Swim – The water was so choppy that the pros were the only division of athletes allowed to complete the swim portion of the race. For everyone else, the race was turned into a time-trial start duathlon (bike/run only). I got off to a great start in the swim and was working well with a handful of ladies about halfway through when I turned to breathe and ended up basically drinking a wave. I tried to continue swimming but was choking so I had to stop, tread water, and clear my airways before I could continue on with the remainder of the swim. I’m not sure exactly how much time I lost when I stopped, but my swim ended up being about 3 minutes slower than usual. Yikes!
Bike – For the first part of the bike I felt drained (most likely from all the coughing) and struggled to find my racing legs. However, at about mile 15 I suddenly caught a second wind and was able to increase both my cadence and speed for the remaining 10 miles or so and do some damage control on my bike split.
Run – For the run, my aim was to stay as relaxed as possible, build the first 5k, and negative split the last 2 miles. While I feel I was a little bit too conservative for the first half, I was happy with my overall effort for the 10k and excited that I was able to run my last mile in 5:42 after over 2 hours of racing. If nothing else, I have that one positive to take away from this race.
Although this is not the result I’d hoped for after so many hours of training, I am excited just to be racing again and to be injury-free. In 2 weeks time I will be competing at the PATCO PanAm Champs in Oklahoma City so be on the lookout for me there.