First off- I flew to Canada on 4th of July. How sad. I love 4th of July and there I was leaving the US of A. Good thing I like triathlon.
Now on to the race recap- You know when you work really hard at something and then finally see an improvement in the form of results? Well that finally happened for me this past Friday when I raced in Edmonton at the PATCO Paratriathlon Championships.
Since returning from the USAT High Performance camp at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, I’ve been focused on getting better. I started working more on my swim technique and swimming with a class on Friday (the horrors, I am no longer training solo!!). I’m also riding more and getting more and more comfortable on the bike. I’ve worked on my running form a lot (including a prosthetic adjustment and new running shoes) too.
So going into Edmonton I felt a little different. I knew that in comparison to Nationals and Denver I was finally feeling 100% again. I was also focused. I knew what I needed to do. One of the things that has been incredibly difficult for me recently is the mental aspect of triathlon. I continuously get inside my own head and the negativity is bogging me down. After meeting with my coach before the race and also talking with one of the coaches on-site for both camps and the PATCO race, I realized I needed to focus on myself. I was also told to “trust my training”. And I did.
A quick recap:
- I finally returned to my pre-race tradition of listening to certain songs that get me pumped (I’m a huge fan of a little Call My Maybe remix these days) and focused. I didn’t do this in Austin or Denver and I think it threw me off.
-Before the swim, we were allowed to warm up. So I did. I wish more races gave us this opportunity. It’s just like when I train- I don’t really want to swim during the first 200 or so but after that I’m comfortable in the water.
-It was a mass start in the water. I need to work on this. Oh it was also in a pond. NO NOT A LAKE. A POND. At any point I could have stood up, which isn’t saying much seeing as I’m barely breaking 5 feet. I had a good swim though. Until I needed help getting out. And those helpers who were supposed to help were not. I had a little disagreement with the people assisting me out of the water. They kept telling me how to put pressure on them to get up the hill. I didn’t appreciate being told what to do during a race. ALSO THEY WERE SLOW.
-Swim out to transition was far. I had to put on my running leg to run up the grass to get to the bike to switch legs. But I worked out a great system with a really great handler so I got through it.
-The bike was 8 loops. YES, I said 8. That is a lot. And each loop went through transition. I felt good on the bike. But I could feel better. The bike is always the leg of the race where I think more than I probably should. But this time when I started to feel a tiny bit tired I reminded myself of everyone who was rooting for me. (I hope some of them actually were or I may be delusional).
-I came off the bike feeling great. I had a QUICK transition (less than a minute) and headed out. Immediately my visor was driving me INSANE. It was crooked. I couldn’t get it to stay on (hats don’t fit my head well). I thought about abandoning it but remembered the rules that anything you take out on the course, comes back with you. Anyway, I love running and the run went great! I was quick and passed the competition. I kept mooooooving.
-Then I crossed the finish line feeling GREAT! I took first and it was my first win of the season. I needed that win to prove to myself I was still a competitor and that last year wasn’t a fluke.
I’m ready to focus on the bike more. I think I can get strong there.
Don’t wear a visor because my head is not made for one.
Oh and by the way- Canada is cool. It is pretty and the people are incredibly friendly. I think I’ll go back.