Saturday, July 9th is the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon. That’s the triathlon Sam and I and lots of our friends and relatives cut our teeth on. Each year we try to gather up a group of veterans and newbies to take the road trip with us. And this time is no different. We didn’t quite reach 9 like we did last time but we’ve got a good contingent nonetheless. Heading out this time are Sam, Anita, Susan, Tara, Alison, Sarah, and I.
We’ve gotten into the habit of gathering up everyone’s thoughts before the race. So here we go.
I can’t decide if this is the 5th or 6th time I’ve done this race in either the triathlon or duathlon version. My first time was in 2007. That I know. You can see some of the history here, https://fitisafeministissue.com/2015/07/01/kincardine-past-and-future/. Last year I did it less than six weeks after surgery to have my thyroid removed. Super tough since I was only back to exercise at all the week before the race. I know my most memorable version was the year I did the actual triathlon in the pouring rain. I didn’t drown during the swim, though it felt like I might, and I didn’t crash on the bike, so that’s all good. My favourite was the relay version. I biked and my daughter did the swim and my sister-in-law ran. This year? Well once again I’m struggling with running injuries and a lack of run training. That my favourite year involved no actual swimming or running should tell you all you need to know, I’m not a triathlete. I’m not a duathlete. Really I’m a cyclist who thinks this is a great event. So much fun, so many friends. I predict I’ll be close to last on the first run and I’ll zoom by lots of people on the bike, and then they’ll pass me again on the final run by which point I might even be walking. I like my knees that much!
I was riding the wave of a post-race running high when Tracy convinced me that a triathlon would be a lot of fun. So I probably wasn’t in my right senses when I said, “Sure!” or “Great!” It didn’t help that my partner, a cyclist, got on board immediately: the second-hand road bike miraculously appeared and the nice folk at MEC deemed it a perfect fit. Around April a running injury got me back into the pool after many years away. And here we are! My fears: I won’t be able to get my wetsuit off; I’ll get lost in the transition area and won’t be able to find my bike; I will be disqualified for accidentally drafting; I’ll fall off my bike (again); my injury will resurface on the run. But for me, that’s what it’s all about: trying something new without knowing how it’s going to go. Fun! (Maybe.)
This is my first duathlon and one of my very first competitive endeavours in running and cycling. While I was originally tempted to sign up for Kincardine by promises of how much fun this particular race is, a few things that happened in training this year have taught me that multisport athletes might be on to something. Most of my spring has been spent getting ready to ride from Toronto to Montreal on the Friends for Life Bike Rally (with Sam and Susan and Nat! Please consider sponsoring our team?), which has meant a lot of focused effort on the road bike. While I suppose my baseline fitness for hours-long activities has improved, I learned that being attached to “clipless” pedals builds strength in certain muscles while letting others nap on the couch (rectus femoris, I’m looking at you!) until the co-ed recreational softball season starts. Fortunately, the minor hip flexor strain I picked up during the second game of the season (and then annoyed again in the third, and the fourth…) was not so bad as to prevent cycling and and occasional jogging, but I wouldn’t say I’m ready to run. Look for me at the back of the running pack with Sam in the “old athletes with bad knees” section!
I feel at home at the KWT. I’ve done it three times before and it’ll be my eighth triathlon ever. With registration way back in January (and it sold out within 45 minutes this year), it’s easy to commit to because it’s so far away. So apart from how much I like the atmosphere, feel a sense of attachment to the event, and enjoy the camaraderie of going to a relatively local (2 hours from home) event with friends, Kincardine has become a habit.
My goal: have fun and get a personal best if possible. My swim feels strong these days and my running is better than it’s ever been. But I’ve done nothing on the bike, so if I’m going to shave off time it’ll be coming off the swim and the run.
It’s always touch and go with the water temperature at Kincardine. In 2013 they cancelled the swim because of frigid water that fell below Ontario Triathlon regulations even for wetsuits. Last year that almost happened again. Fingers crossed that those of us who signed up for the triathlon get to do it.
This will be my third duathlon. Last year, I did Kincardine and also did another longer (sprint) duathlon (5k 20k, 2.5k).
Kincardine is a short du (3k, 12k, 3k) and I’m all about the short distance races! I really like that this is a “feel good” event. The participants are so supportive of one another and the volunteers are amazing. I also love that a large group of us all do this event together which adds to the camaraderie that we experience from the already awesome event!
Hopes and Expectations? I hope that it is sunny and warm on race day!! My goal is to do this race in under an hour. Last year, I did this race in 1:05 and I pushed myself hard last year. I’m worried that my goal of a sub one hour race is lofty and that if I don’t achieve then I could be setting myself up for disappointment.
I have a new bike this year and I’m hoping to improve my cycling time. Last year, I did this race on a mountain bike so I’m excited to see whether my new bike will make a difference.
I had so much fun doing this last year because of everyone in our little group. Go team go! This year however I feel something different. Here’s the mash up:
– While I’m looking forward to it, all I can think about is how this is my last ‘due date’ for the summer
– I want to enjoy more lovely summer cocktails without guilt
– I’m jet-lagged just having returned from the UK.
– Not much bike riding happened while training, and only one bike-run session (in a hotel gym)
– Yesterday I actually thought someone stole my bike. I was a little happy. It turned out to be safely stored in the garage.
So I still need some time to get into the right space I guess is what I’m saying. And I’m okay with that.
Best of luck to everyone for a fun race day on Saturday. If you’re at KWT and see us, please be sure to say hi!