Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tri Wace Post Race Report

It turned out to be a great morning for a race. Saturday morning was cool for July in Texas. It was partly cloudy and just a bit humid.

During the pre-race morning meeting, I spotted a younger fraternity brother I know from reunion weekends, providing another testament to the growing popularity of triathlon. TriWaco was to be his first race.

After the IronHead Race Productions's Jack Weiss barked out all of the need to know information about the rules and the course, I joined the first wave of swimmers, those of us wearing pink swim caps.

It was crowded as we all made our way down to the river and the swim entrance carpeted with AstroTurf. Again, lots of people are into this sport and like most, TriWaco was sold out.

The Sprinters went first followed by the Olympic distance competitors.

After about 10 minutes past the gun sounding, I came out of the other side of the swim course, just a bit farther down the shoreline than where we began.

Jogging up the ramp toward street-level, I felt pretty good about my swim. I was hardly fast but my race plan was to go easy and not overexert myself on the swim. I would need that energy for the bike and run where I could make it count most. My heart rate always shoots up the last 100 meters of the swim as I hurry to get to shore and then start my jog to transition and today was no different.

The bike course at TriWaco is a straight out-and-back down a state highway-type two-land road with a wide shoulder. Police held back traffic at the few major intersections. My wave began the steady procession of cyclists that would hog the road for the next couple of hours. Sorry Waco drivers!

With new tires, a new seat position and height adjustment from the evening prior, I really was testing this new bike configuration for the first time. That's not generally a good idea but it went well.

Fast forward through a good bike leg and a slow run leg and here's how I finished:

Sprint Age Group M 30-34
Gun Time: 01:26:26
Chip Time: 01:26:26
Class Position: 25


I'll take that...

See you next year Waco!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

TriWaco 2010 Pre-Race

After a spill on his bike a week ago on what was to be a nice long training ride for us both, Mike W sustained enough nasty scrapes and deep gashes that he's been forced to miss TriWaco for a second straight year. This one hurts, because unlike me, Mike is otherwise ready to kill this course.

Dusty with family, both parents and wife/kids in tow, is back this year too. He's part of triathlon club in Austin, so I'm predicting a great showing for him tomorrow.

The upside for me with Mike idle, is that he's given me some constructive attention. We made a few bike adjustments that I really think will help me tomorrow.

I had the eggplant parmesan after several helpings of salad and breadsticks at the Olive Garden. Mike got the chicken variety. Our tradition of OG carbo-loading complete, it's now time to wind down.

It's good to be back...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Race Report: Tri Waco Sprint, July 26, 2009

The story of this race weekend began when we learned the event sold out days before Mike W got around to registering. He couldn’t race which is a shame because he probably would have won our age group; he would have had a solid shot at winning the men’s overall as well.

DSCN0905 Heading to Waco was still a homecoming of sorts since Mike’s a Baylor grad. We tooled around town, saw the bears in their habitat on Baylor campus, and had our pre-race ritual of Olive Garden pasta.

The Tri Waco Spint & Olympic Triathlon is the first event produced in this city since the early 90’s. Years ago, a 15 year old Lance Armstrong was a triathlon prodigy and won the course. It’s a great venue for a race. I can’t figure why the long absence of events.

Demonstrating how this sport continues its viral growth, another old friend of Mike’s, Dusty, ran his second race today with his wife and three young kids in the crowd to cheer him on. Dusty did great. I’ve done something like 10 races and I barely stayed ahead of Dusty today. We finished within a minute of each other.

Weeks of morning SPIN classes seemed to have paid off in an improvement of my bike performance. Weeks of neglecting the pool and binge training for the run showed up my results too.

My time was 1:27:39. I’ll need big improvements in my run time and a smarter strategy for open water swimming to hit my stated goal.

We all agree that the Tri Waco is an event we’d like to do in 2010. Especially since Mike was locked out this year!

Race Report: Cleburne Iron Horse Triathlon – May 31, 2009

This post comes a couple months post-event.

Mike W’s friend since grade school Tom P kicked-off his triathlon career by joining the two of us at Cleburne’s 2nd Annual Iron Horse Triathlon.

Mike_Tom_Jonathan_Cleburne_09 Mike picked up some hardware by placing second in our age group with a time of 1:15:29. The award took the form of a painted railroad spike. The “Iron Horse” is an early 20th century locomotive on display in Cleburne signifying its history as a railroad town.

