The TrainingSeems like all I've been doing is training, I was ready for a race.
Packet PickupThere were a couple of options for packet pickup, Friday before, Saturday before, or even race morning if you were so inclined. Last year I opted for the race site on Saturday, this year I had a massage scheduled for that time, so I went up to Gear West on Friday, it worked out fine. I even ran into a friend from work and we shot the breeze for a bit. I tried to convince him to get a one-piece tri suit... no dice. There was nothing special about the packet, a decent shirt and a water bottle. I'll take it, free is free, and honestly, I pay to race.
Race MorningThe race started at 8:30, transition opened at 6:00, I figured I wanted to get there about 6:30 which means leaving my house around 5:50, so get up and out of bed by 5:15. Per normal (now) ritual, I slept on the couch to avoid waking any of the littles too early.
My alarm went off at 5:15 and I was instantly panicked, I was sure I had overslept and it was 7. You'd think by now I'd be used to the idea that the sun is up already, it probably took me a good thirty seconds to settle down.
I had some breakfast, drove up, found a spot in transition and kinda hung out. I like not being in a hurry at the start of a race, having nothing to do for an hour or so makes me happy.
|I remembered the lake being larger last year|
|There it is, look at those little ripples, this is going to be a cake walk|
|Me and my friend Jeff and my other friend Jeff|
The SwimThe swim was a time-trial start, except for elite, they went off in a wave. The deal was you line up by number and then the guy sends you off every 3 seconds. My number was 255, so that means I was going to wait for 254 (roughly) people to go before me. Last year the water was cooler, but the sun was much hotter, I was also 40 people down the list. This year I just stood near the start of the line and hopped in when my spot came up. It actually seemed to go pretty quickly.
|Full Speed Ahead!|
|The littlest little and her aunt testing the water|
|It's a little sea-monster-ish, but I do like this shot|
|Heading out, looking good, feeling good|
Also last year I remember there being a lot of drafting, I also didn't notice that this year. Then again I don't remember seeing any course marshals either.
|Splashing around in the water. It looks downright cozy. In the background, more swimmers making their way through the course... in wetsuits|
|There we go, that makes sense.|
The bike felt good, I was thinking as I came into the transition that I was setting myself up for a good run.
|I look quite majestic if I do say so myself|
The RunLast year I focused on getting out on the run, setting up a faster than normal pace and then pull back a little. The idea is that you can pull back easier than you can pick up the pace, and so setting your legs in motion at the start is key.
|Feeling great! I'm leaning over to give my oldest a high five.|
Let's review. On a good day I do maybe 7:30 pace on a 5k + today I am running 6:30 pace out of transition = ???I should have dialed back, that's the smart thing to do. Establish pace early, but keep it maintainable. What I really did was forget all that, I felt fine. About a half mile later I am sucking wind. I literally cannot catch my breath. At the time it all felt very odd, so I stopped to walk, take some deep breaths and then back at it.
And then ... my brain took over. I just could not shut it off. So I pushed my way through, took some walk breaks through water stops. Just after the turn around, I saw someone I knew, someone I think is sort of the same speed as me, and he was catching me. Based on his number I figured if he caught me he could have 30 seconds on me and I'd still be able to finish "clock time" ahead of him. He did finally catch me in the last half mile or so, I decided to not just let him run away with it, so I hung with him the rest of the race.
|Waiting for dad to finish|
|It can get boring waiting for the old man|
|That about sums it up ... just keep moving. Also good dinosaur impression|
Last year as I was coming in I was thinking about my friends who I had seen or not seen during the run. This time I had seen everyone I knew, and I was looking forward to seeing my family. I did not sprint to the end to edge out the guy who had chased me down on the run. I thought, he ran me down, and had more spirit on the run than I did, so I backed off smiled and ran to my kids and wife.
|The older kids ran off as soon as I finished. This one loves me!|
The swim – 23 seconds isn't significant, given the chop I'm actually pretty happy about this.
The bike - 36 seconds isn't much at all, I felt like I did well. According to my watch I was a little faster than this, but only by about as much I missed my goal, so we'll call it even :)
The run – Well, I was hoping to hit this run a little harder. I'm wondering if I psyched myself out a little. On the other hand, it was faster than last year, and I *think* last year I didn't walk. So I'll take what I can get.
|While I chatted with friends and stuff, the others caught some beach time|
Closing CommentsAt first I was feeling a little down, I missed my goal, again. But, it's faster than last year. A minute on the bike, a minute on the run. I like doing the same race over again, I look forward to a sort of apples to apples comparison. So I'll probably do it again next year.
Two more races this month, it's racing season and I'm looking having fun!