Let's start with the cool stuff. I got to the race site after checking in at my awesome Holiday Inn Express hotel with King bed, flat screen tv in my room and the elevator! ya cool huh. Once at race site, I went packet pick up and got that squared off and then the coolist thing, I got to meet Allez and Andra Sue! (yeah, I know you all are jealous) who came out for a little open water swimming. They are both very nice and great bloggers! Thanks for coming out. After a little swimming in the wave lake from all the jet skiers and some boats it was chill time and I even got to take a look at Allez and her knee problems and helped her out. (Hope it's feeling better Allez)
After all that it was back to the HIE to get cleaned up and go to dinner with the TNT group so Applebee's it was and then we were back at the there motel as Doc JohnnyTri was now in session and had to tend to some TNTers that were needing some minor/fine tune ups. Then it was back to HIE and just chill time for me and get things ready for the morning. I finally went to bed like 11 pm.
So 4:30am comes fast and it was up and start eating for pre-race food. Once ready I was out the door and at the race site by 5:45am, body marked, and in transition. I got a nice spot on the far end of my rack and so I had lot's of space. Next I know 3 other TNTers show up and there rack next too me, Score! then right at the next rack 3 more TNTers rack up.
After getting all settled I realized I left my sunglasses in my suv, crap! But got plenty of time and walk back and get them. By now it's time for swim warm up but I have to go pee so I stand in line and by that time, missed the swim warm, and it's race pre-meeting.
After the in's and out's it's go time and I am in the first of 5 waves. Once in the water it was just about 60 seconds and we're off!
Swim: The swim is a triangular shape and we are swimming with the buoys on the right shoulder, great for me being a right sided breather. As I'm heading for the first yellow buoy to make the turn I hear the gun from the second wave go off. Up in till now I am just trying to settle in and get a rhythm and stay a little wide off the main line and stay off of traffic and it's working. After making the yellow buoy I turn and starting heading straight and then I notice the 2nd wave fast swimmers starting to pass me, some little bumps and nudges but not bad and I recheck position to make sure I'm off the main lane. About half way down the back straight I'm tired and stop and see where I am, bad move! I'm barley no where! Crap. Then I see more wave peeps coming up and start again. Swim, breath, stroke, breath, easy, calm....sight..repeat .. That's how it went for a while and then I realized I was right in the main lane and getting swam into again so I look around and see the faster swimmers from the 3rd wave are catching me, so I move out of the main lane. One good thing about being a big guy, it's hard to swim over me! HA. Ain't dat right Bigun! I finally see the 2nd yellow buoy make the turn and start heading home with the sun in my eyes and hard to follow the buoys now so I just follow the other swimmers catching a draft here and there and one time I started swimming really fast and gotta tired and had to stop for rest, bad move. I seem more tired trying to restart then just slow down and keep going. Finally I'm outta the water and loving it. I know I was slow when I got to T1 but oh well, I made it, Big Score! Time: 49:20 damn that's 3:17/100. Dead last in my Clyds div.
T1: Pretty easy, about 100 yards from the water. Standard stuff. 2:49.
Bike: Once on the bike it the route was out of the park for about a mile and then on the main road. My plan was to stay in middle of Z3 which was 160/min HR and run an 80 cadence. The main road was 2 loops with a turn around at each end. Once making the first turn around I was settled in and taking in fluids and my gels and starting to pass some people and seeing the TNTers. I would shout out or throw a encouragement out as I passed. After the 2nd turn around I noticed I was right on plan and feeling good passing a few here and there. Once approaching the park entrance they had a water bottle hand out but I didn't need it so I just kept going. Making the 1st turn around again I noticed my HR was at the bottom of Z3 and I was spinning about 85 rpm. So I changed gearing to get me on plan and noticed that I actually slowed down and my HR went up, Still on my original plan but why stay there when spinning higher with lower HR and faster mph was working better so that's what I did. After the 2nd turn around I was still feeling great and coming up on bottle hand out and needed some more water as I was out by now and I wanted another Gatorade bottle to take home. Finished the bike of 26.2 miles in 1 hour 21 mins with an avg. of 19.1mph, nice job.
T2: Pretty uneventful expect I started running out the wrong way and had to ask really quick, brain fart! Time: 1:30.
Run: Oh my it was heating up and the first little bit of the run there was some shade so grab a hold where you can. The course when through part of the park in a little twisty out and back loop which was nice to see everyone and then followed the bike route out of the park for about 3/4 mile where it turned and went up on top of the maintenance road for the lake, which there was ZERO shade! I had forgotten to pack my race hat so I had this black cotton hat that I took and kept it wet and wore it on and off as it got too hot. I was taking in my gels and fluids and started off with a 10:15 first and 2nd mile and then my HR started getting to Z5 and with 4 more miles I figured I'd better slow down, so walking the water stations became the plan which worked well until on the no shade road where I just had to stop and walk to bring the HR down as I was at about mile 3.25, close to the turn around. This guy named Tim and I kept passing each other and I would ask him how he was doing as he seemed to be struggling. Finally Tim decided to run with me as I stayed steady and he would run fast pass me then walk and there I would go and pass him. So he stayed with my till about mile 5 and said to go on as his hamstrings were not working for him, see ya! By this mile I was still feeling good and really started to notice I was catching people..humm... am I running faster? Nope Garmin says same pace..11:30ish now.. so I started asking people when passing them..How you doin` #345? Ahh.. now I know what bonking feels like?.. Next... How you doin` #233? Ahh.. stomach's upset, I'll make it...Next... I passed about 10 people, some I talked to others I just ran by.. and then the finish line!! I picked up the pace and I see all the TNTers there cheering and yelling.. Go Johnny!!! The announcer says #156 John Vigil with Team in Training!!! Time: 1 hour 12 mins, avg. 11:38/min.
Overall, I loved it! Yeah, my swim totally was off but I felt fine out there, just slow. Maybe too relaxed and swam too easy I guess but I got it done and it did seem a little farther than I was used to swimming which makes me wonder the exact distance of my training loop, so next time I am going to canoe with the GPS before hand and check. I totally felt fueled and hydrated and steady the whole time. I didn't feel like I would be in trouble at some point. I am very happy with the results and know what to work on over the next couple of months.
I was even worried about being tired and driving home, having a headache or something but nothing. I got back to the HIE, ate some chicken breast, rice, sweet potato's, Nuun, and sipped on Gatorade. Got cleaned up and drove 4 hours home and was fine the whole time!
Now it's time to nail down the 70.3 distance and the 50.5 series in The Woodlands 2 weeks after the 70.3.
Thanks everybody for the support YOU ALL ARE AWESOME!!