A Duathlon, Eh?

Time flies when you’re having fun…. And working hard! In the last month, I kept meaning to write but whenever I had a free moment, a nap just seemed a little bit more enticing! ;-P

All of a sudden, it’s the end of July and I realize I’ve been radio silent, which means time for an update! I also have the treat of a few easy days post-race as I adjust to altitude in Flagstaff, where I’ll be based for a two-week training block surrounded by Olympians before heading to Montreal for my first World Cup race – all very exciting stuff! Easy days = time and energy reserves!

Last weekend, I visited Ottawa, Ontario for the first time to race at the Ottawa CAMTRI Continental Cup. In my first season as a pro, if there is one thing I’ve learned when it comes to ITU racing, it’s to expect the unexpected…. And Ottawa continued this theme. Travel day went smoothly, my AirBNB couldn’t have been more perfect, tucked in a quiet, quaint little neighborhood (The Glebe) just 200m from Whole Foods and other awesome restaurants, and only 1mi from the race transition zone.

My neighborhood in Ottawa -- so cozy and quiet!

My neighborhood in Ottawa -- so cozy and quiet!

Everything couldn’t have gone more smoothly, until we were told that the swim familiarization the night before was cancelled since no test results had arrived (red flag!). They assured us we would have a triathlon the next day… but got no confirmation either way until 10:15am the next morning, when we received the final announcement that there would in fact be no swimming for the elite women for that – it was a duathlon for us!

While this was a disappointment, as we have been focused on my swim and I was looking forward to put that work to the test, there was no time to dwell on the change. It was almost time to race, and as I said before, gotta expect the unexpected!

When the gun went off, I went out with the front four ladies and was on their heels coming out of T1… and then came the worst bike mount of all time…. Chain fell off front crank and I fumbled to recover as quickly as possible. While I avoided catastrophe, I lost the front pack and ended up biking with the main pack. We struggled to work together in the first half, and by the time we were running more smoothly in the second half, the damage was done as the front pack had put a painful 2+mins on us! While a few girls in my pack flew out of T2, my legs were feeling flatter than I hoped so I built into the run – I knew I had the fitness to run down the ladies from my pack… and perhaps even 4th. I committed to staying strong as others faded. Unfortunately I ran out of runway and could only come up with (yet another!) 5th, but it’s not possible to be unhappy about having the opportunity to dig in and coming away with a little cashola and a lot of experience.

I stayed a day after the race, which gave me the opportunity to explore the area – swimming at Carleton University and riding through the gorgeous Parc Gatineau – and get to know my AirBNB host and her puppy, Winter, who were amazing! Canadians are so nice and I loved seeing the little cultural differences (i.e., it’s a “Press Pot” not a “French Press!) that arise in a new place!

I’m never happy with 5th – I race to win and I can feel the podium at my fingertips! – but I take away many positives from the weekend, and now it’s back to training hard (and working on bike mounts. a lot.) so I’m ready to throw down again in T-minus 10 days! Stay tuned for an update from Flagstaff between now and then :D