Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 Lake Pflugerville Triathlon

On Father’s Day, I did the same thing I’ve done on Father’s Day since 2007…….I got up early and headed to Lake Pflugerville for the Lake Pflugerville triathlon. As usual, I was one of the first ones there. The only difference this year was that we had seen a lot of rain recently, so our normal parking was not opened. A new subdivision is being built across the street from the lake, so police were directing us into the subdivision to park. I got a fairly decent spot, unloaded my stuff and walk to transition.

Once in transition it seemed something was off. Then I remembered that the city had expanded the parking area, which meant more rows in transition. Once I realized that, I headed to the row I wanted to be on (on an end of course) and started setting up my stuff. The rows began to fill and people started squeezing in. It never ceases to amaze me how some people just move other people’s stuff so they can get a good spot despite arriving so late. Umm, not my stuff. I stay next to my stuff until transition closes.

I had been watching the weather and there was a chance of rain today, but it seemed like it would hold off until after the race. The pre-race announcements seemed to indicate the same every time they would give an update on the weather. I hoped that was true.

When it was time to exit transition, I headed to the swim start. There were several Team RWB members racing, including one who had attending tri camp in April. We talked while waiting for the race to start.

My swim times in the pool have come down lately, so I was hoping that would translate into open water and I would have a good swim today. I lined up near the front like always, but this year it seemed like we started in more shallow water than normal. When the horn blew, we had to walk a little into deeper water before starting to swim. When I came out of the water, I was a little disappointed in the time on my watch, but I just kept plugging away.

Swim time: 11:55

I headed into transition, put my cycling gear on, grabbed my bike and headed off for the ride as fast as I could.

T1: 1:53

I ride the bike course all the time in training, so I was hoping to have a great time today. I felt like things were going well until a couple of miles into it. I turned the corner by the Cele bar-b-que store and started heading up the hill. And that’s when the rain started. I was hoping it would be a quick little shower and be gone, but no such luck. It started pouring. So much that I could feel my socks squishing in my shoes. I had decided before the race that if it rained, I didn’t care what my time would be. Safety first for me. I kept pushing on the straights, but when I came to any curve, I slowed down more than I typically would. The intensity of the rain varied during the bike, but it never really seemed to stop until just before I was done.

There is one point where you ride down the access road of the toll road. As I was reaching the end of that and getting ready to turn, I saw an ambulance go through the intersection. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. I made it through the construction zone and started pushing again. When I got closer to the lake I could see where the ambulance had gone. At the last turn to head back to the lake sat the ambulance, a fire truck and a police car. I wasn’t even sure I could get through. As I approached, I slowed down. A lot. I watched the cyclist ahead of me and saw that they were letting us through, so I followed. I made that last turn really slow. I did not want to hit the paint and fall. I was glad to climb the last hill and turn into transition.

Bike time: 45:45 for an 18.4mph

I took off my helmet and changed my cycling shoes for my running shoes and off I went.

T2: 1:12

I knew the run was going to be brutal. After the morning rain, the sun was now trying to make it’s way out and it was humid. I don’t do well in humidity. I just told myself to run the whole way and not worry about it, and that’s exactly what I did. I was very happy to finally see that finish line.

Run time: 27:53 for a 9:18 pace

Total Time: 1:28:41 for 11th in my age group and 298 overall.

It wasn’t my fastest Lake Pflugerville finish, but it wasn’t my slowest. It was, however, the first triathlon I’ve done in the rain. As many as I’ve done, I’ve been lucky. I’ve done cycling events in the rain and definitely running races in the rain, but never a triathlon.

I hung out for a while to watch some of my friends finish, but then the weather seemed like it was going to turn again. With a couple of flashes of lightning, I decided it was time to head home.

Thanks for the fun. I'll be back next year.