Date: 7-11-2010

Distances: 1K Swim, 25K Bike, 5K Run

This was a race that I had signed up for quite a while ago. Molly was interested in doing it, so I figured “why not?” After all, it is our 18th anniversary, and she wants to spend it doing a triathlon, I sure am not going to argue.

I started off the morning exhausted. Yesterday I did the 200K brevet, but actually managed to ride a total of 145 miles because I had ridden to and from the event. This is something I have learned from some fellow randonneurs. It makes sense that if you are going to ride all over the county, you might as well ride to and from the event. Anyway I got up last night at 1230 because I was feeling quite dehydrated. When my alarm went off at 4 am I was exhausted, not really wanting to get up, and feeling very uncertain about how the race would go down. I figured it would be good to race on tired legs, since that is basically how Ironman is after mile 80 on the bike. I did have a little concern about injury if I pushed it too much, but figured fatigue would probably keep me at a safe intensity.

I got a great parking spot near the transition because I thought the race started at 7, when it actually started at 8. Goes to show you how much planning I had put into this race. I went and ran 2.3 miles about an hour before race start just to loosen up the legs. They felt tired, but otherwise not too bad. I spent most of my morning just chatting with local racers I knew. Usually in a race that I am taking more seriously I am spending the entire morning warming up and visualizing the race. It was actually nice to relax a bit and to catch up on what other people are doing for a change.

The swim consisted of a running start and surf entry at the northern end of the beach. Once past the surf we took a left and swam parallel to the beach until we were out from the transition area, and then straight in. It looked like there may have been a slight current heading north that we would have to swim against, but actually I never felt much of a current. I started to catch a wave on the way in, but then ran right into someone’s back that was standing up in the water. I’m sure they were okay, but it took my momentum away. A little dolphining and I was in.

I didn’t think my swim had gone that well, so I was surprised to see that my age group bike rack was full still. I learned later that Bill Gleason was actually long gone on the bike by the time I got to transition. Eric Shafer had his bike parked next to mine, and he arrived with his wet suit on just as I was grabbing my bike.

I was very pleased with the bike. Although my legs were burning from fatigue the entire ride, I was able to put out some decent power. I couldn’t handle high power, like over 400 watts, to push me over a hill, but maintaining around 300 watts felt very doable. My normalized power for the ride was 302 watts, and average speed was just over 24 mph.

I still didn’t know that Bill was ahead of me, but shortly into the run I passed by him. I didn’t know what to expect for the run because running in general hasn’t been feeling too good lately. I managed to average a 6:38 pace though. During the last ½ mile of the run I was passed by both Bill and Eric. I had slowed a bit, not having much reserve for the uphill finish. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I wasn’t racing to lose, but still didn’t expect to place in the top 10, so finishing 3rd still felt good. I was especially pleased with how well I felt despite having very fatigued legs.

I ended up riding home another 34.5 miles after the awards, something that I’ve been trying to do after short races. If I drive home and then think about riding, chances are that it will never happen.

Molly did great too, and she has recently been defining herself as a strong cyclist. Now that this post is finished I’ll go spend the rest of our anniversary with her, catching up on le Tour! Damn, I have it good!

Thanks for reading…