The end of the 2010 Tri season…but not endurance season…

First- I found out that I did in fact qualify to be a member of Team USA for ITU Worlds!  The race will be in November, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It’s good that it’s over a year away because this race will take some preparation.  It’s a 4000m swim, 80-mile bike, and 18-mile run.  Lizzy, I’m going to need some help with that swim!  This also gives me time to get as good as I can so I can really vie for a top spot…not just some kid who made the cut.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the race or not because of the distance, but thanks Marcus for your thoughts and inspiration.  I don’t know when I may get this chance again so why not take it head on?!

To continue, last weekend I ended the triathlon season in Austin, Texas at the Longhorn Ironman 70.3!  It was awesome- since it was an Ironman event, it was huge production- over 2200 racers.  I fell in love with Austin from the moment I stepped off the plane- Smiling, friendly people, cowboy boots and hats…and the airport even smelled like barbecue!   When can I move there?  Friday, I got a ride to the hotel and then walked around the city a little bit, notably to the Flagship Whole Foods store, where I grabbed lunch and sweet potato for (I thought) my pre-race dinner.

Lunch- Turkey sandwich on Sourdough

For dinner I went to the famous Iron Works BBQ.  I figured this was a pretty good decision since the only ingredients would be the meat and some sauce.  In the days before races I try to make sure I know every ingredient going into my body so I don’t run into anything that doesn’t do well in my stomach. 

 

Iron Works BBQ

 

 

Lots of BBQ

 

Tasted great- all skinless breast, plus one skinless drumstick

The next morning I got rides to and from the expo where I picked up all my gear…and some new swag:

Ironman Backpack

I came home, soaked my legs in the chilly outdoor hotel pool and then at my pre-race dinner.  This was from a health food store near Whole Foods called SNAP, where I got a meal of chicken, kale, mushrooms, and carrots.  Has this with, yup, a sweet potato haha

Chicken, kale, mushrooms, carrots from SNAP

Then I hit the sack early, not with out my pbj first!  Morning came quick and grabbed all my food and ran down to the lobby where I shared a cab with three guys from Ecuador.  I ate my perfect usual pre-race breakfast in the car; bagel, Coffee HoneyMilk, and a banana.  Thanks for the ride my Ecuadorian Amigos, I hope you all had great races.

The race site was beautiful and luckily it wasn’t as chilly as I thought it would be.

SunriseTransition Area 1

At 7:50, the horn sounded and my last race of the season was underway with 2 goals in mind.  First, set a new PR, and second break 5 hours.  The swim went ok- it was about as slow as I expected it to be, if not a little faster haha.  It just seemed like it wouldn’t end.  If I could drop 10-20 minutes off this swim, it would be seriously beast.  That’s my goal for next year…and to take half as many strokes. 

Swim Exit

 

Transition 1 went well- they had wetsuit-strippers which was awesome!  Although scary!  I came out of the water and the girl ran at me and started ripping my wetsuit off.  I was like “whoa girl, easy, let’s at least wait till after the race…” but then I realized what was going on.  This probably saved me like 2-3 minutes.  Then I was off on the bike

On the bike

The course was beautiful with a number of rolling hills.  There were a lot of people on the course and sometimes it got pretty crowded, but I think this served me well as I finished the 56 miles in 2:38, average about 21.7 mph.  After flying through T2, it was off on the run.  My goal was a sub 1:27, which would put me faster than my time in Myrtle Beach.  Little did I realize how hilly this course would be.

Grinding

The course had a mix of trails and road with a mix of flats and hills.  There were a good number of hills though, notable one called the “quad burner”, about 1/3 mile on steady incline on grass.  The course was 2 laps meaning I had to do it twice.  My strategy was get water at every aid station that was convenient and Gatorade whenever I could as well.  Most of the water went over my head and the Gatorade was about one gulp per station since I refuse to slow down at all to drink.  I also had a gel at the beginning of the second lap which was a good idea because it was a warm day. 

The finsih was running right into the huge arena on site where the crowds were sitting in the stands cheering us on.  My last mile was probably around 5:30 pace…but only because I thought the finish was way closer than it was!

