Thursday, October 31, 2013

Experiencing the Weird in Austin

Noisy on your eyes, quiet on your ears.
Last week I traveled back to Austin TX with hopes as big as the guts of faithful Wataburger customers. After a nails race here last year (7th overall) and a solid race at the Texas 70.3 at the beginning of this year (knocking out a 4:02), I was eager to get back to the Lone Star State & dig in the spurs to crank out more Tejas horsepower.

Melvin's food truck dude laughed when I asked for that 
I convinced my mom & sister to come out with me and experience the brilliance of Austin because the city is genuinely interesting & quirkily oddball.  We invaded Brian Wrona’s new Austin pad while he was, ironically, on a trip back to the west coast. Can’t thank you enough, Brian- & I really hope you relish those new lima bean colored sheets & harvest emotional & physical warmth in the awful discounted Dallas Cowboys & Christmas blankets we left you with. I was also jazzed that a bunch of great friends from the good part of California came out to race & explore Austin. Most of the fun was adventuring with friends, post race. I will say, for as artistically cultured and grandiose the coffee shops, restaurants, boutique shops, food trucks, and festivities are... San Diego has the Austin craft beer scene beat by miles. Though, Craft Pride on Rainey Street is pretty dope, 1 or 2 good Austin bars don’t touch the legion of craft beer bars and breweries that SD has.
"I hear the 1 on the right unravels in the playoffs" - Wrona

Turned out, a good grip of pros showed up to race. I was actually kinda happy about that because it just meant that there’d be more people to ride with coming out of the swim; anything to keep the competitive fire burning. I was (/am) mega confident in my running, at the moment, so I wasn’t too concerned about losing too many battles off the bike.
Momers & I about to tackle some BBQ
The Race.

The swim was ok but fairly unexciting & expected. I gotta get better at being more aggressive in the opening 4-500 meters. I watched the men’s 25 minute pack put a tiny gap on the dude’s feet I was sitting on, around 5ish minutes in, and knew I missed the boat. Sat comfortably in a group of 3 or 4 and came out of the water, mid 26 minutes, feeling fresh.

Cool slice in the front tire (right); rear tire, thx 4 icing the cake
It had been raining that night/morning & I rode a slightly lower air pressure in my tires so I wouldn’t be sliding around on corners & turns (& just as I typed that out, realized that may have been part of the cause of my flats). On the bike, I was excited to find 5 or 6 guys, right away, to pace with/off.  Not even 12 miles in, I heard that stomach sinking sound of “pppssssttttwwwshwwwwsshhhwwwssshhh” and a thumping front end of my bike. “Rad”, I didn’t even bring Vittoria Pit Stop. I sat on the side of the road for 5-10 minutes before a photographer motored over to me and called the tech support to come my way. A wheel dude showed up sometime later & just gave me a new front wheel to ride so I could at least finish the bike. I was pretty pissed but at least I could spin back and knock out a gnarly fast run split. At mile 48, I saw a female pro on the side of the road, walking her bike with a flat (I saw a lot of flats). Just as I was thinking, “man.. flat city today” I heard that damn sound again “pppshshffffftttttssssshhhtttwwww” (that’s my best recreation of the sound I can scribe out for you, but anyone who rides a bike knows it); this time it was my rear disc (tubular tire). All you can do is shake your head and laugh at that point; merely getting back to the transition wasn’t even doable anymore. My day/last couple months of racing had just become a comedy. Sitting on the side of the road (no less, directly in front of a Donut shop, with no money.. that’s just cruel), at least I had company with my new friend, Ewa Bugdol, the female pro who flatted in the same spot I did- she was in 2nd at the time.. that blows.

I was upset, but got over it. That’s racing, I guess. Good days and bad days.. blah blah blah. Nothing is sure in sports; just by putting in endless hours suffering in training each week doesn’t guarantee results.. & good results aren’t always achieved by endless hours of training (most of the time they are, however..)

Ironworks BBQ
My triathlon season is over, but I'll jump into a running race or two before I completely pull the plug on my fitness for the year. I love triathlon; & as I was recently reminded by my good friend, Bill Jones, I do it because I have fun & find thrill of racing to be unparalleled. I’m already looking forward to building for next year, being my 1st full season racing professionally, but I think a break is overdue & well needed.
 fairly standard snapchat

I just want to thank my sponsors for believing in me and supporting my crazy racing addiction thru the ups and downs this year.. B+L Bikes, Stone Brewing Co., & of course, my radical parents & family. & my friends for tolerating my incessant barrage of snapchats.

Addendum: I’d like to give a shout to a new sponsor for next year, Harmony Bars. These little squares of goodness are so bomb you can taste the awesome!! Once Jess brought 2 trays of her White Chocolate Coconut Blondies to a party and I’m pretty sure I ate the 1st tray by myself before others even realized they were out.. (gluten/soy free). Check em out!

Charisa & Jen with no regrets.
Downtown Austin from SoCo... right after a man, solely wearing a thong, rode across on a beach cruiser.