And I didn’t even have to fly to Rio to stand on a podium

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This past Sunday I competed under blue skies and 30⁰ C temperatures in the 34th Annual Kelowna Apple Triathlon. The Apple Triathlon has been an icon since 1983; it was Simon Whitfield’s first Olympic distance race in 1992 and one of Paula Findlay’s favourite local races she competed in for 5 years in a row. I, however, am not Simon Whitfield, nor am I Paula Findlay. I am Lauren Babineau. And I didn’t even have to fly to Rio to stand on a podium.

Crackers. Kelowna’s a hot one! However I specifically prepared for the heat before heading into this race.

2 Weeks Out:    My coach included some challenging training sessions in the heat to help my adaptation.

2 Days Out:         I increased my daily hydration, included electrolyte tablets, made an effort to snack on more salty foods, and constantly ask “pass the salt please”.

[SWIM]

Wetsuit use is forbidden at 20⁰ C and above. Water temperature was 24⁰ C. So this year was a NON-wetsuit swim for us. Drats. Wetsuits may be hot…but they are fast.

Oh well. I’ve got this.

I had a commendable swim. Caught the feet of a few strong swimmers, and rode that draft!

Came out of the water in 8th place.

Laughed at sign in the crowd that read “SMILE. If you peed in the swim.”

[BIKE]

Smooth transition. I put the fun between my legs and pedaled out onto a great course. I had 4 laps ahead of me. Which included a solid 10% grade climb on each of those laps. Right on. I love a challenging bike course with hills. Weeds out the herd.

Came off the bike in 1st place.

[RUN]

I had a RUNderful run. I found a groove and stuck with it. I threw ice water over my head and down my neck at every aid station. (Great move). I didn’t have my fastest 10K…but it was hot day. I led from start to finish, and clocked just over 40 minutes. Not bad. Not bad.

I ran to the finish line with energy. My feet were sandy, my hair was messy, and my eyes were bright. My victory for the day successfully represented a lot of small, consistent things I do…that added up to something great.

This was a ‘B’ race for me. It served as comparable conditions for competing in Cozumel at the World Triathlon Championships this September. My ‘A’ race for this year. Ai yi yi!...

…But this last race helped me put some confidence pants on heading into the World Championships. I’m not calling this a dream. I’m calling it a plan.

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