Ironman Texas 70.3 now over and done with in Galveston and luckily only came back with a smile and sunburn.
Here's a note to remember, put sunscreen on the day before, especially if you have to be there for a while. Neck was pink. Yep, not a good start!
Swim start at 7:20
- Salt water is two things: buoyant and NOT tasty
- Around the 5th buoy start getting a rubbing feeling on my shoulders. That turned out to rub the entire way. Rubbed the skin off. That still hurts.
T1: Volunteers rip my wetsuit off. That was awesome.
Bike start: Hop on and get going
Mile 0.7: Had to get off the bike to fix my gel flash holder. That cost me about 1:30 of time. Oops!
Mile 1.6: Turn right onto the seawall. Vroom vroom not so much with the wind a straight headwind at 10-15.
Miles 2-10: Cyclist named Galvez and I yo-yo back and forth. Over and over and over.
Mile 11: A woman is holding a sign saying "Lance just passed!" Yeah...right. Lance passed a long time ago!
Mile 16.6: In the whispering words of Dr. Evil in the movie Goldmember "LANCE!" Lance Armstrong flying back on the bike! Finished averaging 27.8 mph!!!!!! He finished 7th.
Mile 20: Start eating the first of the FRS chews. I. Love. Pomegranate. DELICIOUS!
Mile 23.5: Start going up the San Luis Pass. The bridge is long and it is going to be awesome to fly back!!!
Mile 27.5: See my buddy Brent Vest heading the other way. Dangit! We have a thing going. He beat me the first triathlon. I beat him the second. This is the rubber match. I will see him on the run!
Mile 28: Turnaround time!!! Averaged 17.7 mph on the way into the wind. Time to fly!
Miles 28-32: Flying at 23-25 thinking, "ok, this is fun. Let's keep on going!"
Mile 33: Bye bye wind. What the heck? Still going at 20-21.
Miles 34-50: Coming back on the seawall. Keep on averaging 20 mph.
Miles 51-54.4: There are a lot of nice bikes passing me. They are THOUSANDS of dollars nicer. That and the guys and gals riding them look like they are professionals. They're not, they are just really awesome age groupers!
Mile 56: The bike "is done man!"
T2: Ok! Time to run. Plenty of bikes are already in transition. Plenty of bikes are not.
Mile 1: 7:54 pace and rocking it! This...will not last.
Mile 1.75: Catch up to my buddy Brent. He is having a bit of trouble. Give encouragement and then take off.
Mile 2: Pace is now at 8:11
Mile 2.5: Give high fives to two small children. They are very happy to be watching other people run. Kind of funny.
Miles 3-4.3: First lap is done! Now only two more to go.
Mile 5: Start getting a pain in my right abdominal. I keep telling myself, this couldn't be appendicitis, I eat plenty of bacon. As a matter of fact, I had bacon on a sandwich the day before. AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!
Miles 6-8: THE WALL! This is the time that my run pace has slowed to 10:45. Start walking through aid stations and then running in between.
Mile 8.2: Time to start the second loop through the airport runway. Very hot. Very windy. I continue to think, "Remember this is a good idea. The is a good idea. Why did I choose the sport of triathlon? Because this is a good idea!"
Mile 8.8: THIRD LOOP. If I stop running, how will I get home?
Mile 9.5: Read a sign "There's beer at the finish line!" This doesn't make me run faster or slower. It does for some reason make me very happy. I have no clue why.
Mile 10: Only a 5K left! Start calculating how fast I need to pace to make sure that I finish in under 5:45.
Mile 11: The pace has started to kick up a notch. Hamstrings are starting to hurt more. Feet are ok.
Mile 12: So close. So close. And here comes the runway. Start looking at my watch and calculating again.
Mile 13: I can hear the finish line. Can't see it, but here comes the kick!
Finish line: DUNZO!!! TIRED!!! Off to the medical tent!
Medical tent: I spend a good 15 minutes lounging with ice packs on my neck and my stomach.
Swim - 36:35
Bike - 2:56:33
Run - 2:03:56
Overall - 5:42:45
Average heart rate: 171
Max heart rate: 193
Calories burned: 6170
The 5:45:00 mark has been eclipsed.
Six weeks until Ironman Texas!!!
