I woke up once the entire night, 2 minutes before the alarm went off. Pretty much a miracle. The morning went like clockwork.
I arrived to the race site a few minutes after my arch rival/good friend. The line was short and there bugs everywhere. Luckily they mostly disappeared before T1. I set up my gear and everything was uneventful. I had four goals going into the race.
1. Beat Matt (I beat him by less than two minutes at Cascade)
2. Improve my T1 (it was 4:00 at Cascade)
3. Set a PR for the swim
4. Run under a 9:20/mile pace
The start of the swim was different. Everyone spread out over a really wide distance. When I jumped in I got a little water in my goggles and it couldn't get it out. It was a drop or two but kinda threw me before the swim. I tried a new approach at the beginning of the swim. I decided not to sprint for the first couple hundred meters. I think everyone else took the same approach and the beginning went well.
I don't think I have ever felt more comfortable in the open water (Thanks Gunpowder and Sandy Point) My stroke was perfect, my breathing was right on track and glided through the water. This is hands down the best I have ever swam in my life.
Here are my gripes about the swim
- I kept getting hit by this one person in a pink cap who was trying to draft.
- Tons of grass at the 2nd-3rd turn
- My swim cap fell off twice towards the end of the race (right before and after 3rd turn)
All these things probably accounted for a loss in less than 15 seconds. What an incredible swim.
Swim + run to T1: 23:16
GOAL 3: Accomplished.
+8:15 ahead of Matt
I spent so much time going over in my head how I would approach T1. 4 minutes from the last race was unacceptable. I decided that I would sit on my tail to take off my wetsuit, put my socks and bike shoes on. Everything at T1 went off without a hitch
GOAL 2: Accomplished
+1:15 ahead of Matt
I started the bike and I was definitely fatigued from the swim. It took a good 3-4 miles to get my bike legs churning. The ride was very pretty uneventful. Every-time I started to feel tired I just re-set at 90 rpm and recovered well. I maxed out on the downhills at 41 MPH and kept a pretty good cadence. It was a solid bike ride, and I kept smiling at my 22 minute swim.
Bike: 136:30 / 27 miles
+:05 of Matt
+:04 of Matt
My buddy's (Matt) strong point is the run. I figured that I would have in between 8-10 minutes head start on the run.
On Thursday afternoon, the doctor cleared me to run. I had a broken tibia that I wasn't sure was healed. I was saving up for the race, and this was my first run in over 3 weeks.
All week my buddy was telling me that he would cut my lead in the swim by 5 minutes on the bike. I wasn't sure he could do that but, nonetheless the mental tricks worked.
The run was awful. I couldn't get an accurate gauge of my splits and I was cramping up in my quads. I pushed through and kept on churning out the best I could. Every stride I worried that my buddy was right behind me.
I figured in all honestly we would meet when I was 3 and he was at mile 2. We met more like when I was at 2.9 and he was at 3.1. I figured I had somewhere around 6 minutes on him.
Unfortunately, the finish was uneventful. He bonked, around mile 3, and I beat him by 12 minutes.
All in all the race was great. I need to get back into running and hopefully will drop my mile time back to the 9ish range.