Well, it is done. The Cap Tex Tri is in the books for 2009. Talk about improvement over '08. I cut 14.5 minutes off of my time from last year. (2:19:00 Vs 2:33:30) The biggest gains came on the run and the swim. I know that I have said before that I don't do race reports and I keep doing them but I have discovered that it is a way for me to assess the positive and the negative and organize my thoughts for the next race.
The swim: 23:14 excellent swim. Fast swim. About 400M in I was able to catch site of only one other person in my wave and he was even with me most of the way. Then at the halfway point I noticed that I was all alone in the water. For a second I thought that I may be way off course but it turned out to be a clearing between start waves. This allowed me to put on some speed. As I made the turn to the last buoy I was able to pull ahead of someone in my wave (not sure if it was the same person as before). Coming out of the water I knew that I was fast and figured I was at least in the top 10 of my wave in the swim. Turns out I was 6th in my wave and 11th in my AG and ended the day with the 65th fastest swim overall.
T1 is a long run. So transition times look huge but the majority of that is the run. I am not happy with my T1 time. My goal was 2 minutes and I ended up with 3:05. I guess the trouble with my wet suit was bigger than I though. My transition time from last year was 10 seconds faster. Looking at the T1 times of others in my AG I was 29th. There is definitely room for improvement there.
The Bike: I was a little disorganized on the bike. I waited until I was up the hill to put my shoes on but when I did my left shoe strap came completely out of the stay so I had to spend extra time putting it back on. This is not easy on a bike at 15 mph. Then my right shoe would not cooperate and it took me extra time. After about 3 tenths of a mile I was off but had lost position to at least 5 people. Then I realized that my helmet was loose because it kept slipping down and blocking my vision (another unnecessary adjustment to make)! The bike course has a lot of turns and 2 short hills so I would suspect my average speed would be low compared to an open course like back in April at the Lonestar. Even with the adjustment problems I was able to maintain a 22.4 mph average. A little under what I wanted but not bad. It put me at 1:06:23. This is 3 minutes faster than last year. but 4 minutes faster than I was hoping. The only other eventful thing that happened on the bike was that on my last lap I had an elbow rest on my aerobars come off somewhere. Not that big (except that I now have to replace it) of a deal just a little uncomfortable. Luckily it was my last lap.
In T2 I was still slow. I could have cut about 30 seconds at least but I remember mentally checking everything and making sure that I had everything with me. Kind of a mental lapse that should have been second nature.
The Run: Once out on the run course I quickly picked off a few people. I knew that anyone I could pass on my first lap moved me up but after my first lap I would be mixed with people who were still on their first lap and it would not be possible to tell who was ahead of me. I started strong on the run. I ran my first two miles sub 7 minutes, then I started to feel the legs and slowed down but only slightly. After about mile 3 I realized that my legs were cramping and I was cautious. I forgot to bring my e-caps so I was left with water and Gatorade on the course and I made sure not to pass any of them up. After mile 3 I set my sights on a runner in front of me. He was in a younger age group so I was not concerned if he beat me but he was looking strong still and I figured if I could hang with him I would finish strong. He and I battled for position and even exchanged a few words of encouragement for the next 2.5 miles. Then with about a half mile to go he came up beside me and said, "lets see how much energy you got", as he picked up the pace. I wasn't going to let that happen so I took the bait. As we came to the last 400 meters he dropped back and said, "take it". So I sprinted to the finish. I ran a 44:14. Just what I expected it to be.
Overall a great race. Finished 10th in AG and 63rd overall. Solid performance but the competition was a lot faster this year too. Last year my time would have won second in my AG. This year it was only good for 10th. Next year I will just have to be faster.
Back to training.