My training has been going pretty well. I’m back to running after almost 2 years since the last time I was running regularly. I’ve reduced volume further so I can be around more for my family (8:40/week this year, 10:36/week last year, 11:42/week 2 years ago). I hadn’t been able to get in any open water swims. I’d been doing a lot more of my training inside (and have the pasty white legs to prove it). We had a just couple of days over 80 so far this year, but the forecast for race day was 100 F with 40% humidity.
Goals: PR for the course and for Olympic distance, get under 2:30. Improve on the swim and the run, hold steady on the bike.
Pre-race I was able to get up the same time I normally get up (no alarm), had some eggs & rice, and drove down to the site. I put soy sauce and extra salt on my eggs and rice, and drank a bottle of rescue Skratch and a bottle of regular Skratch. Setup was easy, and I ran an easy mile with a couple of pickups to warm up.
Swim It was hard to sight last year, it was hard again this year. I wasn’t in the rhythm of swimming and sighting, but I could tell I was swimming pretty well and feeling good. I didn’t take any huge detours, but I definitely had to put myself back on course a couple of times.
30:26 139/272 overall 30 seconds slower than last year Per Garmin, swam 1667m in 30:10, 1:49/100m (last year, I navigated better and swam 100m less)
T1 As I was bending over to take off my wetsuit, my left hamstring (not the right, which I’d previously injured) went into spasm. I was able to walk it out and gingerly jog out with my bike 2:52
Bike I got on and rode, trying to ease my hamstring in so it wouldn’t rebel. Interestingly, my average power was 14 watts lower than last year, but my time was only a little bit slower. I think this is from my new position and being more consistent. But it also was clear to me that this race was very different from last years’ because of the heat. I ran out of Skratch on my bike with 5K to go. (I only had 700 mL with me—9 mL/kg/hr. Should have been closer to 15 mL/kg/hr in this weather).
1:09:58 (21.1 mph/33.9 kph) 1 min 9 sec slower than last year 74/272 Avg power 183 W, NP 183 W, 2.3 W/kg, VI 1.00,
T2 I was feeling a little delirious and it took a couple of tries to find my spot on the rack. 2:04
Run I thought I would start out at 8:10/mi, but that wasn’t happening. Within the first mile, I got a couple more bad cramps that I had to walk out. But I just kept on putting one foot in front of the other and was able to basically keep moving. I was able to maintain about 9:20-9:30 pace. I was able to keep my cadence up but my stride length was short. Amy and the boys were at the finish line (first time they’ve seen me do a triathlon), and both boys ran with me for a bit. That was awesome.
58:03 (9:20 min/mi) 158/272 overall 12 minutes faster than last year.
Overall 2:43:24 (8/20 AG, 151/272 overall) 10 minutes faster than last year
This was a PR for the course, even on a much hotter day, but I didn’t make my time goal and I didn’t actually get out of the water faster. I am swimming faster than ever and running faster than I have for 2 years, and without pain. I’ve definitely lost some power on the bike, and I am 4 kg heavier than last year at this time. I’ve set up my schedule so I am almost never missing time with the family to train. I’m getting much more sleep than I was last year. Last year I was getting enough training, but not enough rest. This year I’m getting better rest, and I think I have room squeeze in a little more training.
Lessons learned: 1. Practice sighting, both in the pool and in the open water 2. Have a strategy for a hot race—more liquid on the bike. Maybe salt tabs or pickle juice? 3. In the long term, you cant focus too exclusively on the run—if you come off the bike exhausted, you won't be able to run well. That said, a period of building back my run fitness will help.