Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fort Hood Tri the DU Race Report 2014

"And...comin' in hot boss!" My classic "sidecar" style dismount heading into T2
This year has been a "blah" year of racing, mainly with that timing thing, and also, while excellent race production (Tri Waco and Tri Aggieland), prices have been expensive.  Well, when a free duathlon drops in your back yard (took me 10 minutes to get to the site), it a "ya-gotta-do-it" race.
This race was my 2nd duathlon (which du's will be getting more of my attention next year), and loved the format; 5K run, 12 mile bike, 5K run.  And I got to debut the new trisuit (a Sugoi! And in the Lion's colors too).  Not too bad, so let's get to the report, shall we?
Got to the site nice and early and walked over and picked up my race number, went back to the car, got my gear and made my way to transition.  The transition was set up by the lake (the last few years this was a triathlon, but the last two have had low water in the lake, so it's a DU!) and it was fairly empty.  I read that the last few years had a bunch of folks, but I think the cool temps (58* at the start with wicked winds) scared a bunch off, but it beats hotter than dog doo!  I set up my spot, right on the end of an empty rack with my bike shoes, 2nd run shoes (a tip I HIGHLY recommend, so after your first run, kick the shoes off and you have a 2nd pair ready for ya!), helmet and glasses on the bike and that's it.  Nice and minimal!  Just took a quick ride up the hill (a nice steep and long hill right out of T1) to get the gearing right, and a bit of jogging to keep the legs warm and that's it!

RUN #1 : 20:50 (3rd in AG / 9th OA)

I just wanted to take it easy and save myself from nuking the legs too early.  I started at the front, but because you had to funnel through the start / finish chute, I got through and eased a bit up and just ran controlled and what felt like not fast at all.  I just kept the leaders within sight and on the rolling out and back run, that is exactly what I did.  I knew I had at least one older runner (ended up with two in my age group, which was the rather large 40-49 Men's group) ahead, I just wanted to keep everyone within striking distance.  Of course the young college kids from Baylor's Tri Team, roared out to a lead, I just let em!  I came cruising in to T1 and only saw a few bikes gone.

T1 : 0:34 (3rd in AG / 9th OA)

Just a quick little T1, kicked the run 1 shoes off, put on the bike shoes, glasses, helmet and run that bike out.  Only 7 seconds behind the #2 T1 (a female had a 16 second T1, yikes!), so I didn't lose much time in T1.  Only thing that slowed me down was someone put their bag and bike pump on my shoes, so it took me a second to chuck the bag and pump to the fence (lucky we weren't closer to the lake!).

BIKE: 37:11 (1st in AG / 2nd OA)

Well I started out 9th on the bike and picked off one on the climb out of the lake area.  Uggh, that climb was murder!  Once on top of the hill, you hit North Nolan Road and it was my usual riding area that I have ridden countless times, except it was a race!  I could see all the others ahead of me and none too close, so I just started to crank out the power and hunt them down.  And the hunt was on!  The wind was out of the north so in effect you had a slight headwind as well as a sidewind.  But since I *STILL* have stock wheels on my tri-bike, it didn't bother me none!  I bridged up to a group of three, including one in my AG, and by the turn around at the 6 mile mark, I was in 5th with the Baylor tri guys riding in a nice draft pack, taking turns at the front.  You all know I hate drafters, and even though the race wasn't USAT certified / sanctioned, at least play fair!  But before we made the turn into the park area (one mile to T2), I did a Roy Orbison / Linda Ronstadt on them (you know, blue bayou?) like they were standing still.  I passed the last two in the last mile, including the #1 rider, so in effect, I rode to the front of the race.  Nice!
T2 : 0:29 (2nd in AG / 14th OA)
Well it was still a fast T2 and I got my gear on and ran out of T2 with the lead. 
RUN #2 : 21:07 (2nd in AG / 4th OA)
I knew I'd have to nail almost a negative split 5K to not lose too much ground, as I knew I had at least two speedy college kids with fresher legs (thanks to drafting) coming out of T2 soon, so I put as much as my legs could hold into the first mile or so.  But about the mile mark is where I got passed by the eventual winner and 2nd place, I went into defense mode and was ready to challenge anyone else that came up.  At the turn around I got to see that 4th place was about 30 seconds back, so I wasn't out of the woods (ended up beating 4th by 19 seconds), so I kept the hammer down.  Which was not much!  All the effort to bike to the front was hurting and while my cardio was good, my legs got heavier and heavier.  But I finished up hard and held off 4th (which he ran his 2nd 5K faster than his first, yikes!).  Not to be sour grapes, but still only finished about 1 minute down to the guys who didn't have to work on the bike, but hey, whatever.  But I did win my age group by 19 seconds, so not too bad.  Those Army Ten Miler workouts I've been running have really helped the speed, guess next year I'll put more speed workouts in, instead of just running.
That's me, reppin' the "D"!
OVERALL 1:20:14 (1st in AG / 3rd OA)
I can't complain based off of the amount of running I have done in the last month or so, but it was quality runs that have helped, as well as concentrating on the bike too.  So more tools for my tool bag for training next year.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely done, this weekend is Texas State Road Race Championships and I'll give the Military Open (Sat) and Men's 35+ CAT4/5 (Sun) a try, and still fence siting on doing the Austin 70.3 at the end of October, as well as the Army Ten Miler in DC, which will be my 4th 10 Miler, but only the 2nd in Washington, so hoping to PR there too.
Well, I guess it's back to training for me!  Thanks for reading!