Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lonestar 70.3 4/1/2012 Post Race Review

I must tell you for my third year doing this race it has been an adventure every time.  Not just the race itself, but the company I have shared this weekend with.  This race has always been a boy’s getaway for my dad, my oldest son Connor (10), and me.  This year was different.  We added one more boy to the mix this year, my youngest son Cooper (4) joined us.  It was quite an experience for all involved as I will go into details on the trip itself later.  But now the race…

The race takes place on Galveston Island at the Moody Gardens in Texas.  The swim is a salt water swim on the north side of Galveston, opposite the Gulf.  The bike is an out and back along the seawall fully exposed to the Gulf winds for the entire 56 miles.  The run for this year was changed to a 3 loop run, with years prior being 4.  The big difference this year was one mile of the four mile loop was ran on the tarmac of the nearby airport.  Otherwise the remaining three miles are in the park itself relatively protected from the elements.

The swim went well this year. It is a tread water start whereas I floated to the back of my wave (160 total) and eased into the swim this year.  The water temp was 70 degrees and the water was flat.  I pulled for the first 400 yards so I could let my body relax until I found my groove and swam my line.  This was the least physical swim I have been in despite having 1500 people already ahead of my wave.

Swim time: 36:03- 76 in age group - 661 place overall.

I made a quick transition and headed out on my favorite part. I rode out on the bike’s first leg which is 28 miles into a strong headwind of roughly 20mph.  The thing about riding this wind is that it is absolutely relentless.  There is no let up of the wind.  This is also a ride that is pancake flat with the exception of a bridge about 22 miles out into the ride.  You then ride another 6 miles onto an island that is wide open with sand dunes, wind, and heat.  I hit the turn around and was able to then hit the gas.  I had borrowed a friend’s bike for this race which I was not terribly familiar with and at about 40 miles, my hip popped.  It seemed minor at the time but it had a lingering affect into the run.  I finished strong on the ride and reentered the transition. 

Bike time: 2:38:08 – 46 in age group – 351 overall.

Transition was clean and smooth.  I hit the run with the main plan of slow and steady.  I felt the pain in my hip and did not want to risk the rest of my season.  I planned to run between a 9 and 10 min pace.  This was very comfortable.  The run conditions were very sunny, hot (mid 80’s), and there was a very steady headwind on the airport tarmac.  Within the park it is well attended with people around every corner.  Though around the airport it was like watching someone plod through the desert.  It was no man’s land, a long line of runners, just trying to get through it. The run remained uneventful.  My pain was constant so I just focused on the finish as well as the main reason I am racing this year.  I am racing for a cause.  AT Cure was in my heart the entire time.  But again more on this on my next check in. 

Run time: 2:11:10 – 93 of 290 finishers in my age group– 642 of 2670 overall.

Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes and 19 seconds 

Overall I was pleased with my race.  It is a real challenge to get ready for a hot race in April in Texas when you live in Iowa.  I feel I performed well and learned a few more lessons.  I did get one chance to see Lance Armstrong on the bike leg but that was it.  One big lesson I have learned is that the changes we made in our diet have affected my standard race nutrition as well.  I will take the coming months to hammer out a new plan and get myself ready for the challenges to come.  In the meantime I will continue preparing myself for my ultra-marathon as well as Ironman to come later this year.

I urge you to check out my newest sponsor at  I have dedicated this season to racing for AT Cure a small charity doing big things for children afflicted with AT.  Go to for more information.  If you want to help me achieve the financial goals set by my sponsor please contact me. 

Again a special thanks to my wife for letting me go, my dad for being the ever faithful and sometimes wrong directed co-pilot.  And my two boys, I could not be happier with you two, 32 hours in a car and we never argued!  It was a great trip with more to come.

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