Karen and I after the finish of Lavaman 2009
Cold water. First wet suit legal hawaii race I think but not sure, but the first wet suit legal race I've done. I had a good swim, caught the age group wave that took off 3 minutes earlier after about 300 yards. It got congested with slower swimmers from the earlier wave but made for some good slalom practice. Got good drafts and had great corners, no kicks or hits. I did get hit in the eye once near the start of the race but no problems. Best cornering I've had during a race. I worked on setting them up and being in a good position so not to get clobbered. On the first corner I took it wide but when I was ready to turn there was some guy next to me who must have decided to swim to Maui cause he kept going straight and I had swim over him.
I swam at a moderate pace (80-90 percent). By the second leg of the "M" shaped swim course I slowed my stroke down and took advantage of the good gliding conditions caused by all the swimmers in the water. The turn at the bottom of the "M" I took too wide and lost a few strokes on the other swimmers and had to work to catch back up. I cruised the third leg which is always the tough leg. The fumes from the jet ski water patrol was nauseating on this leg. The third and final turn for home was uneventful.
For some reason though sighting became extremely hard on this leg. Not sure if it was from the rising sun or what but I couldn't catch sight of the finish line buoys and when I finally did I couldn't tell if the one I spotted was the left or right one. Most of the swim I felt I was swimming really straight (other than going around the slower swimmers) but the last leg I felt I was really zig-zagging around.
Over all on the swim I got a PR by 7 minutes from last year at a swim pace I could have held all day.
The run up from the water to the transition area was about a quarter mile, maybe a little less. Transition time was just over a minute. I was pretty tired at the start of the bike from the swim and didn't really recover until several miles into the bike. The bike leg started out with very little wind, but by the time we were on our way back it was very windy -- a strong head/cross wind. It took a lot of energy to get back.
I kept a close eye out for anyone in my age group and when someone from my age group passed me(there were two) I tried to pass them back. I managed to hold one of them off. The other was too fast.
I got a PR on the bike by 1 minute over last year, which had no wind on the course. Effort on the bike was near 100 percent the whole way. No flats or close calls with other cyclists. Saw Chris McCormack zoom by on his way back just after I crested Scenic Hill on my way out. No other cyclist near him. I think he was even passing the cars on the highway. He is fast!
Very tired from the start. Never fully recovered. Strong head wind for the first half of the course. I was pretty dehydrated, not enough liquid on the bike. Still got a PR by 2 minutes though. But it was a painful run. Not physically but mentally just to keep myself going.
overall time was 2:36 a PR by 13 minutes even with a strong head/cross wind so I'm happy with that. Plus I am training for my "A" race May 30 so I wasn't quite at peak readiness for this race. I feel like my training is right on for Honu (Hawaii Half Ironman) but was behind for Lavaman. I think my swim is there and my bike is almost there. I need to work on the run and especially bricks - running off the bike. Also need to do much more core/strength training over the next two months.
I finished 9th in my age group, but I lost several positions by having a weak run.
Over all it was a great day. It was fun to see friends doing well while out on the course. It was fun as several of us yelled cheers all at once from our bikes over to Bree Wee as she sped by on her way back in and we were on our way out. And it was fun to greet all the Kona peeps as we passed each other on the run course.
And I am very proud of Karen for having such an awesome first triathlon. Thanks for all the well wishes from everyone, and the phone calls, and the cheers.