Earlier this year I decided I would do an Olympic distance triathlon again in 2011. (That's a 1500m swim, 40k bike, and 10k run.) My first triathlon was last year. I looked around at some other races but I enjoyed the one I did so much I decided to go for round two. I guess I should hang on to that $20 off the 2012 race coupon that they were handing out just in case.
For those of you here just for the facts, I finished in 3:03:15 which was good enough for 376/668 overall. Last year I finished in 3:05:53 or 509/770 overall.
On Friday, I had my pre-game meal of Smashburger. Yeah, I'm not going for world records here so I pick meals I will enjoy. After that I got my stuff together and tried to go to sleep early.
getting things lined up the night before
Going to bed early helped me to get up at 7:30...er, 7:30 eastern time that is. It paid off as unlike last year I wasn't setting up in transition at the very last moment. I got a good spot in transition and noticed I was a couple of slots down from my swimming masters-class-mate, Brad. I never saw Brad again even though according to the results we finished 2 seconds apart. Then I got marked up. It's still weird to me they put your age on your leg. But of course it's fun when I am passing the 27-year-olds.
I was the 7th heat. With 3 minutes between heats that means my start time was 6:48. But at 6:30 I made my way towards the start so I could see the start of it all. On the way there I heard my name and saw my old Toastmasters buddy, Jim. He has run marathons before but this was his first Olympic distance race. Soon after that I also found my co-worker Peter. Peter is very fast.
but for me we could have been the three filipino amigos. sorry guys for my extreme whiteness
The photos here were taken by the lovely and super-supportive Christine who also got up at 4:30 with me even though she was not racing. You can read her account of the day with videos too.
1500m (about 0.9 miles) 33:18, Placed 400/668
did I forget something?
I was much stronger in the swim compared with last year. I was a little surprised to be only 3 minutes faster. But then I realized that is a 10% improvement. So that's cool.
Last year in the water I was kicked in the head. This year I avoided that but did catch an elbow in the nose - luckily not hard enough to break it. I really wanted to pee during the swim. Many of you will know that peeing in a wetsuit, while gross, feels fantastic. But it was not to be, I couldn't do it while exerting myself. The song "Can't Let Go" by Earth, Wind & Fire was running through my brain. It's a good song so that was a consolation.
happy it went well and my nose is intact
By the end of the swimming rectangle it was chaos in the water. By that time I was catching up to the slower swimmers from the previous heat or two. And faster swimmers from subsequent heats were passing me. I've never been groped so much in my life, even more this year than last. But I got out feeling good and headed to...
transition #1 (swim to bike)
7:18, Place 647/668
I was a minute faster in T1 than last year but still really slow. For comparison Peter did T1 in about 2:30 and Jim in 2:43. How are they (and everyone else) so much faster? Most people buy tri-suits so there is less clothes changing. And less public nudity BTW. I did improve by a minute by bringing my cookies along instead of eating them in the transition area.
my new cookie pouch
40km (about 25 mi) in 1:27:08 or 17.0mph. Placed 418/668
let's test out this leg of mine
On the bike I was about the same as last year. This made me happy since I haven't been cycling much for the last 3 months. I felt good the whole time and the views at the end of Point Loma are spectacular.
On the way up the hill I saw someone pull over to puke. I didn't laugh because last year I ate too much for breakfast and nearly did the same. This year I avoided that pitfall; I spread out my cookie eating! At the top of the same hill I saw an ambulance tending to someone who had crashed. No idea what happened but he had a bandage around his head. He was sitting up and alert so I assume it was nothing serious.
i found Christine!
transition #2 (bike to run)
2:34, middle of the pack
The only noteworthy thing here is I forgot to change shorts so I had to run in my bike shorts.
10km (supposed to be 6.2 miles but it was 6.35) in 52:57 or 8:32/mile. Placed 254/668
The funny thing about the run is last year I was really tired by then. I even walked a bit. That didn't happen this year but yet I was still slower by a minute or so. When I get off the bike I feel like I have springs in my legs. But I have to watch it because I feel like running 7:20 miles and I can't actually keep that up. So this year I did a better job of keeping the pace steady but I guess it cost me a little time overall.
at the end I was still able to sprint and smile
I was thinking about what a half Ironman would be like during the run. I could have run farther but probably not twice as far on this day. And obviously the bike leg would be longer too. So it will take some training without so many interruptions to get to that level.
we are ready to eat!
Afterwards I was hungry of course. We headed over to Pt Loma Seafoods and I chowed down on their wonderful halibut sandwich. And fries. You know I'm hungry when I eat more than that huge sandwich!
hey fish, I just swam in your ocean!
Nothing was too sore. After some rest I was up and making some delicious cobbler.