With my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in the books I am officially humbled. I'm somewhat known for not doing things the right way and this event was really no different. My more intelligent friends decided to drive up to Chattanooga and stay at hotels on Saturday, I decided to wake up at 2am and drive up Sunday morning. The drive was uneventful and I arrived in plenty of time to pick up my packet and set up my transition area. Upon setting up my transition area I started to not feel as good about my new bike. There were some dudes with some serious bikes here, but also one guy on a mountain bike.
We bused over to the swim start about a mile up the Tennessee River. The swim is my weakest part of the race so I didn't really know what to expect. I felt surprisingly good in the water and just tried to keep a steady pace. I was out of the water in less the 26 minutes, far better than I should have expected. We climbed out of the water on to some steps, this was very awkward. Maybe because of the steps or maybe because I was pretty tired. I ran up to the transition area, quickly grabbed my helmet and bike and took off. Again I tried a little trick where you clip your shoes into the pedals and stabilize them with rubber bands. At my first triathlon I fell trying to jump onto the bike, this time I jumped on perfectly. While I was pedaling I tried to slide my feet into the shoes, but it wasn't working. Having the right shoes on the right pedal is conducive to riding your bike, I probably lost at least 20 seconds trying to recover from this mistake. Once on the road the ride went great. The new bike and aero seemed to help, how much I have no idea, but I felt good and rode fast. I averaged 22 mph and came in at just under 1:11:00. At this point I realized I could finish under 2:30:00 if I could simply run 8 minute miles for the 10k. I could not do this. Something happens to my body after the first mile of the run. Was it poor training, poor nutrition, did I hit the bike to hard? I'm guessing a mix of all of those things contributed to my slow run. I only managed a little over 9 minute miles, a little over 56:00 total. My overall time 2:36:57. Good, respectable, but defintely not as fast as I will go in my next olympic distance triathlon.
The good news is that my next olympic distance triathlon will be sooner than I thought. Because I finished in the top 33% of my age group (barely I finished in the 30th%) I qualify for the National Championships in Tuscaloosa, AL August 22nd. I plan on being faster, I plan on training better, we'll see how that goes.