Sorry for the long report for such a short race.
This was my first triathlon ever back in 2008 and I’ve been doing it every year since. I love it because it is pretty low key and it’s on Father’s Day so it is a nice thing to do with the kids (I can’t wait until they are old enough to race with me). I’ve been consistently lowering my time by about 5 minutes each year and this year was no different.
The kids had both been a little sick in the days leading up to the race and I woke up that morning with a little soreness in my throat. Thankfully, it was just a warning sign of getting sick later (Monday morning) so I was pretty much 100% for the race. I went through my usual race morning ritual, packed the kids in the car and drove the 45 minutes to South Carroll Swim Club to check-in, setup, and chill with the rest of the MMTC peeps until my 8:31 swim start
Swim (400m) – 10:01
I came in feeling pretty good about my swim. I finally had found that spot in my swim that I needed to just push through to get into my comfortable rhythm and had several great practice swims leading up to the race. Obviously I can’t swim nearly as good as Missie can, but I pretty much did what I expected so I can’t complain. The swim time also includes run onto and off of the pool deck so my actual time in the pool was a little less than 10 minutes.
T1 – 1:37
Can’t complain too much about this one. I had a great spot on the end of a rack. I was feeling a little dizzy after the swim, but once I got a couple of good deep breaths things were fine. Nothing fancy just in and out.
Bike (13.5 mi) – 43:37
The bike is a nice big loop with some rolling hills and a couple of short steep spots but nothing too hard. The scenery was nice on the course but a few spots I couldn’t sightsee because of the potholes in the road. I had been slowly improving on my bike over the past few months and it showed in this race. It was definitely a good feeling to pass a lot of people and never get passed. I trimmed over 3 minutes off of last year’s time without feeling fatigued at the end. The only bad spot on the whole course is once you get back to the swim club and have to go over two rather sizeable speed bumps. It costs some time but better to go slow and make it over rather than crash out so near the end.
T2 – 1:21
Nothing fancy. Dismounted from the bike, made the long run around the back of transition to the bike in and got everything changed. Then off I went.
Run (3 mi) – 23:26
I’ve always had a bit of a struggle with the run. Not because I’m a bad runner but I always seemed to use up to much on the swim and the bike. That wasn’t the case for this race. Many of you have probably seen me comment on the natural running style that I switched to earlier this year. Well, I’m going to sell it again here. I felt really good from the very start. I got going good and strong without every feeling like I lessened my pace. If anything it only seemed to improve. Also, none of that weird wobbly sensation you usually get switching from bike to run. I really think it is from the natural running and I’ll continue to tout it (so I’ll ask for forgiveness now for future ramblings about it). I’ve also start to use mini milestones (a driveway, mailbox, sign, etc. and then picking a new one as I approach that point) for my races and I think it has made a difference. I’m able to keep my pace going by focusing on the smaller parts. I did this throughout the run and approached finish strong. I found Missie on the side with the kids so I grabbed Hayden in one arm and held Kaylie’s hand with the other and we ran across the finish together.
Total Time – 1:20:01
Once I crossed the line, everything I wanted to do today was completed. I executed my race exactly how I wanted to, improving on the bike and the run, and holding steady on the swim. I had the great joy of finishing the race with my kids on Father’s Day. I beat my previous best time in the race by nearly 6 minutes. And then, somewhat to my surprise, placed 3rd in my age group to add a cherry to the top of an already perfect Sunday (yes, pun intended).
Can’t wait for next year’s race to see if there is any more room for improvement.