After my good swim on Saturday, in which I was relatively fast and enjoyed, I decided like all the other lemmings, I'd wear my wetsuit and thus, I'd be faster. When I jumped in the water, I couldn't believe how buoyant I was, it took me a good 3-mins to adjust my kick and to get into my swim after the horn went off. The bay was salt water, and despite having covered my self in sun screen and then a ton of coccoa buddy butter, by the time I was half way along the long stretch of the course, I could feel my neck chaffing. It just got worse to the point of distraction.
As I came into the swim exit chute I was so glad that was over, I struggled to get the zip undone while running, the wetsuit strippers were quick, but, as it would turn out later, I'd rather had had people applying sunscreen. Into transition and I fumbled around putting energy bars into my desoto short pockets, I grabbed the bike and turn to run and the bands came off which meant my shoes were dragging, but I still made a decent exit and mount.
Out on the bike I'd decided to go for an average of 19MPH on the first 26-mile lap, and then gun-it on the second lap. The first lap was ok, getting out toward the 10-mile mark I felt uncomfortable and decided to stop at the aid station for a bathroom break, first time ever in a race and I have to say I felt better and stronger and I was pushing on when I heard that noise again, "swoosh, swoosh, swoosh" and Simon Lessing went flying by. I was was a bit gutted really, although he'd done the shorter swim, he started 30-mins after me. Through the turn-around and back along the sea road I was going ok, after about 20-mile I came across one of the TXIron guys, I passed him, he passed me back and then I passed him again for what I was sure was the last time.
When I got to the turn around it wasn't a straight turn, I paused and freewheeled not wanting to end up back in transition, when I should have been back out on the road, the TXIron guy went buy, I sprinted after him and yelled "are you doing the half? Where do we turn around?" - back near transition came the answer.
But, back out on the road he passed me again, and that was almost the last I saw of him. I struggled down the out, having to stop again for a "break", and again I was better/stronger afterwards. As I approached the final turnaround, the lightbulb came on in my head. I needed to get a move on, I was way behind my schedule.
I'd probably managed 19MPH for the first 28-miles, I'd struggled and was probably down to about 16MPH for the 14-miles out, I picked it up and never dropped below 20MPH for the 14-miles back, but never caught the TXIron guy. Coming into T2 trying to do a running dismount I was stiff, my managed to get my leg over the saddle, but only just. I stopped at the aquabike table, handed in my chip, collected my goodies, went back to my transition space, racked the bike, put my shoes, number and hat on and went for a run. I did the first 3-miles of the run course and just as I rounded the corner by registration, there was whyiron, and a gap in the fence. I stopped had a chat and went to get some food.
I got some food and sat down and had a chat with Simon Lessing, who's next race is St Croix, and who said he was looking forward to developing his coaching business and said that he wish he'd kept some memorabilia from his younger days, now his kids were just getting old enough to appreciate what "dad did". I know Simon's a closet clearer, as last year he sent me all his tri dubai kit when their sponsorship folded, and I auctioned it for athletes for a cure! I'll can save the day Simon, I'll send you the 1993 Official British Triathlon Handbook, which has a picture of you on the front with your World Champions vest on, and if I'm not mistaken a small gold earing. Nice!
I had a quick chat with alkaloids who came 2nd in the 25-29 quarter iron distance, and then I collected my gear from transition, packed up and left, heading for the nearest Starbucks for a grande americano to give me the impetus to drive back to Austin. I stopped at the CVS to pick-up some creame for my neck and after sun spray for everywhere else.
Analysis: I was a long way from being fit for the bike, possibly over hydrated, and I certainly wasn't in any shape to do the run after the bike. I'd somehow managed to over-hydrate, and as it turned out, the salt water in my wetsuit had not only managed to rub my neck raw, but my arms, shoulders were also sun burned. Not a pleasant day in the office. Looking at the full half results, if I'd have entered, and completed the course between 6:15-6:30 which for me is do'able, I dropped out of Long Horn because I wasn't going to be sub 6hrs, I'd have podiumed really in my age group. 3rd Place was 6:33 - You've got to be in it, to win it.
Swim: 40:31, 15th Aquabike, 3rd in Half Iron age group
T1: 2:26, 6th Aquabike, 3rd Half Iron age group,
Bike: 3:09:00 17.8 MPH, 19th Aquabike, 3rd Half Iron age group
Next up: Texas State Sprint Triathlon, April 13th San Marcos - could this be a win ?
Need to take my running gear to Peru if I want to have any chance!(OH yeah baby, altitude training)