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<p>The Sydenham olympic triathlon was my first post baby race, appropriately nine months after Gabriel’s birth.  In those hazy sleep deprived days, I decided it would be a good idea to jump back in by tackling an olympic, a distance I had not yet completed.  A sane person may have eased themselves into it with maybe a sprint or two, but no, I wanted to push the envelope.  No worries, my training this spring was pretty much where I expected it to be and with the exception of 5 to 10 lbs of baby weight still hanging around, I felt confident.  The week before the race, the weather forecasts were calling for hot hot hot and humid that day which gave me a few anxious moments but I’m pretty good at only focussing on those elements I can control and the weather certainly isn’t one of them.</p>
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<p>A few days before the race I was feeling rotten; a couple of the kids had colds, we were staying at the cottage and none of us were sleeping very well.  However, I woke up early the day of the race feeling fresh and eager to race.  Had a quick bowl of oatmeal, packed up the truck and grabbed a coffee for the 40 minute drive to Sydenham.  Picked up my race packet and puttered around for the next hour or so, setting up transition, checking out the exits and swim course, and trying to stay hydrated.  There wasn’t any shade in transition so even at 8 am the sun was blazing and I was feeling the heat.  I decided to wait and put on my wetsuit right before entering the water to avoid overheating.  In retrospect this wasn’t such a good idea.  I asked a guy who was wearing a wetsuit as old as Christ himself to zip me up.  Oops, zipper malfunction.  It literally took us ten minutes to get the zipper back down and zipped up properly.  He and I entered the water just as they announced two minutes to start.  Oh well, so much for a swim warm up. </p>
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<p>It was a mass start since there were only 87 participants in the olympic and the course was three times around a 500 m square loop.  The lake was calm and the water clear; perfect conditions.  Horn blows and we’re off.  I sprint for the first minute or so to get to a clear position and soon fall into a good pace.  First buoy, I remember my open water drills from the spring and make a nice clean turn.  Second buoy, kicked in the face and goggles come off.  Thank goodness, I didn’t lose a contact.  The rest of the first loop there is plenty of jostling but everybody is playing nice and it’s uneventful.  On the second loop, some dude in front of me runs right into the buoy and stops dead in the water.  He inadvertently smacks me as I swim over him and the goggles pop off again.  Third loop, some jerk behind me is grabbing my legs and whacking me in the behind.  Why?!  So I turn on the rear thrusters and clear the water.  Unfortunately, when I finally sight I am veering off course.  Make the necessary corrections, turn at the last buoy and head for shore.  Checked my watch and was pretty pleased with my effort considering I’ve really only been back in the pool since March.  Swim time: 26:56 (1:48/100 m) 29/87 OA</p>
<p>Through transition and onto the bike.  The course is two times a 20 km out and back with some flats and nice rollers.  The winds were fairly calm, with just a slight cross breeze.  First loop I felt strong.  I knew I needed to drink but on the entire bike course I think I only managed 2/3 of a bottle of watered down Gatorade, a third of a bottle of water and a handful of Gu Chomps.  Of course, this came back to haunt me later.  Being a better swimmer and weaker cyclist, I get passed quite a bit on the bike.  I try and mentally prepare for this but it is still difficult for me.  I get disheartened and respond by pushing harder, which can get me in trouble.  On the out stretch of the second loop, I was playing leap frog with another guy.  He’d catch me on the flats and I’d get him on the up hill sections.  I was getting fed up with it and decided to try and drop him.  As I’m powering past him on a hill my chain falls off.  Crap!  Pull over and take a minute to get it back on.  The only good thing was that I was now far behind my leap frogging friend!  Bike time: 1:25:34 (28.0 km/hr) incl T1 66/87 OA</p>
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<p>Pulling into T2 I still felt good.  Swim and bike were slightly better than I had anticipated.  I was aiming for anything sub 3-hour which left me 1:07 to complete the 10 km run.  As I started running I thought, no problem, I’ve never run a 10 km that slow!  In fact, I started out at just under a 6 minute pace, looking for a 1 hour or better run time.  Run course was two times a 5 km out and back along the Cataraqui trail which is primarily gravel and hard packed dirt along the edge of the lake.  Not a whole lot of shade to be had really.  After the 2 km point I start to suffer.  My legs aren’t tired, I’m not cramping and the engine is still firing on all cylinders.  I just feel light headed and like I want to throw up and not in that “I’m redlining all out effort kind of puky feeling” either.  It’s the “I’m on the verge of passing out feeling”.  Uh oh, this isn’t good.  I manage to continue running until I reach the water station just past the 6 km point.  When you haven’t raced in a year and a half you forget all those little details that make a race successful.  One of those details was to make sure this particular pair of socks I was wearing are pulled up completely because if they aren’t, my heel rubs.  So now I had a bloody foot.   I tried in vain to pull up my sock.  RRRRIP!  I tore the back half of my sock right off.  Normally pain from a blister wouldn’t phase me (hey, I birthed four babies without pain meds, I can handle it).  But more importantly, I knew I was suffering heat exhaustion and had not hydrated properly.  At that point I made a choice.  Part of me desperately wanted to continue running until I reached the finish line and pass out in a puddle of my own vomit.  The rational part of me decided that perhaps my young children, not to mention my husband and parents, really didn’t need to see me in that condition at the finish line.  Also, breast feeding a baby while dehydrated and catatonic is somewhat ill advised.  So began the run/walk death march.  You know you are going slowly when an 80 year old guy passes you and says “Keep it up!  You’ve been my pace bunny!”  I’m happy to say that I did actually pass him again and I mustered enough steam to drop him!  Finally made it to the finish line and saw my family cheering me on.  Run time: 1:10:47 (7:05/km) incl T2 75/87 OA</p>
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<p>Overall time of 3:03:16 69/87 OA (19/30 female).  Not exactly what I was hoping for but I know that I didn’t hydrate enough in the high heat and humidity and paid for it in the end.  So all in all a good learning experience.  Even still, I did enjoy the distance and will certainly race it again. </p>
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<p>After the race, we went back to my MIL's house where I had a shower, fed the baby and promptly passed out in bed.  I felt so awful I didn't want anything to eat, I just wanted to lie down and sleep.  After an hour or two, I forced some food down and finally felt better.  I think not pushing it on the run that day was the right decision!  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<p>Thanks ladies.  I'm not disappointed with the race.  At the best of times I think it is hard to nail hydration in the heat and humidity.  Add in the increased demand that breastfeeding creates it is even more difficult to stay on top of it. </p>
 

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<p>You had a great swim and bike, sorry about the issues on the run, but just missing 3 hours with the issues, I'm sure you have easy sub 3 in you next time.  Great job!  80 year old?   That guy must have been fast.</p>
 

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<p>You know Kathy, this sounded like my first ever oly right down to the stupid heat and failed nutrition. To almost go sub-3 while still breastfeeding is incredible. I'm tipping my hat to you Mama!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>niemsco</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/68974/rr-sydenham-olympic-triathlon#post_1924733"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>You had a great swim and bike, sorry about the issues on the run, but just missing 3 hours with the issues, I'm sure you have easy sub 3 in you next time.  Great job!  80 year old?   That guy must have been fast.</p>
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Yeah, no exaggeration, he was 80+.  He didn't do the oly but did the kayak-run instead so he had KR on his calf which made me think of all you guys when I saw it. :)  My Mom saw him finish the race and he was definitely suffering but the race volunteers were all over him to make sure he was ok.</p>
 
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