Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pre-Race Galveston 70.3

This weekend is the Memorial Hermann Sprint and Half Ironman at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX.  Being located along the South Eastern shore of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, you may remember Galveston was pretty much leveled in 2008 during Hurricane Ike.

Now three years later when you drive around Galveston you can still see some of the remnants from Ike but the community has done a wonderful job of restoring this little beach paradise and it is great that so many have made this race a yearly tradition because it is a real boom to the local economy.

I will be racing in the Half Ironman on Sunday but my wife, Annie, will  be doing the Sprint on Saturday morning.  She has done an indoor Tri but this is her first official Triathlon and she is going to do great.  I am a million times more nervous for her than I am for myself!  My Tri Club is volunteering at the first rest station and it is right next to transition so I will be able to cheer Annie on from some pretty good seats.  So when you are doing your Saturday morning workout please think about Annie and send some positive vibes her way!

Next comes the HIM on Sunday morning.  The race begins at 7am but my wave (M35-39) does not go off until 7:45am.  This is good because it means the port-a-potties should not have that long of a line since all the other athletes will be racing!!

The forecast for Sunday is calling for temperatures in the low 80's with the typical sweltering SE Texas humidity.  But the real fun is going to be the winds along the Gulf.  As of right now the winds are supposed to be 18mph sustained with guests up to 31mph.  AND they are supposedly coming from the SSW - this would mean a direct headwind for the bike on the out but a tailwind on the way back.  I am cool with this and hope it stays this way!

Race Strategy:

With Ironman Texas only 6 weeks away I will be using this race as a training/practice day.  This means that I will not be racing this at the normal HIM effort and will be practicing nutrition and IM pacing.  With this as the plan I have not done any sort of taper going into the race so I will be towing the line with tired legs.  This is by design so that even if I feel the "urge" to race or go hard my legs just will not allow it.  The main reason for not racing is that recovery from a HIM can be a few days long and I cannot afford to miss training days with IMTX being so close and I could not afford to taper either.  Yes, Ironman is pretty much all-consuming at this point!

My targets for the race are as followed:


Swim - 40mins - My PR for this distance is 35:xx but that was in a calm, clear lake.  This swim is in the ocean and last year it was reported as a couple hundred meters long.  If I maintain a moderate pace, in rough waters a 40min time would be about right and this will keep me in aerobic Zone 2.


Bike - 3hr - This number will change based upon what the wind decides to do on Sunday.  I am going to maintain my IM pacing that I have been dialing in for the last 18 weeks.  If we do end up with a tailwind back  for the last 28miles then it will probably be closer to a 2:50ish split.  If it is a cross wind then the 3hr mark will be a good guesstimate and this means I kept myself in Zone 2 the entire ride - which is the goal.  If you see me with a 2:45 split that means I deviated from the plan and became a meat-head.


Run - 2hr - The plan is to really take the run extremely easy.  If I go a little harder on the swim or bike it really isn't all that big of a deal as recovery is much quicker from those disciplines.  However, if I go hard on the run then recovery is going to be a bitch and I failed at executing my race plan.  A normal Zone 2 run for me is usually between an 8:00-8:25 min/mi pace.  If I execute the swim and bike as planned I will probably keep this pace and come in around 1:50.  If I go too hard on the swim and bike then I am going to hold myself back to a 9min/mi pace for recovery purposes.  

With Transitions and hitting my goal pacing I expect to finish between:  5:40 - 5:50.


Fellow bloggers Jon @SwimCycloRun  and Shannon @IronTexasMommy are also going to be racing the HIM.  

Here is the info if you would like to follow us on Sunday morning:

Athlete Tracker:  (Click on the Athlete Tracker Link)

Jon (Lenny) Campbell:   #234
Jeff Irvin:   #800
Shannon Spann:  #? (pull up by name)

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Good luck and stick to your plan : )

    Hope the wind takes a little while to pick up so you don't have to fight it the whole way out...

  2. love the plan man. That is identical to mine and BDD's for Rev 3. Muncie 70.3 will be our pacing and practice race.

    My goal would be the same as yours. Training with Heather has really subsided my meat headedness haha. I am cool just taking it easy now. My fitness is great still running her pace too, weird.

