Brandon Dillon's Blog

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Archive for April, 2016

Galveston Texas Ironman 70.3 April 10th 2016

Posted by Brandon Dillon on April 13, 2016

This was to be my first race of the year, taking what I learned from Honu 70.3 last May 30th I was hoping the next 9 months of training and weight loss and learning would take me to finish before the cut off.

I got to Texas Friday afternoon and checked in to my hotel about 3pm travel was good and Houston is kinda crazy with all its toll roads and the ones that you cant pay cash for or even online like you can here in California, you must have the EZ Tag thing ahead of time, or you rent the EZ tag from the rental car people, well Dollar rental car only does it by day you have the car not by day you will be driving so it was going to be 50 bucks for that so I opted out of that idea and took the cash toll roads. But be warned lol.

My Cousin Todd who has done many 70.3s and his first Full in Houston last year and was supposed to be going this with me but he had to get knee surgery so he was volunteering, and my mom were enroute. so I went over to the expo, picked up my packet and listened to the briefing. I must stop here and say it don’t matter how many of these that you do even if you do the same one every year, go to a briefing!!! I do not get how people can say they didn’t know there was mandatory bike check in the day before the race (Saturday) when it was in the briefing like 3 times and in the guide and on a separate piece of paper in the packet too… (rant over)

please go to the meetings and read the guides people put a lot of time and work in to them and stuff changes so do your self a favor and don’t throw away money and a trip by not looking at them and have a good fun race =)

steps off soap box..

The Expo was good of course not as big or glorious as the full Ironman ones but it was nice and laid out well I did love my numbers because its my Birthday! 2411. if you go by Day/month connotation so that was kewl =) the transition bag is nice so the swag was good. Its all about the swag! =)

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Then I went back to the hotel and after getting the Raptor built, just had to put on the wheels and tilt my bars back up and put on the bottle cages and I discovered that I was missing my battery for my DI2, I had taken it off because of the lithium ion battery deal and unpressurized cargo space and so on. I called around franticly the next day while doing bike check in and finally found a great bike shop called Webster Bikes and the owner Russ was coming down to watch the Ironman and staying at the RV park down the street and would bring me a battery. So that was awesome! I went and got some food. I went to Mario’s, I stuck to Italian, spaghetti with marinara sauce and chicken and bread for dinner, took half of it home, wanted to keep it simple and actually at that for lunch and dinner the next day too.


That combo made me feel good, I didn’t go overboard on portion size had salad with it as well with balsamic vinaigrette dressing at both dinners.

Saturday morning due to my being up early and wanting to find a battery we decided to head to the expo right at 9 when it opened, even though bike check in was not till 2-6.

As I mentioned Webster bikes came through and that afternoon at 4 I got my battery from him. My cousin Todd was working Bike check in so mom and I went to get lunch =) I got ready for bike check in and sorted everything picked up my batter and dropped my bike off and here she was! Ready to go and I felt great about everything.


Went to dinner… Pasta…. to the hotel to prep and re-prep and check again I had everything in the bags I needed and what I was going to do and went to sleep. Tried to anyway.

Plan was to get up at 4 even though my wave was not till 8:04 and get there and be ready. I really wish we didn’t have wait so long lol


So Race day.. got up at 3 am, couldn’t sleep was ready to go! lol ate whole wheat bagel with PB on it got ready put on my tats jumped in the car and got there at 4:50, 10 min before transitioned opened. setup my stuff stood around a bit talking to ppl planning my transition stop as I have not figured out yet how to make it through a 56 mile bike in Tri shorts I have to change or else I will be in pain, maybe when I am 100 lbs lighter that will be different lol.

I talked with the guys next to me it was mainly first timers or first race of the year so it was all a just finish mind set around me which was good, that’s all I was there to do was finish in under 8:30.

we had to walk a bit over to where the swim start was and we swam back to the transition area so at 620 I headed over there with my morning bag and wet suit and tri slide and such. I sipped on some Efuel about 10 oz over the next hour then I got my suit on around 730 and took my Efuel Gel ( that watermelon is good!) and was in line working my way to the start. You have to jump off the dock in to the water and its a floating start.

