Looking back: Yuliana’s 2016 racing season

I can not believe that stores other than Costco are starting to pull out their Christmas specials. Winter tires are getting installed on the cars and bikes. Sleeves and hats are coming out. Spin classes are filling up at every gym. Summer is officially over. As we are heading into the last big adventure of 2016, I am ready to look back at this year triathlon season.

Guelph Lake I – Try-a-Tri

Guelph Lake I Try-a-Tri MedalIt started off my season, as a big family event, where both of my in-laws were competing against me. Since they are much fitter than me, they won as it was expected. I, once again, survived and decided that it was the time to move up in distance. Turns out, I can suffer for a very long time, but I am not going any faster, no matter how far the finish l ine is. In a way, I was done with the Try-a-Tri stage of my triathlon “career”.

I also decided that it was time to get more comfortable on the bike. I still skipped few brick workouts, but I convinced myself to stay clipped in on every hill and even mastered the skill of not stopping every time I need a sip of water.

I think I finished 15th in my age group, but there were few people behind me. I guess I can be considered average.

Iron Girl Canada – Sprint Distance

Iron Gil Canada Sprint Triathlon-medalBy August it was the right time for me to try on a “big girl race” and I headed off to Grimsby. Still worried that I might not finish it, I went through every leg of the race and realised that maybe I could have tried harder. Crossing the finish line of the sprint triathlon gave me confidence and motivation. Next year I will do much better.

I was comfortable on the swim, and did not need to touch the bottom at all. I did want it to be over by the time I hit the shore, but mostly because I was bored and not tired. I was very comfortable on the bike, and knew that I could run faster. I think this was a great race to remind me that I can do anything, if I just try hard enough.

I ended up somewhere in the first 50 girls of my age. And next year I am planning to go back and beat few of them. Also, now I am confident that I want to continue competing in this distance.

Mud Hero – 6 km Obstacle Run

Mud Hero Obstacle Race MedalThis was a race I never had any interest in doing, but it is exactly how I pictured my cousin’s bachelorette party ever since she met her now-husband. Funny enough, the bride managed to hurt herself few days prior, and we had to get Alex to take her place. The only part of it I enjoyed was the run between the obstacles, but I was one of those experiences: you hear all the buzz around it, do it and never think about it again.

It gave us a reason to spend a weekend camping and, if my cousin was a bit more co-operative (I am not seriously holding any grudges against her and glad that she recovered well), we could have great “girls time” around the campfire. But after all, I will stick to the triathlons.

Next season plans

Looking back at it, it was a great season. Realising that I only did 3 races, I thought to myself: “That’s it? Are you sure you did not forget anything?” Next year I am hoping to do few more, and do much better. I am working on actually learning to swim, run and hoping to find some time in Alex’s schedule to bike with me outside of scheduled through the club brick workouts.

I will probably have some help with the swim, as just going to the pool twice a week doesn’t seem to make me figure out the whole freestyle thing (or as I call it, “swimming like a human being”). I did start following the Active.com’s “Couch to 5K” plan for the run and hoping to be able to run the sprint distance’s last leg without stopping by the New Year (so far I am walking even during the Try-a-Tri). And for the bike, it might be a bit of an uphill battle, as I still refuse to go fast.

The full season schedule will probably come soon, as we need to make few tweaks and last minute changes to eliminate any conflicts with Alex’s much more competitive plan. The only thing I can say for sure now, is that I am definitely hooked on this triathlon thing.

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