Posts Tagged ‘ triathlon ’

2012 – A Year in Pictures

January- First Marathon

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February- New Tri Bike for my birthday!

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March- First trip overseas to Spain.

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April- First Tri of the year. Turned to Duathlon.

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May- Please be Kind to Cyclists rally to support human life at the Texas Capital.

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June- First trip to Hawaii.

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July- Spent the month outdoors with friends.

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August- Celebrated 10 year anniversary with my amazing wife.

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September- Texas Aggies first SEC game versus Florida. (& met Herbie!)

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October- Met cycling legend Jens Voigt.

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November-  Texas Tri Series finishers party with Big Pistachio Racing Team!

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December- Neck deep in marathon training, but still enjoying the little things and important things in life.

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Kerrville Triathlon – Race Recap

It’s been a while that I’ve written a race report, and for a myriad of reasons. But after reading some of my friend’s recap of Kerrville, I thought I’d chime in.

The last few months were not how I had envisioned my Tri season wrapping up this year. Early in the season I had some great results, PR’s and personal course records. It was building up to be a great finish with the Olympic distance Tri-Rock Austin then the 70.3 Kerrville Tri.

As many athletes know, life can get in the way. Work became extremely busy with tons of projects in the queue. I also began traveling more, and irregularly for work. Once again I also hadn’t put to paper a solid training schedule. As I began building for the end of season races I found out that our office would be moving the weekend of Kerrville. Totally bummed. I tried to work it out with different scenarios, but there was no way I could make it work. So Tri-Rock Austin would be my season ender. Completely disappointed and mentally defeated I had a less than spectacular race.

Less than a week later we decided it was time for a life change. It had been way too hard on my wife and kids with my irregular travel and 12 hour days when I was at home. I had a couple of interviews and found a great job with a local company and no outside travel. My start day would be Sept 28th. That meant I could still race Kerrville. I hadn’t done the volume required for 70.3 but already had paid race fees and a hotel booked. So I downgraded my entry to the Quarter distance. This is a unique distance because it was a 1,000 meter swim, 29 mile bike, and 10 k run (I thought).

We packed up Saturday morning to head to Kerrville sans kids, picked up some rental wheels and enjoyed our drive to the hill country. Saturday was a bit hectic because you had to rack your bike after packet pickup as well as drop off a back for T2. The bag was really the challenging part. I wanted to have a bottle of cold NUUN and maybe my Trigger Point Cool Point, but that was impossible now.

I opted for a quick swim with my buddy Corris who had just purchased a wetsuit. I hadn’t been in the water very much lately, so it was good to warm up. Three families went out for dinner and we found a fabulous little local Italian restaurant. Let me tell you this place was great, and I’m sure they made their monthly number that night alone from all the tri geeks in town!

Matt & Corris were both racing the 70.3 so we decided to all ride together then allow the wives to come a bit later. My start time was about an hour after theirs. It was also odd because I was the absolute last wave to go out that day. My one thought was that I didn’t want to be the last person out of the water, and that I needed to make the swim cutoff. It was a very odd feeling for me, but after my swim time at Tri-Rock, it could be a reality.

There was some nasty drizzle while everyone was prepping T1. Knowing I had some racing wheels on my only thought was that I didn’t want the roads to be wet. I could handle the cold or the wind, but please no rain! I was shocked to find my bike moved in T1 when I arrived, and slammed between other bikes. But that’s how those things go…

It was kind of fun getting to watch all my friends start and finish their swim before I began. It also brought joy watching Andrea “Fish” and Jamie Cleveland exit so fast. Not just watching their expertise, but seeing the pain cave on their faces close up! It was time for my swim. I jump in, relax and the horn goes off. I stay to the outside these days as my speed sucks. First couple of buoys come and go, and I’m still mid to back of pack. Feeling good, but not wanting to force it. The pack slowly pulls away, but I notice a few racers still around me. Not too long later, I notice more kayaks than swimmers. Odd I thought… then I realized, I must be one of the final few swimmers. Crap. Reality sucked for a few minutes, but then I thought who cares if I’m last out? Enjoy the moment because it’s a blessing I’m able to be out there. Fortunately there were a few (maybe) swimmers behind me as I exited the water. It was a nice uphill climb to T1 and my bike.  I had made it through the swim, so all that was left was some fun!

