Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oilman Texas 70.3 Triathlon


Well, the journey may never end.....

No.  Really. And somehow, someway there is something that is rejuvenating about it.

Pre-Race Hugs and Well Wishes


Swim 39:51 (actually about 2 minutes slower than my last half in Galveston)
 Even though the swim was slower - I felt pretty comfortable with how it started and the way my body responded throughout the swim.  Why do I mention "the way my body responded" during the swim?  Great question.  But for that, one has to go back to my fist and only sprint triathlon I Rigby Idaho.  It was more of a last second decision, that my brother Brian found as our family reunion in Idaho was coming to an end.  So myself, older sister (but not by much, wink) Jill, niece Kelli, and nephew Derek decided to participate.
Everyone did great, and it was a blast.......but the swim nearly killed me, no really, the water temp was 60 degrees and being short notice we had no wetsuits...............I am sure I looked like this at some point.
Needless to say, I have now done countless hours of research on one's body response when swimming in colder than usual water.....seriously hours.  And thus, with that in the back of my mind, my swim went well.

T1 - 4 minutes 16 second (about 2 minutes faster than Galveston)
So what I lost in the swim, I got right back in the first transition......have I mentioned how much I love the wet suit rippers??  It'd probably take me another 5 minutes if I had to do it by myself.......I know, I know, pros don't use the rippers - I am not a pro, and I love those volunteers! :)

Bike 2:56 (2 minutes slower than Galveston)

The bike course.  LOL! oh, the bike course.

First, the section through the national forest was amazing - exactly one of the reasons I love cycling.  There are so many amazing things to see, roads to explore, and just moments to take in.  Now had the bike course completely been through the national forest, I probably would have got lost in the surroundings, and not paid much attention to the actual terrain.  Unfortunately, that section ended.  The scenery the rest of the way was great.......the terrain and wind, not so much.  Rolling hills........the whole way, which I was mentally prepared for, but what happened to the light to no wind forecast??  We had a strong head wind for about the last 25 miles-ish.......strong enough that some of the guys I passed were swearing.

Then in addition to the terrain and wind........somehow I missed the 40 mile marker.  I don't ride or run with a computer or watch, so the pacing and mental aspect of missing a mile marker had my mind spinning the whole time.  After awhile, I was praying the next mile marker I saw would be the 50 marker, and that I had just missed the 40.........because it had been a while since the 30 marker, and I was really thinking my body felt like it had about 5-10 miles left and not 18-20......fortunately the next marker was 50, but the anticipation of that marker wrecked havoc on my mental game.  Also, I nearly lost my last GU gel.......I had just ripped it open, and then I had to make a left, and then there was a train track to go over.....needless to say when it was all over, my GU gel package was empty, but the cooler weather had made the GU gel more of a solid than a liquid, so even though it was all over my hand..........yep, I was able to lick it completely clean.  Hey, you refuel on the bike, and I had already dropped my Cliff bar right at the beginning of the bike going over some bumps leaving the resort, couldn't waste any more fuel! :)

Also, I was trying to figure out how to ridicule my Saturday morning riding partner for signing up to do this half distance with me, and then backing out a couple weeks before race day........I have decided against it.  Two fold:  1.  The fact that I was only 2 minutes slower on this course than on the flat Galveston course is almost completely due to our early morning rides.  2.  It suffices me to say (and knowing him, this is probably worse than any taunting I could do), this bike course would have been his favorite ride he has ever done in Texas for sure.....absolutely amazing views with rolling hills, which he (not I) loves.

In comparing the two bike courses (Galveston to Conroe) the below pictures are accurate:



T2 2 minutes 30 seconds (about 1 minute faster than Galveston)
Quick change and refuel......only a half marathon to go! :)

Run 1:59 ( 10 minutes faster than Galveston)

 The run is where my main focus of improvement was on this race.  I was happy enough with the other two disciplines (although I thought my bike would be better in Conroe, but considering the conditions.....I'll just be happy with my ride).

In Galveston, the last 4 miles of the run, I completely cramped and crashed nutritional wise.  That wasn't going to happen this I trained with and brought some salt tablets (this is in no wise to be used as professional advice, anything said in this blog is for entertainment value only, if you have serious questions about salt supplements, contact a nutritionist - Brian, does that cover me??).  Too bad for some reason in T2 I decided that popping one tablet was going to be just perfect for the 13.1 mile distance.......I tell you, fatigue sets in, and sometimes the choices yo make are not exactly the best.  So I left my salt tablets in the transition area...unbelievable.  So I am taking in all the Gatorade and gels I can, at everyone aid station, kicking myself for leaving my salt pills......when I see a clear plastic cup at one aid station, I almost blew it off, but I asked what was in it.......wouldn't you know it - salt capsules.  The fist time I have ever seen them offered on a course....oh, and um......yes, I'll have some please.  No cramping, some soreness, but a steady pace throughout, and a strong finish....a good run.

And of course, what is a race without your best fan support....I don't think Peyton has figured the cowbell out yet.....Alayna's got it down, and Sammy is living in her own notepad and drawing book world, which is a place I'd really like to visit, as she comes up with some pretty interesting things! :)

And of course Jamie, for enduring the day with the 3 kids running around crazy.

Finish 5:42 (10 minutes faster than Galveston)
The finish line is an experience that can never be explained, but an experience everyone should enjoy at least once......simply incredible.

Kids admiring the spoils of the race......well, really, Sammy just wanting to use her own camera for a picture, and Alayna faking like she is interesting, but really sneaking in some games on the iphone (kids these days). LOL! :)

Another medal, to remind me of the experience and journey....for the day that will inevitably come (as it does for everyone) in which my body will no longer allow me to continue......thankful for my health.