What a GREAT day for a tria. Warm early morning temps and very light winds, great volunteer and a superbly run race, as always.
I arrived at the park at 6:30 and carried all my gear to the T area, including a wind trainer to spin a little before the race. I was not able to do this, after taking a pit at the porta-pots took longer than anticipated (that JavAAAHHH, does it magic). By the time I got back to my gear, volunteers were SCREAMING to clear the T area, as the 1st wave was coming in off the swim. I didn't even have my wheels or bike shoes on my bike yet. Completed that gear prep then took wetsuit and swim paraphernalia to the swim start (hurry up and wait for another 1hr 20mins).
When wave 12 FINALLY got off, I actually felt very strong in the water. I have always had good navigation on the swim course and swim very straight to the farthest buoy I can see in line.
Trying to take advantage of some drafting was not as good as I had hoped, after reading all the posts about the benefits. On the swim leg toward the damn, I followed a swimmer who was going off-course, so I discontinued. Then on the way back, picked up a female in the 12 th wave, but again, she was zig-zagging. I felt as though I had a good rhythm, with power coming from "whipping" my hips. The swim felt like it did not take long, and thought I might break 27min. I was STUNNED and BUMMED when I saw 30min+.
Irregardless, I started sprinting to my bike, while pealing off my full wetsuit. Getting to my bike, the wetsuit was being particularly difficult around my wrists and ankles, costing an addional 1min. from last year. I plan to take my wetsuit to a scuba shop to have zippers installed!!!
Got on the helmet, sunglasses, and sprinted to bike start with my shoes already in the pedals. Start the bike with my feet on the shoes, and get going until a slight down hill and get 1 foot in the shoes after the other. I have seen pros at least get 1 foot in as they mount the bike and need to practice this.
Having biked the course a few times on training ride REALLY helps knowing where to shift and where to accelerate down hills without braking. Early on the bike course, saw a few other Clydesdales over 40 and tried to stay with them. They were WARREN FRICK and PATRICK A DICKRIEDE and I tried to keep with Warren and Patrick and I were going back and forth. I get my feet out of my shoes just as we come into the park again. The 3 of us came in T2 at about the same time and out on the run together.
Warren and I ran the first 2 miles in close proximity, then he took off and I ran a lot harder and had a better run from last year by trying to keep him in sight. Also, because I was wearing a heart rate monitor, was able to push a little harder knowing that I had more to give.
The course was great, weather perfect, and no bike crashes or mechanical difficulties. Got a GREAT post-race massage, which allowed me to run 5 mi today. Just no metal, award or food at the finish.