Two days ago was the first Triathlon of the season. Instead of making the pilgrimage to the west coast for Oceanside like I’ve done the past two years, I opted for IM 70.3 Texas in Galveston. I liked that place so much, I’ve decided that I’m going back to Oceanside next year (wink)! But before I get into the heavy race details that I’m sure everyone is drooling over, especially since I took 22nd, here are some other cool topics.
Planning The Season
I’ve been quite fortunate in my endeavors thus far to be linked with some incredibly giving people, they know who they are. Without them, this season couldn’t have been planned! With their help, I’m doing what I can to try and diversify this year. If I look at my past 2 professional seasons, I’ve bitten off a lot by design. This was for a few reasons. The first reason was because I wanted experience and I wanted to surround myself with the best in the sport whenever possible. I’m super analytical and I like seeing how they handle themselves, almost more of a sports psychology type of approach. To me, it’s the most important part about my evolution. I’ve already proven that I can work as hard as anyone out there, but that’s just not going to be enough. The past two seasons have been about learning or more like cramming. I’m stepping up against guys who were drinking pool water at 8 years old! It’s been very frustrating at times but my body and mind still need more time to grow.
This season is where I’m really banking on a decent harvest since my mental and physical capabilities have grown a bit...here are some facts;
This list could probably be longer but you get the idea. So this season I’ve gotten a bit pickier on the races I choose. I wanted to check out IM 70.3 Texas since all of the races I’ve hit in the past few years were very hilly on the bike. 70.3 Texas is pancake flat like my main training ground in Florida. I’m used to the heavy head and cross winds and I thought I’d handle the humidity too. Anyway into the recap and then a brief summary of what’s next…
70.3 Texas Recap
All week long, I’m sure every athlete was like “Great now the weather forecast is predicting HAIL….oh, wait now there are tornadoes”. Even at the Pro meeting we had discussed a very probably duathalon scenario. To our avail, it was just super windy and overcast! I flew into Austin a few days before the race and traveled down to Galveston with my good friend Shawn Panchacharam. It was his first IRONMAN 70.3 spectator experience and I wanted him to be inspired by what we all do out there. We arrived…it was mega windy, ugly and overcast – this never changed until the day we left. Our Air BnB was in a rather dicey building but the condo was newly remodeled and quite nice. Despite the staff reminding us to never leave anything of value out front in the car as windows are broken often, we felt decent enough. I’d say this beach, the area and the overall vibe was like a very used and run down theme park. A theme park where you wouldn’t drink from the fountain, ride a wooden rollercoaster or use the public restroom for fear of flesh eating diseases. THAT being said, there were some nice parts like the blue sky the day we left, oh and Moody Gardens is cool.
After we settled in, it was time to get into my favorite part of pre-race. Sit around and do nothing. After facilitating two camps in Tucson back to back, traveling home for a few days then heading back out…I was a bit spent. I watched the whole new season of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix, caught up with the stellar athletes I work with and did my best to shame Shawn into eating healthy with me. With the weather looking so ferocious, there wasn’t much to do besides chill out.
The day before the race I hit up a nice ride with Barney Matthews. We proceeded to white knuckle our bars as the 25mph gusts rattled our wheels…it was said to be worse than Kona. Then it was time for a BIG breakfast, some rest and then a MEGA lunch – NickGriddles! At the pro meeting I was able to catch up with the former Team RWB camp organizers/coaches and we all hugged it out. Triathletes are family…plain and simple. Finally, it was time to catch up with my wonderful wife, ensuring her that I won’t get struck by lightning on race day.
So it went like this…
Woke up in the morning feeling like "T.O" and Rinny (yes this is a Ke$ha reference)! Seriously, felt great…weather was not at all horrible – Just über windy. I decided that I’m not showing up to the race site 2 hours early anymore. From now on, 45 minutes is the window. It’s nice to relax a bit and take in the experience but overall, I could be in bed watching a show or waiting for the final race day BM!
First time in the BlueSeventy PZ4TX speedsuit and I swear now matter how much weight I lose, when I put a skin suit on I feel like a muffin overflowing it’s wrapper…UGH. However, that’s the point…it did it’s job in the best way possible. My swim was great, came out with a group of about 10 guys and overall, I felt awesome. There was a bit of chop out there too which is how I like it.
The bike was the usual 5 mile race for position as we all went out about 150% above threshold. At a certain point I kept seeing 350-360 watts and I was finally like, “ENOUGH FELLAS” and then settled in around 290-300. I mean we were already going about 30 mph with a nasty cross wind but I let them get about 300 yds away and then it was pretty much passing 4 or 5 guys who blew up on the first ½. A flat race means you’re stuck aero without reprieve. On top of that a miserable cross wind means that if you sit up for even a second you lose 4 mph instantly. That being said, it’s still important to get out of the saddle a bit too loosen up the back and shoulders….so I did. My back was still super tight though. My rear bottle ejected around the 35 mile mark so I was stuck with the last ¼ of my 900 cal 24 ounce INFINIT bike mix. Thankfully it was enough! I came off in 12 or 13th I think, feeling energized…but knowing I worked hard. After seeing the data, I actually rode the exact numbers I wanted, despite going out to hard in the first 10 miles.
The first 4 miles of the run, I was the man. I mean I still got passed by like 5 guys even though I was running a 6:05 avg but damnit…a guy can dream! This was one of those days where I was burning up with the high humidity and with the tail wind it felt 5X warmer. The second loop and yea, the third loop…I lost even more speed. It was ugly. It was one of those runs where within 4 miles my HR was again around 175, like Raleigh 70.3 every time I race there. I slipped the HRM down to my stomach since I didn’t even want to know how high it was getting. The worst part is, it stayed the same even though I slowed down…so I wasn’t as fueled or fit as I had hoped. I ran my way into 22nd…lol, the wrong way. It’ll most certainly come together with some more tweaking.
This swim and bike still put me In position for a sub 4 hour day but my run led me to a 4:05….so I still left a lot out there. The run fitness IS there as proven during training over the past months, but damnit…putting it all together seamlessly on my end is just tough.
In 2 weeks I head to Lima, Peru. I’ve increased my stab insurance and my bike should also be covered so…all good. I’m hopeful that I can have a solid day including the run, which might mean backing off a bit somewhere or maybe eating a different breakfast. I’ll let you know how it goes…..
Until then, THANK YOU to everyone who has been following me over the years. I promise it’s never enough, haha! Also, believe it or not I DO miss my wife terribly during all this travel but as all of you know, we drive our energy from our loved ones when the lights go out! Make sure you take care of your loved ones who sacrifice so much for your dream!
- RaceChase OUT-
Here is a proper T2