Was really looking forward to this race but unfortunately it didn't work out quite the way I wanted. Leading up to the race my shoulder that I injured at the beginning of the year started hurting again. I stopped swimming in hopes that it would recover enough for me to get at least a desent time in the swim portion, then I wanted to really hammer the bike and run just to see what I could do after a great spring/summer of training and racing.
The race ended up being wetsuit legal. boooooooo. but on the plus side I think the wetsuit helped my shoulder track better and I had no issues what so ever on the swim. tool off to the left of the pack, jumped on some feet until they veered of course, then went at it solo for the rest of the 1200 meters. After I made the first turn I finally noticed that the buoys had meter markers on them. The first one I saw was 700. This kept me facinated and keeping close enough to them so I could read them. I think this was the straightest I've ever swum and kept my pace conservative. It was a good thing I did that as about 1300 or so my swim unconditioning starting to show and I really had to work to keep the pace up for the last 200. Finished about 30 minutes for the 1500 swim and 4th in the MC division.
After a quick transition I headed out on the bike. In the first mile I was doing 21 and I saw an MC go flying by me. He was hauling ass and I knew better than to try to stay on him. I wanted to go fast, but not totally blow it out. I managed a 21.5 mph average for the 27+ miles and felt really strong. I had that I could have gone faster feeling and didn't think my legs were trashed at all. Finished in 1:17, 5th best in MC.
took a bit more time in T2 to make sure I had everything, then headed out on the run, just as I was leaving the rack I saw Collin, another MC heading out the other side of transition. he looked speedy, so there was now at least 2 in front of me. I did the first mile in 8:50 and felt good. legs were coming around, it wasn't too hot and I had consumed all 3 of my gels and drank about 40 oz of water. Ran mile 2 in 8:30 and wanted to do 2 more at that pace then see what I had left. Of course that's when it all fell apart. At about 2.5 my left hamstring cramped up so bad I couldn't walk. I don't want to get into all the gory details, but I cramped up at least 4 more times over the next 4 miles and lost 3rd place by 15 seconds. the 3rd MC passed me while cramping the last time at mile 5.5, I tried to catch, but he saw me and had more left than I at that point.
Totally frustrated with my cramping situation on the mid distance races. Sprints, no problems, ironman, no cramps, but international distance, cramps like crazy. Oh well, got plenty of time before the next one to work on it.