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Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Galveston, Texas
United States
Total Time = 5h 01m 53s
Overall Rank = 151/1830
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 31/214
Pre-race routine:

Made the trip to Houston on Friday via Centerville. Gina had a meeting there for work, so I tagged along and played computer games while waiting. Stayed in Houston with Gina's best friend from college Friday night. That was nice. Made the trip to Galveston in about an hour from there Saturday morning.

Arrived and hung out with Eric and Will. Caught up with Townsend and Pat for meals. Had the longest dinner ever the night before. Good food, but we were there for over 2 hours. Crashed with Will and Eric on my air mattress. Got a pretty good night sleep.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 5am and had a bagel with peanut butter and some coffee. Jumped in the car. We were at the Inn at the Waterpark. After 15 minutes of driving, I ended up being escorted to park about 3 blocks from our hotel. Waste of time. But we weren't rushed.

Setup transition. Struggled getting air into my tires. Or so it seemed. I forgot my pump, and the pump I borrowed was giving me funny readings. Found Eric just before transition closed and he acknowledged that I had about 120psi.

Made my way out to the pier. I was in wave 7 leaving at 7:30, so I had to watch quite a few people go before I finally got in the water.
  • 36m 55s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 45s / 100 yards

Started off just like any other swim. Lots of contact. Didn't bother me too much. Just wanted to find a pack. The salt water was a bit shocking to my system. I naturally swallow water when I swim. Not much, but always a little. So I tried to focus on spitting water out frequently.

Almost immediately, my goggles were fogged. I just got contacts the Monday before this race, and I haven't swam with them in yet. So I was concerned to do this. So I really, really struggled sighting. There were so many times I looked up and I couldn't see swimmers, buoys, or anything. So I would lean back, remove my goggles, and see where I was going. Not exactly the ideal situation for a race!

Rounded the buoy, and I couldn't breathe to my left due to waves. Frustrated me a bit, but that's always expected with open water. Kept on from buoy to buoy. Rounded the last buoy and it was really tough to breathe to either direction. Found myself nearly rotating to my back just to get air.

Saw the swim exit and I was super excited. This was a pretty miserable swim, and I wanted out of the water desperately.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. I've actually started swimming with the group on MWF mornings, and that has already started helping. I need to swim with my contacts in so I can see where I'm going. And I should've done something to aid my goggles in not fogging. Regardless, the swim split wasn't all that bad at my current fitness level.
Transition 1
  • 03m

Headed up the ramp, and people were yelling "No passing on the ramp". Well people were casually walking up the ramp. So I figure I'll just run anyway. Hit up the wetsuit strippers, and the poor girl had the hardest time getting my wetsuit over my timing chip. I didn't mind too much, but she kept on apologizing as she was working on it. Didn't really cost me too much time. No more than 10 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I stopped to put on socks and shoes. I don't put forth the effort for this distance like I would for a sprint tri.
  • 2h 34m 24s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.76 mile/hr

Headed out on the small roads getting out to Seawall, and I could feel a pretty strong headwind. So I assumed that the wind was a direct cross. Passing alot of people, which is always motivating. Turn on to Seawall, and I try to get into a rhythm. I don't want the HR over 150 until I turn around.

Trying to get a feel for the wind. It feels like a direct cross, and the gusts are occassionally causing me to lose balance. But it really wasn't all that bad unless you were directly on the coast, or on the bridge at San Luis Pass. Taking in my solid nutrition during the first hour. Trying to get 300-350 calories per hour, which is a good number for me to have a good run.

I don't use a speed/cadence computer, but I do know my HR and how long I've been riding. Doing a terrific job of dosing the effort to keep the HR down. As I pass the 10/15/20 mile markers I look at the clock and calculate my speed. I knew I was hovering around 20mph, so I just assumed the cross wind was hurting me more than I expected.

Hit the turn-around and switched to my liquids and gels. And suddenly everything felt signifantly easier. Shift, shift, shift. Cadence is still fairly high. Shift. That's it. No more gears. I mutter "Oh hell yeah". I didn't know I had been fighting a bit of a headwind, but there was no doubt I had a bit of a tailwind after turning around.

Allowed my HR to creep up a bit to the mid 150's, and I felt like I was flying back. There were fewer riders at this point, so passing somebody felt like an accomplishment. Spotted Tommy on the way back maybe around mile 40-45. I was hoping to say hi to him, but unfortunately this was the only time I saw him over the weekend.

The cross wind once you were on the beach just before heading back in was pretty bad. Actually forced me out of aero. But managed to turn in with the tailwind. Sat up due to rough roads, all the way to transition.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. The course is as flat as flat gets, and staying in aero sometimes becomes a chore. But the wind here really makes this a tougher course than you would expect.

