Swim – I normally tend to lose all my energy after a short effort, but today I managed to pace myself very well. I only stopped a couple of times and they were mainly just to try to sight where the next buoy was. We did a counter-clockwise swim and after the first turn we were facing the sun and the only thing I could see was glare. So, I followed the crowd as best I could until I could finally see the next two buoys. The water was very cold so I’m very glad I had my wetsuit. It was cold enough that I didn’t want to put my face in the water so I swam most of the time with it up (not ideal, but the wetsuit helped keep me more up than I would have been otherwise). I finished the swim feeling pretty good, although it took me a bit going up to the transition area to get my legs back.
T1 – Getting the wetsuit off wasn’t too bad, as long as I didn’t rush. I did have to take my Garmin 310XT off first, but with the quick connect that was easy. I should have put it directly on the bike then, but I put it back on my wrist and had to transfer it to the bike as I exited transition. Not a big deal. I went ahead and put socks on in T1. I thought about this beforehand. I’ve ridden my bike without socks a lot and it’s not a problem (my shoes are designed for that) but I haven’t done much biking yet this year and after getting blisters on my feet during the run of the Outer Banks Tri last year I just decided to play it safe and go with socks. Also, I figured that would make T2 quicker to do it now.
Bike – The bike felt fast. But, about a mile after exiting the park, a dump truck passed me and didn’t get over at all! It startled me so much, that it forced me off onto the gravel on the side of the road. Thankfully, there was a shoulder (I think it was a driveway) and somehow, some way I was able to get my hands off the aerobars and onto the brakes and slow down. I really thought I was going to go down, but the worst that happened was that I just had to stop for a few seconds. After that, thankfully, I had no more problems with cars. Last year I was averaging about 15 mph on the bike on long rides but now that I’m spending more time in the aerobars I managed to average 17.1 mph on this ride. It was awesome.
T2 – This went fairly quickly. Just off with the helmet and bike shoes, slip on the running shoes, buckle my race belt on, grab a water bottle and a few GUs and off I went.
Run – The run started off, of course, with the legs feeling like they had just biked 16 miles. Also, my run cadence sensor wasn’t working so I just tried to replicate what I’ve been working on for the past month or so and keep my cadence as high as I could. It worked. My first mile was just under about 11 minutes but then I cranked out a couple of 9 and a half minute miles and then sprinted the last 0.1 mile at 8 and a half minutes per mile to come in at an average of 9:57 min/mi for the 5K. A year ago I would have killed for that pace in just a 5K by itself, never mind a triathlon. So, apparently all the run training I did this winter is paying off.