Sunday was the 31st running of the River Cities Triathlon. This is the last race of my "season" and will be the last time I race until November. After attending a funeral of the father of one of my best friends on Saturday morning in Arlington, I was physically, emotionally worn out. Quite frankly, after eight races in the past 80 days, my motto, "Let's get the thing dunzo!" It's now dunzo and this is how it went:
5:58am: Wake up BEFORE the alarm
6:00: Alarm goes off. Just like going to school when younger, "do I really need to get up?!?!?!"
6:30: Depart for RCT with very tired girlfriend Brittany (she's a triathlon trooper)
7:05: Drive into Cypress
7:40: Run into a good triathlon friend that I met from 2010 River Cities Tri Brent Vest. His wife and trooper Brittany became friends as well. BV beat me by less than a minute last year. That didn't sit well with me.
7:45: In transition area and my bike and stuff is right in the middle of a huge ant colony. I hate ants. I was deathly afraid of ants until I was 10. Not the best sign.
8:15ish: Start of the 30-34 swim group.
8:20: First buoy. Good pace and confidence rising
8:??: First turn. Slow pace and confidence fading. I'll be honest, I really hate the swim aspect of triathlons!
?: I am swimming in a straight line. The person next to me...IS NOT! Every 10 strokes get bumped into like a crash test dummy. Not happy!
8:35: Out of the water, hydrated and probably now have some mysterious disease.
Out of T1 and onto the Bike
Mile 1-3: Good pace keeping at around 20-22 mph
Mile 4: Get passed for the second time by race number 23#(?)
- This passing back and forth went on for a while. I would pump it up to 25, 26, 27 mph and then on a small hill get passed again.
Mile 5-7: Going through the winding hills of Benton at a 22 mph pace
Mile 8: Average 25.2 mph for the entire mile
Mile 9-11: Cross wind coming from the southwest, very good and pleasing. I start humming "Ride of the Valkyries"
Mile 11.6: Cross wind turns into a head-on wind. Not too stiff, but strong enough to notice and bye bye 24 mph
Mile 12-15: Winding all the way through the Cypress area with a lot of turns and "rolling hills"
Mile 16: Start laughing like a crazy man. Don't know why, just felt like it.
Mile 17: So close to run
Mile 17.6-18.2: We are in the park. The only thing I can think of is a quote from Jaws III. "Overman was killed inside the park. The baby was caught inside the park. It's mother is INSIDE THE PARK!" Side note: Did they really have to make Jaws IV? It's like Rocky V or Halloween III...what were they thinking?!?!?!?
T2 to Run
Mile 0: My legs are not really under me...at all.
Mile .5-1: Start hitting my stride and thinking about the finish line and sitting on the couch
Mile 1.4: Two high fives from a 2 foot and 3 foot spiderman look-a-likes. Really happy to be there and really happy to give out high fives. Not sure if they were pajamas, but if they make them in adult sizes, I will find a spiderman costume just like it.
Mile 2: The trail! You have to run down it, at a fast pace. Then you have to run up it, not at a fast pace.
Mile 2.5: I have found my pacer and I will keep at his pace until the end.
Mile 2.6: Nevermind, my pacer has decided to walk.
Mile 2.8: Time to get it in gear
Mile 3: Can see the finish and look at my watch. I have 58 seconds to finish under 1:40:00 for the day and start to sprint
Mile 3.1: DUNZO! Eight races in 80 days is finished. Time to have fun and relax.
Overall time - 1:39:40
Cut 8 minutes off from 2010
Beat triathlon friend Brent Vest by 22 seconds AND all three Keen siblings
After having fun at the post race, headed off to a charity poker tournament where I finish 22nd out of 62 and was the last person still in the game from KSLA!
This Sunday will be the 31st RiverCities Triathlon. Over 1200 triathletes will be swimming, cycling and running around Cypress Black Bayou. One of those triathletes is Jenn Sommermann. Jenn is a cancer survivor. Jenn is a triathlete. She has a goal not only competing in a triathlon in 50 states, but she competes in triathlons to raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer. This is her story, written by Jenn:
In 2006, just before my 42nd birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer. The doctors found a 6 lb, eggplant size tumor in my abdomen. I received a full hysterectomy only four days after my diagnosis and endured six long months of chemotherapy. I was able to beat the disease and credit my involvement in the sport of triathlon which started at age 40. Without this sport and a keen awareness of my body, I might not have picked up the subtle but unmistakable symptoms that encouraged me to see a doctor. The endurance training of triathlon also prepared me for the race of my life.
