|The calm before the storm|
Swim - .33mi, 13:05 (Phelps has NOTHING to worry about)
It was nice to get in the water with a bunch of swimmers to race. I don't know what's up with this 3 people enter the water rolling swim start thing races seem to be doing lately but it was just nice to be in the water surrounded by swimmers. I seeded myself in the front third of the pack. When the gun went off I knew that all I needed to do was sight the turn buoy, swim with the pack and I'd be good. To my surprise I actually felt good in the water. Nice even stroke, good body position and string kick....and the buoy was getting closer fast (well at least fast for me). I actually grinned in the water at the fact I was calm and swimming by other swimmers. So much so that I had the where with all to hit the lap button on my watch because I wanted to know how quickly I swam each length on the swim (7:11 out, 5:55 back. no speed record and yes there was a current but I'll happily take it). I got out of the water, caught me breath and headed into transition.
T1: 1:56, (there was a run to get there from the water but I thought I was faster)
Bike - 13mi, 37:57 - 20.55 mph (not great)
Like I said, I know this course really well and knew I had about 5 miles before the first turn so I wanted to get into to good rhythm and be around 23mph to start off the ride...and I was right there...until the first turn. That was where a group of motorcyclists (10of them to be exact) riding two abreast, freaked out and stopped at the turn..in the middle of the road because they couldn't figure out what was going on as the race official and cop were YELLING at them to go through the stop sign intersection to make room for cyclists coming up...and with nowhere to go I put the bike onto the shoulder and into the grass and had to dismount. Oh ya,, and the turn was on a hill...son of a monkey hammer. All I could do was run the bike up the hill, remount and try to get back on pace. My mind, my heart and my soul were filled with anger as I get back in the big ring and try to get up to speed...only to be relieved by my passing the SAME group of motorcyclists lollygag riding below the speed limit, two a breast, further down the course! Jumping-jesus-christ-on-a-pogo-stick! For real?!?! I took great pride, passing them at about 45mph on the downhill, in the lane marked out for us cyclists. My goal was to just keep the speed above 22mph for the rest of the way and then see how I felt out on the run.
T2: 46secs (now THAT'S more like it!)
Run: 4mi, 30:52 - 7:43 pace (this should've been faster, I just didn't have anymore speed)
The run is a simple out and back and you can probably see at least a half mile in front of you so all I wanted to do was pick runners to catch...and run them down. I considered looking at my watch and checking my pace but why? Its only four miles, just run! Amazingly I kept thinking "save it for the turn" while "ain't nothing gonna break my stride" was stuck in my head. I literally laughed out loud. First off, save it for the turn? What was I gonna save? I was gassed already and its only four miles. Secondly, "ain't nothing gonna break my stride"? Ha! This race was. I was running wide open already and I knew I probably wasn't turning faster than a 7:30 pace at best. Time to quit thinking about time or pace and just catch the people ahead of you. Because its an out and back course, I could see the leaders and started counting as I headed to the turn. I thought I was in 12th or 13th and I was closing on one runner. Time to just empty the tank and go. I caught two runners and crossed the line in 1:24:38. Good enough for 11th overall and second in my AG. I'd love to say I went into the race with o expectations..but that would be a lie. Anytime I want to show up, I think I can podium. Yes, totally unrealistic I know...esepcially given the circumstances ove the last few weeks but I was very happy to end up on the podium. Amazingly, I was only a minute of my PR for the course. I'll take it!