I really, really liked this race. It was very well organized, the swim was in a beautiful lake, the water was warm (but not too warm!), the ride was on some really nice, fast, rolling roads, and the run was tougher than hell (for me, a non runner). Also: the other athletes and the volunteers were really friendly, the pancakes were great, and the overall vibe was a bunch of people out there to have a good time. I really want to do this one again next year, hopefully I'll improve my times.
I like the olympic distance, because it ends up that I don't go that much slower in the swim or the run, and I go a little faster on the bike -- go figure. I'm a slow warmer upper, I guess. So next year, less sprints, more olys. Maybe the Whiskey Dick or something similarly challenging.
4/17 age group
31/75 swim, 1500 yds in 32:10, 2:08/100?
26/75 t1, 1:45
14/75 bike, : 1:14, 20.83 mph
40/75 run 46:37, 7:45 mi
I stayed on the game plan. Specifically:
I cruised the swim. I really didn't go for speed, I had never swum that far in my life and didn't know if it was actually possible :) I focused on gliding, and driving from the hips, and was never breathing hard. I did, however, spend a lot of time going back and forth across the lake -- definitely lost some time due to lack of navigation skillz. Need to get better at open water swimming and shave some time off. I didn't feel like I was going 2:10 slow, more like 1:50 slow.
I came out of the water feeling pretty good, got through t1 as well as I ever have, and jumped on the bike. I had a good bike. I felt fast right away, and passed a lot of people. A relay team biker came past me, and I reeled him in. Every time I would pass him he would jump out ahead of me. Whatever -- I still had a 10k run to go, so I ended up following him in (from a ways back, of course). The bike course was rolling, just like the Mercer Island loop. There were some sections with serious false flats, but those were super fast on the way back. I only got passed by a couple of people -- I think this was because the faster riders were the faster swimmers. Maybe one day I'll know :)
I came into t2 and fumbled through a 1:32 t2. Amazing that it took me that long to get into running shoes -- I need to work on that!
The run HURT. It was hilly, and I never feel amazing starting out a run anyways. I felt like I was going uphill -- slowly! -- the first 3 miles, and flat -- slightly faster -- the second 3. Never got into a running groove, and was moving a lot more slowly than I did in the sprint tris I have done -- maybe this was due to fatigue? Not sure. My bike split was as fast as I have ever ridden a tri, in more rolling terrain that I've ridden before. So maybe I left it all out on the bike. After 3 miles I started to feel better and even passed someone who had passed me, so that was cool. Perhaps the coolest thing that happened to me was when I came up on a 65 year old about 3 miles into the course. 65, and he had stayed out in front of me for that long -- I looked him up later, and saw he had clocked a 26 minute swim! Amazing. Definitely inspiring.
OK, now I know I can do the swim. Now it's time to swim faster. This is going to take time, lots of time, but I like swimming now, and I'm up for it. I think concentrating on form is the way to go, I've got a lot of improvement left in my swim just by tinkering with efficiency.
I was happy with the bike, but I know that I need more power in my legs. I was spinning 90-100 rpm, which is great, I'd love to do the same in a bigger gear so I can go that much faster. I didn't do a lot of focused leg work this year, but it's time to get serious about the bodyweight exercises, the trx, and plyometrics. My quads can be a lot, lot stronger.
The run was the hardest for me. Part of this is due to lack of power in the legs (see above), part due to lack of running efficiency -- I probably need to focus exclusively on running for a chunk of time -- and the rest is just mental. When it hurts -- and it does -- I need to have a better game plan. I think the key here is to train at the intensity that requires me to bring out the head games, so I respond automatically.
The best part of my mid life triathlon crisis is that I've go so much room for improvement! I'm stoked to circle back around after my next event, which is the last multisport one I have scheduled, and work on my weaknesses, and kick the shit out of my 2010 times.
I'm doing the Mercer Island Aquathon, a 1000 meter swim/8k run, that's right, both areas I can really improve in, next Wednesday. I'm looking forward to a shorter swim and (please, God) flatter run :)