Nestled in the foothills of the Fort Davis Mountains in South Texas is the little town of Alpine. At an altitude of approximately 4,500 feet is a quaint little town with a quaint little university, the Sul Ross State University.
And so we traveled south across the Texas border through the Chihuahuan Desert, up through the Fort Davis mountains, over Wild Rose pass enjoying the harsh beauty of south Texas. The Yucca were in full bloom indicated the recent spring rains. It was a beautiful drive, a neat little town, and a pretty little campus to hold a challenging triathlon.
5am I awoke to the sound of thunder and shortly after a downpour with lightening - will they cancel? If they don't how should I layer... I talked SD into dropping me off early so I could get a good spot in the transition area. I was there at 6:30. A whole hour of people watching - but I was not nervous. It had stopped raining, and started to clear up. It was cool and sunny for the race - perfect.
The run: A three mile jaunt through the campus. Very hilly at least for this flatlands girl, but I surprised myself as I finished in 33:26 - that is roughly 11 minute miles - my best run time yet and this with some serious hills.
The Bike: A 15 mile out and back along hwy 90. A few rollers, but nothing too bad. I felt strong on the hills, though towards the end my legs were spent but I pushed through telling myself I didn't need to save them for anything. Bike split = 1:00 - you do the math. There was a short, steep hill back to transition and I had just been passed by a lady who was now pushing in a big gear, so I dropped to the smallest ring and passed her into T2 (competitive nature literally kicking into high gear).
The Swim: 360 yards of nothing but will power. I was still sucking air after my big finish off the bike. it was a bit of a walk/run uphill to the pool. My shoulders complained loudly. Note to self - seriously stick with the upper body strength training - I must hold a lot of my weight with my arms during the bike leg. So I dragged myself through the pool - sucking wind, shoulders and upper arms, not to mention spent legs complaining loudly, but I endured to the end. Swim split = 9:48:67.
Official time: 1:46:26 - First in my age group. It was a good race. Well organized - folks were nice. I'd like to come back and try it again. My body is so sore - especially my legs. The only other triathlon to date that I might have been as sore was the Xterra I did in Colorado last year.
Fan Club: It was good to have my boys there. SD didn't get crazy with his new megaphone - thank you. The boys got to walk along side the pool and wave at me when I came up for air (which was a lot). They were filthy so they had a good time playing in the dirt and mud.
I've been debating whether or not to talk about my performance compared to a certain other fellow blogger, but to be fair she has been ill for a while - so really the comparison is not fair. It did boost the ego a bit when I passed her on the run. She caught me on the bike, which I was expecting, but I passed her back on a hill which was probably not a strategic move on my part because it was close to the end and my legs were running out of juice. She passed me again and that was it. It was good for me, but like I said she's been ill so it wasn't a level playing ground. She'll smoke me the next time we race together. Still... am I spreadsheet worthy yet?
Next up Jay Benson Tri - on my 12th wedding anniversary.