So, first off, I'll explain what's happened to my wacky fall season. Immediately after Age Group Nationals, I started to feel like crap, and ended up getting really sick to my stomach in the days that followed, to the point where I had to be tested for mono and Lyme's. Fortunately, both came back negative, but not before Hurricane Irene led to the cancellation of the Cranberry Olympic tri, which was to be the NECTC season opener. Then my sickness got even worse, so I scaled back my training significantly, to the point where I was never doubling up on workouts, rarely going more than two days in a row, and doing absolutely no intensity. That pattern led into The Nation's Triathlon, aka Commander-in-Chief Challenge. A few days before the race, though, flooding in the Potomac River led to raw sewage leaking into the river and no swim, so it was to be a giant brick workout. I'll spare the full in-depth race report, mainly because I don't even like writing them.
T1 was funny, with everybody starting barefoot in aero helmets. I'm still waiting for the picture of that. I need to figure out how to rubber band my shoes on to the pedals though.
Bike was a draft fest. I caught up to some people really quickly, but they kept sticking on my wheel, and it got so bad to the point where it looked like a legitimate peloton. I did my best to drop off the pack, then sprint past it. I did this constantly from about mile 5 or 6 until the last 1/2 mile or so when I tried to just let my pack of cheaters get away. To add insult to injury, the only time I saw an official was heading the opposite direction with the lead pack of cheaters, who looked to be doing about the same. It got really nasty with some of the open elites yelling at some of the other cadets/midshipmen, but a lot of the guys who were yelling weren't exactly trying to break away either. Very few penalties, too, but I guess no officials means no penalties. On the bright side, I broke an hour for the first time ever, splitting a 59:49, and I know I did it without cheating.
My T2 was pretty uneventful, other than somebody from the massive pack stopping right at the dismount line in front of me. For the run I felt neither great nor bad, but I definitely settled around mile 3.5 to 4.5 when nobody was around me. I added 8 seconds to my 10k time from last year.
I came across with a swimless Olympic-distance tri in 1:40:58. I figure that if I add 22 minutes for a swim+slightly longer T1, that still puts me well below my goal of 2:05, and waayyyyy below my PR from only a few weeks ago of 2:09:28. It's a bummer place-wise, though. I got 14th in the cadet division and 49th overall in this race, but last year I did a 2:09:33 and finished 13th cadet, 48th overall. I guess with all the drafting and without the pouring rain, this was a much faster race this year.
Next up is Westchester Triathlon, my first NECTC race of the season, and an Alcatraz qualifier. I have no idea how I'll do re: Alcatraz, as West Point will most certainly be there, and I usually finish behind at least 4 or 5 of their guys. That's not even counting other NECTC athletes, but we'll see how it goes. I still want to win the NECTC points, but if I have a better season than I did last year and don't even make the podium, I'll still be pleased.
The beginning of the run was parallel to the beginning of the bike. You can see it resembled more of a parade than a triathlon towards the later start waves especially