This year was much different that last year for me. Last year I had to worry about was my bike actually going to work after it flew behind my friend Mike’s car!! Well, this year I thought it might be better for me to do the driving. Mike and I had an extra passenger this year in Heidi. Heidi is famously known for forgetting things and being late. Mike and I were able to pick up out packets early so we wouldn’t have to worry about racing around in the morning to get everything ready.
Heidi, on the other hand, needed to get her packet and wasn’t going to have a lot of time before the race. To prevent a catastrophe I had Heidi drop of her bike, helmet, bike shoes and wetsuit the night before. I figured anything else we could deal with, she would just have to show up on time. Good news was, she showed up on time and we were able to grab Mike and be on our way.
This year the swim looked like it would be pretty standard, the wind didn’t look as bad as it did last year. I was deceived though, the wind was blowing sideways and I think the course ended up being a little bit longer because the buoys were blowing out side ways. There was also a little bit of chop too that I didn’t expect. The swim was pretty uneventful though and ended up taking me 33:21. Slower than last year, but I was ok with it since my watch said the swim was 1.35 miles instead of 1.2.
SWIM NOTE: My friend Mike was 4th overall in the swim.
I was kind of disappointed in my bike ride. My intent was to hold 200 Watts consistently as Coach Dave and I had discussed. The problem was my legs just couldn’t keep it there, not sure why because the swim felt good. Looking at the data from the ride it looks like it took me almost 30 minutes to get my heart rate down to where it should have been. I think next time I may start a little lower than my target and work my way up. I actually did have a negative bike split, not by much, but the second loop was faster than the first. My total time for the bike was 2:46:11.
When I ran out of T2 Heidi was not far behind. I figured we might be able to run together since we both had the same target of running 7:15s. I had just didn’t have much of a chance at that, it was too hot for me to hold that pace. I started out around 7:50s and felt terrible, my back was very tight. I wish that I had a chance to stretch before the race started but the ground was just soaked in transition. So, for the first 3 miles I just ran 7:50s and watched as Heidi took off. I noticed on some of the longer stretches though that I could still see Heidi out in front of me. After the 3rd mile I started to feel better and loosened up and started to slowly increase my speed. By mile 5 I was doing around 7:30s although I did have one mile around 8 in the middle because I had to stop and tie my shoes.
At mile 7 I realized I was going to catch Heidi and started reeling her in over the next to miles. Mile 9 I caught her and she almost just stopped at that point. I thought when I caught her we would just run in together, but she was hurting pretty bad. Remembering how she stuck with me through the marathon last fall I couldn’t just take off on her. The rest of the way we ran in together, except when we walked. Well, we only walked up once at a hill just after mile 10. I think we ended up averaging 8:30 or so for the last 4 miles we ran together. My time for the run was 1:43:16. I was happy with that, since it was hot and I was a couple minutes faster than last year and could have actually been in a few minutes faster.
Overall I felt like I had a pretty good performance at 5:08:26. I think my Coach prepared me well and I had a good race. While my ride was a little slower than I had hoped, I felt like I could have kept on going and hold the Watts I was pushing for another few hours. I was very happy with my run. It was good to know that I could get off the bike and run 7:30s in heat. I know that I can’t jump off the bike and hit those numbers right away, but once I loosen up I should be able to click off the miles.