I am soooo excited to be writing this race report. As you all know, today was Keith's first venture into the world of triathlon as an athlete vs spectator. Keith took up cycling a couple months after IMTX and decided he wouldn't mind signing up as part of a relay team. Always up for something fun, I was game as was my brother Luke. Keith has been riding since July & we've been looking forward to today for months.
Pre Pre Race
We researched the results from TAT from 2010 and noticed there were only 3 coed relay teams. Based on that, we set the goal of placing top 3 but preferably, #1. As we reviewed the times, we felt it was doable. Instructions to my teammates were simple: race so hard you vomit.
Keith & I got down to the land of Sugar mid-day Saturday and picked up our packets then checked into the hotel. Sophie & Leia were with us as we decided for such a short trip, we wouldn't need a dog sitter. Mistake #1 which I'll get to later. Keith laid down for a nap (shocker) and I went to the gym to swim for a bit. Between the car accident 1.5 weeks ago and taking a spill off a very high barstool, Thursday night, my back has been kind of a mess. Well, my back was better before Thursday but then once I literally busted my A$$, my tailbone was in bad shape. I'll be honest with you, I wonder if I chipped a bone. I'm still in pain but have been working out. Anyway, I went to the pool just to make sure everything felt good. Aside from pushing off the wall, I was great!
We went to dinner with my awesome family at Cafe Adobe and enjoyed fajitas and lots of water. I was watching Luke like a hawk as I knew he'd want beer and I needed him to be 100% in the morning. I had high hopes for him come race morning and had no problem bossing him around. We talked strategy for a few minutes. We came up with out plan to get in & out of transition and then talked about the goals each of us had. I would be the swimmer (aka weak link) and had a goal to PR my swim time. The last time I did TAT, I swam in 7:14 which was a MAJOR improvement from the time before. Keith's goal was to average 20mph on the bike. Luke is a great runner and wanted to do the run in 20min or less. I need to add here that Luke works for Ozarka and engages in serious physical labor DAILY. This kid is working out constantly when at work and his job is really taking a toll on his knees. We wanted to be in & out of transition in 1min for both. Overall, we wanted to come in under an hour and thought 58:00 or 59:00 was doable.
Keith & I returned to the hotel and turned in around 9:30pm. Much to our dismay, the dogs did not care for the hotel and as guests returned from their evening out, Sophie would bark like crazy. And of course, when Sophie barks, Leia barks.
They served as alarm clocks at 10:30pm, 11:30pm, 12:35am, 1:30am and 3:30am. Seriously.
I woke up at 5am, 15min before the alarm and decided to just get up. Of course Sophie & Leia were exhausted from their evening of barking. We had prepped everything the night before so getting dressed and loading the car was a breeze. Keith and I put Leia in her crate and gave Sophie some food. As we headed down
the stairs, we could hear Sophie "crying" and then barking. We immediately knew she could do this the whole time we were gone and didn't think it would be wise to leave her. I had horrible visions of hotel management getting so many complaints that they would force entry to our room and steal our little bundle of joy. Ok, not steal but take her and put her in a nasty cage somewhere. This couldn't happen so we took her. The plan was easy. Keith would go into transition and set up his bike and then I would go in to scope out the distance from swim exit to the bike and all that good stuff. After getting body marked, I figured I would just try to go into transition and see what happened. Much to my surprise, they let me in. Heck, they even tried to body mark Miss Sophie. This is one reason I love these smaller races. Crazy stuff like this works. Thanks volunteers for letting us bring in our dog who has massive separation anxiety. Sophie appreciates your kindness.
I could probably make this really long so why don't we just get to it!
Once again, I found myself in the last wave. Women 45+ and all relay teams. We had a hodge podge of ages, body types and fitness levels in this group. The first wave went off at 7:15am and I was set to go at 8:15am. JOY! For some reason, there were
10min between waves this year which IMO was not needed. Anyway, I got in the water w/ teammate Lynn Flora at 8:10am and we treaded water for the 5 minutes until we started.
I put myself in the front b/c I knew I wanted to push this race. Given I've had my share of disappointments lately, I just didn't think about what would happen other than telling myself I would swim as hard as I could, do my best and see what happened. Ana has told me if I do that, the times will come. The countdown was on and off I went. I swam hard but felt great. I did feel myself start to slow a bit just before hitting the final buoys and told myself to GO GO GO. I got to the point where I thought I could stand and grab a volunteer's hand to help me out but I was wrong. Ooops! Swim a few more strokes and then try again.
