I did this race last year, back then it was only my 3rd Triathlon. By now I have a couple more under my belt and wanted to improve last years time. The main difference from last year’s race is that the start was during high tide, which meant we had to swim the full length! This would make my task to improve my time a little harder. During the packet pickup I talked to Adam Daniels a friend with whom I did a couple rides/runs. We concluded that the two of us are at on a similar level and that it might come to a tight race towards the end. We also decided both on the same race strategy, go hard in the swim, go hard on the bike and see if we can keep it up on the run.
For some reason, I slept horrible the night before the race. I woke up many times and couldn’t sleep. So I ended up eating half of my race breakfast at 2am in the morning during one of these awake phases. It was weird, because this race was more for fun and nothing was at stake here. Except my ego!?
Getting up at 4:30am and race prep as usual. Nothing special.
Swim: We started waist deep in the water and I focused from the beginning on a smooth from with a strong stroke. I was in a lucky spot from the beginning on, without a lot of pushing and searching for free space. I kept a tight line to the buoys and was making good progress. Towards the end I rested my legs a little a couple meters, which to my surprise you can see in the HR-chart. One funny thing during the swim was, that one guy swam into me, head first (from the side). I am still wondering how you can swim that crooked
T1: This wasn’t a smooth transition at all. First I couldn’t get my wetsuit off. It got stuck on the timing chip and I needed 3 attempts to peel the suit off. Then I noticed that someone played around with my bike, because the rubber bands which I installed to keep the shoes in place were gone. This meant that I had to fiddle with the shoes for a couple of seconds before I could jump on the bike. I also noticed that Adam’s bike was missing, which meant he was ahead of me. (I took a time-split here. See chart below #1)
Bike: I was pushing it hard on the bike from the beginning on. From my performance test I knew that my threshold was around a heart rate of 150. But for most of the race I was well above 160. I was wondering if that would influence my running capabilities but then that was part of my race strategy to find out. The bike ride itself was uneventful. At the beginning of the ride I overtook a couple of people. But 20 minutes into the ride I was mainly riding alone. Unfortunately, I also wasn’t able to spot Adam. The last 2.5 miles are along the run course. Last year, the leading man was right there at mile 2, this year nobody was insight. Not until around mile 1 where I saw the police bike with the first runner behind. I started counting and saw 12 other runners up to the transition. Whereas the last one was Adam. He just left transition when I came to transition. So he was about one to two minutes ahead of me. There might have been some additional people between him and me who were in transition and I didn’t see them. Because of all the counting I forgot to get out of my shoes which led to a balancing exercise before the dismount.
T2: Very fast, nothing to mention. (I took a time-split here. See chart below #2)
Run: At the beginning of the run I felt slow and had to push myself to keep going. After a mile, I was wondering if I could keep this pace up, since again my HR was above threshold again. But the few other runners I overtook gave me confidence to keep going. My friends which were finishing the bike ride encourage me to keep it going. After a while I settled in. I felt like doing 6:30min/miles but I didn’t know for sure since I missed the first 3 mile markers. When I turned around for the second loop the course was suddenly crowed there were many people on their first loop now. But no one with my pace who could have helped me to keep it up. I realized that I should be able to finish with the current pace even though my back was tired and sore and I still felt sluggish. On the last two miles I continuously increase my pace and was surprised that I was able to push my HR above 180 for an extended time. Then finally the liberating finish line.
I finished the race in 2:13:43. This is a new Olympic distance PR for me. I improved the Nations Triathlon time by 4min and the last years KIC IT time by over 7 minutes. I am very please with it. During the run, I didn’t think I will PR at all. But apparently I managed to run almost a 6min/mile pace. (Maybe the course was a little short?)
Adam was already waiting for me. This was only his second Triathlon and he beat me by over 3 minutes. Impressive! I thought we would finish closer together, but then as it turns out we placed 2nd and 3rd in our AG. How exciting. It got even more exciting during the awards ceremony when they only called Adam and my name for the M30-34 AG. (I guess this was because the first in our AG was second overall and got a price for that.) The reward for my place was a beer glass, but unfortunately it was empty. I changed that later in the day…
I really enjoyed this race! It is so much fun to do a local race where you meet a lot of people you know.
Congrats to Adam Daniel (2nd M30-34) and Matt Woods (3rd M45-49) and ALL my other friends who finished this race! There are too many to list hem all here
Side Note: I even made it into the news. Stamford Advocate, picture #20