It's over! What a day. It ended up being really fun and I was impressed at the organization and just how well we participants were treated.
Here are the results for those of you who don't want to read to the end of this post.
It was an early morning and I really didn't sleep well. There were dark clouds and lots of wind before I left the house. I biked to the race site, about 6 km, as my warm up. When I got there, shortly after 7 am, the wind was howling. I couldn't lay my towel out because it just kept blowing away. I wanted to have my stuff laid out to save some time, but that didn't seem like it was going to happen. So I went to check out the water. Ever heard of white caps? Not the preferred swimming conditions. I kept myself busy by walking through the transition area and getting myself familiar with where my bike was. I really did not want any trouble finding it. By 9 am the winds had calmed down and the water was smooth, for a lake. That was reassuring, the swim wasn't going to be too bad and the bike should be good without much wind.
I watched the start of the "try-a-tri" and noticed that most people were doing 'dolphin dives' the whole way. Some were just 'running' through the water, there was very little swimming going on.
My group, the blue caps, was to go after the elite athletes were away. Most of the elite were dolphining as well. Apparently, because the course went along the shore, the water never got very deep, like waist deep at the half way point. So my "easy going" strategy changed to "dolphining" then and there. If it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for me.
I dolphined for about 80% and swam the rest. I was able to see Sue, Darcy and Brian cheering me on as I came out of the water, that was cool.
My 'swim' time: 12:29, 1:34 minutes/100 metres. Ridiculously fast.
Transition One (swim-bike):
I ran up the beach and at the top they had little kiddy pools filled with water, to wash your feet off. I slipped and very nearly wiped out but managed to save it. That got me a couple of cheers. I took my time getting my socks and shoes on and getting myself out onto the bike course.
T1: 3:07, to slow, but worth getting it right the first time.
Windsor, actually all of Essex County, is flat. Completely flat. So the course is flat and fast. Without much wind I was able to push it pretty much the whole way. The volunteers were great cheering everyone on as they went by. There were a lot of people who had spent a lot of money on their bikes. I noticed this as I passed them all. Well, I didn't pass everyone, but no one who passed me was riding a 20 year old classic. Some of the older men, who started after me, flew by me on their rockets.
My bike time: 55:27, average speed 32.46 km/hr. Fast.
T2 (bike-run): Rack the bike and take of the helmet, start running. 53 seconds.
The official race results say that my bike time was 59:27, that includes both transitions. I kept my own splits because of that.
At this point I was tired, but I knew I had to fight through those first 2 km to get my legs back. Things went really well for the run. There were plenty of water stations and each kilometre was marked. Here are my splits for the run:
Km 1: 4:58
Km 2: 4:48
Km 3: 4:33
Km 4: 4:38
Km 5: 4:40
Km 6: 4:23
Total: 28:05 (right on target)
I couldn't believe that my splits kept getting lower! I started to run harder after I passed the "5 km" sign and picked a few people that I wanted to pass. When I got to the last 200 metres a guy came up behind me and yelled "Come on, let's go!" I accepted his challenge and we 'sprinted' for the line and I KICKED HIS BUTT! That felt awesome.
I came in 80th overall, 11/19 in my age group. My time was 1hr40m00s. A full five minutes faster than I had expected. I am totally thrilled with how things went.
After some time to think about it, I did everything I could have to perform as well as possible. Knowing what I know now, I'll look to change a few things next year. I'd be more aggressive on the swim, I know I could go faster. I would also make sure to take less time on T1, that cost me a couple of minutes. Hopefully next time I won't be dealing with a blister and I'll be able to run harder the whole way. The difference maker for today's blister; Sue's socks.
I bought her a pair of special running socks. They're very thin and work to move the moisture away from your skin, eliminating the friction. This and especially how thin they are kept my foot really comfortable the whole way.
A big thanks to all of you for your support and interest. It's been a lot of fun. Now I have to find a new topic for this blog.
Special thanks go to Jake Dimmick (my co-worker). He is training for the Detroit Marathon in October and gave me the shoes that I ran in. He bought them but they didn't work for him, so he thought it would be worth me trying them. They worked for me! He also loaned me his bike helmet for the race. There's nothing wrong with the one I have, but his is newer, lighter and most importantly, breathes better. Thanks Jake.
Lastly, I need to thank Sue. For being the initial inspiration for me getting back into fitness with her own running, for putting up with the extra hours of training, early morning swims and late night runs. Through it all she always showed her support and enthusiasm for me getting to my goal, while her own goal (to run a 5 km race) was put on the back burner. I couldn't have done as well without you there to cheer me on! Now we'll work on getting you to that 5 km finish line.