Last weekend I went to California to compete in the Strawberry Fields Olympic Triathlon. It is in Oxnard,CA just North of LA. We left Saturday with the race being on Sunday. I did this race last year and loved the flat, fast course. I wanted to beat my last year time of 2:22. This is not one of my "A" races this year so I did not put a lot of pressure on myself. The weather and water conditions were going to be great. Last year the ocean was a little rough and the water was really cold. This year 1 foot swells was all that we had and water temp. was great. Just a little wind for the bike and that was it. This bike course is super flat and only 24 miles. Last year I did the bike course in 1:01 and this year I did it in 58 minutes! I got caught up in competing with two others on the race course. Let me be clear......this is usually not something ANYONE should do. You need to always race your own race and stick to your plan! But I know how hard it is to fall into this scenario. Someone rides past you......you think, "I can go faster than her/him".......you pass them pushing a lot harder than you should.....and the cycle repeats itself. Well for me it repeated for 24 miles. There was a girl that was really fast on the bike and a guy and we all played the game for 24 miles. I rode much harder than I should have. I got to the run course and only managed to be with the girl for about 2 minutes. She kicked my butt on the run. My run was about 3 minutes slower than last year. I am totally sure that it was because I pushed much harder than I should have on the bike. In the end my overall time was faster than last year by 4 minutes and my total time was 2:18 but it was mostly because my swim was better. I should have stuck to my plan and tried for a 1hr bike and probably could have had a sub 45 run. This becomes even more critical in the longer events such as Half and Full Ironman. I finished 8th overall and 2nd in my age group. There were some FAST people this year even with a better time I placed lower than last year! This race reminded me of what I tell my clients and what I said at the beginning......race your own race and stick to your plan! Here we are after the race. Both Greg and Michael had great races too. Congratulations to them!