Yesterday morning, I took part in my final scheduled race of the season, the Small Texan Triathlon. The race is designated as an ITU (International Triathlon Union) distance race, which is also referred to as Olympic distance. The swim, however, is a bit short for, in my opinion, full ITU standards, thus, I think of the Small Texan as a
"SprOlympic" distance event: part sprint, part Olympic distances. It is the only race I've done this year that I also competed in in 2005, so it did serve as a bit of a benchmark for how I've progressed in triathlon. As such, times in parenthesis will include the 06 & 05 times, respectively (2006/2005).
SWIM - 800m (20:42 / 25:46)
I rode a lot harder on Saturday than I should have for the first thirty or so miles, but I did spend the next twenty recovering, making for fresher legs in the water Sunday. In spite of the general nastiness that Boerne Lake is famous for, once I got going, I really got going. I felt calm, focused, and at ease on the swim. It did, indeed, set me up for a good bike.
T1 (01:47 / 01:56)
BIKE - 45k (01:25:52 / 01:20:11)
It seems like I couldn't have an uneventful ride in a race this year. Mercifully, I didn't cramp, but I did drop a bottle in the last half-mile of the course (in front of the photographer, so I *had* to go back), and the miles before that were layered with the worst, god-awful chip-seal in the whole flippin' state; Freiheit had nothing on this.
So, in spite of the B2 being blessed with the aerodynamic awesomeness that is the Zipp 404 wheel, I lost nearly six minutes on the bike. The course was the same as last year's, and was anything but smooth, anything but flat. All the same, I felt extremely comfortable on the bike, without going so hard that I had nothing left for the run. And, while, true, the 11-tooth cog on the rear wheel didn't want to play too nicely, the only thing that could have made the ride even more enjoyable (and faster) would have been smoother roads. I mean, a top speed of 41.2 in Comfort? On 404s? On aerobars? Still, it was a good feeling to enter T2 and see so few bikes on the rack.
T2 (01:46 / 01:40)
RUN - 10k (47:58 / 55:16)
There's not a whole lot to say for the run other than that I felt great. The first mile or so was a little rough getting into the groove (and without pavement, no less), but once I got there, I stayed there. As with the bike, just before the finish, the water flask I carried with me popped out of my back pocket, necessitating a doubling back for it. Better to lose a few seconds in picking up my junk than getting dogged with a 2-minute time penalty. Then again, the guy who tossed his Gu flask on the dam on the run in front of me didn't get docked...but, I'm not that guy. That guy finished nearly three minutes after I did.
ADDING IT ALL UP
With a final finishing time of 2:38:06 (versus 2:44:49 in 2005) & preliminary placings of 26th OA & 4th AG, I'd say the race was a stunning success, especially with how I felt during & after the race. However, that success would not have been obtainable without the efforts of a whole lot of people, most of whom are reading this right now; you know who you are.
With triathlon competition now behind me for 2006 (unless I opt for the Dave Scott Olympic race in Dallas, mid-September), I've some new targets to focus on, chiefly the MS150 (San Antonio-to-Corpus in one day [Dan, are you in?] this October) and the White Rock Marathon in December, so I'll certainly be on the move. Thank you all, again, for every level & bit of encouragement, training, equipment, or whatever else it was you helped me with over the season. Rest assured it did not go unnoticed, nor did it go unappreciated.//d