February 19 2012, Texas Motor Speedway was the scene for the 2012 Duathlon Regional Championship event. Always a great venue and always attracts fast cats. The race format
is a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike and 2 mile run. Jack with Ironhead Race Productions along with Raul with Run Far put on another flawless race.
Entries to the event were up by almost 70 participants over last year’s numbers. The field was stacked th
is year with top notch athletes. Taking the overall win was ITU pro William Huffman who turned in a 5:05 pace, 24.6 mph and 5:02 pace for h is splits. Michael Wilkinson, a college athlete from Texas A&M took second. A Stefan a power house cycl ist out of smashed the bike averaging 27 mph took 3rd overall. Korey Sessions a local triathlon prodigy, Patrick Schuster (IM Texas 2011 amateur Champion) and Ben Drezek another heavy hitter rounded up the top 6 spots. Austin, TX
I was happy to be back out competing th
is morning. I was able to see lots of friends who I had not seen over the off season. I’m still training for and though I didn’t taper for th Galveston is event I always put forth my best effort.
It was 40 degrees driving out to TMS th
is morning and it was hard for me to find motivation. Thoughts of the cold were in my head. I do not like riding my bike in the cold. I played some music on the way to the venue to try and get me going. I arrived at TMS and it was pitch dark. First event of the year and I didn’t want to be late. I was there early enough to be able to rack my bike where I wanted.
Now I had about an hour and a half to burn. I went back to my car and rested for about 30 minutes before heading back to transition. I probably made three trips back and forth to my car because I either forgot something or was indec
isive about what I should wear. I did trail raced just last week in 27 degree weather so I knew the run would not be a problem. The bike is what I was worried about.
Twenty minutes before start time I went and ran a quick mile to try and warm up a bit before the race start. Fin
ishing my run I decided to forgo my gloves and keep my Under Armour shirt on for the first leg of the run and the bike. I figured if I got hot I would through take it off for the third leg of the race.
Jack called the first wave up to the line and then played the national anthem. At the end of the anthem the crowd and athletes cheered an applauded. A switch went on at that time and for the first time I felt ready to race. It’s an odd but, welcomed feeling. I went from no want or motivation to a “lets do th
is”. I finally felt ready and focused.
Jack sent off the first wave and the second wave, which I was in moved up onto the line. I saw a few familiar faces but not many. Some of the faces I knew and raced with were in another age group. Ben was in my wave so I knew I wanted to either be at h
is hip on the run where he would push me or I would push him.
We were off and in a blink of an eye about 20 guys jumped in front of me. I’m still have a problem with my right upper groin area so it’s hard for me to push off during the start of the race but, once I’m up to speed I’m fine. The 2 mile course leaves out of one of the parking garages and heads on over to the an inner track which
is a little less than one mile long.
Once we made our way onto the inner track I was able to get a hold of my stride and started to move up. I wore a Garmin but th
is year I’m forcing myself not to look at it. I want to be able to go and not hold myself to a pace. I was able to fight temptation for the first leg. There was a front runner then Ben and I. We flipped flopped places once or twice during the first two miles sitting in 2nd and 3rd place in our wave.
As we approached the transition area someone yells at Ben and I “Great job guys now no drafting off each other out there”. Ben looks over to me and asked, “What was that all about?” I was also clueless as Ben and I don’t train or ride together. Ben’s also stronger on the bike and I knew there was a slim chance I’d keep up with him.
We’re in T1 and quickly make it out onto the bike course. I had a slow transition but, it wasn’t bad. Ben and a few others were able to head out before I could. Getting onto the bike area I knew it was going to be cold but, didn’t account for how cold. The 15 mile course looped the TMS parking lot three times.
My first loop went ok I was happy but, knew I could push better and harder. I just could not warm up enough to get going. It’s just one of those things. Everyone has to deal with it and I knew I wasn’t the only one. During my first loop Stefan (27 mph avg) blew right by me as if I were standing still. Made it look so effortless.
