Feeling a little lethargic and not quite like myself since racing Eagleman 70.3 two-weeks prior left me with mixed emotions heading into Multisport Canada’s Welland long course race. Part of me so badly wanted to race, loving the local atmosphere, the spectacular venue, and the flat and fast course. The other part of me wanted to kick my feet back and give my body more time to recover. Of course the option to race won out.
Welland offers the most straightforward and controlled swim environment. It’s fast and easy to navigate, so easy to navigate that you don’t even need to sight. Once you find the underwater guide wire in the rowing basin it’s a simple as following the wire out and back down the canal for the 2-kilometers. I struck a steady pace off the get go and swam strong all the way through, exiting the water just steps ahead of Len Gushe and once again starting the bike in the overall lead position.
The 56-k bike is flat, very flat but also very fast. With the bike being so flat it also means you can see the athletes ahead of you for miles! My goal was to get out fast and get out of sight, not to let any female competitors get a glimpse of my Coeur heart bullseye on my back. The first 20-k had us riding into a headwind. Self-motivation was important in keeping my power up – few competitors passed me but those who did passed me with a lot of speed. Once we made the turn off Feeder Rd. at 20-k it was such a relief to be able to spin the legs up and increase the speed having concurred the headwind. Finishing the loop and turning back onto Feeder Rd. with a strong tailwind made for a very fast final stretch into T2. I entered T2 as the leading female being up 1:45 on 2nd, having probably overridden slightly for how my body was feeling on the day (which was not so fresh).
The run is 3 x 5k loops, which I find ideal. You get lots of cheers, you get to keep tabs on your competition and it helps break up the run into reasonable chunks. As soon as my feet hit the pavement the nausea and dizziness hit, and I had no legs to run on. Things felt like they were moving in slow motion, with little power and a slow cadence. I held off charging pro Miranda Tomenson for 6-k. Come 10-k I was ready to pull the plug but reminded myself that I have registered for my first Ironman later this year and at some point things are going to suck and I’m going to have to suck it up then, so why not now also. It was pure relief to cross the finish line and then my body said no more, followed by an unwelcome trip to the med tent. Overall I finished as the 3rd female, adding 5-minutes to my time from last year.
I am far from satisfied with my speed on the day but am proud of how I stuck it out to the end when I wasn’t feeling my best.