S - 10,100 yards
B - 189.7 miles
R - 30.4 miles
Time - 15.84 hours
The only interesting things to happen this week were that I attended a track meet for the first time in a year (racing the mile and the two mile rather poorly), raced at Latta, and booked tickets to fly out to Santa Barbara, CA for 2.5 weeks to get my butt handed to me repeatedly (at least it's in a glorious, glorious location though so I'm ok with that)... Run volume was a bit low this week as well as overall time volume but racing usually disrupts good training. Lots of fast stuff this week.
Tri Latta (750/17/3.1)
Rode to the race sit with the Behmes and had an adequate amount of time to set up and get in a brief warm-up before the 6:30 am race start. It should be noted (as many people asked about it post-race) that I developed an infection in my hand sometime before the race (Thursday pm or Friday am, not really sure) and the infection area (4th knuckle) was pretty swollen and sore to the touch. While I wish I could say it slowed me down, unfortunately (or fortunately?) it did not!
Swim - 12:01 (7th)
The gun went off and away we went! I knew the first 100 yards or so were basically going to be a mad dash, but I hadn't positioned myself particularly well so I was running up on people's feet for a bit. In hindsight, should have moved out a bit towards the left and been on the front; I think that would have positioned me better from the start. After a while, the furor settled down a bit and the group stretched out; I figured Brad and Jenny would be off the front, leaving everyone in their wake, then Scott, Selle, and Frank would be the next group and hopefully I could be on the tail end of that or in the front of the 3rd "group" (note, calling these groups is a bit of a misnomer, as when you're actually swimming it feels like there are either people all over the place or no one at all...).
About 2 or 300 meters into the swim I felt my timing chip band suddenly loosen and fall to the bottom of my ankle and make its way towards my toes. I immediately had to stop and reach for it and take it off and stuff it in my suit. I initially tried to re attach it on my ankle then realized how dumb that was and put it under my leg. This was frustrating because I lost my spot "leading" some chasers and lost some not insignificant time. I'm sure it wasn't a lot of actually sitting still, but losing your rhythm and placing on the swim is very frustrating. Someone ran into me while I was fixing it and I'm sure they were probably annoyed but oh well, sorry dude. I started swimming again and managed to find a rhythm to the turnaround and then felt like I was by myself. With about 100m to go I saw someone off to the left swimming about the same speed that I had been catching the whole way back. I swing over that way to get on their feet and after a bit realized that it was Fletch. We exited the water together (Fletch, Me, Nicole and Ashley apparently) and I ran up the long hill to transition.
T1 - 2:00
Coach Desert Dude emailed me Sunday after looking up results and asked if I had stopped to eat breakfast in transition 1. Losing 20 seconds for no good reason to the rest of the top 10 is pretty frustrating, especially considering I didn't think I wasted any time in T1. 20 seconds in a race like this is not an insignificant amount of time... Although in hindsight putting my chip back on certainly did not help.
Bike - 40:01 (2nd)
Headed out on the bike behind what felt like everyone and started hammering down Sample Rd. The speed bumps were extremely annoying and felt mildly unsafe at 27-28 mph! At least they were table tops and not actual speed bumps. I managed to pass a few people on Sample Rd and eventually made it out onto the real course where I found myself in front with only Brad up the road. Soon thereafter Donny passed me and Ryan Barnett also passed and we ended up riding back and forth for the first half of the race before turning into the business park where Ryan unfortunately kept going straight despite my efforts to yell at him; unfortunately it's tough to hear anything in an aero helmet at 30+ mph. From that point on it was pretty much Donny and I going back and forth every once in a while to the end. I started feeling warmed up with about 7-10 minutes to go and at that point felt much more comfortable. Donny rolled into dismount just ahead of me and we ran under the blow up thingy together.
T2 - 1:17
Unfortunately we both also got our handlebars stuck in the flag line that was marking the run into transition. After getting free of that I made my way to my rack and put on my running shoes, took off the helmet and grabbed my number. Unfortunately the clasp on the Scott flats didn't attach properly so I came out of my shoe and had to stop and adjust that before departing transition.
Run - 18:34 (4th)
Headed out on the run a little bit behind Donny due to my mishap and ran behind him for a while. This run course is fairly difficult as it is both on trails (included loose gravel) and hilly. I stuck on Donny's back for a while before going around him relatively soon into the run. I heard him behind me the rest of the way though so I never really opened up a gap. Before the first turnaround (Y shaped course) I saw Brad coming the other way and he didn't look like he was going too fast but he had a fairly significant lead so I knew it was basically a race for second place. I continued on feeling pretty smooth and strong but I could tell I wasn't going to produce a blazing run split. At the second turnaround I saw Donny and Scott right behind him and tripped a little bit going around the 180. I knew Scott was running fast if he'd made up that much time so I tried to pick up the pace a little bit to make the catch a little later. Once he passed me I stuck on his tails for a bit but didn't really feel like trying to sprint it out with him into the finish chute. So he gapped me a bit into the finish line and I crossed in 3rd, 8s behind Scott and roughly 1.5min behind Brad.
All in all I was a little disappointed with my performance today. I had a very solid swim/bike/run but little mistakes and/or mishaps slowed me down a bit. I shouldn't be upset, however, especially considering that 3 weeks ago I didn't think I was going to be racing for a long time. Plus, it was a really fun day out there seeing tons of people I knew and a lot of people had good races, which is always fun to see.