My second real race of the season was the Mid Atlantic Club Championships in Rock Hall, MD. We had a really solid contingent from D.C. Tri and the Elite Team.
The course was essentially pancake-flat on the bike and run, with nearly perfect weather. Hard to ask for better conditions.
With water temperatures in the 70s, I opted to wear my Xterra sleeveless wetsuit for the first time. While on paper it’s potentially a few seconds slower than the full-sleeve version, the added mobility in the shoulders made for a slightly more “natural” swim feel.
Like my last race at Kinetic Half, my swim was a bit sub-par. For reasons I can’t entirely explain, I simply did not fully push myself on the swim and left far too much “in the tank.” In hindsight, pushing my effort in the swim and going another minute faster would have set me up much better for the rest of the race.
With several people on my feet out of the swim, and a slow transition, a number of my competitors were already up the road and just out of sight, including teammate and eventual winner, Joe Munchak. Although I was able to reel in a number of competitors in the first 5 miles or so of the bike, I remained unsure how many people were still ahead of me (not to mention those from later wave starts).
After initially finding a rhythm on the bike, I began to struggle to hit my target power numbers. I had hoped that a few bad workouts and feeling flat for the week leading into the race would not affect my race. However, my sustainable power in the race was about 35W below the numbers I was able to hit for 4×20′ a little over a week prior. Thankfully, with how good the racing conditions were, I was able to manage a bike split under 1:01, despite the low power numbers. While that split was not quite on par with the top few overall, it was at least a significant improvement for me.
I felt good finishing up the bike, and was excited to head out onto the run. The first mile or two was a little slower than I would have hoped, as it just took a little time to get my running legs back. Though I was able to pick up the pace for the second loop of the run course, however, with no one in sight for me to chase, I was not really able to fully “go to the well.” With a flat, fast course, I should have been able to run at least a minute faster than I did. Then again, that’s the beauty of the sport. There’s always something (or many things) you could have done better.
It was a great feeling coming down the finishing shoot, seeing a teammate having already crossed the line, and another following not far behind (despite having started a few minutes further later in the next wave).
My performance on the day ended up being good for 6th overall, and first in my age group. The District Taco/ DC Tri Elite Team wound up with 4 of the top 7 overall on the men’s side, and 2 of the top 3 on the women’s podium.