1k swim, 30k bike, 7k run
A PR from last year's first tri experience: nearly two minutes faster, finishing in 01:51:33. 7/31 AG, 117/399 OA.
SWIM - 00:22:13, 2:15/100m, 16/31 AG, 233/399 OA
Woo-hoo! My swim was 2 seconds faster. I have spent more time than this taking a bite of toast. I'd like to believe the buoys this year were further apart than last, but I think it just points to how difficult shaving quality time off swims is. I think a tightness in the chest came not from the onset of a cardiac event so much as a carelessly pulled up wetsuit. Note to self: review with Paula @ Foot Tools the tricks of getting the middle section of the torso hucked up high enough to maximize freedom of movement.
T1 - 00:02:09
Happy to report the wheels remained on the bus, and I was ~ 30 secs. faster than last year. I attribute this in part to not dawdling to drink while stationary. My pre-race hydration set me up well and I knew for a relatively short race like this the Aerodrink would suffice to get me well into the run. If further speeding up T1 entails running in bare feet, flying like a squirrel onto the bike and jamming my toes into shoes already mounted on the pedals, I think I'll stick to the 2 minute range. Then again, if the podium beckons, who knows how much indignity I'd be willing to subject myself to...
BIKE - 00:54:00, 33.2 kms/hr, 6/31 AG, 99/399 OA
Had a pretty clean and strong run at it, passing a whack of folks, and glad to report rampant consideration from pretty much everyone. Not as crowded as the Guelph Lake Olympic course. Rolling hills helped break apart clots, and I was able to practice restraint when one of the few who passed me was in my AG. The pace he had was either a sign of Awesomeness or Misjudgement; I chose to let him go knowing he'd come back to me if it was meant to be (wait a minute... that doesn't sound right) Sure enough, with about three kms to go he'd faded enough for me to reel him in, my patience rewarded. This was a different route than last year, a bit hillier perhaps, but not enough to justify my being > two minutes slower. Note to Self: take Joe Friel's advice to racers over 50: ramp up the weight regime to forestall muscle loss. I just simply need stronger thumpers. Not as exciting as a new carbon frame and lighter groupset, but certainly at this point the legs are where the most gains stand to spring from.
T2 - 00:01:04
again, nothing went awry, avoided calamities, skipped the drink pause knowing my electrolyte balance had to be reasonable, and managed another PR through here, 24 secs. faster than last year.
RUN - 00:31:30, 04:30/km, 4/31 AG, 82/399 OA
This is where the sign overhead would read: Don't forget, triathlons are hard. Thank heavens I'd done the number of bricks I had with my club so that the rude shock of fatigue didn't stop me cold. Any arrogance in thinking "I'd just finished an Olympic length event a few weeks ago so this should be a breeze" evaporated as I jogged past the timing gate and turned on to the long straightaway start of the run across the Shand Dam. I glanced around; the sofa and ottoman I so desperately craved were nowhere to be seen. The run itself went well enough for me to better my time by nearly two minutes, no mean feat when the first km or so (also the last, being an out-and-back course) was now a fresh coating of loose gravel that made it feel like running on sand.
I was impressed by the variety of club members I recognized on the run; many of them were multi-time iron-distance competitors and yet they were at this relatively small event, putting it on the line of a relatively short race. Lesson learned: Greg Lemond nailed it with his quote about his bike racing career: "It doesn't get any easier, you just go faster".
This was my little epiphany. We are all out there putting in the mileage as quickly as possible, and it will never get any easier - we'll just (hopefully!) go faster...