Ok, it has been more than a week since my last race in Guntersville, the Mountain Lakes Sprint Triathlon so here is a quick recap. I had what I felt was a great race... lets start from the top.
A good group of friends and I met up at the Dairy Queen at 4:15am. Typically nothing good can ever happen at a Dairy Queen at 4:15am, but in this case it was all good. Team MAS (Mutual Admiration Society) decked out in our new Team MAS shirts (thanks B-RAd!) took a few pictures then loaded up into two cars and drove up to Guntersville. The drive up was uneventful and we arrived with plenty of time to spare. Transition setup was smooth and everyone headed down to the lake to start. The swim was supposed to be 600 yards... it wasn't. I put down a really slow swim time so I was number 588, way behind most of the group I was there with. I was able to see most of the team exit the water and they all looked really good. When I finally hit the water I started passing people immediately. I felt good in the water and settled into a good pace. At the turnaround thngs got a little interesting. The sun was right behind the shore, and at 8 am it made it almost impossible to see. I ran into one buoy, and swam over a couple other swimmers but made it out feeling fresh. I realized mid swim that I had forgotten to start my watch so I would not be able to tell my total time till well after the race. I jumped on the bike and nailed the transition almost perfect until my water bottle fell to the ground. I was going to do the bike leg with no water... that is bad since that is typically the time where you drink the most water. Despite no water I killed the bike, averaged 24.2 mph which was right on my goal. At this point I had noticed that nobody had passed me. I struggled a little bit in the bike to run transition, I turned the wrong way into the transition area, then took a little extra time to drink some water. When I hit the run course the legs felt pretty good. The first mile is the toughest, and once I got my pace I settled in and just kept finding a person up the road to catch and pass. The run was very uneventful, I pushed it the last half mile and really felt like I left a little out there on the course. Final time was 1:17:10. That was slower than my goal, but if you factor in the longer swim distance I was right about on it. Lessons learned are this... Don't sandbag so much on my swim time. It would have been good to have some faster racers near me to help push my pace. Figure out how to keep my water bottle on my freaking bike! And run faster.
Training for the Age Group National Championships has been going well. Did a long ride and then run this weekend with my friend John, he killed me on the run. It is very clear to me that the run is a weakness that I have to improve on soon. I looked up all the competitors for the race this Saturday, out of 84 people, my estimated finish time is 82nd. It will be a struggle to not finish last. I have to keep telling myself that I'm not racing them, I'm racing the course and teh clock and I think I'll be ok.
On another note I signed up for the New Orleans Half Ironman last week. That is in April and will be my 2nd half ironman assuming I am able to finish the Augusta Half Ironman next month. Wish me luck, I'll need it!