This race was my first "repeat" tri--the 2010 race was my first triathlon ever. Obviously, it would tell me how much I had improved in the last year, and hopefully it would be substantial. I'd be competing against my brother Joe, as I had in my other events, and for the first time, my wife Lynn would be out on the course (hoping to better my time from last year as well)
The biggest thing was to figure out what to wear. The weather was forecast to turn cool (50s) on Saturday morning so I wasn't sure whether layers were necessary. Fortunately, the sun came out and convinced me to just go with the tri top under my wetsuit, and this ended up being the right choice.
Swim 14:00 Overall 99/329
This is always the worst part of the race for me. I was hoping the addition of the wetsuit this year plus the practice would cut down on my swim time. I started off walking longer than most (you can walk VERY far in to the water in this race if you want to) and just tried to go out at a comfortable pace. I found by the second buoy that I was still in a big crowd, having to work a little to avoid the other swimmers. This was not a problem last year--I soon realized I was actually able to stay with the pack rather than fall behind. This was inspiring, and certainly helped me push through pretty hard to the end. The 14min time was 1 minute better than I hoped and 3:28 better than last year!
Got to the bike rack and saw that I was ahead of my brother, which was good, although he came in about 20 seconds behind me. My hands were cold so I just grabbed my gloves without putting them on and I really wanted to beat Joe out of T1 -- big mistake (see bike below)
Bike 47:18 19.3 avg 57/329
Started off trying to put my gloves on while moving. This went on for the first half mile or so before I dropped my glove and Joe passed me. Grrr...well, lesson learned. I started to speed up but the wind made it really tough on this first part. Still I leap-frogged back and forth with Joe until... a BEE flew into the back of my tri-top and stung me on my back! This caused me to flail around comicly for a minute or so until I could convince myself it wasn't wandering around underneath the top. Needless to say, this slowed my pace down a bit.
Eventually I regained my composure and we finally made a left turn out of the wind, with speeds instantly climbing from 17-18mph to 20-23 mph. I just kept on pushing, trying to stay aero as much as possible. I did end up catching up with Joe, but couldn't stay ahead. I saw him go one last time but tried to stay at my pace, figuring I'd catch him near the end of the bike, and with about 4 miles to go I saw him about 1/4 mile ahead. I pushed, got a bit closer and said to myself, "Hmm..why does his orange bike look red from this distance?", then much swearing as I realized it wasn't him. ARRGGGHH...
Still, an excellent bike ride for me, much faster (8 min) than last year and the first time I've ever averaged over 19mph, even in training!
Pretty smooth, nothing to note.
Run 25:18 8:10 pace 90/329
The beginning of the run was tough and I felt like I had to push pretty hard to get speed. About 1/4 mile in I look at the Garmin and see 7:12 pace! That explains a lot, as I'm closer to an 8 minute mile guy. I'm able to catch a good rhythm and keep it going throughout the run. My Garmin indicated 3.19, Joe's gave 3.16, so actual pace was likely a tick under 8, which is what I was hoping for (and the overall was 2 min faster than last year).
Overall, I was able to cut 14 minutes off last years time, which was a GREAT way to end the year. It was a really nice reward for all of the training from the last year. As to whether Lynn beat my time from last year, I'll let the suspense build until she submits her report.