Swimming race 42:50  1.2 mi (35:42 / mi)
This was the first race where I felt VERY relaxed in the water. After the horn sounded, I let everyone go first, took a couple of deep breaths, and just got into a rhythm right away. My target time was in the low 40 minute range, so I was very pleased with the result. Because I'm slow (let's face it, kelp can move faster...), I was passed by other waves; someone behind me swam over my legs, so I popped up briefly and got a cramp in my right calf. It's tough to swim straight, breathe, and try to work a cramp out. Thankfully it went away after a few minutes, but I was definitely concious of it until I got out of the water.
Biking race 2:39:54  56.6 mi (21.2 mph)
Again, once I was on the bike, I felt completely in my element. I ran my 606s without a disc cover, and was wearing my new spiffy Spiuk aero helmet. Strapping that helmet on feels like you're preparing for battle! My strategy for the first one or two miles was to find a cadence, not necessarily a speed. I settled in and concentrated on just tapping the bike along, knowing that I was probably going faster than it felt because of adrenaline and nerves. Initially, my HR was right around 160, but soon settled down to my target of 154-156. I knew the first section was going to be fast over the rollers but then making the turn onto OK Mill Road and starting the climb was going to be the crucial part for finding a rhythm. I got out of the saddle only a couple of times on the climbs to stretch my legs a little, but virtually the entire time was spent in aero. My goal was about 2:45, so I was really happy with my bike! NUTRITION: two bottles of [2 scoops Infinit, 1.5 scoops Clif Electolyte w/ caffeine = 370 calories], 1 pack of Clif Shots w/ caffeine. I sipped on my aerodrink through the first lap, finishing it almost exactly where I wanted to for the start of lap two. I knew I'd have an opportunity to empty my second bottle of Infinit into the aerodrink on the first hill after the bridge. I stuck with my plan of small sips every 10 minutes or so, and more prolonged sips every half hour, knowing each sip was about 20 calories. I chewed on two of the Clif Shots at the halfway point. I stopped taking in liquid calories 15 minutes before T2.
Running race 1:43:20  13.1 mi (7:53 / mi)
My legs, and especially my calves, felt stiff after the bike. The latter didn't loosen up until halfway in to mile two. My goal was about 7:50s-8:00s. I went out a little stronger than I had anticipated, so I backed it off and found a nice cadence. I wanted to make sure my turnover was steady and quick. I wanted to keep my HR between 162-166, allowing for some drift on the hill during the smaller lake loop, so any time that it would creep up, I would back off just a little until it came back down. I think the pacing worked very well because there were several runners who went by me at mile four and five but who I then re-passed at mile ten and eleven. NUTRITION: I brought two Gus with me, so I took one after I was comfortable, maybe mile two or so, and took it with some water. After that, I just alternated sips of Gatorade Endurance and water, very sparingly, for the rest of the course. I felt a little sloshy, so maybe I need to rethink my intake and perhaps go to tucking a fuel belt bottle of Infinit into a pocket.
This was my first race where I felt great start to finish. I was extremely pleased with my time. Going in to it, my goal was in the mid 5:20s, maybe 5:22 to 5:25. I was thrilled to finish in 5:10. My transitions were much quicker than before, especially in T1. I think this was primarily due to trimming the ankles on my suit for easier removal. It was wonderful to have so many people there cheering me on, and I was so happy for my sweetie that she was able to stick to and execute her strategy, meet all her pre-race goals, and overcome significant obstacles that were outside of her control. My race thoughts were: 1) relax on the swim: accept that you will be passed many times and that I will have the best result if I can be calm and come out of the water focussed on the rest of the race; 2) stay disciplined on the bike: this is my strongest section, but I need to set up a good run to finish the race; 3) set up a tempo on the run that is sustainable and break the race down into managable pieces; and finally 4) realize and enjoy that I am fortunate to have abilities to do what many others cannot, and have fun doing it!