Austin 70.3

Trevor here, sorry for the lack of photography in this post.  We really failed on that front this weekend.  I can’t believe it’s been this long since we’ve written a blog post.  It’s not a downward spiral, I swear.  Something about Tucson and the good training we’ve had that’s kept us away from the computer.  Oh yeah, and that pesky little iPhone with which we update Twitter and Facebook all the time.  Without that we’d be more into blogging I’m sure.  But hey, follow us on twitter, we’re feeling kinda left in the dust when the big guns of twitter are looking at thousands of followers…or a few million in the case of that Armstrong cyclist guy. We haven’t even crested half-a-thousand (sounds better than saying not even at 500). @teamwurtele

Packing up, post race.

Anyway, we broke new ground and flew to a race on the continental USA this past weekend.  Turns out Austin is a long freaking drive from Tucson and we didn’t want to go through the aches and pains of that kind of drive again this year.  Flying wasn’t so bad, but nothing beats having all your worldly possessions with you at all times when going to a race.  You never forget anything, and you don’t have to pack your bike.  Also you don’t have to put your cat in a kennel.  I’m not sure why she can handle driving in an RV without a problem, but put her in a car for 10 minutes and she goes insane.
We made it to Austin, had a great homestay and a nice place to chill out.  Annette who opened her home to us, did an astounding amount of volunteer work for the race. She arranged the homestay’s for the pros, was the team leader for the morning shuttle bus volunteers, and was at the race cheering and helping out until the final finisher!! Without amazing people like her these events would not happen so hugs thanks to all the volunteers. On that note, please think twice before showing up late to bike check in and getting annoyed at a volunteer, they just want to get home too, and are made to wait there even later just for you. We heard some stories that made us ashamed.
Everything rolled really smoothly leading up to the race.  Many thanks to Aquasphere for rushing a legal swim skin out to Heather.  We swam in the lake leading up to the race and were sure it was going to be called non-wetsuit.  That was actually one of my best training swims ever, I felt so strong and relaxed.  I’m sure it had something to do with the ‘Wattaburger’ that was in my stomach.  Quite literally in my stomach as I ate one for lunch on our way out there.  Not a usual thing, just had a craving.  Maybe I’ll have to make that a regular Friday, pre-race, meal! But no, 73 degree water temperature was the call on race morning so wetsuits were allowed after all.   Fine by me, really.  I would take a little bit of overheating over even a slight chill any day.
I was surprisingly relaxed on the start line and I turned in one of my best swims of the year with a 26:34.  Not my fastest time wise, but definitely the closest to the front group I’ve been all year.  Back in the Calgary 70.3 I was 4 wopping minutes behind the leaders coming out of the water.  This time I managed to cut that down to 2…outside of Marko Albert who had another minute on them.  Heather didn’t have a great swim on Sunday, she tends to do better when she gets to start with the mens field.  Perhaps because she’s loves kicking my ass so much.  Sunday saw her pulling around a group just back of the front swimmers and she was totally overheated by the end. Her nickname isn’t Heatherma for nothing! Our water temperature tolerances are at the opposite end of the scale.

Stole a pic from Ian Mikelson's blog!! Coming into T2 together on Blue's.

We were both a bit unsure how the bike legs would be after some big miles early this week.  I was pleasantly surprised to find awesome legs right from the get-go.  I always have a tendency to head out too hard in a half-ironman, but I think that’s the only way to race these things.  If you want to go under 4 hrs, there really is no other option then to borderline on hurt the entire way.  Best case scenario, you have a couple other guys around you to share the hurt, but this time I just plowed my own path a minute or so ahead of a large group.  A bit of a trade off, but it allowed me to keep a steady pressure on instead of the constant on and off that happens with other guys around you.  Apparently the refs were being really diligent about drafting and blocking calls.  That’s a great thing, but man it can get frustrating when you’re in a group larger than 4 or 5 and have to keep sitting up to stay out of the draft zone.  I managed to ride really strong right through 2 hrs, at that point I started to have some troubles: longer coasts through the corners, less pressure on the pedals, more time out of the saddle, looking behind me to see who’s coming.  Sure enough, Anthony and Ian caught me.  That did help me keep the pressure on for the remaining miles, but all said it would have been nice to stay away.  I do have say something about the Cobb V-flow saddle.  I was really impressed, this being the first race I’ve used it.  With other saddles I’ve used I tend to shy away from pulling up on the pedals near the end of a hard ride.  This time though, everything was super comfortable and it allowed me to use the entire pedal stroke without issue.
Heather did her usual ride-thru-all-the-women-in-front-of-her thing, as did Angela Naeth.  Heather ended up with a blocking penalty about 2 miles from the finish when she moved to the left to avoid some road nastiness. Not pleased about having to stand down right before T2, especially when she thought she was sharing the lead with Angela. Turns out ITU superstar Nicola Spirig was putting the smack down on the entire field and was up by 8 minutes. It REALLY blows my mind that Nicola Spirig would ride 5 minutes faster than those two. By the time she was out of the penalty tent and T2 Heather was chasing Angela Naeth and Samantha Warner.  She held onto 4th the entire run only to be passed right at the finish by Christie Sym.  All good though, she has been water-running for the past 2 weeks after injuring her calf on a trail run so it was great to see her run the whole thing, even though she felt pretty out of run shape and had some dark moments.  Anyway, she’s on her way back to full fitness for IM Arizona for sure!
For me, the run has typically been my strong suit in 70.3’s this year.  This one wasn’t nearly as good, but I still managed a decent run on an extremely tough and hilly course with nice chunky grass sections to break your rhythm.  There was something generally amiss this time ’round though.  Probably the long runs over the past couple weeks that were hurting the quads a bit.  I felt like I was hiking the hills as opposed to running them.  Things were tired.  It’s all good, really.  I was actually happy with my run until the last 300 meters when Brad came cruising by me.  I had all but backed off completely, totally sure there was no one within 30 seconds.  With 1 mile to go I had a good look behind me to see if anyone was there.  Seeing nobody at all I thought an easier final mile was in order. Bad call, I jumped on Brad’s heels to see if I could out-sprint him, thinking that he must be torched from trying to catch me.  No such luck, he just kept cranking it and left me with 100 or so meters to go.  Either way, 7th or 8th doesn’t make much difference any more.  Prize money only goes down to 5th.  The main issue for 2011 is a few points lost when looking at the World Championship qualification.  Lets just hope 25 points doesn’t mean the difference between me going and not going to Kona next year!
All said, pretty happy with the day.  Looking forward to the next few weeks of training prior to the last big race of the year – Ironman Arizona.  The body is in good shape and ready to handle some late season miles. Oh and the cat sure is happy to be home – she slept between our pillows and purred so much she kept us awake! Ha ha.

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~ by trevorandheather on October 20, 2010.

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