Well, I suppose that after all this lead up I suppose I just HAVE to recap the event. Wouldn't want to leave any one of the tens of readers out there hanging by the thin thread of blogspot anticipation.
I came into this weekend unprepared and undertrained. But that was ok! It was, in effect, on purpose. No injuries to speak of and no weird ailments to derail training were in my way; my self was in my way. But it was a low stress weekend, at least for me. My goals were simply to watch Christine dominate as much as possible and then have a solid event myself on Sunday. Getting up early Saturday to spectate and help Christine in the morning was tough knowing I'd have to do the same thing myself in 24 hours, but it was worth all the time on my feet and in the sun throughout the day to see her race so well. Not my normal pre-raceday routine, but well worth any fatigue or soreness it added to the weekend.
My own race morning dawned bright and early and everything was very smooth leading to my race start time of 8:22.
Swim - 31:07
The rolling wave start was kind of cool and unique, so I was excited to try out a new format. I figured the swim would be relatively tough, but after seeing the pro males swim 23ish I knew that we were potentially not facing as much current as the ladies did on Saturday. Given that I only had a swim skin I was pleased with that.
Further, given that over the past 13 weeks I have averaged about 1hr in the pool per week...I was thinking it might be a slow, rough swim. Be that as it may, I dove in optimistically after seeding myself in the 28-30 minute section. I ended up passing quite a lot of athletes throughout the race, so the suspicions of over-seeding by guys was very confirmed. The swim was pretty uneventful and wasn't difficult, relatively speaking. I was working a steady pace and dealing with the chop and very mild current without too much trouble, although I had no time reference until I got close to the end of the pier (about 200m to go perhaps?) and glanced at my watch, which read 29:xx so I knew my time wasn't going to be blazing fast.
T1 - 3:52
This was a pretty long run up to the transition area and a long run through transition area so my time wasn't particularly speedy, but I didn't waste any of it.
Bike - 2:42:06
The bike was where I figured I'd lose the MOST time at this race. Everyone is an uber biker at a world championship (or certainly thinks they are) so I knew with my paltry fitness that I'd have to play it safe or I'd suffer the consequences on the run. I figured 190-200w was a pretty good goal that would probably result in a 2:35-2:40.
I took the climb pretty easy and was passed quite a lot and it was a while before I got the change to enjoy some overtaking myself; on the downhill section I re-passed a few who had passed me and settled into somewhat of a rhythm. I continued on uneventfully for most of the race, taking in calories throughout and trying to make up for a dropped bottle early on in the bike meant that I was grabbing and chugging at aid stations.
There was relatively little drafting, but I was very solidly in the middle of the pack as far as the overall M30-34 race goes so I can't comment on other parts of the race. There were a few offenders who were mostly from countries in south america (I know this because they had their country on their tri kit). That was pretty annoying.
At mile 35 or 40ish I had to pee so bad that I could barely get into my aerobars. I had to pull over at a porto into which someone had just entered so my pee break ended up being a little longer than ideal (2mins) but the relief was priceless. I needed the aerobars for the last 10 miles or so and got off the bike feeling ok with my effort although I was a little sad that my bike time was bested by Christine's from the day before :(
T2 - 2:18
Nothing to see here, except talking to a guy who had been drafting the last 10 miles on myself and a couple other guys. Someone else actually called him out in transition as well. Down with the cheaters!
Run - 1:29:03
I have been the most consistent with running over the summer, so I figured I had a decent chance at a solid run. I underestimated the difficulty of this run course, however, as I was unaware of the 2 serious climbs on the other side of the river...
I started off way too fast, for sure, as my first mile was 6:20ish and basically entirely uphill. I knew Christine and fam would be at the underpass so I made sure to "raise the roof" and yell real loudly when I passed. Unfortunately this ruined pictures of me as I look like a moron but, all in all, I'd say it was a fair trade.
I carried on for a while and the first real nut-puncher is just before mile 4ish and it was a real short but steep hustle. That was kind of the first "oh shit this could be rough" moment of the run, so I slowed down and took it conservatively before getting back on the gas and over the bridge. Shortly thereafter we had another monster climb followed by a nice descent then another monster climb then another sharp descent and then we got back to the pedestrian bridge to head back south across the river and loop #2. I was in a pretty solid rhythm and clicking off relatively consistent miles without feeling too bad. I was not enjoying my gu but I WAS enjoying red bull for the first time in a race, ever.
Normally I'm not a red bull fan, but that ice cold piss looking drink was oddly satisfying. Perhaps it was the caffeine? Lap 2 was more of the same, but slower, as I really started struggling on the uphills. I knew that my time was going to be close to what Christine told me her time was (I didn't remember specifically) so that last mile involved some hustle to try and make sure I
a) beat her
b) snuck under 1:30
I was glad to be done and honestly pretty pleased with my effort!
Overall - 4:48:26 (142/318)
So yea, not the fastest time, but it was the best slow race I've ever had! So that's fun and exciting. It was also really nice to kinda take a step back and race without the normal "nobody else matters as much as me" attitude that I have historically normally raced with. Taking the time to pee, while a bit frustrating, was amazingly revelatory as it obviously did not affect my race at all. 2 minutes is a long time but realistically, unless you are fighting for the absolute age group win (i.e. top 3) it's not such a bad thing to take a chill pill. I loved that feeling!