I went into the race feeling good with the exception that the early start left me way short on time to get warmed up. When we started I took it really easy with the beginning of the swim to make sure I would not pop myself at all. I settled in to a good group and swam with Chris Lieto the whole way coming out side by side with him which was cool.
My wetsuit was much to thick for how warm the water was and I felt like my head was going to explode from being overheated near the end of the swim and so T1 was very disorienting. I had to run up the first hill instead of riding because I was not all together yet. I got pushing the speed on the bike right away and felt comfortable doing so. I felt like I was pushing a really good rhythm throughout the bike, staying within myself but keeping a steady hard effort. I did feel some fatigue in the last ten miles or so and I think that is because I have been going with a lower volume of hours on the bike this year.
I felt great starting the run...loose and smooth, settling right into the turnover and breathing pattern that I wanted. I was surprised that I even had to pee a little early on because of how dehydrated I had been last year. I never expected to be over-hydrated but that is a line that my inexperience makes thin.
A few aches and pains in my feet through the middle section of the run concerned me but never took me out of it. I did have to make a port-o-potty pit stop on the way back on the run but did not loose any places and I timed it (1:20-30) to get an idea of what my time would have been.
The swim and run were big improvements from last year. I started to feel exhaustion creeping in around mile eight or nine of the run and I think that is solely a volume issue that will resolve over time as I get that up.
The bike was a big disappointment. With vastly better equipment than last year I was still four minutes slower. I made an appointment at Spokesman Bicycles with Wade to dial in a TT fit which I certainly don't feel was optimal. I imagine when I am able to handle the big volumes running I can bring back my bike miles and the speed will come back.
All in all it was a good weekend especially being able to spend time with my girlfriend and family, and see some beautiful places. Vineman is a great event and I already look forward to attacking my PR there in the future.
Swim 10,850 yds
Bike 10.5 hrs
Run 26.5 mi