I had one of the best races ever this past Saturday. I placed 6th in my age group, out of 40 (the largest male age group), and 27th out of 373 finishers. I felt really good going in and I’m glad I was able to pull it all together for a race.
Most of the races I do are much longer than the 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run making up this race. For the longer races it really isn’t necessary to do much of a warm up. When you are racing for 5 hours or more, the benefit of a warm up goes way down as you are just wasting much needed energy you’ll need later in the day.
The swim was a beach start – the first time I had to do this kind of start. I wasn’t sure how it would go. Would I lose my goggles? Would I spike my heart rate on the run into the water and not be able to recover? Well, it went fine. I had a strong swim and finished in 8:43, the third fastest swim time for my wave.
The transition to T-1 was the most unique I had ever done. It consisted of a short but very steep run from the water. It was so unique that there was a separate contest for the fastest one up the hill. My heart rate was in the 160’s all the way up, which is the highest it would get for the whole race. I had opted to wear a wetsuit, even for such a short swim. I had no problems getting out of the wetsuit and had a quick transition to the bike.
It had been raining most of the morning (and my awesome Wife and Son came to watch me anyway) so the roads were wet. I wanted to average at least 20 MPH for the course , which I did. I probably could have gone faster but the wet roads slowed me up a bit.
My bike to run transition was probably the fastest I’ve ever done, only 35 seconds. I was able to stay strong on the run and finished with a sub-7 minute/mile pace, despite the final mile being mostly up hill.
Not the challenge, translate my ability to go fast over a short sprint race, to the half-ironman and ironman distance.
My focus will shift this week to getting ready for the Green Mountain Marathon.