Friday, 20 September 2013

Final Tri's of 2013: Wasaga and Lakeside

I feel really encouraged after having some great races this year, and I am looking foreword to some new and exciting challenges next year.  After 6 months off running from an injury last fall, I was able to build back this past spring, and hit some personal best times this year (yay Andy)!  I also won the 20-24 AG in the National AG Championships, and racked up some serious points in the MSC overall standings (I'm in the $$)!  I got some new and awesome sponsors, and also got some great direction from my fantastic coaches (you guys all rock)!
Ok, so it was a good year...well except for those last 2 weeks..those were kind of rough.  I was really hoping to walk away with a win this year, and I really felt it could happen in either Wasaga or Lakeside.  Things were really looking good, but then it hit...with only 2 weeks left in the season!  My stomach rebelled, I lost my appetite, weight dropped, and my energy levels crashed (a bad combination for peak performance).  I still decided to race, but I knew what it would be.  I still tried hard's some more details.  

Wasaga Beach 
I was really hoping to get my first overall win for 2013 in Wasaga, but after a couple days of feeling sick and dropping weight, I was starting to feel the energy levels diminish.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the win...but there are a lot of redeeming factors about this race.

I still finished second (third was a very close reality) with the top swim and bike splits, and it wasn't raining (unlike last year's monsoon)!  I had a good swim, in which I led  out of the water and secured the swim bonus points.  I also led off the bike, but my legs were not their usual selves, and I was not able to get much of a lead heading into the run.  I was passed by Alex VanderLinden at about 5km into the run, and also saw another runner (Mikael Staer Nathan) closing in.  I kept running hard (I did hit a season best run split), and just finished second behind Alex.  Another second place, but still a decent race considering...

Extra points here I come!
  Wasaga was also a big day for my Dad (this is your moment of glory pops), who built up over the past 5 months to race the Olympic distance triathlon.  My dad was not coming into this race with a lot of experience (he likes to tell me he is not a runner...I just tell him to stop limiting himself...) and this was his first ever race!  He did a great job and finished under his predicted finishing time (whoever was coaching this guy must have been doing a pretty good job...).  Congratulations!

After Wasaga is when my condition began to go downhill.  Abdominal pain and gastric discomfort began to become more persistent, and I was losing energy and weight at an alarming rate.  We tried all of the natural remedies, but nothing was working.  On the monday, my mom insisted I go to the hospital, where the end result was them uhh...taking a stool sample (ya..kinda gross).  I could do nothing but wait for the results.  It wasn't until the night before the race when they finally got the results of the test, and here's what they found:  

We finally apprehended the culprit...Giardia (gasp)
I debated if I still wanted to go through with the race (I knew I wouldn't be close to 100%), but ultimately I decided that I would go for it (it was the last race of the season after all).  We were already in the area anyway since my super awesome amazing brother Daniel had just raced in his first Kids of Steel Triathlon (way to go Dan)!  His gutsy performance and relentless encouragement only added to my desire to race.  We stayed over in a small hotel in Woodstock the night before and were surprised to find they had an awesome water slide (which made for the best pre-race ever)!  So after some fun, it was time to sleep, and then head to the race.

My race started out with a pretty decent swim.  I saw one mystery super swimmer waaaay out in front, and figured I would be better to sit in then to chase.  I swam with (and by "with" I mean behind) Angela Quick, and finished the swim with a pretty solid time.  Cody Beals was ahead after the swim, but I caught up on the bike after he took a wrong turn.  I was biking pretty well until about half way through, when things started to go downhill.  As I started to fade, Cody passed me back, and I knew he was making a move to try and get the fastest bike split (which would give him another 10 bonus points).  I put my remaining energy into staying with him on the bike and was just able to edge him out in the overall bike times.  I wasn't feeling too hot when I rolled into T2, and lets just say that feeling didn't improve.

Keep going Andy!

There was no way I was catching Cody, but there was also no way I was going to drop out of the race.  I just kept my legs moving, and put in what was left (not much at this point).  Luckily, no one was even close to Cody and I after the bike, so I still finished second (6'th second place of the year).

Way to stick it out!  (Not sure why I'm listed as a pro)

So that is it for the 2013 triathlon season.  Another big thank you to my amazing Sponsors (Multisport Canada, eLoad, and Nineteen wetsuits) and coaches (Brent and Derek).  And thank you to all my blog readers (especially those who made it this far)!  I would encourage you to continue to check in through the fall and winter months for some updates on some off season run and swim races.  Also, if you are in the mood for a bit more reading, you can also check out the new "about me" section on the tab above.

Onward and upward to 2014!