Thursday, October 31, 2013

Austin 70.3=Mission Accomplished

27 Oct-

14 short days after Kona I entered the water at Decker Lake in Austin.  I showed up to the race with one goal and one goal only, that was to qualify for the 70.3 Worlds.  After just having a great race at Kona (read here) I was still riding the "fitness wave".  I hadn't done much training the week after Kona and then had a few short sessions the week of this race.  My legs were feeling pretty good, the mind was pretty "worn" out, and overall my body was "ok".  I have struggled in the past with what I call "post race depression", it normally hits after a great results or accomplishing a big goal for the year.  I experienced this very mildly after Vegas this year, but was able to bounce back quite quickly.

I have found the best way to deal with this is to surround myself with other athletes that are training.  I try and set my workouts up with others so that I am forced to go train.  It holds me accountable and doesn't give me an excuse to just lay in bed all day or just sit around and do nothing.  I know my body, and I know I should have been out training and just moving, not necessarily putting in a huge week or high intensity, but just out and about.  The morning after Kona I went out for a ride, a friend wanted to so I did it.  Felt fine, felt great, was great to be out on the Queen K on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Then I get back to TX and Barrett and Lauren were out of town and I didn't have anyone to train with in the middle of the day.  So I sat around for a week, did very little and tried to comprehend what had happened at Kona.  Still hasn't set in actually, but needless to say I found a few people to train with the 2nd week and things were fine.

I talk about this post race depression because I believe a lot of athletes deal with it.  It is not the typical depression that one would think of, I mean most of us have just accomplished our biggest goals when this happens, yet we go into a state of "confusion" and being lost.  I think I have found my way to work around it, and that is to ensure I have workouts set up with others.  It doesn't effect my day to day mood, it doesn't effect anything other that the lack of motivation to go train, but if I know someone else will be there I will show up.

Enough about all that craziness, lets get to the race, going to try and keep it short as I don't think it is all that interesting of a race.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 30:36

Our Age Group had 233 individuals in it, so instead of one wave they split into 2 waves.  I was in the second wave and had a decent start.  We hit traffic pretty early on and then it just kept getting more and more congested.  I tried to swim an inside line and avoid as many swimmers as possible, but if left me swimming alone.  I was fine with that and took the risk.  I was not happy with my swim time, but I ended up 6th in my Age Group, so was fine with that.  I had friends on the course telling me where I was as this day was all about placing and had nothing to do with time.  They told me I was out of the water in 5th (so they were close) and 3 minutes down, which was about right.

Bike (56 miles)- 2:13:30

Once on the bike I pretty much had to remain on the left side of the road due to the amount of athletes on the course.  I got into a good rhythm and just settled in.  It was a little sketchy on some parts of the course with riders everywhere, but I just remained patient and ensured I didn't take any risk.  I felt like I was riding pretty good and I was happy with where my power was.  I was told to hold back on the bike a little bit in an effort to save the legs a bit for the upcoming IMFL.  I passed Joe Thorne, the eventual age group winner around mile 35-40.  I had looked at the start list but he was not on it, I think he signed up late like me, because I was not on the start list that was posted online either.  I recognized the Durata Training Kit and asked him his name, he said Joe and I immediately knew it was him.  He ran a 2:43 marathon at Kona in 2011 (See here), and had just recently beat me in Vegas.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to put enough time into him in 20 miles so just kept pushing along at the same effort as before.  The roads cleared up around mile 45 and I had very little traffic to navigate around which was nice because between mile 45-50 gets really tight on the course.

I pulled into T2 and was feeling pretty good.  Just as I was getting my shoes on and starting to run out, Joe was racking his bike.  I knew there was no shot that I could run with him, even if I wasn't 2 weeks off of Kona and fully tapered.

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:28:23

I was surprised that Joe didn't come storming by me within the first 1/2 mile, that is what I expected.  Then came mile 1.5 and he came flying by.  I told him congrats and off he went to run 12 minutes faster than me.  Yes, he ran a 1:16 on a course that most would define as a tough run course.  I came around to start my second loop and got a split that 3rd was 5 minutes back.  Half way through the second lap I got another split that he was 3:30 back around mile 8.  Having this information during the race was really helpful as I was able to hold back a bit and not have to go too far into the hurt locker.  Don't let me fool you though, I was not doing great by any means from about mile 7 on.and was just trying to get through the day.  I ended up finishing 2:08 ahead of 3rd.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 30:36 / 6th out of 233 in AG /

Bike (56 miles)- 2:13:30 / 1st out of 233 (2nd Amateur) in AG /
For the power gurus:

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:28:23 / 10th out of 233 in AG /

Total- 4:16:36 / 33rd out of 2219 Overall / 7th out of 2,070 Amateurs / 2nd out of 233 in AG

Overall I was happy with how the day went, like I said I didn't come to Austin with a time goal in mind.  I came to get a 70.3 Worlds slot and that was accomplished so overall it was a good weekend.  It was great having all of the Team RWB Members out there flying the Eagle and volunteering.  It was also great to see so many familiar faces from Fort Worth out racing and volunteering.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the support.  These past few weeks have been amazing and it would not have been possible without all of the amazing support.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

 Pushing it on the bike

 Out on the run
Caroline Gaynor the "other" Co-Director for Team RWB Triathlon and myself at the RWB Dinner.

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