Monday, March 31, 2008

Lonestar Quarter Ironman Triathlon

Sunday was my first triathlon of the season a Quarter Ironman (1000 meter swim, 28 mile bike, 6.5 mile run) in Galveston. Jeff had to work until 3pm on Saturday and there was a mandatory pre-race meeting and packet pickup at 5:00. They didn’t really say anything new in the meeting, but still, I’d feel pretty dumb if I made a wrong turn or did something stupid that they covered in the meeting. So we got there at about 4:45 grabbed my packet and met up with a few people we know. We checked out the swim start then headed to the hotel and checked. We had dinner at Fishtales (Mom, we ate lunch there once), I had fish, rice, and veggies, pretty typical prerace meal for me.

The hotel was decent, except for the mattress coming off the frame! I think the beds just didn’t fit the frames properly so if you sat on the bed, you’d sink down and the other side of the mattress would go up into the air! So we got almost no sleep and instead of getting up at 4:30 as planned, we just stopped trying to sleep at 3:30 and got up. We got to the race site early, I set up my transition area and then waited for about 4 hours for my race to start (that's pretty common in big triathlons like this one). The Half Ironman started at 7:30 and the first wave of the Quarter Ironman started at 8:30, I was in the 7th wave and started at about 9:15.

Ready to go!

The swim went well. The water was cool, I was glad I was wearing my wetsuit, but I was comfortable once I got going. Of course there was some thrashing around at the start, but after 100-200m, I was able to swim pretty comfortably. I almost got kicked in the face hard by a girl frog kicking, her foot was probably less than a ½ inch from my face and I felt the water rush by, glad I missed that one, it would have really hurt! I got out of the water and checked my watch, but my stopwatch didn’t start right when I tried to start it and the time was messed up too, so I had no idea how long the swim took me. It was 25:23. I saw Jeff and Cherie as I ran up to transition. The first transition was a little slow with getting the wetsuit off and making sure I had everything. (4:47).

Coming in from the swim.

The bike went pretty well. I got out onto the seawall and the tailwind wasn’t strong at all, but that means no headwind on the way back! The crosswinds were fairly strong, which slows me down just to keep control. I’m going to have to work on that. This is a fun ride because it’s mostly just straight out along the shore and you can see the water or the fancy houses by the water the entire time. The weather was actually nice and the sun was coming out, at one point I noticed my arm and shoulder felt like they were getting sunburned, probably should have thought about that, even though I really thought it was going to rain. Overall my bike was slower than I’d like (15.4mph, 1:49) by about 10 minutes, but it went well. Second transition was 3:12, I was really careful to dry my feet well and put on clean socks to avoid blisters. Good decision, I ended up with a hot spot but no blister.
Biking so fast that the picture is blurry! Or maybe it's just the quality of the disposable camera.

The first 2 miles of the run felt great, I started my watch at the start of the run to pace myself. I was hoping to run 11:30 -11:45 minute miles. I saw Jeff and Cherie a couple times in the first mile, which was cool, because I thought Cherie would have to leave before I started running. First mile was right at 11 minutes, second one was 11:15, probably a little fast for me to start out. I missed the 3 mile marker and sometime before mile 4 I was feeling really hot and really thirsty. I’m thinking I didn’t drink enough while biking and before starting the run. Of course that slowed me down and I stopped at pretty much every water station after that. Overall run time was 1:18 about a 12 mm pace.

Running, I think it's close to the finish.

Overall time was 3:41:59, a little slower than I’d have liked but considering I was sick all last week and I didn’t drink enough before the run (and maybe in the 4 hours waiting for the start) I’m not upset. I had a lot of fun and the race was really well organized. I am excited to see if being healthy the week before, and proper hydration during a race will make a difference.

Finishing the race, Jeff promises it's me! The disposable camera just isn't the best.

The best triathlon spectator ever! (and Cherie's a close second!)

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