This is one of those races where I had high hopes, and nearly had them dashed right in the middle. I ended up with a 2 min PR, which I attribute to calmer winds and better training (oh yeah, and this bike:)
Paula and I showed up at the race around 6:20. We set up shop, hit the restrooms, and waited. We set our bikes up together and I thought I counted the racks properly for easy access in T1.
I started in the second wave and moved right up front. I kept the HR up with some light bouncing I picked up from my days wrestling in high school. We set off and I tried to take it easy. I remember blowing up pretty early on the run last year after trying to stay with the leaders. I kept a 6:20ish pace and tried to relax. I finished the 3 mile run in 19:14. (6:25min/mi pace).
Here's where I screwed up. We entered the transition area from the east. I counted nine racks, made a left, and looked for my bike. Crap. It wasn't there. I saw another Quintana Roo Seduza and thought, "Someone took mine thinking it was theirs." Nope, Paula's bike wasn't there either. I looked around, confused and lost. Then I remembered Paula telling me that our bikes were 3 or 4 racks from the front. So I looked to the front and realized I was in the back half of the transition area. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I HTFU'ed to my bike and changed as quick as I could. I was a little flustered and had to fix the straps on my shoes. Oh well. Out to the bike. T1: 1:33 (25 secs of which were the longest I've had in a race)
The bike felt great. It was my first race on the QR frame, but not on the wheelset. I easily hit 27 mph without too much effort, soon realizing I had a tailwind. I kept my cadence steady and slowly shifted to harder gears. I know I can go faster with proper interval/fartlek training, but I managed ok to start. At both turn arounds, I got behind someone who took their time. That slowed me a bit. Also, the rollers weren't terrible, but I didn't manage them as well as I should have.
12 mile bike: 31:40; 22.7mph
T2: another hiccup. I got my Garmin, socks, helmet, and shoes off quick. I grabbed my goggles and ran to the pool. Just before entering the door, I went to put my goggles on and they broke. Crap. What to do? Swim w/o them, or go get my spare pair. I went back and got my second pair. That probably cost me about 20 secs.
Swim: Pretty uneventful. I passed a couple folks and one dude passed me at the wall. On the last length, there was a dude around 10-15 yards ahead that I knew I would be stuck behind right at the ladder. So, I dropped the hammer and sprinted past him to the ladder. Fairly slow time overall, but a tad better than last year.
Swim 400 meters: 7:47; 1:46/100yds
Total race time: 1:01:41
I'm pretty pleased overall, especially because my T1 and T2 errors didn't cost me my goal of a sub hour race. I suppose I lost 40 or so secs overall, but it felt like an eternity out there.
Paula had a great race too! She shaved 6 minutes off her time from last year. Fun times all around.