Wednesday, April 1, 2015

PlayTri Kiwanis McKinney Sprint Triathlon

Life has been a bit  hectic here recently with the purchase of a new house and getting ready to move, racing plans were derailed somewhat.  However, not to worry it's really worth it to finally settle down on a house me and my Wife both really liked.

We looked for a race after the move that I could use to knock off the old swim/bike/run rust collectively on tired legs, and Play Tri's McKinney Sprint triathlon was the best option for that. I was able to drive up the morning of the event, by waking up at 3:30am and out the door by 4:00 a.m. and on the road.  I finally made it to McKinney High School and thinking this was a low key race, the parking lot was packed.

The day before training consisted of 2:30 bike with tabata (these suck) and tempo intervals and 30 minute run off the bike which came out to be a 6:45 pace when I focused on easy running with really good technique. Followed that up teaching a small swim clinic and yard work the rest of the day, by the time I laid down for the night I was whooped -- not to mention the strength training and swim set (Fast Friday) on Friday.  

There was a lot up and coming up teenagers at this race with Play Tri's and Tri 4 Him's High Performance  Youth, let's just say there were several fast swimmers here. I also noticed a few guys staring me down, either they knew me or it was the beard throwing them off - not sure which. I proceeded with my slow 10 min/mile warmup, then I headed to the pool for a quick swim warmup, thinking the pool was going to be cold, it was not. The pool was on the side hot tub temperatures, it was smokin' hot. This can't be good, I thought. 

The Swim. We lined up around the pool in our numerical order. I was number 2. I told a teenager behind me, you look fast, why don't you get in front of me because I'm nice like that. There is a technique to jumping in the pool feet first without sinking too much and I nailed it! It's like a cross between jumping in feet first and a belly flop. I had one of my fastest pool swims a 4:22 (includes getting out and nearly running  and nearly slipping across the timing mat), and as hot as the pool was, probably mid 90 degrees, I'll take that.  I ranked 14th out of the swim, and that's mostly from all the fast youth, the rising stars of the near future.  

The Bike.  This course was a fun one, immediately right out I get on the wrong side of the road, instead of turning around I kept riding up and took the next cross over but had to squeeze in the barricades besides that the bike course had a few rollers and curves. One curve  snuck up on me so bad I had to hit my brakes and I skidded off the road into someones driveway, maintaining and upright position, I was stuck in a hard gear and had to get going again uphill I might add. Other than I coud tell the mountain biking over the winter helped my handling and I was able to ride aggressive through most of the turns. I had been out front the whole way following the police officer on his motorcycle and close  to the end of the course  with less than 10 minutes to go I look back and see someone riding up on me, and here I thought I was rock'n and rollin'. He came up and surprised me when I realized it was a small teenager. I stuck behind him - in a legal distance not to lose any more time and kept him close not knowing how he could run. This kid (Jon McAlister) was flying, he averaged 25.5 mph while only pushing 222 watts for his size.  I've been struggling for years to get my bike mojo back, probably since early 2012. I think I finally got it back and was happy with the way I rode with my 24.8 mph split, despite Jon out splitting me by a large margin and just missing the 25 mph split with my those two technical errors.  I felt really strong the whole bike! Jeremy had a me on a huge bike focus the whole month of February and it's paid off as we've transitioned into some higher intensity.  In addition, since I'm on the Cobb Mobb National team and also work Cobb Cycling now as we are one of the industry's leading components in saddles and cranks, with a bike fit with Mr. John Cobb, and using 165 short cranks with a 54T Q-Ring which the shorter cranks can really help you run faster off the bike, the Q-Ring helps with efficiency and my gear ratio, the Plus 2 saddle for comfort,  and a low profile top cap over my headset.

The Run: I've had a sore knee all last year since January 2014, so at the end of the season I took all of November and December off from running to hopefully let it heal. I only ran one day a week in January and just a few easy days in February with low mileage stuff. We are just now really starting to get into running more as we head into the last months of my triathlon season this year. Riding a few meters behind Jon coming into transition, I head out onto the run, not really knowing his running abilities and not really knowing mine either, I was able to find my running legs quicky and put the hammer down and caught him within a half-mile. However, just catching him would still have him in the lead as he started a few spots back I would need to finish 1 min and 22 seconds ahead of him to win - so I continued to press on, I probably looked back more than I should to see where he was as at. I used a few mental run tricks to keep pressing the pace, as many times I wanted to relax but I had to keep telling myself I would cut it too close if I did that. I tried surging on the turns with 20 hard foot strikes with my left foot, but I found it difficult to switch gears as I was already at my top end in speed. This course was awesome, lots of turns and a few steep hills to keep things interesting as it went through a city park and around some residential as I followed this guy on a gator. Surprisingly, I ended up running my fastest pace for a sprint triathlon on not much run training a 5:23 pace/per mile for 17:14, 3.2 miles. That means what we are doing outside and some inside of running is working! Any run PR for me is hard to come by, I guess I'm not passed my prime for speed, I'm aging like a fine bottle of wine. It's got me curious what I could really run in a stand-alone 5k. I finished with a total time of 54:20.

Hanging out with Jon McAlister, the one of Texas' rising stars in triathlon - a super nice guy! 

The lone podium - only 1st overall awards 

Glory to God for the win! A big thank you to my family - My Wife Calley & Rylan, and my parents who believe in me. My Coach Jeremy at Mind Right Multisport for the coaching. My swim partners Seth and Rachel. Team Extremus and Cobb Mobb  , Fresh Racing, East Texas Triathletes,a and Tyler Bicycle Club for all the support.

My favorite part after the race was passing out all the finisher medals for the kids race 15 and under,there were some close finishes and it was really thrilling to see the kids lay it on the line with a sprint finish. I tried to get a photo of this kid that was nearly passed out laying on the ground (resembled me after St. Patrick's Tri 2013 after chasing down Korey Sessions), I laid his medal on his chest.)  This was fun seeing all the kids put their best effort out there.

The best part of the race.  Please ignore the beard, my criminal record is clean.  

Thanks for reading!


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