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QC Triathlon - 4th time's still a charm!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

So I meant to write this recap a month ago, since the race was June 15, but with vacation and an overall summer laziness, I'm writing it now.

This was my fourth time doing the QC Triathlon. The race was on Saturday, just six days after the Accel Triathlon, so I was hoping to do well but wasn't expecting a huge PR. Apparently I recover well.

Swim - 600 yards - 11:19 (1:54/100 yds)
The swim course this year was a straight out and back, as opposed to the last three years when it was a triangle. I liked the out and back. The race has a time trial start, meaning two people enter the water every three seconds, and we self-seed roughly by estimated swim time. When I got in the water I was close to the middle so the water was choppy because of all the bodies in the water, but I was able to keep calm and breathe every other stroke instead of every three like I usually do so I can alternate sides. Without my wetsuit I still finished ahead of my goal time of 12 minutes, so I knew it was going to be a good race! My bike was at the end of a row in the transition area so it was easy to find and I was out of T1 in less than 3 minutes!

Bike - 15 miles - 54:35 (16.5 mph)
This was my first QCT on my road bike and with my new aero bars, so I knew I'd drop time on the bike just because of the new gear. It sprinkled a bit on the course and we had a headwind for about two miles, but otherwise the weather cooperated. My left shoelace came untied and wrapped around my pedal, so I had to stop and fix that, so that was interesting. I was in and out of T2 in just over a minute.

Run - 3.1 miles - 26:24 (8:31/mile)
I knew I was making good time, but I didn't know if I had enough in me to PR my run like I did at Accel. My new record had been set back in March on a flat & fast course, and this run course was not flat. Apparently it was fast, though, because this was my second fastest 5K time ever! I don't know how I'm able to do so well in the last leg of a triathlon compared to road races, maybe the bike gets me warmed up without zapping too much of my energy.

I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1:36:16, a new sprint tri PR by over seven minutes. The nice thing about having done this race four times is that the course has stayed the same so I know that my times are improving because because of me rather than differences in the course. (Accel was a bit flatter than Pigman Olympic and earlier in the season, so how much of that 17 minute improvement was me and how much were the elements?)

As I write this I'm about three weeks from the Pigman long course, and I'm excited to see how my body handles it. It's been pretty easy building up the swim and run mileage, but the bike's been a bigger jump. My longest ride had been 30 miles, now it's 60 miles, which is much tougher on the mind than the body when you're riding solo and without music. On race day it will be much easier with other athletes around and the energy of the race, so I try to channel that when I'm by myself. Stay tuned, and I promise not to wait a month before writing about it!
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