Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 12h 44m 22s
Overall Rank = 771/2755
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 132/471
  • 1h 24m 26s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters

The swim is such an exciting event when you have music blasting along with announcer Mike Reilley rallying the troops and directing everyone to jump into the water. I jumped in right after the Pro start, so only threaded water for about 8 minutes before the cannon went off. Then as expected, it was a total washing machine where I got punched, pulled and swum over several times for the first 500 yards, but kind of fun in a way as well. The water was so murky in the lake that you couldn't see your hand in front of you. After about 1000 yds I finally felt I had a constant rythm going. I was shooting for a time of 1:20 in the swim and came out in 1:24, so not too bad. The only challenge was a major cramp on my right calve at the end of the swim start, but I kept going without kicking with that leg until the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Work harder on swimming drills to be able to improve my time for the next Ironman!
Transition 1
  • 07m 56s

T1 was really crowded which did not help for a speedy exit.
  • 6h 11m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.11 mile/hr

The bike section was a ride through the Woodlands and on to the countryside which is really nice, but way out there. Such a long ride provides you with a lot of time for self-reflection which is always nice. The course had a good number of rolling hills which compared to Guatemala, I thought they were nothing to worry about. However, the combination of constant rolling hills, high heat and strong headwinds, especially through the last 40-50 miles of the ride, do take a toll on you. I really tried to focus on keeping a steady pace and my HR in check, while working on my nutrition in order to save as much as possible for the run. After about 4 hrs I started to get to a point where I was feeling bloated from gels and Ironman Perform and reduced their intake and focused on taking only water. I was shooting for a 6:00 bike ride and came in in 6:11.
What would you do differently?:

Improve my speed and endurance work for the next Ironman
Transition 2
  • 06m 36s
What would you do differently?:

Just practice on reducing transition times further
  • 4h 54m 18s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 14s  min/mile

Then on to the run where I was thinking, o great now just a Marathon between me and those famous coveted words from Mike Reilly, so let’s figure it out. I was advised to run the first six miles "stupidly slow", which ended being no problem since I was feeling really beat-up after the bike. My plan was to run from station to station (1 mile segments) and walk through the stations in order to stabilize my body and resume the calorie intake. After the first 5 miles I finally felt I was doing a little better and got into a system where I would take gels with water at one station and then IM Perform on the next one. During the run it was still very hot and humid outside, so I focused on looking at the race as 26 one mile segments, one at the time (best way to eat an elephant, in small pieces). The run was set-up in 3 loops and I got to see my wife Estefania along with my friends Ernesto and Jackie a couple of times during a section of the loop next to the river, which provided great motivation.
Long story short, when I got to the third loop, around mile 18, I literally had nothing left in the tank. Even worst, I got to a point where I could not see another gel nor IM Perform drink and worried if I would be able to finish without any nutrition. So I knew I was at the point where you have to dig deep, focus on "your 1 thing why you are there" and run with your heart. So I kept pushing trying to keep running without stopping in order to be able to finish in my target goal of under 13 hours, which by then was still within reach. When I hit mile 20 I literally hit the wall and thought that that was it and that it was impossible to reach my time goal. I began walking and even though I knew I was going to finish because I had enough time to walk to the finish line, it’s not the same as giving it your best and achieving your goals, especially being so close to the finish line. So I started focusing on smaller goals like running up to a post 100 meters away and then to the next one and trying to ignore the pain and everything you experience at those stages. When I got to mile 22.5 I pulled the last bit of inspiration and ran almost non-stop while picking up my pace (if you look at my garmin file here for the run, you can see that I was crashing on mile 20 and then picked it up on mile 22.5 onwards) all the way to the chute, where by then I knew I was going to make it under 13 hours. My goal for the run was 5:00 and ended up doing it in 4:54.
Nothing sweeter than hearing Mike Reilley calling out "Gabriel Biguria you are an Ironman" and even better in a time of 12:44. And to top it all off, when I crossed the finish line, we had no other than Chrissie Wellington who handed me my first IM finisher’s medal with a big hug! It is hard to describe the feelings that hit you at the finish line, but it is a truly unique, highly emotional moment like no other in the world. The realization that you can accomplish your goals along with the joy of the journey, are unique experiences, that like all other previous Ironman’s know, will be with you for rest of your life!

What would you do differently?:

Train harder to bring my time down for the next Ironman
Post race
Warm down:

I began cramping after finishing the IM so I picked up some hydration and sat down to recover (the wait list for a massage was around 30 min, so decided to skip it). After meeting my wife and friends we went down for dinner to get some real food (no more gels) and began feeling a lot better.
Afterwards we went to the finish line to help cheer all the other Ironmans as they crossed the finish line

Event comments:

Do recommend and will consider doing it again in the future

Last updated: 2011-10-18 12:00 AM
01:24:26 | 3862 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 181/471
Overall: 1043/2755
Performance: Good
Suit: Tri top and tri shorts
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:11:06 | 112 miles | 18.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 181/471
Overall: 988/2755
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:54:18 | 26.2 miles | 11m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 132/471
Overall: 771/2755
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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] 5