This past weekend I finished my last triathlon for the season. I made the trip down with Amanda then we met up with Lance and ater my good friends Travis, Mark & Karmen.
I didn't know what to expect for this, as my training hasn't been necessarily the best for this due to some changes and working a lot the past week getting ready for Tri Shop's opening for November 12.
However, I stuck with what works the best and that is to take it step by step and just be smart and organized. I even wrote an itinerary for this.
4AM came super early as I had my normal pre race meal before a 70.3 that did include Wheaties Fuel if you must know. However I didn't plan to leave the room until about 5:30am, I put my legs up on the wall for a little while then I curled up into a ball and fell back asleep.
I warmed up with my good buddy Jason from Shama Cycles in Houston, afterwards I met Angie and she let me borrow her race belt since I forgot mine.(ooops!) I told her I would just stick it in my shorts if she didn't have an extra.
It was a pretty chill start and I never really felt nervous for this. I think the pressure was off to win since Derek Yorek a local pro showed up, but due to some injuries dropped after the swim. The swim start was rough, the 29 and younger division didn’t mess around. My left arm kept hitting somebody’s back and finally I was able to break free and get on some feet, but eventually lost of those then found someone else’s feet towards the second of the swam by me and he would breast stroke every so often to see where he was going but still out swimming me, I got on his feet and was trying hard to stay on until the end. The water was shallow leading into the exit, so I was able to do some dolphin dives to finish the swim in 32:41.
long run to T1
A long transition had me running through the sand, through the pool area and across to transition. All I had to do was buckle my helmet and I was off. I flew up on my bike and nearly miss-mounted landing slightly on the jewels. Ouch!
I was riding steady the first 10 miles around 24-26 mph but then we hit some hard chip seal for 10-15 miles that rattled your bones. Somewhere around mile 15 my bottle of Heed slipped out of my hands and rolled across the street. I looked behind me, crossed the center line to run back and grab my bottle, because I knew it would be a long day without it. When we finally got back on smooth road it was a big relief.
I quickly caught back up to the group that I had just passed only to re pass them again. During the out and back section I was looking for Derek Yorek on a road bike to see how far back I might be from him, but only to never see him. I was thinking I may have missed him and just kept riding as if I were still chasing.
At mile 40-46, the past few years it has always been a very slow section with several false flats. Around mile 42 my chain slipped off going up hill. I must have shifted too much at once. I came to a slow stop and was like uh oh and going no where I quickly get out of the pedals fix the chain, check the road to make sure I was safe and then back in the saddle.
Due to my better pedaling efficiency I was able to keep my energy level up during the bike, but I had no power and was actually a lot slower than I was a couple of years ago. I finished this year in 2:24 this year, compared to 2:18 two years ago and my only 3rd half.
heading into t2
A very smooth dismount that I have been perfecting since my incident at Texas 70.3 I was flew through t2 in 30 seconds and on the road hitting sub 5:30 pace. I was like whoa slow down, your not there yet as a 24 year old Todd Teren took off like a rocket that I early caught through transition. I let him go knowing that if I was running as fast as I was he was most likely coming back so I took my chances and let him go. I hit 5:55’s consistently for the first 5-6 miles, which I have never been there before in a 70.3 a tleast for the first lap of the 3 looped course.
The second loop was a slowed down to a 6:10-6:15 pace. I caught Todd by after mile 5 and he tried to go with me and through in a surge to see if he could respond after no response the gapped increased from there. I still didn’t know if Derek Yorek was still in the race or not as I never saw him during the run, I figured I would have been able to see him by now.
The third loop was starting to get rough as I slowed down to 6:20s and the last 2-3 miles were getting rough as I was just trying to survive.
The last mile was my gps was telling me I would finish the last mile in 6:28, then 6:29. I kept telling myself do not drop to 6:30.
The finish was mostly a straight away and you could see the finish but then you had make a circle around to the finish, I cruised into the finish pointed to the heavens and with a slight celebration with my hands. A run time finish of 1:26 or so in 4:26.44.
executing good form the concentration on my mechanics is paying off.
and I've reached the finish!
During the awards ceremony I was more nervous waiting for my name to be called out than I was waiting to start the race. Maybe peeing in my wetsuit before the race helps calm my nerves? Then I had to give an impromptu speech about the race.
I don’t think I could have had as a good of a race with out keeping my faith strong and the awesome support crew from Amanda, Lance, and Aaron Palian from OnUrLeft Sports being out there cheering me on. Oh yes! And the butt slaps from Michael Barney, that gave me the extra push I needed every time I came around at least. Thanks to the Tri Shop and Brian Lee the most amazing bike mechanic ever who tuned my bike and my gears were shifting sharp and precise, who cleaned my bike too and had it shining like new! A big THANK YOU AMANDA, LANCE, AARON PALIAN, BRIAN LEE, and course BARNEY the one and only
While this season didn’t go as planned by far for 2011 due to a variety of reasons. However I am motivated more than ever f0r 2012 and setting my goals high and won’t settle for anything less.