So it's also a terrific way to judge your level of fitness from year to year, since the only (external) thing that changes is the weather. Internal changes, on the other hand...
Oh let's cut to the chase. This year versus last year looks like this:
|July 12, 2009||July 13, 2008|
|swim 400 yards||10:34 (2:39/100m)||11:11 (2:48/100m)|
|bike 16.8 miles||1:04:58 (15.52mph)||1:04:51 (15.54 mph)|
|run 5k||38:37 (12:27 min/mile)||36:50 (11:53 min/mile)|
Well, on the one hand I had high hopes this year of crushing last year's time. On the other, I thought: What better time and place to experiment?? So my first big experiment was using all the skills that have been beaten into me by the swim nazi. The swim works like this: the field is divided in half; people start in the middle lanes and work their way up 50 meters using one side of the lane, back 50 meters on the other side of the same lane, under the rope, and etc., to the end like this:
You give your 100m time to the folks at the sign-up table, and get seeded accordingly. So I said "2:30", meaning that people who swim say, 2:20, would be in front of me. Theoretically. If they actually, you know, tell the truth. Well, I happened to overhear a few (two) little birdies give their estimated swim times, and let's just say that I had my doubts about said times, which of course I voiced. Why does this matter, you ask? Because, if you are slower than you say you are, well, the people behind you are not going to be happy. It's not terrifically easy (see technical diagram) to swim around people, since other peeps are coming right towards you, in the other half of the lane.
So all I'm saying is: I could SOOOOO have knocked another 15 seconds off my swim time except for the person in front of me, for whom I had to actually STOP swimming, cuz I couldn't pass him! FIFTEEN SECONDS! (Not that it matters.) When I got to 200 meters, I asked him if I could cut ahead. Cuz I was brought up polite like that.
Even so, the swim was my one bright spot over last year. Well, ok, I did
My bike "experiment" I learned from watching the Tour. Turns out those dudes? When they want to go faster? They use bigger gears! WHO. FREAKING. KNEW. Since Haine's Point is flat as a pancake, I tried to stay in my big giant gear, and push as hard as I could. I'm actually happy with my bike time because a) it practically killed me (always a good thing, right?), and 2) last year I did not use the Big Girl gear AT ALL, NEVER. (I'm not totally sure what that means in terms of performance, or smartness. Bike people, weigh in please.)
And then there's the run. I have no idea what happened because 1) I did not walk (I know, hard to believe, right?) and b) I did not give up nor did I feel like giving up. This is big progress people! Going from T2 into the run was way tougher than I remember from last year, and way way tougher than it was during the ITU sprint just four weeks ago, when my 5k time was 35:32 (11:28 min./mile).
So, with all that in mind, and the Nation's Tri (Olympic) the only thing left on my dance card this season on Sept. 13, over which I am already freaked, and which sounded just tough enough, I did the only thing I know how to do: When I heard that the MidAtlantic Regional Club Championship, the North East Triathlon on August 16th, had some extra spots open for DC Tri peeps, I took the plunge and signed up.
As someone told me at the track tonight: "Just think of it as a great big party."
Or a wake.