My Season Opener As part of the Canadian Armed Forces team, I went to Clermont Florida for a training camp and a race. The Camp originally had us training an average of 20-25 hrs which would have given us plenty of time to get ready for the race on Sunday. But the team manager had a different mind set. The Team Manager didnt care about the race, he just wanted to have a great training camp with lots of mileage. The race was just a way to secure the funding for the camp. Knowing this, the coach changed the plan from a comfortable training week to an off the hook distance camp.
From Sunday 28 Feb to Sunday 6 Mar, we have accumulated more the 37 hours of training. Some of the more interesting training sesh had us do 7km swim, another was 210km bike riding it at an average speed exceeding 39 kph and 10 miles run in the Orange Groves. The sun, the heat and the wind was a daily reminder that life can be better then the 20 degree sub zero with blizzard and snow fall almost measured in meters.
After a long week of training, no one was expecting to have a great race, we taught at best some top 10s finishers, but that it. The race was short, thanks to god. It was the ITU Clermont Age Group Drafting Legal Challenge. The water was choppy, the wind was high and the sun was blazing. Great receipt for a long hour race.
The race started at noon for the male, when the weather just got at its hottest. Early within the 800m swim I managed to set the tone, I led the swim from the start till I realized that one guy was feeling very comfortable behind me, so I did the nice thing to let him by so he could do some work a little. I got out of the water just behind him, caught him in the transition and passed him immediately passed the mount line. I was latterly in no men land, I was completely alone. After the first 5k loop of the 20km, I was so far ahead it would have been a mistake to slow down and wait to work with someone. So I kept hammering the pedals maintaining an average of 40-45 kph. I finished couple minutes before the first peloton increasing my lead by almost 30 sec. After completion of the race I was surprise to find out that I had doe the fastest bike split, it was that much more surprise since my teammate are all outstanding cyclist. With this lead in mind, I started the 5k run. Run being my weakness discipline, I was aware that everyone had me in their crosshair. I push hard and managed to hold the damages to a 7th place finish. I was so happy with that because I have improved my time from last year by 4 minutes and had the fastest bike split riding alone, after this crazy training week.
Along with this performance, my team mate have been very encouraging me and had such positive and kind word for my performance. I feel blessed to have them pushing me and feel that we will do some serious damage the next time we get to race together.