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Race Recap: Ironman 70.3 Galveston

by Christa on April 5, 2012

in Race Recaps

My second HIM race!  Yay!  Erk. I am still recovering.  I was sick, and I raced while sick, and now I’m still sick.  Sleep is helping. 

Drove down to G-town Saturday afternoon after an open water swim (my first since November – well I didn’t want the first one to be at the race!) and lunch with the book club.  Skipped seeing Hunger Games for a second time, which was a good call since traffic getting to the island was pretty awful.  The athlete check-in and village was an absolute zoo.  What do you expect with 3,000 competitors, all loaded down with bikes and gear and luggage and egos and such?  But, being an official Ironman event, it went pretty smoothly.  They had tons of volunteers.  Here’s my complaint about the expo: THEY WERE OUT OF SMALL SHIRTS.  HOW????? HOW?  I registered like 8 months ago, and I registered for a small shirt!  Why don’t they order the number of shirts that corresponds to the number of people who registered for that size shirt?  Beyond annoying, not because it’s a super awesome shirt, just because it should be so.frickin.simple.  It’s not, apparently. 

Inspiration dinner, always a favorite part of TNT events.  Then I started getting my stuff ready in my hotel room (at Moody Gardens – I was very psyched to stay there since I never had).  The best part of the room was the Keurig coffee machine (which I used exclusively for green tea).  I was still on a “try to not be so sick that you might die” regimen the night before – so I had 2 cups of green tea, garlic pills (ew), zinc tablets, and Ny-quil.  Oh, the other best part of the room was the free HBO, duh.  Bridesmaids was on! 

So an interesting part of an Ironman branded 70.3 (half iron) event is their transition set-up.  You MUST check your bike in the day before (as opposed to bringing it with you race morning), and you are not allowed a transition bag.  You have to put all of your stuff in their green “morning gear bag” with your number affixed and use that to take your transition stuff (bike gear, run gear, nutrition, etc) with you in the morning.  Then you put whatever you don’t want (warmup, flip-flops) in transition with you and do sorta gear check with it.  Seems like a lot of trouble, but hey, I don’t organize triathlons.  Don’t even get me started on the full 140.6 event – I have yet to figure out about morning gear bag vs. bike bag vs. run bag vs. special needs bags.  I think I am learning.  This might not go well. ;o)

I went to sleep at 8:30 and woke up at 4:30 – glorious amount of sleep!  It really helped, I think, because I felt like hell.  Made some green tea, checked my luggage since I wasn’t staying Sunday night, and had Honey Stinger waffle (it was only appropriate, LANCE was racing) and Clif Crunch Bar for breakfast.  Team photo!  Awesome Coach Liz on the bottom left.

We made our way down to the transition area, and I took time to fill up my bottles, pump my bike, heckle Lance (the pro rack was just on the other side of a barricade from where my setup was).  I hate when I’m setting up transition and hundreds of people are trying to take my picture, don’t you?

Instead of checking my “morning gear bag” (still don’t know what its purpose is), I left it at the TNT tent.  One really great thing (of the many great things) about doing a TNT event vs. doing one by yourself is that it’s like having your mom at the race!  I’m like, “Mom/TNT, can you please hold onto my morning gear bag?” and the staff is like, “Yes, honey, of course.”  Then I’m like, “TNT/Mom, I’m hungry/thirsty.” And they’re all, “Sweetie, just have a banana/bottle of water.”  And then there are like a hundred pictures of you after the race, and you don’t have to pay $30 for the digital download!  It’s clutch, people. 

We must have lost track of time, because we heard the gun go off for the pros, and my division was starting 10 minutes later and we had a short run to the pier.  We threw on our wetsuits and ran (really, ran) over there.  I like when this happens (cutting it close to the start) because it helps me not be nervous, waiting around for my wave to start.  I just ran down the pier, jumped into the water – saltwater, in Offats Bayou – and only treaded water for 2 minutes before we started.  

Swim – 46:06

While I somehow cut 3 minutes off my previous half iron swim time, it’s obvious that I need some work – especially in open water.  I time myself in a pool, it seems pretty good, and then it just doesn’t translate to open water.  The saltwater was nasty and messed with my stomach.  Also, I was clearly lollygagging out there.  I play a game where I count the number of buoys I pass and this game, it took forever – at least it felt like it.  I was thrilled when I spotted the “Swim In” arch and could see sand.  Oh, and some asshole from the fast division (M30-34) after me pinched me on the foot hard toward the end.  Dude, we’re not in a lane.  If you want to pass me, go around.  We’ve only got oh, I dunno, an entire fucking bayou to ourselves.  To that I say - what-ev-a. 

T1 – 4:20 (heh)

My bike was the furthest away from the swim in area, but closest to the bike out, so it was fine by me.  The wetsuit strippers had done did their thang, and I ran, guzzled some water to dilute the gallon of sodium I had just swallowed, had a volunteer help me with sunscreen (necessary and btw, KILLS on wetsuit chaffing), threw on socks and bike shoes, plus sunglasses and helmet and race belt.  Pretty speedy for me.

Bike – 3:32:45

I don’t really want to talk about the bike.  I will use these words – flat, boring, windy, assholes, hot.  For 56 miles.  It’s a straight shot on Seawall Boulevard, then you make a sharp U-turn and come back.  Snoozefest.  The only awesome part was seeing the pros headed back in on the other side of the road when I was going out.  Oh, and sorry Mom – I successfully peed on a bike for the first time in my life.  Sorry if this is TMI for most people, but this is pretty standard on longer courses.  Thanks for the encouragement, coach!  Hahah. 

T2 – 4:08

Kinda long for bike-to-run transition, but this includes a port-o-can stop.  Hey, I know when to go and when to be able to hold it, ok?  More sunscreen, running shoes on, change hairbands, wave to my AMAZING spectators (Shane and my mother- and father- and sis-in-law), grab Garmin that I left at home from Shane, potty break, then head out. 

Run – 2:40:18

Immediately notice the Garmin is at 0% battery.  Oh well. Time is not good, but better than my last half marathon coming off a 56-mile bike.  3 loop course, no shade, horrific sunburn despite the many applications.  Part of the run was by the small airport where Lance’s jet was waiting (and later took off with him inside).  It was desolate….I’ll say it again…NO SHADE. 

Sweaty, hot, happy….sorta.  How does my hair look?  Photo courtesy of a lovely TNT staffer.  I was kind of glad I was not wearing any sort of watch.  I know I would have pushed harder to get under my goal time, and my real goal was to not push myself to the limit (so that my recovery time wouldn’t be too long – I have a 100 mile bike ride on Friday morning, yall).

My mother-in-law had made the BEST signs though – this picture even made it on the front page of the Galveston Daily News!  Photo by Jennifer Reynolds:

Total time – 7:07: 37

7 minutes and 37 seconds over my goal.  And this is what I looked like right after.  I don’t know what to tell you – I’m extremely sexy.

Oh well. I can’t believe that in a month and a half, I’ll be doing double this distance.  This is easily the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

….last race recap for awhile, promise.  I’ll be less boring.  Well…ok, I can’t promise THAT.

{ 3 trackbacks }

April 2012 in a nutshell.
May 8, 2012 at 7:18 am
Triathlon in a nutshell, Part II: Swim
May 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm
Thinking ahead – races in 2014.
September 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

terra April 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

You are a rock star, lady! I continue to be impressed with all the things you’re doing.


Christa April 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

hah, thanks terra! it is fun, that is for sure. love it.


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