Hot Mediums – TriRock Austin

September 6th, 2014

Winning uppercut! photo courtesy of Nils Nilsen

There is not much better than not working on the weekend, except for not working on the weekend and celebrating the fact that you don’t have to work on the weekend. This Labor Day started with a 4:45 am alarm, but I hit the snooze button, cuddled Heather and the pups and went back to sleep. That only lasted 15 minutes when my backup alarm went off and it was time to get up. After setting the tea kettle on the stove for some soon-to-be coffee, I jumped on the roller with my Scott Foil road bike for a warm up. My Scott Plasma triathlon bike was currently sitting in transition in downtown Austin waiting for me to show up. Heather made me a gluten free pancake, while I rushed to get ready. I woofed down the pancake with some almond butter, as we headed out the door to the Long Center for the race. I was the only one racing, but Heather did me a solid by waking up early and accompanying to the Tri Rock Austin.

Water is warm...should I wear my Xtterra Velocity Speedsuit? Goggles: Sable Water Optics

The air was hot, still and humid – an average Central Texas morning! The last time I did this race was in 2010 when it was the Avia Austin Triathlon. The course is very similar to the Lifetime Fitness CapTex Triathlon that takes place every Memorial Day, but with some minor changes for the bike and run courses. I actually like this course better because it had a few more hills. The swim was clockwise in Lady Bird Lake, and the water was warm. I debated whether or not to wear my Xterra Velocity speedsuit; I opted to wear it because of the extra advantage it gives me. There was no getting away from the heat; all of my surroundings were hot.

Final Stretch

The swim was a time trial start and my wave went first. I was second to last in my wave so I got to play cat and mouse…well, lion in my case. I had a pretty solid swim, the second fastest of the day and emerged from the water out of breathe because the water was around 85 degrees. Once on the bike, I just tried to mitigate any loss of my invisible lead. I was not first out of the water but I made up enough time during the swim with the time trial start to not be physically first but first in regards to my chip time.

Post race interview

After three loops on the bike course, I was out on the run. It was a rough and clumsy run. Mostly because of the heat, but I just kept a level head and didn’t go out too fast. Luckily, I had good cloud cover and there was ice on the course. Because it was a time trial, I had to keep a good pace so I wouldn’t be surprised to cross the finish line first and not come in first when the results officially came out. I ran the fastest of the day and crossed the finish line in first with an uncoordinated upper cut. When the results were posted, I was surprised to see that I won by 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Not an easy win by any means, even though it may have seemed that way. I guess I ended up doing some work on Labor Day after all.

Best part of my race...

I am fortunate and honored to represent the US Army and race for the US Military Elite Triathlon Team, part of US Military Endurance Sports. Racing and training is effortless and made possible by the following USMES sponsors:  Boeing,  Snapple,  Scott,  SRAM,  Primal,  American ClassicOsmo Nutrition,Honey StingerHeadsweatsRudy ProjectsXterra Wetsuits Orange Seal CyclingKlean Athlete  andSchwalbe. I’m thankful to be serviced by and involved with my local bike shop, Jack and Adams Bikes. Team Sterghos also includes VasaSable Water Optics, and Total Immersion. I’m coached and trained by Tim Crowley of TC2 coaching. I eat and promote a plant-based diet for maximum performance and recovery. Finally and most importantly, at the end of the day my heart belongs to Heather.