This was the start of my 8th year as a triathlete and the first race of the year still makes me a bit nervous. LITH is a fun local race that I did in 2010 and really enjoyed so I figured why not go again to work the bugs out and kick of my season. The only issue was I’ve been having some trouble with my right calf and it has interrupted my run training. So the plan for this race was to just to go through the motions and get the first race of the season out of the way. Depending on how my leg felt on the run I would jog/walk/drop out if needed.
Swim ½ mile in 9:51
I had probably the best swim of my life (and the course was probably a bit short as well). Started right up front, just swam on my own and ignored everyone else. At the first turn buoy I looked up and saw only a few people in front of me so I swam a little harder and tried to close the gap but never quite caught up. I ended up coming out of the water 3rd and could actually see everyone in front of me, which is a first.
I was a little rusty. I have never been fast at getting a wetsuit off and really need to work on that. My bike mount was less than graceful, but it worked. Too bad I used too long of rubber bands to hold my shoes up and one didn't break for the first mile (see picture below).
Bike 15.5 miles 36:44
There was a hill right out of transition and I passed the eventual female overall winner on the way up the hill. Once I made it over the hill I could see first place and the police escort a little up the road. I probably should have stayed at my target watts and slowly caught up, but it was more fun to go hard and for a few minutes. After I took the lead I just settled in at my target watts and followed the motorcycle.
I had some trouble getting my bike racked because the rack was pretty low but otherwise this was uneventful. The Zoot Ultra Speed 3 slipped on easy and I was off and running.
Run 4 miles in 24:24
All I could think about was run with good form and hope my calf didn't start to act up. The first mile felt like crap but my calf was totally fine and it was fun having the police escort so I kept plugging along. I was sure someone would catch me but I figured I would keep going until they did and then decide if I wanted to push my leg. Luckily, my calf didn’t act up at all and I was able to run steady without getting caught and having to push it.
Total 1:12:24 - 3 minutes faster than 2010
Overall, I’m thrilled that my leg held up fine and of course it felt great to kick off the season with a win. As usual, thank you to my wife and daughter for all the support and getting up at 4 in the morning to come to the race. Having my daughter at the finish line on fathers day was pretty special to me. My Zoot gear was flawless as usual and the Ceepo Katana was almost 30 seconds faster on this course at slightly less watts then the last time I raced here.
- For short course I need to practice T1 more. Specifically getting the wetsuit off and helmet on at the same time and faster
- Use shorter rubber bands to hold my bike shoes up as the left rubber band was still there at mile 1 of the bike when my wife was taking pictures
- If I want to keep racing short course I need to train running fast right off the bike instead of easing into like long course racing