I haven’t been jumping out of my pants (that was the best G-rated, slightly sexual, figure of speech I could think of) to write a race recap- probably because of how mundane my own race was. It's like going to an Atlanta Braves game; they won, but it was all base knocks with runners in scoring position. No cannon shot 500-foot homeruns, no diving over the wall robberies, no "Oh, doctor! You can hang a star on that one"’s. Nothing extraordinarily breathtaking happened. I was happy I accomplished what I went to Texas to do- win the overall amateur and post up a solid day. But something was missing, that feeling inside you get when you’re smashing down the barrier that you know so well and marching past it. That’s the feeling I live for, the reason I do anything, really. Progress is my drug- I crave the PR.
However, the season is early and there will be plenty of time to find that feeling and ring it out for all it’s worth. Until then, anticipation will just continue to build..
|Coronitas (post race)|
The trip to Texas was fun. The more I travel to the Lone Star State, the more I love it. Texas and I met in cold, thundering, rainy, windy, and sickening conditions. Since then, it’s done it’s best to change my feelings. I can’t deny how good the food is (sans Mexi food; SoCal still dominates that category), or the attitude of nearly everyone there. Example: that warm & welcoming southern hospitality or the redneck hostility towards outsiders like myself and my French travel companion, Jose Jeuland.
Flashback to USAT Collegiate Nationals 2 years ago- the UCLA tri team & I were on a casual run around Tuscaloosa- Alabama (I may or may not have been in a speedo), & had some leftover Hooters pitched at/on us by some redneck southern boys driving in their pickup.
|BBQ, 4 realz|
I appreciate cultural differences. Living here in health/endurance land (aka. Encinitas), I’m comforted to know that other parts of the world still view these fruitcakes running around in minimal lycra as anomalous (and occasionally treated with belligerence).
It’s a little frustrating to look at times and compare them to the top pros, which I undoubtedly did, but shouldn’t really do it. The Age Group race is completely different than the pros race, especially starting last, an hour and 30 minutes after they go off. Along with changing weather conditions (wind, heat), there’s also the constant swerving and meandering around people in front of you and the lack of faster guys around to judge your pacing.
That being said, I’m satisfied (for the most part) with my result. Quick note: Wow… epically fast guys in the 25-29 division! The top 5 amateurs were all under 29.
|Garmin, who's pushin who's buttons here?|
Pre-race: having an hour and 30 minutes to sit around before we started, I ventured into the Moody Gardens Aquarium and spent most of my time, fully entertained, in the Giant Sea Otter exhibit. Those dudes are AWESOME. Way cooler than run-of-the-mill sea otters. I also ate a few of my friend (and ridiculously fast cyclist), Jessica Cerra’s dark chocolate Fit Bars. If you haven’t tried one of these little dandies, you should; Immediate mood improvement.
Swim: A congested course, clogged up with floating “swimmers”, made for an irritating, stop & go style swim. I felt like I was swimming quick and efficiently, but there was just far too much circumnavigating to have a good time. There seemed to be a clamoring tea party at every buoy for some reason. (27:16)
Bike: I wish my power meter was working as well as my legs. It took a fair amount of button pushing & back-spinning to get a connection to my quarq.. I may as well have been sending out tweets and FB updates from the bike, with all the Garmin computer tinkering I was doing in the 1st 5 miles. I gave up on it and rode the course without any power numbers (which was a bummer, not able to fully gauge my effort on a flat and windy course). The course was flat, out and back along the coast with a lovely crosswind that only seemed to be growing as the day went on. Stupid me for only drinking 1 bottle while on the bike; I immediately regretted that decision when I started running & realized how thirsty I was. I need to work on my nutrition, that was a big fail. (2:11)
|Lap 3. Facial expression speaks for itself|
|Lap 1. Totally cool, I got this.|
Run: The course was another flat, 3-looper, with a ton of 180 degree out and back sections. Hit the first 4-5 miles around my goal pace of 5:45-5:50 and felt good. Towards the end of the second lap, it may have been a combo of nutrition, heat, motivation, & a side stitch, but things started to get slow and heavy. My pace dramatically slowed and I had to walk (alright.. jog) an aid station and regroup. I’m kinda proud I got my ish together and started running hard again. When things rapidly begin falling apart in a long course race, it’s hard to stop the bleeding, let alone turn it around and go faster. The last lap I held it steady around a 6:10ish pace. (1:19:06)
|Stickers, making any shirt a podium shirt.|
I’m really stoked for Jose, who had a great race and finished 4th overall and my good friend, Brannen Henn, finishing 4th in her AG with a smoking fast run split! Also, shout out to Tatiana Vertiz, who’s on the mend and finished without pain.
Gots to thank my boys (& girls) @ B+L Bikes for helping me out. I had a minor freak out sesh when building up my bike the day before the race and the Di2 decided to stop working. It took a little figuring out, but Kev talked me thru it over the phone and we got it dialed. Looking forward to having some fun & a little run redemption at the New Orleans 70.3 in less than 2 weeks (April 21); which, in all likelihood, will be my last race as an Amateur…
|Jose had a hard time containing his enthusiasm.|