Race #2 of The Texas Tri Series (for me) was The Lake Pflugerville Tri this weekend!
So, if you couldn’t tell by my constant whining over the last couple of weeks, I hadn’t been feeling all that great… and therefore, was very lax on training. I think over the three weeks before, I ran a total of 10 miles, cycled maybe 50, and swam a grand total of three times. Yeah. Wasn’t all that info it.
I didn’t mention this on the blog, but last Thursday I did the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run with my friends Jenn and Amanda. I wasn’t all that excited – since it started at 8, it promised to be a hot one. I drank water all afternoon in preparation, and dragged ass down there. I just realized, though, that I PR’d my 5k time. I came in in 27:19, which is a full 30 seconds faster than my last 5k time (which, incidentally, was in 2009).
I guess it was a week for PR’s.
What, you ask? That’s right. I PR’d my sprint distance at the Lake Pflugerville Tri too. Now, the tricky part of this is that sprint distances are never uniform. I don’t think I’ve ever done two sprints that had the same distances. There are always some slight variations – a longer swim or bike, or a shorter bike or run – so when looking at PR’s, I have to look at my paces. And the paces say, I PR’d. Booya! Seems the trick for me is to just not care too much about it until the night before. Or maybe, set low expectations? Either way, it worked. And let me set the expectation before I get into it: I’m absolutely average in the Austin racing scene. I came in smack dab in the middle of both my age group and gender’s results.
Racing conditions were absolutely ideal for June in Texas. AND, ideal for Pflugerville. You see, PF is usually hella windy, and the water is usually hella choppy. When we drove up, the water was like glass on the south side. It was AWESOME. I got in the water for a short 200m warm up swim, and got out to wait for the race to start with friends and Hubby.
So this was probably the smallest age group start I’ve ever had. There were about 45 ladies in the wave, and it was kind of awesome that way. I started around the middle of the pack, and mostly got passed by people at the start, but then was passing other people on the way back in. I thought I did decent – I kept up with a small pack and was able to draft here and there, and concentrated on keeping the lower half of my body buoyant and my arms moving fast.
Can I just reiterate that the water was awesome? It wasn’t at all choppy, and the course was marked well. And I love my goggles. My pace was a lot faster than my goal or what I expected:
Previous PR Pace: 2:31 / 100m
Last race pace: 2:43 / 100m
Goal pace? ~2:35 /100m
Lake Pflug race pace: 2:28 / 100m
And here I’ll go ahead and reiterate that it wasn’t windy! Wind can be your biggest bike hindrance, especially in the PF. K and I rode the race course a few weeks before, so I knew what to expect: rolling hills in the first half, winding roads directly after, then a mostly flat (and falsely flat) course on the way in.
This is where starting in the 2nd to last age group wave was good. I started passing a lot of people on the bike, and it was REALLY encouraging. I got passed by a few skinny gals from the 29 and under age group, didn’t get passed by anyone in my own age group, and passed many in the older age groups. It did great for my psyche, and I was rollin’. I’m a decent climber, so I did a lot of my passing on the first four hills or so. I was cheering on everyone and anyone I saw from my teams with a “Go Trizones!” or something similar (pass it on, right?). When we turned on to the frontage of 130, I really laid it down and sped up to drop some of the youngins I was leap frogging with.
Previous PR Pace: 16.8 mph
Last race pace: 16.1 mph
Goal pace? 16.5 mph
Lake Pflug race pace: 17.6 mph
As soon as I got onto the race course, I saw tons of people: Shayla, Tina at the first water spot (who cheered me on!) and then soon after, Amanda and Kyle! Amanda was taking shots (including the awesome pic above) and Kyle was DONE. Which I jealously took note of. I started out with a quick sub 9 pace, but slowed down pretty quickly as it was really sunny for that first mile. I was SO, SO very happy that I had my hand water bottle frozen the night before; the cold water was welcoming. It was so hot that first mile, I stopped and walked the water stop, and then went on my way in search of age groupers.
I think I maybe passed one in my age group, got passed by a couple of more younger gals, and passed quite a few friends in other age groups. I’d give them a cheer too. I didn’t walk again, but my legs were truly bricks and I kept telling myself things like, “Don’t be a pansy! Its 3 miles!” and “Look at that finish line! Deceptively close yet far away…”
I got closer to the finish and picked up the pace a bit. I saw Amanda taking pics again (yay!), and as I ran in I saw a bunch of trizones friends cheering, and K (with his friend Adam) cheering me on through the finish line. I crossed the finish line, gasped for air and an ice towel, and got congratulated by friends Heather and Katie at the finish line (volunteering!).
It was awesome.
Previous PR Pace: 9:19 / mi
Last race pace: 10:01 / mi
Goal pace? 9:30 / mi
Lake Pflug race pace: 9:10 / mi
So there you have it. I’m starting to train with a higher end group this month, so lets hope it gets me somewhere!