This week I stuck with my recovery plan and took it pretty easy. I had been feeling so run down and beat up and although it is always nerve racking not to be training hard I felt like my body was telling me to rest. This weekend was the Santa Cruz Triathlon which I love having at the end of the season as a fun community event where I know all the volunteers and spectators. Not only do I get to sleep in my own bed the night before but it really is a good course...beautiful and just the right amount of challenging. There were a few changes to the format/course this year but I felt like they worked well for me and the event was great!
I got in before hand and found a couple of good swimmers to keep track of and went back to line up. Strangely no one was worried about being at the front for the swim start whereas in the past people would be rubbing shoulders to be at the front. Standing a foot or so in front of everyone I got a moment of quiet solitude before the start while listening to the countdown. I got a good entry into the water and Shane Hubbell and I went stroke for stroke almost the whole swim coming out of the water together in the lead.
With no one to chase I was able to catch my breath running up the beach and then get my legs going which felt great because usually I am scrambling to chase and wearing myself out. One of the guys at my work caught this video from the restaurant balcony too!
Through T1 quick and smooth and out onto the bike I settled into a comfortable rhythm. The weather was absolutely perfect...light breeze, slightly overcast and perfect temperature. I found my groove on the bike after I got out of town and just kept the cadence going as strong as was comfortable. What I love most about fun local races is that you can race your own way without pressure or anything to push you outside your limit. I went for as much easy speed as I could get on the bike and the new rig felt great. Should be a post coming on that soon!
I got a little turned around in T2 but when I figure out where I was going I just made a b-line across the transition zone jumping racks and bushes :) I pushed a little hard up the first hill but told myself to relax and got my legs spinning. I found my limit and sat in to hold on. I kew that Brian Lavelle was back in a later wave and probably reeling time back on me. I saw him going the other way around the four mile marker which by my calculations put him ahead of me by a small margin.
I pushed as hard as I could on the way back and finished in 1:56:47 a best time for me here even with the longer course, good enough for second overall. Bryan beat me in the end, SUCH A TALENT, but I want to make a note of third place; Jack Calhoun, one of my slug swimmers and the hardest worker I know, was killing it just behind me all day and had an awesome race. Jack is a true testament to hard work and dedication and will be quite a fun talent to watch in years to come.
It was a great event for me, mostly because I was able to enjoy it with friends but the beauty of the course plus the enthusiasm of the volunteers and community make it such a heartwarming morning. You have all rejuvenated my spirits and my love for the sport at a time I really needed it!
Swim 12,350 yds
Bike 7.5 hrs
Run 24.5 mi