Michelle and I assembled at the base of a steep hill for a 40mi ride / 15min transition run. Weather was perfect for the 2nd time in as long as I can remember. I chose Sicar as my stallion for this ride. I didn't want to sit in aero position for a long period of time as that can make my shoulders ache, and I didn't need that bothering me before the Colonies Zone meet. It was a hilly ride as usual and I added in Rt. 121, which heading out is a scenic flat leading into long-ass hill. It was nice, I wish the flat went longer though. The hill is perfect, I love accepting that challenge every time. Ride totaled 39.82 miles and an average of 231w, which is one of my best averages for a long ride. I ran right after, scaling hill after hill to simulate the Columbia race course. One of the hills, which I went up twice, is about .15 miles long from base to summit and presents a decent challenge. It was an enjoyable workout and this time I made sure to hydrate more than sufficiently on the bicycle, which led to a exponentially better post-bike run than what I did on Sunday. What a difference!
Friday was race day/evening. Colonies Zone swim meet. I signed up for the 1000y with Dirk, but he opted out of the race, so it was just me. Matias was there (swam a 11:16 in the 1oooy), but in a faster heat. CUBU/Ward friends and teammate Maryellen was there to swim the 1650 (and a 24-second PR of 24:16!) and Sara came along to cheer and help with counting. I had David Cascio and Eric Sorensen, top area triathletes, in my heat. These are guys who beat Dirk last year, so their level is LEGIT. I figured if I could beat at least one of them, that'll really be a good gauge as to where I am at coming into tri season. I know my run is solid and my bike has gotten better... but how about the swim? Sorensen is/was a 20minute 1500 guy and Cascio close to that as well.
Race started and I went out fast. 1:09 and 1:13 for the first two 100s. I settled down and focused on maintaining pace from here. I settled into 1:17s and 1:18s for the middle 500. When I hit the 700 I started making efforts to pick up the pace. I didn't do it quite as dramatically as it may have felt, but I did shave off a second per 100 to hit 1:16s and 1:17s over the last 300, coming in at 12:46, 1:16.5 / 100y! Just what I was hoping for. I had an epic goal of 12:30, but 12:46 is right where I expected and wanted to be at this point. I would love to be able to hold that pace with a wetsuit for an open water 1500m and with the way I felt, I think it's darn near possible! Oh, and I beat Sorensen by 2 seconds! That felt pretty cool. I lost to Cascio, but he was moving, hitting around 12:36. It was neat to compete and finish with guys who have been at the sport for a long time and have plenty of experience. I hope that on future race days (triathlons) I can be just as competitive with them. I kind of expect it now. Anyway, I'm getting really pumped for triathlon season. The training continues to pay off.
That was a lot of fun. First swim meet was a success. I learned lessons though... I still need to work on flipturns. Jason with CUBU, who was counting for me, noted I still lost time on the guys because my flipturns were a little slow and I came off the wall too shallow. I need to streamline better also. It's wasted seconds, essentially. If I'm looking to continue to compete in these swimming races, which I am, I need to improve my skills in the pool.
I watched this before the race. It was the motivation, and perhaps the model of my swim... strong start, level middle, strong finish?