Monday, August 25, 2014
Canadian Nationals in Magog
The following week I traveled to Magog, Quebec to race the Canadian National Championships. As opposed to the previous weekend, this weekend’s race was a sprint (half of an Olympic distance). Initially, I was pretty bummed when I heard the race distance had been switched from an Olympic to sprint. However, by the end of the race I was thanking my lucky stars…
This was my 2nd time racing in Magog and I can say without a doubt that it is one of my favorite race venues. The organization and atmosphere is top notch! Not to mention, the swim takes place in a lake that I could just swim in for days, as opposed to those races where you come out of the water caked with dirt,etc.
I knew with just a 750m swim that I’d need to get out to a good start and get on some feet. After the gun went off, I saw in my peripheral vision some girls running to the right, and I immediately followed them and dolphin-dived til I got on their feet. I wasn’t able to stay with them for the entirety of the swim, but the good start put me in a great position coming out of the water.
After a quick transition, I was out to start the very hilly/technical bike course. I had no idea what place I was in coming out of the swim, but was enthused to see only about 4 girls ahead of me on the first lap. Near the end of the first lap, a group of about 6 of us formed a pack and started to work together for the remaining 10k of the bike. Because of the nature of the course, we were really the only large pack to form – most everyone else was going it alone. Unfortunately, on one of the last hills I mis-shifted and my chain briefly came off. Luckily, I was able to think fast and shift it back on, but I lost my mini-pack in the process. I sprinted the downhill as there was only about 3k left at this point, but was never able to get back on. I entered the 2nd transition about 10 seconds back of my group.
Mad at myself for making such a rookie shifting mistake on the bike, I took off kind of like Roadrunner in those Looney Tunes cartoons. I wanted to reel those girls back in as quickly as possible since it was such a short race. All of the sudden, I felt a stitch in my left side and I started to be thankful that this was only a sprint 5k run! After a little over a mile, the stitch subsided and I was finally able to get back into a quick pace and finish at a decent pace, though my legs were pretty spent by this point and I was running out of "real estate." Once again, my run left me feeling that I can do so much better than this and that all my hard work is not showing as of yet.
The positives of this race:
• I finished 10th overall
• I was the 2nd overall elite (not counting the U23 results). Basically, I was second out of the old people ;)
• Getting good points towards my world ranking
• There was a Tim Hortons visit post-race which included baked goods
• Spending the weekend in Magog staying in a beautiful lake house with great company
If only I spoke French, I would consider vacationing there. Bonjour and merci can only get you so far...Now that I’m back home from training in Colorado for the summer and racing in Canada, I’m looking forward to staying in Cali for a bit and not having to pack and fly with my bike. My next race is in Pacific Grove on September 13th. Thanks for reading and as always, for the support! Cheers!