This past weekend I headed down to Austin for Memorial Day weekend and the CapTex triathlon. It was the next stop in the Lifetime Fitness Series, and after flatting out of South Beach I was in need of some points. That said I knew going in that it was going to be my 4th race in 5 weeks, and fresh legs were not really an option. It was also the National Championships for the USAT Para-triathletes and that was probably the biggest highlight of the weekend. Those athletes have some of the most inspiring and courageous stories, and it made it extremely easy to keep my lack of fresh legs in perspective. It was cool just to be out there racing with this amazing group of athletes.
The weather looked like it was headed in the direction of my past couple races with rain and cool coming in over the weekend but by Sunday night it had cleared and looked like it would be partly cloudy and warm for race day. The alarm hit off at 4:15 and after a quick warm up shower and my standard oatmeal/EFS breakfast it was off to warm up. I got in a solid 30 or so minutes on the bike and then prepped transition and headed to the water. After a quick splash around, we got out again, did the introductions and National Anthem and lined up in the water.
I got a decent start about the middle of the line and tried to get in a fast first 200 or so to get to the front. I could see Hunter closing in on the left side, and Ben on the right but I was able to get just enough ahead to hit the first two buoys in the lead with some clean water. About a 1/3 of the way in Joe came around me and knowing I needed to save every bit of energy I could I gladly gave up the lead to get some feet to sit on. People always talk about drafting on the bike, but in the water it makes almost as much of a difference if you know the proper way to do it. I stayed in lead mix and came out of the water fourth in line but right with the lead and after a quick T1 was on the road and quickly in 2nd, and then caught Joe heading up the hill a mile or so later. I knew my only hope was for a good bike, but with some tired legs and a course that has lots of turns and quick hills the constant accelerations were about the last thing my legs were ready for. I was able to stay in the front and put time on Hunter and Joe, but knowing I was going to need about 90 seconds even on good running legs, the 45 or so I was getting was taking everything I had. Ben was also chasing hard and I just barely squeaked out the fastest bike split by a slim 6 second margin. The only good thing was that by the time I dismounted I had only gotten a small gap between the top 4, but had put in big time to everyone after that. I got off knowing I had to run my ass off for a podium spot, but if and when the legs failed I was in a solid spot to stay in 4th.
Now honestly, I hate starting a run not feeling like you have the legs to win, but when you are chasing points in a few different series’ there are times where you have to race with a “lets see how it goes” kind of mentality. Hunter made quick work of me by mile 1.5 and Joe was only about a mile or so behind that. I did my best to pick up the tempo when they caught me but knowing they hadn’t raced since St A’s and that they are talented runners anyway, I just didn’t have the foot speed. I held on to my podium until almost mile five when Ben made a very strong pass and I simply had to watch him run off. I had put myself in a “4th at worst” position on the bike and I ran well enough to keep it that way as I crossed the line.
The Lifetime Fitness guys put on a good race with no issues this year, and the weather cooperated with no rain and no crazy heat. I also was able to manage a few points for the Series which was good, and I am excited to get to Minneapolis in July for the next leg of the tour.
First up though I have a couple days off to let the body recover from the crazy month of May, and then a solid month of hard training before I head out to TriRock Philly at the end of June. I am excited to hit up the home town of two of my major sponsors in Fuji and Nathan, and also race on a great course there in the City of Brotherly Love!
Looking back on May:
– 2 wins
-4 top ten’s
-4 fastest bike splits on the new Fuji Norcom
Solid crazy racing month
Time to rest, reset, and reload!!