Welcome, friends! After a near perfect weekend away with some girlfriends, I am back and (mostly) settled into a new week. I’m just under 2 weeks out from my major goal race of the season. For the most part, I’m feeling pretty good.
Anyhoo, on with the recap of last week’s training, so I can tell you about my awesome weekend. It was a big week for me. I’ll try not to write you another novel. Try. I said try. Tri? Womp? Womp. Okay, on with it.
1887m swim: A perfectly executed workout at the 17m saltwater pool. I nailed the descending parts of my workout, and was able to negative splits my fast sets.
FTP Test: When I last took my FTP test in March at The Lab, it was 170W. If I lost you at FTP, this blog post gives a pretty good overview of it. I had been itching to retest, as I suspected I had gained some strength on the bike. I took my test last Tuesday using the pre-programmed test on Zwift (still using a 20-minute test like I did in March). I know there are some *slight* discrepancies between Zwift and a computrainer, but I was blown away when I was able to bring my FTP up to 300W. Even calculating for some inflation (or underestimating) in Zwift, that’s still a substantial improvement, and nothing to shake a stick at.
2200m swim: Hi there, distance record! I did a trial practice with a group at the pool close to our new house. The practice itself is longer, and it’s long course. I did surprisingly well, and I think practicing consistently in a 50m pool is going to help my swimming a lot.
Lactate Threshold Heart Rate Test: Once again, I was not able to complete this test. I started and stopped, attempting it five times, but the humidity busted me almost instantly. I felt it in the warm-up, and hoped I would be able to work past it, but I couldn’t run fast for any longer than a minute. I tried not to dwell on it, and committed to trying again next week early in the morning before it gets too humid outside.
45 minute ride: Defeated by the LTHR test attempt, I did not do my recovery ride.
Rest. Glorious, glorious (scheduled) rest day. We drove to the cottage for the race and did a quick ride to make sure the bikes were in working order, but otherwise, I rested.
Kincardine Women’s Triathlon: 375m swim – 12km bike – 3km run
70 minute run: I woke up Sunday after the race having had a really great sleep, yet not wanting to run. Being at a cottage with friends who are all endurance athletes, though, gave me the nudge out the door. I did an out-and-back along the road near the cottage, and ended up on part of the bike course from Saturday. I stopped halfway to enjoy some beach views.
Total Time: 5:04
Kincardine Women’s Triathlon Recap
We signed up for this race way back when registration opened on New Year’s Day. It sells out very fast, so we didn’t want to miss out. One of our friends has a family cottage near Kincardine, so we planned a girls weekend. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and stayed until Sunday afternoon.
Kat very kindly drove me, and we met Heather and Nancy up there. Once we all arrived and got settled, we drove over the race area to pick up our kits. We arrived right when it opened at 5:00. There were no lines, and everything went super fast. We stuck around for a few minutes to have a look at the transition area and the swim start, as well as check out a few of the expo vendors, but didn’t end up buying anything. We went back to the cottage and did a quick 20-30 minute bike ride to make sure everything was in order, ate a pasta dinner, chatted a bit, laid out our race gear, and tucked into bed by 10:30.
Since we were so close to the venue and it was a small race, we didn’t have to get up super early to get there. I got up, ate an English muffin with jam and got ready. We arrived at the race with close to an hour and a half to go. We weren’t the first to arrive, but we still had a good pick of transition areas. I chose the halfway point on my rack, and set up my transition area. We hung out until it was time to don Winnie (many people, including both Kat and Heather, chose to race without a wetsuit.). The water was 19 degrees, and I should have considered swimming without my suit, but having not tried it before, I decided to stick with what I knew.
Despite it being a short swim, it was the part of the race that I was most nervous about. The water was very rough and wavy. I did not go out for any open water practice since Welland, so I was worried that my sighting would once again be my Achilles heel.
Once the swim started, however, I settled in okay for a while. I knew I would only have to contend with the waves on the way to the first turn, stay steady coming across, and let the waves coast me in. That’s exactly what I did. There were a couple of panicked moments, but overall, not bad. As you can see, my sighting was *much* better this time around. My swim tracked short this time around, as it was supposed to be 375m.
Swim time: 328m//9:15 (2:48/100m)
T1 (Swim-to-bike) – 4:10
As soon as I was out of the water, I ran up to the transition area and clipped on my helmet. I peeled off my wetsuit, put on my sunglasses, gloves, socks, and running shoes. I grabbed Waltzing Matilda and ran for the mount line.
The bike course started with a turn up a hill. It was a 6km out-and-back that allowed me to test my climbing skills a couple of times. It was pretty uneventful, although I have to say that, more often than not, people did not give any indication they were passing. Many times, I glanced to my left and saw people trying to get ahead of me. Maybe I am still new to racing, but I found this really unsafe, so I tried to keep an extra eye out. I definitely had to rely on my shoulder checks. I was hoping to ride the 12km course in 25:00-30:00. I finished in 28:09, so I was happy about that.
Bike time: 12.1km//28:04 (25.9km/h)
T2 (Bike-to-run) – 1:00
Even though I’m working towards riding clipped in (more on that after the race recap!), having my running shoes on already makes for a fast T2. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, flipped my bib around, put on my visor, and took off for the short run.
I faded fast on the run again. I’m pleased to report that I did not look at my watch at all, so I didn’t let that get to me. However, I had to walk yet again on the run leg. I walked the water station at the halfway point, and two other times. During a 3km run. Part of me knows that my body will eventually get used to it, but it was still frustrating. I gave it all I had left as I headed towards the finish. Heather and Nancy were cheering me on, and Kat was waiting near the finish in the food tent, having come in a few minutes ahead.
Run time: 3:02km//17:35 (5:50/km)
Overall time: 1:00:04 <– Yep, you better believe that annoyed the hell out of me, especially after I walked on the run. I would have come in under an hour.
After I received my medal, I walked through the food tent. I was so hungry when I finished, so I grabbed a banana, Clif Builder’s Bar, a Kind bar, a bottle of water, and a chocolate milk. The post-race snacks were top notch! All the expo vendors, plus a few others, were near the finish area again.
We stuck around for a few minutes to snap some pictures and wait for transition to reopen, but went back to the cottage pretty quickly to relax for the rest of the day. We hung out at the beach and went into town for a delicious dinner. We got ice cream and watched/were part of a parade with bagpipers and a marching band, a Kincardine tradition.
On Sunday morning, we slept in and took our time having a lazy breakfast and I headed out for my long run. Once I got back and settled, it was time for me to learn to clip into my bike! Nancy, Heather, and Kat all had a few pieces of advice (Kat’s was probably the most sound, ha!), but ultimately assured me that, because I had been clipping in on my trainer, it would probably not be that difficult to get. Sure enough, I got it pretty much on the first try! I will still need some practice before TTF, but I’m so glad to be over that mental hurdle of doing it for the first time. I hope I’m not jinxing myself. I’m aiming to do my long ride this weekend clipped in, although I’m not sure what that will look like yet. Stay tuned!
We all agreed that the race was a lot of fun, and are already talking about making another trip out of it next year. I’ll definitely be registering for it again when the time comes. I recall it being a very inexpensive race, and I also have my Triathlon Ontario membership, so I saved on the one-time insurance fee. It was a great weekend away with my friends, and I came back Sunday evening feeling so relaxed and excited for the next couple of weeks leading up to TTF!