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LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
77F / 25C
Total Time = 6h 03m 39s
Overall Rank = 938/1923
Age Group = 20-24
Age Group Rank = 35/59
Pre-race routine:


I started training for this race on April 14th, 2008. I had designed my own training plan built around “The Perfect Distance” by Tom Rodgers. It was a great book. My training could not have gone better. I made it through all of the training injury free and I only missed two workouts throughout the whole program.

Race Week

Race weeks are always kind of stressful. I was tapering so I wasn’t working out as much so I was a little on edge. I was being very careful that I was hydrating enough and spent Thursday-Saturday night eating as many carbs as my body would take. I might not drink Gatorade or eat pasta for a few weeks. I was also so distracted that I got very little done at work. But physically, I knew I was ready. My training had been spot on and I could feel that I had fully recovered from all of the training and I knew I was peaking at the right time. My body was ready to race.

Packet Pickup

They had the packet pickup downtown at the Sheraton Hotel. It was set-up fairly well and they seemed to have everything organized. I picked up my packet with my timing chip. Then I got my shirt, hat and swim cap. I was so happy the shirt was not burnt orange! Then Jenny and I went over and listened to a panel of some of the professionals that would be racing. They had a really big and accomplished professional field. How many sports do you get to race with professionals? We then listened to the mandatory race briefing. Boring but had some good info about the conditions on the course. After that we headed over to the race site at Walter Long Park to set-up my bike in the transition. They had the transition area organized by age group and race number so luckily we didn’t have to fight for our spots. Got my bike racked and walked around the transition area to make sure I had the lay of the land. I had a great spot! I was on the first row so I had a lot more room than the middle rows and I was really close to the entrance from the swim and the exit for the run. I let the air out of my tires (thanks to the announcer) because it was a hot day and my bike was going to be sitting out there all afternoon. The air in my tube would expand so if the tires were pumped up too much, the tubes would explode and the last thing I wanted to do on race morning was replace two tubes. Then Jenny and I walked down to the water so I could get a feel for the temperature. It was perfect 78 degrees. My only concern was the wind. It was blowing hard and the lake had some serious current. That could make for an interesting swim and bike if the wind is this bad on race day. Jenny and I left and tried to relax the rest of the day. We went and saw a movie and ate dinner (pasta of course). Then we went home and laid out all of my stuff and packed my bags. I checked and re-checked and re-checked again to make sure that I have everything that I needed. I actually had been doing very well up until I had my bags packed. Then I started getting really nervous. I went to bed around 9:30.

Event warmup:

None---too nervous
  • 42m 2s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters

I let most of my wave go through because my plan was to hang to the back just inside the buoys to avoid the mosh pit like beginning. As soon as my face hit the water, I knew there was a problem. I could not breathe. I thought at first it was just because I was so jacked up so I started to breast stroking immediately to catch my breath and calm myself down. Once the initial shock was gone (100 meters) I began freestyle again and still could not breathe. I couldn’t figure it out. I started going through my brain, what is different about this then the pool? My stupid suit!! I quickly reached up and took the straps off of my shoulder and immediately felt better. I could breathe. The suit was constricting me more than I thought it would. My swim improved from there. My speed sucks but my endurance is great. I knew I could I finished but I also knew that I would get caught by the waves starting behind us. So my plan became swim freestyle until I heard the roar of the waves coming up. Then I would switch to breaststroke and let the majority of the wave swim through and then go back to freestyle. It was worked great. I swam a straight line and was feeling good in the water. The long back stretch was very long but I had counted the buoys before we started and I tried not to look ahead. I was only swimming from one buoy to the next and once I reached a buoy I moved to the next one. Before I knew it, I was swimming back to shore. I have never been so excited to see rocks on the bottom. I stood up and felt pretty good and felt completely relieved to be out of the water. I heard my mom yell for me and then I caught my first glimpse of my family. For those people that come to support, yall really can never know how great it is to have your loved ones there. After exiting the swim there is a semi-long run up to the transition and it is uphill. How cruel is that? Jenny ran beside me the whole time.
What would you do differently?:

I am a terrible swimmer. I have got to get better. My suit was a problem as well. The top part was cutting into my ability to breath. Once I got the straps off, it was fine. I just suck at swimming, but I finished!
Transition 1
  • 04m 15s

Man I was so stoked to be done with the swim. I had decided before the race that I was not going to rush the transition. It was going to be a long day and I was not going to risk forgetting something major in an attempt to save 1 minute off of a transition. It actually went very smoothly. I had laid out all of my stuff in a good order and had everything ready to go. The best part is a didn’t forget anything
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 10m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.65 mile/hr