Lying in the hospital receiving a chemo treatment, I read an ad in Triathlete Magazine for a women's triathlon series to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). The races were in 3 cities (San Diego, Chicago and Seattle) and I vowed to complete all three races the following year. Not only had I not had any experience with ovarian cancer prior to my diagnosis but I didn’t know there were groups and funds working to eradicate the disease. Little did I know; my competitive journey started from my hospital bed.
2007 was known as “chemo year” but rather than completely miss race season, I participated in three events. Eight weeks after chemo ended, I raced the Nautica NYC Triathlon…no hair, barely any muscle and lots of nausea, but I finished proud.
In 2008, I raced in the entire series that originally caught my attention and added several more races to round out my season. With the success of the events and by bringing a face to ovarian cancer, I realized I had an opportunity and obligation to raise money for this disease but also bring vital information to women around the country. In 2009, my campaign officially took hold as I decided to set bigger goals for myself and for fundraising for OCRF. Racing in 50 triathlons in 50 states by the time I am 50 years old, to raise $100,000 for ovarian cancer research is my current goal. I am in my third year and it will be complete by 2013. Although the fundraising is imperative, this has also become a grass-roots opportunity to talk to women around the country about early detection and signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. If detected early, it is 94% curable. Early detection is the key to saving lives. Louisiana represents state #29 on my journey.
This campaign is self inspired, self orchestrated and 100% self funded. Every penny of donations goes directly to OCRF to find a method of early detection. To further my commitment, all in-kind donations are turned into cash donations (by me) in the name of the contributor. This means that if I receive a comp entry or a comp hotel room, I donate the amount I save in the name of the race. This makes my campaign unique.
The statistics for ovarian cancer are miserable. 21,000 women will be diagnosed this year; 15,000 will die. I was one of the lucky ones. I race for women in treatment, women who have lost the battle and for women yet to be diagnosed.
To learn more or to make a donation, please visit my blog at www.jennsommermann.blogspot.com
You will be able to see Jenn race at 8:30 am on Sunday in Cypress Black Bayou at the 31st RiverCities Triathlon.
With the upcoming 31st running of the RiverCities Triathlon, here are a few tips and trades that I have learned over the years in running triathlons. Some are serious and some are not so serious (see #7, #20). There are scheduled to be over 1200 triathletes competing in this year's race. If you have never seen a triathlon, come on out to Cypress and cheer on the triathletes!
***These are the most important two that I was ever taught and they are especially true for first-time triathletes***
1. If this is your first triathlon, just finish the race. Once you run another, then look at the time that you want, but for the first one, just finish!
2. You will get kicked on the swim. This is especially so when it comes to open water swim. "In the face!!!", stomach, arm, shoulder. You will get kicked, just deal with it and continue going!
3. Pre-race nutrition is key. The morning of the race, eat what you normally eat. My routine is always the same: One FRS Healthy Energy drink, two packets of Quaker Oats Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal, a banana. I eat a Clif Bar 45 minutes before the start of the race with a GU energy gel and then a GU energy gel 15 minutes before the start.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!! Make sure that you are keeping your body hydrated before the race, days before. Take in enough fluids so you are ready for the race, but not too much that you are bloated or water logged.
5. Pack your bag the night before. Lay out everything that you will be taking with you on your bed or the floor and have everything ready to go in the morning.
6. I personally like to air up my tires the night before the race. I put the tires to 100 psi if it is dry, 85 if it is a wet road course.
7. HAVE FUN! You have spent hours, days, weeks, months training for this. Your friends think you're crazy and your loved ones are proud of you. Enjoy the race!
8. Go hard for the first 100 meters or closest turn buoy. This way you break away or stay with the pack and can continue drafting.
9. Relax your body and legs on the swim. You will not win the race in the water, but you can lose it there.
10. On open water swims, if you swallow a gallon of water, keep going. It's going to happen, but at least you are hydrated.
