Amazing what one year makes; for the good or bad. This is the second time I’ve raced the Reston Triathlon, so I’m going to compare my numbers to see where there was any improvement.

What I remember about last year’s race was it was a nice warm fall day that made it great for the bike and run, but that my swim was horrible. Why? It could have been the warm water making it wetsuit illegal, or if it was due to that I really don’t like swimming in a lake since you can’t see anything once your face is in the water. I believe I remembered my bike and run being at top of my A game for the race which helped me make up for my poor start.

As for this year it was a cool 65° and the water temperature was at 77°, which makes it wetsuit legal. The swim was awesome (you will see the time difference in a bit)! I haven’t been feeling well the past two weeks so my goal for the bike and run was to push myself just above easy-strong pace. Nothing fast, because I really didn’t know how much my body would handle.

Results, I beat my time last year (not that hard with a horrible swim), but I also beat my targeted time and it was all because of my swim.

Swim

  • Swim time was 27:48. I shaved off 11:06 from last year, ELEVEN minutes! That is where I got all of my gains when comparing to this year vs. last year.

Bike

  • Bike time was 1:15:59 which was only 13 seconds faster than last year. It is interesting that I almost got the same time as last year, even though I don’t feel like I’m at my peak fitness.

Run

  • Run time was 52:30 which was 25 seconds slower than last year. Not really surprised, but again I didn’t push myself like I remember last year and I’m almost the same pace.

Other

  • Transitions were damn near identical. However, since I had a wetsuit this year and did not have one last year, I’ll say I improved… somewhere.

  • Placing was an improvement, but also noticed that my age group is much more deeper. Last year I was competing against 29 people in my age group, while this year I’m against 54. So with the larger field of competitors it’s hard to say that my placement percentage of the top 37% is measuring against apples to apples when looking back last year. However, in terms of overall placement there were 440 racers vs. the 426 racers last year. A little more, but not by much. This time I came in as 99th top racer which puts me at the top 23% vs. the top 33% last year. A significant improvement, and again all due to my swim knocking off 11 minutes from my time.

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