My training after Whistler left a little to be desired, to say the least. All that work stuff that ebbed just before Whistler, really started flowing when I got back. I joked that I’d become a weekend warrior, only finding time/motivation for long workouts on Saturdays and Sundays. It wasn’t entirely true, but a far cry from what I’d been doing. So I adjusted my expectations accordingly and set out to enjoy the weekend with family, my team Rev3 friends, to compete with whatever I could muster, and not get too concerned with results.
I was a bit concerned about the potential for hot and humid weather in southern Missouri. But it turned out to be a beautiful weekend and cool temps in the mornings were more of a problem than heat in the afternoon. The water in Lake Table Rock was still pretty warm, like barely wetsuit legal. (The practice swim was VERY comfortable without a wetsuit.) The air temp on race morning was in the low 50’s, which made for this…
Which made it really tough to sight from water level. Maybe its just me, but the clip in the recap video (2:25) looks like people are going 11 different directions. I felt that I got out to a good start and swam reasonably well. Then about half way through, I lost contact with the guys in front of me, mistook a kayaker for a buoy, and then started my traditional meander to the finish. I still thought I was doing reasonably well, until the last 400yds when I got passed by a group of about 8 guys and couldn’t hang on.
As I removed my BlueSeventy Helix, I was immediately reminded that it was 50-something degrees and T1 was still in the shade. The first 20 mins of the bike were pretty chilly until my kit dried out. Sunshine was my friend, shade my enemy.
Describing this bike course in really difficult. Its certainly hilly, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. I can’t say there are any climbs on the course because nothing seems that long. I can say, I don’t recall a single flat spot. Most of the hills are 3-10 minutes long and don’t even allow you the choice of powering over them. You just settle in and spin up, time after time after time. The course is also great because it gives everything back on the downhills. Except for 5 miles at the beginning and 8 miles at the end, the course is on a 4 lane divided hwy with huge shoulders that is completely closed to traffic. It is AWESOME! The recap video (2:30-3:00) gives a great perspective of the course.
I made it through the bike with reasonably good legs. I don’t think I got passed at all, but couldn’t make up much ground on anyone. I dropped my chain once, which was frustrating, and made a fueling mistake with about 30 mins left. I felt I’d ridden pretty well and at one point was still wondering if I was going to crack 3hrs for a bike split. 2:51 and 20.09 mph sounds pretty pedestrian, but I’m telling you it’s a fun course.
Thank goodness the run course is incredibly flat. It wouldn’t have been hard to find hills for the run, but they kept us close to Lake Tanneycomo, running 3 loops right along the water. The run had to be one of the most spectator friendly courses in the history of triathlon. Shopping, dinning, expo, finish line all smashed into 3, 4.5-mile loops.
I really didn’t know what my legs would have to offer, from my lack of training and the bike course. Things felt pretty good after the first 1.5 miles and I probably got a little carried away for the rest of the first lap. Starting the second lap, I could tell things were grinding down. By the time the third lap started, I was in survival mode. Thankfully it appeared the same thing was happening to the guy right behind me (my AG). Multiple lap courses with out/back sections aren’t really good for the phyche when things start to fall apart. Watching people chase you down is not a good feeling. It can provide some good motivation though. Somehow I picked it up and finished with a 1:31 run split.
It still wasn’t enough to crack 5hrs, 5:00:51 total time. Good enough for 6th overall amateur and 1st in my age group. Which also brought my Rev3 AG points total down from 3 to 2. The 35 lowest totals (best two races) qualify for the AG championship wave at next year’s Knoxville race. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.