Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tom Landry Triathlon Race Report

I raced in the Tom Landry Sprint Triathlon this past weekend. This was the first tri I ever competed in 3 years ago so it's fun to go back do the race each year. This year was even better because many of my training partners and frieds were at the race (a contigent of about 10 folks). I told myself to approach this race a little differently than others. I have trained a great deal for the endurance aspect of Ironman racing but this would be Sprint race. I past years I did not have quite the level of endurance I currently possess. Therefore I decided to race this Sunday "all out." I planned to have nothing left at the end. I the past I always saved a little on the bike because my running was the weakest aspect of my race (still is by the way).

Woke up at 4:45 am and ate my standard bowl of oatmeal, banana, and 16 oz of water. Arrived at the race site by about 5:40 am and people were just starting to trickle in to the venue. Got body marked and had the obligatory bike check performed. Found a great spot on the end of the designated bike rack and set up my bike and other equipment. I had a good time wandering around and visiting with other friends. It's also fun to look at all the amazing bikes people bring to the race. There are guys out there with rear wheels that cost more than my entire bike. Of course those are the guys you try and beat just for fun.

After wandering around for 15 minutes I had to use the bathroom and found my way over to the Port-O-Lets. Somehow I managed to not lock the door properly and some guy opened it up as I was getting re-dressed. I didn't really care but he was certainly shocked and embarrassed. Got in a quick swim warm up then the waiting began. Lots of people were late and the race was not going to start on time.

Finally, at about 7:15 am the first swimmer entered the water. This race is a tough one because the swim takes place in the pool. You have to go down and back the lane then cross under the lane line and do the same thing in the next lane. You basically "snake" your way across the pool. As usual people fudged their swim entry times and bottlenecks immediately arose. Rather than letting the faster swimmer(s) pass these folks just kept on going. At one point I was stuck behind 3 other swimmers. Thats when things tend to get ugly. There is foot pulling, kicking, name it; whatever it takes to get ahead of the slower swimmer in front of you. After clawing my way ahead of these guys I had a pretty open swim for the final 150 meters. Touched the wall and jumped out to a final time of 6:14 (about 6 seconds faster than last year). Without the traffic I should have been able to go about 5:50.

Headed to the transition area and quickly put on my socks and bike shoes. Next came the sunglasses and then the helmet. My helmet didn't seem to be fitting properly. That's probably because I had it on backwards. Fortunately I discovered my mistake and turned it around before heading out on the course.

The bike course was a two loop distance 15.5 miles. I felt fast. My legs were making circles and I was in my big ring and powerful gears. Unfortunately the road surface was a mess and I was getting thrown all over the place. People were losing water bottles out of their cages. Many of the bumps were on the roads that passed under the highways so they were in the shade and you couldn't see them until you felt them. Despite these challenges I found the course to be fast. I got into a duel with a guy riding a beautiful Kestrel Talon with a Zipp disc wheel in the rear and a Zipp 606 on the front. He and I battled back and forth for about 10 miles. It felt good to pass a guy riding a bike with a back wheel that cost more than my entire bike cost. Unfortunately with about 1.5 miles to go he pulled away and made it into transition ahead of me. However, I was ecstatic about my bike ride. I averaged 23.5 mph (a new personal best). Best of all, I still felt like I had alot of energy left for the run.

I made it into T2, changed into my running shoes, and off I went. The first 1/2 miles felt fast. My legs were still strong and knew they could carry me home. Miles 1 and 2 were a little slower than I wanted (or at least they felt that way). At mile 2.5 I got caught by Kyson (training partner). He was flying as usual. At mile 2.75 I caught a couple guys and then made the final turn for home. Overall the run felt okay but I found out later it went alot better than I thought.

Final finishing Time: 1 hour 9 min 33 seconds.
Swim time: 6:13
Bike Time: 39:23 (average 23.5 mph)
Run time: 21:22 (6 min 54 sec per mile)

I was amazed. This was my fastest 5K run ever. I have never broken 7 minutes per mile...and this was after hammering on the bike for 40 minutes.

Overall, I was quite happy with the race. I ended up placing 13th overall (out of 425 people) and was 6th in the 30-39 year old age group. If they had done the age groups correctly I would have been 3rd in the 30-34 year old age group. Too bad, I would have liked to get a trophy to give to Rachel. Maybe next year. This race was a huge boost to my confidence. Next stop: Lake Placid. Back to endurance training.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great race report. Although if I was flying your were definately speeding over the limit!. I had you in my sights for almost 2 miles but couldn't catch you because you were cranking out the miles. Great things are in store for you at IMLP. KMJ

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:17 AM  

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