|UT Aquatic Center and a group of 3xDelta Girls ;)|
I got body marked and set up my transition as best I figured I could, then got a fairly long warmup in. I had a chance to chat with some fellas I hadn't seen since last year (both Terry and Lloyd, who both came away with some trophies as well) as well as the guys from Bearden Bike and Trail, who are nuts, but only in the most awesome way.
Finally we're called to line up for the men's wave to begin. I seed myself at the front with the intent of keeping the first group in sight throughout the run. After the National Anthem plays, we're off to the races!
|Yellow shoes, blue kit, red visor. Yes, I am styling.|
We get started and immediately the thinning begins. Despite not pushing a very "hard" pace I stay out front for longer than I expected... not where I thought (or wanted) to be. It doesn't last and the "top" runners overtake and eventually leave me strung out behind. By the time we pass the 2 mile marker (and the turnaround point) I get to see where things stand. Everyone is still in view (although a little farther than I'd have liked.) and I've got a pretty secure spot myself. The final larger hill zaps me a bit and I'm afraid to push it too hard so I just continue at what I think is appropriate and let the lead group disappear. Everything is still going fine as I didn't expect to be running with the "runners" at the end.
|Coming into transition|
I totally flub my transition. Beforehand I had decided not to "flying squirrel" as I haven't practiced it once this year. That means stepping over and pushing off from the mount line... which is fine (and honestly not all that much slower) but it is made difficult when I realize I LEFT MY RUNNING SHOES ON! Total Bonehead move on my part that costs me a few seconds. I shake it off and quickly I'm out the door.
|The Frankenbike sitting in transition|
The bike is short but painful. The last hill before you pass transition is short but pretty steep, making an otherwise fairly fast (if curvy) bike course "fair." I have made a decision that all multi-lap sprints I do are going to be on the road bike (with aero setup of course.) due mainly to needing to be very careful on the second lap weaving through "the masses." My ride is pretty uneventful other than a guy very nearly stopping(!) at the train track crossing on my second lap. I have to take a very awkward line to avoid him (and the cop standing in the middle of the road.) and it throws me out of whack for a moment. I tried to count the guys in front of me that I passed, but once on the second loop it becomes impossible to tell who was in front and who was a lap down. I figured I was somewhere in the top 5 or 6 though.
|Finishing the first lap on the bike|
I come skidding into t2 with a little showmanship (riding on one pedal all the way to the dismount line.) and quickly rack my bike, sling off my Kask Bambino and grab my goggles. As I'm running (the fairly long route) to the pool, Randy (from Bike & Trail) is giving me some encouragement (and running beside me like a madman ;) ) and my mom lets me know I'm in 4th place. I can see all the other guys still in the pool so it's time to do some swimming.
The Swim 7:15 (400m?)
I hit the water about a quarter lap behind 3rd place. Before we make it to the first wall I have overtaken him and put enough between us that I'm sure he won't be catching me. Second place is still a good 1/2 a lap ahead but I can tell I have eaten into his lead so I continue my pace although my shoulders are already on fire. It turns out to be anti-climatic however as he has burned himself out and has to stand up and get some air, letting me pass him and put almost a full lane between us before he gets back in the rhythm. I can see first place from under the lanes, but at this point we're at 250m and he has a full lane advantage on me... too much to catch up in 150m. At this point I slow down and just cruise into the finish, (since I can see everyone behind me) and come out of the water almost feeling fresh.
|Fresh... if drowned rats can look fresh.|
So that was my race. I was almost a minute behind first place and I feel like I could have definitely given him a run for his money if I had done a few things differently, but for my first reverse sprint I was happy with the results. Of course, many of the tough fellas in the area didn't show up either, so that helps.
There are definitely some things I need to smooth out before the big races this year. My cycling fitness is returning pretty quickly, but I need to be stronger than I was last year. I also need to perfect my t1 approach.
Anyways, I get my hardware and that's the end of the 30th Trideltathon.
|Cobb Mobb (and a vintage beer visor) representing|
Next week (actually, Friday) I'm off to beautiful 30a... to warm weather (it's °35 right now...wtf TN) and to get some solid miles in on my bike. Unfortunately, no Triathlon in Panama City, but I think I may have found a 5k to do... or a Calabash Buffet to destroy if that fails. Anyways, that means there may be a short (or even a lacking) post next Wednesday.
Regardless, I'll be back for sure the week after, so until then happy racing and safe training.
Thanks so much for reading