Jack’s Generic Intermediate Distance Tri:

2013-08-04 06.39.44

While I’ve loved the TX Tri series the last two years, I think I’m going to have to cut the ties next year.  It was a cool, fun goal to finish 6 triathlons in a season, but I really don’t need the motivation to finish that many (this year, we were/are signed up for TEN).  Also, at first, I thought it pushed me to do some races that are outside my comfort zone, and that’s cool and all, but I’ve decided that there’s outside your comfort zone, and there’s shit you really just don’t want to do.

Racing an Olympic distance tri on August 4th in balls hot weather starting after 8am?  Put this on the latter list after last weekend.  It’s not that it was all bad, but the memory of that run will haunt my dreams for a long, long time.


  • Shakeout bike that AM, easy 35 min spin trying out our new speedfill aero bottles
  • Food the day before: pasta w/meat sauce + salad + bread, and a random smattering of snacks like brie and pita later.
  • Spent time with my parents, and had a mostly relaxing day and evening
  • Got TONS of sleep, at least 7 hours where I didn’t budge.  Felt super rested in the AM
  • Thought I was getting sick, but ended up just being allergies from them burning shit in Mexico.  Stupid people burning shit, but thank the dear fluffy lord of triathlon that it wasn’t actual illness!
  • Had an oatmega bar, and about half of a starbucks mocha.  Tummy was a little off but settled quickly.
  • Got there early-ish (6:15?), but not early enough to get a prime spot (it was totally fine though, Pflug transitions are great).
  • Got a warmup run and legs felt decent, hung out with Zliten and B and B’s mom and then got a warmup swim.
  • Ate my fruit punch sports beans and then it was time to get this show on the road (I was in wave 4).


This was going to be a different experience.  First of all, they started all 89 ladies in one wave, in a tiny narrow corral, and it was a beach run start.  The horn went off, I ended up towards the middle/back and inside, and we ran towards the water and the ladies in front of me kinda stopped and walked.  Fuck this, it’s a race, I thought, and I high-kneed my way around them until I got into deep enough water to dive in and start swimming.  Then, I ran into more ladies swimming slowly, and I shoved and kicked and fought my way to a patch of clear water just to find my goggles weren’t sealed super well and I had a decent amount of water in the left one.

The word on my brain at this point was: SHITSHOW.  I was not happy at the beginning of that swim, it was pretty high-combat.  On the way back to the beach I finally got my stride, but was dreading that stupid beach run.  It was about 100m across a pebbly, rocky beach, and I decided to brave it barefoot (that was me putting on my big girl panties about my princess feet).  I swam until I touched rocks with my hands, got up and out and started the run.  Oddly enough, it wasn’t that bad!  I went fast enough to pass people, but people passed me too.  I ran into the water, stepped on a rock, said “OW FUCK” loud enough I think some people giggled, and I dived in again for lap 2.

This one was great.  I was regularly passing caps in waves before me, the water had thinned out because the sprint waves hadn’t started yet, and I just generally felt calm, peaceful, productive, and fast in the water.  I think I came out wearing some weeds but otherwise emerged pretty happy with my effort.  Definitely better than expected, and ABSOLUTELY better than I expected about 100m in.

Swim Time: 23:47 for 1000m with 100m beach run.


My sandals were nowhere to be found, so this was another moment of Quix’s big girl panties on display here, as I ran to T1 just fine in bare feet.  Note to self – I’m much less tenderfooted during a race than I expect with the adrenaline going.  All went as expected, and it was REALLY REALLY nice to not have to worry about putting on the camelback.

T1 Time: 2:43 (10 seconds faster than Pflugerville – yay!)


Got out on the bike, had troubles clipping in like a noob, and found my bike in trainer gear (all the way hardest big and little) going up an incline.  Ooops.  Noob, noob, noob mistake.  After costing myself about a minute being dumb, I got going and drank and ate.  I looked at time of day and it was two minutes earlier than expected.  Splendid.  Legs felt good, I felt speedy without my camelback and my nice aero bottle, and though the zipp wheelie boys were blowing by me, I was passing people too.

Figured out early on my garmin was off again (it must not like tracking distance at Pflug), and just turned it back to HR and time of day screen and worked on ticking off the miles as quickly as possible.  I stayed in aero a LOT (the bottle helped), and climbed the modest hills pretty well, mostly, and I kept pretty close to my goal of 18mph.  I completed the first lap in about 42-ish mins and figured if I could hold on and do another 42-3 I’d hit an hour 25 which would blow my anticipated pace out of the water, and I usually get better on lap 2 so I started that one really excited.

