Memorial Hermann 70.3 2012
First race of the year!
A few weeks ago my hamstring was acting up after a treadmill workout. Needless to say I was worried and couldn’t run faster than 8:00 pace without pain. Thankfully, I have AllSports Recovery Club to get me fixed up! However, even they can’t do magic so it was still questionable whether I would run even as I left on the plane. This made me more nervous than usual especially because now I have a lot of people and a few sponsors watching me and I didn’t want to drop out.
I hadn’t been to Galveston since my engineering internship in Houston. It was nice to be by the ocean again and warm water and beaches with no sharp stones and sand. Disappointed I couldn’t find any Mix 1 tents to hang out with. I did a practice swim down the coast getting rocked around by the waves. That evening, I stumbled upon the Rain Forest Café just like the one I saw in Disney World as a kid. It was great! The next day I did a practice bike ride for about an hour at a quick tempo below race-pace. Later, ate some spaghetti at a restaurant with a deal for the racers.
Race morning; drive about 2 miles over to the race course at Moody Gardens. I had lots of time messing around because I was 1.5 hours after the pro start. Put on my new 2012 Blue Seventy Helix, jumped off the dock, and paddled to the swim start.
And I’m off, swimming in tasty salt water. I thought I was going at a good pace and focused on my form, keeping my head down, and not sighting too much. About half the way though, I found myself neck and neck with some other green caps. We pretty much stayed on the same pace more or less dodging and running over the age groups ahead of us. Came out of the water in a run and totally overtook the guys had been swimming with me and were now taking their time.
I had some difficulty finding my bike, so embarrassing. It must have been the low oxygen in my brain. However, I did get my wetsuit off fast thanks to some help from Scotty, an Aussie ITU guy who was visiting last fall.
Now it’s bike time, my favorite! I took off right away out onto the long main road out and back course. Had my usual one bottle of water and one bottle with 4 Nuun mixed in. My SRM said zone 4 for about the first 10 miles, but I don’t really use that feature. I keep electric tape over the time and power because I know my thresholds by feel and won’t let a computer tell me I’m going too fast. I knew I had a head wind half the way on the out so if I held about 25mph then going back would be faster and I would be on PR pace. I realized I should have switched out my 11-28 cassette for my 11-23, but that’s ok. I’m used to the large cadence variance and did some special training for it under Dave Scott. It was pretty good minus the guys who hang out on the left because they think they are so fast and I yell at them as I totally crush them flying past having to go outside the large race lane. Nearing transition someone re-passed me weaving around speed bumps and cones, the nerve sprinting at that point.
Another transition having trouble finding my spot especially confused because we came in from the other side. I need to like put up a giant flag at my spot. I got on my new K-Swiss Blades and its run time.
Man did I not feel good from the start, crampy ribs, already wanted to puke. I had to walk most of the aid stations and thought I would die a few times. Stomach was bloated with gas and not happy. The last few miles I was back and forth with another guy I think was in my age group. I just could take in enough water being so nauseous and lost him in the last two miles. I was more concerned with finishing at that point.
It was great when I crossed the line, I saw the clock, and new it was a great time even with the bad run. Spent the rest of the day walking around and excited to hear Tim O’Donnell won and crushed Lance who got 7th. I watch the awards, got on stage, and took a world championship slot in Vegas. Later went back to the Rainforest Café.
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