3/8mi swim/13mi bike/5k run – First time back in the last 3 years! I checked my bike in Friday night as did Jessica, that was a fail. A HUGE storm came within 20 minutes, blew the racks over and subjected my well-cared for bike to “out back behind the shed” type of treatment. I knew it would be a mess, but didn’t want to stay up cleaning and drying it.
I arrived at 5:30am to hopefully get a good transition spot for my bike, it was moved in the craziness of the storm and rack nonsense last night. I was in the wrong rack, so I wedged in between another two bikes and made the best of an odd transition area. Jessica and I went to the water to swim, after being chased into my car by another rainstorm at 6am. The roads were wet, but cloud cover kept intense sun and heat away. I gauged that as a fair trade-off.
Swimming – I liked the new “50 & over Men’s wave. That makes sense, since there are so many 40-50 males, the wave would be too big if it were 40 and over. I started in the smooth water like I did at Frank Cook’s race – up front in the mix. Carl Z. was next to me, I bet I was in the top 20 to the first buoy turn. I settled into a good pace knowing the course was marked shorter than 3/8 mi., and definitely shorter than what Jessica and I had been practicing. I watched Paul Reback swim by, the “NPB” logo on his Speedo let me know. I came out of the water feeling good for a change, the practice we have put into swimming helped! Time was 9:57. I’d learn that this put me in 23rd place in my Age Group out of 42 guys. NEED SWIM HELP!
Transition #1 was good, my shoes already positioned on my pedals worked well. Everything was wet from passing rain. I was wave #3 out of the water, half of the guys were ahead of me, all of the girls were coming behind me.
Bike – I hopped on and began the 4 stripes of A1-A. I felt good, centering with another guy with a “51” and IM tattoo on his calf. We went back and forth, I felt good going over 23mph most of the time. On the fourth and final straightaway, I was going 25mph or better. This helped bring my bike average speed over 23mph counting in the 3 turns that bring you almost to a stop. The sky was still overcast. As I made the final approach to Transition #2, I positioned my feet for a quick exit. The other 51-year-old put himself in front of me and he jostled twice into the wrong rack position before running ahead of me upon exiting the corrals and speed mats. He had a great pace going – I decided I would follow him.
Run – We ran well out of Carlin Park and onto A1-A. I stayed close to this same guy wondering if he represented a podium position and if I’d have to sprint with him at the end. I passed Troy Holloway saying, “These guys are in our age group.” This had me near Circle K and mile 1. I see I am running at better than 6:20 pace. I kept with him through the Inlet park, he never took water at any aid station. Now with less than 10 minutes to go, it became work to keep the rapid pace. I stayed with him and noticed another hairy-backed guy in our age group that we were passing near the turn by Circle K. Once we both passed him, he fought back, passing me and centering on the other guy. These were three 50+ guys traveling in mile 2.5 at under 6:30 pace – not bad! I was not able to speed up, I think I was slowing. When I got to the driveway, they both pulled further away. Slower guys from the wave in front of me dueled for the final straight away – I was happy to roll forward at my pace. At the finish, I was under the wire in 1:06:18. This was 5th place in my group out of 42 guys. My 5k run was 20:00 exactly, best of my group. I was happy with the three disciplines and the result overall. I credit Jessica for an improved swim time. Erica gets credit for having me involved in rides I wouldn’t have done on my own. It’s fun to have a shot at something like this race, knowing I gave over a minute to each of the guys in front of me in the water… oh well, next year!