Last weekend, the triathlon world was buzzing with quite a few races (especially Ironman Texas, which, it seems, always has at least some notoriety surrounding it). I’m happy to say that I got to have my moments of glory out on race day. This was my second year racing TexasMan.
Ultimately, the greatest challenge I faced going in to my first ever X-50 was mental: just two days before my race, I, along with over two dozen mental healthcare workers, were given our severance packages and terminated. Our entire clinic was shut down, we were told to clear out our offices, and I was left wondering what would come next in my career. I’m still feeling a little lost, but I’m thankful to say that I have a new job lined up.
Anyway, I’m no stranger to enduring under the weight of serious setbacks and uncertainty. My performance out at Lay Ray Roberts for the X-50 was a perfect showing of just how much fortitude and hope I can hold in the midst of so much chaos.
- Race Name: TexasMan X-50 (17th year!)
- Date: Sunday, April 29th, 2018
- Distance: X-50 (1 mile open water swim, 40 miles on the bike, and a 9 mile run)
- Bib #: 723
- Age Division: Male 25-29
- Most encouraging thoughts going into the race:
- ‘You will find another job, but right now, it’s time to race. Focus on this swim, bike, and run.’
- ‘I’m so thankful for my KMF teammates, and for my own mental toughness.’
- Most discouraging thoughts going in:
- ‘What’s going to happen to all of my clients?’
- ‘I hope the course isn’t as windy and cold as it was last year.’
- ‘I hope my new Roka wetsuit isn’t too small.’
- Overall level of rest: Fairly high. I fell sleep by 10:30 almost every night in the week leading up to TexasMan. I was a sound sleeper the night before, too.
- Overall nutrition: Excellent. My usual diet of meatless Quorn products, grains, and vegetables have been serving me well for many months now. I think bumping up my meat intake to 2-3 servings per week has also boosted my overall energy levels. I’ve been drinking more coffee, too, and it’s nice to see that it hasn’t had any negative impact on my training performance or sleep cycle.
- Mental strength: Fairly high. Getting cut from my job put a damper on my mood, and this scattered grief about the sudden severance from my work and my clients still lingers. Thankfully, most of that got relegated to the back of my mind as soon as the horn sounded and all of us dove into the lake for our open water swim. Hope for my next job and all those people whose lives I touched was what really carried me through the finish line, too.
- Swim highlights: Sighting was fairly easy, even with the sun glaring right in my face for the first third of the swim. My new Roka Maverick Elite II wetsuit served me well; every stroke and kick was smooth, and the collar was slick enough that I had no chaffing issues. Without any major wind, the usual Lake Ray Roberts chop was nowhere to be found.
- Bike highlights: Now this was a bike experience that I can get used to. Pedal stroke after pedal stroke, I cranked up my speed and keep my cadence in the low to mid 80s. My heart rate was the lowest it’s ever been for a bike leg in any triathlon I’ve done thus far. I want to feel like this for every bike portion from now on!
- Run highlights: No cramping, muscle pain, or heat exhaustion issues whatsoever. I took in my usual amount of Nuun and water, as well as some pickle juice and pretzels on my second lap. That aid station at the farthest point of the run course was a God-send, especially on that second loop. Shoutout to the ladies working that station for getting me some much-needed salt from the pickle juice and pretzel sticks!
- Race fuel: I had my usual Tailwind and water on the bike, both of which served me well and kept me fueled up enough to transition to a solid run. My biggest saving grace was the pickle juice on lap two of my run. Without it, I may have hovered around a 9:00-minute mile for the last couple of miles or so. Instead, I was able to crank up my speed and bring everything home at around an 8:15 mile.
- Mistakes and missed opportunities: None whatsoever. Everything happened just as I had hoped for this race.
- Biggest markers of success and perseverance: Being able to keep my head game strong in spite of losing my job just two days before this race.
- Next step for training: I’ll be easing back into training with my sights set on the Fort Worth 70.3, which will be on May 20th. I’m also looking forward to cranking up my bike and run volume over this summer, which looks to be a pretty hot one. Me and heat training have a pretty cordial relationship, and this year will be no different.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my race report. As always, your readership and support are appreciated to no end. Until next time, keep your training strong and your passion even stronger 🙂