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LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
Total Time = 5h 33m 10s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Male Relay
Age Group Rank = 4/5
Pre-race routine:

I only did a relay at this event, so if you're a triathlon purist and reading this, you can stop at this point. I probably should just have logged it as a biathlon (bike/run), but I owe a lot to my swimmer, Don Harrison, and he deserves to be listed along with others who deserve some recognition. Originally, I was likely headed for the ranks of official jockstrap for mom23 which for me would have been torture - I love to ride & run and after 2 duathlons found I really like to string those two disciplines together to test myself. Watching a HIM live without participating somehow would likely have caused me to enter mental & physical fits.

Anyway, somewhere along the way, and no doubt in conspirecy with SportySue, mom23 entered me in this thing as a relay and recruited a friend from Houston to swim. Since I like to challenge myself & "just see if I can do it", I was OK with that. Next, the challenge of any form of training presented itself. Thanks to rgill who helped make those training ride opportunities both happen and more enjoyable; without a counterpart I likely would have done little on my own initiative.

Mom23 and & I left for Austin on Friday, meeting up with our "roomies" rgill & SportySue and then stopping for lunch in Waco. Arrived in Austin & got settled into our hotel before heading out to scout the bike route. Afterwards we met up with Don & his wife and son at Shady Grove for some Austin home-cooking (yes, I'm homesick for that).

Saturday morning, mom23 and I took rgill & SportySue on a mild 45 minute ride through some of our old neighborhoods and training routes around the Arboretum area. One street included a 1/2 mile 8% decline which caused some white-knuckles in the group (I loved it though). Aftwards a short run then off to the park for some practice lake swimming for those three-sport folks (I just jumped in to cool off) before heading to the expo. Great expo with live music & plenty to see and do. Ran into numerous BTers including jcagg, camy, jcbolton, gaarryy, jeepfleeb, doughboy & dodgersmom, and got introduced to marmadaddy.

Saturday night dinner with the BT crowd (thanks again Marcy for organizing) at Buca de Beppo. Great to see everybody in something other than spandex (didn't recognize a few....). After returning to the hotel, the other 3 turned the kitchenette into something that resembled a meth lab, ( mixing up their perpetuum and who knows what else...They crashed about 10pm while I stayed up until about 11 watching college football.

Got up at 4:30am and ate a Clif Bar, bananna, and peanut butter bagel. Loaded everything up & headed for the race. Got there early enough to park in the park after waiting in a very slight bit of traffic.
Event warmup:

Aired up the bike tires & set up transition area. Then walked around & chatted with various BTers. Roundevouz with my swimmer. Couple of photo-ops. No real warm up since I had a good while until my participation began. Walked down to the swim & talked with a bunch of people & watched the waves take off. Relays & aquabikes were the last. After they took off, I headed back up to figure out this relay exchange thing.
  • 37m 36s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 57s / 100 meters

I had an awesome "hired gun" for the swim portion (I'm no swimmer). The relays started as the last wave with the aquabikes, yet Don finished well into the middle of the waves. Even though he did the sprint tri the day before (and took 2nd in his AG) he was back for more and swam a great leg for me.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I don't think I could ask for a better relay partner.
Transition 1
  • 01m 43s

Since it was a relay, I was able to have my nutrition in my pockets (pre-opened Clif bars & Gu) and have on my shoes, gloves, and halo sweatband while waiting in the relay transition area. Saw several BTers come in from the swim (Rgill, jcbolton, dgunthert, KSH, & SportySue), then I was caught off guard as my swimmer came in. I pulled the timing chip off his ankle, slapped it on mine, gave him a high-five and thanked him for helping me out.

I took off running toward the bike rack, only to turn 1 row too early. Luckily there were no bikes left in the area I needed to cut over in. Slapped on the helmet & grabbed the bike & took off at a slow trot since there were several persons ahead of me. Didn't try the running mount since there was a bit of traffic in the narrow mount area and an immediate right hand turn. Got up to speed quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Remember which row my bike is on. Run faster with the bike. Complete a running mount without killing myself or injuring others.
  • 2h 43m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.60 mile/hr

I felt awesome on this ride. The course was right up my alley with a mixture of climbs and good open stretches. I figured since I had come into the event with no real goals or expectations, I could just ride as hard as I felt like and walk 13 miles if necessary. The miles seemed to fly by and I passed a lot more than I got passed (of course I kept reminding myself "aint nothin to be proud of, you didn't swim a mile first"). Skipped the first handup but took on water or gatorade at all of the remaining ones. Nibbled on some Clif bar & had 1 Gu packet during the ride - probably not enough, but I wasn't all that hungry & just wanted to keep riding. Passed KSH at about mile 12 & gave her a "go buttercup!" Lot's of debris on the course - I counted 5 poofies, 4 CO2 cartridges, a tire, and of course) the semi-famous podium quest tank and related parts strewn down over about a quarter mile. Well marked course with volunteers at major turns and intersections. I did get caught behind pickups twice. The first one I passed since he was going way too slow. The second was near a turn, so I just hung out.

