Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Race Report Part 1

Better late than never I hope! Here is my race report only 6 months late.

OK, so the last you heard I had packed up my bike and was ready to go. Also going on that week was this:

I had been having some palpitations so I figured I better make sure I wasn't going to pass out part way through the race. This meant getting in to the cardiologist ASAP and getting a 24 hour Holter monitor test. Thankfully my family doctor is amazing and she got me in with the right people. My new cardiologist is also really great and we were able to get the testing done before I left. Results were all normal, so I was ready to race.

With that taken care of I was ready to go. Our flight was scheduled for Friday evening and after Grandpa showed up to take the kids we were off.

Once in Hawaii we picked up our rental car and headed to the hotel. One thing we learned is that it isn't easy to find your hotel in the dark but eventually we got there and checked in.

Saturday morning was the first race event with a practice swim in the bay where the race took place. I met up with my team at 7 AM to head down for the swim. This was my first open water swim and I was feeling more than a little nervous.

We all walked down to the beach together and I got to know some of my Team in Training teammates. When we got the the shore the coach said, "OK, we are going to swim out to that buoy and back." I took one look at where he was pointing and the panic started. I'm sure it wasn't that far but as I had no way of knowing the distance (being used to 25m lengths) it looked FAR. In my mind I was thinking - I thought we were just going to splash around, this is an actual workout, I don't know if I can do it.

I let everyone else go first and then started out. I didn't get very far before my brain took over and told me to stop. My goggles were leaking, I was uncomfortable with being in the water, it was too much. I turned around and went back in. At this point I texted Ward (he had gone into Kona for a group run) and told him I was freaking out. Thankfully, as I was part of a team, there were other people around. The person on the shore talked to me, calming me down. I focused on the fact that I had seen a few really cool fish and some coral in the short swim so far. One of the other swimmers came out and she talked to me about how to adjust my goggles mid-swim. Once I was calm again Isabelle told me to get back in the water. A little tough love but it was necessary. I got back out there and swam some more. Not a lot, but enough that I realized it wasn't so bad and that I could do it.

The swim ended and I walked back to the hotel with my coaches and met up with Ward. He had missed his run so was back at the hotel earlier than anticipated. That worked out for me since I needed his help to get my bike back together. Once we had that under control it was off to the expo. There was a race meeting, package pick up, and number marking. I briefly considered joining the novice swim group but decided to stick with my age group as it would give me a little extra time before the cut off if I needed it.

In the evening we attended the inspiration dinner. This is a Team in Training event in which all of the participants from North America get together. There are awards for fundraising amounts and an inspirational talk from a participant who is also a cancer survivor. It was a great evening!

After dinner it was off to the room to prep and sleep. We were meeting up at 5:00 AM so of course I didn't want to stay up too late. There was some concern on my part that I wouldn't be able to sleep but no problem. I slept great and when the alarm went off at 4:30 I could have easily stayed asleep. That is a little weird since race day is usually a time when you pop out of bed with the alarm or even wake up before it.

So, I groggily got ready, ate breakfast, and headed to the lobby. Amazingly Ward came with me even though he didn't have to. He really did a great job of supporting me throughout my training and during race weekend.

Bright and early with my team.

From there we headed to transition to set up our bikes and prep for the race. My start time was 7:40 so I had plenty of time to get nervous.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Can I Get That to Go?

Monday night I went into Vancouver to meet up with some of my teammates from Team in Training. We chatted about the race and had some sushi. Then it was time to get our bikes ready for the flight. Doesn't this look like a bike to you?

So that's it! Now to pack everything else.  4 sleeps to race day!

Monday, March 9, 2015

How Do You Meaure Success?

I did it! I completed my first race. It was a sprint distance so about half the distance of an Olympic distance (which is what I am signed up for in Hawaii). It consisted of a 700 m swim, 20 km bike, and a 5 km run.

How did it go you ask? Here are the official times:


Looking at the numbers it might be hard to tell how the race actually went. Each one tells a bit of the story.

Looking at my overall place - 203 out of 208 competitors is the first number. During the race I got passed. A lot. I passed one person on the downhill portion of the bike but the next time I looked around that person was ahead of me again. So, I kinda thought I would be in last place overall. Nope! So that is a success for me. Not last.

Let's talk about each event individually. First was the swim. The part I have been working the hardest on and the part I felt most nervous about. Ward also raced so the organizer put me in his heat and informed me I should just go to the back of the group.  No problem. It was my first time in a 50m pool and it actually felt pretty good. Overall the swim was slow. I was by far the last one out of the pool. In fact a few of the people in the next heat (which was made up of the fastest group) passed me. Luckily I am used to getting passed from Masters Swimming. :)

Transition was good, no problems, just took my time and got ready.

