|I'm tired but thankfully my biggest fan was there to greet me at the finish|
Calgary was going to be my 'A' race but after the injury it became a 'B' race and Challenge Penticton moved into the 'A' spot. I was definitely good with that as I knew I'd need at least another 4 weeks of run training to get in the 4:30 range I was hoping for. I love the race here and it was so nice to be close to home and see a lot of friends out there on the course. The Speed Revolution team is growing and although the momentum has slowed a bit I expected that with our move to Calgary. Everyone is definitely excited to get together in Penticton and race their hearts out.
The swim was the usual mess but after a few hundred meters I found some space and settled into a groove. I headed in the direction of shore after what I thought was one of the last buoys then two volunteers turned us in the direction back into the bay. I didn't think anything of it at first, they did the same thing when the race was at Lake MacKenzie and I just followed the feet in front of me but then on the way back I swam through about 20 guys treading water asking a volunteer where they should be going. I knew I didn't cut the course so I kept swimming but then I looked at my watch at T1 and saw 35mins! What! It should not have been any more than 30mins if the course was right for the effort I was putting out. I tried to just shake it off but it did bother me a bit on the bike.
The ride was amazing, I love that bike out to Bragg Creek but you really have to be patient. I knew I couldn't get frustrated with my pace going out (it's a slow steady uphill) but it's hard to ride 50k in 1:30 when I know I've gone a lot faster. That being said I made up a lot of time on the way back and was okay with a 2:28 over the 87.3k. The week of focused bike training really paid off and although I couldn't really push hard like I'm used to I'm pleased to have not gone into the run with my legs cramping the entire time.
The run is fantastic through the weaselhead trails and being that I grew up around there and have done a ton of training around that reservoir I knew what was in store. Even though I knew what to expect I honestly hoped I would have the legs for the final 5k but things played out much like I thought they would. The first 7k were the 'warming into' the race pace, the next 7k were the 'try to hold the pace' part of the race, and the final 7k were the 'oh my God why didn't I run more' part of the race. By 14k I knew it was going to be tough to maintain my pace and I just ended up doing what I did in Florida which was run as long as I could, walk and get the HR down and start running again as soon as possible. It worked for a while but by the final 3-4kms I was really walking a lot. It was tough to take but I raced as well as I could for the entire time and I have to be happy with a 4:36.27 final time.
I really love this race and will most likely do it again next year, it's so nice to be able to eat your own food, sleep in your own bed and use your own washroom in the morning. Almost made the 4:30am wake up bearable. Next up is Challenge 1/2 and I'm going to break 4:30 there!