For those of you who aren't runners/triathletes, you can just stop reading at this point. The remainder of this post is all mind-numbing blocks of text about me, me, and more me.
The race was really well organized, with a beach start. Knowing that I am far faster on land than in water, I decided to execute the "sprint like a madman into the water first so that people who know how to swim have to angrily pass around you" strategy. Two guys in speedos beat me to the shore, but I guess they were probably just really cold. (Or really fast, as I'll find out later). The very short swim (600m) went by pretty well, with me emerging ~15th place out of the water at ~1:35/100m pace. These are all wild guesses sprinkled with hope and dreams.
Once in T1, I did the 2nd thing I've never done before - run out with my shoes already clipped into the pedals. I was able to do this because I bought my first pair of triathlon shoes off of Bonktown, a pair of Bont Sub-9's that are pretty darn incredible. If they had splits data I could show you how much more awesome I was through transition than everyone else, but they don't, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Of course, next time I should also avoid ejecting my water bottle within 50 meters...
T2 was just as speedy, although I somehow managed to lose both of my bike shoes by the time I reached my rack (thank you, volunteers, for bringing them back to me), slipped my feet into my shoes, and off I went. Managed to leapfrog a guy who I was trading places with on the bike into 6th place.
Finally, my bread and butter, the run. It was a pseudo out-and-back, so I quickly realized that I was around 6-7 minutes behind the leader, still sporting the speedo. 5 miles, flat, managed it in 29:30 and change, getting faster every mile. Along the way, I overtook two more guys to once again finish right outside of the podium. The official results a week later have me at a 1:33:37. I finished 4 minutes behind the winner and 3 minutes behind the guy in front of me.
- Speed up my swimming from 1:35/100m to 0:55/100m, a 42% increase and impossible if I don't have gills (yes, this was a very short course, but still)
- Speed up my run from a 5:55 to a 5:05 pace, a 14% increase and pretty much impossible given my running base
- Speed up my bike from 23mph to 24.8mph, an 8% increase and... seemingly doable?
Basically by default, I should spend the remainder of my training really hammering the bike before Timberman. Too bad I didn't figure this out until 3 weeks before the race...