The swim course was two loops, with a beach turnaround. I shot to front and had smooth water to myself. Around the first turn, I got knocked in the face and took on water in my goggles. The buoys were bright, so sighting was still a piece of cake. I made the turn in 3rd position and maintained that standing on the second lap.
Similar to the Silicon Valley International, there was a slight headwind on the way out, but I pushed a bigger gear this time around. Coming back into town, I could see the 2nd place athlete up the road and made a few surges to catch up. Cresting the lone hill on the course, I was no more than 20-seconds down, but couldn’t seem to bridge the gap.
As soon as I was in T2, I was out. I then got some encouraging words from my coach that went a little something like this: “No f@#king around this time!” With that being said, I was breathing hard almost immediately. I overtook the second place athlete within the first quarter mile and tried to continue pushing the pace, but that pace was proving to be difficult after pushing the bike leg. The volunteers told me I was gaining on the lead athlete, but the times were all over the place. One would say a minute, then I’d hear 35-, 45-, or 30-seconds. Obviously I didn’t pay too much attention to the splits and just kept going as hard as possible. I would say I was about a minute down at the turnaround and as soon as I turned and started heading in, I saw the next athlete who was only 25-seconds or so behind. Not wanting to give up any ground, I dug a bit deeper and picked up the pace. I was hurting, but pain truly is temporary.