Well, I got to Sierra Vista late at night and my plans to bivuac just outside of town seemed to be dashed as it was raining and lightening all over. When I found out the cheapest hotel was full and the expensive ones were, well, expensive. I decided to go back to plan a, which unbeknownst to me included getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Anyway, I didn't have a problem waking up in time to go to the race.
I got checked in just fine, I got my bike racked and my stuff in the transition area and then I remembered I needed my waterbottles. Soon I would realize I would also need my keys to get the water bottles as they were sitting in the back of my locked Jeep (Doh!). So, I found a guy that thought he could help and he said we should try the keys on his ring in the off chance that it somehow worked. Incredibly it did work! So I had my keys and water bottles and was back in business.
I saw on the window that I was in heat 2. I thought someone must have made a mistake as there was no way I was a fast enough swimmer to be in the second heat out of 6. Well, it turns out the slower people go first! So, back in my humble old mind again I prepared for heat 2. I missed the warm up as I watched the heat 1 swimmers struggle through their swim (800m by the way). Having been coached by my niece for the last few months and working on my stroke I found myself analyzing the strokes of the swimmers in the pool. It was amazing how many of the bad habits that I had recently trained out of my habits I saw people using and thought if they just worked on form they would likely be swimming in my heat.
My heat, hmmm, well I sat down on the bulkead waiting for them to start us and I find out the lady I will be sharing a lane with is shooting for 24 minutes and she is surprised to find out I am shooting for 18 and am still in this heat. Then we started and I did flip turns for the first few laps before I decided I was not getting enough Oxygen that way and stopped with the flip turns. Somewhere in here I noticed I was getting a lot of resistance from the other swimmer in my lane being slower and creating chop in the water. I ended up lapping her twice before finishing in the first few in my heat (at least there was only one other guy at the rack when I got out there and I didn't see anyone coming back from our heat on the bike leg). I managed to soak up a couple of minutes in Transition (I don't know my swim time since my lap timer reset but it was around 17-18 minutes). I had a bit of trouble getting my tri top on but didn't lose too much time on it.
So, on to the bike leg. I passed a Lady like she was standing still not too far out (I think she was the first one out of the water in our heat). I managed to keep the speed up in the 23-25 mph area most of the way to the turn around. I had been worried about sun in the eyes but it was a nice overcast morning and I just thoroughly enjoyed the cooler temperatures of Sierra Vista. One guy passed me nearing the turn around but I think he just wanted to pass me as I kept on his tail most of the race from here on out. After the turnaround we kept 15-17 mph most of the way back (uphill and into a bit of a headwind). During this stretch we passed most of the previous heat including a 10 year old boy (someday he will be way out of my league, I was no where near doing on of these at that age). The fields were all green and the morning was just gorgeous. I kept checking my Heart Rate monitor and I was keeping it between 82-85% which was sustainable for this length of race. The guy in front of me got into the transistion about the same time as me and we were out together after a quick change into running shoes and putting the helmet and bike shoes by the bike.
We started running and I felt like I had someone pushing me but it was only imagination and muscles transitioning from cycling to running. The guy in front of me would get a little ahead and then he would have to stop and stretch. He was having a hard time transitioning to running. I was amazed that I didn't have so much trouble. After a mile or so my shins started to hurt (muscles), I knew they were just being cranky and wouldn't stop until the end though so I just kept on going. During the run I was passed by 3 people (I expected that as my run is the weakest of the 3 disciplines). I was happy it was only 3 though as I was expecting a lot more to pass me. Anyway, after halfway most of the course was downhill and I found myself nearing the end of the course when one guy passed me and got in behind the guy I had been following. With a 1/4 mile left I looked behind me as I determined I was not going to get passed in the last 1/4 mile and there was a guy 100 yds back so I picked up the pace and threw heartrate to the wind finishing strong and not getting passed.
Grabbing a Bananna and an orange I walked around waiting for them to post my tag on the board. I was happy to see that I was not the last guy in my group, in fact there were several behind me. With the last heats still on the course though I knew my name would move down the board. Around this time I realized that the last heat was still swimming! They were cruising! Some of those guys did the swim in around 10 minutes! I can't even imagine swimming that fast! Anyway, it was a good day for a race and I learned a lot. My time was 1:38:54. Around 33 minutes for the run and 41 for the bike with an average speed of 19.2. I wasn't quite as fast as I had hoped but I was in the ballpark so I am happy with it.