Monday, June 27, 2011

A 9yr Old Training Week

Well, it's obvious my training "mojo" has been MIA when every post lately has been about Julian.  This is yet another.  We started tracking his triathlon-related workouts and thought I'd share what a week of training looks like at age 9.

Monday - Rest

Swim  - 30min lesson at the Rockwall Aquatics Center of Excellence.  Minimal talking, lots of swimming.
Run - 30min light jog with Angelia.

Bike - 45min Cadence Intervals (10x 30sec high cadence w/ 1min recovery + warmup & cooldown).  Julian had done this before but was ready to give it another shot (follow link for video).

Swim - 30min lesson at the aquatic center.
Run - 1hr15min track practice.  Coach Barrett of Rockwall Running Center and the Mustangs Track Club had him doing tons of sprint work.

Friday - Rest

Bike - 1hr Hard Intervals (5x 2min hard with 5min recovery + warmup & cooldown).  Ideally we would've taken him for a long "steady-state" ride but I was fried from the morning group ride and Angelia was fried from a 9mi walk/run at the lake.  Here's the summary I put in Training Peaks for this workout:

On the trainer .....
15min warmup
5x 2min "all-out" in a harder gear with 5min recovery

Julian's version of "all-out" is more like threshold. On the 4th interval I stood next to him and kept him going. His cadence would get up to 100 and I'd have him shift to the next gear. He was vocal about how much it hurt but I pointed out his legs could do more, look how quick they're still spinning. That interval he put the suffer on but recovered nicely. Now that he knew what it felt like to really push, I told him the last interval was up to him. It would be a test of his will. He didn't push quite as hard on that last one but it was much better than the first 3. He rounded out the hour spinning and still had plenty of energy the rest of the day.

Swim - 1hr10min Open Water lesson. A ton of swimming here .... and a lot of progress.  A triangle course was set up in the water which Coach Sean and I both estimated at around 75m.  Often he was doing 2 loops of the course before any rest (and rests were brief).  By the end, a beach entry was included to complete the experience.  No idea how much he swam total but it was a lot.

So, how do you think his week stacks up?  Should we tell him there's another potential shot at IronKids in Oklahoma City on August 21st?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Glutton for Punishment

Earlier this month I wrote about Julian joining me for some cadence intervals which got a lot of positive comments.  He looked like he was going to keel over at the end and the lingering question was if he'd ride the trainer with me again.  Well, here's the answer:
You can hear me indicate "5" as in 5sec left in the 30sec high-cadence interval,
 and "rest" for the beginning of the 1min recovery.  There's also a hyper cheering monkey on the couch.

This was late in the session and for whatever reason my legs were already cooked, but Julian was still going strong.  Unlike last time when he finished collapsed over the bars, this time he still looked like he'd live.  It was a MUCH better session for him.  For me, I felt like it was horrible with only the very first interval (out of 10) being any good.  That was not the truth however.  For those who like to go sans computer, here's an argument for ...... it was my best ever cadence interval session.  The 1st interval was awesome, the 2nd thru 5th were above my norm and 6 thru 10 were weaker but not by as much as it seemed.  In reviewing the data post-ride I went from feeling pathetic to feeling decent about the evening's workout.

I know there are several of you out there who are just getting started in the world of cycling and have only recently ventured into the world of clipless pedals.  This story is for you .........

On Fathers' Day, I received an awesome gift from my family - a new pair of cycling shoes!  The new Specialized Pro Carbon shoes are a nice upgrade over the plastic-soled Specialized shoes I was using.  On top of that, I had a new set of Look Keo2Max Carbon pedals to install as an upgrade from my standard Keo pedals.  I spent time getting the cleats adjusted correctly and loosened the pedals a bit as they were really tight.  I was barely able to unclip after my first test run on the trainer.  I didn't loosen them as much as my previous set as I had recently popped out of my pedals on the move --- not a good thing!   Do you see where this is going?