11. If you are in open water, hug the buoys! The closer you are to the buoys, the faster you will swim. Remember 10th grade geometry, "The fastest way between two points is a straight line."
12. If you are in a pool swim, line up how you think you will swim. Most triathlons have a start by how fast your swim time will be. If you are an 8 minute/400 meter swimmer, line up in the 8 minute.
13. For pool swim, if you feel someone hit your heel in the water, let them pass at the end of the pool, it is a courtesy.
14. Once you are finished with the swim, take your goggles and swim cap off first and then your wetsuit (if you are wearing one)
15. Make sure your gears are in the proper setting. For Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3, right out of transition you have an 8.2 degree hill to climb. If you are in the big ring, you will have a devil of a time getting started!
16. Don't go "guns a blazin'" out of the chute. Find a good pace and cadence and stick with it. You have anywhere between very short (5-18 miles) to very long (112 miles) to go.
17. At check points, if they have water or Gatorade, take advantage of it. Even if you don't think you'll need it, get it anyway. Being thirsty on the bike with 5 miles to go is a horrible feeling. (See Mile 70-75.5 of Katy Flatlands play-by-play)
18. Make sure that you know the rules for drafting. If it is not allowed, don't do it. Allowed, find a good pace line.
19. If you pass someone, let them know, but don't startle them. Most of the time you hear, "On your left..."
20. Never underestimate the power of someone on a mountain bike! In my first triathlon, I was passed by a 50 year old man on a Huffy towards the middle of the race. It is not the bike, but the power of the legs.
21. Much like #16, find a good pace. You know how fast you can keep pace from your training. Don't spend it all on the first mile-plus.
22. If you use energy supplements on the run (ex. GU, Hammer, etc...) make sure that they are secure on your race belt, pockets, hands. If you rely on a small boost at the end of a race and don't have it because they fell out, not good.
23. Find a pacer. When doing triathlons, I always find someone who is right about my speed, or maybe a little faster. They can push you to go harder, plus as an added bonus, you can race them to the finish.
24. Take water at aid stations. Grab the cups, fold the lid in half and enjoy. If you have to walk and drink, walk and drink.
25. Enjoy the run. It is the final leg of the triathlon and it will be over soon.
26. Once you get to the finish, put your butt in gear! Give a sprint, put it out there, don't leave anything left in the tank because you get to enjoy what you did for the rest of the day.
27. Enjoy the festivities after the race! I have made many friends during the race that I have gotten to know and enjoyed.
28. If there is food, eat it. If there is drink, drink it. You payed for it, enjoy it!
29. I personally am a fan of ice bathes. If the race is a long one or particularly hard, I sit in a bathtub full of anywhere between 60 to 120 pounds of ice for 10 minutes. It is called cryotherapy and for me it works. We will get into that later down the road.
30. Finally, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Replenish the fluids that you lost during the race. And rest "hard." As in, take a load off your feet and chill out for the rest of the day or couple of days. You worked and raced hard, now enjoy it!
For those of you racing this weekend, good luck. If you see a bald guy with a red top and black bottoms, don't snicker when you pass him!
Before starting any exercise, diet or health routine, first consult your physician to make sure that your body is healthy enough for physical activity.
Precursor- Sunday temperature was scheduled for 110 and 20-25 miles an hour wind from the SSW. Yes, it was that ridiculous! It was 111 which is the second highest temperature in Lubbock history. Yea outdoor sports that require physical exertion over a very long distance and period of time!
1. Woke up at 4:10. Here's a hint, make sure when you set your alarm with more than one time, make sure that you set the second time at 4:15 am/NOT PM!
2. Drove to Buffalo Springs Lake and got into the place at 5:05. Finally parked at 5:35. Yes, there were that many people.
3. Swim start at 6:37. The race director moved the swim times forward and combined swim groups. We went off with 150+ swimmers. That is the size of a Sunrise Triathlon.
4. Swimming through Buffalo Springs Lake is always better with a wet suit. Swallowed about a gallon of water.
5. Went into the water at 6:37, got out of the water at 7:14 for a swim time of 37 minutes over the course of 1.2 miles.
6. Transition area reminding me why I will never walk around barefoot on concrete that is made of rather large rocks. NOT FUN.
