This was my first attempt at Columbia, my first true Olympic distance, and only my third triathlon overall. As usual, I set three time goals in my head: the first is the worst time I could accept (baring something like a mechanical failure) - if I don't beat this time, I'll be upset. The second is my target time - what I think I could do, and the third is my "gosh I'd love to have a time like that" time.
My "oh gosh" time for this race was 2:35. I really didn't think I could quite pull that off - my best rides on this course have been 1:15ish; my best runs have been :48ish. The idea of pulling of a :48 or so after a swim and bike?
Swim: This is the first time I've started in a large pack. I'm sure by now everyone's seen the Clif Bar add on triathlon starts, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3S0wu4Zbfk
Completely how I felt. The guy next to me was trying to beat the heck out of the lake - to beat it into submission. For only two swims (total) since Half Full, I'm not going to complain about the results.
T1: Almost knocked my bike over trying to get out of my suit. Had to chase my sunglasses because they and my helmet fell off the aerobars. I was hoping for 2 minutes. Other than being more graceful, not sure how to improve. I slightly disagree with Mark's suggestion - to leave the cap and goggles on so your hands are free. During the run out I pull them off and pull them my left sleeve down over them - the sleeve holds them and I don't need to worry about where they are.
Bike: I was hoping for a 1:15. Pretty happy with that. I was worried a bit that I might have cooked my legs.
T2: I was hoping for 1 minute. Not sure that's really possible. My calves were stressed enough from the ride that getting my shoes on was tough.
Run: Pretty close to the time I was hoping for - but a) I was getting passed by a heck of a lot of people - I need to work on my run - and b) I need to work on my nutrition. I think I need to eat something solid on the bike so I can take in water on the run. By the end of the run my stomach was sloshing around and I could not drink anything. I was limited to putting water in my mouth, swishing it around, and spitting it out. And dumping water on my head.
Overall, I'm thrilled. But man… this age group… 53rd in my AG with my best ever race? Ouch.