Saturday was my first full (read: non-relay) tri of the season and I was absolutely dreading it. That damn ocean swim was just psyching me out, despite knowing that my swim is so much stronger this year, and that in general I am a more well-rounded athlete. So Saturday morning, bright and early, we packed up the car and headed north to the event.
They made some changes to the course layout this year, and they were all phenomenal. One change was moving the transition area out of a grassy field to a parking lot, which was so much nicer. Last year you'd run from the beach with all the sand on your wet feet into this grassy field, making your feet a gross combination of grass clippings, sand and salt water while you tried to get your bike shoes on. Ugh.
We got there, got bodymarked and set up transition. Doing this for the second year, and having more friends who have gotten into the sport, we did see some friendly faces, which was nice. The race almost sold out, so it was pretty packed. The weather was nice and overcast too, which was awesome.
Overall Time: 1:35:46
Distance: 500 Meters
This. Was. Awesome. Last year, the swim for me was characterized by hyperventilating, back stroking, doggy paddling misery. This year...cool as a cucumber. I started on the inside in the thick of the pack, whereas my strategy in past years was to start on the outside right, so I would have fewer people around me. Worked out great. All the swimming has been paying off. I'm so much more confident in my stroke and my breathing that I was able to just go out and do it. In fact when I passed buoy 3 of 4, I couldn't believe I was that far - it felt so short! It helped that the ocean was really glassy. I shaved 3 minutes off my time from last year, and I probably could have pushed even harder.
WTF, was I eating a sandwich? Taking a leisurely stroll? I ran into transition, but once there, not practicing transition since last year was evident. I had an added step of putting my bondi band on, but in general, I just moved really slow. A lot of "Oh yeah, I need my gels" and "oh, gotta put my sunglasses on." Clearly, T1 needs some work. I really could have gotten this down and reduced my overall time.
Distance: 16 miles
Avg. Speed: 18.9 mph
I can't begin to say how good this felt. Since I didn't blow up on the swim like I have in the past, I was actually in good shape going into the bike. It felt so easy, like I was trying to figure out where the wind was coming from because I just felt like I was sailing along. They bumped the course up to 16 miles this year, from 10 miles the previous year, which I think worked in my favor. I like the longer Olympic distance because I can settle into each leg a bit, and the longer bike allowed me to do that. Stoked about my speed. I pushed it, but it didn't feel brutal it just felt like - wait for it - I was moving like a well oiled machine.
Better than T1 obviously, but still a bit slow. I don't have Yankz or anything on my Newtons, and they have longish laces, so it took me a hot minute to get them tied. I was able to run in from the bike dismount; my legs felt really fresh.
Distance: 3.1 miles
I did this race without my Garmin, using just my sport wristwatch so I had a basic grasp of total time. I felt like I was moving really slow. They changed the run course this year, thank god. Last year, it was hot hot hot. No shade and this course that felt like forever, even though it was only 3.1 miles. Lots of turns that you thought would be the final one. This year, they re-engineered it a bit, so it went by much more quickly. As a fun gesture, since it's typically so warm, they went door to door prior to the race and asked the people who lived along the course to set up sprinklers so there was a nice shower. Really though, with the cloud cover, the day remained blessedly cool.
So there you have it, folks. I'll post pics when I get them. I'm no reinvigorated for racing and for triathlon! In the meantime, I've been oggling this:
And one last note - I have compression socks, but I want to go full bore and get compression tights. I'm split between Skins and 2XU, but am open to suggestion. Any thoughts?