Yesterday was the Brigantine Triathlon. I went in with big goals; I wanted to match or beat my paces from NJ State, and in doing so I was hoping to place in my age group. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened.
The Swim: This was a bay swim, and the current was moving along pretty good. The water was a little choppy, and one particular person kept running into me (or me into her), but the real problem came when we turned around the buoy and into the current. I misjudged how fast the water was moving, and instead of heading back on the diagonal into the beach, I ended up going out too far and had to make a 90-degree turn back into the beach, and in doing so I lost a decent amount of time.
T1: I tried to rush through transition, and tried to put my helmet on forgetting that my sunglasses were in it. The sunglasses went flying, and one of the lenses popped out, so I had to fix that before I could get on my way. After having problems in T1 two races in a row, I think I need to be more methodical (but not slow) in T1 and make sure I am doing things step by step.
The Bike: For an 11-mile bike, this was surprisingly hard, due to bumpy roads, lots of turns, and a fairly decent wind blowing. I averaged 19.8, which I was pretty disappointed about. I had been hoping to be above 20, and at or above 21 mph, so ending up under 20 was a bummer. In fact, I averaged around 19.x in one of the tris I did last year, before I started working with a coach, so to not see any improvements for this race was very frustrating. But, on the up side, I got some good racing experience going back and forth with someone in my age group. She passed me when I was getting my feet into my shoes in the first mile (I remembered to put them on my bike this time!), then I passed her at about 3 miles in, she passed me again about a mile later, and I kept her in my sights and passed her with about 2 miles to go.
T2: Went fine. Got my bike in the rack, shoes on, race belt and visor in hand, and off I went.
The Run: Sucked. The course is a 4-mile out-and-back, on very canted roads with little to no shade. Given that I ran 7:20s at NJ, I was hoping for 7:30s or so. Nope. I ran 8:21 miles. And it was hot. But, like the bike, I got some racing in, running down someone who had passed me at about the halfway mark.
Overall: This was a very disappointing race for me. Looking at the results from the day, if I had hit my goal paces I would have placed in my age group, but instead I ended up 6th, coming in 6 minutes behind someone that I should only be about 2 minutes behind. I know that not every race can be a good one, but I've been racing well this season and it was a big let-down to have a crappy race. But, Speedy had a great race - he won his age group by quite a margin, taking on and beating some good competition in doing so.