A 20 minute personal best!? That’s fantastic Brett!
It sounds like you had a host of good lessons learned. However you also had a lot of hard work that you put into practice throughout the season that really helped you elevate your outcome and performance.
Your nutrition was well planned and well executed. We know this is your energy for the race.
Your pacing was also well planned. And while you did learn some important pacing lessons, overall you had a strong day. We know that cramping is likely due to ‘asking your body to do something it is not trained to do’ so pushing the pace when already fatigued was likely the cause of your cramping. I bet you won’t do that again 🙂 However, don’t be too hard on yourself, as you were simulating a race environment, it really takes some extra focus to maintain that race environment without the aid stations, spectators, etc. Instead, you made it happen and this really is the reward.
All in all, congratulations on your race success! Not only were you able to reap the reward of training in uncertain times (control what you can control and training is one of those things you can control), you found out that you like to train more than race. Most competent triathletes will likely say the same. It’s hard to be good at three sports when your only motivation is a race. Three sports takes a lot of practice and discipline 🙂
Congratulations for making the most of this season and coming out on top!