As I sit here thinking of what to type, I can’t help but think about the kindness displayed by not one, but two triathletes who offered me co2 on the ride. It’s true what they say – Connecticut really is full of really nice people.
With that being said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Woke up @ 3:45 this morning and woke up Shaya and Sruli. Having two little brothers as your support section is really underrated and I was very happy to have them there with Uncle Yehudah. Thanks for coming guys.
We pull up to the packet-pick up and registration area where we got the race number tattoos (epic failure) and dropped off my run equipment in T2. Then I got on the bike with my wetsuit and swim equipment in my special needs bag and rode over to T1.
Suited up, met another wrestler on my rack then walked down, got in the Long Island Sound (67* – Nice!) then got out and got ready to swim. I stuck my watch in my swim cap to keep a GPS signal, although I’m not sure that was smarter. I kept wondering what my time was, and, as it turns out, it was much worse than I hoped it would be.
I was shooting for a 25:xx split, I came in 31:58 after which was good for 297th place. 7 minutes behind schedule. My race best was a 21:xx so I was ~10 minutes off my race best and it was kinda eating me but I figured oh well. Off to a bad start but that’s not about to ruin my day.
Turns out I haven’t swam for that long continuously since last summer…so as soon as I get into transition, I fall over trying to get my wetsuit off from dizziness and just stay sitting for a second until I regain my bearings. Shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on and I’m out.
First transition took MUCH longer than I had hoped at 2:19 but I was happy to be out of the water and on the bike – what has become my strength over the past year.
Now I heard the roads weren’t great but I wasn’t expecting what lay before me. 2 miles in, I jackmott’d my aerobottle, despite my best efforts of krazyglueing and siliconing the aero bottle to the cage. My mind raced furiously thinking about what Jack would do…and then it happened. I didn’t even make an effort to avoid the chips as they were all over the place, and then I heard the infamous…ssssss followed by a thump thump thump thump.
I pull over, try to regain my calm (still all flustered about losing my nutrition before I had the chance to take a sip) and proceed to take off my rear wheel, rip the tape off the aerocover and screw my co2 into the adapter. Before I knew it, I was releasing the co2 into…the air. Nice. And I didn’t have a second cartridge. I run over to the cop 100 feet away asking if he had a pump (why would he?) and of course he said no.
So I waved down random triathlete number 1. Who gave me a cartridge. Unthreaded. I tried attaching my adapter to the wheel then jamming the cartridge – no go. I wave down a second triathlete who DOES have threaded. We make the swap, I thank him profusely and begin the last 2 minutes of my 10 minute pit stop. From 21 minutes into the bike to 31 minutes into the bike, my power meter was off.
I get going again and get stuck behind a group of women discussing their book club.
That was motivation enough to put the pedal to the metal. I floor it, completely disregarding my 88-93% of FTP plan just thinking “make up as much lost time as possible”.
I was a mess.
Around Mile 18 of the bike, I explode. I begin cramping in my left calf on the climbs (it was a little hilly, a few tough climbs). At mile 19, a volunteer offers me a water bottle (although they explicitly stated there would be no aide stations on the bike). I accepted it graciously ,although unfortunately, it didn’t prevent the cramping that lay ahead.
My avg. wattage output for the ride was 168 – just within the range I was going for of 165-190. Which comes out to 2.24 w/kg. I’ll take it. My max output was 537 and my 20 minute CP, showing 204 normally, showed 187 today. Nice.
My power reading shows the bike leg lasting 1:27.28 (vs. the race website’s 1:27.52 and 16.9 MPH) for an 18.6 MPH avg. time. That was good for 269th place. Take away the 10 minutes for the flat and I’m only 6-7 minutes off my target. I’ve got some more riding to do.
I finished up the bike without much to do and made my way through T2. 1:44 seconds. Things were about to start turning around for me.
I saw this guy coming out of T2 and latched on to him. As we both got our legs back @ an 8 min/mi. pace, we got to talking. His name was Attila (like the Hun) and was planning on a 45 minute split. I said OK, I’ll run with you until I feel the need to break away, then we’ll split.
We run together with this woman Hellen who was also planning on a 45 split. Nice. There were 2 aid stations, and 2 laps on the course, so 4 chances for water. I had barely any nutrition so far, so I drank all the water (no Heed, thank you very much) I could get my hands on.
Staying true to our plan, all 3 of us hammered through with an average 7:24 pace and finished strong, and together, cheering each other on through the last 3/10 mile. From mile 2 and on, my right quads were not cooperating but I kept thinking about all the hours I put in running, despite my bad ankle (which held up well) and kept reminding myself I’ve done this a million times before. It’s just my body trying to trick me. The blisters were nothing after I beat the cramps.
The run time was a total of 43:42 for 63rd place with a 7:03 pace on a busted ankle and cramping quads.
Overall, I finished in 2:47.32. 18 minutes off of my goal time, a time leaving much to be desired and many areas where I can improve.
Gotta get the flat fixing down – that shouldn’t have taken 10 minutes.
Gotta swim more – that shouldn’t have taken ANYWHERE near 30 minutes.
I set a personal best on the run, so no complaints there.
The volunteers were amazing. Aparently, there were 350 of them and they were everywhere. The streets weren’t closed which was a bit of a pain. The streets were paved somewhat treacherously which put a huge damper on my race. The descents were impossible since there were cyclists all over the lane, and cars were both passing us and coming towards us, so no place to go. Plus, everyone was swerving to avoid each other and the potholes.
Those are my thoughts…Overall, fun day.
Time to get back to training.