The breakfast. Wonderful strawberry/banana smoothy, and a bit later, a chocolate Powerbar. A bit of Infinit mixed in.
The swim. Felt a little pressure. Less from the Cutter Battle Royale, more from my lady friend who said she wanted to see me exit the water first. Torched it. Smallish geezer wave of about 40 people and it’s never a strong swim crowd so I start in the front. Picked an absolutely perfect line and sighted best ever. First time in my life I didn’t swim an extra meter. Saw several people to my right on the inside where I’m usually stuck. I was stronger and had a better line so ended up in front from early on. Loved it, completely open water, like I was by myself in my “home” lake. Started to swim into the previous wave about third through, but that wasn’t a problem since they were fairly spread out and a bit off-line. Never really broke my cadence and hit the shore with a solid 30-40 second lead on the second geez. Tossed cap and goggles to my lady friend and began 200 yard run to bike transition. Last few years I’ve been putting shoes on for the semi-rough run up which meant watching a train of people pass me after pulling them through the swim. Decided to streamline things this year. Sensitive dogs held up just fine.
Swim to bike transition. Sucked as usual. Gave everyone about 45 seconds. Fought to get the wetsuit over my calves despite the Bodyglide, put socks on (sensitive dogs) which few do, couldn’t get helmet strap buckled. Comedy of errors. Still exited the park in the lead and held it for a few miles.
The bike. I rode well. Dropped over two minutes from last year’s personal best and averaged 21.2 mph. Got passed by about six-seven guys over the thirty miles, but two were working together, so I’m not counting them even though the race officials consciously chose not to enforce the drafting rules. All of them were on tri-specific bikes with serious race wheels. Not sure how much time I give up on my road bike. I don’t even use aero clip-ons. Got passed for the last time around mile 22 and the timing was perfect. I went with him, sitting about 50 meters back, working harder than I otherwise would have. I was a bit worried I was working too hard, but they shortened the run to 4.3 miles and I figured I could still run for 30+ minutes.
Bike to run transition. Sucked as usual. Gave everyone a gift of about 20-30 seconds. Don’t have speed laces so it takes a while to put the rabbit’s ears into the holes. Lower back was tight, as were my hammies, heart rate was way too high, so I wasn’t in a great frame of mind at the start of the run. Took the first downhill at about three-quarters of a mile to get the h.r. back down to a manageable level. Run was fairly uneventful until my right hammie flared at mile 4. Had to stop and stretch it out for about 15 seconds. I had been closing on a 27 year old (who I was ahead of by 9 minutes since he was in wave 1) but wasn’t able to overcome him after stopping to stretch. After getting the right hammie to work, left quad started to go. Managed to hold it together to the finish. A maximum effort.
Here’s the link to the results.
I have to decide whether to commit to racing more often and leveling the field by purchasing a triathlon bike and race wheels. Not terribly motivated to commit more time/energy to the sport. I’d actually like to talk to a sports psychologist about it if anyone has a recommendation.
In related news, Lance swam, rode, and ran hard, but didn’t have his best day. The old man made “the pass” in the middle of the run deep in the woods where his kids couldn’t see it. I felt for him because he was discouraged by his results. But it was fun hanging out with his family afterwards and watching his kids play with one another like a litter of puppies. From the talk on the way home, I know he’ll keep things in perspective. He knows his family’s well being is far more important than how fast he swims/bikes/runs. The best part of winning the CBR. . . he didn’t call me old once all afternoon.