Friday, May 30, 2014

Tyler Half IM, First Tri of the Season

30 March-

I wasn’t planning to do this race and was going to focus on Galveston 70.3.  Then I found out Galveston didn’t have $20K in Pro Prize money, and only had $15K.  Since I am still racing amateur you are probably wondering why I even care.  Well one way to qualify for your pro card as a USAT member is to finish top 3 overall amateur at a race with more than $20K in prize money.  So once finding out that it did not fit into that criteria I talked with my coach and we decided to see how back to back half’s would go.
I was a little worried on how my bike fitness would be.  I had gotten a big week of training in at camp in Tucson, but other than that I hadn’t had many great workouts that gave me confidence.  I was actually a little discouraged with how I rode at camp, but thought this race would be a good test to see where I was.  There were a few pros in the field “elite wave” as the race had less than $5K in prize money.  They started all of the male and female “elites” together at once.

I started out next to Chris McDonald, not sure why as I going to lose his feet fast.  And sure enough, by about 100m he was gone along with most of other elites.  I swam most of swim by myself and I lost 2:46 to Chris and 1:40 to Clay Emge (who won our AG in Kona).  I was fairly happy with how my swim went and didn’t have too many problems sighting.

I knew I was a bit down on Clay, but wasn’t sure by how much.  I started out of T2 riding pretty hard and caught one person fairly quickly.  Then there was someone quite a ways ahead that I could tell I was slowly reeling in.  The about 35 minutes into the race I heard a loud horn.  Didn’t know what it was at first, then after the second time it sounded I figured out it was a train.  I thought to myself, surely the course doesn’t go across tracks.  Sure enough about 30 seconds later I came around a bend and there were the tracks.  Then the gates started coming down, and then there I was stopped at the tracks. 
They had a guy there with a clipboard and he jotted down my number and started a stop watch.  He told me Clay had just went by and at that point was only 30 seconds up the road.  After being stopped for 1m40secs the train had passed and off I went.  It took me until about mile 40 or 45 to catch Clay.  I tried to get him to come with me but he was having issues with his rear wheel so was dealing with that.
Coming back into T2 someone informed me that Chris was in the lead about 15 minutes up the road.  And that 3rd place was about 10 minutes up the road.

Knowing where everyone was and that I had Galveston the following weekend I thought I would run hard until the turn around and see how much ground I could gain.  At the turn around I was about 5 minutes down on 4th and 10+ minutes down on 3rd and I knew it only paid 3 deep.  I figured the odds were pretty good that 2 guys were not going to blow up.  I decided just to take it easy the last 2-3 miles, but continued to push on till that point.  I ended up running the last ½ mile with one of the sprint finisher who was struggling, but with a little motivation we made it across the line together.  The run course was one of the more difficult courses that I have raced on and I was happy with how my run went.

Overall I was happy with how the day went and was really happy with where my power was on the bike.  For this early in the season I can’t complain about how things went.  I think it was a great prep for Galveston and it will be interesting to see how back to back weekends of half IM’s go.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 27:57

Bike (56 miles)- 2:27:06
For the power gurus, Training Peaks file:

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:32:41

Total- 4:31:15 / 5th in Elite / 1st Amateur

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