Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lonestar Ironman 70.3

I got enough prodding over Christmas to get back to this thing, so time to catch up with some highlights of the year...

In late April my sister, mom and I went down to Galveston, TX to do the Lonestar Sprint tri (sister Lindsay) and I would do the half Iron race on Saturday.

Lindsay and I drove all the way down to Galveston on Friday to pick up our packets for the next two days of racing. In hindsight it probably would have been good to just get a hotel. It was pretty rough to drive from Oklahoma to Houston, to Galveston and back to Houston and then back to Galveston the next morning. Maybe next time. Saturday morning we woke up really early and mom, Lindsay and I loaded up my truck with both our bikes and all our gear (it takes a lot of stuff to do a race). We get down there and Lindsay gets set up and transition and the weather was great, maybe a little windy but you are on the coast so you expect it. Then about 15-20 minutes before the sprint race was about to start the front moved in, and it moved in hard. Gusting winds were really making the bay start to get choppy. They made an announcement that they were delaying the start for a bit. That turned into another delay and then the cancellation of the swim leg of the triathlon. That was a GREAT choice. There were people warming up in the water and trying to swim the direction of the course and they were making no progress at all. With a swim start and some weak swimmers it was a recipe for disaster. So everyone made it over to the bike area and they set out one at a time every 10 seconds. Well that went downhill real quick since there were people that couldn't get on their bikes before the people behind them started. It was pretty funny.

Before long Lindsay came and went down the chute and was off. Mom and I stuck around to watch the mayhem and not too long after Lindsay made it back and looked really strong and it was on to the run. Last year she had a little trouble on the run but this year, no worries. If there would have been a swim I'm positive that she would have nailed a personal record.

After the race we loaded up and went for a bite to eat down at the pier since we were staying the night in Galveston. Some really good seafood and then we killed a little more time by hitting some shops before we could check in to the hotel. I swore I booked 2 queen beds but we got a room with one king. A little small for 3 people...We got some extra linens and Lindsay set up her spot on the floor, such a trooper. We went out to eat at a really good italian place and I had some very good pizza to tide me over into the race. Then it was more hydrating and off to bed.

Morning came and we loaded up the truck once again and headed back to Moody Gardens. My goal was to improve on my Redman half Iron time from last fall, so anything under 5:50 would be great. I jumped in the water and knew it was going to be a tough swim. The current was coming at us and the bouys seemed so far away. Redman swim time was 34 minutes. This time I was out in about 45. I swallowed some salt water and my wetsuit had rubbed my neck raw. Not a good start at all. I finally pulled out of the water and got on the bike. Not long into the ride an official pulled up next to me and gave me the red card, a drafting penalty. I thought I had plenty of space between the rider in front of me and my bike but I guess not. There went another 4 minutes for the penalty. I felt pretty strong out there for a long time but the day was starting to warm up and I could feel it already. My training in Oklahoma up to that point had been pretty cool so it was a bit of a shock. I was dumping water on me as much as I could to cool off. Last year at Redman I finished the bike in 2 hrs 52 mins. This year it was 3 hrs and 3 minutes with the penalty. At this point I knew beating last years time was shot.

So I got off the bike, onto the run course (after a quick port-a-potty stop) and plodded out on the run. At this point I was just trying to run more than I walked.

The heat was taking its toll and winning. The only highlight of the run was getting lapped by a couple of the women pros, Amanda Stevens and Deseree Ficker. They are crazy fast. I ran/walked my way through the 13.1 mile run in 2:10, about 8 minutes faster than Redman go figure...

Final time was just over 6:04. A disappointing day but good experience in an early season race. I finally recovered and cooled down enough to load up the truck and make the drive back to Houston for some much awaited BBQ.

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