The second stop of the Lifetime Fitness Series this year was in Austin, Texas for the CapTex Triathlon over Memorial Day weekend. For me this has become an annual trip that supplanted the Bolder Boulder as my Memorial Day physical activity. The past couple years I have been going into CapTex a bit exhausted as it has been my 4 race in a five week stretch. This year though, it was just the second race in two weeks, and although I was coming off a successful, but longer race in Knoxville last weekend, I was feeling really good heading into this race.
Austin is well known for its culinary delights and by the time I went to bed Saturday night I had already hit spots for great BBQ, Mexican, and pizza and felt like if nothing else I was fueled for the race. I had also been putting down a lot of First Endurance EFS just to make sure the added Texas heat and humidity wouldn’t be an issue for me come race day, and then low and behold we woke up to a cool rainy morning on Sunday.
Now as we all know I don’t mind racing in crappy weather at all, and when I woke up to rain couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit. I guess its just the fact that I make it through a Colorado winter every year, and frankly warm rain isn’t that bad, but I just enjoy less than ideal race conditions. As it turned out the weather cleared a bit right before we started the race and it turned out to be just partly cloudy as we made our way around the course.
The swim was relatively uneventful. As with most of the non-drafting races, as long as you have a solid start, and are able to quickly get to the front or right on someone’s feet the swim is more or less a peaceful happening. Its a far cry from the chaos that is the ITU swims. As we exited I was out in second and after a quick removal of the goggles it was off for a nice long 600m run to get to transition. Normally I feel like I do pretty well running out of the water, but its longer runs like this where I watch Hunter going tearing by me that keep me humble.
As I headed out on my Fuji Norcom Straight I was feeling good and ready to tear into the bike course circuit. The thing I love about Austin the most is that the bike course goes right through the heart of downtown and amongst all the tall buildings. The thing I like the least about it is that it is a 4 loop course which makes getting out of sight impossible and with all the 180 degree turns it makes for a lot of stopping and starting. I did my best to get away from the guys early and was able to put about 30 seconds into them on the first lap. Knowing that Hunter usually runs about 90 sec faster than me I felt like if I could get more than that, even with tired legs I could get the win. By the middle of lap 3 I had about 90 seconds on Ben and Michael, but Hunter had suddenly been dropped from their group. I found out later that he had a flat tire and was struggling to just finish the bike leg, but anytime your biggest threat shows any weakness its a shot in the arm, and I really tired to hammer the final lap to make sure I was in a good position starting the run.
The run course this year was a bit modified due to some construction in the area, so we ended up doing a good portion of it on a bike path around the park. It made for some nice shade, but there were a ton of turns and it made getting into any kind of rhythm a bit more difficult. I can’t say that I ever felt good at any point on the run, but I went out strong and was able to hold it together enough to win by just over a minute.
To celebrate after the race me and some of the boys headed out to SaltLick BBQ over in Driftwood, TX. Its one of those places you see on the Food Network, and it is 100% worth the drive and the wait time. All you can eat BBQ…seriously what better for a post race feast!
Having been able to win the first two races in the Lifetime Series certainly puts me in a good position to 3peat this year, but there is so much more racing to be done. Excited with the results thus far, but still things I need to work on to improve as the season goes on.