2012 Houston Tri... I mean Aquathon at Towne Lake

Race Report...

The week after Redman was the Houston Triathlon. At the beginning of the tri season I signed up for the TX3 series put on by On Ur Mark Productions.  It's a competition of three races, plus you got a discount for early registration.  I figured what the heck, I'll save some money, since I won't be in it for the fame.  Plus On Ur Mark does great events.

Kemah Triathlon ended with me in the med tent after pukin' my guts up off the bike.  Took in too much salt water on the rough swim. 

Had knee surgery in July and bailed on the Bridgeland Triathlon -- only to ease my way through my beloved River Cities Triathlon (didn't realize they were on on the same day, so there went my savings).

Houston Triathlon, now turned Aquathon.  Poor weather canceled the bike portion of the race; safety prevails.

My tri season:  0 for 3.  :(

After my Redman sprint experience you might bet I was ready to go.  My bike was so clean there was no way one bit of negative energy rested on it. :)  If nothing else, I was going to have a great bike.  :)

Rise and shine at 3:30 on race day.  The race site is a little over an hour away, so I have to start extra early.  I get up, grab some coffee and gather my pre-race breakfast.  I check my phone and I have a text message.  My friend texted me and told me the bike was canceled.  WTH!?!
I immediately got online and read, for myself, the message from the race director.  They made the right call, but I was bummed. 

"Guess I'm leaving Princess at home."  So much for that great bike!

Since my now IMTB (Ironman Training Buddy) can't seem to quit the routine of waking at ungodly hours on the weekend, he doensn't know what to do with himself, so he came along to support.  It was nice to have company on the dark early-morning ride out to Cypress.

Race setup was uneventful.  I ate my breakfast, got in a little run and a little swim.  The weather was cool and it was misting on and off.  It was just a yuck morning all the way around. 

I waited patiently for the waves to start, wishing I hadn't taken the warm-up swim, because now I was really cold!  Eventually the waves were started and we were off on our 1500m swim.   This year it was a nice 1 loop course, instead of wacky 2 loop course (for the Olympic distance) last year.

My swim started out okay.  I was in the top 1/3 of the group, according to IMTB.  Somewhere on the back long stretch though, I started having palpitations; my heart was in my throat.  This happened to me one day, a couple years ago on a crazy-brick workout.  I had to ride 24 miles at pace and finish with several 1 mile repeats.  I finished the repeats and was chatting with my coach just fine.  2 minutes later, I turned to go to my car to get my recovery drink.  I got 20 ft away and suddenly my heart was in my throat.  My HRM said it was over 300!  I couldn't talk and it was difficult to breathe.  I tried to stay calm, sat down and relaxed.  In a few minutes it came down.  I attributed it to accidentally double-dosing on my Thyroid meds. 

Needless to say that this happening on the swim.  It wasn't as bad as that day a few years ago, but it was definitely unnerving.  I tried to stay calm.  I rolled on my back and took note of where the kayackers were in case I needed help. I felt like I was staying in one place while just about everyone passed me.  Generally I catch-up to the slow folks in the wave before me, but today people from the wave behind me were passing.  Ugh.

I finally made it in, in 40 minutes.  Crap!  That's practically my 70.3 swim time.

Oh well.  I'm thankful I survived.  :)

I take the seemingly 1/4 mile run to transition... longer than the Redman "dash" to T1. 

I grabbed my gear and put on my Garmin.  I knew I still wasn't feeling right.  Sure enough, Garmin was reading a HR of 200+.  Ordinarily I would say it was incorrect, but I knew I felt it too.  I was walking with a HR of 200.  I could get it down to 170, but if I jogged, it shot right up -- at about 1.5 miles in it all just stopped.  My HR dropped to 120 and the palpitations were gone.  Just like that!

I was a little unsure so took it easy for a bit, but for the remaining 4 miles I ran and actually negative split my way to the finish. Horrible race, but that was something I never did before on a run.  :)

It was a yuck day, but another one for the training books.

Of course I've signed up for 1 more race this year -- a sprint. I'm really hoping, praying, I can have just one race where everything comes together and nothing (or me) falls apart.

 More to come!


  1. I had several friends racing Houston who were also disappointed about the bike, but it was the right call. I'm sorry has not been the tri season you expected! Keeping my fingers crossed that this last tri goes well!!!


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