Had my 1 endurolyte and a peanut butter sandwich, my standard race-morning breakfast, and then drove downtown from Silver Spring in the rain. Part of Rock Creek parkway was closed for the race, so I took 16th to Blagden to rock creek parkway for one block, then headed down Connecticut from Porter, and finally straight across on 21st or 22nd street (I was too tired to remember). Parked on Virginia Ave – my favorite place to park for DC races on Sundays.
This summer I sought the help of a swimming coach. I attended a Clay Britt training session and also got help from Leigh Ann Caldwell, a swimming coach for a club in DC. I learned that I was over-rotating my shoulders and dropping my elbow during my stroke. I only had about 3-4 weeks to take some corrective measures, but my swim improved about 3-4 minutes over my 2 other olympic distance races. In addition, the course was very well marked, and while there were plenty of other swimmers in the water, I never felt completely surrounded. The new Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit was awesome. I felt really well balanced in the water and it was a bit more flexible than the 2XU I had before.
There was quite a jog from the water to the transition area. I wasted what seemed like an eternity hunting around for my bike, even though it probably was no more than 10 seconds extra.
The day before race-day probably isn’t the best time to inspect your bike for problems. I discovered a broken spoke on my back wheel. It was an old-but-light bontrager race-x-light wheel that I loved. I had to dig out a vintage ’97 mavic helium wheel, true it, and then hope the 10-speed cassette would fit. Somehow it all worked out, and I had a nice time on the bike course. Again, lots of people, including one rider who tried to draft on my wheel, which I wasn’t pleased about. I took 2 bottles – one about 1/3 of just water and another with about ¾ of Amino Vital Endurance. I drank all the Amino Vital and left the water. Basically, I ended up with about the same time I had last year when I did the relay.
I had my running gear shielded from the rain in a bag. While my stuff stayed dry, my T2 was slower than I had hoped. I'll have to work out a more efficient system for the next rainy day race.
I felt good going into the run, better than I had planned. I used no socks on the bike or on the run. The Zoot ultra tempo shoes were super light and super fast, too. I took four shotblocks on the run and drank only water along the way. The caffeine helped me get past any fatigue and looking back I believe I ran negative splits, although I wasn’t sure because I couldn’t seem to find most of the mile markers.
Overall, I ended up with a great PR for myself, and I’m happy to see my swimming beginning to improve. Sadly, I didn’t see any other MMTC jerseys around, but it was definitely a great race. I’ll definitely be signing up for next year.
Here are the numbers:
SWIM RATE RANK T1 BIKE RATE RANK T2 RUN RATE RANK TIME
32:47 2:00 2027 3:46 1:04:43 23.0 196 2:26 43:29 7:01 372 2:27:10