Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tri Tyler Half-Ironman

I was excited to get to go back to Tyler a few weeks ago for the inaugural half ironman that Steve Farris was race directing. This is where I had spent a few years finishing my undergraduate degree and running cross country at the University of Texas at Tyler. 

I traveled with my buddy Lance. We had a nice early dinner at the Olive Garden that night that was in walking distance from the host hotel. 

Race morning I had a nice swim start with the pro/elite wave and I was in 'a' pack, but that lasted maybe 50 meters at most and I was trailing off the back. I knew I was in the back with two others as the kayak was following to make sure we were ok. It was J.T., Chris, and I for the remaining three to exit the water. J.T. was leading us but at the final stretch he started going waaay to the right. Chris had passed me and I jumped on his feet and I passed him exiting the water and JT was chasing us by then. Chris would thank me later on twitter for giving him a pedicure while I was drafting behind him. I finished the swim in 31 minutes and change. It's a new PR swim for me, but a lot of guy's set "PR's" so my guess is the course must have been somewhat short or all other courses have been long. 

Swim Exit. Photo Courtesy of Simpson's Photography.
I made a quick transition and was on my bike however my legs would not respond for most of the bike, including the flat parts. I spent a good time of the first portion chasing a guy who flew by me in the age group race and trying to hold off Chris who was going near the same pace as me but gradually getting closer. In the back of my mind, I was wishing Chris would hurry up and catch me so I could get in on his the "legal draft" zone.  Well, Chris did ended passing me up during that time I was in a "low moment" and rode by me like I was sitting still. So I rode another 20 miles trying to keep him in sight and slowly reeled him back in and we would come in pretty close together after that. I personally, didn't think the bike portion was that bad until the last 15 miles when all it was was short steep hills up and down. Coming off the bike in just over 2:28 preparing to dismount I caught a cramp in my adductors or inner thighs. I knew I might be in trouble, but I was going to try to push on.

Coming into T2 and ready to get off the bike. 

Heading out on the run my legs didn't have near as the amount of spring and turnover I had in my legs at Branson. I was determined to continue on. However through many low moments out on the run course and trying to press on it wasn't working. The run course is quite challenging and even more challenging when coming off that bike course. 

Beginning of the run.
I couldn't wait to finish this race because I knew what I had to look forward to. I was walking out on the run course and was thinking if I could just hurry up and run a fast pace I could finish sooner. The ending to any half-ironman course is a pretty site, but even better when you have your parents, and Lance (the one that didn't dope). It was such a great ending to a challenging season.

With my Dad and Mom and I couldn't wait to crack open and start drinking that Coca-Cola.

After the race I may have set a record for the most burgers (3) and soft drinks (5+) combined in one day. The past two weeks I have been taking sometime off to recover, but I'm eager to start working on my weaknesses. The season challenged me in more ways than I expected, but I found out just how resilient and determined I can be when times get tough. With that said, while most of my races early season I either did poorly or DNS, I was able to pull myself together and put a few good races together towards the end of the season. Well, except this one of course.

Thank you to my parent and Lance for all coming out to the race and supporting me. My Coach Brent Poulsen from Revolution MultiSport and some cool sponsors with Tri It Wear and Wheaties. Thanks be to God for keeping me safe out there and getting me back to the finish line.

1 comment:

  1. Bahaha! I did go WAYY right, and then left, and then right again. It was terrible. I swam farther than anyone else I'll bet ya. I've got to work on that. Great race sir. I look forward to catching up with you later.