Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dawdy's Race Recap - Lonestar 70.3

First let me begin by giving the EndurFun Crew huge round of applause for another great race production. This is my second of their events, the other being Longhorn 70.3 last year. These guys get it and know how to put on a race. I would like to propose that next year that Team Tri-ProSoap converge on Galveston to race one of the three races. The venue is great and the family atmosphere around this event can't be beat.

About the race, I went into this event with low expectations and planned to use this as benchmark to test my my fitness and to determine future training focus for St. Croix May 3rd. I had already anticipated I would have an avg swim and avg run (my standards), but planned to have a solid bike. However, I was uncertain that I would have my best bike split, because the week prior (3/20-3/28) I had ridden cumulatively 530 miles and climbed 33k ft in 7 days between ridding with friends and a power cycling camp (another event I highly recommend) in California. I was cooked to say the least by the time I return home, and was struggling to recover.

Race Day-
Surprising enough I got a good night sleep, after a horrible night of sleep the night before. As I got ready, the kids woke up and began practicing their cheers for me that day. That always put me in a good mood to see my kids pump to cheer me on. Shortly there after I left the hotel room (host hotel @ race venue) a rode my bike to transition, helmet on of course. I only mention this because I watch an official DQ a guy for riding his bike to transition without his helmet on. Sucks to be him. However, I had my own issue during my brief ride to the transition area I hit a pot hole and the tilt adjustment on my saddle came loose. Fortunate for me just inside the transition area was a Mavic support tent got it fix. In my head, I said " this is not great start to the day". After setting up my transition area, I headed back to the room to take care of business and escort the family to swim start. The swim start was delayed by 40 minutes as they reset the buoys from the Quarter Iron Race that started before us.
The swim went as I pre race predicted, I could tell over the final 1/3 of the swim I had not been doing any hard or long swim workouts. I focused on form with long complete strokes and finished in 34 min about 4 min slower than my peak swim time.
The bike this is where my race for this race began. My goal was to avg. a particular watts range for the first 10 miles then let it rip for the remaining 46 miles. However, that plan shortly was derailed when I went over one of two speed humps (similar buffalo creek speed humps) and my seat post slid down about 2 inches. I didn't stop; I continue to ride hoping to come across a Mavic support vehicle early in course. My hopes came true around mile 10, I flagged him down, but continued to ride until he was able to turnaround and catch me. As soon as he caught me I stop jump off my bike ask for a wrench; which he happen to have in his fanny back, I moved my post back into position and re tighten both seat clamp bolts. I would have made a NASCAR pit crew proud. From that point forward all bike plans were off and I just went as hard as I could go, but keeping in mind I still needed to run. I finished the bike in 2hrs and 14 min with avg. speed of 24.9mph. My bike split had but me back into the race after my avg swim split.
The run didn't start of well my legs felt the effort on the bike for the first couple miles, but shortly after that I began establishing a grove and getting more comfortable. The run course was a 4 loop course in and around Moody Gardens, this was great for my motivation level because you are never to far away from cheers from spectator or in my case my personal cheering section consisting of my wife and 3 yr old son and daughter. Like I mentioned earlier they add a little extra spring in my step. I finished the run in 1hr and 30 min with avg pace around 7 min/mile. In my opinion, I should have finished that run about ten minute faster on that course, but that would have been if had run trained adequately.
All in all it was a very good day. I finished in 4 hrs 23min and some change, 16th overall, and 2nd in my age group to Jamie Cleveland (former pro). Now to time to recover, then begin building and peak for St. Croix on May 3rd.

Happy Training and Racing,
Michael Dawdy

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