It's been 5 years since I first did this race. It's a nice, local sprint triathlon, in a pretty good location, and it always seems to bring out many of the fastest Orange County triathletes and duathletes. So, for me, it's a good chance to see how I stack up.
Going into this race, I hadn't been running much because of an injury, and I haven't raced since Xterra Laguna Beach in June. I had a feeling I'd be fine with the swim/bike portions, but I had no idea how I'd do trying to run "fast."
Swim (half mile)
My watch had me around 900 yards, and I was over 3 minutes behind the top swimmers in the age group, which I kind of expected. Not much to say here, except on the swim back to the shore, I got caught up in the large swell and was tossed pretty hard by a wave coming in. Yes, another set of goggles donated to the Pacific Ocean.
This is a steep, paved path up to the bikes, and not much 'running' going on here. I got to my bike and my helmet was now clipped to my bike, and I had to search around for my glasses. They were in the shoes of the guy parked next to me. That's what happens when you're not fast out of the water, other guys get there first, and somehow your stuff just magically gets relocated.
Bike (12 miles)
This is a short bike course on PCH, about 12 miles. So, no pacing necessary really, just push as hard as you feel comfortable with. Well, I did that, but never felt like I was going like I could or should. Either way, I wasn't able to catch any of the guys that came out of the water ahead of me, so I assumed I'd be somewhere in the 3rd to 5th position off the bike.
Couldn't have done much better here. In and out in under a minute.
Run (3 miles)
No plan here, just run as hard as my legs would let me. Ultimately, it wasn't that fast, and I wasn't able to catch any of the guys ahead of my in my age group. The run along the sand and the last steep climb were really showing my lack of running.
Well, I ended up 4th in my age group, more than 7 minutes off the top two guys in 40-44. Since the top guy in my age group was 3rd overall, I was bumped up to 3rd in the age group. Not how I wanted to get there, but I'm not going to complain, given my poor lead up into this race.
What's next? I'm not sure, maybe another sprint in October, but I'm definitely going to stop procrastination about physical therapy and get my butt in for some rehab.