Yesterday was my first race of any kind since the Lasse Viren 20k on December 13th, and three months post knee surgery to remove Plica. I finished 2nd out of 91 athletes at the Admirals Cup sprint triathlon at Pt. Mugu behind UPENN runner and former high school competitor from Agoura, Chris Baird. Needless to say I am very happy with the performance and had a great time competing again.
5th in 5:20, :14 behind the fastest (4th male)
The swim was advertised as 400m, but was likely a little bit short. I got into the water near the front of the pack and made my way to the first buoy. I thought that most of the swim I was in a pack, but as I emerged from the water I was surprised to see just a few athletes ahead, and no one near me. As I entered T1, the announcer said I was in 4th place. Awesome! I have been working really hard on my swim and I am very happy that I am going in the right direction. I have always thought that my only limitation in triathlon will be my swim.
13th in 1:25, :38 behind the fastest
Unfortunately all the work I put into the swim was negated by my first transition. I had no trouble finding my bike or removing my wetsuit. As I bent over and put one foot in my shoe I seemed to get kind of dizzy and couldn’t balance very well. I guess if there is a spot to be weak in it is the transitions. With some practice and more race experience I am sure I can improve a lot.
5th in 28:33, 1:20 behind the fastest
The swim was supposedly 12 miles, but my GPS said 11.3 miles at 23.7 mph. Before the race I thought 23 mph average would be pretty good, so I am happy with my performance. I felt like I had a bit of power missing and my lack of time in the saddle showed. I do take some comfort in the fact that I was the only guy in probably the top 10 that wasn’t on a carbon fiber bike with carbon fiber wheels. All the guys ahead of me also had aerodynamic helmets. With some more time on the bike and some equipment upgrades (which probably won’t happen until next year), I think I could be up near the top cyclists.
19th in :53, :23 behind the fastest
The second transition was less notable than the first. Clearly it wasn’t spectacular, but I didn’t fumble around or anything.
2nd in 14:56, :3 behind the fastest
I had originally planned to just tempo the run if I didn’t think I could win the race. After seeing how far ahead Chris was, I decided to go hard anyway and just see how I feel. Like the bike course it was flat and fast. My first mile was 5:05 and I passed two of the 5 guys ahead of me. I passed two more over mile 2 in 5:03. Chris was clearly just too far ahead and as I found out at the end of the race, he was moving at a pretty quick clip anyway. I averaged 5:04 for 2.95 miles which was much faster than I thought I was capable of doing right now. The best part is my knee didn’t hurt at all!
Next up is the Breath of Life Olympic distance triathlon in Ventura on June 27th. Until then, it is back to training!