Saturday, September 21, 2013

Queen of Hearts

Today my friend and I drove up to Barrhead, a small town about 75 minutes away, to do the Queen of Hearts women's sprint triathlon. She did an ironman a week after mine and we wanted to do one more race while the weather held on. I have really scaled back on my training in the last month so this race was definitely just for fun.

We left the city early in the morning. The drive up was so pretty and peaceful. The sunrise was pink and orange and there was a foggy mist hanging over the fields. We solved a lot of first world problems on that drive, too.

When we got to the Barrhead pool, we checked in, set up our transitions, got dressed for the race, and then went to wait on the pool deck. One of the participants offered to lead us in some stretches so we pulled out some mats and spent about 10 minutes doing yoga. It was really a nice way to pass the time and get ready for the race. 

It took a while until it was our turn to swim but eventually we got in. I haven't done a pool race for 4 years. Sometimes you can get stuck behind other swimmers or there can just be too many of you but for me it worked out well this time. I felt good and was happy I still had 750m left in me at this point. My swim time was 19:25. Slow, but I wasn't there to do anything amazing.

The bike ride was very nice. It was 22 kilometres of fairly flat, smooth highway. There were elevation changes but I wouldn't call them hills. On the way out, I was going 38 km/hr and I thought I was freaking amazing but then I turned around (into the wind) and realized that I'm just pretty ordinary after all. It was a little chilly but the sun was shining and the racers waved at each other and called out encouragements and I thought about how much I love to ride my bike. My bike time was 48:09. The transitions were mostly captured in the bike time, although a little bit of T1 would be in the swim time.

The 5K run went through some neighbourhoods and then out onto a trail. We ran past a creek and out into the fields to the turnaround and then back the way we came. I saw my friend out on the run course. The volunteers were so friendly, as were the other racers, and it was just a fun and happy run. My run time was 31:16 and my total time was 1:38. That put me 38th out of 73. Fine with me.

After we ate our sub sandwiches and some fruit, we showered, packed up, and hit the road. The drive home was lovely. The alfalfa was baled, the barley was golden, the trees were a mix of green and yellow, and the sky was blue. It was simply gorgeous and we remarked about that often. It was such a nice day and a great way to finish the season.