It's all about me - Austin 70.3

So for six of the last eight weeks, Saturday morning has meant early to rise and get out to Decker Lake aka Walter E Long Park. The point was to support rides of the Longhorn aka Austin 70.3 course. The first week was an ultra slow as I marked the course with two construction paint sprays. These it turned out were a good investment, they lasted through to this week and were still pretty clear.

My times gradually got quicker as I became less and less a ride escort. Last week I was riding with two guys, a bit behind "resident pro triathlete" Tenille Hoogland and three or four other guys, next up came Ralph Stanley. Ralph started after us, and as he rode up, he asked if the fast boys were up front?  A quick acknowledgement and he was gone. I watched him go 50/100/200 yards ahead, and then I decided to chase. I never caught Ralph. I passed a couple of other guys, went as hard as I could but then on Littig, got separated from Ralph by a train, game over. When I saw Ralph after the ride, he said he was going to try to break 2-hour 30-minutes on race day. Which got me thinking.

And so it was I showed up early Saturday, well alright, I was almost late. Turned out some guy escaping from a Police chase decided to shoot himself at the junction of 290 and Riverside Dr. Anyway, once I got to the lake, I checked everyone had maps, made sure people knew about signs and the places to stop for fluids. I then announced that I was leaving and today was "all about me". I wouldn't be stopping helping, directing or otherwise doing anything for anyone else.

About seven of us left at the same time, there were maybe twenty to twenty five people in various stages of getting ready, including Natascha Van Der Merwe, I yelled you have 10-mins to catch me... and rode off. Up Decker Lane everyone was sticking with me, by the time we'd got to the SH45 toll road, it was down to two guys. They stuck behind me for another 15-miles, they passed me on the way up Taylor, but I re-passed at the top and then there was the sprint down to Littig, a fantastic downhill, cornering, flat session, I went flat out, as fast as I possibly could.

It showed,  just as I started to slow to turn onto Littig, I did something I've never done before, I lent to one side and puked. I'd gone so hard, the oxygen debt had caused my stomach muscles to cramp, I'd been unable to process what was left of my breakfast, there no choice but to eject it orally. I didn't slow much, but the next 5-miles were, despite the almost ideal conditions, were my slowest of the whole course, and then a map with the fastest 5-mile split. Still, I recovered and pushed on. 

I was out on my own now, my target time of 2:40 was looking a bit suspect with no one to chase or no one close enough to chase me. At 40-miles I still felt strong, I completed my 2nd fastest 5-mile split, I pushed on, coming through Weberville, I hit the wall, my energy was gone. I pushed on, kept standing to drive on, but I'd lost it. As I did the last section of Hog Eye and back to the park entrance, I watched my Garmin tick over 2:40 and I finished the course, as best you can, in 2:41:44, 20.2MPH average.

It's hard to see that I'll get under 2:35 by the end of the year, but I'm going to try.

Five Mile Splits

  • Current Location: Aust
  • Current Music: Top Gear 2010