This year's Granite Falls Tri turned out to be a great learning day for me. I am so happy that I was able to make the race. It was a busy week.
I recently read Mecca's book "I am here to win" and one comment that he makes is that you need to try and break routines. Well in my case I need to find a routine. I am so bad about just waking up and going. No real pre-race routine. While that can be helpful when something comes up and your routine is interrupted but to not have a guideline or a formula is just not very smart.
Ok let me just say that I know what I need to do. I just do it on the fly. Like for this triathlon, I woke up grabbed a prepackage bacon egg and cheese biscuit, a cup of coffee and out the door I went. I know not even the breakfast of champions. Even with that, I arrived about an hour earlier than I needed to be. I always tell myself to relax and go later, but again that lack of planning thing pops up.
Fortunately/Unfortunately, I picked up my packet on Saturday. My bib number was 4. What in the world? IF I start 4th, I would be ran over by about 50 people. I begged them to move me back. So I actually started 40th. Phew, heart attack averted. The best thing that came from that was the rack for transition. I was able to rack my bike with the "pro's". So I was not really worried about them kicking my helmet off my bike or even being there when I was transitioning.
After pacing around the compound for the 1 1/2 until the race started it was finally 8 and we started lining up. Another great thing happened with the swim, by starting 40th, there was a 1:30 break between me and the next person. That meant that even if I sucked, this person should not be able to catch me. That was awesome. So no pressure on the swim. Got to the wall to start and when I got the go, I took off calmly and smoothly. You would have thought I was a pro. I have to admit my swim was really easy. I didn't catch the person in front of me and wasn't caught from behind. I was really able to relax and go.
Once I got out of the water and headed to transition something strange happened. I lost my drive. I didn't run to my bike. I actually walked part of the way through transition. I changed into my shirt and helmet and picked up my sunglasses and gloves and was off. I mean I took it really casually. Once I started on the bike, I really expected to get my drive back and to take off. But it never really happened.
That is not to say that I didn't ride well, I just didn't ride fast. I wasn't admiring the scenery, but I also wasn't breathing hard. I was passed within the first mile by one guy. My normal reaction would have been to try to hook on (draft legal) and stay with the guy. But that reaction just wasn't there. I just mentally waved him goodbye and keep rolling along.
I passed a couple of riders and I tried to cheer them on. Then as I made a turn, another rider caught me. This time my competitive juices did kick in, just a little. I stayed with him for about 2 miles. Then again I just allowed him to ride away.
Once I made my turn back into Granite Falls, I still had a ton left in the tank. I told myself that I would blow it out on the run. I will catch these two jokers who passed me and show them a thing or two. I started running and I could feel that I was still energized.
I ran really good. Not hard, but good. Unfortunately, I still didn't put forth the kind of effort that I expect. I also got lost in my own head. I started thinking about the guys who pasted me. I realized that I had at least a 1:30 head start on them. That meant that I would have to catch them and leave them by that same distance.
Running and shaking my head, I decided to just run and leave all the mental stuff alone. I still felt strong and since the race had several turn a rounds, I could see how far ahead or behind I was. I was passed by 3 guys and actually caught 2 of them and easily pulled away from them. I continued my normal encouragement of the other runners.
I finished strong. Had a huge smile on my face. I knew that this wasn't my best effort but I knew that I hadn't really bombed it either. After a slow walk to cool down, I started cheering for others as they were finishing. It was great to see Jody. He ran a great race. Met a guy from Fayetteville who has just competed in a tri the precious day. That is dedication.
All in all, this race was not one that I would highlight on my memories, but it was a great day and an event that I now have to do again to make up for my lackluster performance.
Swim - 300 yrds - 6:53
Bike - 10 miles - 34:20
Run - 5k - 21:34
Total time - 1:04:50
26 out of 121 overall
6 of 11 in my AG.
Actually improved my time from last year by over a minute. Last year was 1:06:30.