Two days before the race:
Made sure to get a good night’s sleep. This is always critical for me. No swimming or running that day. Just easy spinning (for bike to work day). By the evening, I got all my gear together for the race.
Day before the race:
I wanted to go for an easy jog around the neighborhood, but there were other family duties needing my attention. Worked on staying hydrated. Didn’t load up on carbs or anything in particular. Made sure I had everything packed and in the car the night before.
Drove up from Silver Spring, and took my position in line at the entrance to Centennial Park at about 5:10am. Same as last year. No problems.
Swim (30:20, 108/169)
Decided to line up right in the middle at the swim start. Not the best idea. Lots of chaos. I’d say it took me about 5 minutes to get going efficiently. Next year I may take a slightly wider position until reaching the first buoy. During the swim I concentrated on what I learned last year at two clinics, one being the Clay Britt clinic at the Lab School in DC last summer. Since January of this year, I’ve been doing the Masters swimming workouts once a week at the MLK Pool in Silver Spring. Those were extremely helpful. Improved by 5 minutes over last year.
Coincidentally, I too have the Tyr Nest Pro goggles. They’re great for narrower faces.
T1 (2:41, 41/169)
On Saturday I made a point to count the number of racks after the second tree on the right - finding my bike was no problem.
Bike (1:10:20, 13/169)
There was a small group of us exchanging positions many times, including Tim J. whom I met afterwards. I briefly said hello to George during one of the longer climbs, too. It was great to see others from MMTC on the course!
On the bike I had two small bottles, each half full – one with water and the other with Infinit. I used the water specifically to wash down the GU (Roctane).
This year I felt less prepared for the bike than I did last year, but I think the zipp wheels gave me an edge. Hills were my friends. Averaged 21.7 this year over 21.2 last year. Ideally I would’ve liked a 23x11 cassette instead of the 23x12, as crazy as that sounds. Next Year I hope to have a tri bike instead of a road bike with clip-on aero bars.
T2 (1:37, 49/169)
Lost about 10-15 seconds searching for my shot blocks. Then I forgot my sunglasses. Turns out I didn’t need the glasses - there was lots of shade in the park.
Run (47:53, 39/169)
Had a good start but I wore down quickly. I was hoping to be in the 7:20 range but I averaged 7:43, same as last year. I need to work on building leg strength and running technique on the hills. The hills were not my friends anymore. I do most of my running in DC along the Potomac or in Rock Creek Park where it is basically flat – not the best preparation for Columbia.
For this race, I wore a simple Timex ironman watch and used perceived exertion exclusively to gauge my effort. That worked well. Overall, I improved by 7 minutes over last year. This race has given me confidence for the upcoming DC Tri in June. My goal for next year will be to improve the run and swim by 2 minutes each.
Many thanks to the volunteers at the MMTC Tent who provided an outstanding post race experience!
For future reference for me, complete set of times are shown below:
Bike 1:11:51 (avg 21.2)
Run 47:54 (avg 7:43)
Overall 2:32:48 (236/1633) (AG:35/169)
Bike 1:10:20 (avg 21.7)
Run 47:53 (avg 7:43)