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Texas, United States
Welcome to my blog. What is a triathlon? It's a swim, bike and run usually in that order. My goal is to give exposure and insight to triathlons along with encouraging living a healthy life style. My post will also contain my collective thoughts pertaining to my training experiences. Feel free to send an email to ej@trilifeblog.com with any feedback or questions you may have. facebook: www.facebook.com/TriLifeBlog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cowtown, Bike Fit, Tri Season Opener...

Happy daylight savings time everyone! It’s going to take me a couple days to get used to this. I’m going to quickly touch on three items which have happened in the past couple weeks.

Cowtown! This event the event that got me started into endurance sports. Back in 2009 I did my first ½ marathon, Cowtown. Coincidently it was the first year of their 5 year finisher medal series which also helped me to come back each of the following years. As I sit her now keying up this blog entry it’s hard for me to believe I’m in my fourth season of endurance sports.

I’m very thankful for what the sport has done for me both mentally and physically. Yes, I will admit that I enjoy being as competitive as I can but, when all said and done I gain most of my satisfaction when seeing all the first timers out there as they embark on their journey to hopefully establishing a new and healthier life style.

The association between who we were when we started and where we are now can sometimes be overlooked and should not go unappreciated. I’ve been through and learned a lot since I started back in 2009. I’m grateful for being able to take that path and to be able to share what I’ve done and how to get there with others who may need that helping hand.

Cowtown this year went well. I enjoyed seeing the 5k and 10k events on Saturday as much as I enjoyed running the ½ marathon on Sunday. I was out there this year with the Texas Running Center. We were able to walk away with the 1st place team awards for the 5k and the ½ marathon. My hats go off to all who came out and showed the hard work we all put to get our team to that finish line.

I ended up with a PR on what I thought was a tough run. I was fortunate to PR by a minute as the route was hilly, windy and lonely. Yes, lonely. I made a mistake which I hope will help others out there. If you have opportunity to latch onto a pack making the fort to do so can save you energy and in the long run help your run time.

Often we think of drafting as related to cycling but, that’s not necessarily the case. We can legally draft during a run. Same concept as drafting on a bike works on a run. If you’re in a head wind and you are running with a group feel free to find a person to duck behind. The energy saved can make a difference.

Bike Fit! This was two years over due. I wanted to get a fitting last year before IM Florida but, I never acted on my want so it never did surface. This year I knew I had to get that fitting in. It had been two years since my last fitting. As we progress in the sport our bike positioning needs also change. I knew I was ready for a more aggressive position which would hopefully give me more power.

After calling around and talking to a few shops in the area I decided to go with Doug, over with Colonel’s Bicycles in Fort Worth. I got fitted 3 days before my first sprint triathlon of the season. I was a bit worried about doing a fitting right before a race but, this race was not an “A” race for me so I was able to let that fear go.

As Doug worked on getting me into the right position I was a bit upset at myself for not doing it sooner. I could already feel the difference in the new aero position. I didn’t quite know how that would transfer over to power but, I knew I was sitting in a more aero position and I was very comfortable. I couldn’t wait until Sunday to give the new position a go.

I walked out of Colonel’s with a sense of eagerness to get on my bike and ride. I felt like a child with a new toy who had to wait to open an play with it. J Looking at the forecast for the weekend I knew it the rain was going to be a coin flip.

St. Patrick’s Day Tri!  This was the season opener for many of the DFW area triathletes. There were over 600 registered and even with the rainy and cold temperature we had over 560 show up for the race. It was pretty incredible to see the inside of the natatorium filled all along the outer pool wall with triathletes ready to jump in and race.

I try my best not to put myself into situation where I can get injured. I thought twice about doing this even on Saturday as it wasn’t an “A” race and I didn’t want to risk injury for Galveston 70.3 coming up in April.

There was also the hour change that was taking place that weekend which caught me off guard. I knew it was coming and I still almost missed it. It was after 10 p.m. and I finally realized the time was going to change at 2 a.m. so my 10 p.m. was now 11 p.m. and I had to be up in less than 5 hours.

I was looking forward to seeing friends I had not seen through the off season. I decided to go out and enjoy the day as best as I could and to be as cautious as I could be while doing so. I’ve heard too many stories of people falling off their bikes in wet conditions and I did not want to be the next story.

Pre race announcements were made and the race officials made a decision to cut the bike course in half. I was a bit upset as I was counting on the bike to help me make up lost time on my weaker swim leg. On the flip side I was also a bit relieved because frankly I did not want to be out on the wet road. I wouldn’t have minded if they had extended the 5k to a 10k run. Now I would have been in favor of that decision. J

The race was over as quickly as it began. The 300 meter swim, 6 mile or so bike and 5k run made for a super sprint event. My swim went well. I felt faster than what my time showed but, it is what it is. Entering T1 I fumbled with my Garmin. I thought I had locked the display so I tried doing so with wet hands while it was raining. I finally told myself leave it and get going. My mental break down. In a sprint seconds count. I knew I had messed up.

The bike was blur. I had now idea how fast I was going or where I was. I had two goals on the bike. First goal was to be extra cautious to help avoid falling. I didn’t care if I almost came to a complete stop on the turn I was not going to slide off and fall down. My second goal was not to get passed.

About 3 miles in on the bike I got passed by a person climbing up a hill. He was as strong rider and was going to try not to let him get too far in front of me. He came down the hill and I noticed he wasn’t slowing down for the turn. I just felt he was going to fast and sure enough he tried to go wide around three other cyclists and ended up eating the pavement.

His bike went one way and he went the other. As I approached the turn he jumped up pretty quickly to try and grab his bike. That was a good sign for him as I knew he wasn’t seriously hurt. I’m sure he suffered some road rash. I never did see him again so he may have had bike issues after that fall. After seeing that wipeout I reinforced the slow down before each turn pre ride thoughts I had. I wanted to finish the ride safely and that’s exactly what I did.

T2 was tough. I lost some seconds as I had issues putting my shoes on as I found out my toes were numb. This is the second event where this has happened. I need to get this taken care of. I talked to a fiend of mine who said he always wears toe covers in these conditions. I’m going to have to go that route. I felt pretty good on the run. I had a slight calf cramp during the first ¼ mile of the run but, it went away.

The run is one of those areas where I feel I can push beyond my limit so the only limiter is me. If there isn’t anyone to run with I have to push myself. I feel I’ve not yet figured out how to push my own limits. One day I’ll figure that out.

I had two more goals on the run. One was to be safe and not to fall the second was not to get passed. I was able to complete both those goals. I was happy with the run and how I was able to finish it off.

The chip timing was a bit off. Results have been published but, I believe they are incomplete. I didn’t see the top 3 finishers on the online results. What I do know is that I finished with a time of 45 mins 42 seconds.

300 meter swim time: 5:56 (1:59 pace)
6 ish mile bike: 18:35  (21 mph)
5K run: 18:29 (5:48 pace)

I’ll take these results along with a safe finish. I had a great time out there seeing all my tri buddies. Next up is Galveston 70.3 on April 1st followed by Boston Marathon on April 16th.

Congratulations to all who raced today. A huge congrats to all the first timers out there who race Sunday morning. The conditions were tough so be proud you got out there and completed it. Your first one is now under you belt!

Thank you for reading this blog entry. As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.


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