The results are in. I placed 3rd in the Clydesdale Division with a time of 2:31:33. Well, this is still not official as when they handed out awards today at the race site, I was listed as 4th place finisher and someone else got the third place award. Either way, it was still a Personal Record (PR) for an Olympic Distance Triathlon. PR by over 13 minutes. If the web site turns out to be correct, it will the first time I've ever placed at a race. The race was the Regional Club Championship, too... so there were a lot of good athletes there. For the fourth year in a row, the DC Triathlon Club won the Regional Club Championship.
Although this post won't be a race report, it will be a long entry. There are several things I have to write about.
There is so much gear that is required for triathlon. One of my biggest fears is that I'll forget something. And, even though there is all this stuff, it is all necessary for a good race. For the swim you need goggles and a swim cap. I also need a nose clip and ear plugs. For the bike, you need a helmet and bike shoes. I also wear a fanny pack with an extra tube and bike tools in it. I wear sunglasses on the bike, too. For the run, you need run shoes, a race belt for your number and I wear a hat. Of course, you need nourishment, too. Race bottles, gel flasks and I also wear a heart rate monitor.
I get to the race site on time without any problems. I didn't have to sit in traffic and was there in plenty of time. I setup my transition area and then hob nobbed around and chatted with other club members. Then I sent to the porta potty. Then I hob nobbed around some more and then went back to my transition area. A USAT official was standing there and appeared to be looking at my bike. I nonchalantly walked up and he asked me, "Is this your bike?" I replied that it was and then he told me, "well, you're in the wrong rack." Sure enough, I was. If I was number 2041, I would have been in the right rack. Unfortunately, I was number 2401. So, there are like 10 guys standing around setting up their transition areas, witnessing this. I feel like a total boob but turn it into a comedy routine. "Just making sure you guys at USAT are on the ball." I then wear out that I'm growing old and may need help with the swim start time or directions on the course. "I get confused!" It was funny but still... after my fall the day before, I'm starting to get a little worried about my mental faculties.
This is the third open water swim in a row where I have felt no fear or nervousness. Totally oblivious to any risk. The total opposite of my first three open water swims as a triathlete. Essentially, I panicked each time. Now... don't even give it a thought. My swim cruised along today but the third turn had us going into the sun and I had a very hard time sighting. It definitely cost me some time as I slowed my stroke and also weaved a little.
I smoked the bike course. It was very flat and there was a little wind but not as bad as yesterday. There were a lot of turns, too. But, I felt great on the bike. I was anaerobic the whole ride. My average heart rate was 162! My average cadence was 97. I was really working it and kept a great pace. The fact that my bike time was only 19 seconds off that of Eric Goetz is very encouraging to me. I know he's still recovering from RaaM and Total 200. My time was only five minutes off that of the first place male.
There is no doubt that I got stronger as we went along. The worst mile was the first. The best was the last. This is very encouraging as this is one area that I've been working to improve. Historically, I have faltered on the run. I want to have negative splits... where the second half of my run is faster than the first. I believe I did that today and I managed to run down some people in my division.
Triathlon in General
I love triathlon. I felt very happy to be out there today. I enjoyed every minute of it. I like the people, especially those in our Club. We have an eclectic group. The variety of the disciplines, the challenge of the clock and the other athletes and all the other idiosyncrasies such as gear, transitions and nourishment, just make it all the more interesting. I LOVE THIS SPORT!
I need to be careful not to rest on my laurels. This was a checkpoint on the way to my A race... Ironman Florida. Progress so far has been right on target and schedule. I need to stick to my plan so that I can achieve my true goal... 12:15 Ironman Florida time.
9 years ago