Other times, I race on a whim.
Last Wednesday, Doug and I were looking at our calendars for the summer and trying to decide which triathlons worked with our schedules.
"There's one in Fergus this Saturday" he said. We have great friends in Fergus with a lovely house along the river. "Sure, c'mon up, we'd love the have you" they said when Doug called.
So on Thursday morning, we signed ourselves up for our second triathlon in 7 days.
No training plan. No tapering plan. I was just glad we had our laundry done from Gravenhurst before we packed it all up in the car again.
At least it was a sprint rather than an Olympic tri. I only had to swim 750m, bike 30k and run 7.5k this time.
Neither of us had raced Belwood before. When we arrived, we discovered that it's a lovely conservation area with a surprisingly big lake and beautiful roads for running and biking.
The days leading up to the race had been horribly hot and humid. I'm talking 40 with the humidex kinda awful.
On Friday evening, the clouds rolled in and a super storm roared through southern Ontario. By Saturday morning the temperature had dropped to 17 degrees and we actually regretted not packing light jackets. How nice was that timing eh?
My blood sugar/basal rate plan didn't go quite as smoothly as Gravenhurst did but it was still pretty stellar compared to my pre-waterproof pump days. I spiked after breakfast and was not pleased to discover that I was 16.4 thirty minutes before the start. I bolused to correct it despite the risk of going low. Ten minutes before race time I was 14. I was dropping (that's good) but it seemed a bit fast so I had a gel despite the risk of going high again.
(Diabetes is a lot like gambling isn't it? With a bit of go with your gut and what the hell thrown in for fun.)
The swim went well. I finished the swim and the long run to transition in 16:09 and was 5/18 in my age group for the swim. The fact that I'm in the top third just seems so crazy to me but I love that I can hold my own in the water. A guy from the wave ahead of me who I caught and passed yelled "wow, you're fast in the water" as he ran by me into transition. How's that for an ego boost?
Post-swim BG was 8.5. I quickly weighed the pros and cons of eating something and decided not to. I paid close attention to how I felt on the bike but did the entire 30k without eating anything. I wanted a gel before the run and didn't want to be too high on the bike.
The bike went fairly well. My overall pace was 25.5k/hour and I finished the 30k in 1:10:37. Slower than Welland but pretty good considering the nasty headwind and 'rolling' hills we had for a lot of it. I was 30km/hour (ish) on most of the flats and I passed a lot more people than I normally do. So yay for getting faster on the bike.
Post-bike BG was 4.6. Too low to run obviously but not too bad. I had a gel and raisins in transition and headed out for a 7.5k run.
The run was my best triathlon run yet. I am normally pretty toasted by the run and have not yet completed a tri or du run without several extended walking breaks. My pace is usually 7:00 (or higher) min/k and it's all I can do to finish.
This time, I ran. I didn't go crazy but I only allowed myself to stop briefly (15 seconds or so) at water stations. And I only stopped at 3 of the 6 stations. I ran 7.5k in 48.11 which is a pace of 6:28 min/k. I felt tired but strong and was so so proud of myself. PLUS I knocked 7 minutes off my Welland run time for the same distance.
I finished with a time of 2:21:27 which put me 16/18 in my age group. Nothing to write home about but I am getting better with each event in terms of how I handle each sport, how I handle my blood sugars and how I feel at the end.
Oh, and how did Doug do you ask?
Second in his age group in his second triathlon. Swim 18:02, Bike 1:07:53, Run 39:20. Total time: 2:10:12.
Best of all, we waited around for his medal so we also got to be there for the draw prizes. He won a gift certificate for 3 dozen Hero burgers (woot!) and I won the grand prize which was this wicked cooler from Chocolate Milk (the title sponser) filled with socks, a t-shirt, a hoodie, towels and an ice pack from Milk. We looked pretty funny with all our loot.