Sunday I got my first ever "podium" finish in a race (aside from my single greenbelt C race win), though it was only in my age group. I did the General Smallwood Sprint Triathlon down in Indianhead, MD and had a pretty decent time of it. I slept horribly the two nights before (like a grand total of maybe 4 hours) and didn't eat well Saturday but luckily that didn't come back to haunt me too much. I think I felt it, especially in the bike when I was mentally losing my drive a little bit but I managed to get through it.
The swim was pretty fun and interesting. The water was 85 degrees so wetsuits were banned. I'd luckily gone out the day before and picked up a singlet which I liked a lot more then my two piece and it definitely was a lot better for drag in the swim. The grass was filled with a lake sea grass that was thankfully not slimy since I swam through every single tall clump out there on the way back in. Despite my lack of swimming since Nanticoke I did well; not as well as I'd thought but well enough. Swim was 3rd age group and 24th overall.
The run from the swim finish to the transition area was a bit of a trek which I practically sprinted and not pulling off a wetsuit was pretty great. My T1 time was 2nd AG and 5th Overall.
The bike portion could have been a bit better for me this time. I went out pretty solidly but pretty quickly hit some rollers that hit back. I gave a bit more in the swim and the run to transition took a bit out of me as well so the hills which caught me by surprise were a bit of a bear to get through. I was still moving and passing people all over so I didn't feel too bad mentally yet. The turn for the Olympic vs Sprint almost caught me off guard but I noticed the markings at the last second and went the right way. Now after passing one more person I was out alone for a while before someone was in sight behind me. I could tell the guy was catching up and this is where i started losing mentally.
I was pretty physically drained at this point and this started to break me down mentally as well. After he passed I saw a whole slew of guys coming up. When they passed I finally realized they were the leaders from the Olympic distance and not my competition so I relaxed a bit and got my mind back under control. I finished up the bike strong catching a couple of guys who'd caught me previously, dismounted on the fly and ran into transition. Bike was 3rd AG and 11th Overall.
My second transition was also fairly quick, 3rd AG and 10th Overall.
Hitting the run leg I was immediately excited when I realized my calves weren't cramping up like they'd always done previously so I ended up going out pretty hard and passing a few guys. The we hit the hills again and I slowed drastically. One or two of the guys I passed ended up coming around me with one in my sprint race. Hit the turn around and then turned off the main road onto some "off-road" trails which also caught me by surprise. I pretty much coasted through the run, consistently losing time to the guy in front of me but keeping an eye on the guy behind and making sure he didn't catch me.
Came through the finish in 8th overall with 2nd in my age group. Overall pretty satisfying race though I know I can do better. Always room for improvement and this race was certainly no excepption. I'd like to think that with a couple of good nights' rest I'd have been a bit more mentally capable of overcoming things in a couple of places but how much of a difference that would have made in my placement I don't really know.
I stuck around for my first awards ceremony (well over 2 hours after I finished in the blistering sun without knowing anyone there) and got a folding chair for my time. It felt good to get called up though I'm not sure I'd want to stick around that long again for the ceremony. I guess though since I've lost all my chairs before now it was good to get a new one.
Age Group Results
Photos will soon be here
Oh and if you feel like looking:
Pics from Kinetic Sprint
Pics from Nanticoke Sprint