Brass Tacks: CapTexTri 2014

Can’t believe I’m saying this again: “No PR, but still a great race day!”



































Division place: 17/47 64th Percentile (Goal: Top 50%)
Gender place: 172/241 28th Percentile (Goal: Top 50%)
Overall place: 475/617 23rd Percentile (Goal: Top 50%)

Due to rain overnight and early this morning, the race was nearly called altogether. This afforded great conditions throughout my heat since the brief shower cut the humidity, low clouds blocked the sun, and the temperature was totally comfortable (considering this is Texas in May).

The swim was far more comfortable than I anticipated since I’ve made it in the pool exactly once in 2014. I did struggle momentarily with breath-timing, and I got off-course more than once trying to just relax and focus on form. In all, though, better than I earned.

Transition one was storied before I even checked-in after packet pick-up. The course was redesigned this year due renovation of the park where transition is normally set-up. The redesign had swimmers running AROUND the old transition area to get to the new one; which amounted to somewhere between a 1/4 and a 1/2-mile; no joke when you’re disoriented and breathless from an open-water swim you hacked sans training.

The bike was the best fun. This course remains my favorite because nothing is cooler than a miles-long steady downhill through scenic downtown Austin. I fell in with a pack of M-dot calf-tats, which always makes me feel like a badass. Should have stuck with them, though, because I somehow got in the wrong lane at the lap-one turnaround and wound up back at transition one lap early. Thankfully the volunteers there were infinitely understanding and afforded me a u-turn back into the action. This bobble cost me over a 1/2 mile, and some time. I like to think this would’ve been one of my faster rides, but there’s really no way to tell.

Transition two was a blur, which shows because it was my fastest ever. I guess I got at least THAT windfall from the course redesign.

Well, that, and a much more comfortable run since we didn’t have to loop back and forth through the grass this year. The cloud cover and low temp were perfect. At mile one, though, there was thunder, and by mile 2.5 there was lightning. I made it up the (very narrow, very uphill) finishing chute alone and got a chance to run alone through the finisher’s tape – a first-time and incredible feeling. I’m almost positive I was the last finisher permitted since the race was called as I got my medal. Everyone after me got a DNF, which was an equally sobering and exhilarating realization.

Racers and fans were instructed to “seek shelter” immediately after I finished, and we spent about an hour under the convention center overhang watching our bikes get a bath. Today more than ever, living two blocks from the start line had its perks!

This guy takes Superfan to a whole new level. Instead of sleeping late on a holiday Monday, he was out rooting for me. In the rain.

Lows: Struggling with sighting on the swim and getting pretty seriously off-course more than once (I still felt fast, but that was definitely working harder not smarter); screwing up the lap-two turnaround on the bike and earning myself an extra 1/2 mile for not fully understanding the new course route (resolving here, officially, to go back to studying course maps and attending athlete’s meetings before race day); losing about 1/3 of my division and 1/3 of the total field of finishers when the race was called for lightening right after I crossed the finish (I genuinely think the stats here would have been much better).

Highs: Feeling better in all three disciplines than I had any right to after the complete and total scoff job I’ve done on training for this thing; finally finding a pair of goggles that stayed water-tight and de-fogged (TYR Nest Pro Nano); I THINK breaking 18mph on the bike (not reflected in the stats since they’re not GPS, they’re time over distance, and I added a little distance, discussed above. I don’t keep a computer on the tri bike, so I can’t confirm.); managing to make the entire run without stopping; and (until the deluge) the cool temperature, cloud cover, and relatively low humidity.


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