About 3 weeks out from this race I decided to make it a double header. I decided that after racing the junior elite race on Saturday, I was going to race the adult Kal Rats sprint on Sunday as well. So I had basically set myself up for a really long and painful weekend of racing! :)
In the week leading up, it didn't exactly end up being a taper. As we have been doing some of the Tuesday night time trials this year, we went for this one as well. Only difference? It was the Knox Mountain race. It was a tough, mass start race that I pushed really hard from right away and payed for later, barely surviving to the top at BP+everything. Although Wednesday was easier, I did a hill climbing clinic with Luke and the X-Elle group on the Thursday, but felt really good in it, so may have gone a little harder than was smart:). On top of that, I was still recovering from whooping cough, and had a provincial exam and final exam happening that week, meaning all late nights of studying, and little rest. Thankfully the day before went well and was relaxing, setting me up mentally prepared for the race the next day.
Unfortunately, we got there a little later than we probably should have. Warm-up was cut short as a result, and I rushed through getting my wetsuit on, not having a chance to get in the water and re-fit it or move it around. That proved to be a costly mistake.
Swim: My swim start was terrible. Immediately fell off the pace, and couldn't get my arm rotation going. My new wetsuit had been feeling awesome leading up to the race, but unfortunately my lack of preparation and fitting it limited my shoulder movement a bit. Learned from that mistake. After the first buoy it started to feel better, but by that point, the packs were separated and apart. With the swim being so short, it was over before I knew it.
T1: decent transition. Nothing went majorly wrong within the transition area, except that my elastic to hold my shoes in place had snapped. My problem, however, occurred at the mount line, or should I say after it... I ran right past the mount line, running for the corner at the end of the street. I was trying to catch on to Lincoln, who was just behind another pack, but gave up valuable time as I ran an extra 50m before realizing my mistake. As we call it with Brock, 'racer brain'.
Bike: The bike part felt slightly off. I didn't feel like I had the power I had been feeling in training, as I soloed the whole ride and stayed the same distance away from the pack ahead of me, not losing any noticeable time, but not gaining any either. One pack behind me closed in on me, coming off the bike not far back. The 10k bike felt so short and my legs didn't feel quite awake yet when we hit the ground running from the dismount, but more like I'd just done a hard repeat of something without the necessary warm-up.
T2: pretty slow T2 as a couple kids made up time on me. Tried to get my running cadence up immediately.
Run: felt like a continuation of the bike, where I wasn't yet warmed up. I felt uncoordinated, and like I needed to do some warm-up laps to get my legs into it first. I set my sights on who I thought was the top junior girl, and slowly ran her down. I felt better and better as the run wore on, and felt like I was hitting my stride on the last lap (of 4) in the 3km run. My cadence was probably the best I have managed in a race, although it was with a much shorter stride than I wanted. Unfortunately I didn't realize that one of the girls who ran off the bike just ahead of me was a junior as well, as I thought I had passed first place. Still, she had an amazing run, and was clearly faster run than me, and I'm going to have to improve on that as I continue through the summer.
Overall: placed second for junior elite ladies. I am disappointed at the short distances the race series has, however it is still race experience and good to try out the shorter stuff sometimes.
3 things to improve on:
1. Warm up - this is CRUCIAL for me, and I need to put an emphasis on it every time.
2. Knowing my transition set-up pre-race, including where the mount/dismounts are.:)
3. My ability to open up my stride length on the run.
(Bonus: 4. Don't line up next to Brock and Lincoln on the start line... we bumped into and kicked each other around to start the swim:)
17 year-old Junior Elite Triathlete
Long Term Goals