Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ironman Texas 70.3 Race Report!

Wow! I just finished up a whirlwind trip to Galveston to race Ironman Texas 70.3.  This is a great race and only four and half hours down the road from San Antonio.  I had a ton of friends there which made it feel like a home town race!   So first I want to thank all my peeps for cheering like crazy while I was out there, you make these races fly by whether or not I’m flying by ;)
Three weeks prior to Texas 70.3 I raced San Juan 70.3.   I learned a lot at San Juan, made some adjustments to my training and was excited to see if training was going in the right direction.  Race morning I woke up bright and early, ate breakfast, and headed over to transition about 5:30 am.  I was nervous and excited; there were about 40 pros on the start list that would be fighting it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and 500 70.3 worlds’ points.    I got everything set up in transition grabbed my Xterra Wetsuit and headed over to the swim start to warm-up. 
After a short warm-up we lined up for the male pro start.  If you want a good laugh watch the beginning of an in-water start for the Pro men and woman.  It basically consists of one side of the line inching forward then the other side moving forward until we are about ten meters past the start line and officials are screaming at us to back up.  We back up and then repeat the process for the next 3-5 minutes leading up to the gun.  Eventually we got semi lined up and we were off.  At San Juan I was in the second swim pack for the first 400 meters until I dropped off and was swimming by myself.  The goal for this race was to stay with the second pack longer than 400 meters.  Race officials had the buoys laid out every 100 meters.  So I did my best to attach myself to the swim pack and hang on.  Before I knew it I was at 400 meters and still in the pack, YES! About 300 meters later I was still hanging on and felt in rhythm, YES!! At about 1200 meters I was still in the pack and determined to hang on the entire swim, YES!!! Well I’m glad to report I exited the swim for the first time ever in the second pack of a Pro field. A big thanks to Susan Ingraham my masters swim coach and Xterra Wetsuits for your great products! My swim Time was 25:30 a new 1.2 mile PR.
As I ran through transition I took too much time and missed the pack heading out on the bike.  Note to self: practice transitions and include different variables! No worries, I hopped on my Guru (bike), settled into a rhythm, and started plowing away.  About 2 miles in a guy rode up on me, He went by quick and I decided to let him go, checking my watts on my power meter he was pushing harder than I wanted to play that early on in the race.  Another mile down the road I made my first pass and was feeling pretty good.  That’s basically how it went for the bike leg.  I’d ride about 5-10 miles and a rider would go by and a few miles later I’d pass someone.  At the start of the run at San Juan my legs were fried, so I planned to take it a little easier the back half of the bike to allow myself to feel a little fresher at the start of the run.  I finished the bike in 2:13:43 averaging a little over 25 miles per hour.
Once in T2, I slipped on my shoes grabbed a couple of cliff shots, and was out on the run.  My legs didn’t feel fresh but were in much better shape than the start of run at San Juan.  The plan was to go out conservative the first 3 miles and then drop the pace to about 5:45-50 after the first couple miles.  The first four miles went as planned; I hovered right around the 6:00 per mile pace and was feeling solid.  By about mile 5 my pace had dropped 30 seconds but the effort felt the same. I just didn’t have the conditioning in my legs yet.  I spent the rest of the run fueling and just trying not to fall apart.  I managed to hold it together and crossed the finish line in 17th place.  I ran a 1:23:19 averaging 6:19 miles, a ways off my sub 1:20 goal but much improved from San Juan.  Overall time was 4:06:47 and new half Ironman PR for me!
Reflecting back on the race I’m very happy with the result.  It was far from perfect but was definitely a step in the right direction.  The season is just beginning and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.  Next up is Ironman New Orleans 70.3 on April 21st.  I’ve got two weeks to work out a few more kinks and look forward to performing in the Big Easy!