Kelowna ITU

Considering I leave for race number 16 in two days I figured I should probably post about last Sunday.

I made it to Kelowna on Friday evening, unfortunately after the race meeting that I was supposed to attend. The consequence of this being that rather than taking my spot as #14 in the line which is based on rankings, I was able to choose my position on the beach second to last. (One girl unfortunately was even later getting in Friday than I was).

My adorable home-stay Liz picked me up from the airport, made sure I got my packet and was briefed by the officials and fed me. Meeting Liz was the highlight of my trip to Kelowna. She is an amazing woman and thank you to fellow pro triathlete Sam Holmes for introducing us! Liz started running at age 63, she is now 75. She has qualified for Boston in her age group multiple times and runs a 4 hour marathon! At 75! At the end of this month she is going to Disney Land to do another one. Saturday morning when I was sleeping in she went and ran an easy 21k to start her day. I really could not have asked for a sweeter person to host me. Liz was so wonderful, she made my race as stress free as she possibly could even demanding to carry my transition bag post race. Which for those of you who do triathlon knows it can get pretty heavy when you have five of everything just in case. Kelowna was a beautiful little town and I loved getting a tour with Liz and enjoying her orchard and house on the hill. I really hope that I can stay with her again next year. She is an inspiration and after just a weekend I can say that I truly admire her.

Now my actual race went pretty well. I am definitely still learning how to race smarter and smarter. I came out of the water the tail end of the chase pack. I had worked my way in front of two girls who I knew to be strong cyclists hoping to be on my bike and in my shoes by the time they caught me. Well apparently I swam far enough ahead and biked hard enough out that they never did catch me, so it was a long lonely bike ride for me. Not ideal when you are in a draft legal race. One Canadian girl caught me the last quarter of the race and together we put pulled in another solo girl in front of us. We all entered T2 about the same time, but I got my shoes on and was out of there. After I put some distance between us within the first mile I couldn’t see anyone ahead of me and I wasn’t feeling the pressure of the girls behind me.

It was so tempting to just back off. I was at the point in my race where I was going to hold my position no matter what.

The conversation in my head went something like this:

Bad Zara-“Ow, ow, ow, it hurts, I’m tired. Why are you going so fast?? you aren’t going to get a better place.”

Good Zara-“SO WHAT!!?? Remember your goal for yourself this race? A sub 19 min 5k?? What if you went 19:01 or even a 19 flat because you ‘backed off’. You’re going to be so mad at yourself!!”

Bad Zara- “Yes but ow, ow, ow!”

Good Zara- “Shut up Legs! I want a PR. You are already in the race so you might as well suck it up and run your little tushie to that finish line as fast as you can.”

Bad Zara- “Dang it. Okay. Let’s do this!”

There is always a mental battle and sometimes it’s right smack dab in the middle of the race. I just try to remind myself that I have worked for this, I am more than capable of acheiving my goals and gosh darn it, I just plain love what I do.

I PR’ed my overall sprint time and set a new PR for my 5k…I ran a 18:56. Glad I didn’t back off.

Next race is this Sunday, the Trifest for MS in Bentonville, Arkansas.



One thought on “Kelowna ITU

  1. Rachel Hendrix says:

    Amazing! Your work and dedication are paying off! We’ll have to catch up at Trifest for MS! I’ll be racing the sprint on Saturday.

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