On to the bike. Would it surprise you to know this was the first time I had really ridden my bike on the road? I went around the cul-de-sac a few times but this was my first real ride.  UBC is great for that since the bike course is closed. It was a two lap course and I even saw Ward on the course. It took a little getting used to the gears though and I really need to go out again. Another thing I realized is that I was not totally comfortable. I did not drink any water or look at my watch. I will need to do that in Hawaii as the weather is just a bit hotter! I was talking to some of my swim group today and they mentioned that they will stop their bikes to take a drink.  Always an option! The big thing about Hawaii is that part of the course is not closed. It runs along the highway. The rule is that if you cross the white line you are disqualified. Something to watch for!

Transition two was also good. I was freezing at this point. The ride was in the shade and my tri-suit is sleeveless. I had some trouble tying my runners!

By the time I got to the run my legs were not happy with me. It did not feel good to run. The course runs along the sidewalk though and was very narrow (both directions on the same sidewalk). The fact that it was so narrow and that it was only 5 km kept me moving. I kept telling myself there is no way you are walking on a 5 km run! I did take a couple 10 second walk breaks but I mostly kept running.

Then the finish! Hooray! I was so glad to be done and Ward treated me to a Triple O bacon cheeseburger on the way home which was soooo good!

Anyway, back to the title of this blog. Some people might look at my numbers and just see how slow I was. I look at it and see how far I have come. The fact that I was able to finish despite the fact that I basically spent 6 weeks on the couch makes me happy. When I started swimming in September I could barely swim 25 m. Saturday I swam 700 m without much rest and then today I swam for over an hour no problem. I feel good about that and I feel great about the race.

Of course now that it is behind me I am thinking - oh, if I would have went faster at transitions and a little faster on the bike I could have been close to under 2 hours. Ha ha, that's the way it goes!

Friday, March 6, 2015


OK, it's been quiet on the blog front for awhile. I didn't want to post until I was absolutely sure. So, here are a couple pictures to give you a hint as to what I am going to say.

What do you think? Pretty fancy suit. Also, I was pretty impressed at how much the flavour selection has changed for gels in the last *cough cough* 10 years. Yeah, it's been a while since I have done anything that warranted a gel.

Oh, yeah I was going to mention - I am racing the UBC sprint triathlon tomorrow. Yup, tomorrow. I feel slightly nauseous typing that out but it's true. I don't know if I put this out there before but the plan was to participate in UBC in order to experience transition (and actually ride my bike on the road) before the big race.

What, you ask, does it mean that I am going ahead with the race? Well, I have the OK from my family doctor to attempt the race in Waikoloa. So it looks like I am racing!

I have been on minimal training since being sick so we will see how tomorrow goes. My biggest concern is the swim. I was informed last night that there is a 28 minute time limit for the 750 m swim and that has me concerned. Oh well, even if I get yanked out of the pool I will still be allowed to finish, I just won't get a result (sounds terrible). I will be wearing a watch so hopefully I can make the time.

That's all for now, I will update next week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


OK. So it is really starting to look like I am not racing. This sucks. It's true. I have trained for months. Bought a bike. Took swimming lessons. Bought hundreds of dollars worth of swim suits, goggles, running and cycling apparel. Now it seems this is all for nothing. Or is it?

I have to think about what inspired me to sign up with Team in Training. It was not the thought of doing a triathlon (that thought still terrifies me). It was not that I will be going to Hawaii (yup, still going either way). It was not that I thought I would get in shape and look fabulous (perhaps a side benefit).

What then is my inspiration? People. To be blunt, people who are sick with cancer and fighting for their lives. People who have lost loved ones to cancer. How can I sit here and complain about a sinus infection that I will recover from when I have friends and neighbours fighting for their lives?

I can't. I choose to look at the positive of my own situation while continuing to pray for those who inspired me to raise money and train in the first place. With your help I have raised over $5100 for research and support. That is something I can be proud of.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me financially and with your comments, questions, and prayers. This continues to be a learning experience for me and I look forward to what I will learn over the next 6 weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

"It's Just a Cold!"

That's what I've been telling myself for the past two weeks. My doctor did say to come in if my headache got worse but of course I thought it was fine. My Mom and Ward both insisted I get checked out again as I really have no energy right now. Off to the walk in clinic.

What did the doctor say? Sinus infection along with post virus asthma. When I told her about my training and race she confirmed no exercise right now. She also said she doesn't think I will be race ready next month. I have to go back Thursday so we will see what she says then.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Well, here I am 6 weeks to race day and still full stop resting. It is a little frustrating to be this sick and just sitting around. I am starting to question whether or not I am going to be able to complete the race. I was not ready when I got sick and I am still not healthy enough to go back to full on training. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my fundraising. It is amazing to be able to support an organization such as the LLSC. I appreciate your support as does my cousin Christi. I am racing in honor of her son, Dustin who passed away at the age of 12 after fighting hard to try and beat Leukemia. As a mom myself, I can't imagine struggling with my child in this way. I pray for peace for you, Christi, and and honored to remember Dustin by racing for him.