My last triathlon of the year was yesterday. It was sad to see the season come to an end, but at the same time it capped off what has been a rewarding and successful season. Here's how it all went down.:
I got into woo town the night before for the expo and bike check in. I'm still not sure about the whole body marking the night before thing. The number on my arm was well faded by morning and gone by the end of the race. I spent the rest of the night yelling/cheering at the tv as Iowa knocked off Penn State. I was so jazzed after the win that I had troubling falling asleep. On the bright side trouble sleeping due to race nerves is a non issue.
A little on the chilly side race day morning, but it seemed like it was going to warm up so I tried not to think about it. Transition set up is getting routine.
None to speak of. I really didn't feel like hopping in the water and back out to freeze in the cold air and breeze. I did chat a little, but I wasn't planning on used my jaw muscles too much in the race, except for a little cheering, so I don't think that counts.
Well, last tri of the year. No need to hold anything back. I stayed to the right early and that seemed to alleviate the congestion. I found a decent stroke and just went about my business. We were the first wave to start after the elites so I didn't have to worry about navigating around slower swimmers (yes, I do occasionally pass people in the water). About 2/3s of the way to the turnaround I passed one guy in my wave that had gassed. After that I was by myself until the end, with a person or two from the wave behind me getting by. Boring really.
The nice thing about this out and back course (aside from being really long) was that they had a rope between 3 big buoys and attached to the rope were a bunch of noodles. I realized early on that every time I breathed to my left I would catch a glimpse of the bright flotation devices and sight that way, instead of looking forward into the glaring sun. Sweet! So I switched it up and breathed every four strokes so I was always looking to the left. Soon enough I was out of the water and up the boat ramp.
What would I do differently?: Not much. I was hoping for 30 minutes or better, but with the lack of emphasis on swim training lately I wasn't too disappointed.
Time: 00:31:02 | 1760.72 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
50/107 overall, 7/10 age group
So I mosey into T1, have a seat on the ground, prop up my feet, and open up a good book.
No, I really didn't do that but I feel I could have with the amount of time I spent in here. My dang wetsuit zipper stuck. I wrestled with it from the moment I got out of the water until I was standing helplessly at my bike. It came down about 3 inches and just stuck. Crap! Yank! Nothing. Frick! Yank! Nothing. Frick! I reach back there. There doesn't seem to be any neoprene stuck in there. Try it one more time. Yank! Nothing. Frack! Okay, time to reverse the tracks. Up again, and back down. Woohoo! I'm free! There was a nice little cheer from the crowd behind me. As I struggled out of my wetsuit I smiled and thanked them. Okay. Glasses, helmet, shoes, let's ride!
What would I do differently?: I usually lube up my wetsuit zipper with a little zipper lube before each race and that will make it come off quicker than a prom dress. Forgot that this time and it had been a month and a half since the last tri. So, when in doubt, use more lube.
I'm always happy to get on the bike after the swim, even more so this time around after the T1 debacle. I passed a few people heading out of the park and once we hit the roads I settled into a pace that was comfortably hard. No reason to go totally balls to the wall with the marathon next weekend. Just keep that in mind. Okay, so maybe there was one ball on the wall.
This course was flat, flat, flat and felt fast, fast, fast. I think we went over a couple of overpasses but I don't even think those could qualify as real hills. One section small section was under construction and wow, that was a rough little patch. It was like our mini little block's worth of Paris-Roubaix. Cool! Not.
I successfully navigated the corner that I crashed at last year so that was a bonus. Other than that, things were pretty uneventful. I didn't get passed and I passed a lot. Standard.
What would I do differently?: Nothing. After a less than stellar bike split at Pigman last month I had an underlying fear that I had lost some bike speed somehow. Stupid irrational fear, take that!
Time: 00:58:08 | 22 miles | 22.71 mile/hr
14/107 OA, 3/10 AG
Flying dismount. In and out. Quick stuff.
What would you do differently?: Nada
I gave a quick wave and smile to my parents on my way out and started turning the legs over. There were 2 guys up ahead not to far at the start. Okay boys, you're carrot #1. Ran them down in the first half mile. Legs are a feeling GOOD. All that run training does pay off I guess. I ran past the MXC club member with the speakers on his bike trailer and cowbell in hand. That made me smile. Soon enough I'm on the park trail that is nicely shaded. I love this run course. So much shade and quite flat.
Saw Noz before the turnaround and after a high five and a woot I did some math and figured there would be no catching him. He wasn't audibly swearing so I figured his toe was okay. That was good to see. After that I continued to pick people off. Once back on the roads I saw another guy up ahead running at a good click. The final mile and a half I tried to catch him and got dang close at the end. He heard the footsteps though and turned it up a notch. I had burned a few matches the last mile trying to catch him and couldn't close the gap.
What would I do differently?: Nothing. Smoked it. I wish they would add the extra 0.2 miles to make it a 10k. I would have crushed my PR.
Time: 00:40:07 | 06 miles | 06m 41s min/mile
23/107 OA, 6/10 AG
Total Time = 2h 11m 29s
Overall Rank = 27/107
Age Group Rank = 6/10
Warm down: Walk, gatorade, food, chat.
What limited my ability to perform faster: Residual swim and bike fitness carried me through. Trying to save a little somethin, somethin for the mary (and possible BQ attempt next weekend).
10 minute improvement over last years time! Woot! It helps when you don't suck at swimming, crash your bike, or have a foot injury. Awesome organization. Great race. An event like this should attract many more people than it does. Hopefully it keeps growing. It looks like they're adding a sprint distance next year too so maybe that will help. I'll be back. 2 weeks is enough to recover from IMMOO, right?