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Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Galveston, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 5h 52m 50s
Overall Rank = 1014/2670
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 38/112
Pre-race routine:

WOW, what a day! I went out with some ideas of what I wanted to accomplish, but no real expectation of what would happen. If you read last year's race report, you know I had a few problems in 2011. Switching races, the Austin half iron is a pretty different race in terms of terrain, weather, and who you race against. So preparing for Galveston race day still held some mysteries for me.

About two weeks before the race, I'd been part of a century ride on the Ironman Texas course. At mile 3 of 100, I'd hit a small ledge the wrong way and gotten asphalt sandwich for breakfast. This left me with a few injuries in addition to the adductor sprain I'd sustained during the marathon in February. So injuries included a AC (shoulder joint) sprain, badly bruised right femur head, sprained adductor, and small patches of road rash on my shoulder, chin, and knee. The majority of the injuries had healed by race day, with a few shiny new patches of pink skin, with the exception of a still sore femur, and an adductor that still acts up at about four miles. The biggest impact these injuries had was on my training. Swimming didn't get any attention for a full two and a half weeks, and running was slow and easy for about the same time. The only thing that got any real attention was my bike training. Some of this was obvious on race day.

This year my wave went at 7:30 instead of nearly 9 am. Yay! Walking into transition the day before and leaving my bike was an entirely different experience this year. I knew what to expect, I knew what to do, and I felt a lot more comfortable with my gear this year. Getting up early the next morning to get to transition was also much more relaxed than the previous year. Once again, I knew what to expect. I walked my gear in, set up transition, and looked around. One of my favorite things about Galveston is that there is only one transition, and it keeps it simple for me. Then a funny thing happened. Somebody asked my advice. It was the greatest compliment I've gotten in this sport.
Event warmup:

Grabbed sunscreen, goggles, wetsuit and cap and wandered out of transition, and over to see the pros start their race.
  • 39m 59s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

The next thirty minutes went quick, and soon my wave was jumping in the water to start. The swim went well. About the same as last year, with the exception that we weren't swimming diagonally this year. A kick to the face here (with pause to put my goggles back on), a scratch to the face there, an ankle grab (are we having fun yet?) and it was pretty much business as usual. Rounding the last corner buoy, something strange happened. I'd gotten into a large pack of swimmers, and all of a sudden, I could feel a bit of a pull! I'd heard of this happening, but never really experienced it. It only lasted a few seconds, but was pretty cool when it happened.
Transition 1
  • 04m 11s

Out of the water and into transition. With a quick stop by the strippers (wink wink). I looked for the biggest guys available and ran to them. RRIIPP! Wetsuit OFF! The rest of transition went so fast for me that at one point, I stood up, looked down and though, "Okay, what am I forgetting?" Out of transition to the bike.
  • 3h 02m 8s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.45 mile/hr

This may forever be my favorite course. It's very nearly a straight line out and back on the sea wall. Both years I've done this race, we had a head wind going out, and a tailwind coming in. There are few hills, and the roads are in great condition. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the bike segment is a little bit longer than 56 miles, but as long as they don't change the bike course, I'm fine with it (so I can continue to see myself improve). You'll notice on the sidebar of my blog the logo for FLEXR Sports. This was the first race that I got to put their bottles to the test. I have a bottle on my seat tube, and a torpedo mount on my aero bars. Perfect amount of nutrition and water for 3 hours. I picked up some water from the aid stations, but did not need to keep the bottles with me. I held back on the bike some, and didn't go all out, so I could pace the whole race better. It turned out to be a good plan.
Transition 2
  • 03m 12s

Back into transition. Expecting the wind, I took both feet out of the pedals, preparing for dismount and didn't fall this year! Yay! Run with the bike to my spot, shoes changed, helmet off, hat on, water belt (my nutrition) on. And. GO!
  • 2h 03m 20s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 25s  min/mile

And... The run. This year's course was different. Three loops, including a section on the airport tarmac. I. Don't. Like. I DO like the three laps vs the four, but the four laps had more shade and was more family friendly. And less wind affecting the course. But. Great run overall. I was pretty happy with it. Spectators, you guys rocked it! You shouted out bib numbers of anyone and everyone to encourage and keep us going. Thanks. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the run.
Post race
Event comments:

Much prettier version here:

So that just leaves a few things to mention.

Overall pretty good. I need to tweak my bike nutrition just a bit, but once I got off the bike and started running, things were great. The FLEXR Sports system really impressed me. I'll post a review of the setup, but I'll also be upgrading bottles to handle the increased demands for Ironman Texas. I do want to add that the setup accommodates those using Infinit Nutrition's custom mixes quite well.

Shades and helmet:
I've been reviewing the Rudy Hypermask sunglasses, and this was the last bit of my review process. I'm happy with them. I also had to replace my helmet after my wreck in mid March. I chose the Rudy Slinger. Great helmet, light and with lots of airflow.

This is my second half iron distance race with a sub six hour time, and I PR'd by almost five minutes. My transitions were faster, and my run was much stronger. My swim left something to be desired. I had a slower swim by less than twenty seconds. I was disappointed a bit by this because I'm a stronger swimmer this year, and it wasn't as difficult as last year. But truthfully, I left something out there. I was trying to pace myself better, and didn't really do a great job of it on the swim. And I'm sure that the limited swim training following my bike wreck had a small bit to do with not knowing how to pace myself that well. My bike was also a bit slower. Once again, pacing. But, I'm really not too upset because I ran much stronger, and finished with very little left in the tank. So, much better overall pacing for a strong bike leg and a good swim leg, and a great run.

By the numbers:
Overall 5:52:50 (PR)

Swim 39:59
T1 4:11 (PR)
Bike 3:02:08
T2 3:12 (PR)
Run 2:03:20 (PR)

2011 (for comparison)
Overall 7:11:30
Swim 39:41
T1 6:11
Bike 4:08:35 (roughly 45 minutes worth of flat tires)
T2 3:28
Run 2:23:35

Previous PR 5:57:30 Austin 70.3, 2011

One thing I want to add to my race report is the fact that Lance Armstrong raced this race. Going into Galveston, I had mixed feelings, and I wasn't alone. I respect him, his ability, and what he does for cancer. But I wasn't looking forward to media issues, security issues, and any other looky loos that we might have to deal with that were only out there for Lance sightings. Compared to last year, all three of what I mentioned were a little more amped up than, and money was definitely being made off of his racing. But there was a moment of clarity for me that made this a race I will remember forever. I was heading out on the bike, and I wanted to see how far I could get before I started seeing people coming back the other direction. I think I was at about the 20 mile mark when the cyclist I was passing pointed out the media train coming back the other direction. Sure enough it was Lance Armstrong himself. Mr. Yellow Jersey. I realized in that moment, as we cheered for him, that he swam the same bayou that I did, he was riding the same course I was, and he was about to run the same roads I would be. I'm not sure what other sport in the world puts the pros on the same course as the age groupers, but I hope this doesn't change. Afterward, I heard some funny stories that made him seem even more human, with the same race nerves and nutrition issues that ALL triathletes have to work through.

Last updated: 2012-04-20 12:00 AM
00:39:59 | 2112 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 44/112
Overall: 1183/2670
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:11
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:02:08 | 56 miles | 18.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 32/112
Overall: 1226/2670
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:12
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:03:20 | 13.1 miles | 09m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 38/112
Overall: 1014/2670
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-04-20 8:10 PM

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Subject: Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas
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