Yes, ladies and gentlemen at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon I was able to turn in MY BEST TIME ever at a half-iron distance event. I think that all of the events of the weekend inspired me to keep my pace on the run, even through the dreaded miles 9, 10, 11, and 12, to get across the finish line and setting a new PR at this distance by more than 16 minutes!
I don’t even know where to begin… I remember setting out in the run and thinking to myself that I needed to stay steady and find a pace that I could keep the entire length of the 13.1 Miles. So, off I went knowing that in my Fuel Belt I would have a little pick me up for the dreaded miles 9, 10, 11, and 12. Having Coke in the little bottles kept my mind at easy for some reason. I used the combination of water with coke during my last long brick and this time around I decided to give it a try. Of course, I learned during my training that I needed to let the fizz out otherwise I would have the little bottles exploding left and right during the run. So, I had my secret weapon with me but during the first loop the sun was cooking and I was concerned about how would I complete the second loop. Luckily the triathlon gods were looking after me and a cloud cover rolled over the run course so it was manageable. I have no doubt that my mile splits got larger as I went but I never stopped running outside of the aid stations. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt to be well inside the 5:30 mark and even sweeter to be inside the 5:20 threshold. I think that Cleveland provided me with enough support get through and set a new PR. RUN TIME = 1:59:01.
The Greater Cleveland Triathlon was a very well organized race. So well, that I almost missed my swim start as I set out on my mile walk from transition a little bit later than I should. I jumped in the water with my heat but I had just enough time to zip up my wetsuit and fit my goggles in place before the gun went off. I could not believe how calm Lake Erie was that day. It made for a very enjoyable swim out there for sure. SWIM TIME = 28:57 (6th fastest I believe).
Next on the bike it was difficult to get in a good pace because the first part of the bike course took us through some rough roads. I have to say that because due to the bumpy ride both of my bottles from my saddle rack flew off leaving me without fluids very early on the bike. Once we got past the rough section the roads were smooth and it was time to fly. I am fortunate that the first aid station was about 10 Miles in which allowed me to keep drinking and get my head back in order. After that mishap the ride went well. I tried to keep an even pace on the up hills and be relatively aggressive on the flats going back towards the lake. So all together we had two large loops (25 Miles) and then two small loops (3 Miles) to contend with. I enjoyed seeing all my competitors at the different turn around points. My friend Bill McIntosh with his 6’10’’ frame was coming after me. The first time we got to the smaller loops a buck with a pretty sizeable rack (Bill will say 5 or 6 pointer) came out of the woods to run along us. Unfortunately, this guys some other business on the other side of the woods so he crossed the four lane run plus median about 10 yards in front of me. That was scary as I was going pretty fast at this point and stopping would have been rather difficult. That encounter pumped some additional adrenaline to get me through the rest of the bike. I was very pleased with the effort and the ISM saddle worked like a charm keeping me free of numbness. BIKE TIME = 2:46:53 (20.12MPH).
To everyone involved in the Greater Cleveland Triathlon THANK YOU! The Clot Buster and Mrs. Clot Buster had a blast!