I signed up for the Washington DC Triathlon… well, not on a whim, but almost a spur-of-the-moment. I’d had to cancel running the Columbia Triathlon this May due to illness, so I started thinking about the DC Tri in June as a replacement. Here’s the funny thing; I was signed up for both races last year and ended up running Columbia but canceled the DC Tri due to, yes, illness. I also remembed that last year the DC Tri was blazing hot that day. So instead of signing up for the Olympic/International distance, I went for the Sprint course. That way if it was baking outside, I’d at least be done a little earlier, right?
I almost had to sit around pre-race longer than my race itself (it was awfully close). The transition area closed at 5:45, and my swim wave was the absolute last to go in, around 7:30. Come to think of it, I probbaly did sit around longer than I raced. (Yeesh.) The swim, once I finally got there, was an interesting experience. I’d neer had a “jump in off a dock” start before, and the water was less than a degree under the maximum temperature for a wetsuit. I finally decided not to use mine, figuring what I’d gain in boyancy I’d lose in transition removing it. The water was indeed just fine, temperature-wise. A lot of people swimming sideways and hanging onto buoys right off the bat, though, which was odd. I knew my swim time would be subpar for me (I have not been good about keeping up with my swims this year) and sure enough, I was about two minutes off of where I should’ve been. I also managed to scrape my knee on the ramp as I was exiting the water. Potomac River water, yuck. (I used a lot of antibiotic cream on it for the next few days and that thankfully did the trick.)
The bike was not fast for most, but it was fast for me. It helped that it was a mostly flat course, but all in all I was really pleased with my performance there. A real improvement from Columbia (and its hills) the previous year.
As for the run? Well, I did the same thing I did in Columbia. In other words, bombed out around the 2/3rds mark. I need to work on pacing myself throughout the race a bit better to try and avoid this in the future. It probably didn’t help that a week before the race, they changed the course from a 6.7k to a 7.5k. Not a huge distance, I know, but I could have used that slightly shorter distance. I might’ve rallied a bit more at the end. Or maybe not, who knows?
All in all, a nice replacement for Columbia. I’m signed up for the International distance for next year. Now that I know the course, I wouldn’t mind tackling it again. Just with some better training under my belt, next time.