Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Soooooo that happened... again, no idea how…
I had a hard time adjusting to the jet lag on this trip and felt a bit sluggish all week. I slept for 13 hours the night before the race and woke up still feeling sleepy. My legs were aching on the ride over to the course and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed! I felt surprisingly okay on the run and swim warm up, so I tried to convince myself that maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.

I had my highest start number ever for a WCS race, 18, so I was close to the right side and had a straight line right to the first buoy. I got a big knock to the face in the first 100 meters and one goggle immediately filled with water. My contact lens fell out and I panicked for a few seconds but was thankful that I still had one good eye to see out of. I put my head down, got beat up as usual going around the turn, and came out at the tail end of a big group of girls. My second lap was great and I managed to get right back into the front. It was pretty spread out by this point so I was able to actually swim, instead of constantly getting whacked and pulled under. I was super relieved when I got on my bike with the leaders. The bike course was much more technical and hilly than last year, going through a big tunnel and over some cobblestone sections. I surprised myself by staying at the front for the whole ride. Apparently there were 22 girls in the front pack but I only ever saw about 10 of them! There was a major break-away in the men’s race the day before and I didn’t want to get left behind if the same thing happened in our race. It was one of the more challenging rides that I’ve done so I tried to spin my legs out a bit on the last lap to get ready for the run. My second transition was definitely better than London, still not great, but I was able to join the lead group within about a minute. Andrea majorly picked up the pace at the end of the 2nd lap and I really thought that I was going to get dropped, but I hung on for a few minutes hoping that it might settle down again. Just Lisa, Andrea and I were left at the front for the last 2 laps. I made sure that I was leading going around all the 180 turns and took a few fast strides after each one to see if I could make a gap like I did in London. Ha.. not this time, we were all relentless and I was pretty much running at max effort for the last 5k.

I thought briefly to myself “wouldn’t that be crazy if I won?? Wait, that’s not happening, I’m completely dying and there’s no way I can sprint right now…” but SOMEHOW I managed to find another gear in the last 300. I didn’t look back and had no idea if the girls were right behind me. I expected them to fly by on the blue carpet but I gave everything I had and SOMEHOW got to the line first. I was thrilled with my result but had a hard time taking in what just happened because I was so absolutely exhausted, nauseous and half blind!

I have to give a big thank-you to Patrick, who spent a whole week in Europe with me, leaving a big group of his athletes behind in Vic. I know I’m not the most pleasant person to be around before races so I really appreciate him making the trip with me, it made everything so much easier.

Kelowna is up next weekend, then Budapest, then back to school! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to go back to school and live at home again. It’s been a great season in Vic but I’m ready to go back to the laundry service, dinner on the table, fridge stocked kind of life :) ..

Thanks so much for the support everyone!



Tich said...

Yay, Yay. Yay!
Were so very very happy for you. And so very very proud. And Really excited to hear your excited to come back to school. See you soon!
Lindsay and Paul
PS awesome race report!

Kelownagurl said...

Great race report Paula - we're all very proud of you! Looking forward to seeing you race in Kelowna again!

Erin Schinkel said...

Great race Report Paula, congrats again and all the best this weekend in Kelowna!

Gregwh said...

Well done on your National Title. It's gonna be great watching you and Kristen compete in the future. What an advantage that could be with both of you on top of your game.