Yesterday (May 18) I did the UVAS SB Triathlon. I went down with Chris Berry, a teammate and former age group rock star who was getting back into the sport after taking 7 years off. I had done UVAS last year - so I've been anxious to see how I've improved in a year. I was more anxious to erase what was a terrible race full of mistakes and pain. Also at the race was Frank Keane (40+) and Chris Westall (35-39).
The two Chrises (if your French maybe it's Chriseux) and I all raced in the 35-39 wave which was pretty large - starting somewhere around the 4th wave I think. This would be the last I'd see Chris Berry as he's one of those swimmers who starts 4" ahead of me in the pool just due to his height but after a few years of playing water polo at Berkeley, he also figured out how to swim (he put 8 mins on me). He ended up 3rd out of the water or so and after his water polo career he became a Cat 2 cyclist, so there's no chance I'd see him... (note, our bike splits were <1min apart)
Back to the swim...
A picture having nothing to do with this post, it's just bad.
Mr Westall and I swam side by side for a while in what would likely be considered the 'laughing group' or the 'autobus' of the swim peleton. At one point about 5 mins into the swim, I hear 'c'mon Loren keep going' - Chris was cheering for me in the water (which I don't think you're supposed to do), I figured he was sipping a latte somewhere around the 2nd buoy and wanted to cheer a teammate on during his respite. I swam straight but my swim program starts slow and speeds up throughout the race (if you can call it that). I must have run into no less than 20 fellas, all who started fast but faded pretty quickly. I'd stop, sight and swim around them. I think for the time that I was actually swimming that I swam 'well'.
I got out of the water in 23 mins or so and looked eagerly to getting onto the bike where I'd try and make up some time on the hilly and winding course. I started out ok, seeing 25-27mph for the first few miles until we got to some slight hills. I then started to feel pretty gutless. I settled in behind the one guy who passed me and let him pace for a while around 23-24. After getting through a bad patch I knew I was faster than the pacer - so I pushed past him until we got to the short climb of about a 1/2 mile. I suffered a bit and rode it more like I was on a recovery spin than in a race. I didn't feel great and saw my HR in the 160s as opposed to the high 170-180s I could normally (and almost easily) push. I just focused on catching more folks and getting to the run - not trying to let my bad bike get in my head. I think I did TOO much this week on the bike and got myself on the other side of overreaching.
Getting out onto the run - I felt great. Then I hit about the 1 mile (of 5) mark and felt terrible. I wanted to walk and call it a day but I know that there are always bad patches that pass. I got through it thinking quickly about all of the time I spend training and how much my family contributes to my racing and that I was not going to quit or give in because of what they give up. I pushed the pace and saw at least I was running a 6:30 or so, which wasn't terrible given that it was uphill. At the 2 mile mark I saw Chris Berry towards the front of the race (he was actually leading) where he had a mile or so on me.
I kept it up and pushed to keep catching one runner after another - towards the end I got behind a guy who was 25 and was about 6'6". I said 'c'mon Thor (he looked like a Viking) let's catch that guy' - so I sat on Thor's shoulder as he paced us past one runner and then another. I'd get up to his side when he'd slow and then he'd go faster for a bit. I must have done that 5-7 times and then Thor cracked and I was left to catch the man in the red spandex ahead. I passed a few more folks before the finish and ended the day of pain.
Vs. last year:
4 min faster on the swim (213th out of 379 - better than my season goal of being ~35th percentile)
1 sec faster on T1 (23rd OA)
3 mins and change faster on bike (16th OA)
14 secs slower on T2 (I must have had a latte in between shoe changes) (23rd OA)
1:45 faster on the run (very lame) (77th OA)
Still 14th AG and 20 spots higher on the OA. About 8 mins faster than last year.
Next up is San Jose where I WILL go much faster.