Sunday, July 12, 2009

Couples Tri Weekend

I thought Laura and John's reception was on Friday. Jeff and I showed up at the park on Friday and it was deserted, turns out I read the invitation wrong (about 20 times) and the reception was actually on Saturday. Del was in Austin for some hilly bike riding, so we had dinner with him and his friend Jason at Romeo's instead. Saturday morning I did a short bike ride and run, had lunch with Del and did packet pickup. Since Jeff had to work late on Saturday I had planned to take Cassie with me to the reception, but she was running late and Del had decided to stay in Austin to spectate at Couples so he came to the reception with me.
Lynn and Ed
Some of my Tri Zones friends were there so we sat with them and got some food right away, we had been working out so we were really hungry. It was really hot out, but Mayfield Park is shady and beautiful and Laura and John had a great set up with great food and drinks.
Laura and John had a sandcastle cake and turtle cupcakes (they got married in Hawaii). The cake was one of the best wedding cakes I've ever eaten, pineapple cake with raspberry inside.
Tom and Carolyn
Me and Del
They had a photo booth at the reception and you were supposed to dress up in the silly stuff they had and take pictures in the booth for Laura and John's scrapbook, it was a lot of fun.
The peacocks at Mayfield mostly stayed away from the reception, but I got a picture of this one watching us from the roof of the cottage.
Cassie and Del at Phil's Ice House
When Cassie got to my house, she hadn't eaten yet so we went to Phil's Ice House for pre-race burgers. I don't think I could do a pre-race burger, but it didn't seem to bother Cassie!
Me and Jeff at Phil's Ice House
Jeff demonstrated his skills on the rollers for Del and Cassie. They both declined our offers to try out the rollers.
Cassie and I race morning. Cassie chose "Sweet & Twisted" shirts for the race (Sweet & Twisted is a race organizer in Austin). Her choices were the S&T shirts, Hey Cupcake shirts and Tri Zones shirts. We planned to wear the shirts for the bike and run and just wear our normal tri tops for the swim. We got to Decker Lake early and everything pre-race went smoothly. The Couples Tri is a little different because you register with someone and both finish times are added together for your final time as a couple. Some of the divisions are: married, relatives, and friends.
Cassie with her bike in transition
Me in transition
David, me, Cassie and Del before the race. David and Ross came out to race at Couples too. We all looked but we couldn't find Ross before the race. We hung out at the Tri Zones tent and talked with all my Tri Zones friends before the race. There were about 30 Tri Zoners racing and volunteering today so it was really fun to see friends on the course
Me and Cassie just before the swim start
Crowded just before the swim start.
I actually ran into Kelli just before the start too. It's amazing that I always see her at races even though there are thousands of people around. The swim was 800 meters in Decker Lake which is one of my favorite places to swim. Cassie and my wave started at 8:05, all the "female friends" start together at this race, so it was a pretty big wave, but even so, it was a really high contact swim. Cassie and I started toward the middle of the wave and as soon as I started I knew it was a big mistake to not start at the front of the wave. There were girls breast stroking in front of me right away. That's awful because the breast stroke kick makes it really likely that you'll kick everyone around you hard, so of course I got kicked a few times. I have always heard stories about really competitive girls growing their fingernails long to scratch people during the swim. I had never experienced that until today. I got annoyed enough by people kicking, hitting, and scratching me that whenever I felt someone come up on my feet I kicked hard and sometimes even tried to kick them to keep them away from me. After about 500 meters of that, I finally got enough space that I could really swim a little. I came out of the water in 19:46, my goal was 20:00 but I know I could have gone faster if I had been able to get away from the crowd and really swim more. Cassie also said this was the most physical swim she's ever done but she was really happy with her swim, she came out of the water just behind me, which means she has really been working on her swimming!