Well, out on my ride I came up to an intersection with cars behind me, and a perfect storm of conditions led to a quicker stop than planned.  It had been a couple years since the last occurrence but there I was slowly falling over still clipped into my bike.  Bang!  Pride injured and wrist a little sore but no big deal.  Apparently I had gotten used to those ultra-loose pedals before.  Still, I have no plans on adjusting the new ones.  I'd rather adapt.  Better to fall over at a stop than to unintentionally come unclipped during a sprint!  Anyway, I thought you newer riders might enjoy knowing that clipless falls can happen to anyone at any time. It just takes the right set of conditions.  Hang in there!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Conquering Demons

About a month ago I wrote a post where I mentioned Julian's attempt at IronKids would have to wait till next year.  The reason?  Back to back swim struggles in races.  Sure, he was swimming fine in lessons but on raceday things were falling apart.  Reason number 2?  IronKids is an open water swim, and Julian's idea of open water includes all kinds of creatures he'd rather avoid.  A solution was needed and we turned the same place any triathlete would turn in this situation ...... a coach.  Since then Julian has been making great progress with Coach Sean.  They swim each weekend in the lake just a couple miles from our house.  This is a big stepping stone on the road to Julian's big "life goal" ..... to compete in Kona.

Julian gets some instructions as Coach takes the buoy out.

One of the things they worked on in a recent session was the beach entry and exit.  In these photos you can see Coach Sean talking about when to begin swimming and Julian's first attempts.  He did quite well!

By the time IronKids rolls around again next year, he'll be ready to crush the course.  It's gonna be a lot of fun when that happens!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Half-Birthday Triathlon in Kona, TX

Every year around the kids' birthdays my wife would lament how limited we are in party options at that time of year (January & February).  Outdoors is usually crazy ice storms around then and she always wanted to give them a summer party with their friends.  So this year the boys got a half-birthday party (9-1/2 and 4-1/2).  It didn't take long to come up with a theme ....... triathlon!

Since Patrick "The Road"'s dream course wasn't a possibility, I knew we'd need to come up with something even more awesome and I think we succeeded!  While the kids played in the pool, my sister and I tested out the "bike" options available.  This is the Plasma Car - which made the cut along with a big wheel and a toddler's dump-truck walking toy (and an 18" bike for one special contestant).
Turns out this wasn't the best option for us adults.

The 18" bike came in handy when it was time for demonstration during the pre-race meeting.
Notice she's soaked from the "swim" portion.
Eventually it was time to start with Connor's friend Conrad being the first in the water.  Julian was next to go and needed some work on his swim form.

Connor's form left something to be desired as well.

In case you think these boys wouldn't take this race seriously, just check them out in transition.

No photos of my boys on the bike portion but there is this shot of my sister and nephew on the course.

As usual, they stepped it up on the run.
Do you think the mohawk makes him faster?
Connor stays aware of wind conditions by running with his tongue out.
It was a big time race to the finish.  Julian edged out our first starter, Conrad, and Connor was right behind keeping pace with big brother.

As they crossed the line, Angelia placed a lei and a medal over their heads.  Even my little sister was proud to wear it.

As you may have guessed, she has her own take on the event so be sure to check out the recap on her blog for some more hilarious pictures.  In the end it was a total success.  It could have been disastrous with the temps over 100, the winds over 20, and a main event that took longer to set up than to complete, but every kid really had a good time from start to finish.  I think it packed plenty of amusing entertainment for the adults too.  Hope your weekend events were just as enjoyable!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Try the Tri

Tri4SuccessMom and IronTexasMommy
Last weekend, the Try the Tri finally arrived.  This would be my wife's first triathlon.  It was originally planned to be my first as well but swimming is a work in progress.  As it is geared towards rookies (which made up about 2/3rds of the field), the distances are a hair shorter than the typical sprint tri with a swim of 250yds, a bike of 8mi, and a 2mi run to finish it off.  We knew the venue - it was the same as the Hooty's Kids Triathlon.  We also knew one of the volunteers, Shannon (aka IronTexasMommy).  She recently completed Ironman Texas and where did she get her start?  Yep, 2 years ago at Try the Tri.  If you're not familiar with her story, check out this article.