The kind gentlemen with bikes next to me had knocked my shoes off the clips that held them open, so it took a little longer to get strapped into my shoes. Then I was off. The first 10-15 miles came very quick, and at a nice pace. Ease into it I thought, you want to truly RUN after this. After making the turn outside of town, I realized the pace was due in part to a nice tail wind. We were now faced with a headwind, and horrible chip seal asphalt. I continued to press on and pass tons of riders. It was a moderately flat course, with one ‘bump’ in the road. When I arrived, it was the only time I shifted to my small chain ring. There were at least 5-6 people walking their bikes up! As we approached town, it started to drizzle some more. My only thoughts were staying upright, and not crashing. I was still able to pass a few more riders.

Once we arrived back in town, it was awesome riding downtown with the crowds. There was a spot where those who were doing the 70.3 looped back in, so it was tons of fun. I arrive into T2 and head for my shoes. I grab my bag off the rack, throw on my shoes and visor, grab my NUUN and off I go.

The run was a very odd format of an out and back U shaped course. Twice for the Quarter’s and 4 times for the 70.3’s. This meant lots of traffic and getting to see the other racers quite a bit. Awesomesauce. I started at a pretty good pace, and felt ok. As I round the U shape, I arrive at the ‘offroad’ section. This was going to be a bit tougher than I thought. I slow the pace a tad to protect the heart rate and make sure I had gas for the final lap. My friend Troy Clifton powers past me. He was holding a steady 6:30 pace on his way to top age group finisher for the 70.3. As I make my way back on the first loop, I start to see more faces I know coming in off the bike. As I get back on the pavement I also encounter that head wind again. Great, ¾’s of each lap aren’t fun. I see some of our support crew as I near the turn point and smile and wave. As I turn I hear the announcer call my name and Big Pistachio affiliation J

Time for lap two. One of my mini goals was to literally run the entire run. I know it sounds silly. But the Olympic distance is somewhat of a beast in disguise. My legs are starting to feel fatigue. I drop the pace a bit, and tell myself just to make the turnaround point in the woods. Then I could walk 30 seconds at the water stop. I had the pleasure of getting to see Andrea & Jamie many times on the loops as well. Let me just say this. As nice of a guy that Jamie is, I would not want to run down face to face with him. There are people who have hard core game faces, and he’s one of them. I hit the turn and walk while grabbing some water briefly. Okay this is it, time to finish strong. Only 1.5 miles left. The legs were feeling the pain, but I pressed on. As I got to the asphalt again I received warm comments from Adam and Matt about looking good and finishing strong. I get closer to the crowds and notice the 6 mile marker. Only .2 miles to go! I try to pick up the pace. Wow, that was a really really long .2 miles. I hit the finish and I’m done. Wow, what an event! I find my wife and several friends at the finish. Later on as the times get posted I notice the official run distance was 6.4. No wonder it felt so long after 6 miles!

All in all it was a great event. High Five and Jack & Adams continue to solidify who knows how to run a Triathlon. It was awesome to meet lots of athletes from Houston, Corpus and San Antonio who all came in for the race. I was able to meet several of my mini goals and have now ended tri season on a much happier and healthier reflective note. Now it’s time to get in full gear for the Houston Marathon.

Notes for the off-season- Swim. Get swim lessons from Fish. Run faster. Get a coach. Nut Up.

Marble Falls Tri- Race Recap

It’s been 3 weeks since the race, but I haven’t been able to devote the time to sit down and finish writing my recap until now. Early this spring I signed up for the Marble Falls Tri as a challenge and break from the usual Austin area Triathlon venues. My best friend Matt & I were going to race, and decided to make it a long weekend of relaxation for the wives in Marble Falls. The distances were unusual and it was touted as a challenging race because it’s ‘the one with the hills.’ Having come off of finishing the Ride the Rockies, I was excited for a challenge on the bike. What I wasn’t ready for was the tough Texas heat and not logging enough swim/run hours due to my Colorado cycling experience. I also wasn’t really prepared for losing my job a month before the race, but it’s life and we play the hand we’re dealt.