But the effort was as good as my current fitness level would allow. Fact is, I've been quite busy with life and I really never got in the bike volume I wanted. I've only been putting in roughly 100 miles/week so far this year, and not even near that on some weeks. I feel I would need at least 150/week with some interval efforts to work on more strength, and I really never got any of that in during training.
Transition 2
  • 01m 13s

Didn't dismount fast. Just got off the bike with my shoes on and ran to my spot. Managed to get in and out fairly quick given the circumstances.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 46m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 07s  min/mile

Came out of transition and tried to settle into a pace. I wanted to see the high 150's and go from there. But I felt like I was running at a nice effort (turned out to be around a 7:50 pace) with my HR in the mid to high 160's. So I rolled with it.

After the 1st loop, I told myself that I was hurting a little, but it wasn't anything I couldn't tolerate for another hour or so. It was nice to see familiar faces on the run. Saw David Gillen on the run. Hadn't seen him since LoneStar last year, so that was cool. Saw Bryce, Eric, and Pat a couple times. Amazing how it helps when you see people.

2nd loop was pretty uneventful. Hanging on to the HR, and the pace seemed to stay constant. However, around mile 8 or 9, my calves started cramping. I thought I could fight it off at first. And I did through the 3rd lap. But the 4th lap was tough! I would run until they started cramping, then walk until they stopped. Then I found myself running with my toes pointed upwards to prevent them from cramping. Kind of awkward, but it worked much better. Didn't work perfectly though, because they never stopped.

I kept looking at my watch, knowing that I was dangerously close to flirting with the 5 hour mark I wanted to break. And I knew that once my calves started cramping I wasn't going to do it. Very demoralizing! But I pushed through. As I was crossing the finish line, I saw 5:28:5x. I knew I started 30 minutes after the pros, so I thought that I had actually broken 5 hours and come in around 4:59. I even told people afterwards I came in under 5 because of this. But when I got my official time, I realized I was mistaken.
What would you do differently?:

Probably should have taken more salt in on the run. It was freakin' hot out there! I did stay hydrated well, but I think the cramps my have been due to low electrolyte levels. Or just plain muscle fatigue. Given the circumstances, I'm very, very pleased with this run.

As far as training is concerned, I still need more long runs. I skipped a couple during training, and I never got in a training run much longer than 90 minutes. I wanted to get in 3 or 4 at 2 hours. And of course I'm still carrying entirely too much weight to be a runner. 175 pounds is the lightest I've ever raced at, but everybody in front of me is so much leaner than I am...
Post race
Warm down:

Nothing. Saw Eric and Elliot, so I talked with them. Then I talked with Ritter and Lance. Very unfortunate circumstances for Ritter. He's still got a full season ahead of him, so I hope he heals up. Hit up the massage tent. That helped a ton. Then hung out with Pat and had a couple slices of pizza.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

First, I'm pleased with this result. My previous best at this distance as a 5:54, so significant improvement.

Limited training. I truly believe I would need 14-16 hours minimum during base training and around 12-14 during build training to race a half-ironman at a competitive level. I was happy to get in 10 during both while training for this race. So I'm very pleased to perform like I did in a early-season race with limited training.

As always, I complain about being overweight. I'm doing much better, seeing weights I haven't seen since high school. But I still would love to see the mid 160's to become a better runner and for hills as a cyclist.

Event comments:

This is a good race. It comes with the commercialism and hooplah that is Ironman, if you're into that kind of thing. I enjoy a race like this because I love the competition. I don't want to know where I stand locally, but where I stand regionally. So it's always fun to get my butt kicked by some of the top class in the area. And it's always fun to enjoy a weekend of racing with some friends.

Last updated: 2010-12-28 12:00 AM
00:36:55 | 2112 yards | 01m 45s / 100yards
Age Group: 60/214
Overall: 489/1830
Performance: Below average
Avg HR = 156
Suit: Xterrra Volt Sleeveless
Course: Triangle - counter clockwise
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:34:24 | 56 miles | 21.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 27/214
Overall: 119/1830
Performance: Average
Avg HR = 152
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Out and back on Seawall.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:13
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:46:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 44/214
Overall: 222/1830
Performance: Good
Avg HR = 167
Course: 4 loops of wandering through Moody Gardens. Flat.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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

2011-04-11 11:40 AM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas

2011-04-11 12:39 PM
in reply to: #3440021

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Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
nice race, as far as training quality is pretty important.
2011-04-11 1:33 PM
in reply to: #3440177

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
great job out there..  Very solid race for ya.  
2011-04-11 7:35 PM
in reply to: #3440021

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Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
Great to see you too!  5:01 is impressive.  I always knew you were strong on the bike, but a 1:46 run w/ that humidity is killer!  I was hoping for a 1:50 - 1:55 and ran a 2:06!
2011-04-11 8:07 PM
in reply to: #3440021

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
Nice job out there congrats!!!
2011-04-13 1:10 PM
in reply to: #3440021

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Allen, TX
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
What an awesome performance! 5:01 is impressive as hell to me, but I guess it's relative to where you are/want to be.  Nevertheless, solid numbers in every leg!

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