I was out of the water and heading down the muddy path to transition. I slipped in one spot as it was SUPER slick but didn't fall. Yay! Once I hit the pavement, I ran as hard as I could.
Swim time: 7:00.3 for a swim PR!!!!!!!!!!!!
While our goal was to be at 1min for T1, we didn't take into account where our bikes would be racked. We were in the last row so I was going to have a further run than planned. I got to the rack, took my chip off and yelled at Keith to go!
T1: 1:55.8 which was good for 6th in our division. Hot diggity dog!
I wasn't on the bike course so I can't give you a play by play but I can tell you that Keith tore it up. His plan was to go balls to the wall and leave it all on the course. He was passed only twice once on the course and made up some great time. As he turned the corner to head into T2, he looked so strong and SO dang happy. Stupid me went technology free and so had NO idea where we were at this point. I knew he had come back before a bunch of folks who got on the bike course before him but as for time, who knew?
Bike time: 28:02.9 which was 21.4mph AND 4th in the division. O M G. My man did AWESOME. Beyond awesome. I am thrilled for him!
Bike in was right next to our rack so we knew we'd be quick. Keith racked the bike and Luke bent down immediately to take the chip. Luke had it on his leg in nothing flat and was literally off in a flash.
T2 time: 0:38.9 which was good for 1st in our division. Yes, my boys ROCKED T2. I take partial responsibility of course b/c I coached them. :)
At this point, we knew we were close to at least one co-ed relay team but honestly, had no idea how many co-ed teams there were. Like I said before, last year there were 3 so I figured there were about the same this year. Luke took off out of T2 like a man on a mission. I got down to the spot where runners started their 2nd loop or headed to the finish. I figured I had taken too long to see Luke start his 2nd loop. I cheered for people while I waited and got to see Lynn's daughter Olivia half way through her run (looking strong)! I squinted my eyes and could see Luke a ways down. I started yelling like a soccer mom on crack. In my mind, Luke picked up his speed at that moment and literally rocketed towards the finish line. Everyone who saw him said he was moving F A S T. He was smiling too!
Run time: 20:09.5 which works out to a 6:43/mile pace. This kid is amazing! The official results say he was 4th in the division but as you further inspect the results, it's clear there were two team who did not run two loops. How do I know this? Well, at the pace of 3:40/mile and 4:24/mile, I can put two & two together. Usain Bolt was not at TAT this weekend which was a further clue to me that we had a couple cheaters on our hands. Either way, neither of those teams placed above us overall so what do I care? As far as I'm concerned, Luke's time is good for 2nd in our division.
Overall Time: 57:47.5 good for 3rd in our division. The even better news? There were 15 teams this year!!!!!!
All I can tell you right now is that I am absolutely beaming with pride. We achieved every goal we had. When I saw the results and saw I was 7min even, I was so happy. My next thought? Damn, I could've gone 6:50 if I tried. :) Next time. Keith was a complete beast on the bike. This is a guy who a few months ago was 17lbs heavier and not really exercising. Keith's also a smoker which I'm not happy about but I wanted to point out. For him to get 4th in our division is a HUGE accomplishment. I am SO proud of him. And then of course, there's Luke. What can I say? I love watching him run. I wish I had just a fraction of his natural ability. I mean, we're siblings so I have to have it somewhere right? I told Keith after the race that I had been telling Luke all week to run sub-20 never realizing that 20minutes was a 6:43 pace. I wouldn't have pressured him so much had I realized that! I am so impressed with my brother and just know that if he ever decided to make time to train, he would absolutely kill it!
So there you have it! The race today was a huge success. I'm also thrilled for Team Generation for placing 7th (but really 6th) in the division. Lynn had a 5:07.4 swim good for 4th in the division. Bill, who is marriedto future Ironman Chris, averaged 18.5mph on the bike. Ok, this is a huge deal as Bill is not really into the whole triathlon thing but is married to someone who is (and has two daughters who are). Seeing Bill's big smile as he came in off the bike made me so happy! I know his family is SO proud of him. And of course, there is Olivia who ran to a fantastic 9th place in her division. She rocked her run in 27:38.6. I'm so happy for you guys and so glad we could be out there for each other!
So there you have it...another week has come to an end and another race is in the books. I will be racing in 7 days (Galveston). I'll be back w/ another post before then. Happy Sunday evening!