I don’t know what it is about
A photo taken by Alex Endo before the swim start
I have been working on my swim for a while now and I knew there really was no excuse not to beat last year’s time. How much faster would be the real question? Sitting in the water waiting for the gun I was actually pretty excited to get the race rolling. My wave headed out last, and after the horn sounded I just focused on a high turn over and getting out fast. I started on the far right side along the buoy line, and right away two swimmers shot off the middle. I quickly tried to get over to them to draft some feet, but they were quickly gone. It didn’t take long for another swimmer to pull up next to me, so I slowed down a little bit and pulled up on his feet. I held these feet all the way to the first turn buoy, but after the turn we were swimming through a huge crowd and I lost the feet I was following. I will admit I was a tad bummed I had lost the feet ahead of me. But none the less I kept pushing on, weaving through the waves of people that started ahead. Just before the last turn I glanced to my right, and noticed a white cap. After glancing over a couple more times I quickly realized that it was the feet I was following earlier. Sweet!! I moved to my right a little and was back on some feet. Finishing up the swim I felt very relaxed. This was my first race in my new Helix wetsuit and I can honestly say I loved the suit! As I stood up coming out of the water I looked at my watch and saw 29min. I was stoked, I wanted to break 30 min and I had achieved my first goal of the day. I was 4th out of the water from my wave and my official time was 29:56. This is a six minute improvement over last years time. Huge thanks to Kevin our swim coach at Whitworth masters for working with me over the last year. My swimming has taken a huge jump, and I owe it to him pushing us in workouts at the pool
From the start of the bike I pushed a solid effort. The wind was absolutely brutal out on the course, and it took some focus to keep my bike upright. Due to the strong winds that were blowing, it became hard to stay in the aero position. I focused hard at staying low, and not getting out of aero. At one point early in the ride, I was riding by another competitor and the next thing I knew he was leaning on me due to a strong cross wind. I just leaned my shoulder into his as he yelled, “sorry I will get off your shoulder in 2 seconds”. Laughing, I told him it was ok. I guess doing some mountain bike races when I was young paid off J. I tried to ride controlled as I rode into the strong headwinds, and when a tailwind was present, I laid down the hammer. Nutrition wise the bike went great, the night before I laid out a plan of nutrition, and as I came off of the bike I felt well fueled. Although the bike was the windiest ride (in a race) I have ever done, it was also one of the best rides I have ever had. Yes the time was slow, but the effort was solid. Overall on the day only 2 other age group athletes out rode me, and this is a huge improvement over last year.
Starting the run
Finishing up the race
I started the run very conservatively, because I really had no idea what to expect. For the beginning 1/3 of the first loop, I was running very cautious and slow. I ran solo for a while, but it didn’t take long for an athlete to run up and pass me. At that moment my decision was to tack on and follow this athlete. It worked well for the remainder 2/3 of the first loop, I ran shoulder to shoulder and stride for stride with this other competitor. Shortly after the first lap he started to build a gap, and soon thereafter he was gone. The temps were hot, and people were cramping left and right. Due to my lack of running I wasn’t sure if I would be the next victim of cramps, but I had been drinking citrus Nuun all week to keep myself hydrated. Cramping never became a problem. Right around mile 8 things started going down hill, and my pace started to drop. Nutrition wise I was fine, and there was no pain from the injury in my leg. My legs were just working at their maximum capacity. I gave 110% on the run, and really a 1:31:34 was all I had for the race. I am happy I stuck the run out, as it was at times not easy to keep going. My plan to just put one foot in front of the other got me through the 2 loop run course.
Overall I am very happy with my race in
Thanks Dave for the after race photo