With the hour-and-a-half drive to Decatur, TX and correlating early wake-up, it seemed prudent to ask the boys whether they wanted to come along or stay with my dad.  The little one chose a day with Paw-Paw while Julian wanted to witness his mom's first triathlon.  All the usual pre-race stuff was taken care of in terms of fueling the body, loading up the gear, and hitting the road with plenty of time to spare.

When we arrived I got her bike all set up while she checked in and got marked.  The field was capped at 100 athletes and Angelia would be starting 36th.  Then it was off to transition to get everything organized.  The racks were well labelled so there was no jockeying for position.  I thought it was nice that family was freely allowed in this area pre-race.  It probably helps a number of first-time competitors relax.  A stark contrast to the complete banishment of parents pre and post race at Julian's last kids tri.

Angelia just after entering the water in the top lane.
And they're off!  At 10sec intervals they enter the water starting with the swimmer that projected the fastest time.  I can only imagine what goes through the minds of those in the back of the line as they see that first swimmer glide through the water executing perfect under the rope flip turns.  Has to be nerve racking but that's the cool thing about this kind of event.  Almost everyone there is a bundle of nerves so you can't help but root for each other (which is pretty much standard for this awesome sport anyway).  Angelia entered the water and looked to be on good form.  Sure she got passed by the long-armed dude behind her but she made a pass as well.  Then around the 125yd mark I noticed a bit of a pause as she turned around.  The head was starting to lift and each time she hit the wall she seemed slightly less enthused to keep going.  I had no idea at the time what could possibly be bothering her on a swim of this distance.  Later it occurred to me the pool was heated and to put it simply - my wife and heat don't go together.  Post-race she confirmed that she was indeed over-heating in the pool.  Unfortunate and something we should have seen coming but she still completed the segment in a reasonable time.

This went fairly well with only the small mistake of stepping on the transition mat with wet, grass-covered feet leaving her with no clean spot to stand while getting her shoes on.  Next time it'll be towel first then transition mat!  This combined with the lack of anything to grasp and a body recovering from overheating led to some balance issues while getting her socks and shoes on.  She ran out of transition with her bike looking ready to go but a traffic jam at the mount line slowed things for a moment.

With only 8mi for the bike leg, it didn't seem like this segment would present too much of a challenge and indeed she came in on the faster end of what we projected.  Apparently the course did have some toughness to it, especially considering this is a beginners' event.  Stretches of rough pavement were reported as well as it being a bit hillier than anticipated.  Check out this video where you can see Ang running to T1 at the 0:55 mark and on the bike at the 1:28 mark.

As a side note, while Angelia was out on the bike course Julian and I stood next to Shannon applauding each and every athlete as they came running towards transition from the pool.  The looks on their faces tell so many varying stories.  Shannon is such an enthusiastic volunteer, truly excited for these people and the journey they're beginning.  I appreciated having a moment to share in that.  Very inspiring.

Angelia came flying in towards transition and had no problems with the dismount, unclipping a little early but not excessively so.  This being a rookie event you could see the fear in many as they had both feet unclipped and were slowing heavily a solid 200m from the dismount line.  As for Ang's transition, this one went very well.  The bike was on the rack in a flash, shoes changed, and she grabbed her Rockwall Running Center Race Team shirt to put on while running.

Sponges were being handed out at the exit from transition and Angelia took advantage.  While the athletes clearly appreciated the opportunity to help control their body temps it should be pointed out that the weather that day was awesome!  When it has been triple-digits out recently and you manage to get a whole triathlon in with cloudy skies, minimal direct sunlight, lower wind speeds, and just flat-out great conditions you can't help being thankful, both as a competitor and a spectator.

