So thats another sign of getting old. This sort of thing just doesn't happen when you are in your 20's and 30's. As much as I rolled around, used my TP massage ball I couldn't get it to disengage. Cr@p. I really didn't want to miss the race, my training had gone well, and this years problems all started in the lead-up to the Spring triathlon at Aquarena springs, and I'd missed that.
Come race morning my glute was still tight, it was painful to stand up straight, but felt ok laying flat on the floor, and with my legs bent. So I set off for the race. I got my bike racked and set-up and spent ages rolling around on the narrow carpet that they'd laid from the swim exit back to transition. I clearly wouldn't be running on that, it would make the run maybe 25yds longer and there would be a backlog.
Tri's at the springs use a timetrial start. That is, they put athletes in the water one every 3-seconds. When I'd raced there 2-years ago they'd mostly put people in the water in numerical order, and the numerical order was most by age group. So you had some idea where you were starting in your age group and just had to improve relative by your start number to make a race of it. Sadly not this time, the start was chaos with people just randomly starting when they wanted.
They had electronic timing, so the times would be accurate, but I had no idea where I was relative to my age group. A few of us from my age group waited until about the time we should have started, making fun of the guy with the dive snorkel, which yes, is allowed by USAT rules.
I had an ok swim, non-wetsuit as the time gained would be easily offset by time taking it off, a sprinted directly into transition and out with no problems, my swim time of 12:48 was about a minute off the pace, and annoyingly, somehow the lead pair in my age group had 20-seconds on my 45-second T1 time, how'd that happen?
I passed a few people including tripam, who then passed me again while I struggled to get my right foot into my shoe within the first mile, but then it was a heads down blast on the bike which is mostly an out and back. I really pushed hard and by the end of the bike was pleased to find myself cruising back into Aquarena Springs at 26+ MPH - At this point I'd over taken 48 on the bike and been overtaken by no one.
I ended with a 38:12 bike, which was 4th in age group, and would have been top-3 in most other male age groups. T2 was 42-seconds, almost a minute faster than anyone else in my age group and 2nd fastest overall.
Out on the run I managed the slightly elongated 3.5 miles, the first mile was flat and then the second mile straight uphill, about 1/3 of the way up I saw Joe, and it looked like I could catch him. I pushed on, behind me was some scary running monster, really deep breathing and every foot was hitting the floor like he was trying to get to Australia... I caught Joe, and tried to pass with a slap on the back and a "come on Joe"... and he did, he passed me back, I struggled to stay with him and then he was gone. Next up the scary running monster passed, it was some lanky 14yr old kid, also gone.
What goes up must come down. As we went off down hill, through the trail, I got passed by one and then a second guy from my age group, but because of the start, I had no idea if they were faster or slower than me. I pushed to the finish and had only been passed by 8 people, which is pretty good for me.
My run time was 27:26, pretty good for me given my 5k PR is still 24:08. Especially good given the hill. Sadly though, its not good enough for the age group and was almost a full 6-minutes slower than the winner. I got 5th in age group of 14, 22nd male out of 132, and 23rd overall out of 218.
Total time: 1:19:53.00.
While waiting around for the awards, with Moxie Multisport Austin friend Nicole Smith, who grabbed 2nd in her age group, I was musing that my time this year would have won me the 55-59 age group, so next year I'll be home and dry. Only when they announced the awards did I learn that 2nd overall male was 57-year old Jack Alexander and Jack beat me by over 12-minutes. No amount of winter run training is going to fix that.
500M Swim: 12:48, 5th Age group, 32nd overall
T1: 45-seconds, 5th Age group, 24th overall
14-mile bike: 38:12, 4th Age group, 11th overall
T2: 42-seconds, 1st Age group, 2nd overall
3.5-mile run: 27:26, 7th Age group, 68th overall
Next up Kerrville Sprint Triathlon