Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - TriathlonFull Ironman

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80'sF / 0C
Total Time = 12h 04m 12s
Overall Rank = 559/2019
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 61/234
Pre-race routine:

I'm a local, so no big travel or transportation arrangements required for me. Check in for the race was nice and easy, and I went to the dinner on Thursday evening. The food was fairly good, but the sound system was so poor that I couldn't understand much of what was said. I did get to meet a few BT people though, so that was nice.

Last year I didn't give myself enough time on race morning. I corrected that mistake this year. Got up nice and early, had a bite to eat, a cup of coffee, and got to transition around 5:30. Pleanty of time to air up the tires and tend to last minute issues. You do have access to transition bags on race morning, so I topped off my gel flask and bike bottle, then headed to swim start.

The walk over is pretty close to a mile.
  • 1h 24m 44s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

I went to the practice swim on Friday, and thought the water was warm, but not too warm, and decided to wear the wet suit. I'm not a good swimmer, and figured that the suit save me 10-minutes or so, and lower my stress level quite a bit. I wore the suit last year in similar temps and had no issues. Wet suits started 10-minutes after the main field, and the wave was much smaller. I'd guess about 25% of people wore wet suits. This year, contact on the swim was about normal for me (similar to a HIM wave start) until I got to the canal. I began catching up to some of the non-wet suit swimmers around the turn in the lake. By the time I got to the canal, I was swimming with mostly non-wet suit people. Quite a few of them seemed really tired and swimming like snakes. The mixture of speeds late in the swim in the narrow canal made it much tougher than last year.

What would you do differently?:

I really debated about wearing the wet suit. I've been swimming more than last year, so I wasn't worried about the distance and I was pretty sure temps wouldn't be an issue for me. In the end, I went back to the "matches" theory.....if you only have so many matches to burn throughout the day, do you really want to burn some extras in the swim because you didn't wear the suit? My swim ended up being 11-minutes faster than last year, so I was pleased by this.
Transition 1
  • 07m 46s

Slower transition than last year by almost 2-minutes. Didn't wear my shirt under the wet suit, which cost me a bit of time, but my biggest issue came when I got to the bike rack. Someone who's race was a lot more important than mine knocked my bike off the rack. I was put back in a different spot, in a different aisle. The lid was off my aero bottle and most of it's contents had spilled. There was also all kinds of grass stuck to my drive train. I know this isn't a huge deal, but it really ticked me off. They could have at least put the bike back in the same spot!
  • 5h 37m 23s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.92 mile/hr

I had decided to pace the ride off of HR, and keep things is the 135-145 range. This worked great for me. The ride felt fairly easy all day. There are sections when the wind comes up where you notice a real drop in speed, but overall, my return was only about .4-mph slower than my outbound half. Aid stations and hand-ups worked great. The sun was out all day this year, so I tried to really keep the fluids going in. Kept the aero bottle full and was able to dump a little water on myself at a few of the stations. Stuck with a gel or sport beans every 30-40 minutes, which continues to work well for me on the bike. Stopped to go to the bathroom at the aid station on 1488, which ended up dropping my average under 20-mph.

What would you do differently?:

Last year I rode close to 5:49 at a higher level of effort, so I shaved almost 12 minutes off my time, and left the bike feeling fresher. Overall, I'm happy with the ride, but I would have liked to break the 5:30 barrier. I know that speed's not a problem.....the issue is how drained I'd feel after. Maybe with another year of consistent riding!
Transition 2
  • 05m 39s

Transition was a minute slower than last year. Changed socks, and removed the HR strap. Sat down outside the entrance to the changing tent to avoid the sweaty mess inside.
  • 4h 48m 42s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 01s  min/mile

My run volume had really gone down hill in the months before this race, so I wasn't expecting much from this leg. My plan was to start slow and just go aid station to aid station. The sunscreen people really lathered me up coming out of T2, and this resulted in feeling really clammy, but I didn't feel like I was sweating for the first lap. It's a very weird feeling. About mile 3, I wasn't feeling bad, but started to gag and had a few dry heaves. Nothing came up, but it left me feeling pretty nervous. Just drank water for a few aid stations and everything seemed to settle down. Ended up with a gel every 3-miles and just water for the first half of the race. Switched to cola for the second half.

Nice finish line set-up. I like the changes!

All in all, I'd have to say this run went above expectations. I felt pretty good for the whole thing, and stuck with the pattern of running aid station to aid station. My walks were about 1-minute, and my pace stayed pretty close for the whole race. I was about 4-minutes faster than last year.

What would you do differently?:

More run volume in the last few months before the race, especially as it heats up.
Post race
Warm down:

The only issue I had post-race was meeting up with the family. After wandering around looking for 20-minutes, I ended up borrowing a phone from someone and calling. We should have agreed on somewhere to meet before the race.

Event comments:

Great race, good time of year, and nice venue. Honestly, the big draw for me is that it's a local race and I don't have to travel or miss a bunch of work for it. Another real plus is the high volume training is really done before the weather gets too hot.

This was my second year for IM-TX. I'm on the fence about year three at this point. I was able to move from the 12:30 range last year to the 12:00 range this year, and I can see with just a little more focus and training that I could move into the 11:30 time frame on this course. It's a question about whether I'm willing to spend the time and sweat to make this happen. I do like the long-course training....but there are other races out there.

Drawback for this race can certainly be the weather. Race day this year was great. We did have direct sun, but it was low humidity and a breeze came up on the run that really helped. On as hot humid day, it could really be brutal.

Last updated: 2011-06-05 12:00 AM
01:24:44 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 114/234
Overall: 1090/2019
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Out and back in Lake Woodlands, then about 1000 yds up the canal to Town Green Park.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:46
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:37:23 | 112 miles | 19.92 mile/hr
Age Group: 50/234
Overall: 423/2019
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Single loop course through mostly rural areas of north Montgomery County. Roads are mostly smooth, and hills are very mild. Course usually has a slight head-wind for the return to town.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:39
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:48:42 | 26.2 miles | 11m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 78/234
Overall: 690/2019
Performance: Average
Course: Three loop course. Very flat course, not a lot of shade, but plenty of aid stations.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4