Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lonestar 70.3

Nothing like starting off my season with the US National Championships thanks to Lonestar 70.3 getting the honor after I had already decided to do it. Oh well, I was up for the challenge :) I headed down to Galveston, TX Friday evening with my parents. Unfortunately my husband had to stay home this trip (this is one of the only races he has actually missed) and it was definitely strange not having him there. However, my parents are experienced race supporters so I knew I would be in good hands. The flight down to Galveston was short and sweet. After traveling to and from Australia in March, this 3hour trip was a piece of cake. We arrived in Galveston late Friday night and were looking forward to checking in and going to bed. Unfortunately our hotel had overbooked the rooms and apparently given ours away. Nice! Luckily they were able to get us a room in the hotel next door (although it wasn’t quite as nice as the hotel we had booked) and since it was way too late to argue we took the room and hoped for the best. It turned out to not be too bad. The next morning I was up bright and early since pre-race day is always super busy. I ate breakfast and headed out for a run. I couldn’t believe how windy it was and the ocean was a mess. Fortunately the storm was expected to pass through and it was supposed to clear up by race day. I headed over to the expo to say hi to Jake, go to the pro meeting (a non-wetsuit swim, bummer), and then off to dinner with Jake, Sam and Cliff and Tim. We ate at this great little restaurant in the historic district of Galveston. All the food looked so good and I would have loved to try some of their more creative entrees but I had to settle for a bit safer pre-race dinner (which was still good). I was surprised with how well I slept that night since I was pretty wound up for this race. I had an interesting mix of nerves and excitement and found myself fluctuating between “Yippee!” and “OMG!” every few seconds for the past week. Anyway, I was glad when the gun finally went off and I could start racing. The nerves always go away instantly. The bad news is that the first part of the race did not go as planned. I was totally expecting to have a good swim here after all the swim training I had done in Australia and with my pool times improving. I’m not exactly sure what happened but I missed the pack right from the beginning and just never really found my groove. The water was a lot rougher than I expected and I just couldn’t get going. I headed into T1, gave my dad a dirty look because I KNEW how bad my swim was and headed off onto the bike. Things did not look to be going any better on the bike as I saw my mph were way slower than I had expected. I gave up on looking at my speedometer and just focused on my effort and sticking to my nutrition plan. I am notoriously bad at following a nutrition plan but I had strict instructions from Coach Dan (basically every detail starting planned with breakfast) and I knew he would kill me if I did not follow it. The bike course is an out and back and flat as a pancake. You go straight out for 23miles and then turn around and come straight back for 23miles. Not very exciting but it actually seemed to go by pretty quickly. I was surprised to see at the turnaround that the other pro women were not as far ahead of me as I had expected. I was also thrilled to find out that we had been riding into a pretty strong headwind and I was flying on the way back. My bike split ended up being a new PR for me (thanks in part to my speedy Orbea!) and I headed onto the run feeling good with my fingers crossed it would stay that way. I had pushed the second half of the bike pretty hard and was hoping it wouldn’t hurt me too much on the run. The run is 4 loops around the park with lots of twists and turns. It was a fun course and I was amazed at the number of spectators and support on the run course. I had a few bad spots on the run although my new best friend, the salt tabs, did save my life once or twice. The last lap of the run hurt pretty bad but at least I was able to keep moving. I crossed the finish line, got a big hug from Jake, grabbed a few bottles of water (it was getting hotter by the minute!), found my parents and headed right to the massage tent. Other than my horrible swim, my race ended up being one of my best halfs to date so I couldn’t be too disappointed. My parents and I headed off for some Mexican food and a quick tour of Galveston Island before headed back to Philly.

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