Onto my second loop still not feeling all that warmed up in fact that’s when I started feeling how really cold it was as my sockless feet were freezing. Toes were like ice that’s when I knew I should have worn socks. Nothing I could do about it now I must push forth. Half way into my second lap Korey also blew by me. Good to have th
is experience because it gives me reason to work and push harder. Seeing other people able to kill the bike like they did makes me believe I can get there and I hope I do some day.
I was on my third lap and almost freaked out as I was second guessing myself as to how many laps I’ve put in. All I could think of
is Jack saying in h is pre race meeting, “If you can count to 3 you’re set.” I’m glad I had my Garmin on and had a d istance on d isplay. It helped me realize that I was on lap three. J
Coming into T2 I started to get out of my shoes so I could d
ismount. It’s something I did all last year without any issues. Th is was the first time my feet were as cold as they were and I had major issues getting my feet onto the shoe once I slipped out of them. I almost bit it coming into a tunnel area.
Entering T2 I quickly put my bike on the rack and grabbed my shoes but, again I had
issues. My feet were cold and numb and it took and extra couple seconds to get them on. I ran out of T2 and began the last leg of the race. There were two miles to go.
I knew a couple of people had passed me out on the bike and I was hoping to real some of them in on the run. It was time to push but, at the same time I could not feel my toes or my balls of my feet. It was a different feeling. I was going and in stride but, could not feel my feet hitting the floor. I heard foot steps about a ¼ mile into the run. They were hard and heavy foot steps. About ¾ mile into the first lap I was passed up by the foot steps it was a young lady and she was working the run hard. I was impressed with her effort and pace. I decided to stick at her hip and follow her around as she was moving at a good clip and I had a gut feeling that she would push me.
As we started the second loop we came upon an Aggie athlete. He shared a quick comment with the young lady. At that point I knew they were both in the 3rd wave. The Aggie passed me on the bike and the young lady passed me on the run. I was in a real comfortable stride at th
is point so I just hung in behind them. I glanced at my Garmin and saw we were moving at about a 5:30 pace. With about ¼ mile left to go I decided to test the waters and begin a kick.
The young lady fell of pace a bit but, the Aggie stuck at my hip. We turned out of the inner track area and headed for the fin
ish. Let’s go I was ready to kick it up another notch. I knew he was ahead of my on time but, I wasn’t going to just let him have the run. My kick held him off as he fell off about 30 feet before the fin ish line.
is is the second time th is year I’ve had what I’d like to call run duals. I enjoyed them both. Makes me push to a level I know I would not go to if there wasn’t someone there next to me. I look forward to more of these as the season progresses.
When all was said and done I hit a PR by a little over 3 minutes and through I was faster th
is year I only moved up one place in the overall ranking. There was a much faster group th is year. I also moved up a place in my age group. Here are some stats from my race th is morning. I’m happy with the overall result. Though I felt slow on the bike I was 1.2 mph faster than last year so I can’t complain.
Next week my training continues. I’m signed up to run the Cowtown ½ marathon. I’m going to also train through th
is event but, as usual I’ll push hard and leave it all out on the course.
Again it was great seeing all of you guys out there today. For those who m
issed th is event it’s a must do. Put it on your calendar for next year. You actually do not have to wait till next year as Ironhead hosts a similar event at th is venue in November called Bronda’s Du.
Age Group 2nd (35-39)
Leg 1 - 2 mile Run: 10:49 (5:25 avg pace – 9th fastest overall run)
T1: 56 sec
Leg 2 - 15 mile Bike: 42:36 (22.5 mph – 37th fastest overall bike)
T2: 59 sec
Leg 3 - 2 mile Run: 11:21 (5:41avg pace – 7th fastest overall run) neg split on 2nd mile (5:31 pace)
Chip Time: 1:06:43
Thank you for reading th
is blog entry. As always feel free to email me with any questions or comments you may have.