Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Galveston, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 23m 46s
Overall Rank = 1578/2781
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 208/274
Pre-race routine:

I woke up about 5 minutes before my alarm (after checking a few times to make sure I didn't miss it!) at 4:55. I got dressed while trying not to wake the family then went into the hotel bathroom for breakfast. That's right, I packed a toaster, made a waffle and ate it on the toilet from a paper plate. That's nutrition commitment!
Event warmup:

After Keri snapped a few pics (including one of me eating on the toilet), I grabbed my transition bag and headed down stairs and across the parking lot. They had us check in and leave our bikes over night in TA, which was both a blessing and the worlds scariest thing. Keri and I discussed the extensive value of bikes in that large parking lot and wondered how many security guards (who likely had only flashlights and keys to defend themselves) would be guarding. About 2,700 athletes times (a conservative average of) $2,000 per bike. You do the math!

After checking in and getting body marked, I went to my spot in TA amidst the sea of bikes and got set up. I ate a banana, cliff bar and drank a bottle of Gatorade. Then I got my morning bag, wet suit and walked toward the swim start. I put my wetsuit on, with a little help of a foreign friend I acquired and was off to wait in line with the other crazy, orange-cap wearing males aged 30-34. Note there were so many in my age bracket they divided us into at least two waves.
  • 39m
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

Having never swam in the ocean in a wetsuit before, I was pleasantly surprised. The added buoyancy was much appreciated. After jumping in, we had about five minutes to wade in the 65.8 degree water (that's cold if you didn't know; below 65 they let you wear special water socks so your feet don't fall off). After the countdown we were off to a wild and crazy start with everyone trying to find their groove. I thought it would thin out and calm down. I was wrong. It was nuts the entire swim. I only got kicked about a half a dozen times, which I suppose isn't bad considering I was swimming 1.2 miles. One of those face blows did knock my goggles off, so I had to stop and adjust. I was never able to get them perfectly adjusted after that, so I swam for a while with salt water filling one side and just kept that eye closed. After adjusting again, I just put up with the leaking and made due.

I never could find a good draft zone. I either would catch the guy in front of me and end up hitting him in the crotch (hope he knew that was accident; sorry orange capped M30-34 dude) or I could not keep up with the fast red capped guys that were passing me from the wave behind. The worst part about the swim was the exit. There was a carpet laid down in the water at the swim exit to protect feet from the ocean floor. While I appreciate the sentiment, the carpet had gotten bunched up and I stumped my toe. It hurt really bad and I wanted to yell at the volunteers, but decided it wasn't their fault and moved on.
What would you do differently?:

All in all great swim for me. I wouldn't change much other than use some body glide! Getting chaffed on both sides of my neck and under one arm pit could have been easily avoided. Oh and my wetsuit keeps getting stuck when I try to zip it up or unzip it. The wet suit strippers (yes, that's what the people who literally help strip off your suit are called) even had a difficult time helping me get unzipped. Guess that's reason enough for a new wet suit!
Transition 1
  • 05m 23s

It seemed like a long way to TA , especially since they funneled us a crazy way once we got inside the area all the way along one side. I suppose it had something to due with equal distance being traversed throughout transition, but who comes up with this torture! So, a little slow, but I took the time to make sure I had everything and be careful putting my socks on over my damaged toe. Oh yes, about my toe, when I was putting on my socks I noticed under the toenail about half of it was completely black. It was pretty tender, but on went the bike shoes and off I was for the remainder of my multi-hour adventure.
What would you do differently?:

As far as things to do different, I wouldn't stub my toe getting out of the water for one. But mostly, considering the distance I covered in T1, I am fine with this time. I did run with my bike out of T1 and was able to jump on and get up to speed quickly, so I'm not complaining.
  • 3h 13m 8s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.40 mile/hr

I had to hold myself back a bit on the bike, especially at the beginning with a little tail wind. I really wanted to open it up and keep up with those passing me, but I held back to conserve for the run. I stopped to pee (which is really rare for me during an event, but I guess it happens) at the second aid station at mile 24. I suppose I was taking in a good amount of fluid if I still had to pee after a couple hours of exercise. Only other stop on the bike was at the last aid station around mile 48. I made myself stop here to give my legs a quick break and take in half a banana. At the end if the bike I saw my cheering squad and was able to finish the bike with a smile and still feeling good.
What would you do differently?:

