This past Sunday was event power's Great South Bay triathlon which was held at East Islip Marina. As the season unfolded, this was expected to be my second triathlon of the season, but due to bad weather and dense fog at Harriman State Park for TriRock NY and a cancelled swim, Great South Bay turned out to be my first full triathlon of the 2012 season.
I had about a forty-five minute ride over to the start from my house, so the alarm was set for 4:50 am. At about 4:10 I woke up excited and ready to race. I miraculously fell back asleep for the next forty minutes and got out of bed to get ready at 4:55. My transition bag was packed from the night before, and my bike was in the car so all I really needed to do on Race morning was make breakfast and take my pre packed transition bag into the car.
For breakfast, I had a toasted whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, a new pre race and pre workout meal which I have found seems to give me a lot of energy. Amy and I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts on the way to the race and I had a few sips of an iced coffee. We made it to the race site right around 6 am which gave me just over an hour to set up and get ready to race. The transition area in my opinion was a little crowded with 450+ racers set up into just two rows of bike racks.
I set up my normal transition area with my bike shoes clipped into my pedals and rubber banded in place to the quick release of my rear wheel. On my handle bars, I had my helmet with sunglasses and my number belt laid across the handle bars. I usually put my number on before the bike so that I do not need to during T2, all I need to do is spin the number around to my front. I set up my "Believe" (New York Rangers Playoff) towel with my run shoes, a pair of socks, and my new visor.
Sporting my new team bicycle planet tri kit, you can see me liberally applying body glide before getting into my new Hurricane Cat 5 wetsuit. Sunday was the first time I wore it to swim and I gotta say it was incredible!!
On a good day, the swim is one of my better sports in the triathlon. Sunday's swim was rough to say the least. It was a clockwise looped swim which was odd for me because all of the swims I had previously down were counter clockwise. As we were in the water waiting for the gun to go off, one of the race directors said that the current was taking everything to the left, so to swim straight out and it will bring you around to the outside of the first buoy. I and several other people in the first wave listened, and boy was he wrong. We found ourselves in the middle of the loop way off course and had to basically make a 90 degree left turn to get back on track. After we cleared the first buoy, I really started to feel that current which we were now swimming directly into. It seemed that no matter how hard I was pulling, I was hardly moving toward the other buoys. I eventually made it around the remaining three buoys and headed back toward the beach. On the return to the beach which was about a 200-300 yard swim from the last buoy there were no other buoys to use to sight. Not cool. It was very hard to figure out where exactly on the beach we should be heading so again I found myself off course and lost more time. This was definitely not my best triathlon swim, but it seemed that a lot of other racers found trouble on the swim as well.
I have been getting faster and faster on the bike, and Sunday was the first time I really felt fast on the bike. The bike course was an eleven mile loop tour through East Islip. The course was relatively flat with a few rolling hills. One of the things I have been very proud of lately is my new found ability to climb hills. I have lately been able to get out of the saddle and work hard up hills without completely tiring myself out. Only one bike passed me throughout the ride, and I passed a few bikers. I have been hydrating with Nuun lately, and have found that I absolutely love it. I have always been a sucker for grape flavored things, and Nuun's grape tablets are incredible!
Okay, so my run is getting better, but still not where I want it to be. I still feel I am losing time and places within my age group on the run. The run course overlapped with the bike course, which I felt was a little unsafe especially considering there was a small lake (puddle) taking up about half of the road getting into and out of the parking lot at the marina leaving very little room for runners and bikers going both in and out (Kinda Scary). I got out on the run and felt pretty strong. I passed a few, but was also passed by some competitors including at least two in my age group which always sucks to deal with, but eventually I will be the one passing the people in my age group. Overall not a bad run, and better than most of the run legs of my other triathlons.
So, not my best time but also not my worst. I know I can shave minutes off the swim with better sighting and less time spent trying to get back on course. My next triathlon is June 17th and I only expect to be better.
*All Photos Courtesy of Amy!*