Sorry if this turns out to be a long post.
We drove down to Las Vegas @ 500 miles from here, on Friday for the Sunday race. This was only my second olympic length tri since I injured my calf last year and washed out of all but the first race of the season. I was a bit nervous because I had only looked at the bike profile 2 days before and had seen how hilly it was. I'd only been out on the road 3 times before the race. It's been a mild winter here, but it's been snowy enough to keep me inside, on the trainer, with Coach Troy.
The race itself was way out at Lake Mead, but the packet pickup was in Las Vegas proper, which made it very easy.
The weather was supposed to be overcast and marginal, but race day morning started out windy and got worse from there.
We got to the lake early so I could set up. Then my partner and I walked around to scope things out. As we walked toward the lake I realized that I couldn't see any bouys and I knew something was up. About 1/2 an hour before race start they annouced that they had cancelled the swim. Most of us were OK with that since we could see the whitcaps on the lake.
Then they sort of fiddled around trying to figure out how to start the race. They finally announced the set of numbers that were going to go first and the rest of us fell in around that.
They bike leg is fairly hilly with one 8% climb at mile 22. I was surprised at how good I felt climbing. It was the wind that killed me. (I REALLY feel for you IMAZ folks) When you have to pedal DOWNHILL to keep going, you know it's windy. That 8% climb was directly into the wind. I was happy to go up at 8 mph. I tried to take it easy on my legs. My calf had been marginal on my last training run a few days before and I didn't want a repeat of last year.
I got into transition feeling pretty good since the last of the bike was downhill. The run was about 90% on dirt roads and trails. I wish I had known that. I thought it was only going to be a short trail section. I would have worn my trail running shoes instead of my road shoes. The dirt road part was OK. It was well packed down and easy to get into a good pace. The singletrack path was much harder, with soft spots and rocks and a few dry washes to go in and out of. I came very close to turning my ankle right before the end, which was scary. But at least my calf held up. I was able to kick it in at the end. It was a much slower run than I'd wanted, but I did it.
Overall I came in just below MOP (157th out of 257). It was a bit lower than I'd wanted. But for the first one of the season, with that miserable wind, I was happy.