This Time, I Finished!

Race Two of Three: Ottawa River Triathlon, now called the Britannia Park Triathlon, was, believe it or not, the first race I can distinctly remember being anxious about. There were several subtle differences leading up to this race. One, I could not pick up my race kit the night before, I’ve never had to pick up the kit the morning of. Not really a big deal, but, it made me feel unprepared and added to the things I had to do in the morning. Two, I had not done an open water practice swim yet. Three, if any of you followed my journey last year, this is the face I got my first and only DNF. Which means, I did not finish. I got freaked out in the water and only finished two of the three 500m swim loops. They let me complete the rest of the race, but I had to give up my timing chip.

Race Two of Three: Ottawa River Triathlon, now called the Britannia Park Triathlon, was, believe it or not, the first race I can distinctly remember being anxious. Several differences were leading up to this race. One, I could not pick up my race kit the night before, I’ve never had to pick up the race bag last minute in the morning. Not really a big deal, but, it made me feel unprepared and added to the things I had to do in the morning. Two, I had not done an open water practice swim yet. Three, if any of you followed my journey last year, this is the face I got my first and only DNF. Which means, I did not finish. I got freaked out in the water and only finished two of the three 500m swim loops. They let me complete the rest of the race, but I had to give up my timing chip.
So, there I was, at the swim start line, flustered after trying to get my race kit (after race kit pick up ended) and forcing the wetsuit onto my slightly bigger than last year’s body. I get into the water, and it was like Marvel Comic’s Iceman froze me from the inside out. My feet felt like solid bricks of ice. Now, let me remind you, the last time this happened to me, it was my first Triathlon ever, and I did not have a wetsuit. I learned a precious lesson that day. I always wear a wetsuit on race day. Which means, the water was ice cold, and my heart rate was through the roof. I made my way, somehow, through the first 500m loop, at which point, you have to step out of the water before going right back in. Well, let me tell you, I stood on that sandy beach for a long minute and thought real hard about whether or not I was getting back into that water. I don’t know when I made the decision that I was going back in, but I started slowly walking into the water until it reached my chin, and went for it. Only to be derailed second later by the other swimmers lapping me and losing my focus. I “calmly” waited for them to pass before giving it another go. Not a short time later, I was faced with the decision of whether to get back in or not. By now, I was sort of warming up, and I already had 1km under my belt, if I got back in, I was already further along than last year. So, I did a quick check to see if I was going to be the only swimmer left out there, luckily for me, there were a couple of heads still bobbing in the distance and one coming right behind me for another loop. So, in I went. Heart rate reasonable, body relatively warm, no swimmers for me to get in the way of, and away I went. My final loop was faster than either of the first two. Geordie, an OTC swim coach and volunteer at this event, said, “Now we know what you have to do. You need to arrive early, swim a km, and then you will be ready to race!” Sigh.
Now that the swim was done, it was time for the bike ride. I always love the bike ride. This ride was no different, though, by the time I got to the run, I was boiling, and I wanted so much more water than the race water station could provide me. This was also the first weekend where, despite the ice cold water, the sun was beaming down with all its marvel, and fury, and I did a poor job of reapplying sunblock during the transition. This might have been the longest 10km I ever experienced, okay, not the longest. That one goes to when I tackled a 10km trail run without any trail practice, and it took me nearly double my usual time. None the less, this run was at a what felt really slow, pace, my skin felt so salty and hot, and I just wanted more water, but a couple of sips from a cup at the water station was never enough. Nonetheless, I still finished the race with a smile!

So, there I was, at the swim start line, flustered after trying to get my race kit (after race kit pick up ended) and forcing the wetsuit onto my slightly bigger than last year’s body. I get into the water, and it was like Marvel Comic’s Iceman froze me from the inside out. My feet literally felt like solid bricks of ice. Now, let me remind you, the last time this happened to me, it was my first Triathlon ever and I did not have a wetsuit. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. I always wear a wetsuit on race day. Which means, the water was ice cold, and my heart rate was through the roof. I made my way, somehow, through the first 500m loop, at which point, you have to step out of the water before going right back in. Well, let me tell you, I stood on that sandy beach for a long minute and thought real hard about whether or not I was getting back into that water. I don’t know when I made the decision that I was going back in, but I started walking slowly into the water until it reached my chin, and went for it. Only to be derailed second later by the other swimmers lapping me and losing my focus. I “calmly” waited for them to pass before giving it another go. Not a short time later, I was faced with the decision of whether to get back in or not. By now, I was sort of warming up, I already had 1km under my belt, if I got back in, I was already further along than last year. So, I did a quick check to see if I was going to be the only swimmer left out there, luckily for me, there were a couple of heads still bobbing in the distance and one coming right behind me for another loop. So, in I went. Heart rate reasonable, body relatively warm, no swimmers for me to get in the way of, and away I went. My final loop was faster than either of the first two. Geordie, an OTC swim coach and volunteer at this event, said, “Now we know what you have to do. You need to arrive early, swim a km and then you will be ready to race!” Sigh.

Now that the swim was done, it was time for the bike ride. I always love the bike ride.  This ride was no different, though, by the time I got to the run, I was really hot, and I wanted so much more water than the race water station could provide me. This was also the first weekend where, despite the ice cold water, the sun was beaming down with all its marvel, and fury, and I did a poor job of reapplying sunblock during the transition. This might have been the longest 10km I ever experienced, okay, not the longest. That one goes to when I tackled a 10km trail run without any trail practice and it took me nearly double my usual time. None the less, this run was at a what felt really slow, pace, my skin felt so salty and hot, and I just wanted more water, but a couple of sips from a cup at the water station was never enough. Nonetheless, I still finished the race with a smile!