Summary -- Olympic Distance Tri -- 2:28:32; 2/12 AG; 35/120 OA male
Long report --
I'm going to skip the usual narrative report and grade myself with comments for each section. I'll throw in an overall grade and comments at the end.
Swim -- 32:52; 3/12 AG.
The swim was warm and wet-suit free. Actually the first time I've ever done Olympic distance without a wetsuit. I chose to start out a little on the easy side which was probably good from a pacing standpoint, but bad from the standpoint of traffic -- I really got jostled around badly on the first 1/6th of the course. Navigation was pretty good on the 2-lap triangular course, but I did drift badly off to the left on the end of the first lap.
I got out of the water feeling good, so I was able to scoot up the beach and into transition at a good pace.
Grade -- C. I swam within myself and at a good steady pace, but I've got to stretch what I'm doing in training -- maybe by finding some fast swim partners. My AG's winner put 3:28 on me in the swim. The race was never in doubt from that point on.
T1 -- 1:15; 2/12 AG.
Grade - A. Smooth, steady. Quick jog out with the bike and a trouble-free getaway.
Bike -- 1:07:06 -- 22.2 mph avg; 4/12 AG.
Although this had my lowest AG placement, it was my highest OA male placement, and significantly faster than my ride from last year. Drinking and nutrition were spot on, and I kept the RPMs high throughout the ride. I also caught up to, and passed one of the stronger female competitiors. Forget her name -- Bernardes, maybe? ;-)
Grade -- B+. It's possible I could have gone a bit harder, but there was the matter of a 10K run to follow. It's hard to say whether pushing the bike a little more would have helped or hurt. At any rate, I got off the bike feeling strong and satisfied with the leg.
T2 -- :57; 2/12 AG.
Grade -- A. Smooth and steady. Shoes on, grab my hat, race belt and e-caps -- jog out.
Run -- 46:21; 3/12 AG.
Debi followed me off the bike into transition (yes, I passed her on the bike) and shouted at me to start easy. Good advice, since I'd buried myself on the first mile of the run last year. I kept the pace moderate and concentrated on form while I got my legs under me. My splits reflected this -- 7:30, 7:30, 7:23, 7:18, 7:30, 7:30 (pace for 1.2). Got about the right amount of water in, and more on my head as it heated up.
Grade -- B. I wanted to drop the splits consistently over the last 4 miles, but stalled out a little bit on miles 5 and 6. Some of it might have been lack of motivation. I was running most of the end of the run alone, without anyone to key on in front of me, and no one behind to push me. I've got to find an inner motivation to draw on when that happens. Overall pacing was good, though, and I think my running form held up very well.
Summary and Overall Grade.
A solid B. I think I raced very near the top of what I'm capable of doing right now. I liked the fact that the sum of the race was more than the parts -- it's nice when your OA placement is higher than either the swim, bike, or run legs.
Going forward I've got to decide where I'm going with the sport. It's fun be able to go out and place in my AG at local races, but the best guys in my AG are clearly stronger -- 1st had 5 minutes on me. And with more guys aging up next year, I can't count on taking home hardware unless I keep improving and pushing myself more in training.
I'll keep my nose to grindstone and see where it takes me.