Sunday, November 4, 2012

Austin 70.3: Vegas or Bust

28 Oct 12-

I arrived back "home" from Kona on the 16th of October from Kona.  I put home in quotations because I was moving back into a hotel, which is pretty much where I have resided over the past 30 days.  I had 8 days to find a place to live in the Ft. Worth area, which is now where I call home.  While sitting around in the hotel Tuesday night, I started pondering Austin 70.3.  Kona had gone alright, but falling apart on the run really didn't shatter my body.  I tend to recover quickly, so I thought what the heck.  I called my coach and spoke with him about it and had a brief conversation with Zach about the best way to recover in a short period of time.

My coach, Scott, gave me the rest a lot do whatever you want plan all the way till Saturday, 7 days after Kona.  At that point we picked things back up and put in a decent week leading into the race.  I think  I was at about 11 hours prior to the race which was a pretty solid week just a week after Kona.  I hit the track on Tuesday before the race and felt really good with my intervals.  I did some short intervals on the bike and felt alright but not great, the one thing I was worried about doing a half so soon after Kona.  I wasn't worried about the swim and I was thinking I could possibly have a solid run, but wasn't sure how it was going to go till I got out there.

I headed down to Austin Saturday morning, with the race being on Sunday.  I met up with a friend helped her put her bike together, she had got in on a red eye flight at 6am and needed some help putting it together.  After that I met up with Amy and Dave at registration and picked up my packet and then dropped off the bike.  The triathlon community is really a small world, while there I ran into Art Mattheson, a long time Army triathlete who was also in Korea while I was there, although I didn't know him then.  I had met him earlier this year at Armed Forces, and we have some mutual friends.  Chatted with him for a bit and then headed into town to look for some warmer cycling gear.  My stuff from Korea still hasn't showed up so I had a very limited selection of clothing.  I ended up purchasing gloves, a beanie and knee warmers.  I already had a vest and compression socks.  All of this was needed due to the cold temps predicted in the mid 40's in the morning not expected to get warmer than low 50's during the bike.

After the shopping spree I headed to an Italian place with Amy, who I was staying with.  Homestays are really awesome and I have been enjoying not having to fly to races and not have to pack and unpack the bike, Superfrog was great for that and now this worked out great as it was about a 3 hour drive from Ft Worth.  I had the usual pre-race beer(s) at dinner and a pizza which was awesome.  Then I topped it all off with some gelato.

Race morning came early and it was a split transition so we got to T2 and then took a bus to T1.  I started in one of the last waves at 8:25, when the pros had gone off at 7:30.  It was cool to stand around and cheer on some of the early starters out of the water, but just meant there would be a lot more people to have to navigate around on the bike.

Swim- 30:42

Was a little worried about how congested it was going to get with the amount of people starting ahead of us.  I got on the front row as it was an in water start and just tried to stay on the feet in front of me for as long as possible.  Probably around 10 minutes into the swim is when we started hitting the first patch of individuals and then at the turn buoy is when things got worse.  It just continued to get worse the rest of the swim, the most fearful thing is getting kicked by a breast stroker.  There were some points where I had people swim across me, he like over the top of me from the side.  I still felt like I was having a good swim and felt good in the water.  When I came out of the water and looked at the clock I knew I swam right around 30 minutes and was happy with that.

Bike- 2:38:50

After a long T1 getting all bundled up with a beanie, gloves, arm warmers, vest, knee warmers and compression socks I was off onto the bike.  I had carried my bike all the way out of T1 as there were thorns all in the grass.  I got on a little bit past the mount line as once again it was a cluster.  I find it easier to run by everyone to navigate around them and then do a quick flying mount and be on my way, rather than trying to do a flying mount with people not being able to mount their bikes and swerving all over the road.  The mount lines are the best place to go if spectating a triathlon for your daily comedy.

The first few seconds on the bike I heard something scraping my rear cutout and then it went away.  I got in a groove and was riding primarily to the left as I was constantly passing people.  The roads were really packed, a lot of people were moving all the way to the yellow line to pass which caused the road to be blocked.  It was a dangerous first few miles but it started to thin out.  Then at mile 5 I felt my rear tire going flat.  For those that are already thinking two flats in two races, yes that is correct, except Kona was a front, this was a rear.  I had it changed pretty quickly, had air in it then removed the CO2 adapter and all the air shot right back out of the valve.  I had a second tube but when I went to put it into my bento box I realized it had a hole in it, so I ended up only having one tube.

