Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Austin, Texas

I felt really pretty good heading into Austin. I was feeling quick and confident. I think I had my head on straight and was mentally where I needed to be. I set out on the swim at a fast cruise as I was planning on laying it down on the bike and run. By the first buoy I was away from the rest of the elite amateurs, except one, my new pal Frank. I got out of the water first from that wave and was feeling pretty good and thinking that this day might shape up to be a great race.

I got on the bike and didn’t feel that great, but figured it would come around, so I just stayed on top of my nutrition, put my head down and waited to find my top gear. I didn’t.

Even still I was feeling pretty positive, I had a good lead leaving the water and my bike wasn’t that awful, so a quick run would still keep me in the game. I hit the road and felt pretty good at first, but a few minutes in things just started to unravel. It was a two lap run. I tried to put in some surges to break up my tempo and hopefully light a fire, to no avail. As things continued to deteriorate, I checked my watch as I neared the second run lap. It confirmed the bad news so I retired from the race and promptly found the beer tent (and, incidentally, Frank who also DNF'ed) having accomplished my first DNF in triathlon. Huzzah!

This, on the heels of LA and Grizzly was a pretty big blow, especially given the work I’d put in over the past six months or so, and, truth be told, I am still struggling to gain insight into what happened and perspective on the race. More on that later…

I can’t say enough about Austin. I love Texas, I always have, and if I weren’t from South Carolina, I’d want to be from Texas. I was also treated to a visit and shenanigans with my good friend Annie, with whom I rode bikes across the country. We also met up with our fellow cycling adventurer, Donald. I enjoyed mint juleps served in pewter beakers, excellent food, stunning Southern women and, most importantly tremendous heat, high humidity and unrelenting sun.

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