So long, long, long drive down to Galveston. Plan was to go down Friday afternoon with the family, but things got changed as our daughters rained out games from the week before were rescheduled for Sat. In short we did 3 games in 3 hours at 3 different fields in 3 different cities across 20 miles. Basically got to see about 20 min. of each game and then take the next child to their game and go back and pick up everybody else (Being a Sherpa sucks!). Long story short we left Dallas at 1pm and got to Galveston at 6:30pm. Just in time to pick-up my race packet (closed at 7pm).
The Friday before the race I had a really good swim at the pool. Wore the wetsuit in the pool to get comfortable (haven’t done any OWS sessions this season yet). My 4x100’s at a relaxed pace were at 1:10 (WOW). Then I did a 100 all out and did a 1:05. Realized that I didn’t gain much by going all out (important lesson).
Pre-race- nutella sandwich, coke. Went with the 808’s and disc cover. Went over my anticipated splits with the wife, so she would know where and when to look for me (30-35 swim, 2:30-2:35 bike, and 1:30-1:40 run) Best case 4:30.
Swim- picked a line to the inside of the buoys instead of the outside. Good call!!! Decided I was going to go nice and relaxed on the swim. Noticed that the swim looked like it was 500,1000,500, and there were buoys every 100m (5,10,5). Decided I was just going to count buoys. 1,2,3,4,5, shit turn already?, 1,2,3….9,10, turn?, into the home stretch. Counting buoys really helps mentally. It lets me know how far I am. With 2 buoys to go I started a good kick to get the legs going and started prepping mentally for the bike.(Mentally go through transition). Out of the water at 30:xx! Hell yeah! Timing on the swim can be unpredictable especially if there is a run up a hill to cross the timing mat as well as not so accurate swim courses. Prepared my self for a what if 35 swim, so I was more than pleased with a 30 min swim. IN-n-out of transition uber fast. And onto the rode.
Bike- took 2 gatorades, 1 gel, and some salt with me. Set the garmin to give me 2 mile splits. Heading out was a good crosswind with a slight head-wind. Prepared myself for slower speeds going out. Realized that by mile 4, my splits were 5:15-5:30, HOLY SHIT THAT’S FAST FOR A HEAD WIND!. Be patient, hold back, stick to your watts (230-235), conserve to not go to hard out, save it for the run (repeated over and over and over and over to myself). About mile 14, me and this one guy kept playing leapfrog and I was getting tired of it. Told him that since we were going the same wattage lets go 5/5. He said sure. I took the lead and then I never saw him again. OH well! About mile 16 I saw LA headed back into town in the lead, pretty cool!! Hit the turn around at 1:16 and was like SHIT, this is going to be interesting headed back with a tail wind (if it holds up). 2nd half was 1:09. Heck YEAH! Last 2 miles I prepped mentally for the run. Didn’t know how to feel, hadn’t run off the bike since OCT? Legs felt fresh though as if I had ran say 5-6 miles. Avg. speed 22.9mph.
Definitely could have pushed through the bike a lot harder, but that would have made for a crappier run.
Most valuable thing about racing with power. It keeps you in check to not push too hard, and keeps you honest when you have a tail wind. I noticed that I was passing more people with a tail wind than without. Reason being is that without a tail wind everyone pushed hard to keep pace and then lighten up when you have a tail wind. The power meter keeps you humming!
Quick transition (no socks, yeah that’s gonna hurt later). I was sitting at exactly 3 hours starting the run. Figured best case scenario was a 4:30 finish, so its all up to me now. I’ll either win in or loose it on the run. Its nice to come into transition and notice only a handful of bikes in your AG, especially when your in the 2nd wave of your AG. Figured I was starting the run at least top 10.
Run: Started out way to fast with a 6:15 ½ mile, slowed to 6:45 by mile 1. I was able to have that kick I usually do when I do tempo work, but decided to hold off on it, because I didn’t know what the run was going to bring, since the season was early and hadn’t done one brick workout since the HIM in Austin in Oct. 2011. Figured I’ll use it the last 2 miles (if possible). At mile 1 started getting bad quad cramps/ contractions (like I did at IMKY). I was like SHIT, but there is no way I’m stopping for a half. Figured lets work this out and see what happens (good IM testing). SALT, SALT, SALT, AND MORE SALT. By mile 3 it was gone and I was back to humming.
2nd loop, I got bad upper stomach cramps/ stitch (not sure what to do for those) Salt, salt salt, and breathe deep , slow it down a bit). Gone by mile 7. At the half way point I was headed for a 1:32ish run. Heck yeah. 3rd loop, the heat got to me (that and piss poor aid station staff) SELF SERVE? WTF? TOTAL OF 1:38 (7:30 AVG). I think about the half way point I started letting other peoples’ paces dictate mine (gotta stop doing that on the run, that and the heat got to me finally). I think a lot of that had to do with just the amount of people running and cramped place to run. Feet were on fire at the end. Literally stepped into the tubs of ice (holding water bottles), man that felt good. One of the IM staff, said “hey you can’t do that”. Really? Not like anyone is gonna drink this? LOL!
Wifes notes: Said I looked really fresh coming out of the water, strong coming off the bike. Run (she was at mile 3, 8, 12). Said I looked really good 1st loop, on target for a 4:30 finish and looked strong and fast. 2nd loop she could tell I lost my pep, 3rd loop I was grimacing and fighting. That and she got to high-five LA, and got some good shots of him on the run.
Swim: 30:27, 1:33/100, AG- 21/ 298, OA 188
Bike: 2:26, 232 watts, 22.9 mph, AG-10/298, OA 93
Run: 1:38, 7:30/ mile,
Total 4:40, AG 11/ 298, OA 108
Excluding the Pro’s I would have been 65th OA.