I have been scolded for using the word "fail" to describe my results in this race, so I cannot resort to that term anywhere in this ....
The day started off well, albeit very early. I was up at 3 AM after falling asleep around 12:30 or so. Everything was packed so after "creaming up" and getting suit on I was out the door pretty fast. Picked up partner around 4:30 and we got to the venue around 5:20. It was pretty smooth getting marked and setting up. The transition area was very rough and full of loose gravel, which was not fun, as well as ants all over the place (found three bites on me later that day, but all in all went OK. I was surprised with myself because I was calm this time compared to the first race (which was my first Triathlon back in April) but after my solid races (although slow) at Madeira and Crystal River I wasn't to concerned.
We headed down to the water around 6:30 and found it very warm, probably around 87 or so, and flat (about 1 foot waves). Went down to the start and got in ... and BAM ... instant panic hit me. I was o pissed off. I could figure out why I was having problems. The water was warm ... it was flat .... the swim was only a quarter mile ... I do this standing on my head in 8 minutes in training. What the HELL is it with this race venue that effects me like this?? I swam around a little and thought I had it controlled but the thought was now in my head. I waited with everyone else for the waves starts.
As you can see, my time was not good at all. I did OK when we started, I felt the panic but was working through it, got to the first turn and felt I was in rhythm, but then I looked up to site and I was being push off to shore ... I had to alter course and swim hard to get back on track ... and that was it. I was done. The exertion shallowed my breathing and by the time I was back where I needed to be on was again on my back and stroking as best I could.
When I got out of the water I was so light headed that I thought I was going to fall over. I seriously had thoughts of quitting at that point, but said to myself "just walk to transition and see if your head clears". Once I was at my bike I was feeling better, so suited up and got on board ...
HUGE improvement from Escape in April and made up time from the swim here, Definitely the area of most change I have seen. I gained almost 4 miles per hour since the first race, and probably could have done better if I didn't start off so light headed. Slight head wind heading out that I really didn't notice until I turned and it went away ... my speed jumped from 15 mph to 19 mph without trying. That's a good sign of a head wind. LOL
The main points I am proud of most though is that I was not passed once ... by anyone ... and I passed 10-12 people, gaining on some that I know started three waves ahead of me in the swim (that means they had a 10 minute or so head start). Imagine what I could do if my swim was where it should be?
I need improvement in this area. Not so much in the running itself (I am training for a marathon and days where I run only I am doing well), but in the transition from bike to run. I pushed hard on the bike to regain some time so my legs were once again dead for the first part of the run. I walked almost the whole first two miles, even when I "ran" it was around a 14:00 pace. The last mile or so Jenny had walked back to me, and having her as a "gadfly" always helps me kick it up, so my run slits the last part were back to where they usually are, in the 12:30 range.
Total Time (1:52:57)
My personal goal was 1:40:00, so missed it by 12:00. 6 of that was the swim portion and another two was T1 being slower because of light-headedness. I have improved in all areas on a one on one basis, I just need to put it together. Only one more planned race this year (9/3 for the 3rd Crystal River). MANY things to work on over the Winter. MANY MANY THINGS.