Ang said the run started off uphill right away and her legs felt like bricks for about a mile and a quarter.  Replaying everything she ever heard from her running coach in her head is what kept her pushing through.  Most popular mantra?  "Suck it up."  Gotta love Coach B.  Eventually the legs did start to open up but she didn't push it opting to hold it steady to the finish.  Angelia came in right on target with a time of 1:06:39 for the event.  Big congrats!  Afterwards she said the run was the hardest segment for her but she's making great progress since the scary episode with the atypical migraine.  It's only a matter of time before her running returns to form and she knocks minutes off these times.  Congratulations to her and all the first-timers that slayed the triathlon dragon that day!

Look, I got a water!!! ..... and some bling too.

Angelia, Julian, and Vicki (another runner from our area that did her first triathlon)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kids Tri at the J

So, if you were wondering why Julian didn't ride the Mesquite Rodeo Ride with us this year even though he had in the past, it's because he had a triathlon the next morning.  Originally we had him scheduled for the kids event at the Playtri Festival but switched to the Kids Tri at the J due to proximity.  The added bonus was the switch from Saturday to Sunday which allowed us to participate in the bike event in the first place.  Also, my mom happened to be in town helping with my sister's kids while she went for a little run in San Diego.  This was fortunate as it gave her an opportunity to see Julian in action for the first time.

As you may recall, 2 weeks prior he had participated in the Buffalo Creek Kids Triathlon.  We were surprised at his second consecutive struggle in the swim.  So much so that his big goal of the year (IronKids in Round Rock) got scratched.  Don't worry - he understands and is working hard to make sure he can be an IronKid next year.  Expect to see more on that in a future post.  This event was going to be a good stepping stone as the swim leg was 100m as opposed to the 50m of the last 2 events.  We were all curious how he'd handle it.  Well, he started off great!  The first length of the 33m pool was a solid swim.  Then he rolled onto his back and stayed there way too long veering side to side in the lane.  Kids were swimming around him and he just wasn't making progress.  There was no "race urgency" at all.  We've seen similar reactions before where he fails to distinguish between a training approach and a race.  As a result, his swim split was near the bottom of his age group placing 25th of 27.

The general lack of urgency continued in transition and was quite frustrating to watch.  Still, we hung on hope to the fact he sometimes starts slow and finds his groove as he goes.  I had set up his laces and we had practiced but it seemed like an eternity for the shoes to get on.  I'll be putting some Yankz on them in short order.

The bike route was 3mi long and looked to include at least one decent uphill segment.  There may have been more but we didn't scout the course so it was a bit of an unknown.  Julian's MO on the bike has been to have decent, but not great, efforts as his tendency is to reign things in a bit.  The average speed on his bike split seemed to indicate that's what happened once again.  However, he felt he pushed the bike pretty hard this time out and indeed he may have as he came in with the 4th best bike split in his age group.  Obviously he made up a lot of ground on the field with that result.  I believe he carried the momentum through transition though I didn't get to witness that (I was running across a field from my photo location).

The run, as most of you know by now, is Julian's strong suit.  This event like many others has a short run segment - in this case, only 1/2mi.  Unfortunately that works against him a bit as he's purely an endurance runner, not a sprinter, and 1/2mi just isn't enough time to do full damage on the field.  Even with that being said we were a bit surprised at first with his run placement putting him 11th out of the 27 competitors in his group.  We found out after he crossed the finish line that he had been fighting a stomach cramp that slowed him.  Oh well, that kind of thing can happen.  He still gutted out that 1/2mi and managed to finish 6th place in his age group.  Considering the hole he dug in the swim segment and the stomach cramps during the run, that was quite an impressive result.  There were positives (and lessons) to be taken from each phase.  The first pool length of the swim was excellent, the bike split placed highly, and the run was still respectable while fighting cramps.

All in all, with each triathlon he's getting closer to putting it all together.  He has the potential to absolutely demolish his current times and that day will surely come.  In the meantime there are some duathlons on the horizon so be ready for some eye-popping numbers.  While lack of urgency is sometimes a problem in kid-oriented events, that is a non-issue with full-blown adult events.  That's when he lays it all on the line (for proof, revisit the Fast&Furious race report).

