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LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 13m 5s
Overall Rank = 284/1929
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 17/124
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Austin on Friday afternoon. Checked into the hotel. Hit the expo and packet pickup. At the expo I bought a Zoot speed suit because I thought this would be a 'no wetsuit' race. It was a good deal; 40% off and I had been looking at them for a while.

Saturday we went to the Jack and Adams pancake breakfast. Met up with several BT'ers - Jen, Brittney, JD, Jim, Marcy, Steve. After that Michele and I went for a run in the park. I ran about 20', she ran for about an hour. Then back to the hotel. Loaded up and headed to the race site. First up, swim the course. I swam in the speed suit to try it out. Oh, on Saturady morning we learned that the race was wetsuit legal. Then tried the wetsuit. Wetsuit wasn't too hot so decied to race in the wetsuit (even though I had just spent money on a speed suit).

After swimming I broke out the bike to practice transitions. Scoped out the swim in and bike in / out paths. Rode out toward Qaudzilla and back. I needed to refresh my memory on the bike-in area. Decided I needed to get out of my shoes on the section of road running along the fence and before the right turn to the park. Did this a couple times. Checked my bike into transition. Then scoped out the swim in, run out, bike out/in and finish line.

Saturday night, ate at the BT dinner at Romeo's. Pasta. Didn't sleep at all that night. Not sure why, but just couldn't fall asleep.

Sunday - race day. Up at 4 am. Breakfast - cliff bar, Ensure, OJ, coffee ~600 calories. Sipped on a bottle of GU2O - 150 calories. Arrived at the race site at about 5:30. In transition about 6 am. Set up transition. Made my way to the swim start.
Event warmup:

No warm up. I like to have a swim warm up. But since I was in wave 13, a warm up would have meant standing around wet and getting even colder than if I didn't warm up. Had an Espresso GU about 20 minutes before my wave.
  • 26m 44s
  • 1658 meters
  • 01m 37s / 100 meters

Goal time: 35:00

Started in the 13th wave to the right of the bouy line and in front row. Planned to breath left, sight on other athletes for 200 m and drift to the left where I thought the lead guys would be. Then sight ahead and hopefully still be with the lead pack and catch a draft. Nice plan but it didn't work that way. Sighted and saw several of yellow caps ahead. From here I just tried to find a draft. I did hook on to a guys hip all the way to the first turn bouy. Made the turn about 15' outside the bouy missing the congestion at the turn. (Why do so many think you have to turn tight around the bouy?) Both turns were perfect and I never missed a stroke in the turn. On the long straight I started running into previous wave traffic. No problems here. Just sighted well and swam around them. Made the final turn same as the first; never missed a stroke. I did drift to the right of the bouy line coming into the finish. Swam until my hand hit the sand. Stood up and ran. Looked at my watch and saw 27:00. What? Awesome. As I ran up to T1 I thought to myself 'No way. Something is wrong. No way I swam 27:00'. As we all know now, the course was short.

Even if I add say 4' for the short course, I think I still swam under my goal time.
What would you do differently?:

Be more aggressive on the swim. Try to stay with the lead pack. Sometimes I feel like I didn't swim hard enough.

Of the 15 guys who beat me overall, I beat 7 of them out of the water. I've never thought of myself as that strong of a swimmer. Guess I'm getting better.
Transition 1
  • 02m 54s

Goal time: 3'

I had previously scoped out transition. My rack was very close to the bike out. Being in the 13th wave meant I would be getting on the bike at the same time as the slowest swimmers in the previous waves. That meant lots of congestion at the bike mount line. So, I decided to forego the flying mount/shoes on the bike thing. Wetsuit off easily. Quick wipe of my feet. Shoes/helmet/glasses on and running.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. My wetsuit was stuck on my heels for a second. More Triglide on my heels.

Of the 15 guys that beat me overall, I beat 8 of them in T1.
  • 2h 41m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.80 mile/hr

Goal time: 2:40:00

The favorite..

I had previously ridden the course in training. Glad I did.

The passing party started. Being in the 13th wave meant lots and lots of other athletes to pass. I never stopped passing people the entire ride.

The first 10 miles my HR was high; like in the 160s. I kept telling myself to calm down, settle into a rhythm. Didn't work. Eventually I was able to settle down, but it seemed like 30 miles into the ride before I felt in control and riding comfortably.

Remember the 7 guys I beat out of the water? They passed me in the first 10 miles. And I mean came flying passed me. I didn't even try to use them in the legal draft. There was one guy who passed me and who was in my AG that I was able to hang onto. He and I leaped frogged for most of the ride.

I don't remember seeing too many BT'ers. Saw Marcy. Almost ran into to her at an add station (sorry).

The ride was going well until about mile 40. There my stomach started to rebell. I was sipping Infinite and taking a GU on the hour. That's what I had done in training and it seemed to work then. I knew the feeling. So, lowered the intensity, stopped taking in any nutrition and grabbed some plain water at an aid station. After a few miles my stomach felt better. Started back on the Infinite.

The hills and the wind didn't bother me much. I had a 12/27 cog set. Used the 27 a couple times on the hills. Stayed aero the entire ride except for the numerous turns.

A funny thing I saw...a bunch of water bottles and yellow poofy things in the road. I knew there had to be a bump in the road. I stood on the pedals and sure enough a big bump. It was shaded and you couldn't see the bump. All those behind the seat bottle holders were launching water bottle missles.

Finally came to Quadzilla. Climbed it and headed for T2.

Nutrition- 2 bottles of Infinite, 2 GU. Total 750 calories.
What would you do differently?:

Not start out so hard. My HR was too high in the beginning. Settle down and build speed through out the ride.