The Swim went well I just kept trying to keep my stroke long and consistent. the water was choppy due to the high winds we were having probably around 20mph so I caught water in the face 2-3 times don’t think I swallowed much lol, that resulted in a Swim PR of 10 min from honu that was 58:35 this was 48:37 It may have been the difference in the wet suit but I will take it =)

I get to transition, quickly wrapped my towel and changed in to cycling shorts the 8 min transition time is why. I just cant make it 56 miles on tri shorts yet. maybe once I get weight down.

bike started out good I had 2 bottles of Efuel, 2 honey stinger wafers and a Efuel Gel and water in my speed fill. I was shooting to maintain 170 power for the duration. After about 3 miles I hit a bump and my seat dropped about a inch or so, I was like wth was that!?!? So I pedaled on not wanting to stop and would see how it went, my knees were hurting bad so around mile 15 I stopped and fixed the seat as best and close as I could and got back under way. Still feeling good I ate a honey stinger and was sipping water and efuel. then a few more miles in on a smooth flat straight piece of road I heard a noise from my rear end. it wasn’t a fart so I knew something was wrong. I stopped because I could feel something was not right and sure enough I broke a drive side spoke at the hub.

I was pissed cuz I felt so good at that point and to have a mechanical issues and the wheel had just been fully respoked only a few months back and been mainly riding my road bike a lot so I was ready to give up. I didn’t think the wheel would make it 40 more miles especially with my weight and it was not warped and rubbing on the brakes. Then a guy pulled up next to me, not even in the race and asked me what I was doing and if I was ok, I paused and looked at him, where did he come from? why was he just out here with all of us and why did he stop and come over to say hey what are you doing lol he said just keep going you will know when others break and it will be one at a time. So I was like alright I will push on. I loosened up my brake as beast I could so the rubbing was minimal and went on. I was cautious as I didn’t want to do more damage and wanted to make the bike cut off. feeling good I knew I could run what I needed even with a longer bike ride then I wanted.

about 10 miles after that just before the turnaround I started to feel a pain in my side I ignored it. kept eating and drinking I took a salt tab at hour 1 and hour 3 then got to mile 46 and was not feeling right at all. stopped and got water as I felt like I had little energy and my side and stomach was hurting. The medic thought it could have been from sea water, I guess that’s possible I felt very similar at Silverman and I caught a ton of water to the face and got very sick on the bike and had no energy or power. I decided to take my Gel and push on I kinda felt better for a few so wasn’t sure what I was feeling was lack of calories or too many or sea water or what. I kept going wind and all.

My bike split with all that was 4:08 I was hoping for 315-330 and my split in Honu with hills was 4:16 but didn’t have the issues there I did here. so even thought not what I wanted it was better so yay! =)

My transition time went fast about 3 min I got out of my gear grabbed my gel I had waiting put on socks and shoes and hat and ran out. I started out for the first half mile or so feeling decent looked at my pace and it was 13:30 I knew I had to maintain a max of 15 min mile for every mile, my original goas was to start out at 14 min miles and bring it down 10-15 sec per mile and hold at 12 min miles till the end. Well plans are great till you have contact with the enemy…. my side issues and stomach were back after that half mile I ran on but ultimately had to stop and walk. I tried to keep up a fast walk and was planning on the issues subsiding with some food or drink or time and I would keep moving as fast as I could and run walk and hope towards the end I could run more.

It didn’t work out that way, on the run I ate some pretzels that seemed to help drank water took ice and after the first loop sipped on some Red bull and cola I felt like I got better for a bit and ran some more and it would come back, had to dive in to a porta john so I guess I knew I wasn’t dehydrated lol

Over all my time was 8:42, which was 35 min faster then Honu. still a DNF but improvement. as I look back I could have found 12 min some where but its easy to do that in hindsight not as easy in the middle of it. But a PR all around so making progress just need to figure out how to train and drop 100 lbs and I will be all set so that’s the focus now. Was a great race and the people and spectators were awesome I definitely want to go back and do it so I can earn my medal and same with Honu.

The Garmin Data is here

A big thanks first and foremost to God as he gets all the glory, I honestly think that guy who said what are you doing and keep going on the bike was some kind of messenger because it was just a really interesting situation I was probably supposed to push harder and just make it but I didn’t.

Also a big thanks to Jondi helping me get this far as well as tons of other people who have giving me advice, tips, help, encouragement and so on. Craig, Julie, Tu, Morgon, Zak, Jean, Larry, Chris, Justin, Alex, Kenny, Cristeen, Elaine, Todd, Bill and so many others I am sorry if I didn’t name everyone there was so many.

Pro tip when you goto the sun screen appliers make sure you tell them to do everywhere that’s exposed lol I have some interesting tan lines and mild burn from only saying do the shoulders and arms lol.

till the next race =)



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