The swim: The river conditions definitely made for an interesting swim and not one that I would like to relive anytime soon... It actually wasn't all that bad but it was ROUGH, to say the least. I had a great start and was up near the leaders....until we hit the first turn, about 400m out. I decided to take the inside line, hoping to squeak by a few others and move up in the pack. Well, my first problem was with the tangle of ropes that secured the buoy. My arms were caught up in them and soon my entire body was pushed into them when those from behind/beside made the turn. I eventually emerged from under the buoy, but had lost a lot of places in the pack. Once I got going again I still felt strong so I tried not to panic about almost being in last place and did my best to catch up. I could see the race strung out ahead so I knew that once my legs hit the exit ramp I was going to have to seriously hustle to my bike.
The bike: I managed to bridge up a little in T1 and catch up to some of the women ahead. After five very painful km's of chasing, we became a group of about 10. However, I don't know if it was because of the initial effort or because a lot of the women in my group were disheartened by the large size of the front pack, but not many were committed to riding their butts off today. I also learned afterwards that one of the women in our pack had dropped back from the front group purposely to slow us down! That explained the abrupt changes in pace. By the end of the bike we had lost nearly two minutes to the front pack of about 15 women.
The run: I actually thought there were more than 15 women up front (the pack looked like 30 to me!) so I really didn't think I was going to run myself up there. I wanted to give a good crack at the first half though as a speedy transition run would set me up nicely for next weekend's racing. Once out on the run course, I didn't feel wonderful, but I figured I was moving alright. I ran away from those in my pack within the first lap and started catching those from the pack ahead by the end of lap 2. Running on my own for most of it, I was in my own little world, picturing myself running our 2km loop in Beacon Hill, using some mental cues. I heard at one point I was in 12th place so this got me excited. I felt like I was part of the race at this point (and not actually cruising by my peacock friends at Beacon Hill :) and I wanted to take a crack at finishing in the top-10. I found an extra gear on the last stretch and was able to grab 10th place. And, my run split ended up being the 3rd fastest overall, after Moffatt and Snowsill, so I can't be disappointed with that.
Overall I was happy to find a way to be successful today given the circumstances. But, I am definitely not satisfied with this performance and look forward to next weekend to redeem myself on the swim. And, to put myself in position to run with the "race" up front :)
My biggest regret of the day would have to be passing on the cool-down ride with Brent. It wasn't Brent's company that I missed out on, but it was a certain celebrity sighting: BO! Brent cruised by the White House this afternoon and noticed a commotion on the front lawn with security, police and crowds gathering. He moved in a little closer only to have a policeman ask him to keep back. He then saw someone emerge from the house with a certain black fluffy dog. All that security was just for a doggie pee break! I can't believe I missed this! I have already planned my morning jog tomorrow and you can bet it involves a few laps around the White House.