I've come a long way from the days when I rode an oversized road bike, my transition bag was a Home Depot orange bucket, and I was happy with 11 minute/mile run splits.
I now have a beautiful Cervelo P2C triathlon bike that fits me, a real transition bag, and the ability to run six miles with sub-9-minute splits. I'm still no superstar, but I've come a long way.
Today's Breath of Life Triathlon is a race that I participated in last year, with a time of 3 hours and 9 minutes. My goal was to beat three hours.
This is an olympic distance race: 0.9 mile swim, 24.9 mile bike, 6.2 mile run.
The swim: Cold water, lots of seaweed. Did my usual hyperventilating in the first two minutes, got clocked in the head by another swimmer, found my groove and finished the swim portion in 29 minutes. That's four minutes faster than last year's split, and I have not been working that hard on my swimming. As it so happens, it was a low tide so the swim was shorter.
I ran up to the beach. In front of me were a cluster of men from the previous wave who were walking up to the beach. I dashed between them, running through sand, and in the midst of my dashing and rushing dropped my goggles and swim cap. Whoops!
Transition has gotten faster. Find bike, catch breath, pull off wetsuit, drop helmet and suglasses on ground, put Luna Bar in mouth, pick up sunglasses and put on face, put on helmet, put on bike shoes, double check to make sure I have everything with me, grab bike and run out of transition area.
The bike was nice and flat. With my new (since last season) Cervelo P2C bike, I move faster. I haven't been riding too much since I've been focusing on running. But, I think my average speed was about 17.5 mph, a good mile per hour faster than last year. I still get passed on the bike a lot, but that's ok because I'll pass several of those folks on the run. Not the most beautiful bike course, but mostly flat and fast. Other than losing my water botttle straw from the bottle at the front of the bike (dropping things seems to be a theme today), I felt good about the bike.
After riding into the transition area, I quickly racked the bike, threw on socks then shoes, grabbed 2 Gu gels, my Garmin GPS (to tell me my pace... yeah I'm a geek), visor, and ran out to the run course. The first mile was in 8:15, the second and third in about 8:45, the fourth and fifth more like 9:00-9:15, and the last mile in about 8:15 to finish strong. My calves cramped up and my stomach cramped, but I could keep up my pace. I loved the out-back-out-back run course with the chance to see and cheer on other friends and club members who were racing.
Finish time: 2 hours, 55 minutes, 4 seconds. Almost fifteen minutes faster than last year. Far from first place, but definitely not last place. For me, a good race.