Well race #1 of the season is done!
The Great White North Long Course (Half-Ironman) distance triathlon took place on Sunday July 6, 2015. As always this race proved to be a fantastic day with amazing volunteers and a race staff!
This was my 4th year in a row completing this race. It was my first ever half-iron distance race, well my first triathlon ever in 2012 and it will always hold a special place in my heart. That first year I went out ‘just to finish’ and finish I did in 6hours and 20min. Fast forward to this year, I finished in 5hrs and 14minutes. A 10min PB from my race last year! My 2 biggest wins being my swim time and my run. The 20km headwind on the majority of the bike course made things a bit slow heading out on the 1st part of each loop, but was a huge help coming back in to Stony Plain each time.
The morning started off cool and windy, the nerves were there, but not like they used to be. I felt confident in my training and strong. The water for the swim was warm and I mad sit through with little to no thrashing from my fellow race-mates which is always a bonus. The bike was a tough rolling hill course with 2 loops, I managed to hold a pretty steady pace even with the headwind and my legs felt strong. The run started off with some pretty numb toes coming off the windy and chilly bike, once I got the feeling back I was happy to maintain a solid pace enough to bring me in for an 1hr 40min run split. Coming off this run I feel like I have a better idea of what sort of pace I can maintain at Ironman.
I felt strong the whole race and felt like I was able to really leave it all out there, something I’ve never really done before. I felt so comfortable on my bike, in large part thanks to Nicole Zacharias at National Spine Care in Calgary for her painful (but helpful!) IMS sessions that have my hips and traps in working order again so I am no longer seizing up on my climbs!
Overall, this race has left me feeling ready for Ironman, I know I am stronger than I was in 2013, and I am excited to see what I can leave on that course. The butterflies have definitely started and I am hoping for a relatively nice day. Although after pushing it through the wind at GWN I feel more confident that faced with not so decent weather in Whistler that I have the strength of mind to take it in stride.
As I prep the rest of this week and into next I have the words of RC in my head: “You’ve got this”.