We arrived in Marble Falls mid day Saturday, with enough time to get our packets, drive the bike course, relax and take in some poolside relaxation. All of which were awesome. When deciding on dinner, we stayed at the resort and opted for their dinner buffet which happened to be a fajita/Mexican buffet. So awesome. So much food. Slightly incorrect choice for pre-race meal. We got back to the hotel room to go through the normal evening before race rituals as my wife calls it. When inspecting my bike, I wasn’t comfortable with the state of my front tire. I had brought a spare, so I grabbed a tube, the new tire and proceeded to change it in the hotel room. Something wasn’t sitting just right, and I was a little nervous about it. I aired it up and left it in the room. Sleep was so-so, as is usual before a race. Then about 2am we here a POP!! As I had feared, the new tube blew in my tire. Now I would have to change the tube when I got up. Great, that’s just what I wanted to do on race morning.

Aside from changing the tube, it was a pretty usual morning. Got my nutrition in, water bottles filled with NUUN and car loaded to head to the start. It was a small field in the race, so that’s always nice not having to worry too much about rack space in transition etc. While getting everything set, the wives headed off to patron the local Starbucks, which much to their dismay didn’t open until 6:30 on Sundays. What gives? Matt was having some stomach issues, and didn’t really have an appetite. Since we were so close to the start, I told him to forget the bagel and just have a Gu.

We proceeded to the swim start, found the wives for kisses and approached the water. My group went off first, and I started towards the first buoy. It was a simple triangle swim of 1,000 meters, but the first buoy was against the current of Lake Marble Falls and seemed to be forever before I got there. I kept plugging along, and didn’t really have many issues with other swimmers until about half way through when I was caught by the group behind me. There was a fair amount of jockeying going on in the water and at one point a strong grab on my left arm. This is where I wear my Road ID bracelet, which I felt get ripped off. How does that happen? I  was really upset, but kept plugging along. Thankfully I had recently ordered the new slim version of Road ID. Finishing the swim with sighting was a little difficult due to the rising sun. I finally exit the water and run up the hill to transition to the cheers of my wife.

I get set and off I go on the bike. Out & back, 23 miles with some nice rolling hills. Interestingly enough, within the first mile we started a Category 5 climb. My legs felt money, and passed quite a few folks going up the first climb. I settled in at a solid but steady pace. I kept expecting to see the lead pack soon, but they didn’t pass me till a few miles from the turn around. Most athletes did well with following passing and drafting rules, but one chump tried to pass me on a hill and I called him out. I don’t want to be mean about it, but if you can’t make the pass, don’t try! I don’t want to get penalized either. About a mile before the turn, I saw Matt coming the other direction and yelled at him to keep it up! I hit the turn right at 40 minutes. I wanted a negative split and knew there was some nice downhill at the end, so just needed to keep the pace I had set. When I made the final turn a few miles out I knew I was in good position to make my goal. I kept pressing and finished the bike with a solid effort.

As I approached T2, I almost rear ended another rider who had stopped right before the dismount. I smiled at my wife cheering and was on to grab my running shoes. HEAVY LEGS. I immediately knew the 4.4 mile run was going to be a challenge. It was hot, and I could tell that the lack of time training was about to pay off. I set off, my new goal just to finish solid, regardless of run time. I decided that I would take 10-15 second walk breaks at the aid stations to help keep my HR down. By the time I hit mile one, my stomach was not my friend. I took my final Gu of the day, and just about sent it heaving out on the road. I saw Matt heading in for the finish and signaled to him that I was out. I continued on the not-so-fun-run and when I hit mile 2-3 finally felt like I should be out there. That feeling went away, and I was ready to finish the run. The run course was actually really nice as it stretched through some neighborhoods and offered quite a bit of shade. I made it through the park, and up the approach to the finish line. I could see my wife, Matt & his wife in my peripheral vision and hit what was left in the gas to make the finish. Exhausted and relieved the race was done, and I came in under my ‘realistic goal’ time. We regrouped and headed back to the hotel so that we could enjoy the rest of the day relaxing by the pool. As with every race these days, there were good points, not so good points and lots of lessons learned.

By the numbers-

1,000 meter swim- 26:16 (crazy slow!)
Transition 1- 2:04
23 mile bike- 1:15:48
Transition 2- 0:53
4.4 mile run- 42:12
Total Time- 2:27:15
Overall Place- 135/210