After taking a week off at the end of June, the goal this month was to do some base-building and start phasing in some harder efforts. I am still slacking in the swimming and biking departments and running more than my triathlon plan suggests, but I am pretty confident that I can make it through the Augusta 70.3 and should put me in a pretty good position for the start of half marathon training in the fall.
This is a super sprint tri basically in my backyard, and will probably be a staple on my race calendar. Last year the goal was to finish in under an hour (final: 58:31) and this year the goal was to beat last year's time. Swim: Just a hair faster, but it felt a lot easier. I definitely have a lot more endurance in the water than ever before, but I really need to work on getting out of first gear. T1: I had left my bike and run gear in transition early and then went home to relax for a bit. I had quite a bit of time between the start of the race and my swim start, so transition was closed when I got back and I never even thought to check on my stuff. Big mistake. Someone must have bumped into my bike, so instead of everything being as I left it, my sunglasses were stuck in an air vent of my helmet and I couldn't find my garmin watch. Eventually I found the watch on the ground near the next bike, but I really didn't handle the unexpected stress very well. Instead of calmly getting everything together, I frantically ran around in circles for what seemed like forever. In the end, it cost me an extra minute, but I saw my hopes for a course PR go out the window and that was pretty disappointing. Bike: Slower (31:13 vs 29:29) After the T1 debacle, I had a hard time getting into a good rhythm. It was my first race on the new bike, and I took the turns (of which there are many, especially in the beginning) more slowly than I would on my road bike. Hopefully that will improve as I get more comfortable on the TT bike, and is a pretty good sign that I need to ride more on the road and less on the trainer. Between the iffy handling and my frazzled mental state, my bike time was nearly 2 minutes slower than last year. Considering I feel like a much stronger cyclist now, I really wasn't happy with that at all. T2: Determined to make up at least a little of the lost time, I had a good second transition and was in and out in 51 seconds. Run: Last year I really pushed myself on the run because I seriously wanted to break an hour and knew that it would take a good effort to break my time goal. It was a bit more challenging to find that motivation after seeing the clock leaving T2, but I managed to get through the run in 21:40, which was actually 10 seconds faster than last year. I'm glad to have had a good run... it was nice to finish on a good note despite the earlier issues and my disappointment with my final time.
Smile even when you're grouchy.
I ended up 1st in my age group despite the slow transition and sub-par bike leg, and got to see one of my good friends finish her first triathlon, so the day was definitely not as bad as all of my complaining would make it out to be, and I'll definitely try again next year!