Final Race report of the season.
Race: Palm Springs HITS Olympic distance
Start time: 0745 on Saturday
Swim: The day started out a bit brisk shall we say. Temp was around 40 degrees with water temp around 56-57. Needless to say, I was hesitant to do a swim warm up. I decided to skip it and wait for the gun. The swim was two loops and looked to be a little long. I sized up my strategy as we waited for the gun. We were off! I ran along the shore, did several dolphin dives, and realized I was in the front by about 50m... unreal. I held the lead for another 300-400m before I started getting passed by everyone and their mother. The theme of the swim was noodle arms and loose core. It was probably the worst I have ever felt in a swim but somehow I managed to come out in second.
Bike: I relaxed as I hopped on my Quintana Roo CD0.1. I knew my trusty bike wouldn't let me down. After I got on the road, I realized my legs had showed up to the party despite nearly every other body part being numb. My goal was to push VERY hard on the bike for the first half and then take stock on the out on back. I jammed through the flat roads and tried to juice every ounce of speed I could. The roads were rough and they sapped the speed by about 1-2mph in contrast with the smoother roads. I hit the turn and headed back looking for second place. I checked my watch and had 2 minutes on the next guy. I decided to turn the screws and see if I could balloon my lead. My go-for-broke biking hasn't let me down this year so I rolled the dice again. Headed into transition, I felt alright and was confident I had boosted my lead.
Run: Again, very little run training had me a little nervous for this portion. The one saving grace is that I have lost a lot of weight with my increased cycling so the decrease in weight has helped me keep my run speed up and offset the lack of training. I set out running 6 flat pace and tried to keep my foot on the gas. Each mile felt agonizingly long as my breathing was bordering on out of control. I couldn't believe I was still leading!
I hit the turn around and finally looked back. NO ONE. I ran back and took stock. I had a 4 minute lead over the next guy...but he was literally flying. I recognized him as an ex-collegiate runner and knew my lead wasn't safe. I ran scared shitless towards the finish. I kept asking people if anyone was coming and the answer kept being no but I didn't trust them. I only relaxed 200m before the line when I saw Caitlin who told me that I was well and truly clear. I finished off with a 37 mid 10k.
Post-race: Overall I was stoked with the win. It was probably my best win to date as I took it to a couple ex collegiate runners and spanked them handily. My swim was absolutely horrible. I didn't take a single good stroke. It was a bit too cold. The bike was dialed in as it has been all season. I put 4-5 minutes into everyone and blew the race wide open. The run
was a slight improvement and polished it off. It wasn't anything to write home about but not a surprise and did the job.
Next up: off season and a lot more bike riding :)