Last Sunday was the largest local triathlon witin an hour of my house. In fact, it's only about 20 minutes from my house! They had about 1100 registrants, over 600 for the sprint and over 400 for the olympic. This was my third time doing the olympic and the site of my first triathlon four years ago when I did the sprint. It's a great event, very well organized at a beautiful park and they close down what's basically a 4 lane highway for the race! The weather was awesome, overcast and high 60's for the 7am start. The water was an toasty 80 degrees, so no wetsuits. A bunch of my running partners were doing the tri and a bunch of friends were coming over to watch the race. They had to make a slight change to the bike course from last year and my bike computer showed 23.5 miles for the bike including the transition areas.
I had been practicing swimming and it seemed like it was going well, so as the gun went off I positioned myself further up in the field than I normally would have. For some reason I got nervous and couldn't hit my breathing right. The bouys were all over the place as well. I got offline along the back straight and actually was caught by one of the kayakers and they guided me back in line. That being said, I had a decent swim, 28:13 for 1.5k. Last year was 34 min and about 160th overall, this year much better in the top 1/4. Lauren counted me at about 4oth out of the water (I was in the 1st wave which included everyone under 39 and relays).
I had a great transition. I'm a sock guy so I had to put my socks on. Tried a new trick today...used ankle socks...much easier and quicker to put on...why I hadn't thought of this before I don't know! Got out onto the two lap bike course after the killer climb out of the marina to a fairly open road. Nearing the turn around I could see I had my work cut out for me. I wasn't "feeling it" yet so I tried to be patient. My friend Johan was out there on his bike moving around cheering me on which was cool. I could see a great cyclist who had the 2nd fastest bike split last year...he wasn't far behind me at the turn arounds so I had some motivation to kick it up a notch. My second lap felt great, passing a lot of people and seeing friends out there. Came in from the bike in 8th overall, 1:00:22. According to my bike computer I was just shy of 24 mph and my bike split was the 5th fastest! It started to heat up on the bike and I drank a whole bottle of Mild Grape EFS from my aero drink. This was perfect. I also carried a flask of EFS Liquid Shot for the run.
I had a great T2, one of the fastest of the day. I got my shoes on and stumbled for a second before I realized I was done transition and ready to run!! I know I had some work to do on the run as the field in front of me was spread out. The run is a two lap course that usually gets a little crowded by the second lap because at that point the sprint tri racers are on the course as well. It was starting to get real hot now. I was afraid to take any water due to stomach issues, so I just dumped it over my head and sipped some Liquid Shot. It was awesome out there seeing so many friends who were racing and volunteering (thanks to the Endurance Multisport club members for the water stop and the cheering!).
I was able to pick two people off right away and just started charging. As the course got more crowded it was hard to see who I was racing against. I could tell noone was catching me from behind and I did recognize a guy from the Snapple Tri team in front of me and realized I was gaining ever so slightly on him. With about 100 yards to go I knew it was possible, put a big surge on and held it. Ended up running 36:48 for 10K. 3rd fastest run of the day and it put me up to 4th overall and first in the 35-39 AG with a total time of 2:07:24!
The race director had a nice awards ceremony. I even won a "Empowered Zone" t-shirt and a sweet beer glass for my efforts! My friends had a great time as well. It's such a great local race, I'm glad I can support it.
I was more sore than anticpated Monday, guess I really pushed. I got home Monday night to a package in the mail....
Some cool new Saucony compression socks. Just what the doctor ordered for some recovery! The kids thought it was funny that I wore them around the rest of the night with sandals on as I cooked dinner on the grill. Sure my neighbors were laughing too! So far they feel great. I plan to try them on a run as well. I'll keep you posted.
On a sad note, we burried my step mother's brother on Sunday afternoon. A sudden heart attack at the age of 46. He was survived by his wife, daughter and two young boys. Very sad but he's in a better place right now. I just lift his family up for prayer..for peace, comfort and healing.