The biggest race of the summer and the post is coming now. The morning was great, managed to get a healthy amount of sleep before the race and a solid breakfast the morning of. Bedtime was mighty early the night before as the race started at 7am and I wanted to be on site at 6am. Up by 4am? Ya, thats exactly how it went down! Packed the car, bike in the trunk, transition bag packed and lunch in the lunch box.
Dad pulled out of the driveway and we were on our way up to Huntsville for the start gun. We get there in one piece, my heart is pounding, eyes are racing, body getting anxious, need to get out of the car and start moving. We pull up to the Convention Centre behind Huntsville SS and my parents know that once I get out of the car, its game on, they dont bother me, and I dont bother them. I put the bike together, grab my transition bag and get everything I need to head over to the transition. Bike is set up and everything is taped and properly placed in my section of T1/2.
Race clothes are already on under my warm ups, wetsuit is in hand, swim cap and goggles are in hand and I am walking to the swim start. Dad follows me down to help me get in the skin tight body suit. I throw back a banana and some Powerade to hydrate and get my warm up in the water started. Its an in water start like the previous years. Head current going in towards the end of the swim along with 1500m of solid grinding. Gun goes off, and all hell breaks loose! Punching, kicking, everything you can imagine a fight to be, but in the water. I always start heavy and try to maintain a solid pace. This race was different, the swim was okay, not great, but okay. Had to take a couple breathers in the water and catch my breathe due to the fact that I was getting tired and using a little too much energy. Conservation, at this point, was key. I still had a 40km bike and a 10km to do. Coming into the last 500m, the legs were cramping, starting to feel fatigued. I took deep breathes to ensure that oxygen enriched blood was reaching my legs to pull the lactic acid away from the muscles. I hit the steps out of the water, start to pull of the wetsuit and get er down to my waist.
Wetsuit came off a little difficult than normal, once it was pulled off grabbed my helmet and the bike and got out of there as fast as I could. Counted the bikes that had left transition and I was not in the most ideal position.
I knew that the course was hilly, but I also knew that I am a strong cyclist. Turns out that day, the hills had the best of me. I hammered the first few hills trying to ensure ground was made on my competitors and get the ground back that I had lost in the swim. A couple folks had caught me, I was discouraged. I tried to stick with them, it just wasnt my day on the bike. It was starting to get mighty hot out and I knew that with the condition I was in, the run was going to be a mission.
Bike racked and the running shoes went on mighty fast. Right leg cramped up and I immediately slammed a gel to get the BCAAs in the body and regenerate the fuel supply. 2 laps of 5 km. This was going to be hard.
From the get go, the run started on bad note. I could tell that my pace was going to be weak and laboured. This run was hilly and hot. I actually had to stop a couple times and walk a hill because I just was out of gas and hitting a wall I have never experienced before. Competitors were gaining ground on me, I was the last of the elite racers in the Men 20-24 category to finally come in. I cant even describe the run because it was just painful for me, slow, laboured, hot and hard. I either didnt fuel the body properly before the race, or went too hard in the swim to keep up to the strong swimmers in the southern Ontario region. Either way, it was bad! crossed the finish line in 8th and I was not happy with the end result. I still managed to qualify for the 5150 World championships in Des Moines Iowa, but that race wasnt in the cards this year due to financials. 2013 ITU Worlds was the ultimate goal, but there were too many strong guys to compete with.
In any case, It was the worst race of the season and I knew that coming back to Ottawa, it was redemption time and I had some ground and time to make up.
National Capital Triathlon…. lets go!