Monday, June 24, 2013

Welland Sprint Triathlon 2013

Well folks, the first triathlon of 2013 is complete....and I have the marks to prove it.

If you run out of sunscreen, black marker is apparently a very effective alternative

The event was harder and easier than I expected it to be...and my basal profile experiment proved to be more effective and less effective than I hoped it would be.

Let's start at the beginning shall we?

I was up and making breakfast by 5:45am. We ate, dressed, loaded the car, and headed to Welland, arriving just after 7am for an 8:30am start. We racked our bikes, got our numbers, organized our transition zones and headed down to the water for 7:45am.

I had figured out the perfect spot for my pump. Tucked safely out of the way, no tubing dangling anywhere and no chance of it falling off into the murky abyss that is the Welland Canal. 

Here it is, in case you didn't spot it in the first photo. 

I hopped in for a pre-race swim. The water, like last weekend, was brisk but not uncomfortable...for me anyway. By the start of the race, I counted three (myself included) people who were not swimming in wetsuits. The other 276 folks were all stuffed into their rubber suits, looking rather uncomfortable. 

Pre-practice swim

My post-practice honk.

Twenty minutes before the race, my blood sugar was 7.4. That number is pretty perfect but I was a little worried that my basal profile wouldn't work so I had a box of raisins before the start - in addition to the GU that I had planned to have. 

The swim is a staggered start which means that one swimmer heads off every 5 seconds. I was number 132 ( as you might have noticed in the first photo) so it took a while before my turn came up. When it did, I pushed off and headed out for my favourite part of the event. The swim went very well. I settled into a nice rhythm and passed a bunch of swimmers. Only two passed me! 

Out of the water I came and I had to run 400m on asphalt. Barefoot. I took it gingerly but still ended up with pretty sore feet by the time I hobbled to my bike. I transitioned as quickly as I could and headed off for 30km of riding. The bike went surprisingly well. I held a 30km/hour pace for most of it, only slowing down in the headwind. It was getting hotter and more humid by the minute so I forced myself to drink my entire bottle of water. 

Off the bike and back into transition. My blood sugar check showed 8.9 which was pretty sweet after starting the race an hour and a half earlier at 7.4 It had barely moved. It also meant that I was too high for my second GU gel so I headed off with it in my pocket...just in case. 

The run was...tough. 

I was tired and it was really hot and really humid. I had planned to run 9 minutes and walk 1 to protect my foot. I did that for the first 9 minutes but, once I stopped, I found it really hard to run again. I ran five minutes, then walked two. Then I ran four minutes, then walked again. My foot didn't hurt at all during the entire 7.5k but I felt like a brand new runner, not someone who has been running for years. I didn't have the physical running fitness (or the mental running fitness) I needed to push myself to just keep running. I made it back to the finish doing a pretty pathetic walk/run routine and I was pretty tired by the end. 

My finishing BG was 10.2. 

Here are the lessons from the day. 

My blood sugar was fairly steady throughout the event which means that I did a pretty good job with the basal rates. I think the fact that I was a little higher than I wanted at the end was a combination of the pre-race raisins and the fact that it was really really hot and I was more dehydrated than I should have been by the end. 

As for the race itself, let's compare it to the Guelph Lake triathlon of last September when I was in fine running form.

Welland triathlon 2013
750m swim 14:30 (pace 1:56/100m)
30k bike 1:03:17 (pace 28:40 km/hour)
7.5k run 55:33 (pace 7:25 min/k)
transition 1 2:30
transition 2 2:39
Total time: 2:20:45

Guelph Lake 2012
750m swim 16:44 (pace 2:14/100m)
30k bike 1:10:46 (pace 25:40 km/hour)
7.0k run  47:27 (pace 6:47min/k)
transition 1 3:01
transition 2 2:53
Total time 2:20:48

I am a much faster swimmer and much stronger cyclist than I was last year. 

I am getting faster at the transitions zones (although there is still lots of room for improvement there). 

My running fitness definitely declined from where it was last year. 

And my finishing time didn't move an inch. 


  1. I had looked up (lurked?) your results online. Very amazed at your wicked fast swim time. Was also quite impressed with your bike time too! you are doing awesome!
    I knew something wasn't going so well on the run and had hoped your feets were okay.

    glad to hear you finished successfully. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

  2. Look at you go! Nice work Celine and congrats on such a strong swim and bike. The running will come, very impressive considering you are coming off a running injury. Glad to hear the basal rates went well :)

  3. This is a very good result, and you should be very proud of it! Your swim and bike times showed tremendous improvement, and it was a very successful diabetes experiment when it mattered most.

    Your running was always going to be a bit iffy given your recent injury, and it sounded like you acted prudently. And I wouldn't call a run/walk "pathetic." That's not being fair to yourself or to those of us who did it recently. :-) (And you didn't have a problem with it then, eh?) You'll get your running fitness back soon. Just throw a 10 minute brick run onto the end of a bike ride, and you'll be mentally ready for the next big day, too.

    Excellent job!

  4. Ok, that sunburn thing is absolutely awesome. :-)