Everything was going well and then… I hit a wall of wind on the south section of the course (the longest straightaway, of course).  It was BRUTAL.  There was enough wind to notice the first lap and have to fight a little harder, but it REALLY picked up on lap 2.  I kept losing time and losing time and then all of a sudden, I was coming in and it was later than I wanted.  I lost all that time I banked on the swim and more.  I had another noob moment dismounting my bike on the wrong side, but got it together quickly and over the line and into transition.

Bike Time: 1:31:06 (17.0 mph.  Not what I wanted, but pretty decent considering the wind…)


Went as expected.  Last time it wasn’t hot enough to need a handheld though, and this time it was, so I dealt with that.

T2 time: 1:29 (Pflug was 1:19 – so there’s that 10 seconds I gained not tinkering with the camelback here – tinkering with my handheld.  So, total t1 and t2 time – exactly the same… hah!)


On the bike, as I kept losing seconds, I reminded myself I still had a shot at a sub-3, but I would have to push the run as hard as I could.  That wind dissapated, the clouds burned off, and it was just me vs THAT RUN.  The feels like was already in the 90s, and this course has ZERO shade.  I had yet to see either Zliten or B, but on the first stretch, Brian blew right past me.  In a different universe, I would have tried to hang on and go with him, but he’s definitely a faster runner than I any day of the week and it was early, so I kept clicking along.

I stayed on time of day because I knew it was hot enough that pace would piss me off.  My handheld melted, I saw Zliten, I passed Zliten, I hung on, and kept clipping away around 11 min miles.  Something happened though, once I passed the finish line for the second lap, I broke.  It was so FUCKING HOT and I wasn’t quite doing what I needed to do to hit my sub 3 (I needed to be more like 10:20s), and I could barely keep pace, let alone speed it up.  I told myself to get it together, but it didn’t work.  I then decided that if I didn’t feel better by the bridge, I was going to walk.

Dumbest decision ever, because OF COURSE I wasn’t going to feel better, so I “broke the seal”.  I walked.  And from there, all I could manage was powerwalking to a point, then running.  Drinking at aide stations until I felt nauseous, running until I felt overwhelmed and light headed.  Powerwalking, then running.  I couldn’t find a sustainable pace at all.  Zliten passed me again clipping along sloooooowly, and I may have given up and just walked the damn thing in except I decided that he wasn’t going to finish before me.  So I’d run to catch him, then walk.  Run, then walk.

The last aide station had ICE (glorious ice) and I drank a bunch and it lowered my core temp enough to give me some oomph, I walked until my tummy settled, and then I ran the last half-ish mile.  I blew by Zliten, I passed other people, and kept going, and suddenly there was the finish line.

Run: 1:12:20 (12:03 pace – UGH JUST UGH)

Total Time: 3:11:28

Post race:

Once I was through it and they gave me water and I turned around and Zliten was there right behind me and I said “lake” and he said “med tent” (just for ice) and we did those respective things.  We sat in the lake with B and his mom, we ate pizza, and we kinda just ranted about the heat.  I won the swim, Zliten won the bike, B won the run (as normal).  B finished about 6 mins before me, and I finished 6 mins before Zliten.

I wish I had more on that run.  61 mins for the 5.8 miles I tracked is TOTALLY doable for me in a race situation, and that would have gotten me in at 3 hours.  66 mins which should be a WALK IN THE PARK for me would have beat B.  Instead, I just gave up and thank goodness Zliten was there to be my rabbit or I might have done worse.

However, it’s about letting go and moving on.  At Tri Rock in a month, I’ll have lots more experience hanging tough running in the August heat, and there IS actually some shade on that course, so we’ll see.  I have a 3:25 to beat, which shouldn’t be a problem.


I felt off this week.  Not injured, not sick, but just generally off.  What must be allergies, because it hasn’t gotten better or worse, gave me a scratchy throat, hoarse voice, post nasal drip, and at time general achiness and ickiness to the point I almost went home from work sick on Friday.  I’m still dealing with it, but now that I know its not going to smack me down with the plague hammer, I’m ok with it.  I was TERRIFIED I was going to come down with something that would make me DNS last weekend but I didn’t, so all is well and training can continue as normal.  Hooray!

