Monday, April 6, 2009

Lonestar Quarter Iron Triathlon

Lonestar is one of my favorite triathlons. This was my third year in a row to do Lonestar, in 2007, I did the sprint, in 2008 I did the quarter iron and this year I did the quarter iron again.

I got to Galveston around noon on Saturday and checked into my hotel, Inn at the Waterpark, it was really nice. I assume they completely renovated after Hurricane Ike, because it looked brand new. The staff was really nice and they even started their continental breakfast at 4:30 am this weekend for the triathletes. Since I decided to come in on Saturday instead of Friday, I knew I would miss Cassie and Steph doing the sprint, but I talked to Cassie and she had a good race. Steph never said much about the sprint, she was too busy getting ready for the quarter.

I went to Moody Gardens for the pre-race meeting and Ingrid and Kim met me there and brought me lunch. Thanks! We did packet pick-up then Del and I decided to do a practice swim. Cassie had told me the water was 65 degrees, so I was prepared to freeze. I hadn’t swum in the ocean or in my wetsuit since the Battle of San Jacinto Triathlon last April. But I decided I wasn’t going to wear my wetsuit to practice because it might not be dry by morning and I really didn’t want to stand around on race morning in a cold damp wetsuit.

Del getting into his wetsuit

Del and I started to get in and both screamed! The water was freezing! But once we got in and started swimming it wasn’t so bad, we both had a good swim and I knew if I could handle it without the wetsuit, I’d be fine in the morning. After the swim, I did a short run and then got ready for dinner. Del and I after swimming
Pre-race dinner was at Mario’s with Kathleen and lots of other HRTCers. As always, it was a lot of fun. I went to bed pretty early and slept really well; maybe it was the glass of wine that Kim and Gillian talked me into at dinner. Kim and Del at dinner

Steph, Loanna, and Augie at dinner

Race morning I went to the lobby for breakfast and started chatting with a couple in race crew shirts, they turned out to be Keith Jordan’s (the race director) in-laws! So I told them how much I love Endorfun races and that Keith is my favorite race director. After breakfast I got everything ready and went over to the transition area. I got everything set up and then had 2 hours to wait until my start. Luckily I ran into Jane, Marla, Kim and a few other people I knew, so the time passed quickly. Jane with her bike in transition

me with my bike in transition

I got in the water and started shivering, I was having a little trouble breathing as I swam out to the start buoy. When we started, I still had a little trouble breathing for the first 100 or so meters, but once I got going and got a little warmed up I felt much better. I tried to focus on my technique and all the things Coach Lisa taught me at the Trizones swim clinic a few weeks ago. I had a hard time keeping my head tucked down in a good position since I was breathing higher than normal to avoid inhaling salt water- YUCK! My goal for the swim was to swim equal to or faster than last year’s time. Last year’s time was 25:23, this year’s time was 24:54. Pretty cool since I really didn’t start swimming this year until after the Trizones clinic 3 weeks ago!

Getting out of the water
Transition 1 felt really slow to me, I walked out of the water while I got the top of my wetsuit off, got stripped, then ran over to my bike and started getting ready. Right across the rack from me was a girl in a Trizones jersey! I thought I was the only Trizoner doing Lonestar! I asked if she trained with Trizones, yes, she asked me North or South team? North, me too. How do we not know eachother? I was almost ready to go at that point and I think I said something dumb like “I’ll have to meet you better sometime” she said she’d look for me after the race as I was leaving transition. As I was leaving Moody Gardens on my bike, I realized I had no clue what she looked like, I was too busy getting ready to even look at her, I just noticed the Trizones jersey. I can’t believe my transition was actually 12 seconds faster than last year at 4:35!

