Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Galveston, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 17m 10s
Overall Rank = 516/2781
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 85/335
Pre-race routine:

Well this was one heck of a race weekend!
It started out on Saturday morning, getting up at 2:30 am to drive to wifey's race at Hells Hills in Smithville. This was her first ultra (a 50K) and I was supposed to be her mule. But after she registered for it several months ago, I found out that my team was going to send me to race Galveston on the next day. So we just had to make due and I helped her out the best I could. When we got to her race we met up with another well known BTer, Comet (Haley). Her husband was racing the 50k as well. Wifey started her race, and I hung out for awhile until transition would open at Galveston so I could take my bike over there. It was about a 2.5-3 hour drive each way. So during my drive there, Haley updated me on wifey's progress which calmed my nerves so much (thank you!). I went to packet pickup, dropped off my bike, checked into the hotel, then high tailed it back to Smithville to see wifey finish. I missed her finish by 5 minutes! I was so bummed. But she had a great race and I was so proud of her for finishing her first ultra.
So it was back in the car for another 3 hours to Galveston. We grabbed some dinner and tried to hit the hay while Michigan played Syracuse in the Final Four. Yeah, like I could sleep!

OK so up again at 5:30 am on Sunday. I had a Bearded Brothers bar that was "meh". Usually I like these bars, but this one didnt do anything for me. So I had a couple of fig newtons with some coffee and water, and I was ready to go. We drove to transition to park and get set up. Wifey was such a trooper, as much as she was hurting she hobbled along and stuck it out all day to cheer me on a day after running a 50K! We got her set up in a chair, and I set my gear out in transition.
The guy next to me in transition was nervous, and said this was his first 70.3. He asked me if I'd done any and I said this was my third. And he then proceeded to ask me for advice. Me! I got a kick out of that and told him my best advice was to take it easy on the bike. And if he is in the 35-39 AG, go REAL easy. He didn't get it until I smiled really big.

Event warmup:

The race started at 7:00 am, but my wave wasn't until 8. So I hit the restroom, then hung out for about 30 minutes before I put my wetsuit all the way on. Of course there was no chance for a water warm up, so I tried to move my arms around a bit just to get the blood flowing and make sure the wetsuit was ok and not too constricting in the arms. Once it was time to get in the water, we had a few minutes before the gun went off to get acclimated. It was cold at first, but not as cold as Boerne Lake was last week. My heart raced a bit, but once I got my face in the water and took a few strokes everything calmed down. I moved towards the middle to the side, and then we were off!
  • 39m 29s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

I took it easy on the swim (as always), and finished about the same time I always have for this distance. I haven't really put in alot of swim training since Rocky, only about 3 times a week. But it was enough to get me to "average." This is one area where I really need to improve if I ever want to break 5 in a 70.3.
But it wasn't a bad swim at all though, no kicks to the face (one breast stroke kick to the chest though). I just had to navigate around a bunch of people who were zig zagging around me (or was I the one who was siz zagging??). There were so many people it was hard to find open water, but for the most part it was an easy, uneventful swim.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe time to join a Masters swim class. But overall the swim was ok for me.
Transition 1
  • 04m 49s

Out of the water I unzipped my wetsuit and took my arms out. I held my swim cap and goggles in my left hand as I pulled my arm out of my wetsuit so that the cap and goggles would get stuck in the arm. Not sure what happened though as I seem to have lost my goggles...
Went to the wetsuit strippers and let them pull it off my legs. Everything was pretty seamless there, and I jogged to my bike and got out of T1 as soon as I could.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, except maybe move faster.
  • 2h 37m 8s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.38 mile/hr

