|Stage||Time||Pace||Place in Stage||Cumulative Time||Cumulative Place|
All in all, I'm happy with the race, though I do wish I would have done better. I was really afraid my run was going to be way slow, so that was a nice bonus.
My goal for next year is 1:12. I think that's very doable. I just need to get my biking back in shape to where I was in 2005, and then take a minute off of each of my events (run/bike/swim). A minute off the swim might be difficult, but the bike and run should be pretty straight-forward. Heck, I'd like to take a good two minutes off my run. For reference, a 1:12 would have placed 53rd this year (and 71st in 2005). Plus, my T2 time is horrible, I guess I need to run faster in that transition.
How did the race play out? Well, as I donned my gear to bike over to the start the skies opened up and rained down. It poured. I got soaked and my stuff got pretty wet when I laid it out. Of course, 15 minutes before race the rain stopped completely and wouldn't start up again until I was biking home. Lesson: bring plastic garbage bags and don't lay your stuff out until the last minute (if it's raining).
I had a huge cheering section this year. Mary and Simone and my folks cheered me during the swim - I did actually hear them. I was in a lane with just two other people and they swam much slower so I had to stall with the breast stroke a couple of times before I was able to pass. The swim ended up feeling really good (other than the frustration) and pretty easy.
I ran out to my bike where the Mattsons and Bouchers rang their cowbells. The transition felt pretty fast and I was able to find everything I needed. On a nice day I might forgo the shirt, but it was cool enough that I was glad to put it on.
The bike started pretty well, though my legs did feel a little tired. I got passed by a number of people about half way out toward the first turnaround. That was the first sign that my bike ride wasn't as good as it was in 2005. I ended up playing leap-frog with a guy and a gal at the end, but sprinted to finish ahead of both of them. I think I could have pushed the bike a little harder. Lesson: do more swim/bike bricks to make the transition easier.
I revved up the RPMs during the last quarter mile of the ride - that's supposed to help your transition to the run. However, I just felt really winded during the transition. My fan club was standing next to my space to help me find my running shoes, but I was a little too (un)focused to find it quickly. Lesson: bring big chalk and mark up the sidewalk (or just look for my fans).
The run started pretty painfully. I tried to keep my steps short and the turnover fast, but I think it was more like short steps and slow turnover. The first mile and a half felt sluggish, real sluggish. Kelly timed my last lap (7:43 or something like that - which is just under a mile) which was when I finally started feeling like I could move. I pushed hard for nearly the whole lap - especially up the hill on the backstretch, and I'm sure I left a trail of smoke and flames turning into the center of the quad where the race finished. Lesson from the run: run more, run more, run more - and practice the bike/run brick more.
The race was a fun one - I made some folks laugh as I passed them (or they passed me) on the run, and everyone who showed up to cheer me on seemed to have fun (Elizabeth even showed up for my last lap). I'll definitely do it again next year.