I usually set goals, and this race was no different. They were:
1. Show up and participate - check!
2. Finish - check!
3. Finish in last year's time, 3:52 - check!
4. Finish the whole thing in 3.5 hours. Something like 30 minutes swim, 1:45 hour bike, 70 min. run. - check!!!
This year I had trained the run. I ran the Rehoboth 1/2 in December and the IG 1/2 at the end of April. I was pretty confident that the run would be as fine as it could be after swimming and biking first. I'd been going to spin classes regularily, but had only biked outside once a week (or less), so I wasn't sure how that would go. I also only managed one OWS this year, probably why I like that leg the least (and it certainly ought to be my favorite). Also, I had taken the Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen clinic two weeks prior and hadn't had time to change almost 40 years of muscle memory.
Picked up my race packet on Friday when they opened. My neighbor was there too, it was a nice surprise. Bike racking was pretty uneventful except the person next to me was racked backwards (whatever). I don't remember what I ate on Saturday night, but it wasn't an issue. Must have gone to bed early 'cause I didn't have any trouble getting up to the alarm at 4am.
Race day prep:
PB&J toast and coffee for breakfast. Left for the park with my neighbor, Craig, at 5:15, arrived by 5:30. Body marked, pumped my tires, convinced the woman next to me to put her stuff by her front tire (she had it all by her back tire, who knows how she planned to get her stuff on and out of there). I pared down what I needed from last year. My rack placement wasn't as obvious this year. So, I walked to my spot from both directions just to make sure. Looked for Craig, and used the Trislide station (why use mine when I can use theirs?). Took the wetsuit and a bag to the MMTC tent.
Swim 31:41 1:56/100m (2011 30:59):
Sometimes it pays to be old, especially as a woman at Columbia. I was in the old woman wave just after the much older men wave. That means that I passed a few old men, and a few younger men passes me. It took me until the first buoy to get out of the crowd, but once I did, I found a rhythm. I actually found some feet to follow, not sure I actually drafted, but I did use them for navigation. I'm normally a right side breather. I can breathe left, but not for long periods of time, and not at all on Sunday. I obviously need to do more open water swims to make what should be my best leg at least comfortable. Or I need to actually buy a wetsuit that is more comfortable (the neck is my nemesis - I always feel like I'm choking).
Transition 1 4:48 (2011 6:25):
Sweet, 1:37 faster than last year! I took Mark Y's suggestion of leaving my cap on until I was ready for my bike helmet - no one wants to see me with messy hair. No texting in transistion this year.
Bike 1:39:55 15 mph (2011 1:44:45 14.5 mph):
I think this went really well. Faster than last year. I was being passed constantly by guys, w/ less 'go MMTC' calls than last year. I was passed by a few women, but not too many. I passed a couple of guys, just because I was faster (still not sure how that was possible). I passed a couple of guys coasting down the hills (like on Linthicum where you can see for miles). I just can't handle it, free momentum and they are wasting it. Really??? Usually they passed me later, but whatever.
Cliff shot blocks and Honey Stinger Pomegranate energy chews were my nutrition choice and nuun tablet (tri berry) in my water bottle with a plain water bottle in the other cage. Pretty easy to manage.
Transistion 2 2:41 (2011 5:29)
Shoes, race belt, hat. Had it all in a bag to take, plus my phone from the bike
Run 1:11:45 11:30 min per mile (2011 1:24:50 13:40 mpm)
I ran the flats, little hills and downhills and walked the uphills. This was still faster than my normal long run training pace (slower than my 1/2 marathon race pace). 13 minutes faster than last year - amazing. The hill in the first mile is just vindictive. I saw another neighbor doing her run while spectating. Then
Gatorade hill. But even with the hills, you gotta love the neighborhood - squirt guns (polite this year, they asked first), sprinklers and my own sign!!! One of my Boy Scouts lives in the neighborhood and they made me a SIGN!!! Made my day, week and maybe month.
Post Race: The tent is amazing. Not sure what happened to the water at the finish line, but I had to go to the tent for water. Yeah!! And who in their right mind would hug sweaty triathlon people, but Mary P.!!
Total time 3:30:48 (2011 3:52:26) a PR by 22 minutes.