Well, the equipment for the swim was the same and the starting lineup was similar. I started at number 16 towards the very front of the 350+ line. I had not been swimming much the past year but my times were close to where they have been in the past. Without many people in front of me I just cruised the swim. I was alone except for the 4 or 5 people that I passed. I gave them a wide berth and did my own thing. I ‘water jogged’ the swim 18 seconds faster than 2011 (2013 – 8:20 / 2011 – 8:38) and placed first in my age group, go figure. That being said I was 1:13 slower than the fastest swim of the day – that is a lot of time in a third of a mile swim.
I ran out of the water as soon as I could stand. I unzipped my long john wetsuit and ran up the short rise to T1. I had some trouble getting the wetsuit off of my legs and sat down in transition and pulled the legs off. I felt like I gave back the 20 seconds I gained in my swim in T1. I was actually 5 seconds faster (2013 – 1:11 / 2011 1:16).
I made the decision to not race on my race bike due to lack of conditioning. I am a better cyclist this year. The course is tough with lots of rolling hills. I was out on my own for the entire ride passing only a couple of people that were ahead of me. I also got passed twice, I think. The bike was uneventful except that being in the aero bars and the slammed stem I was not able to produce the amount of power that I should have. There is a compromise between aero and power and by not practicing or adapting to the position I think I left a lot of time on the table. I finished the 16.5 mile bike 92 seconds faster than 2011 (2013 - 46:10 @ 21.4MPH / 2011 – 47:42 @ 20.8MPH).
Me on the bike testing the position.
I grabbed my running visor and race belt and headed out. A volunteer noted that I had my swim goggles in my hand as well. I dropped the goggles prior to leaving the transition (a great volunteer put them back next to my bike – super cool). I was 5 seconds slower than 2011 (2013 – 53 / 2011 47).
Running has been my strong suit. Not during this race. I blame a lack of bricks (1), low run mileage (15 – 20 miles a week) and being heavy (10 lbs). I remember running this in 2011 and while it hurt I was running well. I was charging through the few people ahead of me. This year I was over cooking the run and not moving as fast as I wanted. I had to back off and actually walk for 10 seconds around mile 1. Looking at my heart rate average (after the race) I really was working hard – I just wanted more. In 2011 I ran the ‘3 miles’ (it is a little short) in 19:01 (4th best overall for the day). This year I gave up a whopping 2:41 – almost a minute per mile (2013 – 21:42 @ 7:14/mile / 2011 19:01 @ 6:21/mile).
I finished the race in 1:18:19 (57 seconds slower than 2011). However, I did legitimately win my age group (Sam was the only 40 – 44 male that was faster and he won the overall).
In my age group I was 1st in the swim, 2nd in the bike (behind Lance) and 4th in the run.
Not a bad overall showing but there is definitely room for improvement. I feel like this race was a high school test – sure I got a B but what if I would have studied?