My mom, Julian, Angelia, and the Amusing Athena (Jessica)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Mesquite Rodeo Ride

The Mesquite Rodeo Ride was a bit of an impromptu event for us.  My training schedule had me doing the usual group ride out of Rockwall Cycling but this rally is so close that just about the whole group rides it.  Last year this event was Julian's first ever bike rally.  Angelia and I rode the 33k route with him at a 13.6mph pace.
Last year's Mesquite Rodeo Ride
This year it was replacing a race-pace group ride so that's how I approached it.  There was also an early t-ball game for Connor to consider.  That pretty much eliminated the 100k route from my list of options so I set out to ride the fastest 75k route I could.  Meanwhile, Angelia was going to tackle the same 33k route she did last year.  I think she would've preferred more but there are no in-between routes.

We got to the site at a reasonable time, registered, pinned our numbers on, prepped the bikes, and hit the restrooms.  At this point I was trying to figure out where all the Rockwall Cycling (RC) guys were.  I'd seen 2 that I didn't recognize but that was it.  I knew Joey wouldn't appear until just before the start as he rides from Rockwall to Mesquite, does the 100k, then rides back home.  Yeah, better him than me.  Last year they all started right up front so I slowly began riding towards the line.  And there goes Joey ..... the other way!  Oh well, no doubt he'll be heading back up to the front shortly.  Around this time I come across riding buddy Keith, whom you may recall from previous posts.  We stand around for a bit waiting for the inevitable group of RC guys while Angelia chats with a rider about his recumbent.  The start time is inching closer so I wish my wife luck on her ride and Keith & I make our way towards the front by navigating the parking areas to the right of the pack.  When we get up there we notice all of the RC riders are on the left side of the pack.  No problem - the race doesn't start for several minutes and we can cut across.

Then suddenly, they announce the start of the rally and we're off!  The early start had Keith and I merging into the pack from the side, barely squeezing by a truck at the starting line.  Just like that, all plans to ride with the RC race group were shot.  We weren't going to catch them and we knew it, but that didn't stop us from stubbornly riding our asses off trying to close the gap.  Well, by taking off like that we formed a nice little pack of our own with Keith and I doing the bulk of the work early on.  Eventually some guys from Plano Cycling & Fitness took over and must have felt the need to impress someone because they really pushed the pace.  This was no rally, it had become a race.  My heartrate was holding steady at 95% its max.  I should also mention that Keith rode an 8mi time trial the night before (and placed in his age group - congrats!).  Well, he sure as heck wasn't getting any recovery today!  I had drifted to the back of the pack with the increased pace but had no intentions of getting dropped so I made a move to the right to move up closer to Keith who was about mid-pack.  The instant I moved to the right the people who had been in front of me slowed rapidly and collided sending one sprawling across the pavement.  It looked like he went down in the best possible way and likely avoided anything beyond some nasty road rash.  Glad I made my move when I did.  Shortly after, it became clear the Plano Cycling guys didn't have the "oomph" they had earlier.  My HR had just gone sub-threshold, I asked Keith how he felt, and we were definitely on the same page.  Yep, we broke out of the line to the left and went up to the front to re-establish the previous pace ..... and we stayed there.

