Heroes was my first "apples to apples" race. I was excited to compare my time, place, etc. to last year. I have put a lot of time into my training since Half Full last October, so I was eager to see if it would pay off. After missing the sub-5hr. mark at Eagleman two weeks prior by just 1 minute, I was definitely confident heading into Heroes.
Nothing special about my morning routine. I think I convince myself I have one, but I really don't. I drink coffee, eat cereal, watch Sportscenter, check email, and then make sure I have everything. I guess that is a routine, right?
Swim: 107/855 (19:28)
Best. Swim. Ever. For. Me. (until my next race, but still gotta write that RR too... stay tuned). Yes, it's only a .6, but I have always struggled in the water. I did the same swim in 27+ minutes last year, so this was a monster improvement. I love the Torque Pro swimskin I have. I am incredibly comfortable in it. My only worry? Didn't want to be the "guy" in the expensive swimskin pulling up the rear in the swim. Well, I wasn't!
I've worked hard on my swim, and with George's tip, joined Masters right after EM. My 1000 yd. swim test time has dropped by over 1:45, or 11 secs/100. I think I'm finally a middle-pack guy. That's a big deal for me because I am stronger on the bike and run. Previously, as a back-of-pack swimmer, I couldn't catch up to leading AGers... now I have a chance. I even surprised my family when I came out of the water... they were all chatting and checking their phones (since they didn't expect me for a few more mins. Of course, they never told me that was their expectation!) When I came out around 19 mins. my wife, renee, looked up and was like "Holy crap! There's Brian!" Yeah... better start jogging from the swim start to swim finish now guys! Ha!
T1: 40/855 (1:54)
Took a little extra time to get the Torque off.
Bike: 13/855 (48:56)
Bike went well. It was nice being in the 2nd wave, so plenty of open air out there. My coach, Ben Winterroth (who won... again), was in the wave after me, and my goal was simply to get out of the lake before him. I had an 8 min. head start. The good news? I almost made it all the way to the turnaround at Folly Quarter MS before he caught me. It was then that I knew I was having a good race.
I pushed it pretty hard on the bike, but saved a little for the run. Only drank water.
T2: 39/855 (0:57)
I was so happy with my bike that I forgot to slip out of my bike shoes while coming to dismount. Oops. Fumbled my way down that steep hill into transition and turned my right ankle. Darn bike shoe! Luckily, no damage. Took extra time getting bike shoes off. Only 3.4 miles so no socks. Off I went.
Run: 14/855 (23:09/6:49/mile)
One 20-something guy passed me at the start of the run and that was it. I slowly picked up the pace as I had injured my calf the monday of race week. Special thanks to my personal PT, Sheila Mongeon, for treating my calf every day that week!
Once over Gatorade Hill, I picked up the pace some more and also spotted Coach Ben heading home for the win. It was cool to finish right behind him.
An hour or so later I found out I was Top 3 in my AG, but actually 2nd since the #1 guy made Top 5 Overall. It was great to meet/race with Jason Miller and stand with him and Ben Mertes for a MMTC sweep in our AG. Definitely two great guys.
Overall, a darn cool first "apples to apples" race, as it earned me my first podium finish.
Thanks to everyone in MMTC and Team Fight for making race day even better. It is an honor to be a part of 2 phenomenal organizations.