The 2013 Tri season is now official under way! Last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston was the first race of the season for many Moxie athletes, and although it’s an early season race, everyone did a stellar job! Here’s a recap of the race and the weekend.
One of the fun parts of the weekend was staying in the rental house with a bunch of fellow Moxies. Usually Kellen and I have a hotel room of our own so it was a cool change of pace to actually be with other folks. Blake, Alisia, Pete, Danielle, Colin, Shelly, John, and 2 pros from up north, AJ and Chris, shared this house. Thankfully it was big enough to accommodate all of us PLUS all the bikes and other race gear (although AJ ended up sleeping on an air mattress in Blake and Alisia’s closet).
Since I was doing the relay with Blake and Alisia and I have Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in a couple of weeks, this weekend was also a training weekend for me. I woke up on Saturday morning, had some terrible coffee (apparently I made the large pot of coffee with instant coffee crystals, not actual coffee grounds. Gross), and headed out on a 2.5 hour bike ride. Since the only bike route in Galveston is to take Seawall Blvd all the way out of town (it turns into San Luis pass and then Bluewater Highway), I left the house and headed toward the Seawall. Cross winds, gusts, and changing wind patterns made the first part of the trek a little bit iffy, but once you clear the water front, there’s sand dunes and beach houses to break some of that wind. Although I normally despise flat, straight roads, I actually had a blast on my ride! There was always something to look at, be it neat old beach houses or flocks of gulls or other athletes training on the course as well. The roads were pretty nice—not chip sealed or crappy like normal coastal areas. And the weather was absolutely perfect! I turned around right where San Luis pass turns into Bluewater Highway, and with the wind at my back, my return trip was a breeze (pun intended).
Galveston Ride Route
I got back to the house where pretty much everyone was ready to roll to packet pick up, but OH NO! I still had a run to do. Since my original 50 minute run seemed too long (since, you know, people were waiting on me) I decided to cut it down to 30 minutes. Thank God, because I struggled with that damn run. Any good feeling I had on the bike totally left me on the run. But I got that shit done and we headed over to pick up our stuffs.
*Attention anyone who has anything to do with Ironman schwag—everybody digs those new bags! Please keep those for all Ironman events!*
Saturday evening was spent eating dinner at Landry’s and discussing race strategy. Landry’s took forever, go figure, but it was fun to scope the scene of other triathletes and high school prom go-ers. Danielle and Shelly made us all jealous with their delicious adult beverages.
The crew at Landry’s for pre-race dinner
I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night, which isn’t out of the ordinary due to pre-race nerves. But I figured I’d be a cooler customer with only the swim to do the next morning. How strenuous could that be?
Pretty damn strenuous, it turns out. The relay wave was the last to go—race start was at 7:00am, we started at 8:35am. Awesome. I got nervous about the water temp (an unseasonal 64 degrees) and how I would feel in my wetsuit (re: Kerrville wetsuit episode). Upon getting into the suit, I felt restricted but generally ok. I thought, maybe this won’t be so bad. It will be more like Ironman Arizona than Kerrville. When I jumped in the water, I was happy to have the full length suit as it was pretty cold in the bay. I ducked my head underwater to get used to the chill, I cleared my goggles, and I was all set.
The gun went off, and the first few hundred meters went swimmingly. Then, my shoulders started to get tired. Really tired. And I couldn’t get my breathing under control. And my goggles were fogging. I tried to get my shit together, but I eventually just stopped. This cycle of swim-freak-stop happened more times that I care to admit. I was getting so frustrated with myself. This is MY event! I LOVE the water! I LOVE to swim! So why am I having such a hard time with this race? I wanted to cry because I know I was going slow and I was letting my team down. I wanted to stop because the suit was so restrictive and was making me claustrophobic and exhausted. But neither of those would have done anybody any good. So I pushed all thoughts out of my head except for my teammates and hammered through the end of the swim.
As soon as I reached land, my sights were set on the relay tent where I would give my timing chip to Blake. My calves were getting locked up running (seriously? WTF, body?). Blake took the chip off and was on his way to the bike, when I lost it. Like, seriously lost it. I cried like a little girl. I felt terrible for performing badly and letting the team down. I hated the fact that I struggled through the swim. I was worried about my upcoming performance in NOLA and what the hell would happen there. I was mad at myself for letting negative thoughts get the better of me. And all of this came to a head as soon as I transferred that timing chip.
Thankfully, the rest of team did awesome! Blake hammered the bike, averaging 23.15 mph. Alisia made the run course her bitch as she slammed down with a sub-2 hour half marathon (on only 2 weeks of training, mind you—after her wedding and 11 day honeymoon in Thailand!) They both had phenomenal performances and I’m super proud of my teammates!
All the other Moxie peeps had great races as well! Todd, Pete, John, Chris, Greg, Colin, Leslie, Christina, Mike x3, Keith, and Troy all did wicked awesome. Christina PRed this race, and John and Colin set their sights on Ironman Texas next month. It was a blast cheering for them and the other athletes. And of course, Kellen had the most fun. I love my crazy husband.
Kellen cheering on Leslie as she runs by. He did this for hours..
All in all, it was an awesome weekend and a fabulous start to 2013! One of the reasons I love triathlon is because you are always learning something about yourself, about how to race, about how to prepare. Although this wasn’t my best swim, it’s a learning experience. We all have bad days, but it’s important to shake that off and keep moving forward. Onward to NOLA!
Post-race pic. Bunch of good looking athletes right there.
PS—Sorry if I forgot to mention anyone here that raced! My memory is already starting to slip 🙂
PPS– Thanks to our sponsors who make training and racing that much better! WattieInk, Smith Optics, True Blue Nectar, Dry Goods, SwiftWick, ClifBar, SweatVac, ISM, SBR, Yeti Coolers, Rudy Project, Scratch Labs, Kinesys, Zoot, Chobani, Oatmega, etc etc!