First time in San Diego was great. Spent mass time hanging with Cait. We went for Sushi, pancakes, took some naps, went to a brewery, biked and ran, and wandered around down town. I wasn't feeling super sharp for the race the night before but the nap brought me around and suddenly I was feeling magic.
Race morning started out shockingly relaxed but quickly turned into typical race morning as I discovered I had miraculously lost my aero helmet...seriously unreal as I had it on my head the day before. Who knows what happened to it? Shit man, I need to get it together. I sent Cait frantically back to the hotel (she is the best) and I scrambled around trying to find a spare. I rounded up a fisher price looking helmet, which was a major win all things considered, then headed to the swim start.
I was in the second wave which I had mixed feelings about. 1. I was getting time splits to the leaders constantly which was good. 2. I couldn't react to surges in the race which was bad. 3. Not having a swim pack was not ideal and my swim time showed it compared to the 1st wave
The swim was excellent. I got dropped in the first 200 but quickly diced through 8 of the people who thought it was a 200 free instead of a triathlon. Seems like it was easy to confuse despite no pool and a wetsuit...DUMB DUMB DUMB. Anyway, the stroke felt very good and I held a high tempo into t1. Transition was a bit sloppy but not shameful and relatively good. Not sure what others are doing in transition but I will take free time if you give it to me. If you want to put on makeup and file your nails before heading out on the bike, be my guest.
The bike felt pretty rotten as I have had major tracking issues with my knee since switching to speedplays. It seems to have set off a stick of dynamite in my pedal stroke and suddenly I am herky jerky all over the road even with my new looks. I wasn't very smooth but the watts were alright and I averaged 335 with 6 dead stops. Still managed to go 59 and change. Michey Weiss held 377 so I have a ways to go but I think I can get there.
I transitioned onto the run and felt good. I was smooth but a bit sluggish until mile 3 when a guy picked me up. He gapped me but I hung on about 5 seconds back. I clawed my way back to within a second. Then he heard my breathing and surged. Rinse. Repeat 3 times. I had one more penny to spend and came back on his shoulder and tried to make a pass...I didn't have much so it wasn't all that definitive. He responded and rounded a corner. I thought I was dead until I saw a small downhill. I blasted down it and was on his shoulder again. I was running on fumes at that point and he easily coasted away as I waddled in. Second time in as many races that I have come up short with 300 yards to go. I fought like hell to make this one close though. I hit the line completely totaled and yacked four times. Satisfying effort.
Overall, athletically the race was spot on and right where I needed to be. 7th overall of ~815 racers is hard to complain about, but I was hoping my race would end up being more competitive with the top guys. It still left me a couple minutes shy of the podium and out of the money. I am knocking on the door but still not there. Competitive races are awesome but sometimes I just want to cherry-pick one and blow apart the field... Guess I just need to get faster.