The day before the event we had a brief but powerful storm roll through the area. It took out some trees and power lines near the race venue. It just so happened that the downed tree’s and power lines were on the bike course. The forecast had more rain overnight so there was no telling how things were going to be the next day. Fortunately they got the mess from the storm cleaned up and the rain forecast for race day held off long enough for the Sprint race to complete.
My biggest decision on the day was what I was going to wear for the swim. I brought my speed suit , full sleeve and sleeveless wet suits. After finding out that the water was 74 degrees that narrowed my choice to either the sleeveless wet suit or the speed suit…I chose the speed suit because it’s easier to get off and it’s supposed to make you faster in the water. Well the jury is still out on that one because I’ve only worn it once and I didn’t swim fast that day.
Swim – 800 yards (16:30)
The winds picked up and made for a choppy water swim. I had a really tough time in the choppy water at Tupper lake so I was hopping to have a better swim at Delta. I made my way to the front for the start (probably not a good Idea with this group as there are always very strong swimmers in this event). The water temp was great so I was ready to get going. On the horn I took one step forward then launched into a dive off my right foot and instantly got a cramp it my right calf. It didn’t feel good but I kept flexing my foot while I swam until it went away. I wasn’t going as fast as I wanted because of it but I felt like I was swimming well. I could see the faster swimmers going by me and for the most part I wasn’t bumping into anyone or getting in the way. The further we got out the more the water seemed to swell. The worst part of the swim for me was picking up the buoys. Unfortunately the sprint men’s swim caps were the same color as the buoys. That made them difficult to pick up once the other swimmers got out ahead of me. After I made it back to the beach I stood up and made a mad dash to transition passing 4 or 5 guy’s while doing so. After looking at the timing splits my time had me coming out of the water in about 40th place out of the 82 guys that entered the water. That’s not a good swim for me. I picked off a few guys running to transition but it still wasn’t a good swim!
I was hell bent on getting a good time here. It doesn’t even seem like I think about this much anymore. I just know exactly what I need to do and just get it done. I got to my bike, pulled off my suit, put on my helmet, grabbed the bike and took off. After I got out of transition I knew I had a good time. I don’t know how many guys I picked off in transition but I must have gotten a few. Timing splits gave me the 4th fastest transition time.
Bike – 12 miles (34:03)
I got off to a good start on the bike and passed about 5 guys on the first half of the ride. The good thing about an out and back bike loop was that I could count the guys coming the other way and see where I stood. 28Th, I said to myself…yuck, you got some work to do! I managed to pass some guys on the second half then made my way back to transition and setup for my running dismount. Once I got to the dismount line I stepped off and started running. Timing had me with the 11th fastest bike time.
I was on the first rack so I didn’t have far to go so as soon as I stepped in I picked the bike up and swung it around to put it in the rack then pulled off my helmet. But there was something different about this transition. I could hear more people than usual yelling out “Go Dale”. I wished I could have looked around to acknowledge everyone but I was concentrating on the task at hand (get in and out fast) but I could really feel the luv! I had no issues getting my shoes on, grabbed my race belt and took off. That’s when the calf spasms hit me. Both of them fired up and slowed my run out of transition.
Run – 5k (23:45)
I didn’t stop because I knew the spasms would go away eventually. I was glad that they didn’t last too long but the legs felt heavy and my speed was a little slow. Like my last 2 races my legs were feeling heavy and tired. I did manage to catch and pass a few guy’s but got passed by a few also. Once I got the finish line in my site I picked up the pace a bit to make sure I didn’t passed by anyone else. I took a peak back and didn’t see anyone so I cruised it to the finish. When I saw 1:15 on the clock I didn’t think I would fare well in the final results but it was the best I had for the day and I was happy to be finished.
Final results had me finishing the race in 1:15:39, good enough for 20th place overall out of 201. 3rd in my age group.
Delta made race\event number 12 on the year for me but I probably increased my training load by 30% so I’m thinking I’m over trained. I have 4 weeks until my next race so I’m going to take some time off and let my legs rest. No running or biking for at least a week then slowly get back into it after that.