7. Off to the bike and immediately am welcomed by a 7.6 degree hill that goes up and up and up for half a mile.
8. Then it's back down another hill. Hit 34 miles an hour. That is fun and nerve racking at the same time.
9. Going over the bridge and passed by the first of many people that weigh about 120 pounds. Never seems to amaze.
10. Hill #2! Average around 9 miles an hour going up.
11. Miles 1.75-3 are straight into the wind. That is not fun.
12. Miles 1.76-34 are pretty much with the wind. 20-25 at your back provides for a fun bike split. Split #2, which was 21 miles finished in 1:00:12 at 20.93 mph.
13. Time Split #3, which was 20 miles from Split #2, almost all straight into the wind, plus the worst winding hill of them all. Manage only 17.16 mph.
14. Pass a kid wearing a Hotter than Hell 100 bike jersey. Here is the transcription:
Me: "I have a feeling that we are going to be doing this (passing each other) a couple more times.
HHH100: "Yeah, it's been fun!"
Me: "You are just killing everyone on the hills!"
HHH100: "That is what we train on mostly."
Me: "Are you doing the entire race or just the bike?"
HHH100: "I'm only doing the bike. I'm on a team because they won't let me race. I wish they would."
Me: "Why won't they?"
HHH100: "Because I'm only 15!"
***Side note: It might be a teenager, a very large person on a mountain bike, or someone riding a $12,000 bike. Moral of the story - you will get passed by someone!***
15. Heading the remaining 14 miles back with only 2.5 miles of that NOT directly into a 20 mile an hour wind!
16. The final hill on the bike - 8.9 degrees for .33 miles. I hit 5 mph. Not proud of it, but it was hard.
17. T2 - I really don't want to run 13.1 miles, but that is the only way to stop the race.
18. Mile 1 - 8:17
19. Mile 2 - 8:37
20. Mile 2.7 - the first hill. It is a beast! I walk. There is no shame. Better to be alive than proud.
21. Mile 3.3 - first downhill run. "I wanna go fast!"
22. Mile 4.5 - second hill. "Walk like a man, walk like a man, walk like a sweaty, tired, tired man."
23. Mile 5-6.55 - walk, run, sweat, run, walk, sweat.
24. Mile 6.66-8.1 - repeat
25. Mile 8.1 - second downhill. "I wanna go fast! But, my hamstrings won't let me."
26. I now realize that not only will I not reach my goal of eclipsing 6 hours, I probably won't beat last year's time of 6:16.
27. Mile 9.7 - third hill. Very, very slow, saddening walk.
28. Mile 10.2 - time to run down the beast hill. I hit 7:30 mile pace just because I can't stop.
29. Mile 10.5-12.5 - sweat, sweat and walk then run.
30. Mile 12.5-13.1 - running at an 8;45 pace. It really, really hurts and my right calf and left hamstring are seizing.
31. Finish line - Thank you Lord!!!!!!
32. Race medal and a very nice girl says: "Would you like to go to the medical tent?" "Why yes, yes I would!"
IF YOU DON'T LIKE MEDICAL STUFF, ADVANCE TO FINAL RESULTS
33. In the medical tent and met by Nurse Nick.
34. I am not lying, I have a nurse's gift to veins. They are huge, they are prevalent. They are easy to poke.
35. Poke #1 - left arm with an IV bag. This hurts like you would not believe and there are not nice things running through my mind! Finally done poking me, we start the IV.
36."Excuse me, but my arm really hurts"
37. Terrorized look by Crista, already graduated and she has a name tag, not just a sticker written in sharpie.
38. "Uh, we need to take this out of you." I look down and there is a very large bump.
39. Crista removes the IV and then starts an IV on my right arm. She is successful and we are now friends.
40. I finished two IV bags and then get up out of the 1985 plastic folding reclining chair.
Total time: 6:20:37
1.2 mile swim - 37:01 (70.3 PR)
56 mile bike - 3:07:04 at 17.96 mph (70.3 PR)
13.1 mile run/half-marathon - 2:31:09 (WORST RUNNING RESULTS EVER)
6671 calories burned
70.3 miles covered
About 2 gallons of water/gatorade consumed
One of the worst sunburns ever