2018 Tyhee Lake Triathlon!

This was my second time taking part in the Tyhee Lake Triathlon, and my second triathlon ever. Last year I completed the sprint distance and this year I came to tackle the Olympic distance. That day last year, I decided this was the best endurance event I’d ever experienced in Northern BC, and this year that decision was totally solidified!

The Tyhee Lake provincial park is AWESOME. Some may not think that camping is ideal for race weekend accommodations, but the campsite is beautiful, well-maintained, and there are showers and some flush toilets as well as standard outhouses. It was so nice to be staying AT the event.

On Saturday morning I woke up at six and saw that Erin was already awake. Immediate excitement!!! We ate breakfast right away (I had granola, a Happy Planet chocolate protein smoothie and a banana with peanut butter) and then started to get organized and go to the bathroom 500 times. Check-in/bike check was all going down from 7:45-8:30 and then the Olympic distance event started at 9:30, so we had lots of time.

Triathlon morning, I’ve come to learn, has way more stuff than running race morning! I gathered:

  • goggles, cap, earplugs
  • wetsuit
  • sunglasses, SpiBelt with a Clifbar and an Endurance Tap gel
  • water bottle with Skratch Labs powder
  • helmet
  • bike (duh)
  • runners, socks, hat, BodyGlide

On my body I was already wearing my new Smashfest Queen triathlon shorts (LOVE), sports bra and Garmin, which would go under the wetsuit for the swim and then stay on me for both the bike and run.

Erin and I went down to the event area (giant parking lot) with just our bikes to check-in, get our race numbers and swag-bags and then line up for the mandatory bike check. I got a fresh new bright yellow swim cap since I’d be wearing a full wetsuit and the number written on my arms and legs wouldn’t be visible until after the first transition. I love free shit ahahaha.

After our bikes were given the once-over we found a spot on the racks in the transition area to hang them up. Then we went back to our site to get the rest of the gear and set up our towels beneath our bikes with everything needed after the swim. A helpful tip I remembered from last time was to put my sunglasses and SpiBelt inside my helmet so forgetting them couldn’t happen.

At 9:15, I got into the lake to swim around and try to get the initial nerves out. I put my face in and blew bubbles slowly, swam a short distance out and back and just hung out in the water for a bit. I really didn’t want to have the swimming anxiety today!

the Piranhas

Ali, the amazing race director, did the countdown on the mic and we were off. I didn’t feel nervous and was prepared to start slow and get into it. No freaking out was happening and I wasn’t hyperventilating or anything, but I couldn’t seem to swim more than a few strokes without needing to breast stroke and try to slow down my breath and heart. Maybe it was just adrenaline. Anyways, I wasn’t worried and just kept going forward, and once I reached the second buoy (500m) I felt almost normal. At the completion of the 750m triangle, we had to stand and go around a cone before continuing for the second lap. Here, I knew I was good to go.

The second 750m went by in the blink of an eye and it was fun swimming hard and confidently in the final 250m!! 1500m33:09

Wearing silicone earplugs seemed to really help (thanks for the tip, Rheannon) because normally when I get out from an open water swim I am SO dizzy and nauseated. I got up the grassy hill to the transition area without issues and saw my friends from Telkwa cheering along the way! Wetsuit removal went smoothly and into my bag I chucked my cap, goggles and earplugs. Quickly dried my feet, threw on my socks, shoes, sunnies and Spibelt, fasted the helmet and un-racked my bike. Wooooo!

I don’t do a ton of cycling, that’s for sure and forty kilometers felt kinda long. It was very tiring, but it was so enjoyable! The bike course is gorgeous. It’s a rolling road and you can see the lake, cows and beautiful countryside. I ate a Clifbar immediately and then stuck with my bottle of Scratch for the rest of the ride for fuel and hydration. Quite a few people passed me on the ride, but I didn’t care; I was already stoked for the run! Sorry to the girl who I told my vagina hurt 😂😂😂😂😂

Coming back to the transition area upon completion of the bike segment is great because it’s downhill. 40k1:35:18

After I re-racked my bike and removed my helmet and belt, I grabbed an Endurance Tap, threw on my hat and got back out there for my favourite part! I don’t have the clip-in cycling shoes so didn’t have to do a shoe change. I’ll get those eventually..

My legs felt better than last year, that’s for sure! After spilling half my Endurance Tap down one leg, I told myself to just get the first kilometer done before making any judgements about how I felt. The first split is ~25m gain (the big hill that was so lovely at the end of the bike), which is brutal coming out of the transition!! I saw Corey on this hill and we agreed it was a cruel joke ahaha. After that, I felt okay and kept chugging forward. I took water at the first two stations and again at the third where there were sponges as well. I stopped for a sec to properly drink a cup of water and get a sponge. This was somewhere in kilometer four and I had to tell myself to suck it up and do this.

I wasted some time in kilometer four…

Erin and Shannon both passed in the opposite direction before I reached the 5k turnaround and it was so uplifting to see my friends!!! I started to feel really good and even though it was hot and sunny, I realized I did not give a F.

I passed a couple of people, including some burly men and it was pumping me up. At the turnaround, I got another sponge and got in the fuckin zone.

I passed more people in the second half of the run and was feeling like a million dollars, running on gumby legs or what Shannon calls meat sticks lololol. My legs were moving fast underneath me and my arms were swinging. I felt great!!! I saw Jessie and Matt too: all Piranhas accounted for!

