The last two months have flown by….with trips to Tucson, Aruba and Las Vegas…it seems as if we have been on a plane more than home. This year for the first time, I am doing a fair amount of traveling for the racing season. First up was Galveston, 70.3.
Training for hotter races, when you live in the Northeast, can be a little tricky. I was lucky that our travel took us to some hotter places for some heat training. As someone who has never really raced in the heat, I knew that you would need to adjust my expectations and understand that the heat can be a big limiter in terms of how fast I could go. Additionally, I did do some heat prep…post sauna pic…why do we do this???
Prerace…we had a bunch of Sonic athletes racing…so we hosted a brunch and got to meet and hang out with the crew…as always love the TEXAS crew…so fun to meet a bunch great athletes. It is always fun to hang with Scott, collaborate and do work! We ate at two great restaurants Sunflower Cafe and Mosquito Cafe…highly recommend both of them! I traveled to Texas with my friend Heather….and we got up RIDICULOUSLY early for our flights…she as a trooper and a great help both prerace and race day…so THANKS HEATHER!
The swim: All I had heard about up to the swim is the nasty Texas water that everyone swims in….and coming from a place where the water is clean and clear it was a little concerning. The race was wetsuit legal and the water was WARM 70ish so the goal was to swim at an effort that was on the easier side.
I was pleasantly surprised at the water…it was not terrible. We jumped off a dock and then swam out to the swim start. No time for warmup really but just go. I went out hard enough to get clear water and jump on the feet of the leader and then hung on. I lost her at the first buoys with the congestion but then managed to just swim steady the remainder of the time.
Swim 28:55 2nd AG
The bike: Ever since our arrival on the island people were talking about the wind. The crosswind, headwind, how do you stay upright wind…etc. I knew they had forecasted winds but having no real experience in a flat windy course I was not sure what to expect. The bike is flat and fast. We did have a cross headwind on the way out, but in my opinion it was not horrible…the further down the island you got the windier it was. It got hot at the turnaround, so I picked up water and used Base Salt to help with the heat issues. The way back consisted of a nice cross tailwind…which made it a much faster ride home. I would put in the experience bank that it was much easier to hold my watts in the headwind than the tailwind.
Overall, I liked the course, it was simple and the road conditions the day of the race were good.
This was a HUGE bike PR for me…partially I think I never ride courses this flat…and I did not think the wind was really a limiter. I thought it was more annoying that anything else.
Bike 2:43:14 4th AG
The Run: Galveston gets the award for the most out and back and loop de loop run course. It was three loops and lots of twisting and out and back. It was ALSO super hot for me. I know those from Texas probably did not think it was too hot. They did a nice job having ice, cold drinks and sponges. The aid stations were set up a little odd though…some were close and others were far apart. For the most part, I just watch my HR and tried to keep in under control and keep my body cooled off. For me, that is key with hot racing…..just keep plugging away. I hope this season, I can have a breakthrough on the run to match the bike and and the swim progress.
Run 2:05:41 12AG
Total time 5:23:19
Final thoughts: I had a great day overall, it was a PR by 3 minutes from the fall. I would go back to this race for sure. I found it easy to navigate the town and it was well run logistically. We stayed outside of Moody Gardens, with a place that had a kitchen and I liked that flexibility. I think this is a great race for those that are looking for flat and fast or prep for an IM that has similar terrain.
BIG KUDOS: to Ryan who held down the fort and managed to collect almost ALL the McDonalds Monopoly pieces…enough so that the kids are certain we are going to win One MIILION dollars. Sue for awesome coaching and support…great things to come. Guy’s bikes – Bob, Chad, and Leigh for their amazing support with my bike support. Heather, Scott, Cindy and the Texas crew…you guys are AMAZING!