Yesterday was the first triathlon of the year for me. The Ordinary Mortals Triathlon here in my home town. I didn't feel like I'd put the same level of training in this year, so I didn't really know what to expect when I awoke yesterday morning, but in the end, I was pleased with how the race went overall.
The weather was a bit cooler than expected on Saturday Morning. I would guess that it was somewhere in the low 50's at the start of the race. There was also a bit of a wind which certainly made things feel a bit cooler. One of the nice things about this race is that it's a "reverse order" event, meaning we started with the run. As a result, there was no need to jump on a bike while still soaking wet.
Around 9:00 a.m. the gun for the start of the race went off, and the pack cruised down the first hill. I tried to settle into an easy pace, but knew that I was going a bit faster than I normally would. I hit the first mile mark at 6:45 and still felt pretty good. I did my best not to slow too much, but also didn't kill myself getting up the first steep hill. Mile two was a 7:30 pace which seemed a bit more appropriate to me and before long, I found myself with less than a half mile to go. A good chunk of this is uphill including a patch of stairs, and towards the top I started to feel a bit winded. As I made the final turn back toward the finish, I found myself at roughly 22:30 give or take a few seconds (Ranks as a "Great" performance).
|Heading towards the "steps" at about 2.4 miles|
Transition went well as I got my shoes off and got ready for the bike portion of the race. I didn't slow down too much or pause to drink water, etc. while in T1. As soon as I hit the mount line, I jumped onto the bike and got rolling. Although the first part of the ride contains more downhill than up, we were battling a head wind for most of the way out. This kept my pace a bit slower than usual for this section, but it was sure helpful to have a tail wind on the return trip. I felt pretty good throughout the ride and did my best to pass a few of the riders in front of me along the way. All told, I moved past about 10 to 12 people over the course of the ride (T1= "Good", Bike= "Great"). My bike time wound up being less than a minute slower than two years before.
|Heading out for the bike portion of the race|
Coming off of the bike at T2, I finally remembered to take my race belt off. In year's past, I've forgotten and then had to swim while wearing it. I toyed for a moment with trying to get my jersey top off as well so that I could swim in just my shorts, but I realized that I would be sitting there fighting with it in transition so it was better to just get moving. My time for T2 was about 1:08 which wasn't too terrible (T2= Great).
The swim is done in the local university pool and consists of 12 lengths or 6 laps. Basically, you swim up and back a lane, duck under the lane rope, and repeat, working your way across the pool from right to left. It makes the swim rather unique in that you know exactly where both the person in front of you as well as the person behind you are at. I had a pretty good lead over the person behind me, but he was coming strong. With only about 2 lengths to go, he closed to within a few feet of me which made for an interesting finishing. Then it was out of the pool followed by a short run to the finish line. I managed to keep my competitor at bay and crossed the line just in front of him. My total time for the swim (which includes probably 40 seconds of running) was 6:46 (Swim= Good/ Average, Overall= Great).
When all was said and done, my final time was 1:07:35 which was good for 6 out of 16 in my age group and 20th overall. I think there were something like 140 folks total (77 male finishers). It's interesting to do a comparison from each of the years I've done the race to see the difference in each performance:
I may have to consider deviating from my every other year tradition next year as I'd love to see if I can nudge my performance forward a bit. I think there still might be a few more seconds to shave off of the run, bike, and swim and it would be great to get my time down by another minute or two.