Me coming out of the water. I had a long T1 running up the hill to transition and then trying to get the mud and grass off my feet before putting on my socks so I wouldn't get blisters when I ran. T1 was 4:28.
Cassie coming out of the water
starting the bike, I look really happy! I definitely had fun during this race.
David finishing the bike. He's amazing! He finished 3rd overall and his training has not been 100% in about 3 months since he shattered his jaw. He also told his doctors it was ok to not wear the rubber bands and stuff that holds his jaw in place for the race because "triathlon is very safe, it's a non-contact sport and there's very little risk of injury" sure David!
Photo by Tom Marek
Wow, I don't think I have ever smiled like that in bike pictures before! I was having fun and I guess it really showed! Thanks for the pictures Tom!
Photo by Tom Marekfinishing the bike
The bike around Decker Lake is very hilly and I was a little nervous about it because I hadn't ridden the course since Longhorn in Oct. I had fun on the bike! Some of the hills were tough but they were all doable and on the 2 biggest steepest hills I passed lots of people, so that was fun. The last big hill on the bike is named Quadzilla (from Longhorn, but it has lots of other names too, mostly not nice), it's a tough hill, but I passed lots of people going up it (I stopped counting after 10). At first I was really trying to go as fast as I could up it, then I thought I should slow down since it's so long, but just after I slowed down I realized I was getting close to the top, so I pushed it hard up to the top. Quadzilla felt shorter today than it did last year, that has to be a sign I'm getting better at hills! Time was 49:05, not super fast, but good for me. I had no real goal for the bike since I have never done a hilly sprint before. I came into transition and couldn't find my towel and stuff for a minute! Yikes! That has only happened to me once before. It felt like forever before I saw my towel and got my transition stuff done. I saw Jeff, Del, and David (who was already finished!) and told them "I think Quadzilla got smaller this year!" T2 was 2:03.
starting the run
As I ran out of transition they had a water stop, but the volunteers were all picking up more cups, so I skipped it, almost immediately I knew that was a mistake. It was HOT and I was thirsty starting the run. I ran to the first water stop just after mile 1 and took 2 cups of water, I walked while I drank both of them. I started running again and in a few minutes I felt chills, not a good sign when it's 100 degrees, so I walked for a minute then I was able to run to the big hill near the finish, I ran 1 min. walked 1 min. to the top, it's long and steep enough that I probably don't run any faster than I walk up it, but run/walking broke it up for me. After that hill it was just a short run in to the finish where I saw Jeff, Cassie, Del, David, Ross and all my Tri Zones friends cheering for me! Run time was 37:46, a little slow even for me, but with the hills and the heat, I'm not disappointed.
Cassie running in to the finish, she rocked the run especially in the heat!
Cassie and I right after the finish. I brought cupcakes for post-race, but it was so hot that no one wanted one (including me). I think Nicki was the only one who ate a cupcake.I still look really happy! Photo by Tom Marek
Jeff, me, Cassie, Ross and Del post-race. Photo by Tom Marek
The Tri Zones team plus some of our "Couples" and friends. Photo by Tom Marek
Tri Zones coaches Gina and Cindy placed in their division
Ross and David placed in their division too.
After the awards Jeff, Cassie, Del, Ross, and I went to the Hula Hut for lunch and mojitos.

Jeff's parents and Aunt Deb came to Austin on Sunday too. It was great to see all of them, especially Deb who we hadn't seen since our wedding 5 years ago!
Jeff, Deb, Judy, and Tom at Guero's
Tom ordering cupcakes at Hey Cupcake
Tom, Deb, and Judy eating cupcakes


Cass said...

Thanks for letting me stay with you this weekend! The race was a blast. I just realized that we should have switched places in our pre-race photo (we are twisted and sweet...)

Maggie said...

you got the cupcakes!!!
LOVE the pictures, you look so happy on the bike.
way to conquer Quadzilla, you rock!!

I haven't been doing as many races, but I hope to run into you soon.

way to have a ton of fun and a great race to boot!

Richard said...

You may be sweet and twisted, but your post is just sweet!
You did some smart running to slow it down when you knew something was wrong, you did a good job on a great race.