Memorial Hermann 70.3 Recap

Day 6, Week 12 // Saturday, April 6 --

I slept until around 9 AM, had some coffee with coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, then rode about 6 miles on Sea Wall Blvd (20 minutes). Took bike upstairs, put on running shoes, and ran about 2 miles (20 minutes). Showered and headed over to race check-in a little after 11 AM. It took about 10 minutes to check in, I bought a coffee mug, then waited around for athlete briefing (totally pointless meeting). They let us check bikes in a few minutes early and we were leaving Moody Gardens before 2 PM. We had a swim on the schedule and the only place to swim was Stewart Beach on the gulf side of the island. It was windy. Waves were big. We tried to swim for about 5 minutes then just played in the waves for a while...Ben in a wetsuit, me in Speedo jammers and goggles -- nerds.

We made it back to the room around 3:30 PM and sat on our rear ends until 5:30 when the girls came to pick us up for dinner at Yamoto (hibachi style grill). I had filet mignon with extra veggies, miso soup, salad -- only other thing I had today besides coconut oil was some veggie broth.

Spent about an hour in the room getting gear and nutrition stuff together -- always so complicated but one of the things I love about longer distance triathlon. Went over gear checklist, got bottles lined up, packed up the rest of my stuff so Jenn wouldn’t have to in the morning, etc...

I had 6 ounces of unpasteurized Swiss cheese, a boiled egg, and coffee with heavy whipping cream before bed -- made a big mistake of brewing some CAFFEINATED instead of DECAF so I didn’t fall asleep for a while. I didn’t look at the clock one time, which helped. I would guess that I drifted off sometime between midnight and 1 and the alarm went off at 4 AM...

Day 7, Week 12 // Sunday, April 7  --

Slept on the floor. Hopped right up when alarm went off. Brewed some coffee and drank water with apple cider vinegar to alkalize my system. I filled one 20 ounce bottle with water and MCT oil and the other with water and 1 package of UCAN. I filled my 16 ounce hand bottle with water and UCAN. I put 12 almonds and some salt sticks tablets in my gel flask for my bike frame. I put an avocado and a bottle with a mixture of EVOO and celtic sea salt in a bag with some almonds, a spoon, a knife, a boiled egg, and another smaller bag of cashews.

Drank about 12 ounces of coffee with coconut oil before we left. Sipped on 16 ounces of water with 1 NUUN tablet dissolved in it on the way to transition. We left a little early and got their ahead of schedule -- parked about 2 rows from transition.

We pumped up our tires, set up transition and had about 45’ to kill. At 6:15 AM I ate 1 avocado with the EVOO/salt mixture and about 8 almonds -- 1 hour before race. My bowel movements were different from any race I’ve ever done. TMI alert: small in volume and frequency.

Bike with shoes clipped in was set up at number 418 with new aero helmet, glasses, race belt hanging on cockpit. On my towel were my Zoot Ovwa’s, pink arm coolers (cotton sock warmers that I kept doused in cold water -- really helped), under armour socks (don’t usually wear socks on run but learned the hard way in 2009 that you better wear socks when it’s humid and you have salt on you), hand bottle, 3 jolly ranchers on toe of shoe, bag of cashews, and visor.

I put my wetsuit on up to my waist, grabbed goggles and swim cap and left transition at 6:45 AM sharp. It was about a 3/4 mile walk to swim start. Chip on my left ankle. Road ID on right wrist. Timex Ironman watch on my left wrist. No mohawk.

My wave was 20 minutes after the official start of the race. I really felt great in the water. Would have SWORN that it was my fastest 70.3 swim but it was 40 and change -- my typical time for 1.2 miles. The first line of buoys was right in line with a bill board on the highway so I just used the billboard to sight instead of the buoys which REALLY helped since it was so much easier to see.

My shoulders always get a little tired from the wet suit restriction, but other than that felt great -- really smooth. Was sighting about once every 6-7 strokes. Minimal contact with other swimmers after about the first 250 yards. Came out of the drink feeling refreshed. Wet suit stripper rid me of my rubber hindrance and I made my way to my bike.

Had to wait for some rookies to get in the saddle and jumped on the bike without a problem.

Power meter Data: 56.99 miles -- 2:41:24 -- 187 watts -- 21.2 mph --

I saw my friend, Dean, at mile 13, he was volunteering at aid station. The 1st place guy passed me going the other way when I was at mile 18. Wind was a tail/cross going out and a head/cross coming in. I never filled up my bike bladder and didn’t even finish it.

I started sipping UCAN at the 1:30 mark (about mile 15 on bike). I would go every 10 minutes alternating UCAN and MCT oil/water. I took 1 salt stick pill at 1 hour, 1 at 2 hours, 2 at 3 hours. I had 4 almonds at 2 hours, 4 almonds at 3 hours. I had about 3 handfuls of cashews in T2, they tasted like M&Ms...so good and EXACTLY what I needed.

Back to the bike -- course was a little long. My power meter said a shade over 57 miles. It was right on until 50 and I had 51.7 when the 50 mile marker showed up on highway. Didn’t see as many flats as I normally do. I had to take my glasses off at halfway point b/c they were so fogged up. Held them the rest of the way. Peed on myself three times (just little amounts) in the first half, then didn’t have to go again until T2.

My race number had ripped off my belt on one side so I had to reaffix it with a new hole. I applied more sunscreen in T2, too. WAY TOO LONG in T2 because of peeing and race number trouble. I also had to wipe off my glasses -- 6 minutes in T2.

I started run at 3:32. I knew 5 hours was a lost goal when I turned around and faced a head/cross wind on the way back to Moody on the bike.

I took 2 jolly ranchers with me on the run and threw them in the grass at mile 9. All I had during run was UCAN sip every 10 minutes and cold water at every aid station. I felt GREAT on the run. No side stitches -- no muscle cramps -- no GI cramps -- felt like I could have gone as fast as I wanted. Only issue was the pad on my right foot...blister but nothing that slowed me down.

Jenn missed me finishing b/c she thought I was coming around one more time. I didn’t want any of the athlete food at finish (pizza, pretzels, fruit)...all I wanted were the rest of the cashews I had in transition. Man, they tasted amazing.

That’s all I had after race until lunch when I had beef fajitas with guacamole, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and some charro beans.

The 13.1 mile run was my fastest 70.3 run split in 4 half IMs so I was VERY HAPPY about that. I was about 10 lbs heavier today than in Austin in October and felt 10x better on the run. Now if I can just drop some lbs with the power I have now I might be able to get pretty fast! 5:17 is my 2nd fastest 70.3...only thing I would’ve done different is maybe push a little harder on the bike (but I didn’t know that I would have lots of fuel left at end of race).

Happy with the overall experience. I LOVE racing.