2 ish weeks ago, I raced Galveston 70.3. Racing this year is being thrown off a little bit by a whole lot of fun I get to have this summer in the form of the Washington State Bar Exam. I’d rather not have to take this beast more than once so I decided to get a 70.3 and a half marathon out of my system this spring before going into hiding and getting my nerd on. On top of getting back into the swing of training this spring, my internship, a class at Seattle U of Law, and another independent research project, I had to take the MPRE (the Ethics portion of the Bar Exam) the weekend before Galveston. Needless to say, I never had any time to actually think about racing in Galveston. The training got done because training as a study break keeps me mentally sane, but as far as focusing on the actual race goes…well, I just kind of felt like I was showing up. I knew I was fit but I also told myself to have no expectations. I actually race better when there is no stress, I’m having fun, and I don’t even feel like a race is about to happen the night before…and that’s exactly where I was. If Tremblant happened, great. If it didn’t happen…no big deal (ß signs I have grown as an athlete over the years). Life will go on. I contemplated a fall ironman and I also contemplated a fall open marathon but plans after this spring were still up in the air.
Swim: My swimming has been better than ever this spring and unfortunately my Galveston swim does not reflect that. It was SO choppy and because of this, there were never really any organized packs. The cannon went off and everyone just scattered in the waves. People were bobbing all over the place and I just struggled trying to keep a straight line, which never happens). Overall, I just felt like I didn’t have a sense of direction or where we were on the course. In the grand scheme of things, I still came out with a decent time on the day relative to other times so it is what it is.
I never go to wetsuit strippers. I’m usually all about doing it myself…mainly because I’m always afraid that my kit bottoms are going to come off when they pull off the wetsuit and the whole wearing no underwear thing would just make that awkward. I decided to wear the one-piece suit this time so no worries here!
Bike: I had a minor brain fart in the early hours of race morning and left my “real people food” in my hotel room. What I’ve learned from ironman racing is that I need to mix solids into my racing on the bike because my stomach appreciates it a whole lot better than the “gelatinous substance only” diet by the time I get to the run. Unfortunately I had to go with the “gelatinous substance only” diet on this one. I still had plenty of fuel but my stomach did not quite appreciate that on the run like I said it would (More on that later). I ended up splitting a 2:33, which was a bit of a break through for me mentally and physically. We also got POURED on for a good portion of the ride and had a headwind on the way back. Being a bit of a weaker cyclist (thank you skinny distance runner legs. Quad monsters, I envy you guys), I was worried about riding this course in a storm but I kept a bit higher cadence than usual and had a great ride! Instead of feeling like I was just going through the motions in the last 10-15 miles and wanting off my bike, I felt like I was still being competitive and for that I was happy with myself.
Run: I found out this week that I had the fastest female AG run split of the day. What?!?!?! I mean, I know its only 1/3 of the puzzle and people don’t remember those things, but I thought it was pretty cool…even though it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies out there when trying to run my way back into the mix. I really like the three loop run course in Galveston too. I’m really big on compartmentalizing my runs because I do a lot of training alone. Breaking things down in chunks really helps me get through the rough days. The following, as is now tradition for me, is a summary of the run in bullet points of things I was thinking during this run:
- Mile 1, 2, 3 – gave myself a pep talk on not getting too excited. I failed.
- Mile 4 – I can’t feel my toes. This is so annoying.
- Mile 5 – I’m having a little less fun now. How many laps do I have to do?
- I have to go to the bathroom. Should I stop? – The ONLY time I’ve stopped to use a port-o-potty was in the last open marathon I ran and I still kept that mile 18 under 8 min. I decided not to stop. Risk it, and just clinch sphincter instead (am I even allowed to say that on here?…We all know this stuff goes on in this sport. The hashtag #spincterclinch was officially born after this race).
- I looked down at my stomach while adjusting my number belt that was riding up. I noticed how extremely attractive my ironman gut looked. I heart mid race bloating. I should’ve named it like it was a food baby or something. Thank goodness I wore a one piece tri suit.
- Mile 6 – I saw my favorite Canadian training pal, Shelley “Baller McBallerson” Thompson (she went 4:49 for 2nd F 50-54). I pinched her bum. She’s one fast mamma!…I then told her all about how I had to go to the bathroom. She’s used to that from me. TMI is my middle name.
That’s Shelley in the middle there behind the great shot of my awesome 5 head. I’m not so good at the selfie thing.
- Somewhere around mile 7 or 8 – I saw Mary Eggers. Biggest smile ever! That cheered me up! We waved at each other at a turn around and I was back in good spirits. Love her!
- Start of Lap 3 – Ok. I got this. I can do anything for 4+ ish miles.
- Mile 12 – I seriously thought I was going to throw up in my mouth. I could feel it in my esophagus.
- Finish – Classic Sam pose. Hands on knees and didn’t move. I didn’t throw up and #Sphincterclinch ing was a success as well (that word is making me uncomfortable).
I ended up finishing in 4:40 and 3rd F 25-29. That’s way more than I ever expected from this race given how stressed out and semi sleep deprived I was the two weeks before the race with studying for the MPRE. I also got my 70.3 World Champs spot in Mont Tremblant! I pretty pumped about this because I’m not signed up for an Ironman this year because of the Bar exam so it gives me something to look forward to after that’s all done. I was going to do Lake Stevens just because it’s a home race but I’m gonna nix that (I wasn’t signed up for it yet anyways), do 70.3 worlds and take a stab at a sub 3 marathon sometime in November (suggestions on a race for that, anyone?) and get back to the Ironman racing thing next year. Hey, the way I look at it is that a little bit of down time/less racing is sometimes better in the grand scheme of things to help hit the mental and physical reset button. Last year was a big year with IMTX and Kona for me and I was a little bit exhausted after all was said and done after October. Life is really good right now and I’m just having a lot of fun doing this sport and being part of the Timex Family.
Big thanks as always to Tristan and Timex. Without him/them, we couldn’t do what we love to throughout the year. Also, Trek, Shimano, Blue Seventy, Challenge, Skins, Nathan and Power Bar. You guys are the best!
I also need to say how much I love being on this team. Being on this team is about so much more than race results. We are a family and each and every one of us truly gets excited about what everyone else does and I love that. The positivity is contagious and all my teammates motivate me to be a better athlete and overall person each and every day and for that I want to thank each and every one of them.
Up next…BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 4th!