I got to New Orleans on Friday evening and headed to my sister’s house to stay with her and her boyfriend. I have never been down there so it was a pretty cool experience. For the last week I have been checking the weather, reading what people thought about the weather, and hoping that the crazy winds would die down enough to allow us to swim. When I woke up on Saturday it was POURING which was crappy because I wanted to get out of the house and walk around my where my sister lives, and get my pre-race bike and run in without getting soaked. Luckily the rain stopped around noon so I was able to walk to the store to get some food then go for my shake out run. I then headed to the race expo. I ended up riding my bike and was kind of able to get see some of the downtown area. I heard right before I left there would be no swim and it would be a duathlon. I was pretty mad about that but I was happy they made the call early so I could mentally prepare for the race. I picked up my packet, headed back and made myself some pasta.
I took a short nap then we all went to this amazing burger place for dinner. Then they told me there was a self-serve frozen yogurt place and obviously we had to go. I know, I know, probably not the best pre-race meal but whatever. Needless to say I was full and tired by the time we got home. It was time for bed but not before I downed my bottle on Ensure to get some calories in me.
I woke up at 4 so I could have my meal and for this race I was trying something different. Instead of a bagel and peanut butter 2 hours before the race, along with my Ensure 3 hours before, I tried out 2 bagels and PB and the Ensure 3 hours before the race. I did this to see how my stomach would feel since I would like to start my Ironman races with a body full of calories. It worked out well and I felt good. Got to transition right at 6:10 and set up my spot which was really just putting my bike and helmet in transition since I needed my shoes for the first run of the day.
It was kind of cool being able to actually see the pros start since most of the time they are in the water before I get to see them. I was in the 11th wave to start and my plan going into this run was go at a nice pace but nothing too fast because I did not want to expend too much energy before the bike. This turned out to be not a good plan and I lost about a minute to the others in my AG which lost me like a few places but whatever.
2 mile run: 14:31 44th AG/253 overall
Now it was on to the bike. This was my first race with my power meter so I wanted to keep at around 200-215 watts on the bike which for me is 80-85% of my FTP. I did not want to push too hard because I wanted to be able to run well off the bike. The first few miles of the course was on some awful roads. To make it worse the winds were very high and we only had one lane on the road. This made for some very busy and packed roads. For the first 10-15 miles I was riding on the left passing people and hoping the wind, and poor handling skills, would not send someone into me. Luckily that did not happen. I was hitting my power numbers and making sure to race my race and stay within those numbers. I had to keep telling myself the big picture is Ironman Texas.
The ride was pretty uneventful scenery wise but there was an abandoned Six Flags that my sister told me about that I saw on the way back into town. Coming back into town for a few mile stretch was brutal with the wind. Luckily people were spread out so I really did not have to worry about anyone blowing over. The good thing about this course was the roads were closed so we did not need to compete with cars driving next to us which was a huge plus, especially considering the wind. The last few miles we went over a few bridges and the downhill was scary for me because my headset somehow came loose so the wind and the speed of the downhill’s made handling basically impossible so I was just trying to hold steady and hope I didn’t crash. All in all, the bike went well and I hit my numbers which was good but my time was not what I was hoping for.
52 mile ride: 2:20:17 22.2 MPH @ 204 av power and 211 norm power 23rd AG/167th overall
Finally it was time to test out my running legs! Coming into the race I wanted to see how fast I could run this 13.1 and my open half marathon of 1:21 a few weeks ago gave me confidence that I could run a mid 1:20’s race. So that’s exactly what I planned for. I left transition and told myself to start off running some 6:40s then settle in to a 6:30 pace. But my legs just wanted to go. I figured I would go with it as long as my legs could take it because this race did not mean that much so if I blew up I would know where my limit is. The miles were ticking off and my legs kept going. I breezed through aid stations; water, coke, water, sponge, perform, ice. Basically taking anything I could. I was looking for my sister and her boyfriend because I knew they would be on course. I finally saw them at around mile 4 and they were near a spot where a guy was announcing out of his car and she got him to announce my name as I went by and I got a nice cheer from the crowd which felt good. But then he said “see you in like 7 miles!”. Now I know exactly what mile I am on the course at all times really but just thinking about it that early sucks mentally.
At the half way point we got to the transition area where we rounded a circle that was full of people who was pretty fun. It’s always nice to get a little push from the crowd. But then it was on to loop #2. Legs still felt good so I kept at it, although I slowed down a little for a few miles in the middle. I kept telling myself that I would start to push it a bit at mile 9 and that’s what I did. But by pushing it was more like thinking I was going faster but in reality just going the same pace. I didn’t really start to pick it up until mile 12 when I ran a 6:16 mile but then I really turned it on. 1.1 miles to go meant I had like 7 minutes left and all I wanted to do was finish. I got back to the roundabout near transition and I saw someone in front of me who I saw on the bike and I noticed he was in my AG so I decided to make a play on him. About a half mile to go there was a little uphill and I tried to sneak past him but he saw me and pushed to re-pass me. Then it was on from then on. We were basically sprinting from then on out and I managed to get some distance between us which was great because I was not sure if I could have kept that pace up. I turned a corner and saw the finishing area and it was a spring fest from there. I am not one to trot to the finish. Not sure why but no matter what I like to sprint to the finish. Made it to the finish line. Finally the day was over!
13.1 mile run: 1:25:45 6:33 min/mile 16th AG/87th overall (had 6th fastest run split in my AG!)
Final time : 4:02:46 16th AG/87th Overall
After the race I ate like 15 Oreos they had at the food tent then headed back to my sisters to shower and go eat. I had fun racing but was disappointed to not have been able to swim but whatever. This next paragraph is not for the faint of heart and if you are not a triathlete I suggest you stop reading here because it is kind of gross.
So one of the good things about the race is that I proved to myself I can pee while running. Super gross I know. Who pees on themselves on purpose?! But when minutes and even seconds can determine placing and all the money I spent to make myself faster on the bike and run I am not going to stop and waste time unless I really have to. I have been able to pee on the bike but I just wish I could do it while pedaling. The peeing while running was something I have never tried nor something I thought I could do. I think I peed 3 times on the run and the first time I was thinking about stopping but I thought I would try it and wouldn’t you know it, it just started flowing! I am sure everyone watching was grossed out but I made sure to wash myself off after each time. Well enough of all that pee talk. Less than 4 weeks until Ironman Texas!!!