Monday, August 30, 2010

Clearlake International

What a trip this past weekend was for the Clearlake triathlon just south of Houston. I made it to packet pickup just in time. I had a flat (in my car) on I-45. I am driving along and I'm thinking to myself this road sure is bumpy (similar to that of what my friend Tracy though the night before the McKinney tri). I thought it might be the road, but then looked at other cars and none were rattling as bad as mine was, so I decided I better exit and I pull over in a run down looking motel parking lot to change it. I looked around the area and decided this wasn't the "good" part of H-town. I debated whether or not I should call someone (since I don't have the coolest phone) to help me find the nearest tire shop or just change it myself. Since this was the first time I actually had to change a tire myself without supervision. I've been fortunate to have been able to locate a place before it got too bad in previous times. I proceeded to empty my trunk out which was a job itself and get the jack took me a few minutes to get it all together but once I figured it out, I was good to go. I need to ask Brent about doing more strength training, because my arms about gave out taking them lug nuts on and off. But the guys, at Wal-Mart the following day when I went to get a new tire, said I put a 180 pounds of pressure on those nuts, enough to hold a tire on a duele. I called my dad after I changed the tire and told him I was a mechanic now.

Oh yeah, so the triathlon went alright. I got off to a great start on the swim. I positioned myself behind the eventual winner Bradley Pigage (won his 4th consecutive race) and got off to a smokin' fast start. However, that only lasted so long before I found myself in the back of the invitational wave. I was drafting off this one guy and it must have been his first race in the elite group. I'll admit I was tapping his feet a bit too much, because the pace wasn't challenging enough and at the same time, it would have been too much for me to go around him so I sat right there and Ryan Lindsay was drafting off me. The guy was kicking hard and I knew he wanted me off of him, but its a race and you can draft in the swim, so I'm going to do that. Then starts to zig zag all over the place, then suddenly stops in front of me. In my head, I'm like, "Whoa, dude that is not a nice way to race." Ryan then gets around me and I miss his feet, I tried to keep him in sight hoping I could pull him back in but was unsuccessful. I enter T1 past my spot right back up, I had visually remembered how I placed my helmet so I could see it coming into transition. I found my helmet on the ground and not on my bike where I had put it and my new oakleys were missing, I spent several seconds looking around then got my game back together and took off on my bike. My swim was nothing impressive 26.47, some say it was about 2 minutes long though.

I had a real good bike and my fastest average bike split of 26.2 mph, a total time on the 25 mile route in 57:14. The course was flat and wind on are side for much of the beginning portions until we turned into a headwind and had some chip seal rode. Although I heard traffic was controlled better this year and nobody was a hit by car (Brad). There was a couple of intersections that were quite dangerous. One I never saw a police officer, but fortunately I had the green light. Then the next one probably could have been coned off better, had us making a left turn and traffic was on our left. How the heck am I supposed to get over when there is this big truck on my left blocking me? I surged just in time and showed that (blank spot here) that I can ride and cut in front of him and made the left turn, as a cop is running out into the intersection.

I some how had the fastest T2 of 30seconds! And my mom always complains about how slow and clumsy I am. The following picture is me running towards transition. I think the guy behind me is mad at me because, he stopped suddenly in front me as I am still rolling in and I slightly clipped his bike I think.

After a hard bike I found myself in the fight for the top 3 spots with the exception of Brad we were right there together. Ryan L. and Stephen Milford were just up the road in front of me. I caught Stephen first but unfortunately he had to pull out due to a strained muscle in the back. I caught Ryan soon after, before the halfway point of the run, I was feeling it was getting slower, we made the turn around I could Ryan not far behind, so that was motivation to me that I needed to suck it up a bit. I finished the 10k (6.2 mi) course in 36:50. Not bad considering how bad I felt, I used to do that on a day feeling good.

Picture of me and my house mates for the weekend Bradley Pigage and Stephen Milford.
Here is me and Aaron Palaian, owner of OnUrLeft Sports. He talked to me after the race. OnUrLeft and OnUrMark Productions puts on the some of the best put on triathlons I have been to including this year which include Gateway to the Bay and Bridgeland. I'll mention more about OnUrLeft Sports soon!

I'd like to give a few shot outs to few people. First is Jesus Christ for protected me in some of the worst traffic in the United States and a good race!!! Stephen and Brad for the homestay. Aaron Palaian from OnUrLeft Sports. A big congrats to all the competitors out there. It got quite hot as the day went along. I'd like to mention and ask for prayers for my riding buddy, Jim McCan, a 64 year old and one of the toughest road racers I know. He had a bad crash at the Hotter and Hell 100K road race in Wichita Falls, Tx, where a dude decided to swerve in front of him and take him out.

Next up in less than two weeks I'll be competing in Jack Weiss' race of Ironhead Race Productions, the Prairie Man half Ironman. I have heard despite how flat the race is, it can be one of the hardest half ironmans, so cheers to that, it should be a good one to do.

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