Capital of Texas Triathlon race report

I've spent a massively long time thinking about Sundays CapTex triathlon, the result was a real disappointment. I guess I need to do less blogging and more swimming and running. I can take part in conference calls while running, not sure about the swimming.

Up at 5:30, drove down at 6:10, Cassidy dropped me off by WhataBurger; Walked straight into transition, mounted wheels, shoes, put down my transition towel, running shoes, hat and I was ready to race at 6:30. Nothing like leaving it late and being quick.

T0: As always, I'm staggered at the crap, huge bags, large plastic buckets and more that people bring into transition. Apart from a small towel, the only thing I left in transition was a small backpack, inside it had a spare hat, two wheel bags, my shorts and t-shirt. Confidence is knowing you have a plan, and sticking to it.

SWIM: After what seemed like an endless wait in hot conditions in the coral on the trail, we were into the water and off. I was one of maybe five in wave of maybe 45 that were not wearing a wetsuit. Initially the water seemed cold, but I was soon into my stroke, one guy persistently cut across in front of me, stopped, corrected and then swam back in front of me, I decided swimming to the left was in order. I had what I thought was a strong swim, I'd expected a time of around 27-minutes. So to find my time was 36:31 has left me wondering what happened. 25th out of 41 in my age group. Theres no way not having a wetsuit cost me 8-minutes.

T1: I was quickly out of transition, and boy was it a loooonnnnngggg run, up on South 1st Bridge feet in shoes OK, and off on my first lap. My T1 was pretty perfect and was in the top-10 overall and 2nd in my age group, although I didn't have a wetsuit to remove. 2:22

BIKE: I didn't really warm up to the bike until going down Congress on the 2nd lap or thats what I thought, I was storming down Congress and out on Chavez at 24-28MPH. The 2nd lap was still reasonably clear, the same couldn't be said for the 3rd lap, the road up Congress was busy, going around the back of Congress on San Jacinto at the left onto 15th St, I set my path for a wide corner, wide in, wide out and then as we started to go uphill, to pass two or three riders quickly.

Going into the corner, one of the guys I was planning to overtake, started to drifting right, forcing me to go right as well, I was going too fast to make a sharper left turn and he kept going, I missed the kerb and Median by about 6-inches, I lost my cool and yelled at the guy who'd drifted probably 20ft off his line.

Back going down Congress, I also passed at least two people essentially cycling  on their own, near the middle of Congress, as I passed one buy, I shouted "hey no problem, they didn't mean it when they said keep to the right". By the time I got out on Chavez I'd calmed back down and focussed on my race. The sharp turn around outside RunTex was great fun, a big crowd cheering and each time I came in fast and sprinted out. Like the Montreal triathlon, most were taking the corners wide, so it was easy to pass on the inside. Dismount went fine, although I had real problems with my shoes hitting the uneven ground still mounted on the pedals.
Bike time: 1:10:02, 21.2MPH, 10th out 41 in AG, 308 out of 1500 overall
Lap splits: 17:21, 19:14, 17:07, 17:01

Turns out that Lap-2 was my slowest lap, also shows that cycling is my best discipline, after transitions, and explains why I normally do better in longer races.

T2: I stumbled a bit trying to get my shoes on, and although I sprinted in and got out as quick as I could, I felt my time was a little slow. 2:07, 7th in AG about 14-seconds slower than I would have liked.

RUN: As soon as I was running I swallowed the two ibuprofen I'd stuck on the back of my race number, in hindsight I'm not sure why I did this. I used to do it to help with the pain from my knees and hips. Hopefully with the new shoe I wouldn't have so much, and didn't. Also 3-days later my legs feel good, my feet no so much. I had a series of small blisters, most of them rubbed right through by the finish. I'm starting to wonder if the ibuprofen actually has some impact on my mental state. I've never tried it while training, and don't take them any other time, except in races. I guess I need to stop taking then in races, and start trying them in training and see what happens in the pain and mental state.

I'm starting to feel that anything over sprint distance I go too hard on the bike. I don't really know how to measure this. In a sprint I go as fast as I can on the bike, and the run comes in close enough to a PR/PB that I've never thought about keeping a reserve, that has never happened in an Olympic or HIM race. And so it was, the first lap I was OK until going over congress bridge, when I started to tire. I walked the water station round on Nuches and had a problem getting back into my pace, walked the next water station and by the time I was past Jack and Adams on 2nd loop I was done. My run turned into the customary MC "shuffle".

Despite the new shoe, I had no spring in my calfs or quads, lifting each leg was an effort. It's really hard to believe I was just doing a 10k, I felt the same way I did at the Longhorn race last year. Determined to finish, I plodded along. On the 2nd lap I saw both cam_ray and whyiron, I suspect there were others out cheering and taking part, sorry if I missed you.

I tried to pick up the pace onto the finish line, but you can see from the finish line video, I just wasn't with it. Too much arms, not enough legs. Thrashing your arms side to side really doesn't make you go faster. Finish line video is here.
Run time: 1:11:75 31st in AG, 988 overall

Overall time:
3:03:02, 25th in AG, 671st overall out of some 1500.

T3: After the race - At least while I hung around there seemed to be plenty of pizza and drink options, although who knows by the time the bulk had finished; Transition opened promptly as promised at 11:30, by the time I got to my bike there was at least one guy claiming to have had his Cervelo P3 stolen, another had lost his race bag, and a 3rd said he had a towel and other items missing.

What I liked about CapTex: The volunteers were great as always. Having stood in the water helping out the swimmers at the AT swim last week, the thought of standing in Town Lake helping some 2000 athletes out must have been a real chore; All the water stations were great, as was the food and the finish line; shame the clock was stuck in the finish line videos. The ability to get a printout of your splits/times, very impressive; also you can't beat a big town triathlon for crowd encouragement all over the course, CapTex was great in that respect.

What I disliked about CapTex: No wave start times in the race pack, no maps in the race pack, swim course wrong in the online packet(this caused mega discussion and confusion Saturday afternoon in transition; ground for A/B/C waves transition area pretty uneven, muddy and small rocks; very long run to mount line; bike course after first two laps jammed with triathletes wandering all over the road, terrible cornering skills; straw bales on the corner of Congress and Chavez should have been in the middle of the course or the other side by the bridge,where they were they were just in the way; no porta-potties on run course, in a big city finding somewhere to pee was a problem...

Full Results here.
Considering you're not one who is just "happy to finish" I think you did well :)
Thanks, its hard to come in almost 1/5th slower than your PR and still enjoy it!