha). Then I noticed that Alison and her draftee (my word for the guy pulling Ali..) were heading a bit off course, so I took a straighter line and beat them around the buoy. Alison was quickly right back at my side, so I dropped back again so that we weren't slowing each other up (that makes me sound like the good guy- ha I also dropped back to get on her feet again), and we made our way into the beach.
A little gap formed in between me and the pack in the last 75 meters, but I came out of the water only about 5 seconds back from Alison and Christine, so I think that qualifies as my best swim so far this year.

Transition was a little messy- my helmet and glasses had been knocked off my bike, so I had to search for those, and then as I was running out one of the first time racers realized he needed to get something out of his bag, and blocked off the whole exit with his bike. I stopped myself from careening into him, and a little, "uhh excuse me?" got him moving out of the way pretty quickly. I jumped on my bike with the other girls still in sight. I think I must be more used to having to catch up out of T1 because within less than a minute I had flown by all the girls! (except hilary). My lead lasted all of ten seconds, and then Christine passed me back, and we soon found ourselves in a little non-drafting draft pack of four: Alison, Christine, Stevie and I. We tried to stagger, but the road wasn't very wide, and non of us were willing to drop back, so we were riding all in the span of about a van's length and width- rather than having a van's length between us like we were supposed to. ha woops. We soon caught up to Hilary drafting..uh..riding with two of the Manitoba boys, and they joined our non-drafting pack.

Annnnnd theeeeeeen about 6ish Km into the ride, down this back-country road, we all heard my tire go flat. We were just cresting a big painful hill, so my first thought was, "oh dang!", then my second thought was, "thank god" because that hill was Really Hurting ha! But then I realized that I'd been doing well, and I'd been feeling great, and that maybe I had a win in me after all- so then I was disappointed again. I hope this means I got my 'flat tire whilst racing' out of the way for the season.. or the next couple seasons.
I also realized that I was 6ish km out in the middle of nowhere, and that I had a long walk in bike shoes left to do. So clip-clopping along the side of the rode I made my 75minute walk allll the way back to the race site.
I was shocked to see how spread out the girls had become as they passed me. I hadn't felt like it would spread out at all seeing as we were practically drafting. But Christine had rightfully assumed her place up front, while Alison and Stevie followed not too far behind.
I thought about what made some people ask if I was ok, while others didn't. I made a friend with a cyclist named Jerry( I think?) who was out cheering on his son in law. I cheered on Tom who was doing his first tri today. I said thank you to all the volunteers.
And a half an hour after the junior race had finished I made it back to the race site. I couldn't finish the race because I'd never made it to the turn around on the bike, so I handed in my chip and called it a day. It wasn't a complete disappointment though because I think I was feeling good enough to have stayed up with Christine on the bike. I'm sure that wouldn't have been the case if it was a flat course! But seeing as hills play in my favor I think maybe I could have pulled off a decent non-drafting( ok a little bit of drafting) race after-all!
I haven't seen the results yet, but Congrats to Christine who's been running great these last couple weeks- and won! And to Jeff who ran his way up to first as well. And Aaron who would have actually won if Jeff had been racing his real age category. And everybody else who finished!
Oh and Pat for his relay!