Tuesday, August 5, 2014

K-Town Triathlon Race Report

Racing the K-Town Tri was a somewhat last minute decision. I signed up less than 2 weeks before the race on a whim while on my post-Magog high. At that point I didn't have any races scheduled, and I was feeling a bit lost, so I figured that I would do K-Town because it was a stepping stone to an Olympic distance race.  What I didn't consider was that I had barely trained during the month of July. I tapered for Chicago, recovered, trained for a  week and a half, tapered for Magog, recovered, then had a week to go til K-Town. Oops...  I could feel the lack of training, particularly on the bike.  In the end, I'm glad that I did K-Town, because I learned a lot from the race, and despite my suffering, I did have fun and Kingston is a lovely town!

Pre-race dinner at Olivea

Pre-race breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and almond butter, and a Chocolate Bode Shake

Pre-Race: It was a pretty low key morning before the race.  I woke up at 5:45 and made oatmeal à la Magog in the dorm room that I stayed in at Queen's University (banana and Justin's maple almond butter). Then I showered, prepped my water bottles and drove over to the race site downtown.  Everything went relatively smoothly.  The only issue was that I didn't have any coffee and I always drink a coffee in the morning. I ate part of a banana at the race site about 40 minutes before my race and made sure to drink lots of water and Gatorade.  After a quick warmup, I put my wetsuit on and was ready for the start.

Swim - 750m: Definitely the best part of the race.  I wore my wetsuit, since the air temperature was fairly low in the morning and since everyone else wore theirs.  We jumped off a dock and then had some time to warm-up on the way to the start line and tread water while the first wave started. I was glad to have on my wetsuit!  The only issue on the swim was that I had to stop to clear my goggles.  They were so foggy that I couldn't see the buoys (which were lime green and in my opinion a bit difficult to see even with clear goggles). So I did some breaststroke to fix my goggles, then was on my way. At the end I tried to push myself up out of the water, then realized quickly why there were people there to help! Not to mention, I felt like I was going to tip the dock and knock everyone into the water. Lessons learned: Wetsuits aren't that bad, time to invest in some anti-fog or new goggles, thank goodness I'm a strong swimmer.

Photo Credit: My Sports Shooter

T1: It felt pretty slow and clumsy.  The T-Zone was really close to the swim exit, so my wetsuit was soaking wet and I didn't want it to drip all over my running shoes, so I had to rearrange things. 

Bike - 30k:  I hate to admit it, but I felt like quitting so many times during the bike.  I was so frustrated with myself the whole time and couldn't quite figure out what was happening.  Since Magog, I've had some issues with my right side, from my low back through my glutes and hamstrings.  Part of me wonders if that was my issue on the bike.  Part of me wonders if maybe I should have taken my bike in for a tune-up pre-race.  I know that I was undertrained, since I hadn't ridden over 25k in the entire month of July, so I really shouldn't have expected much out of myself... but I always do. The hills on the course kept me from really settling into a consistent speed, and I'm sure I expended a lot of extra energy because of it. It seemed that I wasn't getting much help on the downhills either. It was a strugglefest all around. Lesson learned: continue to work on my bike, bike longer distances, always have my bike tuned-up pre-race (so I can't blame it!), and never quit!

T2: I tried to make it quick, since I knew I was so far behind going into the run.  Tried to relax my breathing since I had a bit of a side stitch from the bike.

Run - 7.2k:  The issues on the bike extended into the run.  I just couldn't get my legs going and struggled to shake off my bike legs.  At the start, I was also experiencing some numbness and tingling in my hands, yikes! Then, nearing the halfway point of the run, we hit a huge hill.  We got to run down the hill... but it was just to turn around, grab a drink of water (no volunteers had any cups available and they tried to tell me to go onto the long course run route!!), and then run directly back up the hill.  Not my idea of fun.  After getting to the bottom of the hill, I decided I really needed to try to pick it up to finish the race strong.  I got to see a friend from the OTC (doing the duathlon) and my coach (doing the long tri) on the way back and that helped. Plus there was a cheering station with about a mile left to go and they were awesome and had the funniest signs. I was able to pick it up to a respectable pace and even pass a girl in my age group coming into the finish.  A big smile for the cameraman because I was so, so happy to be finished!!! Lessons learned: more bricks, more hills, and more running in general and smiling helps you run faster!

Post-Race:  I love chocolate milk post-race.  I really do! So I was happy that Recharge with Milk was a sponsor of the race.  I grabbed my milk and my flip-flops and went to cheer for my remaining teammates. It was nice to have some familiar faces around after the race!  After hanging out for a bit, I said farewell to Kingston and made my way back home.

In the next month, I need to build my bike and run back up so that I am ready for the Olympic triathlon at Esprit Montreal.  I also need to learn how to fuel on the bike. The K-Town race was long enough that I probably should have had more than Gatorade, but I hadn't practiced with anything, so I was reluctant to try something new on race day.  I'm also going to work some more strength and stretching in to hopefully deal with whatever is bothering my right side. And of course, I'm going to keep having fun and enjoying summer, because in the end, while I want to be ready to race on September 6, I also don't want to miss out on the last bit of summer fun here in Ottawa.  Oh yea... I'm totally doing K-Town again next year for a redemption tour.

Overall Results:

Swim + T1: 11:57
Bike: 1:11:42
T2: 1:16
Run: 35:44
Time: 2:00:37.1
Place: 6/14 (AG), 34/83 (women), 134 overall


  1. Great report Kelsey! You continue to impress with your determination to improve on your weaknesses and try things that push you outside your comfort zone. That is the road to success and an interesting life. I appreciate that you take the time to include all aspects of your race weekend in your report. Keep enjoying the journey and the incredible experiences that being involved in triathlon will bring your way.

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