This was my first time doing CT and my first Oly distance and I must say, I felt great.
Like many of you, I was really bummed when I woke up at 2:30 AM to the sound of pouring rain and thunder. But, also like many of you, I said to myself, you've trained this hard, the only way you won't race today is if they call off for lightning. My biggest worry was setting up and dealing with transitions in the rain. I had trained several times in the rain, both bike and run, so I really wasn't worried about that aspect. Until the crash - more on that later. Anyway, I didn't ask God to make it stop raining, but I did pray for the strength and safety needed to make it through.
So I get to the park at 5:00 and sit in my car for about 15 minutes fidgeting about and decided to go ahead and set up in the rain. The nice part about that was because of the rain, I minimized things (which now after reading Mark's post I realize is a good thing). After word I went back to my car, ate my Kashi GoLean (in the single serving container - love that find!) and rested until about 6:30. Walked to the club tent and relaxed with our fantastic group and waited for the swim start.
Swim was just OK. I couldn't catch a good draft and I realized that next time I am going to start at the front. It's not that I am super fast, but I'd rather get passed then try and work my way around slower swimmers. I'm not sure why I'm just realizing this. I've been doing running races that way now for the last year. Much easier to get your own pace going if you have control over it. Starting in front is the ticket.
T1 was OK. I had a little trouble getting my feet out of the wet suit, and heard yesterday that I should cut the ankles of the suit a few inches to allow more room. Duh - again, not sure why I didn't think of that (thanks Mike!)
Ride was very good for me. I beat my best training time on the course by over 5 minutes. I think I am the only one who got rained on during the ride though. Somewhere after Ten Oaks for about 2 miles. Everyone else I talked to said they didn't get rained on. Oh well, maybe I imagined it. Then, I saw the aftermath of the big crash. The guy was very bloody and quite frankly, it took the wind out of my sails for about 2 - 3 miles. I truly believe though, that if it weren't for the wet roads and the fact that I got spooked by the crash sighting, I could have had an even better time overall.
T2 was the best I could do. I'm truly not sure how to go faster. Funny thing is, I felt faster in this race, then I did the week before at Cascade Lake, but the time was slower. I chalk that up to the transition area being larger overall then at Cascade.
I had a very good run for me. I truly thank God that it was not hot. I had no real issues on the run what so ever and even beat my best training time on that course by over 6 minutes. I only walked once just after the last water stop in the neighborhood (I hate that hill) and even then only walked for 20 seconds or so. I think I may have angered a few other racers though when after running to the top of Gatorade hill, I screamed out "WHAT HILL - WHAT HILL!" :-) Oh well - the water stop volunteers got a kick out of it.
I would like to join the chorus of "thank yous" to all the volunteers. In many ways, the day is just as exhausting for you all (I know - I've done it). And of course, I want to thank my wife who is ever present at transitions and at the finish. She truly motivates me to succeed. And lastly, thank you God for keeping us all safe and giving us the strength to see it through!