Saturday night I started to freakout for some reason due to my upcoming Sprint tri the next day. Insomnia set in and i was not able to go to sleep till around 12:30 which made getting up at 5 am no fun! Luckily all of my tri stuff was packed so I rolled out of bed at 5 , showered, and was out the door by 5:20. A quick 45 minute drive late we were in Ashburn (about $6 poorer with tolls).
We arrived around 6:15 and I proceed to get my transition area set up. I made sure my bike shoes were loose so i could slip them on and tighten them. I also made sure my socks were turned inside out so i could get them on effortless are the swim. I setup my running shoes behind my bike shoes for easy access and put my helmet and sunglasses on my bike handlebars.
We were corralled to the swimming pool at 6:50 for the playing off the National Anthem and a 7 am start. The swim was in an outdoor 50 meter pool with 2 people starting at a time about 15 seconds apart. You had to share a lane and swim a lap before snaking underneath the lane dividers to continue for 3 more laps (total of a 400 m pool swim). I seated myself correctly and started near the back with an estimated time to finish of 16 minutes. They didn't want you to pass in the lane but instead at the wall. After my third length, I let someone behind me pass at the wall. However, this way a big mistake as he had no swimming form and fought through the water with incorrect head position (always above the water). I had to stop twice mid lane since i had caught up to the guy and he was walking in the water. 13 minutes later i was out of the pool and on my way to T1.
|Stretching before I dive in.|
|About to jump into the pool, oh boy!|
|About to start back after my third length.|
|Emerging from the water like the swamp thing.|
Here is where i made up some time. The course was 12 miles long consisting of 2 six mile loops along some lightly traveled neighborhood roads and through a housing division. The course started out flat, eventually leading into an uphill which turned into another uphill and finishing with a nice little decent. After crossing the line where I could clip into my bike, I had a few problems getting my shoes into the pedal. However, once I was past that I was chugging along on the bike course passing a bunch of people who had finished the swim before me. I spent the first few miles on the bike getting my heart rate down after my swimming fiasco. I finished the bike in 38:10 (19 mph average).
|Running to bike mount line.|
|Trouble clipping in.|
|Having fun on the bike.|
After having a good bike split, I proceeded out on the run which was an out and back course along a running path. We had to cross under the road twice (through some tunnels) which made for some slight hills, nothing too bad. The run was uneventful for the most part. I kept a 9:22 mile pace and my legs were moving along and not hurting. Only two people passed me on the run (I guess since i started so far back) but no big deal. The second person that passed me (a little past mile 1) was running at a pace a little faster than my own so I decided that i was going to keep up with that person for the rest of the race. By this time I was to the run, the sun started to come out and it was getting hotter. Though this was the case, I managed to finish the run in 29:00.
|Running along the path.|
|More fun on the run!|
|The finish line is in sight.|
Despite not really doing a whole lot of bricks, I had a pretty good bike to run transition. My goal was to finish under 1:30 which i did, so I was glad about that. My weak part is the obviously the swim. In the offseason, I plan on getting to the pool more often and training so I can swim longer distances without needing breaks. I may also find a coach if it is worth it. I definitely plan on doing more triathlons next year , which means Olympic distances and doing open water swims. Maybe i will go stalk the trifind website.