Not much, actually. Turned out to be a really weird race. The water was FULL of E. Coli so the race director cancelled the swim on race morning, replacing it with a 100m dash from the swim exit to transition, with racers starting randomly in line 5 seconds apart. I was really mad about the swim being cancelled. I've gotten faster and really wanted to show it.
So it became... hmm... not a duathlon... er.... uh, I don't know what to call it. It was a bike and run in time trial style. For now, until USAT decides on a name for this kind of race, we'll just call it a TTathlon.
Uh oh, time trial. My last time trial at Church Creek was a disaster. Hopefully I can produce something better on the bike this time around. Myself, Dirk, Andy Blatecky and Patrick Serfass started together near the back of the line so that we could try to stick together on the bike. I got out there with Blatecky and Serfass caught up soon after and they started riding away from
me. Where's Dirk? Turns out he had a minor problem and had to delay his bike leg for 15 seconds to repair the headset on his bike. I only saw him at turn-arounds, meaning that I was pretty much alone for the duration of the bike. Too bad, I bet both Dirk and I could have gone faster if we were riding side by side.
It was a tough ride. 12-15 mph headwind with gusts, along highway with very few hills, but a ton of false flats. Not ideal for a non-power cyclist like myself. The tailwinds were on the slight downhills and the headwinds were on the slight ups, which isn't ideal either. Still, I sallied forth, passing a ton of people who started in front of me, and didn't get passed, save by Blatecky and Serfass at the beginning. I decided early on I needed to really pedal hard to keep up and at the same time I wanted to see what kind of speed I could produce on a difficult course like that, so I went for it. Averaged 24.2 mph, 8th overall bike, only 3 seconds slower than Dirk, which is a benchmark for me.
I hopped off the bike in transition and CRAP, my legs were tired. Too much exerted on the bike. I struggled through the first 2 miles and wasn't able to take down water... I could have if I aimed the cups toward my mouth. Oops. Dehydration set in... and my pace slowed. 4 miles in I was suffering. I managed to pick up the pace for the last mile, but too little, too slow, too late. I put forth a MISERABLE time averaging over 6:30/mile, and the 5th overall run split. Ugh. How shameful!
I came in 5th overall, 4th male. Cool thing is that Dirk won and DC Tri swept the podium... Dirk 1st, Serfass 2nd, Blatecky 3rd, myself 4th! Great day for the club. Not sure who that girl is who beat me, but she was a force on the bike. I'm still shocked about that. I've never seen a female be that powerful in those conditions. It was something else.
What do I take from this race? Well I'm REALLY happy with my bike. I felt pretty good and my speed was great in the conditions... being on the same level as Dirk has been a goal of mine. I just need to work on my muscular endurance this winter and make that speed feel easier for the run. My run was awful, but I can fix that with more bricks and biking. This wasn't my peak race, but I expect better of myself on the run. A lot better.
But I'm done with TTathlons. No more, please.
This weekend is Cape Henlopen duathlon. A good fun race to end the season. Then it's back to training for Columbia.