The final stop of the Lifetime triathlon series is the Toyota US Open Triathlon in Rockwall, TX (just east of Dallas). I won the elite amateur race here two years ago. I enjoy the race as a whole, but I still have mixed feelings about the Lifetime series. I decided to do this race for my sponsors...BH and Champion System are large supporters of the Lifetime series.
I knew going into the race that it was going to be a chilly weekend. I was prepared for it but at the same time I was not. I do not have the amount of body fat necessary to perform well in cold temperatures. As much as I want to mentally, my muscles lose too much of the elasticity to perform at the level I would like to. I remember one time when the heater was broken at the pool where I workout. As much as I tried, after 30 min I could no longer swim hard in the cold water. I knew it was something I was just going to have to deal with.
The air temperature at the start of the race was 48 degrees, by far the coldest triathlon I have ever been a part of. The water was the warmest part of the race, but still not cold enough for a wetsuit. It would have been nice to come out of the water a little overheated before getting on the bike. I knew I would have to overdress to survive the bike and in turn the race. After a very lackluster swim I took my sweet time in T1. I wanted to put on a long sleeve and knee warmers so my body would make it through the bike. The stretchy material of the long sleeve led to the slowest T1 of my life and one of the slowest of the day. Oh well! I had a pretty good bike ride, but the leaders were riding at tremendous speeds. Cam and Ben rode 3 min faster than the rest of the field. I had a good T2, all things considered. I took off my knee warmers and long sleeve, because I knew I would get warmer on the run, and still had a middle of the pack transition. The hardest part of the day to swallow was missing the fastest run split. Chris Foster out ran me by 15 sec. I'm not mad about Chris outrunning me, he is a solid runner and triathlete, and I was training through the race to get ready for Rev3 Florida. It hurt because the pay day at Lifetime races is terrible if you are not in the top 4. So instead of coming out comfortably ahead on the trip, I lost money on it.
I did this race for my sponsors and I am glad I went, it just wasn't a great investment for me. It was nice to chat with Brien from BH and Ronnie from Champion System. I look forward to long partnerships with both companies, they both make top of the line products. A big thanks goes out to Melissa for coming with me. She was a trooper and hung in there during the race. She was freezing but still able to give me split updates, words of encouragement, and a warm smile while I was racing.
Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there. ~Bo Jackson