Race Report - Age Group Nationals:

The short of it is I was 76/~100 dudes in my age group. 2:13:59 Overall time. I thought it possible to go 2:05, and I still feel I'm not illusioned about that. Lend me some time, and I'll tell you about it. Also, before you read on, know that I am very thankful for everyone's encouragement and support - it is appreciated on many levels! Whitney, Carolyn, and Brent - you all are awesome. Chasing me around transition with your obnoxious signs, challenging me to a race through transition (Carolyn), and being there for me at the end was great. It was more than I could have asked for.

Breakin' it down, one leg at a time:
22:05 Swim - Great water temp. Unreal. Felt great especially since my pre-race swim was thwarted, leaving this swim my first in 5 days. The time for me is weak sauce with a dash of stupidity. After the first buoy, I turned, followed the feet of the age groups before me, except I was duped! - After what felt like the time the next buoy should have appeared. I stopped, threw open the goggles and looked around. SH*%! The orange floater was about 200m in the other direction. I busted ass to get there, but lost time. How much? I don't know. I felt great the whole time, though.

1:05:29 Bike - 22.7mph avg. - Just wasn't meant to be. Fun ride though. Hills were abrupt and short, but momentum killers. Talking to the winner at the hostel, I discovered I had a lousy strategy for them. Turns out he floored it just before and held most of his mo
mentum over the top. I would just hang on to the speed, easy gear early, and try to gear up as I crested the hill. It made me feel good, but my speed didn't fair so well. His, on the o
ther hand was by far the fastest on the day for anyone - going 56:34 on that course - that'll blow your mind. Watch out Starky! I did get passed by a few women out on the course which made have some dark thoughts about whether I was even going to complete the event. Trust me, I tried to reel them in. Fail.

44:08 Run - 7:08 pace. I don't really have much to say except for I disappointed myself on this one. ACTUALLY, my last 3mi was under 20mins, which helps me save face, but the 24min first 5k drove the coffin nail deep. A crushing first hill gave way to probably 5+miles of relatively flat/downhill to the finish. I have to say - mentally I wasn't really prepared for the types of individuals that would be passing me. It's not really the type so much (they were all on hammertime), but the ages that would pass me, and sometimes how they did it was outrageous. I saw some women my age fly by. And at those moments, I was instantly reminded of my clydesdale category body. When more and more ectomorphs bound ahead with what looks like not a care in the world, you start to think skinny thoughts. For body type explanation - see diagram.

All in all, I have to say that I wasn't thrilled with it. Maybe I didn't prepare accordingly, and maybe my peak attempt didn't work so well, as I may not have had the fitness required to peak.

The trip positives:
1. Great swim - will implement the strategy next year of swimming not once the week of the race. (I'm serious, every time I've done this, I feel phenomenal)
2. Last 5k of the run - happy to know I actually CAN feel better as the run goes on.
3. Awesome venue, great aid stations, great supporters (Whitney, Carolyn, and Brent!) and humbling competition.
4. Staying in the hostel - cheap, filled with interesting people; from the overall race winner to a 67 year old Californian who had been there 10 days. Fun to meet a crowd like that.
5. Boston afterwards.

The elements I would have thrown out:
1. 2mph Crash which bent my front wheel the day before the race.
2. The rented wheel for 15 bucks - granted, it was a carbon clincher, but it also came with a tube which valve's stem was not long enough for the pump to grab. Changed that sucker 10mins before transition closed race morning. 3rd place overall, who was next to me on the rack looked at me and asked - last minute change? I held back the long story leading up to that and responded with, 'ya dude, craziness.'
3. Walking ~2mi each way to pick up my packet after bike fiasco - not exactly my ideal pre-race run.
4. The beach being closed on a beautiful 75 degree evening at 7pm. I wanted to swim. They stole my dream.
5. Packing 2000 people into one corner of town that had one way out. Traffic was insane.

Next time:
1. I will drink more on the bike - not enough calories/salt in prep for the run. Wont do that again.
2. Taper less - the mind is a very powerful organ and should it be deprived of cortisol, dopamine and the like during race week, it tosses and turns as if I just broke my ankle. Not doing enough during race week made me feel slightly inadequate on race day. Enough said.

Not sure about upcoming races as I'm in need of some rest. Feeling fried. Definitely in the mood for some fall/winter. Trail runs and snowboarding sounds amazing right now.