Rubber bits and all, I went to the river to warm up. Took a few strokes out and back, then went to give a kiss to hubbs. We chatted for a few more minutes, then it was my time to line up in the time trial start. One person leaving every 5 seconds. 2... 1... Go. I felt fast for a bit and then not so much. Unlike last year, I didn't have to zig zag to pass people, but once I reached the turn around buoy, it was like a hit a wall. Could have been in my head, or just the current... But I felt tired. I pushed as hard as I could and it felt like forever to reach the transition mat. I looked at my watch coming out of the water and saw 15:45. Decent result, but I knew in the moment that I didn't beat my previous time in Bracebridge. Oh well, no biggie. Moving on...
Legs were feeling fine but not great. Particularly my right piriformis was giving me grief and I could feel it with each pedal stroke. I definitely need to go for another bike fit, as Zin thinks I am still doing weird things with my hips, especially in aero. I chose to ride "conservatively hard", knowing that this route had its share of hills. No gasping for air this time, but settle the heart rate and ease into it. The first big hill came at 4km in, and I spun up in my lowest gear. I felt bad for another athlete whose rear derailleur broke half way up and was waiting for someone to pick her up.
On my way back I tried going a little faster and I think I succeeded, at least according to the Strava flybys. See how my effort compares with that of last year. Coming off the bike, I was convinced that I beat last year's time, but Strava does not lie. On the road segment, I was slower by 17 seconds. Hey, every second counts (which should have been the title of this race report).
Here is how it compared with last year. Definitely a faster run (and a longer course by 200m! - does not include the first 100m uphill out of transition because it took that long to switch sports on my Gamin watch).
Little by little, the legs are coming back!! Next tri, the Wasaga Olympic distance at the end of the month. But for now, a little bit of rest for my hips and glutes to feel 100% again.