On September 7th I finally did my first triathlon of the year – the San Diego Triathlon Classic. It was so much fun to be a participant again in the sport I love. I always hope to race well, but in this case my focus was on the great fun I have just being immersed in the triathlon environment with healthy, like-minded people. These are the people I want to be with!
Because of the long layoff I was determined to hammer the swim and take off fast. The 1.5K (0.93 mile) swim was in the Liberty Station boat channel so the waters were perfectly calm. I completed the swim in 23:17, putting me in 2nd place. Mark Frederickson was the 1st place guy. Mark swim masters workouts with me, but he’s so fast that he swims a couple of lanes over from me. I pretty much swim in the “break down lane” so I was happy to be in 2nd place and only 1:40 down on Mark.
The 40K (24.8 mile) bike course is very challenging. We climb up to Point Loma twice. The weather was pretty muggy for San Diego so one of the challenges was just to hold onto the handlebars with sweaty hands. On the 1st lap I found myself trading places a few times with my friend Andy Seitz who was the eventual winner for our age group. But because I had not raced, my fitness just was not there so I had to drop back. I still biked pretty well. I had the 3rd best bike split of 1:11:41 (20mph) which put me in 4th place.
The 10K (6.2 mile) run was going to be interesting. In the past I would torch this run course in less than 38 minutes. But I have had a severe case of plantar fasciitis that prevented me from any running until early August. My foot is still not 100%, but I do feel that it is now safe to run short distances. My longest run prior to this race was 3 miles. If I felt something not quite right with the foot, I would have dropped out. But the foot felt great. The 1st lap was so fun for me. I was in my element and really having fun. I was on fumes for the 2nd lap, but still enjoyed every moment. Even without any run training I guess I can fake a 10K. I had the 2nd fastest run split of 42:39. The best run split was only 3 seconds faster than me.
My finish time was 2:20:42 and I placed 2nd out of 35 men in the 50-54 age group. I placed 21st out of 578 overall finishers. Andy only beat me by 1:25. My mortgage lender Ron Anderson had the best run of the day and he finished 3rd, 4:39 behind me. Mark finished in 5th. This is the 4th time I have done this race and each time I have finished 2nd. At least, I’m consistent! Given how badly my foot was hurt this year, I would have been glad to place in the top 10. Placing 2nd and qualifying to race in the 2014 National Championships was the icing on the cake.
Here are my photos: http://www.opix.net/main/?p=2305&key_word_type=zkn_key_name&key_word=Zelent