    Annie, GOOD LUCK! Hopefully you will be hooked like the rest of us and doing your first 70.3 soon :)

    We did a sprint to start off our tri-careers too and have not looked back since ;)

  3. Looks like a solid plan. Hope the weather treats you well.

    Best of luck to Annie. So jealous that your wife shares your interest in all things Tri. My wife has no desire to join the revolution. I try to make myself feel better by convincing myself it's a function of the activity, not the company.

  4. Tons of positive race vibes for Annie too. I'll be thinking about you both on Sat/Sun as I'm in the saddle putting in some long miles. I know you will stick to your plan. Hey, will they have meat on a stick after at the post race party???

  5. I hope Annie has a great race, and I know you will be great on Sunday!

    My wife has also said she wants to tri her first triathlon this year!

  6. Good luck to Annie on her first tri! You don't need any luck because you are totally prepared for this thing.

    Looking forward to tracking you on Saturday!

  7. 6 weeks out!!!

    love ur planning

    so cool she races Sat and you race Sun
    great luck to all


  8. Go get them Jeff!! Stick to the plan!! DON'T go balls out. This is training for IMTX! Have fun!

    AND Annie! GOOD LUCK! I will sneak over to her blog and tell her myself actually.

  9. good luck. I went down to Galveston with 3 other friends for a week and helped dig those people out of there mud soaked homes. It wasn't so much Hurricane damage as it was water rose over 6 feet miles inland. It was crazy like a battle had taken place.

  10. I am so excited for ya'all! I hope each of you have a great race. And Jeff, stick to the plan! We want you to rock IM Texas!

  11. I am glad to hear that you didnt forget about this race.

    Have fun and good luck, and ignore any rumors that I place money on Jon to beat you, total fabrication

  12. Good luck with your training race (that just sounds funny).

  13. Good Luck to you and your wife!!! Hope the wind is in your favor!

  14. Yayy for Annie's first outdoor tri!! Hope you both have a great time racing this weekend!

  15. Don't get blown off course into the Gulf! You've got such a solid foundation, you're surely gonna rock this. And good luck to Annie with her first official tri! Woohoo!

  16. Awesome game plan. NOW STICK TO IT. STICK TO IT. STICK TO IT.

    Let the head band hold the meat in that head and not allow you to deviate. You are training this weekend and racing in May. TRAINING.

    Thanks for the numbers. Can't wait to refresh, refresh, refresh.

  17. I'll be thinking of you guys this weekend. Best of luck to Annie on Saturday and kick some butt (in training mode of course) on Sunday! :)

  18. Sounds like a great plan pre IMTX! I'll be doing my second 70.3 this weekend and my Hubs will be there with your Wife, doing his first-ever Sprint!

  19. Sounds like an excellent plan and approach. Good luck!

  20. I'm sending your and Annie lots of good luck vibes for your races this weekend! I'm sure you will both do awesome, and I can't wait to read all about it!

  21. Good luck to you and Annie!
    So awesome you guys share a love for Tri's!
    Do you guys do workouts together?

    My fiance is just getting back into running so hopefully next year he will run a marathon with me. He used to smoke me in runs but then he deployed and hadn't ran in over a year so now I can smoke him haha. But I'm more excited just to train with him.

  22. Good plan Jeff! Its going to be an awesome weekend regardless of weather and how we do. Just nothing but Tri!

    I am VERY fortunate to have you and Annie around this weekend. Just knowing that there is SOMEONE who went through the build up (and still is going through the build up) just calms the nerves.


  23. Sounds like you have yourself a good plan!! Have fun!

  24. Great plan! Have a great race, and bets of luck to Annie!

  25. Good luck to you and Annie!!!!! : )

  26. Good luck this weekend! I like the plan, will be interested to hear how things go for you!

  27. Race the plan. Don't go chasing yahoos with your ego on your sleeve.

    Race the plan.

  28. Went as planned or ego came up?

  29. Is it too late to wish you good luck?

  30. Can't wait to hear all about it!

  31. I am doing this weekend the HIM and want to know Where did you check the weather and wind?