Just finished my first triathlon of the season yesterday. It’s a fun race that only a little over an hour from my house that gives out a fancy, schmancy belt buckle to the top male and female finishers. My friend Alisha won it a couple years ago, so I wanted to give it a go. Oh yeah and give myself a sprint distance race target in May to get myself motivated and what’s better than a little bling to get oneself motivated? Er…cold hard cash but never mind that. Onward.
Weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Perfect temps, 70 degree and calm lake water, and barely discernable breezes on the bike. Super duper nice.
The men were started at 8am and the women all together 5 minutes later. The swim was wetsuit legal, which is good for me since I haven’t been able to really get my swim back yet. It’s OK, just not back, but that was good enough to catch a good draft off the lead female swimmer until she dropped me on the back side weaving through the tail end of the men’s wave. She only got 10 seconds on me, which I more than made up for in T1.
I felt under-warmed up during the bike, especially the first half. Oops. My fault for not warming up enough. Still, I went hard enough to feel good about the effort and elected to save one of my “to the well” efforts for more important races later in the season.
Early on the bike I had a thought that, hey, starting 5 minutes after the men, I shouldn’t really have anyone passing me. Then John Armstrong went by. Then later I passed him back. Then even later he passed me with a lot of authority. That one stuck, but then I used him to keep my effort up. Can I see John ahead? Yes? Then I’m going hard enough. For those of you who don’t know John, he’s the same person who ran nearly all (or a significant portion) of three different trail running events with me this past Winter. This was not planned, but apparently, we are each others’ pace bunnies.
As I rolled toward the T2 dismount line, I suddenly remembered that I never got around to practicing my dismount. Oops again. I chickened out and didn’t do the flying dismount. Oh well.
Off onto the run and my legs felt as coordinated as a newborn baby doe’s but less graceful. Eventually, I fell into a solid tempo rhythm, bargaining with myself to push myself more in the final mile. To explain, the 5k run was a double out and back. There are no mysteries about where your competition is and I had a good lead. I still hoped to run under 20 minutes, but I didn’t worry about it too much. Unfortunately, I should have worried 3 seconds worth, since my run split was 20:02. Oh well again.
Looking over the finish time for the past couple years, I figured shooting for sub-1:20 would be a good goal. I did a 1:17-something. I think the swim may have been shorter this year, but I don’t know for sure. It was a solid time with only two of the men finishing faster than I did– Marty Gaal (who had BETTER go faster than me) and ex-teamie Bobby Dixon. I’d like to also point out that all three of us are 40+. Ha- take that youngsters!
Hopefully, I can find a picture of me in the snazzy Recovery e21 race kit with the Bull City Running Company logo added on. As George said, “That looks tight!”