I caught up to Shannon and her flowing hair and we crossed the finish line together, under three hours!!! What an amazing feeling!!!! My time for the run was actually the fastest women’s run time!! 10k (though my watch shows it a bit short..) : 50:48

reunited with Erin, who got 2nd place in our category and 3rd overall for women!

also reunited with Corey!

Cheryl got 3rd place in her category for the Sprint distance!!

Pippa and Ellen came for an impromptu duathlon! Ellen WON!

fking love this woman

This event is amazing! It’s so well-organized with great communication from the director. There is so much support on the course, especially for the swim and the run. The location is perfect and so is the vibe, it’s relaxed and not hard-core and intimidating. The swag bags are unreal! Afterwards, there is a delicious barbecue, tons of prizes and a beautiful lakefront to hang out at with friends/family while listening to the awards!

I’m so grateful that my friend Breeann encouraged me to take part in my first triathlon here at Tyhee lake just one year ago. I now LOVE triathlon! Seriously, I love it as much as I love running I think! Ironman 2021 (when I’m done school and can train), mark my words!!

I highly encourage you to consider participating in this event next year if you live in the area or will be nearby. There are various distances, including the “try-a-tri” which includes a 300m swim, 10k bike and 3k run.

This was one of my favourite days of my life and I’m thirty-three years old! I think it’s safe to say that the Tyhee Lake Triathlon is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you, Ali and all the volunteers who make this happen!

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PUMP up the JAMmie! – Week 13/16

TWENTY DAYS out. This last week was big and awesome! One thing I very specifically took note of this week is the ability of my body to recover. Lifelong Endurance has guided me to becoming so much stronger, and I am really REALLY looking forward to running 42.2k on July 29th! I haven’t run a marathon in over four months. It’s (almost) time. LOL.

Monday, July 2ndeasy day

10k nice and easy. Didn’t really feel like going, ended up being awesome. Weird 😉

Tuesday, July 3rdhard day

  • 3k easy
  • 8 x [800m ~4:30/km, 2:00 rest]
  • 3k easy (I only did 2)

Average pace for the eight 800s was 4:25/km. I took the rests very easy, walking for at least a minute of the 2:00 each time. I wanted these 800s to be solid because the last time I was at the track I was sick as a dog and it was very discouraging. Awesome workout!!

Later that day, 7k easy before dinner

Wednesday, July 4theasy day

Back on the road! I headed to Telkwa to visit my friends for a few days and then go camping with the tri crew on Friday. This is one of my favourite places on the planet.

10k easy was on the schedule. My friends live at the very top of basically a 10k hill. The final 2.5k to their house is the steepest! Every time I go I envision myself being able to run back up slowly but consistently and it never happens. I did intervals of 200m jog, 100m walk for the final 2.5k of this run.

Thursday, July 5threst day!

Zero exercising today! My quad was sore from the track on Tuesday and then the pounding downhill on Wednesday, so I was glad to take it easy! Plus, 38km was on schedule for the following day!

Friday, July 6thlong run day

Thirty-eight kilometers!!! This was the kind of run that didn’t feel AMAZING but also wasn’t anything to complain about. I wasn’t able to pick up the pace in the last 8k, which was the plan “if feeling good” but I was consistent and my fueling was awesome.

After food, coffee, nap and more visiting, I headed down to the Tyhee Lake campsite.

Saturday, July 7theasy day

6.5k easy along the triathlon run course! I considered skipping this run…we were on our feet all day long at the farmers’ market and exploring around downtown Smithers, and then Erin, Corey and myself went for a mini-swim to test the temperature of the lake. Adding on a run seemed like so much work, but I went for it. The beginning felt terrible! My quad felt like it had a rock hard knot in it on the left, and my left ankle was hurting too. But things improved and as always I was very happy to have gotten it done and stuck to my schedule.

Then it was dinner time with the tri crew (now called the Piranhas) and very early to bed!! Wooooo!!!!

Sunday, July 8thhard day! Tyhee Lake Triathlon!

Okay. Triathlon is the BEST. You know how I am obsessed with marathons? I might be MORE obsessed with triathlon. I’ll write a full review of this race because it’s so great people need to know more about it, but in summary…

Swim: despite having gotten into the water pre-race and practicing some breathing and warming up, I couldn’t calm the F down for the first 500m. It was frustrating. I’ve worked so hard on my swim! At the second buoy, I started to pull myself together over the next 250m. The second loop was AWESOME and went by in the blink of an eye.

Bike: great! I am not an experienced cyclist and didn’t train nearly enough. This was hard, but bike riding is soooo fun! I worked as hard as I could and enjoyed myself. Forty kilometers felt long!

Run: started amazing, faded quite a bit and had some negative thoughts, told them to STFU, and then smashed the second half. I passed a lot of people! AND it was hot out and I didn’t even notice. Stoked on this run overall!

my girl Erin here got second place!

Such an amazing way to cap off the week! A super fun and exciting full-body workout that ended with running on very tired legs – excellent practice for the marathon! Such a positive racing experience with my friends.

SUMMARY

WEEKLY MILEAGE:  95km

INJURIES/PRE-HAB?  quad was concerning me but it seems to have loosened up and isn’t irritated anymore!

SLEEP?  fine

NUTRITION BRAGS?  Um Skratch Labs powder has now served me well three times during hard and/or long workouts. My fueling on the 38k and during the tri was really good!

CURRENTLY READING:  probably going to listen to How Bad Do You Want It on repeat until the marathon now..

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER(S):  the triathlon! Specifically the last 5km! Also putting 38k on these legs just two days before.

NEXT RACE:  Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon. Holy shit.

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