OC Triathlon - 5/22/2011
My goal was to finish in 3 hours +/- 10 minutes given how I thought the course would go. Given how the run course actually went the fact that I finished in my goal range at all is totally surprising! I've been feeling a little under the weather for the past week and half, so my main priority was to have a good time and finish in reasonable time.
The event seemed a little unorganized and a little understaffed. There were so many buoys in the water it was difficult to tell where to swim exactly. It seemed as though the practice swim was better marked than the race swim!? Adam's group was the first to take off and I was the 3rd. Compared to the complete abject terror I felt in the last race, I felt calm and relaxed. My swim was pretty uneventful, I didn't push it very hard, just kept swimming along. I tried to pick up the pace a bit at the half way point, but the water became congested with faster swimmers as they let the men 40-49 go after us for some reason (and those guys haul ass).
I exited the water feeling pretty good and my earplugs seemed to help my dizziness issues a bit. Usually I exit an OW swim reeling like a drunken sailor! My bike split was great, I'm really pleased with my average speed on that semi-hilly course. I felt strong and evenly paced. I started the run at a fast clip and fortunately took it down a notch, since I didn't know about all the hills that lay ahead. Whoa - hills, after hills after hills! No joke!
The hills were a bit hard on both the body and the mind. The downhills were steep and jarring and the uphills slow and grueling. I was bummed to feel my knees aching on the last few downhill sections, but gathered enough energy to gun it through the finish. I'm okay with my 10 min/mi average on that course. In fact, I'm pretty happy with it. I know I can go a lot faster, but I was out there to have fun and hit my reasonable goal.
From now on, I'll bring a hydration belt as I didn't think there was enough water on the course and nothing freaks me out like that. I'm resting a bit after the race and have a tickle of a cold that must go away before next weekend's Alcatraz race. I feel pretty good overall!
Adam was 10th in his age group (35-39)! 10th! For his first race! I'm really proud of him and all of his hard work. He's a natural in all three sports (plus, now I don't feel so bad about not keeping up with him). It was really nice to have him on the course with me. Adam's cousin Mark and our friend Thierry also did the OC Tri with us. Every time I saw a familiar face it buoyed my spirits and renewed my effort. While triathlon is very much a solo sport, there's a 'team' like camaraderie that I am learning to love.