First race since May! I can't believe it has been that long but that's the beauty of set back. Coming into this race, I knew it was going to be a savage all out effort of forty minutes. Oh how wonderful are sprint races.
Having started training about ten days ago the forth and fifth and even sixth gear needed to excell at such a distance was probably not going to be there. After a long week of great bike training along with two days of 'light' training, 4am came rather quickly.
After a wonderfully delightful breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter and honey it was time to stash my running gear at T2 and head out to the lake. Warm up went smoothly in the dark. Just as the sun was starting to rise of the Chickamauga Lake, the buzzer sounded announcing that it was time to start the suffer fest.
The first 200m of the swim flew by and for the first time in my short triathlon career I found myself in about forth position in the water. We cornered the turn buoy and headed for home. I was passed by one swimmer and decided that I was in good enough position to attempt to draft. I sprinted out the final 50m to come ashore in fifth or sixth place. With a speedy transition, I was in second place heading out onto the bike. 600m up the road was the leader. Son of a bitch that guy must have been crushing the bike because by the seven mile marker he still remained about a minute up on me. I came off the bike leading the light brigade and exited transition still in second place but only with about fifteen seconds to spare on a group of three or four runners. Onto the run and out into the unknown foggy fitness area. Having only logged about thirty miles at most in one week of training, my running legs were far from fine toned. Unlike last year, the volunteers pointed the chase group down the wrong road and as usual being in the lead I was the one that suffered the time deficit. Could have should have would have but I came to a four way intersection with not a single clue on which way was the right way to turn. The people behind me only had to trustingly follow my ignorant lead. Luckily, my internal compass was operating and I embarked out on the right pathway. However, I saw the leader (who debatablely went the right way gaining a few seconds) and realized that the gap to him was not coming down. On the way back we were pointed onto the right bridge. I checked my six heading into the final 800m and saw that the guy behind me was up on his toes and looking like he was going to swallow me whole. I realized that I had no top end speed and needed to attack on the final bend if I had a shot at the podium. Rounding the last bend and into the last 600m I surged hard. The chaser countered hard and I moved into his draft but could not out kick him in the final sprint.
Overall, I am really happy with how the race went. Far from my ideal distance, I finished fourth overall with run course that left much to doubt. I had one of the fastest swim splits and backed it up with an equally strong bike and sub-11min 2mile run. I am heading into a couple weeks of building myself back into some decent fitness. Most importantly, I was over two minutes quicker than last year's time.
In other great news, I finished the school year strongly with an A in Philosophy and an A in bioanalytical chemistry. I am proud to announce that I am on my third summer break before the 'real' school year starts back in earnest August 26th.
Good luck to Zacca who will be taking the fight to the yankees at this year's Timberman 70.3 Look forward to toeing the line with ya in November at Clearwater!