I did have a good day, though; ended up finishing under the 2 hour mark; and placed 5th in my age group (out of 28). I missed 4th by 5 seconds, but I don't mind - although I admit I might have been more upset if it was 3rd that I missed! : ) But really, this was just a day to have fun and race with no particular goals.
The reason for the reference to "training matters" in the title of this post is that I proved to myself (once again...) that there is no getting around the level and intensity of training that you are doing. Compared to this same point last year when I was doing IM training (Redman and Cozumel) - I have done half as much swimming and biking; and 3/4 the amount of running - and it has not been quite as intense. Even though I felt very good and had a good race, I can't expect to match what I did the previous year with that kind of change in training.
Nothing special... I got everything ready in transition and then hung out with my wife and some friends at the Georgetown Triathletes tent near the transition area. Here's a couple of pics from the morning::
Packed up and ready to head towards the transition area
Nice to have my wife with me : )
My friend Barry and I look like we're staring each other down, I think we were arguing over who looked best in the yellow swim cap : )
On to the details of the race...
The race got underway, and I felt good during the entire swim. I had a rude surprise when I got out, though, and my swim time was over 2 minutes slower than last year.. yikes! The swim course was laid out different this year, though; so I knew better than to panic until I saw everyone else's swim times (and sure enough, everyone was slower - I ended up 7th out of 28 in my AG for the swim).
I made it through transition quickly and got out on the bike. I knew going into this race that there were two primary factors that would effect my bike time, each pulling in opposite directions. On the positive side, my speed and power on the bike have improved over the last year. On the other hand, like I referenced above, I've only done about half as much biking volume this year compared to last year. Those two factors ended up being a wash, and I finished within 20 seconds of my time from last year! Training matters : )
Happy with my bike split, I set off on the run. Once again, based on training volume, I wasn't expecting to match the 6:40 pace from last year - my goal here was just to keep it under 7:00/mile. Final pace: 6:56; so mission accomplished in that respect.
I crossed the finish line in 1:57+ (3 minute offset from clock time you can see in the picture below). The last half mile of the run there was someone in front of me that I kept getting closer and closer to, but couldn't quite catch. On the final little hill I closed that gap to about 5 seconds, but that was all I had in me. As mentioned above, it turns out that he was in my age group, and we ended up coming in 4th and 5th respectively. Who says seconds don't matter? : )
After the race, I enjoyed some good Texas bbq; and spent some time hanging out under the tent with my wife and friends and fellow members of the Georgetown Triathletes club. It's certainly a lot more fun to have family and friends to share these events with : )
Next up... nothing planned once again... Although I did sign up for Ironman Texas; so more to come about that topic soon.
Help the kids!
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation: to find a cure for childhood cancer for kids like Ishani ... Please help them by donating HERE
Hope For Kidz: program to help educate children in Haiti