I had signed up for Columbia before St. George and was actually considering skipping this race. I was feeling pretty good two-weeks post Ironman so I decided to have a go at Columbia. For the most part, however, I wanted to get my $130 worth of racing, shirts, and other swag.
Training has been very moderate over the past couple of weeks, mostly biking on the trainer and extremely easy runs to get my muscle memory back.
The morning of, I did my usual thing and had some toast and peanut butter...yada, yada, yada. I got to the course 2 hours before my swim wave went off and chilled in our awesome tent area. I drank a bottle of infinit before the swim and had a GU around 10 minutes prior to the swim.
Compared to an Ironman swim, this one was much calmer. I don't know if it was the size of the wave or the fact that I got a great lead out in front early on, but things were smooth sailing the entire way. According to the results, I was 3rd out of the water with a 20:23 but had no idea where I was placed coming out of the water.
The hardest part about going from an ironman to an olympic is moderating your pace. I didn't use a computer on my bike this time, so I figured I would just go all out and if I went too hard, I would simply not due the run. The conditions were perfect and I felt really good on the uphills and since there was no rain this year, I could stay in the aerobars through most of the turns and bomb the hills as hard as I could. I passed a couple of 30-34 age groupers on the bike, but still had no idea where I placed in the age group. I used 3/4 bottle of infinit and one GU on the bike for nutrition. Bike time = 1:02:33
I felt good going into T2 so I decided to keep going and start the run. I only had water on the run course, as I felt good energy wise. I decided not to wear a watch for this race since it would take too much time to put it on, acquire a satellite, etc. Like St. George, I used perceived effort and felt pretty comfortable for most of the run. It was a hillier course than a remember, but I stayed on the heels of a pretty good runner in the 45-49 age group. He had a watch and was moderating his pace pretty well, so I just stayed with him until the end. The last few miles were particularly tough with the increasing heat, but I kept mentally focused by telling myself that I had just done 26.2 miles of this heat and terrain two weeks ago. Making comparisons to other races or even breaking up a race into smaller, more manageable pieces is a tactic that I use a lot and rely on often. I kept looking around in the final mile, expecting a 30-34 age grouper to pass me, but it never came.
Run: (39:46 - 6:24 min/mile)
Thanks again to all of the volunteers and organizers of the MMTC tent. Everything was amazing as per usual! Great job to everyone who competed at Columbia today!