I normally race the longer stuff, but found this shorter race to be a lot of fun and an awesome test.
My friend Mike Young picked me up after Parker’s t-ball game and we headed down to Galveston. It was my first trip to Galveston since Ike and there is still plenty of reminders from the devastation. However, unlike other cities that have suffered from a hurricane, Galveston has picked itself up quickly and welcomed over 2000 triathletes back to the island. The race was sold out and the city was ready to host the athletes.
This is our third year to go to Galveston for this race series and we always have pasta at a local Italian place called Mario’s the night before. This year was no different with getting to eat with Mike and Clint. I put down a huge plate of spaghetti, bread and my pre-race glass of chianti. If you want some awesome local italian, you can’t beat Mario’s!
Sunday morning came after an awesome night of sleep (I was so tired from traveling all week I slept 8 + hours) and was ready to race.
Our age group was the 35 – 39 and we went second after the Pro’s, the 30-34 and 20 – 24 age groups all combined up in the starting wave. The swim went really well from the start and I quickly caught a lot of people that left 5 minutes before us. I was pretty sure I was first out of the water on the swim in my age group. I saw someone with a faster swim split post race, but question if he went in the right age group because I never saw him on the course.
The bike started as planned and I quickly got into a rhythm and was clicking by the group in front of us from the moment I left transition. My goal on the bike is to be sure I don’t get passed by anyone in my age group. Having a strong swim, I try to put myself in the front and just stay there for the race. When you swim well, it is easy to see where you are in placing, because if no one passes you… you win.
Well, this race was a bit different, because at mile 11 on the bike, Stuart Landis from the Woodlands came blowing by me. In a short race, I usually try to go with the other racers no matter what my heart rate says. However with Stuart, there was no hope. He dropped me.
The run started and my legs felt really heavy (no doubt thanks to Stuart). My HR was also really high because I could see my new friend “Stuart” in front of me on the run.
I usually run the first mile without thinking much, and here was no different with a quick 6:05. I saw Stuart and he did not give at all. I tried one more time at mile 3 with another 6:15 mile and still could not gain on him. By this point, my legs were done. I stayed close, but could never gain on him again and realized at mile 5 it was over. I will not reveal any other splits since my overall was a 6:30 pace for the 6.5 miles.
My streak of 2 first place victories at the Lone Star Triathlon was over. I was about to place 2nd. I looked back and there was no one in our age group even close. We had hammered everyone else, but I felt like the nail that got hammered.
The good thing about losing, is it only makes you want to work that much harder. The big race of the year is Kona, so an early season beating is good for the soul and brought my ego back down to earth.