As we suspected, most everyone riding in a pack like this was doing the 100k route while we were going to do the 75k.  The routes split and we wished the rest of the guys a good ride as me made the left turn.  One other guy from the pack split off with us.  23 miles of our 47mi route had been completed in about 1 hour.  Once it was down to just 3 of us we didn't go quite as hard but we weren't exactly taking it easy either.  We each took our pulls out front but made a point to stay together.  As we suspected, we were the first riders on the return routes.  This became more and more evident as they just weren't ready for us at the intersections.  At one spot a cop waved riders through on the outbound side and then waved the cars to start right as we entered the intersection from the other direction.  Keith had just had a close call hitting a hole in the road while getting a drink and then having a cop wave traffic towards him made for two heart-jumping moments in quick succession.  A bit later on the route a cop actually had to move his car out of the coned off bike lane for us to pass.  Soon a support vehicle went around and ahead of us.  From that point on we had no trouble and it made for a more relaxed finishing stretch.
The marker near mile 23 is where the 100k and 75k routes split.
Honestly, I just included this to break up this mound of text I'm writing.
For the last 7 miles we were on the same route as the 33k riders.  Many on that route had already finished but I noticed there were a LOT more families riding it this year.  I'm not sure I've ever seen that many kids on a route that distance.  Normally I'm shouting out encouragements but this time I was a bit more tight-lipped after a day of riding hard.  I was firmly focused on finishing this ride strongly.  Just before the finish is a "Texas hill" which translates to a 6% incline on an overpass.  I maintained as much pace as I could on it and Keith was right there on my wheel.  Somewhere in the process though we lost our 3rd wheel.  We slowed up for a bit at the crest but neither of us saw him so we went on ahead.  If memory served me right it was just a short straightaway then a turn to the left for the finish line so I gave it a final effort and completed the 47.2 miles in 2:17 for a 20.6mph average!  The first 22.8mi had been at a 22.5mph avg and the last 24.4mi when it was just the 3 of us was still a 19.2mph avg.  Rockwall Cycling represented with a 1-2 finish in the 75k.  Not too shabby and a confidence booster of a ride.  Well, until the main Rockwall group crossed the finish line a whopping 6 minutes later.  Really?  They rode an extra 25k and it only took them 6 minutes longer?  Talk about a sport giving you the "look how far you've come" and then following it up with "look how far you have to go" .... wow.  On the bright side, there's a bit of local pride knowing our shop put the hurt on for both the 100k and 75k routes!
Keith and I chilling after a great ride.
Angelia was relaxing inside the post-ride pavilion and reported she had a great ride as well ..... though not exactly uneventful.  The pace was good and she was in good spirits.  However, early on she was basically stopped for about 5 minutes as a pile-up of cyclists had occurred at one of the turns.  She reported about 10 down, bloody faces, and medical personnel on site.  I have since read a couple other accounts of less serious incidents at the same location.  Apparently there was a lip in the road of a couple inches that was causing the issues.  Later in the ride there was another hiccup as someone had put a misleading turn marking in the road.  Angelia and several other riders made the turn and unwittingly added several miles to the route.  The route monitors got this straightened up fairly quickly.  This explained the excessive markings in one stretch on my return route where a turn arrow had been spray painted over.  In a way, it was a good thing for Angelia as she wasn't opposed to some additional mileage.  I think she and the others would've preferred it was planned mileage though.

Overall this is a great ride with fast routes at each distance.  The ride support was excellent, especially at adjusting on the fly (i.e. correcting the turn marking, sending a vehicle ahead of us on the return, accident response, etc.).  Also, the post-event grub was good.  Chicken sandwiches, a wide variety of drinks, and ...... a freezer full of Blue Bell treats like fruit pops, ice cream sandwiches, fudgesicles, and so much more - yum!  Only real complaint?  No sign of an official event photographer.  Since when does an event like this not have a photographer?  I was really hoping for a shot of Keith and I working hard at the front of a pack.  Oh well, maybe next time.  No time to pout ..... it's time for t-ball!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The American Heroes Race

It's been over a week since this race and I'm just now getting the recap posted.  Since then, Angelia and I have done a bike rally and Julian has done another triathlon.  By the time I get all 3 recaps posted, Angelia will be doing her first triathlon.  In other words, this blog is about to get heavy on the recaps.

The American Heroes Race was held on Memorial Day on a course around Texas Rangers Stadium.  Angelia and her running buddy Debbie were set to take on the 10k while Julian and I ran the 5k.  Julian had been doing the most running and expected to run well.  I think I had gotten out for a single 30 minute jog the week prior so I wasn't expecting greatness but felt I'd be fine.  Angelia and Debbie have both been overcoming injuries so their goal was simply to finish, preferably without walking, and in time for the 5k awards ceremony (in case Julian got anything).

