Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Our First Try at the Martindale Tri

Whoah, what a weekend! I defintely need to start the "offseason". But keeping the weekends busy definitely keeps life fun. The weekend started with the Martindale Triathlon Saturday morning. It isn't the traditional "tri" as the swim was replaced with a paddle instead. Also, its not a loop course, so a lot of shuttling logistics needed to be squared away. We did the relay with Adam Neville, Mike Drost's friend, doing the paddle, Stan doing the run, and me doing the bike, in that order. Mike also had a team there, representing AART, with Mike and Dave Bartell, both from the canoeing scene. We decided to make it interesting and put a bet down, a 6-pack of beer. I lost my last bet of this sort at the 24hrs of RHR race, so I was dead set on winning this one. I really thought we could, but had no idea how good Adam was compared to Bartell. We knew that Bartell was better, but didn't know by how much...a variable that would be very crucial at the end.

We dropped Adam off at the start in San Marcos then drove down the river to the first dam where Mike assured me a lot of action was bound to happen. It would be interesting because at this point a paddler had to decide whether they were going to shoot through a small gate in the dam, slide down (ungracefully) the steps of the dam, or portage around the dam. Of course, the portage would be the least exciting, so we were begging for people to try to run the dam. And the first team to get there did exactly that with less than optimum results. They tipped and were dumped out, losing their spray skirts. It was cool to watch though! At one point, it was chaos with a lot of boats reaching the dam at the same time. Then we saw Adam, ahead of Bartell!! WTF?!? I was very, very happy about this development, only to be disappointed as he told us that he started 5min too early...crap. Now this did not allow for Mike and I to have a straightforward anchorman battle at the end...it would confuse it just a little bit, most likely to our disadvantage since we wouldn't know how much time exactly to make up after the paddle.

After seeing a few more boats navigate the dam, we headed down to drop off Stan and Mike then Drost and I drove to the final transistion at Shady Grove Campgrounds to get ready. Throughout this Deb was doing support and driving around taking pictures and giving us updates. She told us that Mike was making time on Stan, which I really couldn't believe. This guy must be really fast! So with the 5min head start to account for, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. Mike seemed very confident, so I knew he was going to bring his game. He was now questioning his putting our team together, his main competition...we would make it a close one for him. So Stan came in, looking strong as usual, and we tagged for the final leg. I had to carry my bike for a few yards because there was gravel between the road and the transition area...they need to do something about that, maybe build a special ramp or something. Anyway, I fumbled a little trying to get on my bike and my water bottle fell out...not a stellar transition. Finally I was off, trying to gauge how my legs were feeling...I just didn't know how to push since I never did a "time trial" road race on hilly terrain. I tried to conserve energy at first and just pour it on at the end where I knew I would have to battle hills a plenty.

Good so far on the first stretch on 1979 as I was averaging about 22mph on the flat stuff. I knew the hurt was about to come into play as the hills awaited at the next turn. The flats weren't that happy either as the wind was relentless. The turn came and I was okay at first, but I started to lose speed. 22 became 21, 21 then became 20...now I was just trying to keep my speed above 20. Then came the big hill with the word "suffer" spray painted on the ashphalt...I saw it the weekend before, but I still had to chuckle a little as I rode by it...yup, I did suffer...but it was masochistically good. As I turned I saw a guy coming up on me and apparently Drost was close enough to see me at this point...both not good. I figured the guy coming up on me was a solo racer, so I just waited to let him pass me, but it never came. This was about where I turned it on because I saw the first place relay team rider in orange. With the 5min gap, I not only had to catch him I had to put 5 mins on him. So I had a new target--the catch. We turned again back onto 1979 which had a couple big hills to negotiate. I saw that he was struggling on the climbs so I knew I could catch him here. I tried to blast up the hills and I eventually caught him going about 3-5mph faster than him...I wanted to demoralize him. I didn't look back--I still had a lot of work to do. This was about when Deb and Stan drove by to take pictures. That invigorated me more and I put on my last attempt to leave him in the dust. It was hurting but I knew I had it in me to push. I was full of piss and vinegar at this point and was cursing at myself to push harder and harder...grunting and spitting. I felt really good as I got out of my seat to push the final stretch on 1979 at the turn going towards Shady Grove. Deb told me later that they had to drive really fast just to catch back up to me after stopping for a minute to take one more pic of me and Mike. I didn't let up and pushed it all the way through the finish line. Adam was watching as I finished and he just kept telling me that I was "cruising". I know I put time on the first place team, but didn't think it was enough...then I didn't know if I put enough time on Mike to get 2nd. My final average was about 22mph at 44mins20secs, which seems to be the 2nd fastest bike leg in the history of the race! The best time was set at 40mins (25mph)...damn.

A few minutes later, Mike came in and I didn't think we had enough time, but Deb was still staying optimistic, saying it was just too close to call. Then the final time came in and it was official that they beat us by about 1min...I only put 3-4 mins on Mike, which I still thought was a lot considering how good Mike was. So again I had to surrender the alcohol. Regardless, I felt great about our performance, considering we had no real idea of what we were getting into and the first time we do this we get 3rd, missing 2nd by a mere minute--impressive in my book.

We stayed for awards to take our 3rd place trophies then I had to take off to make it back to Tina and Lisa's Halloween party. I jammed back and got back into town in 2hrs. Coming into town I was racing this Firebird and that made the time fly (btw, I won getting into the 61o interchange)...I guess the competetive juices were still flowing.

Alright, stopping here and maybe I will dedicate a blog to the party..."My goal is to deny yours"


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