Tag Archives: Ottawa

Early Bird re-cap

22 May

I’m sorry for the delay in getting a race report on here. We just got home from Ottawa and the hotel we were staying at did not have Wi-Fi. Although it was initially frustrating, it was also kind of liberating. The hotel did, however, have cable which is a luxury we don’t have. Needless to say, I was glued to the TV.

Anyway, down to business. The Early Bird Triathlon was Saturday and started at 8:30. The novelty with this race is that the swim portion is in a 50metre pool. The water in Ottawa in mid-May is still pretty chilly. The pool is much  more comfortable and controlled Рgreat for first timers.

We arrived at the transition zone around 7am. I raked my bike and organized all my clothes and gear on a towel. For first timers, remember this: untie your shoelaces! Undoing knots is not fun when your wet and under stress. Mark and I ran into old friends and our triathlon coach. It was so nice to see familiar faces! I proceeded to picking up my timing chip and to get body marking. We had to do our own body marking in this race. Luckily, I had Mark with me. After a final pee check, I practiced transition. This always seems a little funny but its worth it. Running into transition with a plan and knowing where you’ve racked your bike will save you lots of anxiety. I also practice how I will put on my clothes, helmet and sunglasses.



Shortly after 8am we headed towards the pool and waited on the deck. The way the swim operates is through timed corrals. Every racer lined himself or herself in their anticipated finish time slot. I was feeling fast so I lined in near the back of the 10min corral. I hadn’t timed my 500m in the pool during training but figured my estimation was correct based on my 100m. The line moved slowly but I chatted with the people around me which passed the time. Finally, it was my turn. When I was told to jump in, I realized my goggles were not over my eyes – oops! I quickly pulled them down and hoped they weren’t going to fill with water. I started swimming and there was no panic, no fear and no anxiety. I felt great! I did not get tired and continued until the first turn around. This is where things got congested. I caught up with the person in front of me, who was caught up with the person in front of her, etc. The swim was slow and I tried not to touch the feet of the swimmer in front of me. I’m sure she probably appreciated that. My total time in the water was 11 minutes. Slow, but I was not fatigued when I came out of the water. This was perhaps a blessing because the run to transition was 500metres.



My time in transition went without a hitch. It could have gone bad as I put my shoes on before my bike shorts. Pulling up shorts over bike shoes: problematic, will never do again. Once on the bike, I put the pedal to the metal. I had some serious time to make up. I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter if I didn’t place in my age group. After all, I was now at the bottom of a very competitive age group. As I pedaled, I kept passing people. The canal’s Colonel By Drive is mostly flat with two inclinations. Only one of those inclinations is a problem and even then, it’s not so bad. The bike route was 2 loops of 11.8km. I took the time to enjoy the scenery. That route used to be a staple for running and cycling when we lived in the capital. Nearly a quarter of an hour later, I slowed to dismount and ran into transition. My time on the bike was 44 minutes.


The run after swimming and biking always kills me! I knew I had a fairly long incline up ahead just after the 1km mark so I started running slow and steady. I was uncomfortable and unable to push that feeling out of my mind. It seems so easy to do on the bike. I kept going and put one foot in front of the other. At the first kilometre I looked at my watch: 5:00min/km. Wow, was I ever running slowly! Where did the endurance go? I told myself that I had to keep that 5min/km and that I could not go any slower. However, at 3.5km I totally forgot my rule and walked for 30seconds. I had been climbing for a few hundred metres and knew I had to climb for another few hundred more. This little rest helped and I started running even stronger. When I came into the chute, Mark was waiting with two really good friends. I came into the chute with no one behind me and I sprinted to the finish. Run time: 26 minutes.

finishingMy overall time was 1 hr 26 minutes (transitions included) and placed third on my age group!

Our celebration afternoon was spent lounging in the Arboretum and taking pictures.



First Triathlon of the Seaon

15 May

Saturday will be this season’s first triathlon. Mark and I are doing Somersault‘s Early Bird Triathlon again. Last year’s Early Bird was a huge success for me. I had a personal best on the 5k run and I finished second in my age group. I had trained really hard in the winter and early spring to top my age category and I did. That success continued with a second sprint triathlon in which I placed first in my age group. That second triathlon was during a very busy time for Mark and I. We were getting ready to move our lives to Milton so there is no race report. But you can check out the stats here.

Receiving my "silver" medal

Receiving my “silver” medal at the Early Bird 2012.



This year, however, my priorities are completely different. My training focus has been on the half-Iron in Peterborough in July. I haven’t exactly been working on speed on the bike or the run. I have to admit, though, that my bike and run are stronger than they were last year. Hopefully that means a new personal best at the 5k and maybe even on the bike.

Of course a return to the Early Bird means a return to Ottawa! Mark and I are really looking forward to being back in the city we love. We have a few plans but we are also looking forward to taking things easy and at a relaxed pace. There are a few vegetarian restaurants we want to visit, a few parks that are perfect for lazy afternoon lounging and some friends that desperately need catching up.

When traveling, I always make a list of stuff I need to pack. Now there’s a triathlon involved, that list is even bigger. I enjoy triathlon but it’s so tough to remember everything you need for race day. It’s a far cry from simply a road race where one only needs running shoes, sun glasses and maybe a watch.¬† While I’m waiting in transition I always feel as though I am missing something. If you need some tips for the days leading up to a triathlon, you can check out this list I compiled last season. I find it always helps to lay out all your stuff the night before and, of course, at your station before the start of the race.

Transition ZoneI will have a full report about the Early Bird shortly after the race. I cannot promise that the report will be too quick, though. I do have all of Ottawa to enjoy in a short period of time.