The last triathlon on my season if behind me. It was an interesting season,
both better and worse than expected. My first triathlon in June was much better
than expected. I thought I'd get my butt kicked but it was not to be - I
actually had one of my better sprint triathlons in recent years. But the second
race, in July, was a disaster - I couldn't handle the heat.
So along comes August and the third Wednesday night sprint triathlon in the
Running Fit T-Rex Triathlon Series.
It's been a hot summer, with temperatures well into the 90's during the day (
80's more recently). It was not very likely that the water temperature was going
to be low enough to make wet suits legal. But we've had some cold nights and
lots of rain recently, so I brought my wetsuit to the T-Rex Sprint Triathlon,
just in case.
I'm not a particularly fast swimmer. A wet suit really helps someone like me.
Especially someone who has not been in the water for a month...
The water was at 78F - the legal limit. The race was wet suit legal.
And guess what? Most of the rest of the field left their wetsuits at home
assuming the water would be too warm! Yes, I walked into the water in the first
wave and noticed that two-thirds of the racers were sans wetsuits. Just
like cross country skiing, paying attention to the weather and making sure your
ready for every likely contingency pays off.
I didn't expect a great swim, but clearly the wet suit helped, as I finished
30 places higher than the last time I (and everyone else) wore wetsuits, at the
Training...just not the way you think
The bike was uneventful until the mid-point. I crossed the railroads track,
looped through one parking area, passed near the tracks again to head toward the
next parking turn-around and...the train crossing signals start blinking and
clanging! Luckily, I still have to ride a quarter mile or so before I have to
cross the train tracks. I'm eyeing the train the entire way, the road
paralleling the tracks.
At the end of the loop, I do a nice relaxed climb up the hill to the tracks -
and the train passes by just as I arrive at the crest behind a dozen stalled
bikers. I don't even have to get out of my pedals - I slowly ride forward,
careful of others getting into their pedals. As traffic clears, its up to speed.
Push the tempo
Running out of T2, I see Adam Haberkorn entering with his bike. No more than
a minute behind me, I have extra incentive to push my pace. Few runners are
around me. I passed one early on the first uphill, and a quarter mile after that
the third place women blows by me. Then I was alone, trying to keep my pace up.
There are several places where the course turns back on itself, giving ample
opportunity to see who is ahead or behind. Adam was not that far behind, and
there were groups of runners all around him. At the mile-to-go turn around
point, it appeared a large number of runners were gaining on me.
Shortly after the turnaround, the fourth place women passes, but she's not
going that much faster and I hold on and pace her for a 150 yards. My heart rate
monitor shows me at 94% of max. Maybe I should try not to blow up before the
end. I drop off the back.
With a quarter mile to go, the fifth place women passes. I hold onto
her for a short distance, but she's going too fast. I manage to hold off one
last contender before the finish. And Adam never catches me...