|San Diego - Love This Town|
There must have been some sort of Lord Of The Flies fan convention at the San Diego Travelodge I stayed in Saturday night, because when I went to bed around 10 there were still about 50 kids in the swimming pool making noise and causing indescribable chaos, without a single parent to be seen anywhere.
Luckily for me, the air conditioning unit in my room was one of the loudest I've ever encountered, so it drowned the noise of the kids out. But in and of itself the AC was only slightly less annoying than the kids. Finally, around 11 I fell asleep.
The alarm went off at 5:00. It was easy to get up - I was looking forward to this race. I got dressed, had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, a cup of Greek Yogurt and a small bowl of strawberries. I was out the door by 5:30.
The race was just down the freeway so I was there and parked in 15 minutes. I had dropped my bike off on Saturday afternoon, so all I had was my transition bag. I walked into transition, got my body markings, walked over to my bike, set my stuff up and put on my wetsuit. It was now about 6:30 and I had 20 minutes until my wave start. So I headed to the beach, got in to the water and did 3 or 4 100 yard warm-up "sprints" (to the extent I can actually sprint). By then it was time to line up for the start.
The horn went off and I started swimming. We were swimming one big 1000M rectangle in a protected marina so the water was totally calm. From the start, I could tell I was getting passed by a lot of guys, but funny enough I didn't actually make contact with anyone. In fact, the only time I hit somebody was at about 400M when this one guy was cutting right across my line at a 45 degree angle. We collided but it was no big deal and I kept going and ended up passing him.
Two turns later and I'm on the backstretch. The swim was going OK for me, so I was pretty optimistic that I'd come out of the water pretty much on goal. And I did - at 20:30, a minute faster than last year. A good start.
Swim - 1000M 20:30 (approx 1:54 per 100 yards)
But this euphoria was short lived, because when I got to my bike in transition, a weird thing happened. For a few seconds, I FORGOT WHAT I HAD TO DO. Sure, I knew the ultimate goal was to get on my bike, and I had entered the transition area with my wetsuit was already stripped down to the waist. But the "wetsuit off, helmet on" normal order of things had somehow completely escaped me. When I finally got my bearings I of course made things worse by fumbling to get the wetsuit off my ankles. But with the wetsuit finally off, I got my helmet on and ran for the bike exit, although it was 40 seconds later than it should have been.
T1 - 2:38
I summited the climb and started the first of two 5 mile loops, each with 4 short but punchy climbs to deal with. So there was never a nice long stretch where I could stay aero as I decided to attack each climb pretty aggressively. I got the two loops done and then got to go down the first long climb back to transition, finally in aero for a nice long stretch. This went fine, but could have been faster - I kept overtaking small bunches of riders spread across the road who were being a bit more cautious on the descent, and I didn't really feel like getting in a tangle with any of them. I did the 30K bike course in 54:17, two and a half minutes faster than last year. Things still looked pretty good.
Bike - 30K (approx 18.64 miles) - 54:17 (20.6 MPH)
T2 went a hell of a lot better than T1, yet it still took me 2:05. Why this took so long is a mystery to me, though in my defense it seems like a lot of the other guys in my AG had transition times higher than I'd expect. Maybe the run from the timing mat to the bike racks was longer than I realize, dunno.
T2 - 2:05
I set out on the run and felt great. But just like last year, the run was a little weird - there were not a heck of a lot of people on the course. I ran a fairly solid 10K in 49:17. Solid yes, but I have faster. I have a theory about this though. Since runner traffic was light, I had no one to pace off of. All my best/PR running times have come from big road races - the Surf City Half Marathon and the Dana Point Turkey Trot. I think that running with more people makes me push my pace whether I realize it or not. I'm not trying to make an excuse here. Rather, I'm making a mental note to myself that I have to stay on top of myself a bit more on a traithlon run.
Run - 10K (Run was actually a little long @ 6.3 miles) - 49:17 (7:49/mile)
My final time was 2:08:42. Last year's time was 2:13:30. So despite my transition issue, I shaved almost 5 minutes off of last year's time and had time improvements in every leg. I'm obviously pleased with this result, yet I was secretly hoping for a 2:05 finish. I reckon a 2:05 would be a pretty good indication that a sub one hour Solana Beach Triathlon is possible in a few weeks.
So there you go, another one on the books.