First Race of the Season DONE!-11 weeks till Ironman

Getting all marked up #4!

Getting all marked up #4!

First Race of the season under my belt!

So first things first- a confession, my last blog was all about getting more rest, and I didn’t exactly succeed. For those of you that may not be aware, I am splitting my time between our Blitz Calgary and Edmonton locations. Last week saw me coming back into Edmonton early Monday morning training into the late evening, have very early mornings and more late evenings, leaving me quite exhausted by Wednesday evening as I was on my way back to Calgary. Not exactly ideal pre-race week activity. But I will get to that.

Getting my transitions set up.

Getting my transitions set up.

Fast forward to Saturday June 15th and the Chinook Triathlon Festival in Calgary, AB where I competed in my first race of the season, the half ironman! I swam 2km, biked 96km (normally 90 but this one was a bit longer) and ran 21km.

RACE DAY!

THE SWIM:

Exiting the swim at 41minutes!

Exiting the swim at 41minutes!

The day started our beautifully with a water temperature of 16degrees Celsius, not exactly super warm conditions but after a couple warm up laps I was warm enough to start! The swim started at 8am sharp it was a smaller race with only 30 participants which was a nice season starter, crowded but not too crazy. Within the first couple km’s I was able to find my groove and I focused on each buoy as it came up. I felt strong in the water and as I came out of the water after kilometer one and ran around the buoy on the sand and back in to finish the race I was feeling pretty good. I ended up coming out of the water in 41minutes which is my fastest open water swim to date. I was 15th overall and 2nd in my age group at this point.

THE BIKE:

Heading out for 90km!

Heading out for 90km!

Oh the bike… It wasn’t pretty. I started out feeling not too bad, banana in hand getting some much needed fuel in me after the swim. After the 1st couple km I bent down to settle into my aero position- my arms stretched in front of me resting on my aero bars- the two bars that extend in front of you on a triathlon bike, only to have them spin open and I almost lost control of my bike. Big mistake on my part- I had adjusted my bars a couple days earlier and didn’t take the time to test them out fully before race day. The screws were loose and the bars wouldn’t stay put. I pulled over to grab my allen key set out of a bag behind my seat only to discover.. another mistake, I didn’t have it. As a result I had to ride the whole first 45km sitting up higher than is desirable, with a 20-30km head wind. Not to mention the focus of my pedal stroke was now on my quads which were not exactly fresh after I participated in a HIIT class that I taught the Tuesday before. It was a mental battle the first 45km as I climbed hill after hill after hill. I was able to stop at the midway point and luckily they had the tool I needed and I was able to fix my bike. As a result the 2nd half of my ride was a full 30minutes faster than my 1st.  Coming off the bike I was exhausted and not looking forward to my run. I knew that my hopes of a sub 6hour time were gone. Coming out of T2 I was 23rd overall and 2nd in my age group. Seems like everyone struggled on the bike.

THE RUN:

Getting in some calories as I head out for the final stretch.

Getting in some calories as I head out for the final stretch.

Always finish with a smile on your face!

Always finish with a smile on your face!

The run is always the major battle of any triathlon, you come off the bike with jelly legs, you better hope you got enough calories in you while on the bike because you have a ½ marathon ahead of you. As I munched on another banana on my way out of T2 I was tired but not feeling as awful as I was expecting. I found my focus again and within the first 3km I seemed to have found my groove again. My new goal was to finish this run as strong as possible. And I did it. I ran that whole route and I kept my pace and my head. I said to myself with the last 4km to go as my legs were starting to feel like they were just about done, ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right.” And I just pushed through. I finished 20th overall and 3rd in my age group.

POST RACE:

My Uncle Pat!

My Uncle Pat!

I felt tired, a bit nauseous and a bit frustrated with my time my bike. My Uncle Pat had also participated and came in shortly after me. My Unlce is no stranger to triathlons, ironmans and ultra ironmans, we were chatting after and I was getting down on myself and even saying how worried I was about my next race in 3 weeks. He just looked at me and reminded me that these races before ironman are all about training. These are not my peak races like they are for a lot of people. I am going into them off of a normal training week, without the same taper and rest period that most people have when they are doing their peak race. With that I took a step back and reflected on everything that I learned during the race and all of the things that I was successful at. At the end of the day it was an experience that I will never forget and will be added to my list of completed races as I power along on my road to Ironman Canada.

MY TRAINING: Week 11

Total Training Hours: 16 hours- 11 hours training, and 6 hours racing.  

Favorite workout of the week: RACE DAY! I love the experience of race day!

Toughest workout of the week: The bike during Chinook Half Ironman- I need to focus more on hills going forward!

Biggest learning: Always test out your bike after every adjustment.

Things I’m looking forward to this week: Getting back to training with everything that I have learned from my first race and making the necessary adjustments to my training plan to set me up for success.

 

 

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Amy Coppens About Amy Coppens

I’m passionate about fitness, health and helping others achieve their goals and as a result their best life.

Comments

  1. Great post Amy! I love reading these, and congrats on getting through the bike challenge! So proud of you!

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