Monday, April 26, 2010

Ironman Lonestar 70.3 Race Report

Hello Dear Readers!

Wow this was a great race! Despite the bad weather from Friday night, and the resultant cancellation of the Sprint and Olympic distance swim, Sunday's race went on as scheduled.

Pre-Race Morning

I got up at 4 AM and did my best to get the sleep out of my eyes. Made some coffee, ate a skillet's hot breakfast. Gathered all my gear and headed down to Galveston. Along the way I ate a banana, muscle milk, and a nutri-grain bar. Got to the race site at about 5:10 AM and had plenty of time for the body marking and most importantly a few visits to the porta potty! At 6:30 AM we were told to go to the swim start staging area. Due to the large number of athletes at a smaller venue, we did a set of wave starts based on age group divisions. I was in the 40-44 group so we were wave 8. The pro's went off first and as usual Andy Potts was the first out of the water. After lots of waiting (or so it seemed) my group was called to the docks to get ready...

Swim (1.2 Miles)

The swim portion of this race was fairly hard. While the winds definitely died down during the night, we still had a stiff breeze blowing across the bay. This made the conditions a little crazy because we were swimming in a head wind for 2/3's of the swim course. The wind made the water really choppy with good sized waves. The first leg of the swim went great. I felt good and I felt like my pace was decent. When we hit the buoy for the left had turn to the long section of the swim, I knew it was going to be interesting. In order to get a good swim time, you need to get into a rhythm and stick with that sustainable rhythm. The problem was that it was hard to maintain a rhythm with waves constantly crashing onto your head every time you breathed. Normally this is not an issue if you can breath bi-laterally (on both sides). If a wave tends to hit you in the face on one side, you just switch to another. Problem is that the waves didn't come at you from a side but from straight ahead, so your goose was cooked no matter what you did. I made the best of it and chocked on water here and there, but it was tough to keep the pace consistent. I did notice that I was not the only one having issues, because I passed several swimmers from the previous swim waves. Once I got to the end, I made sure I waited until the last possible minute to get out on the exit platform, due to the oyster beds that would cut your feet if you got up too early. Once out of the water, some nice ladies stripped my wetsuit from me and I ran through the water fall to get the salt water out off me and ran into the first transition area. Total swim time for 1.2 miles was officially 44 Minutes and 39 seconds.

Here is the link to my Garmin swim data. Note that the GPS is not accurate due to the signal being lost in the water.

Transition One

I ran into T1 at a good pace and got to my bike without any problems. Did my best to get my feet clear of the sand and get my socks, shoes, helmet and glasses on. It took me a little longer than usual, but I want to make sure I have no foot problems during the bike or run. My T1 time was: 4 Minutes and 34 Seconds.

Here is the Garmin T1 data:

Bike (56 Miles)

Once I got out of the Transition area, I mounted my bike and headed out on the course. This was a 56 mile out and back course with no hills. The wind was still going pretty strong (about 15 MPH) so it was tough going. It was more a cross wind that was north to south rather than a head or tail wind. It seemed the it was pushing against my going west on the course. I noticed my speed was between 19 and 20 MPH and that was fine by me. I stayed loose and in control and just targeted other racers and reeled them in. I suspect some of these folks were from out of town since they seemed to be surprised by the wind. I was feeling really good because I passed a whole bunch of people. Hydration and nutrition plan were executed fine. At mile 28 we had a turnaround and headed back. Here it felt like I got a little bit of an assist from the cross wind and my speed jumped up between 21 and 22 MPH. Again I just spent the time reeling people in and passing them. The last mile or so back to the transition area was especially tough since it was straight North into the headwind. My legs were definitely on fire! Overall, taking the conditions into account I was happy with the bike portion. My time for the bike ended up being 2 Hours 44 Minutes and 11 Seconds. My Garmin data for this portion is here:

Transition 2

After fighting that huge headwind I rolled into T2 feeling really good. I jumped off the bike at the dismount line and found my rack space easily. Threw off the shoes and slipped into the running gear and headed on out. My time through T2 was a fast (for me) time of 2 minutes and 49 seconds. The link for the Garmin data is here:

Run (13.1 Miles)

I got to say, my run can be summed up in three words: I CRUSHED IT!!!! This was the fasted 13.1 miles I have ever done after biking and swimming beforehand. Last year, my time on the run for this race was over 10 minutes per mile. This time it was a average of a 8 minutes and 37 seconds per mile! Felt great the whole time. I kept expecting to blow up at that pace (which is fast for me) but the blow up never came. The last mile I was a little tired but kept accelerating. The last 10th of a mile I was running a 5 minute per mile pace. Here is the Garmin data for the run portion:


Overall, despite the windy conditions I was extremely pleased with my performance. My ranking was 60 out of 237 in my age group (top 25 percent). Overall my ranking was 292 out of 1586 total competitors (top 18 percent). Hopefully next year I will do even better!

That's all for now.

Tri your best,


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tomorrow is GO TIME!

Hello Dear Readers! Just a quick update before I start shutting down and attempting to go to bed early.

Race Preparations

Well tomorrow is go time. That's right, first race of the year. It's been a busy last few days. Had to drive down to Galveston yesterday to get my race packet. Today I had to go again to put my bike in the transition area. I plan on getting up at 4 AM tomorrow to get to the race site by 5 AM.

Pre-Race Dinner

I took my wife to Denny's tonight for my ritual pre-race meal. French toast, eggs, wheat toast, English muffin, ham, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and orange juice!

Race Goals

My goal this year is quite simple: Go Faster Than Last Year!

I think where I might see the most improvement is the run. I definitely feel that I can go faster. Of course, if I am not consistent on the bike and swim compared to last year, it might balance out to the same time. But if I can do the swim in less than 40 minutes, the bike in less than 3 hours and the run in under two hours, I should be able to beat my time previously.

I will post my performance after I have recovered from the race. That's all for now!

Tri your best!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just a Few More Days Till the First Race of the Year!

Hello Dear Readers!

Ironman Lonestar 70.3

Well the first race of the year is on tap. I am entered in the Ironman 70.3 Lonestar race for this Sunday. It is going to include over 1500 racers and a whole bunch of pro's! The weather looks to be pretty good for Sunday and I feel like I might do better this year than last. My run has definitely improved. Swimming and Biking are about the same so hopefully I can keep those times relatively similar.


Training has been coming along pretty good. Over the last few weeks I have felt a bit burned out and was a little lazy here and there. Especially when it comes to the Bike. I just don't feel like going on 3-4 hour rides lately. I've kept up with my indoor power cycling and that is keeping me in OK shape. Hopefully I still have a good enough bike aerobic base to go strong during the race this weekend.

Upcoming Races

I am still registered to do the Vineman Ironman distance race this July. However, I may have to rethink it, depending on a bunch of factors (money, schedule, time for training, etc.). For now I am going to continue to train assuming I am doing the race. I will have to make a decision by Mid-June.

My coach has stated that if I really want to do the 100 mile run, I may want to just focus on that the rest of the year and be more prepared. I may end up doing that.

I will definitely blog about the race itself afterwords and time permitting I may blog about the events leading up to the race this weekend. That's all for now!

Tri your best,