Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Longhorn 70.3

POSTED BY TREY AUSTIN-Wow... what a fun race! I was a little frustrated going into this race because of the Prairieman tragedy, but I was in high spirits. I purchased a new bike a week and a half ago, a Quintana Roo Caliente, and had decided I did not want to race it. But, you know how you get with a new toy?! I changed out my wheels (thanks Jason!!!) and rode a couple of days last week. It was sweet! So Friday I headed for Austin with a little crew change (Sorry chase, missed you man) and got checked in at the Holiday Inn Express. By the way, the commercial lies! I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and I did not win the race, please don't think I just ruined the end of the blog for you are anything I mean really did you think there was a chance?
So, With that said, an Ironman event is awesome! they really cover all the details and turn the entire weekend into an event not just a race the day of... So, with a little time on 6th street and some Spaghetti from Spaghetti Warehouse I went to the hotel to prepare for race day.
Race day came early, 4:30am alarm, a bagel and peanut butter with banana....mmmm mmm, and out the door for a long day. I met up with Barry and Peter before the race and we all gave the token "good luck" before the start. Barry I had to laugh about our conversation before, I cam e out of the water at 28 minutes and said "wow that was short!"I jogged to the bike and got set to go... I drove the course the day prior and was a little surprised at how flat it was, you always hear people talking about Austin rides as being so hilly but I really was shocked that it was relatively flat, that was because I cut off the last 10 miles of the course while driving it out of boredom... the hills were there. Oh, and the wind! I laughed because the wind seemed to shift throughout the ride, there was only a 2 mile stretch that it was actually at our back. I felt for the guys with the discs when gusts of 10-15 mph came through. So, remember when I said I had decided to not ride the new bike but then I did, well there is reason for not riding a untested bike in a long race... things go WRONG! I was really lucky this time though. Basically, after a quick post race physics lesson from James on the inner workings of a chain and a wheel, I figured out my problem. The new bike has an adjustment for tires, you can move them closer to the frame or farther away, we did not adjust it at all because when we put the tire on there was plenty of clearance. But, when I was riding up a steep hill, and cranking hard the chain was actually pulling my tire closer to the frame, making a terrible burning rubber sound and really slowing me down. Then it would drag for about a quarter mile and stop, until the next big hill... Not race ending, but really tiring, and frustrating... Until that point I was clocking an easy 22-23mph but after having to walk three hills, we were back to a healthy 18.7mph. Oh and the worst part was the little old lady that looked at me as I passed her on the last hill and said, "It is okay sweetheart this is a big hill, don't let it get the best of you..." I just dropped my head and shook it from side to side, I mean what else could you do...
The run was a welcomed site... I was really ready to get off that bike, well at least not to push it up a hill... I had a slow transition, I knew that my goal was out of site so I just got ready to run it home and finish. Along the way I was able to see Peter and Barry, both of whom were in great spirits running ahead of me. Great job guys! Fellow Rockwallite Cliff King and I were able to run for a little while together, thanks for the laughs on quadzilla Cliff, and I was able to see fellow teammate Corley King striding it out to the finish...
All in all, I really enjoyed my experience! My Official chip time was 6:03:56, not my goal but I was happy to have finished another 70.3 event. That is what Triathlon is all about, pushing yourself past the limits, farther than you think you can go, proving to yourself that when the day is done no matter what time you crossed the line, you are an IRONMAN!

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