AG Place 7/20Overall Place 51/267
Last season, Sullivan was my first real outdoor triathlon. I was certainly excited to be back. The conditions were remarkably similar, it was cold and very windy with showers most of the day. This year Sullivan would also be Lana's first Triathlon, and to be honest I was probably more excited for her to experience this type of race than I was to do it myself.
The swim went as well as it could for me. I was about a minute faster than last year, but I'm still an awful swimmer. Whenever I get in a hurry my form gets bad, and sprint races are as hurried as it gets.
I didn't fall on my face, so I'm going to call T1 a success. My T1 was SLOW compared to others in my AG. I need to improve on this, but I'm not going to take time away from Swim/Bike/Run to do it now. This year is all about a successful Ironman 70.3, and fast transitions aren't required for that goal.
My bike split was good overall, but I was also about 10 Watts under my FTP for the majority of the race. I was wanting to be at 100% on the bike course. I'm not completely sure why I couldn't get going to be honest. It may have been my recent cold, but I'm not sure. Any speculation would be just that, at this point. At any rate, I averaged 21 mph on the bike this time around. Last year was 18 mph. Thats a nice chunk of improvement. The bike is my strongest sport, and my favorite, so it's nice to do well.
When I got into T2 I got some very bad news. Lana's bike was back in transition, and her running shoes were gone. She didn't pass me on the bike, so something was wrong. Maybe she got lost, or hurt, or who knows what... I was really worried of course. I considered my options, and it really came down to this. I could quit and look for her or I could keep racing. I couldn't think of a scenario that would result in her being happier/healthier/safer if I stopped racing, so I decided the best course of action was to run fast and hopefully see her at the finish line. So, that's what I did. I tried to push the worry out of my mind and began my run.
I was surprised how fast I was able to run after a 95% percent effort on the bike. The problem with being new is that you often have no idea how to pace. After about 400 meters I had my cadence up and my legs were feeling pretty strong. I really didn't know if I could stick the pace I was at, or if I would blow up and jog the rest. I just had to mentally shrug my shoulders and say "well, I guess we will see." Once I made it past the second mile though, I knew I had it and even a little bit more. I managed to run down someone else that appeared to be in my AG, and finished strongly.
Overall, I finished 14 minutes and 4 seconds faster than last year. Thats a great improvement on a sprint distance race. I'm still a long way from the podium of course, but that isn't really the point anyway.
After the race I found out that Lana had a flat just a few miles into the bike, and I was very disappointed for her. She'll be back though, and I'm looking forward to seeing her finish strong at Tri-Shark!