My season is going well, after the somewhat disappointing Austin Marathon, which in retrospect is a relatively hard course, I had a reasonable CAP10k
on April 7th, and had a full week of training this week, I'd consulted with Brandon via email and we agreed ROTT Half
was a good structed, supported workout.
Come race morning it was obvious it was a small field. Given the first wave was the Open Division, all age group men, and the relays, it was a small field on deck for the start. Transition setup had been ideal for long course, a long run to the bike, and a long run from bike dismount. I favor these as they give you time to get used to your legs again and mentally prep for what you have to do.Swim: 40:32, 14th Overall, 1st Age group
The course was consisted of a 2-lap, 1.2-mile swim; 3-lap 56-mile bike; 2-lap 13.1-mile run. I'd checked the course maps, but yet again, failed to really understand what I had to do on the swim. It was a deep water start, I dived in and lined up where I thought I was clear from the field, and before we knew it we were off, I was literally at the back of the field. Once I worked out where to go, I picked my way through the field, after maybe 3-4 mins, I got swam into by a woman in a yellow cap who was flying, I assume this was Jen Rinehart from the times. I had a few problems with goggles/hat combinations and stopped a couple of times to correct; I was also concerned that I'd followed the crowd and they were wrong, but apparently not. I actually spent most of the swim with no-one to really sight off, the fast swimmers were gone and everyone else was behind me.T1: 2:18, 4th overall, 1st Age group
Straight out of the water to the wetsuit strippers, no problems, I'd also not had any noticeable problems with wetsuit rash, I heard Logan
do his usual "international superstar" description of me, but also say I'd had a good swim; I heade towards the bike, jammed my wetsuit and goggles in the back and really didn't have any trouble. A short run out to the mount line and I was on my bike with a smooth running mount. About 50-yards down the street I had to stop, I'd left my number belt hanging from the aero bottle cage. D'oh.Bike: 2:41:08, 13th overall, 2nd Age group
I was back into T2 in first, and to be honest had only been troubled by Dave Smith the winner of the 50-54 age group. The first two loops of the bike were not noticeably windy, and again, because of my position from the swim, I was largely staring at an empty road ahead. I did get passed by one woman, and a younger guy, and then there was David, we went back and forward on the final lap, although he ended with a faster time, I beat him in T2 by quite a bit, only to be passed shortly afterwards. The 2nd lap was much busier with the sprint and intermediate out on the same course. The third lap was definitely windier heading out of town, and I noticed my ability to keep a 19MPH average was harder, and I was struggling. Coming back into town I was marginally faster, but trying not to hammer the last part of the bike, and save my legs a bit. The road I thought was pretty bumpy, I hadn't remembered it being as bad last year. Feet out shoes, stopped on the dismount line and ran to my transition spot. Jim Counce, who would eventually beat me for the age group, came in 2:10-mins faster for the bike, but still behind on the course.T2: 1:42, 11th overall, 1st Age group
Running to my spot in T2 had its problems, you came in on the north west corner, my bike was racked on the south east corner near run out. I had to yell at some women "coming through", I'm not clear what they were doing, possibly sprint or intermediate finishers, as I zig-zagged through six-eight racks of bikes. I'd already decided on socks and lube, and the simple way was to take my shoes and stuff and run out. So my time is deceptive, as the first thing I did was sit on a post and lube my feet and put my socks and shoes on.Run: 2:44, 31st overall, 2nd Age group
Given my PR for the half marathon is just 2:04, I'm never going to be fast. My plan was to try and run the whole course. I struggled in a couple of places, on the 2nd lap, I had to walk from the last aid station to the turnaround point; and then back up to the aid station from the footpath that ran along the water. Probably about 400yds or so. Other than that I mostly jogged it. I stopped on the last aid station before the start of the 2nd lap, found a medic who helped treat an impending blister on
my left foot and dressed it. My legs actually felt pretty good heading out of town on the 2nd lap; it will be interesting to see my Garmin data. Heading back to the finish line was again another of those staring at no one parts of the race. I knew there was a relay entry and a bunch of other people behind me, but as far as I could see, no one in front. As it came to the final mile I pushed as best as I could and finished strong.Nutrition:
My nutrition plan worked out pretty well. Straight on the bike I had a honey stinger gel, then over the first 1 1/2 laps of the bike, I drank a 12oz bottle of 50/50 gatorade/water with 3x scoops of carbo pro, plus 1-full profile aero bottle of water; at the turnaround on the bike 2nd lap, I took my 2nd honey stinger gel; and collected another from the volunteers, same on the 3rd lap; also on the 3rd lap I drank most of my 2nd carbo pro bottle and another bottle of water; Out on the run I took my magic wongstar
running sticks, in one I had two pain killers, two ibuprofen, a honey stinger gel and gum; the other had salt tabs; honey stinger more ibuprofen and gum. I used used the first up at the first aid station and the second at the same aid station on the second lap. I grabbed four other gels at aid stations on the run as well as water.Summary
A great result for me, 18-minutes faster than my full half distance triathlon time. Why full half distance? On athlinks I have a time of 5:55, but that was 8-miles short on the bike. I got 2nd in my age group, which I ran hard for for the last 3-miles, which was encouraging. Only tainted by the fact I found out today, there were only two of us in the 55-59 Mens age group. The weather got up into the mid-80's. This morning I have distinct redness on my shoulders despite the liberal application of factor 50 sun block. Given the time I wasted during the swim, the long pause while I got my blister looked at, plus a couple of short walks, mean I should/could have gone under 6-hours. I'll be back at Kerville to try.