I’m lucky to race and train with folks generally well above my skill and fitness level. Doing so keeps me striving to get better. Tom proved his triathlon aptitude with a great first first race coming in at 1:23:53.

Finish_Cleburne_09 I ran more like the slow and steady steam powered locomotive! I got there in the end and finished strong but a slow run push my time to 1:29:54.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not a PB, but I ran finally ran a race in 2009

Around 400 athletes came out the Fort Worth suburb of Benbrook, Texas - home to one of the nicer YMCA facilities you’ll ever see - for the seventh annual Tri-Benbrook.

In a show of how triathlon continues to grow in popularity, a show of hands before the race demonstrated that perhaps a third or more of the participants came to run their first Tri.

The rain held back, mostly. The wind whipped at about 20-30 mph. The clouds kept the sun and heat at bay. So, it was great racing weather all said.

I ran this course faster last year. No excuses, I was in better shape a year ago.

So while I’m always pushing for a personal best, I’ll take this result as a good barometer of what I need to do to hit my goals for the remainder of the year. Said goals:

  1. Complete a 70.3 Half Ironman race in under six-hours.
  2. Complete an Olympic or Quarter-Iron race in under 2:50.
  3. Complete a Sprint distance race in under 1:15.

All three represent incremental improvements over my previous race results. There it is. Now, it’s time to pick some races and dust off that training plan!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jameson 5K 2008 at Southwestern

The race started at 8:00 a.m. I arrived at the registration table at about 8:03.

Deirdre and I had late night on the first day of Southwestern Homecoming enjoying buffalo chili and good conversation at the Kappa Sigma House. Having cajoled Deirdre into running this race with me, I also refused her requests to go do it without her on the morning of the race. With all the back and forth, we arrived late.

I had fun hitting the course and playing catch-up with the field. My gun time was over 30 minutes, my chip time was 25:37. My best time yet for this race, but still above the 25 minute mark.

My goal for next year is to be in bed before 2 a.m. and to run the race in under 25 minutes. I think the later might depend on the former!

Great job to Kenda Evans and all of the volunteers. They do wonderful job every year. See you all in 2009!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

By the numbers: A long day at the Longhorn 70.3

Arriving in Austin and picking up our registration materials at the Sheraton downtown, one particular  number dominated our interest. "What's the water temperature at Walter E. Long park?" 

78 degrees. Just wetsuit legal. Great news!

Mike W. figures wearing a wetsuit can improve your swim time by 10 minutes.

In any case, I'd never done an open water swim without one and I did not wish to lose any potential advantage in this race. That was pretty much the sentiment of the entire field.

Flash forward past my best swim result to date, improving six minutes over my previous time, we learned mother nature conspired to give us all another advantage. Wind gusts moved the buoys which marked the course, shortening it noticeably.

There went my one bright spot for the day!

After putting in a solid pace for the first 20 miles of the bike course, my performance diminished precipitously through the final miles on the bike and into a challenging run.

While I felt mentally prepared for this race, my conditioning (or lack thereof) really proved to be my undoing. I finished, marginally beating my time from Buffalo Springs Lake, but came in far short of my personal goal for finishing the Longhorn.

Mike W. found the course tougher than expected as well. He set an ambitious goal. While he missed it, he set a personal best by a significant margin, had a great race by any standard, and had to wait around well over an hour before I crossed the finish line.

We had fun. That should be the point of it all, right? These events are always a good time. This race had an deep field of professionals and impressive age-group athletes.

While I "bonked" on the run, I could still smile and chuckle at my overconfidence.

What's next? Working on my run, both speed and endurance. Same on the bike. Fall and winter time in Texas allows for training outdoors during the months many others around the country are forced to head indoors. I like the idea of training for a marathon in order to keep a disciplined schedule to focus deeply on my running ability. The Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth in February looks like a great target race.

Short course racing looks pretty good right now too!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

On the way to the Lonhorn 70.3 in Austin, TX

Mike W and I 30 miles from Austin in his rig packed full of bikes, gear, and lots of nervous energy.

At around 8am we'll be in the water, and by early afternoon, be crossing the finish line.

An estimated 2100 racers are descending on Austin this weekend. As part of the Ironman 70.3 series, this race attracts the pros and those looking to qualify for Ironman Kona and for the 70.3 championships in Florida next November.

My personal goal is less ambitious. I'm shooting for something close to hours. Mike has a great shot to pull in at 5:15 or better, which is his goal.

In any case, it will be a beautiful Central Texas weekend.

More to come...