As the Airplane taxied to the gate and we started to get off I realized how hot and muggy it was in Texas. I have lived in Dallas before but it was a real shock to the system. I rented the car and headed to the hotel. The drive made me realize that I was already missing my family and I hope their comes a time where I can have them with me and we can do this as a family. The room that I checked into was right downtown and right next to the race. It was a 3 minute walk to transition and the race check in. Sonja, Steve and Andrea were the next to arrive and did so a few hours later. We went out for Dinner and have a Tex Mex and had a good time. John and Beth arrived later that night and by Saturday afternoon the gang was all present. We ended up having Sonja, Steve, Andrea, Anthony, Barry, Priscilla, Julie, John, Beth and Me as the racers from Practical Coaching.
We finished packet pickup and racked our bikes and chilled the rest of the day. I was able to drive an our North to Temple to see Shane and Dixie Lewis. It has been years since I saw them and so it was a real treat. They have 4 really cute kids and a great home in Texas while Shane finishes his residency.
After having a good sleep the alarm went off at 5am and we were up to go after it in Austin. I finished setting up transition in the sand pit that I was in and then headed out because they closed transition 30 minutes before the first wave went off. We sat around and watched everyone go off. The first wave was at 7am and I went off at 7:40am. This race was a deep water start so I placed myself at the front looking right at the fist orange booie. The gun went off and I was focused on starting slow and getting into a good pace. I was passed by a bunch of eager beavers and passed them all back about 500 yards down the way after they burned up. I felt great with a calm start and a good stroke. I was able to spend most of the swim by myself and was able to stick to my game plan of being calm and patient. I came out of the water as one of the faster guys in my wave and felt really good. While running to transition I did a check and really did fell good. I was fast to my bike and out on the bike course. This race was a 4 loop course and by the time I was out on it their seemed to be 2000 racers. I got caught up in the mix pretty quick and then slowed down at the end of the first loop. I knew what the other 3 were going to feel like so I kept focused on making good turns and holding good lines. This race was the first that I have ever been to where I was doing most of the passing. I was only passed a couple of dozen times. I was able to stay calm and not push too hard on the bike and finished pretty fast. I was having a lot of fun and could have stayed out for a few more laps. Into T2 was fast and I was making sure that I did not rush out onto the run coarse too fast. I wanted to make my first mile the slowest and did a good job staring out. I keep my breathing calm and felt really good thought the first half of a 2 loop course. By the time I finished the first loop I did a check and really was feeling good and strong. As Steve says"I spread the peanut butter well today". I stared the second loop and made a promise that I would push it on the last half on the down hill to the finish line. The group was cheering me in as I was pushing the last few hundred yards and was really pushing a fast pace. I finished and felt strong. I felt like it was the best race I have ever done and had no idea of my time. I raced all on perceived effort and did well judging what I had to give today.
A few minutes later I was able to pull my results and realized I had accomplished my time goal of beating a 2:30 at this race. I also had a bonus by running a sub 8 minute pace on the run course. I finished in 2:26 and took 18th in my age group and qualified for Nationals in Portland. What a great day. I am so thankful for my family for letting me do this and for letting me race. I am thankful for the friends that I am able to race with and travel with so the cost's are low and I am thankful for my Coach who keeps it real and continues to help me accomplish my goals. I love triathlons and love doing well.
I love you Anne,