Change up my training. I don't do enough training at or above race pace. When I think about my training rides they seem to be kind of in a moderate zone, neither hard nor easy, but still in z2. Something to work on next season. Incorporate more hill training.

Of the 15 guys who beat me overall, I beat only 2 on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

Goal time: 2'

Good dismount. Ran straight to my rack. Socks and shoes on. Grabbed hat/GU/glasses and running.
What would you do differently?:

Not much except move faster.

Of the 15 guys who beat me overall, I beat 7 in T2.
  • 1h 59m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 10s  min/mile

Goal: 1:49:00

The first mile had me really concerned. My legs didn't want to turnover and my HR again was too high. Then my quads started cramping. I've never ever had cramps of any kind. This was wierd. Popped 3 endurolytes at the next aid station (should have taken the Advil too). That helped and I settled into a pretty decent run.

I ran all of the first lap except to drink a the aid stations. At about mile 2 I started seeing BT'ers. This was cool. I saw Todd about to be chicked by his very speedy wife Jenny. Saw Brittney looking very strong. Except for the first mile, the first loop was a pretty decent run. The first loop seemed to go by very fast. I guess all the spectators and people on the course make the time and miles fly by.

The first part of the second loop wasn't too bad either. I was definitely hurting. My quads were hammered by the hills. I was trying to negative split and run the second loop faster. All was going well. Got to mile 9 and looked at my watch. 40 minutes to get to the finish line and I'll beat my 5:10 goal. So, I picked up the pace some. At mile 10 I told my self only a little 'ole 5k left. That's about when I felt like I needed the port o let bad. I started walking hoping the feeling would pass. About this time John passed and said "Stay strong". That was the inspiration I needed. Started running again. Ran to Quadzilla and did my best to run up it. Made it half way and had to walk. A little while later I saw 5:10 go by. New goal - sub 5:15. Kept on running. Passed Mike (ABQkid). I said looking good. I think he said finish strong. It's all a blur. Hit the finish chute. Held up hook'em horns and finished.

Nutrition: 2 GU and gatorade, coke, as needed from aid stations.
What would you do differently?:

Need more hill training. Totally under estimated the hills.

Of the 15 guys who beat me overall, I beat only 3 on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish line, I became really dizzy, couldn't take a deep breath and was seeing spots. I told the volunteer I needed to sit down. There was a chair there and I sat. I knew Mike would finish soon and wanted to wait for him. The volunteer kept asking me if I was OK. Saw Mike. Got my picture taken then wandered out. My wife was there. She said I didn't look good. I said 'Spots. I have spots'. They took to the med tent. I've never been in the med tent. Got an IV. My temp was 95, which seemed low to me. My HR after laying there for a half hour was 85. The doc asked 'That's not your normal HR?' Uh, no. After about 45 minutes I was released and headed to the BT tent.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need more hill training, more race pace training. It's obvious the bike and run are where I need to concentrate my training. If you ask me, triathlon is all about the run. Everything you do should have the goal of allowing you to have the best run possible.

Event comments:

This was a great event. One of the best I've ever done. I'll be back next year.

Special thanks to Mike Harris and family for putting up the BT tailgate area.

Last updated: 2008-02-01 12:00 AM
00:26:44 | 1658 meters | 01m 37s / 100meters
Age Group: 16/124
Overall: 304/1929
Performance: Good
Avg HR - 154
Suit: Zoot Synergy
Course: Triangular course. It was short about 250 m.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:41:34 | 56 miles | 20.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/124
Overall: 295/1929
Performance: Average
Avg HR - 150. Top of z2 is 148.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Single loop course.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:54
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:59:56 | 13.1 miles | 09m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 29/124
Overall: 435/1929
Performance: Average
Lap 1: 57:05, Avg HR 157 Lap 2: 1:02:53, Avg HR:157
Course: Two loop course with lots of rolling hills. Pavement and dirt trails. And the infamous Quadzilla
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-10-08 7:08 PM

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

2008-10-08 10:43 PM
in reply to: #1728861

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Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

Congratulations on a great race and getting a new PR.  Seeing you on the run course, you were all smiles.  You looked strong and in control.  It made me smile and encouraged me to pick up the pace.  

You had a killer swim and a very strong bike.    What an incredible experience - you should be proud of shaving 30 minutes off your last time.

2008-10-08 11:06 PM
in reply to: #1728861

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The Colony, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Wow, incredible race. You could have given me an hour head start and still passed me by 10 minutes. Glad to hear everything worked out OK at the med tent and you are alright.
2008-10-08 11:16 PM
in reply to: #1728861

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
great solid race for you TJ.. even with the issue's you had you are able to think through things and recovery quickly... It was great cheering for you and seeing you after at the BT tent...
2008-10-09 8:19 AM
in reply to: #1728861

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Plano, Texas
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Helluva race, Tommy. 16 out of 119?? Wow. Guess thats what happens when you put together three great legs! Excellent work.
2008-10-09 10:04 AM
in reply to: #1728861

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Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Great race TJ.  Congrats on setting such a big PR on a tough course.  Bike split was awesome. 

2008-10-10 7:30 PM
in reply to: #1728861

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Plano, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

Ssssssssssssssmokin fast, Tommy.  Great race and report.  Seeing you and your wife and the rest of the DFW BT'ers all weekend made this event seem like it was local!


2008-10-11 7:11 AM
in reply to: #1728861

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Another well-executed race is the books. Good job on nailing your time goals.

Consider this race the capstone of a solid season and the starting place for what's next...

See you at race down the road.
2008-10-12 2:18 PM
in reply to: #1728861

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Wylie, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Outstanding performance. I think you do a great job of analysing your races. Others can learn a lot just from reading your race reports.
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