400 meter pool swim - 14 mile bike - 4 mile run
Results (based on chip time):
Swim 7m29s (pace 1:52m/100m) OA 21/92 AG 1/4
Bike 46m03s (speed 18.2 mph) OA 43/92 AG 1/4
Run 40m22s (pace 10:06 min per mile) OA 69/92 AG 2/4
TOTAL 1h 36m 24s OA 50/92 AG 1/4
Leading up to this race, I was a nervous wreck several times. Of course, I know that pre-race jitters are completely irrational and I still have them... Nothing I can do about it. So it came as quite a surprise to me that I slept like a rock the night before the race. Last year, the night before my first triathlon I was more awake than asleep and when I was asleep, I had horrible nightmares about missing the start and getting a flat on the bike... The works! This time around... Nothing! Am I finally getting used to this racing stuff??
The alarm woke us up at 4.30am and by 5.00am we were in the car and on our way. Of course we packed our stuff the night before. There is just so much crap to take along for a triathlon, I wouldn't dare packing in the morning. Once we were at the Middle Tyger Y (MTY), Terry had still pick up his package and we started setting up transition.
All the pre registered participants were seeded based on the estimated swim time on the registration. With my 6m 50s estimated, I had the start number 19. Right away I thought that maybe was a little too much of a stretch, but hoped that this way, I would be able to get a good draft. Well that didn't happen, since we started one at a time this year with a 10 second gap between each athlete. I was never able to catch up with the starters ahead of me. But somewhere along the way I actually passed somebody and I never got passed which is mostly due to the fact that after me, they had a minute break before letting the next person into the pool. Several people complimented me later on that I looked good in the pool swimming, but it sure didn't feel that great. With swimming, I have a hard time estimating my pace, so I really don't even know, if I went out too fast or what exactly happened. I was glad, when I finally was done and on the way to transition. Even though I wasn't able to do my 6m 50 s goal, I came in overall rank 21 and was seeded as number 19, so I guess, I was pretty much were I was supposed to be. Also, I was almost one minute faster this year compared to last year.
Transition number one was smooth and uneventful.
On the bike I thought to myself... Yeah that's right... I forgot how it feels when you push and push for 14 miles. No cruising on this ship! Something I really never practice during training and that I have to train more! I didn't use my Garmin for the race, so I didn't know what kind of speed that I was making, but I did wear a regular stop watch and looked at it at the turnaround point and thought to myself that this is a little slower than last year and that I need to push some more. On the way out, I was able to pass three girls and only got passed by one guy. So far so good. Just at the turnaround, several guys caught up with me and two or three girls. You win some, you loose some. I still felt like I didn't leave much out there on the bike at that moment, but later on I sure questioned it especially because I ended up being over one minute slower than last year. Bummer! But aside from the slower time that I made on the bike, the even bigger regret now is that I (once again) forgot to drink properly. And after thinking about the race in general, I am suspecting now that the failed nutrition on the bike set me up for the bad run that I had. Getting of the bike, I was still positive that I will be able to beat last year's time especially since my running has been going really well lately.
Transition number two was smooth sailing once again. I was contemplating about wearing socks but decided against it.
By the time I started my run the temps were in the 70's with 90% humidity. Leaving transition for the run I didn't feel that great. I felt wobbly and was breathing heavily. No worries I thought, give it five minutes and the first half mile of the run course (which is conveniently downhill) and things will start to feel better. At the bottom of the hill since still felt as crappy as before and since I felt a little sick, I didn't want to chance it and passed the aid station without picking up water.... The next mistake. A little while after that, I started walking for the first time and from then on had several walking breaks throughout the course. Every time I started back running, the left side of my torso started cramping and I just couldn't shake this even with stretching. The second time I passed the aid station I once again didn't take anything and of course kept on doing my run/walk thing and got passed by the dozen. The last time I passed the aid station, I finally picked up a cup of water and had a couple of sips and poured the remainders over my back. That felt really good and I was actually able to run most of the last 0.6 miles. I can honestly say that I never walked this much in a four mile run and I am mad at myself that I didn't pick up water and/or Gatorade right away which would have possibility improved my run.
Needless to say that with this run performance, I wasn't able to beat my time from last year. I was really surprised that to find out that I still was able to get first in my age group and collect my first prize money (a $20 gift certificate form insideoutsports).
Right after the race, I really questioned my decision of wanting to start at the international distance in August, but in the meantime I pushed this self doubt aside and tried to focus on the lessons that I learned from yesterday's race. The top of the list makes "improvement of race nutrition on the bike", followed by "get into the pain cave on training rides, so you won't be surprised by it coming race day" and the final thought as of now "put on socks for the run, because 5 seconds in transition is not worth getting blisters"!
Sorry that I don't have more pictures from yesterday. If I get some more pictures, I will post them here later!