The day was not warm. My Garmin Edge 810 told me it was 8.5C and it was raining. I don't think it ever did warm up and the rain only stopped for brief moments. To stay warm I decided upon a polyethylene space blanket under my race kit and a rain jacket. I was perfectly warm although hardly aerodynamic. My toes on the other hand became ice-blocks.
It was a wetsuit swim and the water was actually perfect temperature. After the initial 200m push I settled into a nice rhythm with one other athlete who continued to help me push the pace. We swam side by side for almost the two whole laps. I ended up coming out of the water first with her just behind me. I ended up getting the course record of 24:55. A great start to the day.
The bike takes you around Lake Shawnigan four times. The first time around I played it safe getting to know the roads and possibly slippery sections and turns. The second time around Clint Lien (Coach, Mercury Rising) was able to give me a bike split letting me know where Janet was in the race. I had hoped to gain time on her so I could take it easier on the run. Three minutes. The third lap the rain actually stopped briefly and I purposely ran over some rough sections of road to wake up my frozen feet (did not work). Still only three minutes ahead. By this time I was thinking- really? Why is she not getting tired! I decided to pick up the pace to try to get some more time into her. It worked and by the time I had run through transition and out the other side I had about 5 minutes lead. I relaxed.
I started out easy and found a comfortable rhythm. I wanted to minimize the hurt factor so I could continue with training into the next week. When I turned around at 8km though I saw that Janet had gained on me and was only 4 minutes behind. Darn. I had to pick up the pace. And so I did. I brought my pace from a 4:30ish average to a 4:20ish average. Enough to keep the distance. I have this brilliant mental strategy going on too which helps. I constantly think I am going downhill. Maybe it is because I finally have learnt to lean forward in my position. On the out and back course when I turned around I was ready to hurt but then it was downhill again. It is like a super boost of energy!
Overall it was a great race, beautiful terrain and super well organized. The volunteers were brilliant and had the best attitudes on what ended up being not the most glorious days in May. I had to work much harder than I wanted thanks to Janet but am sure that I am better for it. I am back to work today and finishing off a few days of training before I really start to back off. Looking forward to seeing what I can do when my body is rested!