Poppen and I went for a quick 25 minute run when I got to his house, and it was a great way to shake out the legs after a long drive, it was freakin hot though! The weather was supposed to cool off by Sunday and I was hoping that it would. Saturday morning I got up early and took out my new Giant Trinity Advanced SL2 for a quick spin to make sure everything was in working order, followed by a quick 30 minute run with Poppen. Things were all firing away and I was feeling good. The rest of the day was pretty chill, Poppen and I checked out a soccer game for one of the teams he's in charge of, and we went to the horse tracks. Good times!!
Race day started at 3:45 a.m. since Poppen said it was going to take an hour and a half to get to the race site. So after my typical oatmeal with agave nectar and a banana we were on the road. There was almost no traffic on the roads and of course as we got closer the only people there were the people headed to the race. We were able to find a close parking spot and getting everything set up in transition seemed great...seemed is the key word there!! More on that later.
Swim: The swim was a straight out and back...yep along the same buoys, so do you know what that means? Yep the way out (well most of it) was fine. I need to become pissed off in the water like I am when I ride and run. I was swimming with a group for about 500 meters and then let them go, and that seemed to be a constant theme...letting people go. I hit the turn around in a much longer time than I had wanted to, but was hoping for a current (?? who knows ??) on the way back, but what I hit on the was back was traffic...not cars, but later waves coming right at me, and they were not looking where they were swimming so I was essentially playing frogger in the water the whole way back. Trust me I'm not blaming that on my crappy swim...there is no one to blame but myself! I came out of the water in 36 and change, by far my worst swim of the year, so at least that means I have room to improve!
T1: Wetsuit strippers are nice to have, but that was the only nice thing about T1. You see I had stayed with my bike until the transition area closed and everything was good. Needless to say I was a bit surprised/madd/panicked when I got to where my bike should have been and it wasn't there! My brand new freakin bike wasn't there, so after getting a volunteer to ask where my bike was she was nice enough to go and look, and happened to find it. So with one of the longest transitions in my wave I lost a little over a minute due to the fact that my bike was missing.
Bike: You would think that I would have just started hammering away, but I was trying to be smart and trying to conserve some energy for later in the race. So I stayed conservative for the first 5 miles and then I said screw it I'm in! I started to ride my race, and I think it worked out pretty well. There was always someone up the road, and I was able to bring back everyone I saw. I would say that coming out of the water I had to be way down...70 people or so ahead of me would be my estimate. I was able to ride up into the top 10 overall. The bike course was not completely flat, but it wasn't super hilly either. I was able to ride a 2:17 and change bike split averaging 24.4 miles per hour. The nice thing is that I never truly dropped the hammer on the bike.
T2: Uneventful, especially after my debacle in T1.
Run: I wasn't sure where I was on the run but I counted what I thought were 10 bikes in transition when I got back. And one guy headed out directly in front of me, so I had him in my sights. I had an idea of what I wanted to run, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it since I haven't been running much as of late. So with this one guy in my vision I went out. I was going to race smart, not bring this guy back right away, but slowly and I was going to run my race. Well running my race was bringing him back, and by mile 2 I was side by side. I decided to put a quick surge in just picking it up a bit to see if he would go with, and I dropped him immediately. I was alone for about a mile or so before taking a left hand turn and seeing someone further up the road. So that was my new target. He was way up the road, and I knew it would be a while before I caught him. I would pick places on the road and figure out my time gap. Each mile I was gaining about 10 seconds. At mile 6 I figured I would have him by mile 9, well as things turned out I brought back even more time faster and had him by 8. So now I had 5 miles to go and no one was in sight. That is until mile 10 when some dude came flying past me, he was sub 6 minute pace and I knew I couldn't keep up so I let him go. I'm not sure where he came from but he was flying. I was able to finish the race with a 1:25 and change run split.
Overall I finished up in 8th place with a time of 4:22.57 and I won my age group. I am happy with the result, especially considering the fact that I haven't been running much lately. It's time to start picking up the training with Ironman Arizona on the horizon.
All in all a good day.