Nutrition and pacing was good. I thought I had pretty good execution and I'm happy with my average pace, so I wouldn't do anything differently. I did get a little tired of being on the bike toward the end, but that was likely just from the 3+ hours on a tiny little saddle that is not conducive to the comfort of the male anatomy.
Transition 2
  • 03m 34s

Got out of my shoes in the last 50 yards of the bike and got off quickly and ran into T2. The bike next to mine was racked on the wrong side, so it was a tight fit getting mine racked quickly. I took an extra minute after getting my shoes on to stretch my quads as I knew I would appreciate it in the long run. After getting another quick drink, I ran out of T2 (again a weird way out). I immediately felt my big toe and was uncomfortable, but I put it out of my mind and knew what I had to do. On the way out of transition, a guy was offering sunscreen from his latex-gloved hand. Knowing this one single act would make Keri proud and me grateful, I gave the guy five and wiped my face and neck with the sunscreen he slipped my way. Later I would regret not giving him two "low fives" and putting some on my shoulders and arms.
What would you do differently?:

Again, I feel good with this performance. I don't know what I could have done better in T2.
  • 2h 22m 41s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 53s  min/mile

This was a really tough run. Mental effort was 100%. I started out strong, but the heat quickly got to me. I did good at first running through the aid stations and grabbing water to hydrate and sponges to keep cool. One lesson learned the hard way: don't discard the sponge! I should have kept a few and dunked them in the cups of water. In fact I came really close to picking one up off the ground to reuse after they ran out. Somewhere in the middle of this run was the most difficult part. My BIL gave me a word in advance of race day that I held onto for dear life: "praying you find the thought that keeps the fire in your belly." I came back to that phrase several times to refocus and zoom out and really put things into perspective. I worked out a strategy with The Lord to help me make it through the heat which was to run my best and walk through every aid station to cool down and rehydrate. By the last mile, I was entirely ready to be done. I picked up my pace and ran way too fast. I sprinted about the last quarter mile. I call that the "Porter power" coined after KP, my training and racing buddy. I finished strong and left it all out on the course. I couldn't have finished any better and that is the only way to go out.
What would you do differently?:

Since I got a nice little tan (read: incredibly bad sunburn), I would have sun screened better to begin with. Outside of that, the heat got the better of me. I suppose more middle of the day runs instead of mostly 5am runs would have helped. I think my nutrition was fine I just couldn't stay cooled down. Ultimately, I'm not sure I could have done anything differently during this run to make it better.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed my medal, a finishers hat and a couple bottles of water. I put ice in my hat then found Keri and some shade. After cooling down, I tried to replenish lost electrolytes without throwing any up. I limped for a bit, favoring my toe. After cooling down and eating a little, we walked back to the hotel room. Later I consumed many a calorie. After all, I did burn over 5,000 calories according to my watch!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat was definitely the biggest inhibitor to better performance.

Event comments:

The event was pretty organized. Other than the run, the course layout worked well. The race swag wasn't anything to write home about, but I guess I paid for the IRONMAN branding not the goodies. Despite a very difficult run, I still managed to make my unofficial time goal of 6-6.5 hours. Ultimately, I am now an IRONMAN 70.3 finisher and proud of it!

A big thank you to Keri for her support and encouragement throughout all my training and on race day. And I couldn't have done it without Jesus on race day, guiding me and encouraging me every step of the way! Thanks for reading.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-10-30 12:00 AM
00:39:00 | 2112 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 136/274
Overall: 969/2781
Performance: Good
After looking back at the data from my watch, I ended up swimming about an extra 200 yards due to being offline and not perfectly sighting.
Suit: Full wetsuit
Course: Kind of a triangular shape.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:23
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
03:13:08 | 56 miles | 17.40 mile/hr
Age Group: 216/274
Overall: 1618/2781
Performance: Good
Splits ranged from 18.37 at the beginning down to 16.35 toward the end into the headwind.
Wind: Some
Course: Out and back along the seawall. Slightly hilly. Shout out to Will who prayed against wind. For being on the gulf, I would call this an answered prayer!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:34
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:22:41 | 13.1 miles | 10m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 208/274
Overall: 1578/2781
Performance: Below average
Splits range from 8:28 to 13:30.
Course: Weirdest event run I've ever done. 3 loops through Moody Gardens, which essentially meant running on the streets and back alleys until it dead ended then turning around. We had to keep up with how many laps and after the third lap take a turn toward the finish chute. The announcer made a crack the day before about how at least one or two would turn too soon. I'm just saying, but if you can accurately predict that a nutrition-deprived, mostly out of their mind athlete will make a premature turn toward the finish, perhaps you should change the run course.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3