I have so much exciting news – but first a little race update. Last week, I raced the Subaru Muskoka Chase – this is the Muskoka classic – 2 km swim, 55 km bike, 15 km run – where the women start first – 18 minutes ahead of the men and the first person across the line is the winner. The best news is that I WAS RACING!! Last year, I watched the Chase and I could not even run 20 minutes pain free, but this year, I was ready to go!!
The plan, according to Dave, was to ‘smash’ the bike and I ‘smashed’ it as much as my slow twitch Ironman fibres could ‘smash’, but the reality is that this 3 hour event is really a 3 hour sprint and every year I wish the distance was doubled so I could really use my ‘smash’!
It was a lonely swim with only 5 pro women. It was essentially a 2 km time trial since Jenn Coombs was way off the front. So far, the ‘smashing it’ was really not quite working. Onto the bike, I rode as hard as I could and my SRM was giving me some great feedback – I was in the ‘hard as I could’ range. The new Muskoka course is pretty technical for a ‘safety first’ athlete like myself, so I lost some time on the curvy bits but I kept right side up and got off the bike as the 3rd woman and with a pretty decent bike split considering my body would have enjoyed another 125 km!!! The exciting part was that I got off the bike with Sean Bechtel – the first man – and I was determined to stay with him. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to stay with me and he gradually pulled away in pursuit of the leading women.
I ran as hard as I could – not my usual run split but pain free and pretty quick considering my return to tempo running began at the Florida 70.3 in May. Meanwhile, the lead woman, Cynthia, was having the race of her life and she was challenging the men. But flying under the radar, Wolfgang Guembel closed with the fastest run of the day to win the Chase. We were all within 2 minutes of each other with Cynthia in 2nd, Sean in 3rd , me in 4th and Nigel Gray in 5th.
Someone asked me after the race if I was happy with my race. I said ‘yes’ and they questioned it. You see – all we can do is our best and there was not one second out there that I wasn’t smashing it the best I could with the little fast twitch fibers that I have in this Ironman body!! Every week, I am getting faster and I am so far ahead of last year – so I am excited, happy and pleased to be able to mix it up with the short course athletes!! And that is just going to make me faster at Subaru Ironman Canada in August and at the Hawaii Ironman.
I followed up the excitement of the Subaru Muskoka Chase with some great training – some awesome swim workouts with Dorado, hilly riding and speedy run sessions. The key for me will be to stay healthy and thanks to my support crew – Dr. Erin Boyton, Dr. Galea, Dr. Scapaticci and Steve Hill – I am doing pretty well!
Meanwhile, my mom and dad bought the new 2009 Subaru Forester last week! For the past 60 years, my dad has been a North American car guy, but we won him over to the Japanese!! Now my dad has a nicer Subaru than I do! Who says a grown daughter can’t still borrow daddy’s car???
And finally, this week we are busy preparing for our first Subaru Success Camp in Muskoka. We always have a blast at our camps and this one is special since it is taking place at Deerhurst on the Subaru Muskoka 70.3 course – a course which is really gorgeous. The physical part is always a challenge but the group setting will make it much easier for everyone. The highlight will be the social interactions and the knowledge sharing. Our camp is very grateful for the support of Subaru, TriSport, Powerbar, Saucony, Fuelbelt, 2XU, Red Bull, Zone Fish Oil products and Deerhurst Resort.
My next race will be a 70.3 event in July – stay tuned!!