Miles 40-50 I'll call my "dual with Seven" as another participant my age riding a nice Seven bike and I passed and re-passed each other for the better part of 10 miles. I think we both did each other some good. I did squirrel him at one of the handups & apologized several times, but he kept saying "don't worry about it, keep riding" He eventually got the best of me & we continued to exchange pleasentries later along the run course. Never saw him post-race, but he obviously had a good one!

My bike was rattling all over the place, especially if the profile tank was low on fluid. This caused several riders to look back quickly and I think in a way it scared the hell out of them & they figured they better get out of my way.

About mile 53 I caught up with rgill and we trucked it on in. Those last two climbs didn't seem so bad to me after all. It might have been because there was a fiesty devil tempting me with tales of Hell about half way up the second one. Turns out it was dgunthert's wife Carey (kudos to Carey). Gave a few shout-outs to runners already on the course which seemed to help my motivation as well. I hit the dismount area and got my first taste of reality for the day......

What would you do differently?:

Someday, I'm going to ride a much lighter, faster, more aerodynamic bike with silky-smooth shifting and true lightweight road pedals while wearing road/tri shoes. For now, I take some measure of satisfaction out of being the old, skinny guy riding the $500 used Trek 1000 aluminum bike with mismatched wheels, a borrowed clip on aero bar, and a rattling, hand-me-down profile drink tank who wears mountain biking shoes and passes the storm-trooper helmeted young bucks and their $$$$$, wind-tunnel tuned, carbon fiber, disc wheeled, dura-aced masterpieces....someday....
Transition 2
  • 02m 4s

The first step off the bike & I knew the rest of the day was going to be tough. I was wall-to-wall cramps in the quads. I've always struggled with cramps on longer runs so I figured I was in for a long afernoon. Nonetheless, I managed to rack the bike, pop on the shoes, race belt, and hat in a decent time (for me anyway). Chatted with jeepfleeb who was milling around transition after his aquabike (looking well rested too).
What would you do differently?:

Bricks, Bricks, Bricks! More Cowbell....
  • 2h 08m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 49s  min/mile

I'm pretty disappointed with my run performance. Of course it's a reflection of poor training and really I had no set goals for the run other than to finish the race upright. I ran about the first 3/4 miles then concluded it was going to be a long run/walk afternoon since the cramps in the quads were just the kind that I knew were going to hang around. At the first aid station, I grabbed a Carboom (strawberry & bananna). This was perhaps my biggest mistake of the run. Within minutes of downing it, I felt there was a good chance it was going to come back up. Fortunately it never did but let's say the thought lasted the rest of the run. I took only water & gatorade afterwards.

Proceeded through the run with thoughts of only finishing upright and continously moving forward. Can't say how much I ran or walked, but I made it a point of using gravity by running down any detectable descent on the course. Saw virtually all the BTers I know on the run course and asked numerous spectators for "more cowbell". Saw & high-fived mom23 on both laps. At one point I saw the RD and said "great race Kevin". He replied, "It's Keith, but thanks anyway!" (I apologized to him later). I made it a point to interact with a lot of people on the run to keep me motivated and prevent any mental drift into "funkytown". Some interacted back, others just wanted to be left alone to focus (to each his/her own). It was boiling hot on the run and everybody that did this event deserves a round of applause for enduring it. Thank goodness for all those aid stations and wet sponges! The downside was all the water from the sponges and various cups of water collected in an uncomfortable spot for me. At one point I reached down and squeezed out the large sponge that was the padding in my cycling shorts, only to have the water run down my leg into my left shoe. You'd think after several miles of very hot pavement, the darn shoe would dry out, but no, I "squished" every other step for about 7 or 8 miles.

