Monday, October 01, 2012

Fairweather triathlete

As the storms rolled in on Friday night, I was reminded of Quassy.  Going into that race, I was completely unfazed, but during the actual ride, I was hating it.  With Duxbury, there wasn't a lot riding on the race, so I actually considered pulling out of the race.

My logic on Friday night, however, was that every other athlete was thinking the same thing, and maybe the fast ladies wouldn't show up, so I was in.  Unfortunately, where this logic fails is that the other fast ladies came to the same conclusion as I did.  When I arrived at the race on Saturday morning, there were some very fast looking bikes making their way through the puddles to transition.

And puddles there were.  The road out to transition had puddles about 8 inches deep.  Transition itself was in a paved parking lot, and my transition area in particular was in a puddle about 3/4" deep.  Try as I might to set down plastic bags to provide a dry spot for shoes and towel, it was not going to happen.  Everything got wet.

As I finished setting up transition, the rain stopped, but the wind started.  I put on my wetsuit and went to hang out in the registration tent to keep warm.  When it was finally time to head down to the water, I huddled up on the shore, shivering, waiting for my wave.  I seriously considered pulling out of the race right then.  I don't think I've ever come so close.  But it occurred to me that I'd just have to wait until the swimmers were all in to get my bike out of transition, might as well race.

The strange part was though, as soon as the my wave started, all those doubts evaporated.  I was racing, and I loved it.  The swim was rough and choppy, but so much fun.  Wasn't my best swim, came out 4th in my AG, but still just fun.

I took a bit of extra time in transition to put on a jacket, and I'm so glad I did.  Then, just as I was about to mount my bike, another athlete rode her bike right into me.  I still don't understand how that happened.  She apologized profusely, but I just stared at her bewildered.  My bike and I were fine.  And then neglected to hit the button on my watch, so my data showed a 43 minute transition, followed by a 3 second bike.

On the run, I stuck to the plan, I was chasing a girl who came out of transition just ahead of me.  She kept her distance for the first mile, but then I slowly started to reel her in, and made the pass on the back half of the course.  My run came in at 21:45, a new PR for the distance. 

Overall 10 seconds slower than two years ago (with a different swim) and only good enough for 4th place on the day.

Looking at my season this year versus last year, the clear improvement has been my running, which I think is a combination of better pacing on the swim and the bike, and just sheer leg speed.

Here's what my percentile rank in AG looked like in 2011:

And here's 2012:
It's good to see how my run rank has improved, and how I didn't blow up in any race this season.  But I've traded a bit with the swim.  However, I think that's more to do with who shows ups.  Now I gotta get working on that bike!


Shannon October 2, 2012 at 2:23 PM  

so much of it is who comes out on race day, but you still had a solid race despite the crummy weather! love those graphs comparing your seasons, I might have to start looking at things a little more analytically ;)

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