Debbie, Angelia, Julian, and me pre-race
The day was hot, humid, and windy but frankly nowhere near as bad as it could've been.  There was a lot of cloud cover so at least the sun wasn't blaring down on us.  Julian and I weren't pre-registered so I headed over to the registration table to get us set up.  One problem .... I had no cash, no checks, and I forgot my ATM card.  Thankfully, Ang's mom swooped in to save the day!  We got our numbers pinned on, timing chips attached, and took the packets to the car (I somehow managed to get a spot literally across the street from the registration table).

The start was set up in 2 waves, one for those being chip-timed and one for those who weren't.  Julian and I got lined up, had a pre-race GU Jet Blackberry, listened to a good rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, watched a Blackhawk fly over, and it was time to race!

The first mile was very crowded but didn't feel congested.  It was like we had all agreed on a pace until things opened up.  It was a "just right" pace where I didn't feel like I was being held up too much and it kept me from taking off too fast.  Julian, as is typical early in a race, hung right with me.

Mile 1: 8:15

I told Julian to go on ahead, that the course was well marked and he has been training more on the run.  Once again he did his typical thing by pulling ahead of me by about a whopping 30ft then settled into the same pace constantly looking over his shoulder for me.

Mile 2: 7:45

The 5k and 10k routes split at this point with the 5k doing a quick turn-around before diverting around the ballpark.  Julian made the turn and I told him, "There's only a mile to go.  Kick it in!"  With that he suddenly darted forward weaving around everyone in his path.  This mile was strong for him and he smartly poured some water over his head at one of the aid stations (I didn't teach him that).  Me?  I maintained pace which was a good thing.

Mile 3: 7:47

The final stretch was all uphill in the wind.  Ugh!  It was also a bit longer than anticipated.  I did however succeed in my usual 5k goal - "to be close enough to see Julian cross the line".  The crowds were excellent with tons of cheering over the last quarter-mile.

Last .3mi: 7:43min/mi pace

Garmin says ..... 3.29mi in 26:00 for an avg pace of 7:55min/mi with a peak pace of 6:31min/mi.

Official results say:
Julian - 25:21.2 - 1/9 Age 9-10
Chris - 26:01.1 - 8/21 Age 35-39

All in all I thought it was a great race for both of us.  Not PR's but right in line with our best previous efforts even with the wind and humidity.  We knew we'd have some time before Ang and Debbie finished their 10k so we did what everyone does after a 5k ...... sit in a Blackhawk.

No, you may not take off.
The organizers began prepping for the awards ceremony and still no sign of the girls.  People migrated from their posts as cheering spectators along the final stretch to the award table.  Suddenly the finish was looking somewhat abandoned.  I hated that Angelia wasn't going to get the roar of the crowd that greeted Julian and I.  Even worse, by this point I knew Julian had won his age group and was worried she was going to miss it.  Remember, her modest goal going into the event was "Finish in time for the award ceremony."  Then ....

There they are!  Easily recognizable from a distance in their matching Rockwall Running Center race shirts.  This was going to be just like the Trinity River Levee Run earlier this year where after her first 10k I gave her a quick congrats and rushed her over to see Julian get his award!  Ang and Debbie crested the final hill holding onto each other basically willing each other to the finish.  It was clear the run had been a struggle but they were still putting one foot in front of the other and were almost there!  With a final surge they crossed the line - tired but happy.  This wasn't how they planned things when they put this race on the calendar but considering all the challenges of the previous month it was a clear victory.

And yes, she got to see Julian get his 1st place award.

Angelia, Julian, and Debbie after the awards ceremony.
After that, it was off to IHOP and then my dad's house where Connor was already having some good ol' Memorial Day fun!

Why swim when you can ride on a grandparent?