My biggest goal at the race this year was to improve my bike time over last year. I was a little slow on all the turns getting out to the seawall, but I knew I would be. I was pretty sure I’d have a headwind going out on the seawall and I did, but it wasn’t super strong. I was trying to keep my speed at 15 mph or higher and it was pretty tough. I was working pretty hard and getting concerned that maybe I was using too much energy for the first half of the bike. I was really hoping for a tailwind on the way back, but you never know in Galveston, sometimes you get a headwind out and nothing but cross wind on the way back. I turned the U turn and it was easy to go 16, 17 even 18 mph! Woohoo a tailwind! I tried to stay at 17 mph and even got over 20+ when I was passing people, I was having fun and felt really good! I told everyone I passed and who passed me to have a great race. I did a good job of drinking my Infinit from my aerobottle on the ride, with about 5 miles to go, I went to get a drink and heard “slurp slurp” from the straw, cool finished my Infinit with 5 miles to go. Unfortunately after the race I realized that I had pulled the straw up some and I still had about ¼ of my Infinit left, oops. Last year’s bike time was 1:49:47 for 15.3 mph, this year was 1:47:33 for 15.6 mph. T2 was 3:27 (last year’s was 3:12, not sure what I did slower this year).

I got out on the run and felt good, the sun was out and it was starting to get pretty warm. I decided to go without the fuel belt since it was only a 6.5 mile run. If I drank properly on the bike, I shouldn’t need anything except maybe a little water on the run. After mile 1 I started to feel a little hungry, that’s usually a bad sign for me and I started to think it was a mistake to not carry the fuel belt. Endorfun always has tons of food and drinks at the run aid stations and I never use any of it. They always have defizzed Coke, and I have always thought that was pretty disgusting. I don’t drink Coke anyway and couldn’t imagine drinking it while running, but for some reason while I was running and getting hungrier, I thought Coke sounded good. At the next aid station I took a little cup of Coke, it tasted good, I wondered if it would upset my stomach, most things do, but I felt fine. I ended up drinking 3 little cups of Coke on the course. On the run I saw Kim, Steph, and Marla racing and Penny volunteering. The last 2 or so miles I was getting pretty hot and my legs were feeling tired, but I knew I could beat last year’s time and I didn’t have much further to go. I ended up running in 1:16:08 at 11:43 per mile, last year was 1:18:48 at 12:07 per mile. I was really happy as I came in to the finish. I knew I had beaten last year’s time and not just by a minute or two but by over five minutes! (3:36:39 compared to 3:41:59). I got my post-race swag and a couple Icee pops (I think that’s the best immediate post-race food I’ve ever eaten!), then found Kim, Steph, Del, and Jane they all had awesome races too.

Kim and Steph post-race

Kim’s mom brought us cupcakes! Thanks! I went back to the hotel for a quick shower before coming back to the race site just in time to see David finish in under 4:30 and take 14th place overall in his very first half ironman! Wow! He’s amazing! This was Ingrid's reaction when she found out how well David did!

Then we figured out where Ingrid was on the course and found a spot to watch for her, Merry, Ross, and Maggie on the run. Steph, Kim, David, and Gillian spectating

Everyone did awesome! Ingird took over 30 minutes off her Ironstar time, Maggie PRed the course, and Ross was under 6:00 for his very first half ironman!Ingrid high-fiving spectators on her last run lap

post-race cupcake! YUM!


Richard said...

Wow!! What a report, I sure wish I could have been there with all of you. It sounds like a great time for everyone, complete with the cupcake finale. I'll have to plan to make Lone Star Tri next year.

I've wondered if the Inn at the Waterpark was a decent hotel or not. Thanks for the report on that, too.

Alili said...

Awesome report and HURRAY for the PR!!! Sounds like a really fun race. I'm so jealous of the warm weather folks...tri season is still 2 months away in MI!

KCWoodhead said...

I need in on the cupcake action next time!!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog.....great job this weekend!


Anonymous said...

woohoo...great write up heather! I had so much fun!

Jeff & Heather said...

Richard- don't worry, Longhorn will be just as much fun!

Alli- Thanks! Tri season starts early in Atlanta too ;)

Kathleen- consider yourself cupcaked! Next time you race with Ingrid, Kim, Cassie, or me you get a cupcake too. Are you doing Couples in Austin?

Shellie- Thanks! It was great to see you again!

Maggie said...

great race report! you did awesome! good job on the PR.

my friends stayed at your hotel, I was there around 4 on sat.

I love coke on the run, but icee pops?? I totally missed those.

Love the post race cupcakes, you have definitely made that a staple. now I'm craving one.

good job on your race!!! sorry I missed seeing you out there. I think I saw Ingrid on the run??