Total Time - 1:58:36
Swim - 1 kilometer, 22:26
T1 - 2:56
Bike - 17.5 miles, 58:28 - 18.0mph
T2 - 1:26
Run - 3.4 miles, 33:22 - 9:49 pace
Overall - 221/855
AG - 12/57
My main goal for this race was to try and break 2 hours as I did
2:00:44 last year.
I felt that I was not quite in the shape I was last year at this time and my training lacked enough bricks and pool time but I still thought I had a chance on reaching my goal.
Unfortunately the afternoon before the race I aquired some kind of stomach bug. My stomach hurt and felt very uncomfortable. I also had diarrhea which didn't bode well considering it would be hot and the last thing I needed would be dehydration.
I drank as much water and Gatorade I could before I went to bed. By morning my stomach had seemed to settle down somewhat so I was hoping for the best.
We arrived at Centennial around 5am and ran into some friends from MMTC and my friend from work who was also participating.
My stomach was not quite right as I entered the water and was hoping it wouldn't let loose on the bike. The water was nice and warm so I did not experience any asthma or breathing difficulty. I took the swim somewhat slow as to be sure to not create any breathing issues.
As usual, it was really brutal trying to sight the buoys on the way out because of the sun being right in your eyes. I tried to spot some of the leaders in my wave as I figured they would know where they are going. This strategy worked as I looked over to my left and I was right next to the first buoy. It got a little easier to spot the turn buoy as we made a slight turn to the left to get to it and the sun wasn't
quite as bad. The lake grass was fairly bad in spots and had to waste energy trying to get it off of my arms and face. At this point I passed a few people and was feeling comfortable. The backstretch seemed to take forever to get to the small island. I started catching a few folks from the earlier waves. Cool! As I rounded the island the water was pretty stinky. Ewwww. As I got up on shore I saw the clock and knew I was a little slower than last year. Crap, now I'll have to kick some ass on the bike!
T1 went okay until I had to shove some of my stuff into my tri shirt. Lost some time fumbling around with that. Probably why my T1 was about 5 seconds slower than last year. I might have to re-think my strategy on wearing my tri shirt during the swim when the water is that warm. It might be quicker to have all the stuff (inhaler, coin purse for supplements and gel bottle) in my shirt and put the shirt on when I get into transition.
Was looking forward to the bike as my biking has been getting stronger and I had my new Zipp 404's. Got onto Rt 108 and it was somewhat crowded. After I got past that first group I started to settle into a rhythm. Plan was to take it somewhat easy until I got over the first big hill on Homewood. I knew from previous training runs that if I hit that hill too hard it would set off my asthma and I would be done.
Got over the hill and it was hammer time! It's really nice to have traffic control at the intersections so you don't have to worry about slowing down. Was mostly passing people at this point. It's nice to be the passer and not the passee for a change. Got up Mt. Albert without too much trouble and passed a few more. Just past Jumper’s Lane I knew I had a dilemma. There was a SUV in front of me and there was a good downhill just ahead. Do I expend the energy to try and get past it or hang back? I hung back and I guess that was a mistake. I got stuck behind the SUV on a hill where you can really crush it. This blew! On a hill where I should be totally hammering I'm hitting my breaks and coasting!!! The driver eventually pulled over to the right. I passed him on the left and made sure not to cross the double yellow line but the damage had been done. I had lost a lot of momentum.
About a half mile after this I hear a thunk. Something hit the
ground. I look back and there is my gel bottle sitting on the
shoulder. CRAP! Can't stop now. Now I had to re-think my fueling strategy on the fly. In my training I had been hitting a small shot of gel about every 40 minutes and I usually do one at the turnaround.
Well, that went out the window! At the turnaround I decided to pop a couple of extra Endurolytes and Mito Caps and hope that would work. I love the section from the turnaround to Glenelg Country School. Was blowing by quite a few folks while hoping I wouldn't blow up from lack of gels.
Everything was going well until I got to the hill after the circle. I felt okay but a couple of guys in my AG passed me. Damn! I finally caught back up to one of them on Rt 108 and passed him with about a half mile to go. So far, so good, no crash due to lack of sugar.
T2 went well as I picked up over 50 seconds from last year! As I was leaving I saw that it was 9:01am. If I could maintain just a 10 minute pace I could achieve my goal. Last year I had done a 9:58 pace so if I could duplicate that I was good.
About a quarter mile into the run I could now feel the lack of sugar.
I saw my friend George walking with his bike along the path and told him what happened to my gel bottle.
Asked him if he had any. He said he'd check and to go on, he would catch up with me. He came up to me with a pack of shot blocks. Cool.
I chomped on a couple but they took a lot of energy just to chew
them. I swigged down some Heed and was on my way. Looking back now on this I might have gotten DQ'd for outside assistance. Stupid! Luckily there were no marshalls around. As I was heading towards Gatorade Hill I still needed more sugar.
I got to the water stop and slugged down some Gatorade! Ah, sugar!
This started to kick in as I neared the hill to Old Annapolis. As long as I didn't crash and burn on Gatorade Hill on the way back my goal was in sight. I hate to admit it but I did have to walk the last 10yds of the hill to the water stop. More Gatorade!!! Yeah!!! I
decided it was now time to suck it up and give it my all to reach my goal. I cruised down the hill with everything I had and just tried to maintain a decent pace for the rest of the run.
As I got to the dam I got a second wind. I got over that stupid
little hill before the finish fairly strong. As I rounded that last corner I just gave it everything! There was a small group ahead of me that I tried to catch but just couldn't. But at least no one passed me in the chute! As I looked at the clock I knew I had it! I broke 2 hours!
This race went really well for me! It's very rare for me to beat more than 50% of my age group and I beat 79%. In all 3 phases I beat more than 50%. Normally my run is in the bottom 20%. Except for losing my gel bottle, it was just about a perfect race for me.