Last year I was awarded 3rd place in my age group, only to come home and see results online that they had missed someone and I was actually 4th. When I contacted the race director, about sending back the award, he told me to keep it for the memories and to come back next year and win my AG. Uh, sure, the first place finisher had beaten me by over 13 minutes, but, hey, I’d see what I could do.
I’m almost always disappointed in my swim time at races. I tend to back way off my training pace and go really easy in the water, but I’ve been swimming longer distances this season so I really wanted to see what I could do if I pushed in a 400 yard pool swim. My best training swim had been around 7:35. Figuring in needing to run to the pool lane and get out and run to the timing mat, I was aiming for around 7:45.
When my turn came, I rushed to my lane, jumped in, got a good push off the wall, and immediately regretted my decision to wear tri shorts that didn’t have a waist tie. Halfway down my first length, I realized I had forgotten to start my watch when I crossed the mat. I paused for a second to reach over and hit start and then really tried to take off. Within two laps, my heart rate was way up and I was gasping for air. I slowed down, stopped with the flip turns, and tried to get myself back under control. I got into a nice rhythm and finished up. When I crossed the timing mat, I glanced at my watch and saw 8:01. My heart sank a bit. Seriously, I STILL hadn’t been able to break 8 minutes? I would realize on my bike that I hadn’t started the timer and 8:01 was actually the time of day.
Actual swim time: 7:26. Almost a 90 second improvement from last year! Thrilled with this time.
T1: 1:08. Bike was racked almost as far from T1 entrance/exit as possible so I was okay with the 1:08.
Bike: 50:26. I did not have a chance to get out and ride the course this year, and while I remembered there were a few long gradual climbs, I forgot about all the other rollers. I rode as best I could but still wasn’t able to break 50 minutes.
T2: 1:27. I came off the bike very out of breath. After dismounting, I walked my bike toward the transition entrance. I kept trying to start jogging but that wasn’t happening. When I got to my rack, I put my visor on and race belt, fumbled with socks for a few seconds, then slipped into my shoes. During this process, I realized I was doing everything backward. Socks/shoes usually go on first and the race belt/visor as I’m leaving transition. I clearly was not thinking when I set up my stuff.
Run: 28:01. Started out feeling some sloshing in my stomach and side stitches developed almost immediately. I ran at an easy 10 minute pace for the first mile and tried to work out the cramps. No luck. Screw it, I run with cramps all the time and I picked up my pace. I was hoping to break 28 minutes. Only 2 seconds off so I’m good with that.
Overall, I’m happy with my performance even though I still really need to improve that bike split. About 6 minutes faster than last year, and while I didn’t win my AG, I’m pretty happy with second and a legit podium finish this year.