Early Season Test- Texas 70.3

T minus 1 week to Texas 70.3, and the weather is just beginning to break here in New England.  Man, I’m not ready!!!  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I’ve gotten some decent workouts in.  But, going into the first race of the season, especially when it’s an early season race, not to mention a half ironman, is always nerve wracking.   One week out….how did this race come up sooo fast?

Let’s rewind a bit.  My last triathlon was back over Labor Day weekend, when I finished second at Big George, a half iron distance race up in Lake George, NY (Read Race Report Here).  It was my first half iron distance race since 2013.  I used it as a little bit of an end of the season test race…leading into 2019.  In the past, I’ve grown accustomed to finishing my seasons well into late October/November….so finishing my season in early September was nice!  It allowed some down time….but also allowed me to get back into things well before the “high” holidays.

So, what did I do during my “down” time?  Enjoyed some family time.  Ran the St. Jude 5k Walk/Run with my just-turned 4 year old, Ben (very proud “Dad” moment!).  We took the family on the ultimate endurance event….Disney World (more tiring than an IM!).   We also took a few ski trips over the winter (to Vermont and locally).  To see my kids actually “ski”, and not just have skis on, was a thrill!  Can’t wait to ski with them more.  During our trip to Stowe, Vermont, I also got to try Alpine Touring Skiing first hand, which I posted about HERE.  That is definitely in my future! 

Anyway, once October came around, so did the training.  Nothing long…but a lot of trainer rides.  My coach did not incorporate much volume as he wanted to keep me healthy (which has gotten more difficult as I get older).  I also didn’t run that much…maybe one or two days a week, if I was lucky.  I did jump in a 5k in December and finished just over 18 minutes, which wasn’t too bad.  As we got into January and February, the length of my indoor rides increased from 1 hour, to 2 hours to 3+ hours.  I used to loathe the trainer, but with the advent of smart trainers, Netflix and Zwift, I can tolerate them.

Now, back to the present.  A half ironman.  In one week.  Haven’t ridden my racing bike (Felt DA) outside since Big George, and have actually only been on it once since then (I keep an older tri bike on the trainer). Haven’t done an open water swim since Big George.  Haven’t run 13 miles since Big George.  This is going to be fun!  Honestly, I’ve done enough of these.  I’m more excited than nervous.  But, I also know that I’m nowhere near 100% (and likely about 5-8lbs heavier than I should be for racing).  Texas 70.3 is more for getting an early gauge on things, as I have bigger fish to fry later this season.  I still have lofty goals for this race, but I also know that I’m going to be competing against guys from warmer climates (some of which are racing Ironman Texas a month later).  So, all I can do is give it my best, use my experience and try to execute a good race plan.  My bigger concern isn’t physical preparation, but it’s the other things.  I need to find my wetsuit, dig out my race number belt, ship my bike (done), get all my nutrition packed.  As all triathletes know….we are so “gear” driven….and the first race of the year is the worst, as you have to gather (or find) all of the equipment that you haven’t used for 9 months.  So, my bike shipped out on Wednesday.  My last long workouts were a week ago (Saturday was 3.5 hours on the bike with a 30 minute run, and Sunday was a split 2 hour run).  This weekend is all about final prep and rest.  I fly out on Friday. This is getting real! 

I also want to take some time to remind everyone that I’m doing all of this to raise money for Shriner’s Hospitals For Children-Boston.  Over the past couple of months, I reached out to some friends to lend some support for this effort.  I’m pleased to announce that, in addition to my law firm, the following businesses will support me during this Ironman campaign:  Kalahari Biltong, SunMultisports, Training Treatment Wellness, Mike Hollywood Marketing, Idle Hands Craft Ales and FastSplits.  These businesses are ones that I not only support now, but have done so for many years….and I’m extremely proud and thankful that they’ve agreed to support me on this journey!

Patrick Dwyer