Background: Last year was my first attempt at a triathlon and it was the Celebration Sprint. It went something like this, worked to get up to the swim distance, started race felt a little panicky, labored breathing, saw kayak, SPRINTED to kayak, thought I caught my breath, repeat about 4x progressively deteriorating breathing. Big boat gets me, another guy needs rescuing. Choice: hit the water still pretty much out of breath, hope the rescue boat picks other guy up and then has time to save me or DNF. I can say I've never felt like I worked so hard with such poor results to show for it. I went home and pinned my 2011 Celebration shirt right on the wall above my dresser they'd be no escape from my lack of results. I swore I would be back to avenge my defeat, also hoped I would get a chance to finish the season with a real finish but weather didn't cooperate I left 2011 0-1 in my attempts.
Pre-Race: I'm guessing I'm pretty recognizable with locs down the bottom of my back :). A guy stopped me asked if I had done the Columbia Tri, yes I had. Turns out he had a good picture of me on the bike he was willing to share, great since I'm the guy usually behind the lens. Turns out he's a photographer and has some really nice pics. See here http://andre-chung-photo.photoshelter.com/gallery/Tri-Hard/G00002oRfXHa_BUw/ Other than that I took the time to see how the buoys were placed, nothing eventful.
Swim: 0:29:41, 100 yd pace 02:42
By now my 2012 portfolio had a mile in Centennial and completed 2 triathlons including Columbia's Tri but those were wetsuit legal and for a slightly below the water floater it's a big difference. I started the race and felt like I was under the water further than usual. By buoy 1 my breathing wasn't great and I had to have a conversation with myself. Negative-self: "I don't want to be here", other self replied "You won't stop and you will finish this" That was that, navigated past some swimmers gathering themselves. As I couldn't find the 1st turn buoy I followed the pack. Rounded the second turn and smoothed out, fell in and out of rhythm, jostled a little by the fast guys in the next wave, but felt much better than the 1st half. Soon enough I was out of the water, not thrilled with my time. I feel physically I'm slightly better but it's a work in progress.
T1: 4:09 - I felt drained, photo evidence shows the caveman walk that at least in part led to my time, even with an occasional jog. I even did the rubberband hold the shoes in place trick and this may be like wearing an aero helmet going 10 mph but clearly I need as much time shaved here as possible. I pulled it off in Columbia but couldn't get it right this time.
Bike: 1:08:39, 15.3 mph
I was worried that the warm water and heat would dehydrate me and I'd cramp. I'd taken Endurolyte and stocked 2 bottles of Gatorade. Somewhere around the turn onto Folly Quarter heading to the school turnaround slight stomach cramps started coming in and out. I think I had overdone the Gatorade having already drank about 20 oz's. At the turnaround I grabbed a swig of water instead. I need much more bike miles to improve my speed and to help on the run.
T2: 1:43 - Nothing major.
Run: 32:35, 9:35 mile pace
Running is my strength, but I've been battling leg cramps and my times have suffered. Starting off legs felt heavy, by one and a half miles, slight cramps were coming in and out. Heavy legs didn't give me much choice I jogged and occasionally high stepped to fend off the cramps from setting in. My legs would get life and they'd be a hill to return them to their heavy state. I made it up Gatorade hill, had a decent stride but slow turnover throughout. The last 50 I was able to sprint in strong, but the damage to my run time had been done.
Two funny things: I was too heavy on the Gatorade but I nailed the hydration thing, 45 minutes after I finished I was still drenched and looked like I just got out the water. Last year I found every kayak to hang on to, this year I swear I didn't see one kayak, I saw one guy on a surf board that's it! Did they have much less if no kayaks in the water this year!?
I tend to be my own worst critic and parts of our personalities come out in our writing but while not content with my times I'm happy with my overall results. It's all a work in progress, I know I need to find a way to get more bike miles in to both increase my biking engine and ease the burden it puts on me so my runs can be closer to what I'm capable of. Well folks it's been over 24 hours, I can go ahead and take off my 2012 Celebration shirt, this one goes in the wash (to wear again) not on the wall!