Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mighty Magnolia 2012

Mighty Magnolia was supposed to be my first triathlon, back in 2010. Days before, I caught pneumonia. Didn't quite make it that year. So Tradition's was my first triathlon, in 2011, and Mighty Magnolia was my last of the year. Normally, it marks the end of the season for the triathletes around here. Since I've been training for a 70.3, I didn't give any extra thought to preparing for it. I was pretty sure I'd be ready.

Last year I finished it in 1:40. This year I finished it in 1:34. Wanted closer to 1:30. I have a big problem with my time in the water, but I finished, and I did better than last year. So I'm thankful for that.

After a great night's sleep at Aunt Judy's house, I was the sixth person on site. Numbered. Chipped. Setup my transition. Then debated: wetsuit or no wetsuit. The water was cold enough to wince for a second but didn't feel cold enough to suffer through a suit the whole swim. I would have been hot after the first 100 meters. And it would have affected my stroke the whole time. Ultimately, I decided to do the swim without my wetsuit.

The start was a bit late. And they manually tracked our time (more on that later.) Not many buoys in the water but lots of kayaks. No big issues in the water. Just a slight bit cold. Plenty of energy. No lizard brain whispering to me. Didn't need to stop once to catch my breath. And came out of the water feeling great.

Ultimately, my time was 11 minutes and some change. Somehow worse than my time (10:34) last year! Even though I thought it was one of my best swims ever, it was one of my worst times. Several folks said the same thing. The working theory is that the manual start times were very off. But if they were off for everyone, then it is what it is. However, I still felt great and thought it was a magnificent performance. Damn the clock!

Ride turned out great. The road was super rough in several places. One hill (at 12 miles) was steep enough to make me stand up. But I was behind Lisa McCombs (seen posing with me) and pushed hard through the whole race. Over all, only six people passed me, including Lisa, and I was happy about that. Last year, my average was around 17.7MPH. This time, it was close to 19.5MPH. A significant improvement and (again) I felt great the whole time.

Run was good. For the first time in a race, I didn't stop to catch my breath. Not for water. Not for fuel. Not for anything. I found a good pace and stuck to it. Finished below thirty minutes (my time last year was 29:21.)

So, Mighty Magnolia was a good warm up. I almost hit my goal. I question some of the times. But I have much more confidence that my run training is paying off.

Four weeks from today: showtime at River Roux!
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