It was my intent today to go all out and see how much punishment I could take, no taper, hard off the gun and hang on for dear life and if I bonk that's ok.
I managed to have yet another lame start to my swim by running in and diving too soon and having my goggles flip up and let a pile of water in. Then I complicate matters by trying to stand up and adjust them only to get plowed over by everyone behind me. Some panicked angle swimming to get out to open water and adjust my goggles and then back into a rhythm. It took a while but i managed to move around the pack and get back out in the lead pack. By 300m I was back into fifth place on my own swimming open water. I felt great in the swim and put some effort into it and was rewarded with a 23:06 5th overall swim (2 teams and 2 solo swimmers ahead of me).
I cranked out another solid transition and caught one guy that came out of the water a minute ahead of me before I mounted the bike. Up to 4th overall, and then by 7K into the bike caught one of the lead swimmers (female who ended up 2nd women overall). At the 7K mark we had the turn around to head towards Magrath and I saw a group of about 5 chasing me down and about 90 seconds behind me including the likely winner john Winterdyck.
I made it interesting by holding John off until the 15.5K mark and then I was passed again at 17K and again at about 20K by two more riders and was sitting in 6th overall. I pushed the bike harder than ever before and knew I was going to pay but by 30K figured I was on pace for a 62 minute ride (a PR by 4 minutes due to net downhill and tailwind course).
Another strong transition and next thing I know I am less than 10 seconds behind 5th and I started the run hard to see who I could catch. Running an average of 4:05 per km up to 3km I close big ground and pass another guy and am less than 1 min back from 3rd, 3:00 back from John with the lead position occupied by a team runner well ahead of John.
Then the pace of the bike, the regular training week, the 30 degree heat and my aggressive start to the run set in on the mile long and 50m elevation gain hill. I am doing damage control, heart rate is 168, legs are gone and I am now running at 4:35/km pace. I hit the turn (5.5K) and down some Gatorade and douse some water as I walk through the aid station and get back to running until about the 8K mark. However I am done for the day and start thinking about holding the 3rd solo place.
Then I see 2nd start to walk run as well and decide it was going to be worth it to catch him. Sadly at 1K to go I get caught from behind by the guy that I started the bike with - ugh, he must have been flying - and more are charging from behind. At 500m to go I am even with the guy I had been chasing and now its a down to a sprint between the two of us and the front runner of the group behind. With a anaerobic push I win the sprint (in a big way) and hold on for 4th overall and 3rd individual.
Final results on the day 2:14 total (23;06 swim 3rd individual, 1:05:44 bike with transitions - 6ths individual, 45:29 run - 5th individual). Full listing here. I finally found the limit (Bike HR was 146-152 for the hour) and now I can start to work with my advisor on some specifics to optimize my racing.