June 9, 2012…alarm clock blasts at 3AM! Quick breakfast, get dressed, jump into the pre-packed vehicle and hit the road. An hour and a half later I am at the Ft. Huachuca main gate. Make my way to Barnes pool. Rack bike, air up tires and set up transition. Then I picked up my packet…#20. I go for a short run to warm up. I jump in the pool to warm up…swim a 50 and then they get us all out of the pool to line up for the start. Not much of a swim warmup! They are using a new timing chip system and start format. Time starts when you cross the timing “post”, you grab any lane and go. Not a very smooth system. I quickly find a lane and jump in…diving not allowed. I quickly get into my pace and can feel the lack of warmup. This pool always swims slow…altitude, lack of lines in on the bottom, narrow lanes. I jump out of the pool after 800 yards and have no clue what my time is…I didn’t set my Garmin right. Oh well. Out of the pool I am in 7th or 8th place. I pass a few people in transition…helmet, bike, go. While putting my shoes on I hit a rough spot followed by a pot hole…water bottle ejected. No worries, it’s only a 12 mile bike. The bike is rolling and then a 3 mile hill to the turn-around. I picked off a few more people and by the turn-around was in 3rd. Shortly after that I moved into 2nd where I stayed. According to my bike computer I averaged 26mph…zoom! Bike racked, helmet off, running shoes on. Away I go. Hat, glasses and number belt on on the run. I felt pretty good early on the run…of course the first 2k is down hill followed by a short 500 meter hill to the turn-around. I made up a little time on the leader but knew I wouldn’t catch him. 3rd was coming fast so my thoughts quickly changed to holding him off. With 1.5k remaining I got passed. I tried to stay with him but the legs were not having any of that. So I dropped back into my pace and crossed the line in 3rd. As for the new timing system…2 days later and still waiting for “official” results. New company dropped the ball and no backup (manual) timing. No complaints though…where else can you do a tri and get a tech-t for $15. Once they get the timing sorted out they will mail out awards.
Saturday I raced the Hummingbird Triathlon in Sierra Vista, Az. A fun little sprint distance (800yd swim, 13mile bike, 3.1mile run) race. I was starting as the defending champion.
I went into the race untapered, on tired legs as part of an 18 hour week. This was just a day of speed work since there are bigger fish to fry later in the season…Superfrog in Sept and Ironman Arizona in November.
I woke to my alarm at 3am after a night of little sleep. Ate a quick breakfast and jumped in the VX for the 1.5 hour drive to the race site. After arriving I sat up my transition area and picked up my race packet. I found out I was in wave 5 of 6. That gave me plenty of time to hang out, talk, and make the final trip to the mens room. I then went for a warm up run. The legs felt bad at first but after a couple of miles started feeling pretty good. I then grabbed my goggles and headed to the pool. I had enough time to get in about 10 minutes before they called us to the start area.
Once the last of the 4th wave exited the pool it was our time to jump in. About 15 seconds after entering the water we got the “swimmers on your mark…GO!” and we were off.
I felt good throughout the entire swim. I had faster swimmers on both sides of me. I was lapped 3 times by one and 1.5 times by the other. I got out of the water in 3rd, 1:38 down from the leaded. I ran quickly into transition. Ditched the goggles, buckled up the helmet and mounted my bike.
The bike course is an out and back, slightly downhill going out and a false flat returning. Once up to speed I slipped my shoes on, then started to hammer out the pace. I caught 2nd place within the first couple miles. At the turn around I checked my watch and had made up about 20 seconds on the leader. Things were looking good. As I approached the transition I slipped my feet out of my shoes. Swung my leg over the bike and hit the ground running. I racked the bike, removed my helmet, slid on the running shoes and grabbed my hat, glasses and number belt. And off I went in search of the leaded.
The run is a “lollipop” shaped run consisting of small rolling hills. constantly going slightly up or slightly down. I set out at a strong pace and felt surprisingly good. Not knowing how far off I was I just went hard from the start and maintained my pace. The sun had started warming things up and the humidity was in full force. I was never able to get the leader within sight. He was setting a blazing pace and put a couple of minutes on me. I crossed the line in 2nd place overall/1st place 40-49 agegroup with a time of 1:06:39.
I got to follow that up the following day with a nice 4+ hour bike ride!