So, I did the Timan Sprint, which is exactly half a Standard length: 750m swim, 20K bike, and 5K run. The organizers of this event, by the way, are some of the nicest people I have ever met, and will be getting a lovely thank you card, because they totally deserve it for letting me re-arrange my race at the last minute. They also ran a very slick event, even if I am confused as to why they put a can of lentils in the race pack (no lie. And not that I'm complaining; lentils are yummy!)
The day was gorgeous: 20degrees (Centigrade), scattered high cloud and light, light wind that only came up about 2 hours after the start of the race. (It's summer down here
The swim was easily the best part of the race for me, despite a wetsuit malfunction that had me swimming bare. I counted, and there were *three* of us in togs as opposed to seal-suits. The water was very calm, about like a swimming pool lane with four people in it instead of a bay, and cool but not freezing. A surprisingly strong tidal current was flowing, but the way the course was set up had us swimming with it for half the race and against it for the other half. The start was a change from what had been posted on the online course map, which made it look like a beach start, and we went deep water instead. I'd never done a deep water start before, but I kind of like them. The current made us keep drifting ahead of the official start line, however. Unsure of the ability levels present, I started at the back of the pack and ended up passing quite a few people out of the water. I ended up at the front of the mid-pace group heading into T1, and felt pretty good about it. My pacing felt steady and strong, though my sighting needs a bit of work.
I did a bit of experimenting with my routine in T1, varying my routine from past races, but it is slower (about 40 seconds), so I'll go back to the other way.
The bike leg was terrible. The course was gorgeous: mostly rolling hills along the beach (Oh, Pacific Ocean!), but I struggled to get my gearing right. It really only felt like I settled into it in the last 5K or so. Where I live is either dead flat or steep-as mini-mountains, and I wasn't used to the fine feathering needed. I also found myself getting really discouraged as many of those I'd passed in the water got theirs back and passed me on the bike. (I don't know why; it happens every race.) I'm satisfied that my cadence is steadier than it has been in past races, but it was still uneven, probably due to the gearing issues. the one thing I can say that went better than past races is that I seemed to have learned my lesson about pushing the gears too high.
The run felt good. It was hard, but it may have been my best tri race run ever. Again, the course was rolling hills around the base of Mount Manganui, so very scenic. I don't know why, but for some reason, mentally I just feIt steadier than I have in the past, so even though it was hard, it felt like a good hard, not an "Oh my god, I'm going to die" hard. I passed several people again (and several passed me), and even with the hills, my stride felt steadier than it has in a long while, including during several road races. I never thought I'd say this, but I definitely enjoyed the run more than the bike.
Afterward, my hip was sore again, so I went to the massage tent, and they said I had put my pelvis out of place and popped it back in. OH MY GOD. I almost died on the table, but when I stood up, for the first time in, I don't know, EVER, my leg didn't hurt. I'm definitely seeing a sports therapist about this when I get home; it has the potential to make such a difference to my running, where my hip has been my limiting factor since university.
Overall, I'm frustrated. Despite a strong run and swim, the bike was terrible, and I felt strong at only half the distance I trained to do. And was exhausted at the end. The only way I feel at all satisfied with the results is to remind myself that on Wednesday/Thursday I was home in bed with a fever. Even at this distance, I should have been about 10 minutes faster if I'd been in full form. It does, however, reinforce the decision to go for the sprint instead of pushing for the standard distance. But still, my biggest feeling (and this is after a nap but not having slept overnight on it) is frustration. I'm not feeling too hot now; the sun was pretty fierce, and I'm struggling to get fluids in, so I'm just hoping I didn't overdo it.
Stats! (Official only for swim, I didn't start my watch until I hit T1 with the deep water start confusion. And their time was set from the predicted start time, not when the horn went. We started two minutes late, so I think my swim might actually have been closer to 9:35, which makes sense. That's closer to my usual pace. And it would bring my overall time down closer to 1:42:34, which, while still crappy, is not quite as bad. But because I'm a dork, I'll go with the official times only.)
Overall Time: 1:44: 34
Overall Placing: 38 of 50
Typed very, very quickly on a public computer, so apologies for the lack of coherence.
Cross posted to runners