I skipped Thursday’s run in feels like 100 temps because I didn’t want to exacerbate the issue (if there was an issue), and never made it up so I could rest.  I’m pretty sure that it didn’t hurt me in the grand sceme of things, but man, it sucked turning that box red (workout completely skipped) when I had just put up a post talking about how excited I was that I was turning all the boxes in my spreadsheet green as planned.  Oh well.

The only real highlight of the week was a good hot tempo run on Tuesday, and getting in our 45 miles after work on the trainer on Tuesday watching Green Lantern.  The rest was just time in the pool or saddle.  No breakthroughs (nor should there be the week of a race).

Monday: off
Tuesday: Run: Tempo Lunch Run at the Center… 3.1 mi 00:32 10:24 pace, Bike: Evening Trainer + Green Hornet 45.02 mi 01:51 24.3mph pace
Wednesday: Swim: Laps 1500 m 00:32
Thursday: off (skipped run)
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Quick Shakeout 12.31 mi 00:35 21.1mph pace
Sunday: Swim: 1000m Swim w/100m beach run 1000 m 00:24 38:18 pace, Bike: 2 Laps Around Pfluger – (Jack… 25.9 mi 01:31 17.1mph pace, Run: 2 Loops Around Lake PF – Jack… 6 mi 01:12 12:03 pace

Total time: About 6.5 hours total (7 planned)

After last week’s respite, this week goes back up to crazypants hours, and Saturday will cap it off with another “feat of strength”.  Stay tuned for details on that…


This week, it really became apparent to me that:

  1. Without careful scrutiny – I can really blow it.  Sunday’s 1360 calorie sandwich shows that – I didn’t look at the calorie counts first.  Since I raced an Olympic it wasn’t completely tragic (especially because I had half for lunch and half for dinner), but if I ate that on a normal day, I would have been PISSED at ingesting that much calories and fat, because, while it was good, it wasn’t THAT good.
  2. I always say that I eat 90 healthy and 10 other – when I actually quantify that in DQ (diet quality) points… not so much.  Definitely more than 10% “other” lately, and that’s not working for me, so I need to be careful.
  3. I’ve also forgotten that some things besides booze, sweets, and refined grains are negative DQ points (fatty meat, high-cal sauces, fried foods, chips, etc).
  4. I want to buy a new bike next year and I do not want to be that girl with snazzy new wheels that obviously should have worked on the “engine” first.  Because, yeah, I do not need to spend 2-3k$ when I have TONS of “free speed” from losing fat.

This initiates the new and improved weight loss motivation – called the “buy a bike” clause.  If I say it on the internet, I’ll be accountable, right?  I’m not buying a new bike until I am 150-something lbs.  When people offer me crap, I have a reason to say no, it’s now, “no thanks, I want to buy a bike”.  Over the holidays?  No fruitcake for me, I want to buy a bike.  Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t indulge when I really want to, because I don’t believe in that at all.  However, the random stuff that floats past my nose that I eat just because it’s there or offered to me?  Do I want that more than I want a bike?  Hell no.  So, let’s get on with this buying a bike shit, right?

How I’m going to do this and not crash and burn my training: getting back to really and truly 90/10 eating.  Specifically – track every morsel that goes in my mouth (I’ve gotten lax about, oh, I had two m and ms, that’s not worth tracking).  Add up the DQ score.  The negative points need to be one tenth of the positive points (I know the math isn’t quite exactly 90/10, but it’s close enough to keep track of at a glance).  Starting next week I’ll track positive and negative DQ points instead of just overall.

For example, I’m looking at about 180 DQ points of good food next week.  That means I can have about 18 points of negative stuff.  Considering that’s only 9 drinks or 8 drinks and one desert or 7 drinks, a desert, and some fried food, I had best spend those points wisely and not on crap I don’t want or need.

Here’s last week’s not-s0-90/10-ness:

Monday: 1493 calories, 27 DQ
Tuesday: 1832 calories, 31 DQ
Wednesday: 1493 calories, 27 DQ
Thursday: 1443 calories, 26 DQ
Friday: 1887 calories, 23 DQ
Saturday: 1590 calories, 12 DQ
Sunday: 3246 calories, -6 DQ

Averages: 1854 calories, 20 DQ (for example, this week would have had 164 good DQ points, and 24 bad = 14.6% bad points – and this is only because I counted carb-loading points on Saturday as neither negative nor positive, otherwise it would have been a lot worse).

Weight: Low – 177.2, High – 182.2.  Both up.  No bueno.

All one can do is move forward, with renewed purpose and motivation, and that’s what I’m doing.

Not much else to say this week, it was either resting, racing, or being terrified I was getting sick.