|Cobb Mobb departing from HQ. My flip flops broke just before this.|
This was my fifth time to do this race, regardless how well you came off your last race this course deservers a lot of respect and it can and it will humble you. As expected this course is hilly, windy, and hot. It turned into one of the most toughest years. People were melting and having epic blowups. Our swim was with the 25-29 and 30-34 year old age groups. That is a lot of high testosterone starting at the same time. I got off to a decent start or so I thought. I jumped on Seth Cooke's feet for maybe about 10 seconds. My swimming rhythm has been coming along well. I do wish I had started out more aggressive. The lake temperature was 75 degrees which got warm quick with a wetsuit. Our age group was the last age group wave to go and they were sending the waves off really close together, so the course became really crowded and somewhat hard to get around some other swimmers. I finished in 32:17 a second best half iron swim for me, but it felt worse. It was a lot more crowded than Kansas was. I still need to work on staying on those faster feet at the beginning. This put me in 16th with the 30-34 males.
The bike the course takes a hard left and it's straight up a steep hill as soon as you start. Since I know it gets hot here I'm sipping on my water and sports drink every 10 minutes and taking water at the aid stations on the bike when I could catch some water. My goal was to get a strong bike in but not to over-bike it. The wind here was tough averaging 18 mph with high winds 30 mph with gust of 35 mph. Out here there is nothing to protect you from the wind, no East Texas pine trees out here. On a flat section about 23 miles into the bike or about an hour into it we were experiencing a strong crosswind pushing us and I was riding about 25 mph when all of sudden and for no real explanation flew off my bike and skidded into the ditch. I'm not sure if I hit something or if the wind blew me off. I quickly gathered myself passed everyone who just rode by me. Not long later after this bizarre crash my hands started cramping then my adductors and finally the quads by the end of the ride. This maybe due to most of my blood was going to my banged up right leg. The bike course also contained two staircase like climbs and descents. Going down was fun as I was being about aggressive as I could be and almost ran over someone as I was testing my brakes and almost didn't make a tight turn with a fence on the other side of the road. My bike was just under 2:37, one of my slowest bikes ever but it still put me in number 6th in my age group with Seth Cooke, my buddy just up the road. I was thinking if I could pull out a solid run I would be able to catch him, but Seth is super strong and knows how to suffer a lot. I knew because of history (Prairieman Half Iron 2010 - DNF) with cramps in my legs like this only an hour into the bike this run coming up was not going to be pretty.
My initial plan for the run was not to run any faster than a 6:15 starting out as I paid the price in Kansas for going a little fast even though it felt comfortable and my heart rate was reading low numbers it added up quickly after the huge hill there. I was already rethinking that coming off the bike with the leg cramps I was having a 6:30 would be acceptable today. When I actually started running I wasn't anywhere near that and I knew it was about to be a long day, legs didn't want to go and I was having a hard time keeping my breath under control. I definitely respect more people who run half marathons in over 2 hours now.
|Just after this pic was an epic blow up.|
|running to the finish with Phil.|
While this one didn't go to plan I'm ready to fight next one....just kidding. I'm working on trying to get my road rash healed up so I can get back out there to fight another one. The next planned race is Shadow Creek Ranch sprint tri with my boy Jeremy and then Kansas 5150. Praise God, this crash (again) wasn't serious as it could have been a lot worse. Thanks to the Cobb Mobb team by Cobb Cycling and the Extremus Team for backing me up. Also my Wife for always supporting me and who is taking care of my road rash too and pouring that lovely hydrogen peroxide all over it as she gets to watch me scream like a little girl.