As soon as we arrived I noticed we were situated right across the street from the open ocean which, to us, came in really handy for the very first wet suit try-on and dip in open water. We did that on Saturday morning after coffee but before breakfast.
I stayed on track leading up the race as well as possible taking all of my usual precautions. Drink lots, each well, rest as much as possible, get on the course.. I think I did pretty well.. We even watched a really crappy movie starring John Travolta. He played a mobster who lent money to a bunch of nerdy, dorky, guys. Mary seemed to like it.
Galveston is flat and windy. We road part of the course on Friday and to our surprise felt really awesome..... on the way out.... on the way back was a different story entirely. Head wind, cross wind, whatever you want to call it wind. There was just lots of wind. I knew there would be wind but this wind was pretty strong on Friday. I mentally prepared myself to really suffer on Sunday in at least one direction. There was even the possibility that the wind could be a head wind in both directions. Holy crap! I prayed to the Wind Gods for the best possible scenario - a head wind in one direction.
We finally got to the race at 5:20ish which meant we were herded to the 2nd parking lot, a half mile walk to the start. For us this was not an issue because our bikes were already in transition with the help of TBT. Yay! AND, while walking we caught up with a very nice man from somewhere else.... He said that the great winds had changed to a tail wind on the way back and a head wind on the way out. I was EXTREMELY happily cautious with this new information lest I let my guard down and get blind-sided.
The swim took place in a protected part of the Gulf of Mexico, a bayou. Sweet. The website said white sandy beach start. Ummm they just forgot to mention the jump from the pier one must make before heading over to the start. Beach start my ass! I held my goggles to my face and jumped feet first. No biggy really. The swim was the usual thrashing that I try to avoid but never seem to avoid. My goggles came lose after a dude swam over me half way through the swim. I mean seriously. At any rate I felt I had to stop too many times to see where the hell I was going. I need more practice with the swim.
Swim split: 00:43:34 (1:51/100yds).. That's about right for me but I wanted faster of course! 34th in my division
Texas was windy but it was also flat as a pancake except for this one bridge that was really rough. I noticed several lost bottles and nutrition packets strewn about. I was praying to GOD again that I would not lose my nutrition on this section of road for we needed every ounce of liquid and salt we could consume that day. It was in the mid 80s after all.
I reached the turn-around with all fuel in tact in about 1:31:56 (18 mph). Not too bad but not great! I can't say I wasn't really excited to reach that turnaround! 56 miles still seems a tab bit long to me. On the way back I had that tail wind so my time back was 1:25:14 (19.85 mph)
Bike Split: 2:57:10 12th in my division
I ran out of T2 with my helmet on! Thankfully a spectator noticed and yelled loud enough for me to hear him and for me to realize that he was yelling at me and not someone else. After disposing of my helmet back in T2 I ran the 3 loop course as well as I could. I never gave up the fight even when it became boiling hot and I could feel the energy slipping away. The cement pavement had a way of sucking the daylights out of me on certain parts of the course. But then other parts were quite nice with a little downhill and shade. I enjoyed the run course while consuming as much salt, water, gatorade, GU, and Red Bull as I could. The ice water felt delicious when poured over my head.
Run Split: 1:48:18 (8:22 pace) place in division unknown
Total Race Time: 5:34:00
I believe I was 5th in my age group but my official race results are still not up. Evidently my chip malfunctioned after the swim causing only my swim and T1 times to record. Thankfully, I had a great Garmin file with all of my splits to send IM and I'm waiting for their response.
I had a very enjoyable experience and am looking forward to Patriot in June.