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  • Writer's picturericdamico1

Ironman 70.3 Texas

Galveston, TX - April 6, 2014

38:04 Swim (1:58 / 100 M)

2:24 T1

2:29:07 (22.53 MPH) - 5-8 min Mechanical Issue

3:10 T2

2:19:24 (10:38 min/Mi)

Total 5:32:09

780th of 2329 Athletes

642th of 1581 Men

85th of 222 in Age Group

It was supposed to be an awful day. Thunderstorms, rain all day long. Wind. Some were concerned portion of the race would be cancelled.

As it turned out, the rain stayed away for the most part, no weather issues. It turned out to be a great race.

My wave was the third one to leave. I loved it.

The swim was a bit rough, but it wasnt bad at all. I had a few issues seeing the buoys due to the mist and clouds, but once i got used to it, it was fine. Because i have not trained my swim at all, i didnt expect a fast time. I stayed steady and got done with exactly the time i had predicted.

T1 was quick and easy, off to ride i went. The first few miles until we made it to the Seawall was pretty bad. Several turns, and terrible cross winds. I stayed on my horns the hole time and didnt really push.

Once we hit the Seawall, things became great. The tailwind was awesome. I started picking up the pace, and averaged around 29MPH from there on.

Just around mile 22, my bike started making a really weird sound, a banging, every couple rotations of the pedal. I couldnt figure out what it was. I tried changing gears but it didnt work. This made me slow down a bit, as i couldnt push as much wattage as i was doing before.

I turned around and started heading back.

The banging kept getting worse, and the noise was getting louder. At mile 34 I decided to stop and checking it out. I must have spent at least 5-8 minutes checking my entire drivetrain. I noticed that somehow the small pully was getting stuck on the chain and eventually it would release, which caused the impact and the noise. I wasnt sure why that was. I went from gear to gear, even using the small ring, trying to see if anything would stop this, but nothing did.

At that point, I decided to keep going. I couldnt just sit there. I started riding without putting any force on the pedals, as the stronger i would pedal the worse the bang and the noise were. Unfortunately that meant a very slow next 10-12 miles against the wind, as i barely could power up.

At about mile 44, i saw Phil Shama on the side of the road, taking pictures. I stopped and asked him to look over my bike and try to figure out what was happening. I know that is technically not allowed at IM races, but i couldnt keep going. It was getting much worse.

Phil inspected the bike and found that my chain was “about to blow”. I had just gotten a new chain and somehow the pin started coming off. That was what was getting stuck in the pully. Once Phil fixed the issue, i got back on the road.

From then on, I was able to get the wattage up and averaged around 22MPH to the end.

T2 was a bit slow, as I made sure to put Aquaphor on my feet, in case the skies opened up (i didnt want a repeat of IMCZ 2011). And off to the run I went.

I started the run extremely well, and didnt stop for the first 3 miles. After that i started to walk the aid stations. Things were still going ok, until about mile 7. At that point, the extra 10 lbs i am still carrying plus the lack of run training due to my recent stress fracture took their toll. I was pretty exhausted.

The second half was a struggle. I was walking quite a bit. Unfortunately my average dropped quite a bit, but at that point there was not much i could do.

All in all, i finished only 29 seconds away from a PR. Not only that, my foot felt great, no pain at all.

This was a great step to IMTX and my ultimate A race this year, IMFL.

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