My alarm went off at 4:15am as it does most days of the week these days and it was time to get moving and ready for the race. Normally on race morning I'm excited, I usually can't wait to get to the venue get my warmup in and and catch up with friends that I might not have seen in awhile. However, after a big training week my mind and my body just did not want to race, and just wanted to hop back into bed. I had made a promise to race to one of my sponsors and I intended to keep it that way.
It was still dark when I arrived at the beach, but I got there early enough to secure an end spot on my rack so I didn't mind. As I started my normal warm-up of running the run course I could feel I wasn't going to have anything in my legs so I kept it a little easier than usual to conserve some energy. I had already put in about 15 hours of training for the week including a hard 80 miles the day before. When I got back from my warm-up I noticed that almost every fast triathlete in the immediate area had signed up to race, not the best day to be off! Even so my desire to race was barely there.
Link To Warm-up: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/204346466
Swim 1/2 Mile (.45 GPS) 11:59
Looking out at the water it looked like it was going to be a little rough, it had been raining the last few days so I expected it. There was some chop, but nothing to worry about. The start gun went off and I started in the back as I have the last few races. The only problem was this race was loaded with swimmers. I started to swim and almost immediately lost the front pack. With the chop and the current against us on the way out, it probably wasn't the best idea to let them go. I lost sight of them after the final buoy so I'm sure they were way ahead. I'm not sure how fast they came out because there are no split times for this race, but I'm sure by the end there was a one to two minute gap.
Swim Split: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/204346499
Its a short run up the beach into transition, I should have been faster here, but just lacked a sense of urgency. I asked one of the volunteers how many were out of the water and was almost shocked when he said 15.
Bike: 15 mi (14.89 GPS) 40:28 22.1 mph, 270 average watts
As I left the transition area I immediately started passing people I knew from here on out it was going to be a matter of me playing catch up after the hole I dug myself into during the swim. The bike is a rolling course with some good hills and a lot of sharp turns so its hard to get in to a good rhythm. I knew the whole crew I was trying to catch and I thought I would have been able to catch them if my legs would wake up. I was pushing and moving at what I felt was a good pace, but it seemed like it was taking forever to catch some of the swimmers. After setting a PR on my 60 mile route the day before I expected I would be a little flat on the bike, but I wouldn't realize how flat until after the race. While I was continually passing riders the whole time, the guys I was looking for were nowhere in sight. After hitting the top of the big hill on the course at about the 10 mile marker I knew it was going to be a long shot to catch any of them on the run. I rode the last stretch into T2 at close to 23mph, but I wasn't sure it going to be enough.
Off the bike and time to run some people down!
A little more like it. Flying Dismount, bike racked, shoes on, in and out.
Run: 3 M(2.74 GPS) 17:35 6:25 Mi/Pace
As I got into running I quickly got into my rhythm and felt strong, the only problem is that this run is mostly single track and trails so its hard(for me) to be speedy with a lack of footing. The first mile was a good mix so I could get my speed up and I quickly passed 2 runners. I had no clue where I was in the overall standings, but I knew I was way back. The second mile was a majority of road and flat trails so I was able to muster a 6:11 to put some more time into the guys behind me. The last stage of the race has quite a few bits of running on sandy surfaces including the stretch to the finish line which is why my pace dropped so much in the final 3/4 mile. Overall I came across the line in 1:12:26 which was good enough for 17th place Overall and 6th in the Men 30-39.
Looking back on my bike split I had no power, I averaged only 270 watts which isnt too far off what I averaged at my last Olympic distance race which was 10 miles longer. The other two sprints I did this year were clocked at 290,and 292 watts so I was off a bit from where I should have been. That being said I'm still happy to be able to get into the top 20 of a highly competitive race after shelling myself with a big week of training. I took a total of 21 minutes off my time from the race when I did it as my second triathlon 8 years ago! Even so It's definitely hard to race lacking the killer instinct that I normally have. Now I have to refocus as I've got a few big more weeks of training before nationals left, which will be my next race. Can't wait to reconnect with the EFRT back in Burlington!