Sunday, June 27, 2010

Y Freedom Tri 2010

2010 Pre-Race Photo

This was the first triathlon I have done a second time, so I was looking forward to seeing how I have improved over the last year. My 2009 time was 1:33:08 and I was hoping for a good day where I would break 1:20:00.

I woke up early for the hour or so drive to Pearland for the race. Often, I might spend the money for a hotel room for a tri of this distance away from home, but seeing as how I just spent $600+ on Ironman Texas, I figured I could afford to save a few dollars and cut out the hotel stay. After an uneventful drive, I arrived around 5:30 to park at the nearby Pearland High School and walked my bike a gear over to the park. I racked my bike in almost the same place, but one rack farther south.

The swim was a 300m pool swim and I came out right on my seeding estimate--for the first time in a tri pool swim I neither passed, nor was passed by anyone. The swim was out and back for 6 50meter pool lengths. A couple times the guy in front of me slowed down enough to catch his breath for a moment, but since he would pick right up again I figured it would be a waste of energy to try to pass him. The bike ride was through a neighborhood with several out and back portions. Unfortunately, my cycle meter battery died sometime overnight (and I did check it last night!) so I did not know my mileage or speed while out on the bike. I did however turn in my fastest bike speed for any triathlon, as I went on perceived exertion and heart rate. It was feeleing hot with the sun beating down, but there was enough shade to keep from feeling too hot. Again I felt fairly strong and only walked at aid stations, probably less than a minute of total walking (something I have never done before on a tri) and turned in a strong run. I finished in 1:18:06 with a strong sprint to the finish, and a 15:02 improvement over last year.

Last year this race provided a cold wet towel at the finish line and a finisher's medal. This year we still got the cold wet towel, but got a special Polar water bottle instead of the finisher's medal--probably a more practical choice, but I am still sucker for a good finisher's medal.

I improved in every timed aspect of the race, including the transitions, compared to last year, most notably on the bike and run. Also, for the first time in a tri, I finished better than the bottom 1/3 of the field (15th out of 24).

My comparisons to the previous race are as follows:

Swim....7:25......6:43.....(swim times include a run to transition)

Time Back from the age group winner: in 2009 34:58; in 2010 16:52.
Finishing position: in 2009 19th of 22 finishers (with 1 DNF way behind); in 2010 15th of 24.

Clearly my hope to use this race as a marker of my improvement over the last year was a success. Furthermore, I am even more hopeful of additional progress in the future as my fitness continues to improve and my weight continues to drop over the long run.

Photobucket2009 Post Race Photo

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ironman Texas

...and so this email I received says...

Registration Confirmation for:

"2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

Dear Richard,

Congratulations! You are now registered for 2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas. Please check the event's official website for updates: "

Maybe later I will have one of the "OMG, what have I done!!!" moments, but for now I have some work to do, plus a sprint triathlon in Pearland this weekend.

I sat at the computer with 12-Noon coming up and decided to go for the IM Texas registration and be part of all the local hype and hoopla next May. It seems the local Marriott hotel is already sold out for the event dates, though that does not worry me as I live only slightly farther from the race start than that Marriott. I would guess it likely that I invite some triathlon friends over to my house for the race to save them some expense, as some have been kind enough to do for me.

I'm sure there will be lots more to write as I train for this event in the future....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ironman Texas

Last night I went to the local meeting for The Woodlands Township to hear in person if the rumors being circulated locally would become truth. After about 40 minutes of regular local government "stuff", up came the speaker for the World Triathlon Corporation, who made a presentation to the Directors. As the Township had already been working with the WTC on this event for a while, this presentation was more of a debut to the packed house crowd--many of whom were in tri club or tri race gear--for a future Ironman event to be held in the local area. After the presentation the Directors made it official with a formal vote of support, and Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas starts its inaugural race at 7:00 a.m., Saturday, May 21, 2011!

Given the long distance I am from any Ironman event, I had always figured that travel would be a major cost and a major logistical consideration--now I find the start line less than 3 miles from my front door.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Detour to Austin

(photo of the state Capitol Building by me, as viewed from the conference room of the Lloyd-Gosselink law firm)

Last week I was supposed to take a 2 day work trip to Austin to testify as part of an administrative hearing in an underground waste injection well permit hearing. However, it ended up keeping me in Austin pretty much all week, leaving me behind at work as well as mentally and physically drained. If anyone is interested in hearing about the environmental, hydrogeologic or public policy issues from me just email me as I won't be going on about those here.

However, I did get a chance to take in some local color while visiting. After making an offhand comment about running on the hotel treadmill the first morning in town, my friend Heather went into action and found me a good running route, which I more or less used for 3 of the mornings I was in town. The course took me from my hotel, past the Capitol Building, down and around the Town Lake running trails along downtown's south side and then back to the hotel. One of the days I finished the run by running uphill to the Capitol Building steps. This amounted to more than my usual running, but I sure needed it given my frustration level over these days.

Fortunately, I also had enough free time to make it to Homeslice Pizza which is an "independent neighborhood pizza joint serving authentic NY-style pizza—by the pie or by the slice—to nice people like you." They have good pizza, with more than just a bit of attitude, but a well deserved reputation. While I failed to make it to the famed Barton Springs pool, I did make it to the Deep Eddy Pool for some lap swimming. Deep Eddy is also a historic local site. The pool itself is fed from a hand dug well with untreated water that is around 70 degrees--cold but nice. Finally, I also got share a nice dinner at ALC (Austin Land and Cattle) Steaks. Everything here was very good, I was told the flash fried spinach was very good--and it was! Each spinach leaf was akin to a potato chip in texture while keeping the spinach taste, although I have to wonder if it still was technically healthy at that point. Also, I caught up with Heather and Jeff for dinner one night for dinner at Torchy's Tacos near their house, where I had a very good pork green chile taco dinner.

Fortunately I was able to leave for home by Friday evening to see my family and dogs again, although I wasn't so keen on seeing the higher humidity again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday Night Track

Tuesday is the track training night for my training group.

Last night was our second session and after warming up and doing track drills I was running a 2 mile time trial for my primary training. I finished with a 17:39 time, which is a speed I have not seen for many years. It's not fast but it sure is fast for me! I guess it is just some proof that all my training is paying off, as I am quite sure that I could not have done this a year ago.