This is the beginning of a string of about 10 races in 12 weeks:
July 29 - Tiburon Triathlon - Sprint: .5/9/2
Aug 4 – Tri for Fun- Sprint: .5/18/3
Aug 12 - Folsom International - Olympic: 1/25/6
Aug 25 - Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long: 1/34/10
Sept 1 – Tiburon Mile (swim): 1 mile
Sept 15 - Mt Tam Hill Climb (bike)
Sept 23 - The Sentinel Triathlon - Olympic: 1/25/6
Sept 29 - Tinley’s - Olympic: 1/25/6
Oct 7 – Napa Valley Men’s Tri - Sprint: .5/15/4
Oct 21 - Sacramento Tri - Olympic (draft legal): 1/25/6
I was pretty tired this weekend but since the TibTri was 4 miles from my home, I had to do it. I wanted to go back to sleep after a long week of 'poor' sleep instead of riding to the start at 6:15am. I entered the 1st wave for strong swimmers but my reason was that although I wasn't going to break any records in the water - having 300 cyclists in front of me on the 9 mile bike would be a problem.
The water was cold - maybe 60. The cold disappeared from my body as soon as the race started. We swam out of the San Francisco Yacht Club - though the marina and out into the ocean. The swim was fine until I got around the sea wall and suddenly felt waves. Not once this season had I swam in a body of water with waves! It made for a few difficult breaths - I made it to the buoy and headed back into shore without any further issues.
T1 was a few block run - I had staged some shoes for the short run but opted to barefoot it thinking about how Andy Potts did it at Alcatraz! I left on to the bike and was still tired as I struggled to get my shoes fastened - it was my slowest T1 ever. I got on the road and never found a rhythm - though I was hitting 26mph on the way out! The course was slightly hilly with many false flats- it was a tough course to get moving on but I just kept focusing on getting my legs turned over to power throught the corners!
The ride was over quickly and I hit T2 in my usually 20+mph until I hit the dismount line. I leapt off the bike, got into my shoes and again.... struggled. It was my worst T2 of the season as well. I got my shoes on finally, tightened the laces and ripped out onto the course. My legs felt surprisingly light and fast. I ran and pushed. I saw Ian Charles who I train with ahead by a minute or more and knew that he would have put 3-4 mins on me in the swim - so I was encouraged by my bike time and what lay ahead of me. I focused on catching every person I saw and reeled them in 1 by 1. Eventually I caught Ian, about 1 mile in. I pushed hard and wanted to at least get something out of this race - so I focused on going hard in the run. I hit the line at 55:01 and had ran a few miles at 6:27 - about 40 seconds faster than any race this season. Encouraging!
It was also great to have my wife's dad Larry and Ben Collins out on the course cheering for me. I forget how great it feels to have someone encourage you by name - it definitely helps with digging a few inches deeper. I ended up 18th overall and had they scored age groups - 2nd. My swim was terrible at 179 out of about 350 but my bike was #4 and my run was 18th best on the day. Not bad for a guy who was tired, had never swam (in a decade or more) in waves and who started only a year ago.
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6 months ago