This race wasn't on my radar until the early part of this year but was encouraged by a few to do it. As the schedule took shape I ended up with a previously scheduled Cascade Sprint Tri, the new 1 Mile Swim at Centennial (could pass on that opportunity), and then Columbia's TRI within a weeks span.
Pre-Race: Nothing spectacular, got there at 5, thought I would be able to get a nap in but the race buzz didn't allow. I should have walked and looked at the buoy layout. I had an early start and as I walked to the water Tricolumbia Pres (Vigo) stopped me and gave me a pre-race tough love pep talk (apparently he remembers my previous Celebration debacle). Paraphrasing he said you're not going to punk out of this race are you, my reply "not at all!"
Swim: 40:13/2:28/100 yds pace
I'd classify my swimming as almost okay in general, the 1 Mile swim the week before was invaluable. I had no jitters, just poor sense of direction apparently. The race started I stayed to the back and to the right, as I drift left anyway I thought I'd be fine. Soon enough I realized I was being herded right so I complied best I could, it wasn't until I could see the orange buoy that I really understood why. It was right of the yellow buoy, duh, next time I'll pay more attention. I was comfortable in the water and the time in it didn't seem as long as the week before. In fact I was too comfortable, I started thinking about how I would feel about Celebration Tri even wrote a little of my swim race report. Then the wave after me came zooming by and then another set of them came. Oddly the little jostling that happened as I was being passed made me even more comfortable. Along the way I was traveling with two others from my wave. I got too close to one of them that was doing the breast stroke and received a swift kick right on the goggles for my troubles. That was the motivation I needed to pass them, so I did. Right at the end of the swim I got a hamstring cramp, dragged myself to land massaged it out and off to T1 I went. Less comfort more effort, my pace was slower than the mile swim I had done.
T1: 3:25 I tried the rubber band shoe mounted on bike technique, but T1's still slow.
Bike: 1:38:11/15.3 mph
I had looked at last years times and knew I'd lose major ground here and I did. I typically average mid to upper 14's in mph. So to get over 15 I'll take for now and know there's plenty of work to do. My one regret was not grabbing whatever colored liquid the volunteers were handing out, if it was electrolytes I missed out and may have paid for it dearly. I was happy that my leg hadn't cramped at all and was heading to T2.
T2: 1:26 I used Bob Villanueva's technique of placing things in a bag, and grab and go, but I didn't have that much to get anyway.
Run: 1:21:47/13:12 mi
Left transition feeling okay, not strong but nothing out of the ordinary. I hit the first hill and felt okay passed about three people crested over the top and kept chugging. It would be downhill from here though. I hit the next hill and my legs started to cramp, this had happened last year but not at all this year, but I knew what it meant. I figured out that I could high step the small hills and I'd be okay but the long hills would be a repeat of this: run the hill get to the top, find a pole, stretch quads, sometimes hamstring. No energy and traveling slightly over a jog, I just refused to walk the hills though. Now I was searching for Gatorade too little too late I think. As I came in right before the last hill Coach Liz was yelling that I had more. I worked the hill, legs felt tight but I knew I could make it in. I had a final kick and overtook about 4 runners. They had said to smile as you crossed the finish that parts all a blur I just knew my run stunk, but I finished strong.
Summary: I'm not a fan of my times, but being my first Olympic Tri, hey I have a PR :) I need to re-evaluate my nutrition for these longer races. My run pace was non existent and to be 5 minutes off pace is no good at all. To have to wait a year to redo a race is agonizing. My next schedule race is my DNF and I won't have a wetsuit to aid me, so I have work to do.
*Update The swim pace was done in meters not yards, so I was only off my last weeks pace by 1 second and under my interval training pace. I know I can do better but a big woohooo for the swim!!!!!
**Update website change the swim pace to show as yds