This is one of my favorite races, and a real nice end of season race. The race was supposed to happen on Sat. the 7th, but because of the bad storm that went through, (lots of heavy rain and mega winds), it was postponed till Sun. the 8th. Other than the aggravation of having to find another hotel room for the night, I was happy as I really wanted to race.
The weather was a little chili and very windy. The water temperature was the coldest I have ever raced in. I was wearing a full wetsuit but it still was cold. The waves were choppy, but the current was quite helpful. I decided to go out fast, and hang on. I was pleased to have a swim of 8:59 (last year 11:31), but I wasted some of my good time with a slow T1 of 3:12 (had to dry off and get warm).
Although I was hoping for a fast bike split, that was not to be as there were several stretches of strong wind directly in our faces. I have enough experience now to know you just want to relax and spin, and not push a hard gear in the wind, so that is what I did. My split was 53:13 (17.5mph) (last year 48:44) and with a T2 of 1:00 I was ready to kick butt.
After last year's IM, my focus for this year was to improve my speed, particularly on the run. So, I took off, and immediately felt good. I tried to keep a fast turnover, and felt relatively relaxed. At the turnaround, I was peaked at my watch and saw I was doing well. Coming back the wind seemed to pick up a little, but I was in a zone (for me), and just keep going. I hammered the last half mile, and finished with my fastest 5k ever, 22:59 (last year 27:59). Not a single person passed me on the run, and passed many, many racers. This was so cool for me because usually I am the one being passed and hanging on.
My overall time was 1:29:26, which was 13/41 in my age group. I had the 4th fastest run in my age group (30th overall), and that for me is a medal!
My goal is to hopefully maintain some of this speed improvement into next year as I try Ironman again!