Binbrook Triathlon Race Review

Amy cycling

Today has been an exceptional day for me and not because I broke records and killed the course. Quite the opposite. I did have my best race today and I also forgot my timing chip. Total rookie mistake and I made it but it really doesn’t matter. Today was an exceptional day because I finally overcame my anxiety in the water. I have written many times about my struggles with the open water swim in triathlon. I have also been using this site to help work through my triggers and discover coping strategies. It’s been cathartic for me to write about my fears and how to overcome them. It also helped me describe what I am going through to my swim coach, Mat Reid, so that we can work together to not only make me stronger, faster but confident in the water.

And it finally all fell into place today. I was able to get a warm up swim in before the start. I worked through my favourite drills and became acclimatized to the water. It was a brisk 64F or 17C. Definitely a wetsuit swim. After my warm up I stayed in the water and chatted with a few athletes I know from the Y. We didn’t talk about the race or the people. I didn’t even know how many people were on the beach. We were so busy talking about our training and past races that we were all surprised when the gun went off. There was no time to think, never mind be nervous. I just started swimming. Even though I was on the outside of the pack I was still pushed around, kicked in the face and pulled. All of which would usually cause me to panic and give up. But this time I didn’t! I just kept swimming and settled into my stroke. With the water being so cold I wasn’t able to use my usual 3 stroke breath and had to stick to 2 stroke. Before I knew it I was at the first buoy and I felt strong. On the leg back I was able to pick up my speed and swim stronger. I had a clear line to the beach and just zeroed in on the exit sign. I didn’t feel any of the fatigue I usually have climbing out of the water and I even had a smile for my cheering squad (husband and the kids).

I used my coaches trick for getting my wetsuit off quickly and it worked like a charm. My transition was poor. I have to say, if there is an element that needs work it is my transition. I have new shoes – that I love, but I need to take the time and practise slipping them on and off with wet feet.
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The bike portion of the race went well and thanks to my Garmin 510 (courtesy of Rock and Road Cycle) I have all my data saved. I averaged 31.5 km/h over the 30k course. It’s a great speed for me and even better when you factor in I have been laid up on crutches for the past 3 weeks letting my foot heal. When I got home I was able to plug my Garmin into the computer and get a better look at my ride. I couldn’t be more pleased! I averaged 30.5 on the first half of the course (15km) and on the second half I averaged 33.4 km/h!!!!! I still can’t believe I pulled that speed off. It also proves my husband right. I’ll never live that one down. It’s all in my head. I have the potential to be so much faster if I would just turn my head off. The numbers prove it. I can do it so I have to do it. Starting this week with my training. All this data helps me focus my training sessions to help improve from these results and to remind me of what I can truly do.

It really is all just a head game isn’t?