Monday, May 24, 2010

Triathlon treats

Today was the big finally arrived! 3 months of focused training in the pool, gym, trails and the saddle all came together for an amazing day of fun, fitness and feasting!

Food was extremely integral to the success and subsequent enjoyment of the day. Poor pre-race and during race nutrition can make an event like this hellish and torturous.

My day started with an early rise at 6am in order to eat a large-ish breakfast early enough before the race start time of approx 9am. I went with the oatmeal cooked on the stove with almond milk and I added a chopped banana and some maple syrup for good measure. I also drank some Emergen-C dissolved in water (vitamin supplement) and a cup of green tea with some honey for the caffeine. After that I got dressed and did a final check of all my gear before taking my bike out for a quick spin around the block to check that the tyres hadn't fallen off or the brakes detached spontaneously overnight. They had not.
I then loaded up my bike on the rack and called ahead to MJ to tell her I was en-route to pick her up and would be there at 7:40am. I took with me some gels and some chocolate to snack on just before the race started.
Ms MJ was almost ready when I arrived but had not yet eaten and was debating what to eat pre-race. She opted for low fiber, high carb white bread rolls with almond butter. Good choice!
We headed off to the race to set up our transition zones and get ready. The nerves started to set in when I was changing into my swim gear and they were then calling our heat to start in the pool. Am I ready? Did I train enough? Did I eat enough/too much? Will I ever get out of the pool? I think the caffeine was hitting at this point.
The race went great, the swim was slow as expected but it was soon over and on to the bike portion. I started to feel hungry in lap 1 of 4 which was worrying but I had a gel mixed with water so that helped and I was focused and spurred on by my team of supporters at each turn. The hunger subsided as I headed into the transition zone for T2. I quickly took off my helmet and gloves and downed half a sticky, sickly sweet gel pack. Just enough to get me to the end of the race. It worked. The first 1k was uphill and hard but after that I found my pace and was high-fiving and woo-hooing all the way to the finish line where, along with my loyal supporters, an array of oranges, bananas and bagels awaited my empty stomach and weary body.

I felt really good about my race day preparations that stretched back to two days prior when I started my rest, hydration and balanced eating. I had good energy and finished strong. It could not have gone better....the saying is true "luck favours the prepared".

So now for the good race re-fuelling!
After watching my co-competitors finish and taking an array of victory photos, we got in line for a free massage which was amazing. Jen Turner from Moveo clinic spent a good 20 minutes un-tightening my upper traps and lower back. I didn't know how tight they were until she got to work on me with her magic hands. Afterwards I felt like I hadn't even done any exercise but my stomach was telling a different story and needed more than fruit and bagels.

We got changed and went to The Raven pub in Deep Cove. Always good food and hearty portions. And Beer.

Yam fries were a given but what to have with them? I opted for a sandwich which jumped off the page at me: chicken breast fillet, bacon, avocado, salad and salsa on sourdough. That's exactly what I need! I ordered it without mayo but with a beer to start. Post race celebrations, debriefing and minute by minute accounts ensued as we waited patiently for our well deserved food. The sandwich was a perfect accompaniment to the Yam fries and the sourdough was doorstep style...they must have know what we had been doing, either that or we looked in need of a good feeding.

I thought I would not need to eat anything else for the rest of the day but lo and behold hunger struck around 5:30 so I polished off the final leftovers of the mushroom ragu and tucked into a box of chocolate cookies with Ms K who popped over as she was in the area. Tomorrow I will have to get back on track with reducing my wheat content or I'll feel groggy but today was worth it. Nothing better than a post race ice cold beer with friends.

I'm already thinking about my next tri, there is one in 2 months time so I can just piggyback off my current training and hopefully improve my swim time, which leaves a lot to be desired.

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