Monday, September 7, 2009

The Austin Tri

Tri Zones group photo by Tom Marek.

I did the Austin Tri last year in preparation for Longhorn the weekend I moved to Austin. It was a fun race and I'm doing Longhorn again this year so I decided to do it again. Del did the sprint last year and this year did the olympic to get ready for Longhorn. David also came out to race and tons of Tri Zoners raced this year. Since Del is on vacation, he came out on Thursday and we went to Homeslice with Fred and Lori on Friday night. Lori is loving her new bike and is going to Rock the Livestrong Challenge!

On Sunday we did packet pickup and stopped by the Tri Zones booth. See that picture on the table to the left of Del, that's Jeff, me, Cassie, Ross, and Del at Couples! I didn't even see it until Jeff noticed it in this picture.
Coach Gina, Little Pam, and Coach Tracy
We racked our bikes talked to a few more friends and then headed home
Del in the transition area with Town Lake and downtown Austin in the background
Del and I got up early to get to Audtorium Shores and set up transition. Jeff was planning to come down a little later and spectate. I got my transition set up, talked with David and still had almost 2 hours to wait. I got to see David get out of the water and on his bike, and talked with all my Tri Zones friends. Lots of them did their first olympic tri today!I love this picture! It embodies the spirit of Tri Zones. Photo by Tom Marek.
Katie, me, and Audra right before my swim wave started. Photo by Tom Marek.

My goal was to try to beat all my times from last year. I knew it would be tough because I felt like I had a good race last year. My swim felt good and was pretty uneventful until the end. On the way back I kept looking for the last turn buoy to turn in toward the finish, but I never saw it. The sun was in my eyes, but I looked and looked and never saw it. I decided they must not have one, so when I saw other people turning toward the finish, I did too. But then I thought, there's just no way they don't have a turn buoy, so I stopped and looked all around me. The turn bouy was behind me. I just couldn't cheat, even though that probably wasn't a big deal. So I went back and turned around the buoy, as I did a girl breast stroking kicked my hand hard, it still hurts. My swim time ended up being 35:51, about 25 seconds slower than last year, but I easily would have beat last year's time without my stupid mistake, oh well.

T1 is really long at the Austin Tri, jogging on the dirt/grass into transition, getting stuff together and then jogging with the bike out to the mount line. My transition was a minute longer this year, at 5:31 not sure why, I didn't feel like I took any longer at anything.

My biggest goal for this race was to improve my bike time, the course was exactly the same, 3 loops on Congress and out to and around Austin High. Last year I averaged 14.9 mph and felt like I had a good ride and went about as fast as I could. This year I decided to keep my computer on avg. speed and try to keep it above 15 mph. It worked really well, after the first loop I was at 15.5 and feeling good, after the second loop I was up to 15.7, the third time up the hills on Congress was tough, but I kept working hard and I ended up with a 16.0 mph avg. speed, my fastest ever at an olympic distance tri! Apparently I stick my tongue out when I'm concentrating on trying to ride hard. Photo by Tom Marek.

I saw lots of Tri Zoners on the ride and lots of Tri Zoners out spectating. So many people yelled my name, it was really fun! I didn't recognize everyone, but I did see Coach Tracy, Blonde Pam, Nicole and Stacey H., Tom and Lynn spectating. Bike time was 1:32:50 compared to 1:40:09 last year.

I was really happy with my bike, but I was afraid it might have ruined my chances for a good run. I saw Little Pam and Nicole in T2, T2 was 3:24 compared to 3:43 last year.

I got out on the run and knew it was going to be a tough one. After the first mile or so, I realized I needed to slow down a little. This race doesn't have mile markers so I don't know how fast I was going, but by feel, it was way too fast for me to sustain for 6.2 miles. It was definitely getting hot too. I slowed down and felt a little better, but I was still breathing hard and my legs were tired. I was having a little trouble breathing and probably should have used my inhaler, this morning my chest hurts a little and I'm conjested, definite signs I was having some asthma issues and should have used the inhaler, oh well. I saw David and Gillian cheering for me and a little later I saw Jeff. I also saw tons of Tri Zoners all over the course. Emmie, Carolyn, Vickie, and Dustin at the Tri Zones spectator area. Photo by Tom Marek.

I played tag with Little Pam a few times, but when her side stitches got better she took off. There were Tri Zoners cowbelling all over the course, I remember seeing Coach Jen, Sarah G, Stacey H was everywhere and of course Tom was everywhere taking pictures, but there were tons of other people who cheered for me - so much fun! Stacey H. was a professional spectator! I can't even count the number of times I saw her on the bike and run course cheering for all of us! Photo by Tom Marek.

I saw Nicki's friend Alysha (who sagged the Longhorn course for us) and she yelled something about "if you can still smile then you aren't running hard enough" Ha, she obviously doesn't know me too well, I could be on my deathbed and I'd still smile at a friendly face! The entire second loop of the run I was thinking I had to beat 3:35 to beat last year's time. I felt like my run was slower, so I was feeling good when I came in at 3:32:53, but later I realized my time last year was 3:39:32 so I beat my PR by 6:39!! My run times were about the same, 1:15:38 last year and 1:15:15 this year. Everyone agreed the run was hot and pretty miserable, so at least I wasn't alone on that one.

It was so much fun to see everyone do so well today! All my Tri Zones friends doing their first olympic had great races, everyone I know doing the sprint had a great race. Del had a great race and David finished high in the overall standings. What a fun day!!


Hua said...


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Richard said...

Even if you did swim off a bit, I still think you did a great job and you can be very proud of that PR!
Great job, Heather!

Alili said...

Fantastic PR!! It sounds like you overcame a lot of little obstacles to get there, but you did it! :)

Congrats to you!

Maggie said...

another great race! way to kick it up a notch on the bike, impressive pace on that course.
congrats on your PR at this race!! woo hoo!