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Denison Dash: 300m pool swim, 13.2 mile bike, 3.5 mile run. The goals for this race were to see if I could better my previous best of 1:10 and place in the always tough 30-34 age group.


I got up just after 4:00 am for this race. I was out the door and on my way by 4:30. I arrived plenty early about 6:10am. I took my time getting my bike ready and picking up my chip. Nothing out of the ordinary although I did miss having my wife and son at the race. They were both a little under the weather so we had decided that it was best for them to stay home and sleep. Since the swim was in a pool there was a time trial start with swimmers starting every 10 seconds. By 7:30am I was ready to go and found a chair in the pool area to sit in and wait for my start.

The Swim

Goal 5:30. Actual 5:09

I had no plans for the swim other than to push a little harder than I had on my last couple of races. Within a couple of lengths I began to pass some people. However after the 3rd lap people were to bunched up to allow passing. I opted to take it easy and draft to the finish. When I got out of the pool I realized that I had not started my watch and so I figured that due to the congestion my time was probably around 6 minutes. Then I started my watch to keep track of the rest of my time. After the race it turned out my time was a solid 5:09.

The Bike plus both Transitions

Goal as hard as possible. Actual 37:24

My plan for the bike was simple, go as hard as I could. The course was pretty hilly (especially for Texas). I had a decent transition and passed about 4 people on the first hill and the first couple of corners. After that it was pretty slow going. I played leap frog with the eventual winner of the 55-59 age group for a while until I finally got past him several miles from the finish. I didn't feel especially fast but managed to average around 21.7 MPH good enough for the 6th fastest bike split overall.

The Run

Goal sub 27 minutes. Actual 30:30

The run was a partial trail run with the first part heading uphill to a small lake then the course followed trails around the lake returning back to the entrance of the park. My run started off poorly. Both my calves felt like cramping. When I checked my watch I saw that my time since the swim was around 39 minutes. I added in my estimated 6 minute swim and saw that I had little chance of beating my 1:08 time. (in my mental daze at this point I somehow subtracted 2 minutes from my actual PR) With my slow speed I mentally was not in things for a while although I still tried to push pretty hard. By the time I hit the lake I was feeling a little better and my calves felt fine. I was no longer sure of my time so I tried to keep pushing hard. After leaving the lake the rest of the run was mostly downhill to the finish so I tried to pick things up and I actually passed a couple of people. I cruised into the finish feeling pretty tired but satisfied that I hadn't quit and that I had pushed about as hard as I could have.

Post Race

As it turned out I ended up being 2:30 slower than my PR for the course. I lost all my time on the run. In fact after the bike I was in first place in my age group. I ended up 6th in my age group out of 55 missing 5th and an award by 30 seconds, Doh! I was still pleased with my effort although I was a little disapointed with my run. After a year of trying to focus on improving my run it still is my achilles heel. Looks like it back to the drawing board for running this winter.
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