Just a quick recap from the Grand Rapids Triathlon a few weeks ago. It will definitely be faster than I was!
Swim- Washing machine central
I swear, the guys at this race just need to settle down. You're not that fast, so stop trying to dunk me (please!) After I finally found some clear water, I was already too far down from Todd, Louis, and the lead group to catch up. The water was pretty choppy and I swallowed a lot of it. Yuck! I always seem to lead the chase pack out of the water, too. I can never seem to bridge that last 15-second gap.
Bike- Quick T1 leads to a moment of panic
I heard Larry Crabbe announce Louis' name as I was running up through transition so I knew he was just ahead of me. I was a little worried as I got further into the bike when I wasn't passing anybody. Not even Todd or Bill Vann. I thought, "There is no way I came out of the water before them." The first time I passed someone was just after the turnaround point. Only then did I realize Todd and Bill were behind me. I must have passed them in transition. Louis had about a 2-minute lead on me at the turnaround already...So much for thinking I was riding well. I passed the two guys between Louis and me, but the second guy decided he wanted to sit on my wheel for a ride. I could see his shadow out of the corner of my eye. So much for that 3 bike length draft zone. He came back around me and then slowed right down. So I sat up to get back the distance and then put in a big charge to drop him. Sorry bud, no free rides today. I came into transition, but the damage was done. Louis out-biked me by 2.5 minutes.
Run- That was slow...
Well, the run didn't start off well when I heard I was 3 minutes down to Louis...jeez. Just when I thought I had a good bike. To make matters worse, I had to stop less than a mile in because there was a rock in my shoe that I couldn't stand for another 5.5 miles. It probably only cost me 10 seconds, but it still wasn't what I wanted. Last year, I remember going through the first mile pretty easy and looking at my watch which read 5:20ish. This year, it was 5:51 and I knew it was going to be a long run. Nothing too eventful happened other than I was going really slow. I had a burning sensation in my chest even though I wasn't running very fast. I wasn't really cutting into Louis' lead at all either. I still crossed the line in 2nd, but almost 3 minutes down from Louis and in a time of 2:00:18 with a 36:09 run split. Both my slowest finish time and run splits in as long as I can remember...
I still ended up finishing 2nd overall in a time of 2:00:18, but that was almost 5 minutes slower than I went last year. Because I'm a numbers nerd, I took a look back at both mine and Louie's splits from last year to see where I really fell off.
Louis- 20:37, 56:53, 34:55 (1:55:34)
Todd- 20:43, 58:22, 33:29 (1:55:48)
Louis- 21:27, 56:33, 36:41 (1:57:42)
Todd- 21:46, 59:09, 36:09 (2:00:18)
It seems like the swim and run this year were slower than last year across the board. The water was a little choppier and it was a hot run. But the run is where I make up all my time and that did NOT happen this year. I lost almost 3 minutes from last year Todd just on the run. That alone would've done the trick to come away with the win. Oh well, onto the next one. One of these days, I'm finally going to beat Louie ;)
Thanks to my sponsors for helping me get the job done. Every Man Jack, Felt, Roka, Louis Garneau, Cobb Cycling, Gu.
Thanks as always to my parents for being my #1 support.
Thanks to my friends (Todd, Sam, Eric, Sara, Abby, Kyle), EMJ teammate (Ben), and arch nemesis (Louie :P) for making it fun out there :)
And a special thanks to my friends James and Alexiana for surprising me not only with their presence, but with a cinnamon roll after the race! :)