In this month's iterations of recurring timed events, I went one for two, in terms of improving on previous times. On the positive side, on the 9th I improved my time in the South MoPac Time Trial over June by 17 seconds to 19:43. That doesn't sound like much, and I guess it's not, really, but I'll take a 1.4% improvement and half a mile per hour (to an average of 24.5 mph). On the not so positive side, on the 16th I had my second slowest (of the 4 times I've done it now) time in the Splash & Dash. My total time of 36:57 was well off my best time of 34:29 in July, and slightly better than the 37:16 in June. My problems started in the swim. I swam to the outside, to keep from running into people, and also tried to swim freestyle. So, I wasn't really looking where I was going (need to work on sighting) and didn't have anybody else to follow, and wound up way off course, or at least going further than necessary. I'm not sure what happened to me on the run, but just before the end of the second loop, my stomach started cramping. I walked for a minute or two, then picked up the pace again, but not as fast as I had started, and not to the pace I should be able to hold for 2 miles (3 1k laps). One plus, also for undetermined reasons, is that I forgot to put on my calf compression sleeves, but didn't suffer from the calf cramps I've had many times transitioning from swim (or, elsewhere, bike) to run.
So, some questions I need to find answers for: If I show improvement in my strongest discipline (cycling) but none (at least not consistently) in my two weaker ones (swimming and running), have I really made any progress as a triathlete? If I'm actually faster swimming the breast stroke than freestyle (based on other data), should I really be trying so hard to improve my freestyle (especially considering I'm automatically sighting when swimming breast, and at the moment sighting throws off my stroke freestyle) just because it's supposed to be the best stroke for triathletes?