Busy day today, so I will try and keep it short. The basics are: car under repair, PR at Tri Del Sol, and trip across the state. The weekend started off with what I thought would be a quick auto repair. Unfortunately, it has turned into much more. Nothing too serious, but a couple of other unexpected repairs popped up as I was working on the initial issue. So, I spent most of Friday evening working on the problem, staying up later than I had anticipated which led to less sleep than I had wanted for the race on Saturday.
5:00 AM Saturday morning came much faster than I anticipated. I even gave myself an extra 15 minutes sleep after the alarm first went off – it still wasn’t enough. Thankfully I had packed most of my gear the night before, so all I had to load up was my bike. We headed out to Middleville and I got all situated in the the transition area. The bike racks were very poorly labeled with the end of the racks having one set of numbers, and then the middle of the racks having a second set of numbers. My number, 331, was in the middle of rack which took a while to find because all you could see from the isle was the end numbers. It made it look like they just skipped a bunch of numbers when in fact you had to walk down each row to see if your number was down there. It wasn’t just my lack of sleep that made this difficult to comprehend – I helped two other people who were confused by the situation.
We headed down to the swim start early because I got setup and marked quickly. Standing around, it was quite chilly for July; probably low to mid 60’s. There were a few people warming up in water, but I was hesitant to get in for fear of being even colder standing around wet. When we actually did get it the water, it was pleasantly warm. Warmer than the air temperature even.
I had one of my best swims ever. I was out of the water in 13:26. Compare to 16:43 last year, this is a huge improvement. While swimming, I knew I was in good shape. I was staying very close to the buoys and wasn’t having to correct my course at all. I was even able to draft off of a couple other swimmers during portions. I have always heard that drafting on the swim is very helpful, but have never been confident or skilled enough in my ability to stay directly behind someone. The only mishap I had on the swim was that I almost missed the turn. The last buoy for the turn snuck up on me quickly and didn’t notice it until I saw the other swimmers swimming away from me. I also did notice that my arms seemed a bit tired at the beginning of the swim. However, I attribute this to the 2800 yards I did in the pool more than anything. It is one of the first times I have done swim workouts on back to back days.
The first transition went very smoothly. No problems getting out of the wetsuit and getting into my bike gear. The only mishap I had was that my race number tore as I was putting it on so I had to deal with a flapping race number the whole time.
I improved on the bike portion of the race as well this year. I took a couple minutes off my time and ended up with almost a 1mph pace increase over last year. There wasn’t much wind on the course which was a plus. However, I forgot how hilly the course was and they took a lot out of me.
Nothing much eventful happened on the bike. It was a fairly basic out and back course. One of the nice aspects of this race is that the women start before the men, so during the bike, I was able to pace other bikers rather than just get passed by other people. After the first half of the race I pretty much maintained the same position. I battled back and forth with a couple different people which get kept things interesting.
The second transition didn’t quite go as smoothly as the first. Because of the poorly labeled racks, I ran down the wrong row and had to back track to re-rack my bike. However, after I got to the right rack, it was a quick change to my running shoes and off on the run.
Again, just like last week, my hamstrings/gluts were killing me at the very beginning of the run. However, this time, I was determined to run through the pain. Thankfully, the pain subsided much earlier than last week and I was back to full strength after about a half mile. I meant to hit the split button on my watch during the run, but I missed the first mile, so I gave up on that idea. In the end, I finished with a sub 8:00 minute mile pace on the run which I was very happy with.
Overall, I am very happy with my performance. I ended up with a 7 minute PR over last year which is nothing to complain about. I am most happy with my swim performance and run performance. I’m happy that my bike improved over last year, however, I would really like to get my pace up to 21mph consistently.
Now, I get some time off next weekend before Steelhead in 2 weeks. I’m really not expecting anything earth shattering at Steelhead; just to finish at this point.
|Age Group Place:||12/21|
|Run Pace:||7:44 min/mile|