I felt really good coming out of the water, and once I got onto Seawall it was a nice easy pace out and back. My plan was to try to stay around 200 watts, as my FTP is ~235, and that would be about 85%. It seemed really easy going out at 200W, and my speeds were around 22-23 mph almost the whole way. Although everyone was saying to expect a headwind out and tailwind back, I knew that if it felt this easy going out that I should expect a headwind going back. I should have taken a gel earlier, as I waited until about the 10 mile mark (~25-27 min) to grab one out of my bento box.
I made one pit stop at the porta john around mile 20 or so (2nd reststop), but other than that I just slowed through the rest stops and grabbed a bottle of water to put in my Profile aerobottle. I had some Gu Brew tabs that I put in my bottle and they worked pretty well for me. I was at 1:15 at the 28 mile turn around, and I was expecting more of a head wind on the way back but it never really came. I took a few more gels and drank as much as my stomach let me. My ride back in was slightly slower, but I think mainly because I slowed down the last 5 miles or so to get ready for the run, and also my left hamstring was cramping up a bit and I was trying to work it out. But overall this was the best bike leg I've ever had, probably mostly due to the wind. Overall everything felt great. My average power ended up being 180W, so I guess I didn't stay at 200 as much as I thought I did. But still not too shabby.
I was really surprised by how many people I was passing on the bike course. Especially the amount of superbikes (P5s, Shivs, etc)! I didn't think my bike fitness had improved that much, as I have only had about 2 months on the bike since ultra season ended. It worried me a bit that I was going too hard, but it didn't feel that bad so I just stuck with it. Pacing by power really is the way to go, no doubt.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, except maybe take in some calories a little earlier in the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 48s

Pretty good T2 for me. I just threw on my Hokas, and was ready to rock!
  • 1h 52m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 37s  min/mile

Well, here is where I broke down a bit. I saw coming into T2 that I was at 3:20 total race time, so if I ran my typical 13.1 (1:45), I would beat my PR by 15 minutes, and if I ran even better I would have a chance to break 5. I was pretty stoked at this point of the race. Maybe a little too excited. So I left T2, and missed getting some extra sunscreen. This was a big mistake (as my infamous sun burn now shows). To make matters worse, I started out way too fast. I knew to take it easy out of T2, but when I looked at my watch at the first mile marker I was running at a 7:11 min/mile pace. WHAT!?! Way too fast. So I tried to slow it down a bit. I came in the first loop around 35 minutes, and I once again failed to take in another gel early in the run. 3 big mistakes that led me to a second loop where I felt like I was going to die. During the second loop I got overheated and felt nauseated. My plan was to walk all the aid stations and get my HR down, and get back in the game. I popped a gel, had some Perform and lots of water, and dumped ice down my jersey where it stayed for awhile and cooled my core temperature down. My second loop was ~41 minutes. So coming in for the last loop I was at 4:40. 41 minutes to break my PR of 5:21.
I knew it was now or never time. I was beginning to feel better, and was starting to come back from the dead if you will. I picked up the pace, and the last 4 miles breezed by. I stuck with my strategy of walking the aid stations, but picked up my pace as much as my body would allow, and the final loop was ~37 minutes, 4 minutes under my best previous time. Although my run was not the best, I was happy that I was able to salvage it at the end to make it a successful race.
What would you do differently?:

Take in more calories earlier in the run, and don't forget sunscreen out of T2. Also, go easier out of T2. All rookie mistakes that I knew better.
Post race
Warm down:

It was so packed with people, there was no chance of finding wifey right away. And it was HOT! So I found the food tent and sat down for awhile. They had pizza (Papa Johns), and also some oranges and cookies and a few other items. I got a plate and some more water, but my HR was skyrocketing and I just couldn't eat. Once I caught my breath I had a few orange slices, and tried to eat the pizza and cookie but I only got a few bites in. After about 15-20 minutes I went and found wifey who was still cheering everyone on. She is awesome like that!
After the race we hit up Waffle House.... because it's awesome and there arent any in San Antonio! I was definitely ready to eat by then. Best smothered, covered and chunked hashbrowns I've ever had.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A few bad decisions mostly. The conditions were great, and if I made some better choices during the race the heat would not have gotten to me. But overall a great race with no major incidents.

Event comments:

I really like the bike course (smooth and flat!) and the 3 loop run course around Moody Gardens. I thought it was well planned and executed too. The swim was good too, although I didn't care for all the salt in my mouth. Overall a really good race, and I would do it again.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-01-09 12:00 AM
00:39:29 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 152/335
Overall: 1021/2781
Performance: Average
Suit: Full
Course: Counterclockwise triangle in a saltwater protected bayou
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:49
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:37:08 | 56 miles | 21.38 mile/hr
Age Group: 86/335
Overall: 510/2781
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Smooth, flat out and back down the coast. Moderate crosswinds the whole way with a slight tail wind going out and headwind coming back.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:52:56 | 13.1 miles | 08m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 85/335
Overall: 516/2781
Performance: Below average
Course: 3 loops around Moody Gardens
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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] 4