I wasn't sure how it was going to go, what with Vineman three weeks ago, then a two-week break, then a week of high-volume, low-intensity training. Turns out it went just fine. Besides having to get up at 5am, that is. Jason and I drove to the venue, had a pretty low-key morning getting set up, and then just when I was about to get in the water to warm up, the zipper on my wetsuit stuck. Jason wrestled with it for a few minutes, then said "You may be swimming without a wetsuit today". That wouldn't have been a big deal as it's been really warm lately, but he took a closer look and saw a tiny little pebble stuck in the zipper pull. He jimmied it out, zipped me up, and I hit the water with ten minutes to warm up.
The start line was mayhem; it seemed everyone wanted to be where I was once the gun when off. And by gun, I mean gun - the military was there with this huge Howitzer that scared the crap out of everyone when it fired. I didn't think the Canadian army had anything that big. Anyway, I digress. I got pummeled and did some pummeling for the first 100 meters, then found some good feet to follow for the rest of the quick 500m swim. I swam well, and ended up 45 seconds faster than I swam in June (and the fastest swim in my age group, I might add). My swim has really improved over the last couple of months.
Onto the bike, and it was a twisty, turny, hilly, rough 26k. I really wanted to be under an hour, but wasn't sure because of the monster climb about three-quarters through the course. The rest of the ride was fine, but that climb was tough! I just sat up and spun (as best I could) up the thing, and there were people paper-boying up the steep section (for any non-cyclists, that's when you go back and forth across the road - like a paper boy delivering papers - to make the steep parts functionally less steep). Apparently a couple of people even walked the steepest pitch. The climb seemed to go on forever, it was 5k long and that's a big portion of a 26k ride. Downhill into transition, and I made it under the hour with a whopping 4.5 minutes to spare!
The run was hilly; I'm a slow runner but I decided I wouldn't zone out but instead I'd push myself the whole way. It was fairly uneventful, and I ended up running 25 seconds faster than the sprint tri in June. Doesn't sound like much, but the June run was pancake flat on a forgiving chip trail, and this was a hilly exposed run on pavement. So I'm OK with that.