I was actually pretty nervous about the bike. I knew my training was great and physically I knew I would do fine but I was extremely nervous about a mechanical breakdown. I knew that was the only thing that could keep me from finishing. On my last, long training ride I had blown out my front tire so I had a new set of tires on my bike as well. The course was pretty good. The road was in really bad shape and afterwards I felt like I had been through a fight. The road was so bumpy that I lost two bottle cages from bouncing around so much. That is the only complaint I have about the ride. It wasn’t too hilly. The only really big hill they put right at the end (very cruel) but other than that just rollers. Nothing like I had ridden in training. My nutrition was right on. I had two bottle of Infinit with me along with a bottle of water. I also took a bottle of Gatorade Endurance from one of the aide stations. Around mile 30 I had to stop and pee which I was actually excited about because I knew I was hydrating. The weather was great. A little windy but overcast and it never got to hot on the ride. It was very nice. The course was packed. There were a ton of drafting packs but I will say it was extremely difficult to not draft because you were always passing or being passed. Anytime you have 2000+ people on the road that can happen I guess. I enjoyed the scenery. I really wanted to try and enjoy the day and I felt like I did this on the bike. It was out in the country and it was very quiet and nice. Overall my bike went very well!!
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 02m 52s

The second transition in a triathlon is the easy one. I was so happy to be off of the bike I was pumped because I knew I was having a good day. The bike went great and as soon as my feet hit the ground I knew it was going to be a good run. I could tell I still had juice in my legs and I needed to pee again so I knew that my nutrition was on! Stripped the bike stuff off, slipped on the shoes, put on my run belt and hat, and I was off!
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 04m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 28s  min/mile

I am a runner. I know that running is my best sport within triathlon so I knew this is where I could make my mark on this race. Like I mention above, I felt great coming off the bike and I knew from the bricks in my training that I could run well off the bike. My main goal for the run was to run the whole race. I knew it was a two loop course which I like because on the second loop I know exactly when to push it, when to save, and how much I have left. I had my nutrition belt with me filled with Infinit and the aide stations were awesome. They were stocked with everything you can image from Gatorade and cold, wet sponges to defizzed coke and pretzels. My major fear was overheating, so at every aide station (there were 8 and with the two loops you hit eat one twice) I would take two sponges. I would squeeze one on the back of my next and put the other one in my hat and let it sit there until the next aide station. I would also grab a cup of Gatorade and drink it and a cup of water and dump it over my head. I did that at every aide station and it would great. My stomach started to reject the Infinit around mile 8 so the Gatorade was a life savor. The run was an extremely difficult course. It was constantly rolling (mostly up it seemed like) with two big hill on each lap. There was a long, lonely stretch of road around the Expo center that seemed to go on forever. The worst part about the course was the 2-3 mile section through the park that was on dirt trails. Since we havent had any rain, it was like running in a dust storm with everyone out there and it was awful. My shoes were ruined ( they were so caked in dirt and mud that I threw them away after the race). And Quadzilla….they are kidding, that thing is a beast!! Not to mention they run you by the finish line 4 times!!! What punishment that is! The two loop course was very spectator friendly and I got to see my awesome family 4 times. What a great pickup.I felt so good on the run. The first 10 miles breezed by and I was feeling awesome. I passed a lot of people which is always a nice feeling. Around mile 11, just before running up Quadzilla for the second time (cruel), I was ready to be done. That wall always comes in the race and luckily I was able to push through and finish. What a great feeling to run down that finish shoot and see my family!
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Walked around with the family!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing really, i suck at swimming but i was 25 minutes under my goal time so i cant realy complain!

Event comments:

The parking SUCKED!!!! Also there was very little to eat after the race at the race site. The actually race was awesome but some of the other stuff was poorly organized!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-01-17 12:00 AM
00:42:02 | 1931 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/59
Overall: 1821/1923
Performance: Below average
Suit: Trisuit
Course: Consensus is that it was short by about 200 meters
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Below average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:15
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
03:10:21 | 56 miles | 17.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/59
Overall: 1243/1923
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Back Country roads, rough roads with lots of cracks
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:52
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:04:05 | 13.1 miles | 09m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/59
Overall: 530/1923
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop, 4 total miles on dirt trail
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2008-10-22 9:46 AM

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Austin, TX
Subject: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

2008-10-24 11:23 PM
in reply to: #1758852

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Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

Great race!

 It looks like you executed your plan exactly the way you wanted.


2008-10-31 11:02 AM
in reply to: #1765410

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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Thank you so much!
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