I thoroughly enjoyed this race. It was great fun to see all the DC Tri Clubbers either on the course of volunteering. Thanks to all the volunteers. You guys did make this a great race.
Donna was a trooper and dropped me off near the Watergate a little after 6am. I am glad she volunteered because that made getting into town easy and I did not have to find a place to park. I walked the short distance down to transition, racked my bike and laid out my gear, and then I went looking for John and Mira.
While I was setting out my gear a guy near me was talking about a wedding he was to be in that afternoon. Someone asked him if he were the groom in a joking manner and he said he was. His wife-to-be said he could do the race or have a bachelor party. Like the rest of us athletes, he chose the best one. However, I bet the bride expected him to choose the bachelor party.
Men age 35-39 had two waves and I was in the second of those waves (about 5th over all). We jumped in the water, which was a balmy 76, and I warmed up for a couple of minutes. The horn sounded and off I went. I was amazed at how clear the water in the Potomac actually was. I could see at least an arms length and maybe a little more. I tried to stay to the right side using the wall as a reference, but I found myself drifting in to the left. There was not a lot of contact and I made it to the turn around near the Key Bridge. If I thought I had zigzagged on the first half of the swim, I was in for a rude awaking. On the return swim, we all were looking directly into the sun. I was all over the place and being a more comfortable right side breather, I did not have a good reference other than Roosevelt Island. I finally made it back to the finish, climbed the ladder and ran through the mustache wash.
Swim Time 34:56—slowest of the year. However, I had not swum much in the last month.
I was in T1 for a long time. I had no real goal for this race other than to have fun. There was a first-timer near my rack and he was having trouble getting out of his wetsuit. So I assisted him and tried to motivate him some. He was from the wave before me and was getting frustrated.
I jumped on the bike was motoring down by the Kennedy Center and on to Ohio Drive. I was able to hold a little over 23mph and was feeling good. I reached the end of Hains Point and the Awaking Statue and ran smack dap into a head wind. I slowed to about 17 mph and I had to work hard to keep that. The little hill up 15th Street was painful, but after that it was down hill to Constitution to 9th Street and in the tunnel. On the return trip I was able to talk smack to some of the volunteers and I was off again.
The second loop was similar to the first. I was able to see Donna on both loops and give her a high five as I went by.
Bike time 1:15:31
I started to leave T2 and a kind volunteer yelled that I still had on my bike helmet and not my running cap. I tossed her my helmet and she put it back with my stuff. I had mocked someone earlier in the week for that error. What goes around comes around I guess.
It took me about a mile for my legs to loosen up. I was running SLOW, but it wasn’t hot and there were plenty of volunteers and spectators to motivate me. As I started down Independence, Donna was attempting to take a photo of me. Some crazy lady in front of me, apparently thought Donna was one of the official photographers and started hamming it up and telling her thank you for being out there. I don’t think the lady was delirious yet, but what do I know? Not having mile markers on the course was frustrating, but everyone suffered the same fate. At one point a friend who was volunteering told me that I was at the 4.5 mile mark. I looked at watched and just laughed. The one marker on the course was at the last aide station (allegedly mile 5) and again I looked at my watch and realized it was not in the right spot. I finally made it to Pennsylvania Ave, turned to the Capitol for a couple of blocks and then reversed course to the finish. I crossed the line in 2:57:37 for a new PR. I am sticking with the official distances, but I think the bike was a tad short.
Run Time: 59:32.
This off-season I am going to focus on my speed and running hills. I know if I swim consistently I can easily swim in the 28-29 min range. But this year is over. Let the beer flow!!!
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