Final Stretch

Crossing the line...what a great feeling

I crossed the finish line at 4:54:51- not only breaking 5 hours but setting a PR by 9 minutes!  I couldn’t have been happier!  My run was a 1:28:02, which I was happy with, although would have liked to have been about 1-2 minutes faster.  Had to remember though about those hills.  They threw a medal around my neck and I grabbed some finish line pictures!

For fun!

And another picture about 30 minutes later haha

I finished 198/2100+ racers, putting me in the top 9%.  I was 16th of 80 in my age group- this was a college championship so those damn Army kids were there and they have a really good team.  Overall, I was really really pleased. 

I also picked up one of these…Haven’t had some delicious Blue Bell ice cream since I lived in Texas!

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Bummer I didn’t get to eat it before it melted, but I’m glad I got the picture.  I’ll get some more when I move to Austin, right?

After hitching a ride back to downtown, soaking my legs in the cold pool (twice) I met up with some friends my amazing, real, tex mex food.  It’s amazing how when food is cooked well and like it should be, than you can eat incredibly healthy with a ton of flavor!  I had a mouth-watering plate of shrimp and chicken fajitas with corn tortillas

Queso appetizer ordered by the table...I didn't really eat any...

 

My plate! Can I go back, please?

Taco with a touch of awesome guac

The following morning, I hobble to airport and now I’m back home in Norfolk.  I had no idea how much I had missed Texas, but God I do!  I’ll get back there someday.  So with that I come to end of a very successful Triathlon season.  But is my racing done for the year?  There’s a marathon in Richmond on November 13th…I’ve never run more than 16 miles, but what do you guys think, should I do it??

  1. Have you every done a marathon?  What advice do you have?
  2. Have you ever been to Texas?

Thanks for reading guys!  Hope you’re all having incredible weekends

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9 thoughts on “The end of the 2010 Tri season…but not endurance season…

  1. Congrats!! I seriously can’t imagine exercising for 5 hours straight, I feel like I’d collapse haha….you should be so proud of yourself for reaching both your goals!

    I’ve never done a marathon, and though it’s something I’d LIKE to do, I don’t think it will ever happen. I have a really bad knee (I dislocated it playing lacrosse when I was 14 and chipped a chunk of it off, then eventually had surgery to remove the chunk but lost a lot of cartilage too) and though I think I could actually do it, I want to be able to run my whole life, not blow it by overtraining when I’m in my 20s. I definitely feel like you’d be able to do it though!

    Never been to Texas, except on plane transfers. I do love Southern hospitality though!

  2. Nice post Chuck! great job and some cool pictures…and as far as the marathon goes…i dont think you should do it, but we can catch up on that “off line” (no pun intended) haha

  3. Whoaaa congrats congrats congrats! The ironman sounds like it went wicked awesome and beating your PR by 9 minutes is killer! & that’s great that worlds is a year away so you’ll have plenty of time to beast up.

    I went to TX last year (Houston for a conference) & hated it, but I know I’d love Austin since it’s so much more a food town. I have a list of taco carts I want to visit when I finally make it down south.

    As for runs, I’m going to train for a 1/2 marathon this year (probably not the Roanoke one since it’s mostly running up and down a mountain, but maybe, if I’m feeling nuts), but a marathon seems ridiculous for me at this point.

    Again, super congrats!!!

  4. Heya Dude,

    Congrats I’m glad I inspired you to go for it :). I’ve faced a couple of similar dilema’s recently so I just thought I’d share m views. I can honestly say I’ve never been to texas, in fact I’ve never been to the U.S. (it’s on my list) but ill make sure to check out austin If I ever manage it :D.

    As far as marathon running goes I’ve never done one but I have a few friends who have. From what they’ve told me I think november is a little bit too soon after your last race to be running a marathon, I think you coud probably do with some down time. Plus it would mean specific training for that extra distance and you would likely lose out on all the work you’ve been doing for your other disciplines.

    Plus yo’ve been training all year man, definately time fr a bit of RnR maybe even get back into some team sports now you have the opportunity?

    Either way congratulations for everything, pictures look awesome.

    Peace,

    Marcus

  5. Hi!!!
    swimming will occur december 10th…it better not be too cold! haha! I’m a wimp when it comes to swimming in the snow, but running is a different story! 😉
    Clearly you are a champion of the half-iron! I know you would dominate a Marathon, which is why you should get yourself to Dallas in Dec! (just saying!)
    Hope your enjoying FL!
    xoxo!

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