My goal for Lake Pflugerville Tri was to participate, not race.
Even ignoring the fact that I’m far off my form already, I was just two weeks out of Covid fun. I’m going to actually keep this kinda short and sweet because there’s not a TON to say beyond the fact that I swam, biked, and run. However, I do like returning to these race recaps to remember the day, so I’ll commit a few more words to commemorate the fact that I did not indeed die, though my heart rate monitor might have disagreed with that statement on the run.
It’s both weird and oddly normal to wake up at zero dark thirty for a race. We slept pretty well, went through the normal coffee water english muffin try to poop three times rigamarole and arrived at the race venue in time to get good parking. It was open racking, so we set up our transitions together and did the normal puttering around one does before the start of a triathlon, including trying to poop three MORE times.
I rarely get into the water for shorter than a 20-minute swim these days, and I haven’t raced a sprint triathlon in three years. It felt short AF. Like, where was the rest of it? My garmin clocked it a little short at about 465m, but it felt shorter than that. I found feet, I tried to stay on them until they slowed down and did that again and again. My goal was to stay at a very comfortable pace slightly above paddling and I feel like I accomplished that, and in decent time as well. I’m more than happy with about 11 minutes for the swim leg, especially because that includes a beach start.
Holy long transitions batman! We had to walk our bikes out of the corral area, along the trail, out the driveway, and almost to the street before mounting. I understand not riding on the trail (it’s narrow and full of pedestrians) but not sure why I’m walking a bike on asphalt. 😛 I didn’t even bother running, I didn’t want to anger the Cranky Heel. It took 4:20 to complete my transition and lengthy promenade to the mount line.
I got going, sucked down a gel, and hooo boy, my legs just wanted to get after it. I toyed with riding my road bike to make it impossible for me to race, but I nixed that when I realized how much longer it would take me to complete 14 miles at the same effort. So, it was a constant fight where I’d start pushing hard because that’s what I do on the bike and it felt good, and then pulling back the effort because that’s not what I was doing that day.
Besides that tug of war between my id and my superego, and the fact that Lake Pflugerville streets are in pretty crap condition with all the construction (it was a constant game of “don’t find the cracks”), the bike ride was pretty unmemorable – which is great! I ended the ride at 18.1 mph. The last two races here have been closer to 20 mph but considering I’m lugging around an extra 15-20 lbs and my training has included getting on a bike and riding it at whatever pace I feel like, I’m super pleased with this.
Another very long promenade back to the racks going clack clack clack in bike shoes. I’m not sure what took so much longer than T1, except perhaps I was procrastinating the run, but it cost me a cool 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
Running and I are at odds lately. For all the reasons I’ve already mentioned, I knew this one would be a shit show. I headed out to circumnavigate the lake and a few minutes in, I was like, why is this so hard? I looked down at my watch and my heart rate was 197. Ok, that’s why. My heart is about to explode. Let’s have a bit of a walk, shall we?
I figured shoving my heart rate into the 190s and keeping it there for half an hour would be a recipe for disaster, so I did a run/walk cycle. I ran for a 100 count and then walked for a 20 count, which served to keep my heart rate between about 165-185, which was an improvement from before. I also don’t have a ton of memorable moments on this run. While both the swim and the bike felt too short, this run couldn’t be over quickly enough.
Even with the walking, I was still able to maintain about a 12:30 min/mile (36:36 total), which is by far my worst showing ever at this race (who needs walk breaks in a 5k? I guess me…), but completely expected for where I’m at right now. I had prepped myself for possibly having to walk the entire run and I didn’t have to do that.
I am pretty sure my 1:42 and change is a personal worst for me here by a minute or two, but it’s better than I expected.
After one last post-race treat of In N Out Burger, it’s now time to concentrate on weight (lifting it and losing it). I’m ready!