I stood on the side of the road waiting for tech support, I asked a race official to call for tech support, but no luck.  I took my flat tube and just held it up on the side of the road.  It was on a downhill so people were moving at speed, eventually a lady stopped.  She gave me her tube and CO2, and a few minutes later I was back on the road.  I just reminded myself that anything can happen so to just stay focused and to ride a solid ride.  I thought for a little bit about really hammering the bike but realized I had already lost too much time.  I just aimed to hit my goal wattage and stuck to that.  I came up with the plan of riding a smart bike and trying to just smash the run.

The remained of the bike was uneventful other than that riders that couldn't hold a straight line, the ones that insisted on staying to the left when they were not passing and then the cops that stopped 25+ riders for up to 2 minutes to let traffic go through, not at one intersection but 2!  I just pulled up as they then allowed us to go through.  Other than that it was a pretty horrible ride altogether, with the not so great roads and crowded course to navigate through.

Run- 1:23:20

I came off the bike feeling really really good.  I split a sub 6 mile for the first mile and then set into a more attainable pace of 6:10-6:20.  I just figured I would go hard and if I blew up so be it as the day was already over in terms of a podium due to the flat.  I just kept pushing along and making sure to take in a few calories and some water.  The run course was 3 loops and it was great because the collegiate nationals were taking place for 70.3 and the AF had quite a few cadets out there.  It was great to cheer them on and try and keep them motivated.  Some Team RWB athletes were also out there as well and that was some great motivation to see the eagle flying!

The run course had a portion of dirt/gravel road and then some rolling hills.  The crowd was great up towards the transition/finish area which made it easy to run fast when being cheered on.  I just kept pushing and was hoping to run down as many people in my AG as I could.  The more I ran down the less people that could take a roll down slot from me.  I had seen Amy on the first loop and she was quite a ways ahead of me.  The joke before the race was the only way we were finishing together is if she had a great day and I had a terrible day, those were her words not mine.  So on the course I would joke with her that she was my rabbit and I was going to catch her.  There were two female cadets running just ahead of her at the beginning that she passed and then on the last lap with about a mile and a half left I caught them.  I thought for a brief second that I was going to catch her but I ran out of room.  She was waiting at the finish line and had finished a few minutes before; she had a great day and ended up 4th in her AG.

Swim- 30:42 15th in AG
T1- 4:36
Bike- 2:38:50 24th in AG (Lost 15mins due to flat)
Strava Link:
T2- 2:21
Run- 1:23:20 5th in AG
Strava Links:
Overall- 4:39:49  11th in AG / 75th Overall / 45th Amateur

Overall I was happy with the outcome on the day.  I went to awards and stuck around for the roll down for the Vegas Slots.  I ended sitting with Amy, Brandon Marsh (who coaches Amy), and Amy Marsh.  We were all sitting there listening to roll down and then it got to my AG and it just kept going and going.  Then they paused once, and we all looked at each other and thought it might just happen.  There were 3 slots total and only one slot was taken.  It went down to 7th and that guy took a slot, long pause after him it keeps going down.  Then they pause for a while, and then they call my name.  I was pretty shocked it rolled down that far, but hey I stuck around and got the slot.  Keeps me from having to stress about doing a 70.3 early season to attempt to qualify.  Even with some bad luck the day still ended up being a good one.

This was a good way to finish out the 2012 season, which had a lot of highs and only a few lows.  I can't thank everyone enough for all of their support this season.  It was a great season and to close it out by qualifying for a 2013 World Championship, I couldn't think of a better way.  I will get around to doing a 2012 wrap up blog over the next few weeks, well that is the plan at least.  For now I am doing some inconsistent non structured training.  However, I plan on making that consistent non-structured training next week and then 1 December the training starts back up for the 2013 season :)  O and I start back to school on 16 November, 10 classes to go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on qualifying early for 2013 Vegas, sounds like you've had a great season! I am in the Dallas area as well, just moved here in Sept!