Longhorn 70.3 Report
John's 70.3 Longhorn Ironman Race Report
So many of you know that I am training for IM Cozumel and many people have said this should be a walk in the park for you, my response is that when you do 70.3 miles in a race it is never a cake walk.
I got up on Sunday at 4 am. I felt pretty good. Everything was laid out and ready to go. I updated FB ( of course ) ate 2 PB&Js and was ready to go. I spoke with Dan and Jon on the way to the race. I got to the expo center and got out and was very excited that Jon had told me to dress warm. I was in sweats and a long sleeve as opposed to freezing which is my normal mo. It was chilly. Bathroom break and got on the bus. I was real happy that they corrected the bus issue from last year. Like 20 buses as oppose to the 3 they had then. Sweet. On the bus I hear "Tuggle" come from Bruff out front. We get off the bus and head into transition. I get to see everyone I know from Team Emerge, people from TZ and some of my Lago Vista homies. Set up went smooth and was able to borrow a pump from Peardon. It was over and ready for go time.
They had 2 parachuters jump come in with a flag for the National anthem. Pretty cool. I finished talking with my friends and they said it was my age groups time to be ready, so down to the chute. I met up with Dan who is with me at a lot of races. As we prepare to go in the water I am getting pumped. Now they call us to go in. ( Since Cozumel won't allow wetsuits, I have not been wearing on and would not this day either because I didn't want to be used to it. So I was one of about ten people not wearing suits. ) I went into the water and holy snikes it was cold. The worst part was we had to stand in it for about 2 minutes waiting for our time. I was real happy to hear the 10 second count down.
Off we go. I had one guy in the beginning grab me and I don't know if he was trying to push me down or hold onto me, either way I swam off. The swim felt pretty good. I held a steady pace and felt very consistent throughout the swim. The last 100-200M was full of hydrilla. It was a crazy feeling swimming, grab a bush, get some wrapped on your arm, swim….repeat. Anyways, Red had warned me of this so I was cool. I get out of the water and look down….. 52 minutes…. What??? That stinks. I'm getting slower, not faster. Oh well I felt good.
T1 not to bad except that you had to stuff your bag to be hauled off, which is slightly different. Steady pace, trying to get HR down a little. Garmin says I was at 156 BPM. Off to bike.
I feel good leaving. I see Minardi out at the tents. I begin my ride. Everything is fine on Lindell ready for short steep hill when you turn right. I see the stop sign shift very low, turn and out of the saddle. While going up the hill on lady in on the right getting off to push and a guy is in the wrong gear on the left. He veers left and tries to get off but can't unclip and falls completely upside down and his bike was in the air. Very interesting view. I felt for him, but he looked fine. Amy Culp set some nutrition goals and one was drinking 32 ounces of Gatorade per hour. I came very close to this amount, but it must be too much because I had to stop twice and had no choice. I was riding on Blake Manor and either wasn't paying attention or a slight wind pushed me (probably the attention thing) and I went slightly off the road and caught the edge of the pavement. My handle bars went left and jabbed into my knee, and the bike started to go down as I went hard left into the center of the road. I had already crashed in my head and was wondering what I would call my little Roberto when all of the sudden I came back up…… THANK YOU JESUS!!!!. I proceeded. About mile 40ish my left knee started burning. This is exactly what happened to me on BS Ironman 70.3. The farther I went the worse it got. Not too bad on flat/downhill and increased pain in wind/uphill, I figured I could make it. I stopped one more time for the restroom and got some Ibuprofen to decrease the pain. I continued. I finished 969 and headed for the last few turns headed in. When I turned on the last Hogeye road I got a little speed going and hit a little bump, I felt the water from my bottle splash and felt it hit my arm. Then I started to feel a pretty good little burn when I looked down and a wasp happened to be stinging me. Nice, I was in the aero position and he was right inside my elbow. I slowly raise up, knock him off, but he left his stinger which I pulled out. 10 minutes of burning. ( I know, I'm a sissy…..shut up). I finished the bike and was uneasy about the run.
I began the run and just like BS, I could really feel the knee pain as I ran through the expo. I made it through the other side and barely had begun when I was thinking that I needed to DNF and call it quits. Then I felt a pat on the butt and Peardon telling me to step it up. I knew it was on. I thought he's right, I can do it. Thanks Peardon! Then a few minutes later Mr. Motivation himself, Woodford came up beside me and said walk it if you have too. So, I did. I ran/walked the whole thing….actually I felt better on laps 2 and 3 then the first. I finished slower than last year with an overall of 7:45. 45 minutes slower than my goal, but better all day long than a DNF. But hey, I finished. Thanks to all the Team Emerge folks (Juan, Kristin, Roberto, Rosanna, Peardon, Woodford, Wilson, Alan and wife, Minardi, Bruff….Is this everyone???), Red, Dan, Andrew and everyone else that encouraged me along the way. It really helps having people like that on your side.
I saw Dan, Peardon and Andrew right as I finished. Dan invited me up to hang out with him and his spouse. I made it up the first flight of stairs but my knee wasn't about to let me go and further…. I was hurting. I hung around for a little while and had trouble getting in and out of my truck.
My knee hurt like heck that night. After Icing that evening it was much better and today I am about 95% normal now. I have determined that my ITB is the issue and it is a bike fit problem. I am meeting with Zane on Thursday to fix this issue. I am glad it happened here and hopefully will be resolved on 11/29.
As Peardon told me(again encouraging me) Double my time + an hour for full distance still brings me in 16.5 hours. ) That's my A race and my goal this year to fulfill my IM goal. 32 days and counting…… I got to go train and get off the computer. Late- JT