So I signed up for this race a while back in hopes of seeing if I could go sub 2:10 in an Oly. That time seems to be the time where one becomes “fast” at the Olympic distance, depending on the course. Some are still much faster, and 10 were on Sunday, but that time is something I want to get to but…an injury to my quad during vacation left me with a lot of rest and little training leading up to the race. So going into the race I just wanted to see how fast I could do each event individually, with the 2:10 still in the back of my mind. My real goal was to “race” the swim. Since I am not a swimmer I have a hard time keeping myself at the uncomfortable threshold pace for a long period of time so I wanted to push myself. Then I wanted to push the bike, knowing that it might cause my run to suffer, but it was only 10k right, that’s nothing for me (well that’s what I told myself just in case). Then I wanted to push, push, and push some more on the run. Maybe collapse at the finish? Maybe fall apart at mile 5? Who knew? I sure as hell didn’t!
The swim was a non-wetsuit swim, which was fine with me because I am just not that comfortable in my wetsuit for some reason. And by no means am I a swimmer which makes that statement all the weirder (that sentence sounds awkward). Then it comes time for my wave to cross the timing mat, I head across the mat and walk into the water. “Where the hell is everyone?!” I was the first person in my wave out and I must have smelled bad because no one was close to me. “Oh well”. Gun goes off, dolphin dive, catch, pull, catch, pull, breathe, repeat. I know I am pushing it and it feels great. I hit the first turn and the water is starting to get pretty warm. Oh well, I’m still passing people and do not see many green caps ahead or next to me. Finally, I see the exit about 200 yards away. Time to put in a last kick. Then I did something I need to do more, I know I can stand so I stand so I dolphin dive to get to the shore quicker then I kept swimming until my fingers scraped the bottom. I exit the water and hear my mom and girlfriend cheer for me. Then I look for my dad to give me my split. He tells me 24:40. Great start! Personal best and without a wetsuit.
Swim time (including the long run to transition): 25:48 (3rd AG and 25th fastest overall)
Now time to hop on my bike and push the pace. The problem, but also great thing, about starting early and swimming a decent swim is the first lap of this ride was pretty open. I was able to find my power and push the pace. There was some wind coming from the east (?) and a few rollers but nothing too bad. I didn’t really have a target wattage since I haven’t tested lately and I had been out of training so I went by feel more or less. Towards the end of the first lap someone in my age group passed me. Great! Now I can pace off someone. So that’s exactly what I did for the rest of the bike. I let him dictate the pace and sat behind him, legally of course! Even though there is not a huge draft benefit from pacing off of someone, there still is some draft effect but the best part is I do not have to worry about my pace because all I had to do was stay my 7 meters behind him and I was golden. I think I passed him a few times because I entered the draft zone but then he quickly made the pass again. We ended up coming into transition together with a decent time.
Bike time: 1:04:53 for 22.9 MPH (3rd AG and 19th fastest overall)
The guy I rode with and I left transition together and had a quick few words, I thanked him for pacing me then after a few hundred yards I dropped him. My watch was telling me I was running at around 6:15-30 min/mile but my body was telling me no more. The good thing is I was mentally able to tell myself that 6.2 miles was nothing, hell, on Friday I went out for a 2.5 HOUR run! Then I hit the first little hill and my pace slowed, this was getting a bit tough to keep my cadence up. I told myself if I was going to slow down this much uphill I would have to get that “free” speed going down the hill which meant upping my cadence and stride length. But the bad part about attacking a downhill is that it freaking hurts the quads! Oh well, lap 1 is coming to an end. I see my parents and girlfriend and ask if they know my placing but without our age groups being marked it was almost impossible. But that’s ok, only 3.1 miles left! From the start of the run I picked mile 4 to really start my kick. So I see that mile 4 marker and I start my “kick”. I put that in quotes because I am not sure how much of a kick it really was. During the whole run I thought I had to run around 40 minutes to get my 2:10 so that was the number I was going after. I hit mile 5 and I have 9 minutes to 40 minutes. I can do this, time to kick again. I start passing people on the first lap and get some encouragement from them which is always good. Then I see the park entrance and look at my watch. I am at 39 minutes! I can do this. So I start to go full out then reality sets in, I see the clock at the finish and it says 2:21:xx so I quickly subtract the 9 minutes from when my wave starts and realize I miscalculated my times. Oh well, I sprint it in then see my parents and girlfriend. They probably think I’m crazy because I was not happy that I didn’t get my 2:10 even though I won my age group and probably finished pretty high up!
Run time: 40:05 for 6:28 min/mile (2nd AG and 15th fastest overall)
Final time: 2:12:28
Overall not a bad effort in a short race in the middle of no training/Ironman training. I was really happy with my swim and overall happy with the race. I showed myself that the time off of training did not totally take away my fitness but I know I am faster than that. Next up is Ironman 70.3 Racine this Sunday! Now that will really test my fitness. Then July 22nd I have another Oly race so maybe I can bring my time down a bit.