I was glad to hit the second lap so the mile markers actually meant something. Caught jcagg right as the announcer called his name for completing the first lap. Saw most all of the BTers again on the second lap & gave them a shout out if I recognized them. Somehow I managed to make it through the second lap and then ran the last mile or so & sprinted into the finish. It was an awesome feeling knowing I'd covered the distance under my own power.
What would you do differently?:

More Bricks, more running, more bricks, more running, etc., etc.
Post race
Warm down:

Got the wet towel & the finishers medal. After realizing it was the same medal as everyone else's, I took it off and put it in my pocket since I hadn't swam. Overall, I felt fine and the quad cramps were subsiding so I grabbed some cold water and went up the way to watch for other finishers. Rgill was right behind me & we cheered on finishers while waiting for our respective spouses. Sporty Sue appeared after a while and said mom23 was a ways back and struggling a bit so I took off backtracking the run course (but on the outside of the fence). I started to get worried after a while when I didn't see her, so I scaled the 8 foot chainlink fence (with barbed wire topping)with only minor scratches and continued back along the run course until I found her. She wasn't having a good run, but she was a real trooper and determined to finish. We walked it on in and she sprinted to the finish. Afterward, I forced her to go to the medical tent where they juiced her up good. Grabbed a little grub and sat in the misting tent cooling off for a while. Afterwards, gathered up transition, shook about 3 million ants off of everything, and loaded up

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Inadequate run training, cramps, poor running, poor nutrition.

Event comments:

Awesome race setup - Thanks Keith Jordan! We'll probably all be back next year!

Last updated: 2007-09-07 12:00 AM
00:37:36 | 1931 meters | 01m 57s / 100meters
Age Group: 3/5
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Decker Lake (a.k.a. Lake Walter E. Long for Austin newbies). Don started at the boat ramp, headed toward the power plant, then toward the dam, before turning back to shore and exiting about 100 yards from the boat ramp. There was a short uphill run to transition.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:43
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:43:06 | 56 miles | 20.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/5
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
HRM was freaking out (no good data) my max read 228, ave read 150. Course was long - My bike computer recorded 57.5 miles
Wind: Some
Course: Mostly country roads through eastern Travis County. Couple of good climbs including two at the very end.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:04
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:08:38 | 13.1 miles | 09m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
HRM messed up - read max at 226, ave at 150
Course: Partial paved, partial off-road. Some tough climbs.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-10-15 9:59 PM

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Austin, Texas
Subject: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

2007-10-15 11:03 PM
in reply to: #1009627

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

hey don't cut yourself short you did a great job out there, it was hot, your shoe's were squishy and more cowbell was needed.

it's always good talking with you at the races.. 

2007-10-15 11:22 PM
in reply to: #1009627

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
DUH! I didn't realize you were doing the relay. Where was my head?

It sounds like you had a great race! How cool to find a swimmer so you could ride and run!

The bike was FAST! Hey, I'm impressed that you go THAT fast on a Trek 1000. I had a Trek 1000 and it never went that fast. But yea, maybe it's the engine running the machine! You certainly show that to be true. And you know what, everyone you passed was probably going "what the [email protected]" and you should take some satisfaction in that!

The run... aka: the death march! HA! It was so hot and hilly! I think you had a great run!

Thanks so much for cheering for me... that was very nice of you. I really do appreciate it!

Oh and you scaled a fence to find your wife... *how romantic*... and dangerous . Hee hee.

2007-10-16 6:58 AM
in reply to: #1009627

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Austin TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
You did an awesome job baby! I'm glad Don could help by being your swimmer and you were able to do the bike and run. I'm very proud of you!

I was so glad you came back to find me on my run, it was very sweet!

If you're that fast on "Big Blue", I think you could break land speed records on a lighter, better bike. But, I still think it's great that you can pass everyone on it and leave them saying "WTF...did you see that super fast guy on the huge blue bike?"
2007-10-16 8:35 AM
in reply to: #1009627

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

Great race Maurice!  You looked really strong when I saw you on the run course despite the cramps.  Good job toughing it out.  Now on to your swimming.... 

2007-10-16 8:41 AM
in reply to: #1009627

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Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Excellent job, Maurice! I think you would scare me with how fast you would be on a lighter bike! I would be wondering if I was seeing things when a blur and a gust of wind would rush by me!

Raegan and I had a fun weekend with you and Kelley! We all need to pick our next venue to travel to. First, however, we need to get you in the pool for some swim training!

2007-10-16 10:29 AM
in reply to: #1009627

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Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

Don't look like you need faster equipment to me!  I may be forced to sabatoge your bike on our training rides...little brake rub...low air in tires...tape a trash bag to you when you're not looking.

Fun times, good memories, great friends!

2007-10-16 2:06 PM
in reply to: #1009627

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Wylie, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Great job on your portion of the relay. Your bike was fast and you had a very good run considering you were fighting off cramps.
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