bike race (triathlon) 1:12:13  40.0 km (1:48 / km)
20.6 mph and about 2:55 min/mile - awesome!!!!!!
Nation's Triathlon race report: Slept from 10pm to 4am which was enough to feel awake. left at 420am. Day was chilly and clear starry skies. Reached the parking lot at Haines Point by 5am. Walked about a mile or less to transition. set up stuff under my bike in space 4511 in row 42 of the huge field. Get my chip - due to a snafu its not there and they code one for me. Announcer says nearly 6000 signed up and about 4700 would start. He also says the water is 72.3 deg. F. Saw the sun come up behind the Washington Monument. Took a photo which I will post if I can figure out how. Chill got to me a bit standing around waiting for things to get going and I started shivering. More and more people file in. Looks like my area is all "old guys" because its all men over 40. The women have their own rows also separate from ours. The transition area closes at 645 and everyone moves into the swim penn. long lines form at the portojohns. Fenty arrives and gives a statement. They play the national anthem and everyone is quiet and respectful for it.
Race starts right at 7 with the first of 30 or so swim waves, all with color-coded swim caps. My wave (we get bright pink caps - thanks a lot) does not go till 812 so I have time to stretch, watch the race, line up at the porto again, and grab a cup of water. I left my sandals and a sweatshirt on because of the chill. The first place guy is out of the water in something like 20 minutes. By 8 they are calling us to line up in the chute to walk down to the dock. I have to drop my sweatshirt and crocs along the fence, (which unfortunately leads to someone walking off w/ sweatshirt later), zip up the suit, googles, ear plugs and hat and we're off in a few more minutes. I bought a used sleeveless QR wetsuit for this on craigslist. It was just a tad loose in the waist and I wore a shirt under it to take up some of the slack.
At the dock they tell us to jump right in and we have to tread water for maybe 2 or 3 minutes while the rest of the pink-caps jump in. One guy picks up a gnarly rusty scum-filled beer can floating by and shouts "anyone want a drink"?. The water is murky but actually ok temperature wise. At the go I punch my stopwatch and we're off.
I felt strong and comfortable in the water. The sun was nice and bright and the water felt reasonably warm w/ the wetsuit on. My goggles fogged at first, but cleared pretty soon after. Inevitably, some raw Potomac water got in my mouth, but it actually didn't taste bad. Fortunately I didn't swallow more than a few ounces the whole swim, even though it was pretty choppy in certain spots and I caught a few waves in the face. Underwater was murky, and I could not see more than a foot ahead, so I kept looking up and breast stroking to see where I was. The course went north up the river to the memorial bridge, under the bridge then back to the same dock - just short of 1 mile. I enjoyed swimming under the bridge and took a look up just to see it. I continually passed people in different color caps so I figured I was doing OK. I ran into a few people, but all in all it actually felt less crowded in the water than at the Xterra which only has about 300 or so. I reached the last bouy still feeling strong and enjoying myself, climbed up the ramp at the dock and trotted back to the transition. My watch said 29:46, but they clocked me at 30:40 - perhaps because the chip sensor was further away. Compared to my normal splits when training in the pool, this was a good swim.
I spent extra time at T1 stripping off the suit, and putting on my bike shirt was annoying because it stuck to my wet back and I couldnt pull the back down. The exit was well marked so getting out of the T area was fine.
I rode an older model bianchi steel framed racing bike borrowed from a friend. I outfitted it w/ the clip-in pedals from my MTB.
I felt great on the bike and it was a real charge to cycle down these empty streets in DC with crowds on either side. Between the cool weather, the nice shady trees and the wind from the bike, I diddn't even feel like I was breaking a sweat the whole time. The course went up through rock creek, then back, then past the Kennedy Center through Georgetown across that elevated causeway (whatever its called), then along the river to Glen Echo and back. Most of the time we had the entire roadway to use so there was plenty of room to pass. There were only a few spots where two way bike traffic and narrow roadway caused us to bunch up. This resulted in some testy shouting from some other bikers - my impression was it was usually the less qualified ones doing that. Anyway that was minor, and the rest of the time the race was really enjoyable and the Washington scenery was just beautiful. I used 2 Gu packs and 3/4 of a bottle of water during the ride. My avg. speed during the bike leg was over 20 mph which was much better than I'd hoped. I figured I could count on 18 or 19 but didn't want to get my hopes up too much.
T2 was fine. I got some gatorade and switched to running shoes.
Many other finishers were already coming in, running in the opposite direction, due to the staggered starts. I thought this would bother me, but it didn't. The run was 99% road, down to the end of Haines point, then back along one side of the tidal basin, then back to the finish line near the transition area. The road running made me feel a little stiff in the shins and knees at the start of the run, but this loosened up after 2 miles or so. I found myself wishing I could run on a trail or at least some grass. There was a small portion of this at the first turn around, which definitely felt better. I don't really like running on roads. I took water at most of the aid stops, but most of it I dumped on my head. I passed people continually throughout the run - and I honstly can't remember anyone else passing me. This was also a mental boost. Anyway, I finished in 2:36, which was way better than the expectations I had set for self of sub 3 hours. So that was a great feeling.