Ironman 70.3 Austin - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
40F / 4C
Total Time = 8h 01m 27s
Overall Rank = 1888/
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 44/
Pre-race routine:

Those of you who know me know I write long race reports. This one will be no different so get comfy!

Not sure when, or even why we decided to do this, but it seemed like we spend about 5 years training. In reality I guess it was only 6 months but in the Texas summer time seems to stand still. But we did nail most of our trainings. Seemingly endless miles on the bike on the Trinity Trail and the paths around Bear Creek Park. I have to admit I probably did not spend enough time in the pool, but that's pretty typical for me. A few minor injuries like a sprained ankle and strained Glute kept my run mileage a little lower but did give me more bike time.

Headed down to Austin Friday afternoon. Right to the expo to get registered. Spent the appropriate too much money at the Ironman store and headed to the hotel. Easy dinner at Chile's and in bed pretty early.

Saturday morning, quick breakfast and out to drive the bike course. It was as expected, hilly and portions of road that were not in the best shape. Although I think after reading some of the horror stories about the roads, I was plesently surprised that they were in better shape than I was expecting. Maybe 30% bad but there were some really nice fast roads too. Saw about 5 stray country dogs just wandering and was hoping they would not cause a problem Sunday.

Met up with Shannon (spuphal), her friend John and his GF Debbie for lunch, then back to the hotel to get our bags ready. Since there was no chance of rain we decided to rack both our T1 and T2 bags so there was less to carry on Sunday morning. Back to the race site to drop off bikes and bags.

Something interesting here. They had us all parking in a grass field across from transition. We started wheeling the bikes over and someone told us that the grass was full of thorns and burrs and that we should carry our bikes. People were getting flats all over the place! So we carried our bikes and T1 bags to the racks. We checked our tires. I had not picked up any thorns but Steve had 3 from just the little bit in the parking area. If he had ridden the bike, they would have punctured for sure. Said goodbye to the bikes. Back to the hotel to watch Kona (and I napped a little). Dinner at Papasitos and to bed early.

Set the alarm for 4:15 but was up at 3:45. Shower to wake myself up. Breakfast of rye toast and a baked sweet potato. Dressed and headed out.
Event warmup:

So, a cold fromt came down over Texas on Saturday. In the past, heat was the issue for this race but not today. It was 42 degrees when we got to the transition area. Got body marked and went to check the bikes. Everything was good, the tires did not need any air.

We waited as long as possible to drop our dry clothes bags because that meant taking clothes off. OMG was I cold. Like teeth chattering cold. The pros went of and since I was in an early wave I knew it was time to strip down. Pants and shoes off and into the dry bag. I actually kept my socks on and had a pair of throw away gloves that I kept on until right before I went into the water. Steve's wave was one before mine so a last good luck kiss and he went off to join his wave. As soon as his wave went, it was my turn to line up. By now I could not feel my feet. The water was 71.
  • 52m 33s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 29s / 100 yards

OK, here is where I thought everything was going to fall apart. Some of you may remember my disasterous attempt at IMAZ in 2006. Well, it was deja vue all over again. The swim start was probably the most contact and crowded I have ever had. Worse than IMTX. But, at least I was warm finally!

So, I get a little past the first buoy and all of a sudden, the same issues. Can't breathe. Start hyperventilating and panic sets in. Shit, not again! I try to calm myself down. Breast stroke and try to get my breaths under control. Not happening. Try to swim and as soon as my face goes into the water I suck up about half the lake and start choking. Shit, not again! Try to breast stroke a little more and concentrate on taking deep breaths, not happening. Shit, not again! That's it. My race is over. I am going to turn around, get out of the melee of swimmers. Breast stroke or dog paddle or whatever I have to do to get back to the beach. Shit, not again!

Somehow, I managed to pull my brain back for a minute and thought about what happened at IMAZ. I was convinced that the cold water was the cause of my issues, but this water was like a bathtub (after standing in the 40 degree air for 90 minutes. The wetsuit was the only common denominator. OK Marcy, let's be smart about this. Unzip the wetsuit. That seemed to make things a little better, but still cannot take a normal (normal for me anyway) stroke. OK, thought again. Pulled the wetsuit off my upper body and pulled it down to my waist. It was like immediate relief. In a second my breath was normal, and I could swim fine. Of course I am now dragging a neoprene parachute so thet slowed me down a bit.

Once I got going again I really did feel good. Hit all the buoys pretty spot on. My mental talk was pretty dark at that point though. I know my wetsuit fits well. It's an Athena suit and I was wearing it 20 pounds heavier. I was going through my head that IF (and it is a pretty big if...more on that later) I wanted to continue long course my options are limited to warm weather non-wetsuit races.

And to add, this was without a doubt the most contact I have ever had in a swim. At the start, the ladies were pretty violent, but due to my having to take so much time to get myself back under control, all the fast guy waves were swimming over me. Anyway, was glad it was over.
What would you do differently?:

Well, maybe pull my self together sooner to try getting out of the wetsuit. Can't really say that was an option at the time. I knew that I was not in any physical danger of drowning. There was tons of support and I was boyant with the suit. More just upset that I may not be able to keep going. Steve and I were supposed to do IMTX together and that did not work out. Now here I am at another IM event and it looked like I was going to DNF.
Transition 1
  • 09m 3s

Wow, yes you read that right a 9:03 transition. OK, it was a really long run from the swim out but OMG!

So run out of the lake and see Shannon's mom. She was AWESOME keeping my mom informed via text as to where we were. I asked her if Steve was out. If my swim had gone as planned, I would have passed him in the water and been out on the bike first. She told me he was out which made me very happy as I always worry about him.

Ran past his rack and he was already out! Got to my rack. It was a clean transition so all my stuff was in a bag. Dumped it out. Sat down and cleaned off my feet which were a mess from the dirt and grass transition area. Socks on (I usually ride sockless but 45 degrees, remember). Shoes on (with the neoprene toe warmers which I was so glad I had). Arm warmers, LS tech shirt, glasses, helmet and full fingered gloves. Then had to stuff all my swim gear into the bag so they could transport it to the finish.

And remember the thorn issue? Had to carry my bike from the rack out to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Yes, I could have roasted a chicken in the time it took me to get out but I was never cold on the bike. At that point, time was really not an issue. Just wondering when I would see Steve on the bike course and how long it would take Shannon to pass me.
  • 3h 37m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.44 mile/hr

Happy to say that the bike was very uneventful. The roads were good in spots and rough in spots. I was really glad that we prerode it on Saturday so I knew what to expect.

I think I saw at least 7 people on the side with flats within the first 3 miles. Guarrantee they did not carry their bikes and ended up with thorns. OK, this may sound stupid but this is my race report so get over it, but whenever I saw someone on the side with a mechanical I thanked my bike for being so awesome.

The first 20 miles seemed to go by quickly. After that it was just keep pedaling. For the first 20 or so, I felt a side stitch that I assume was from the hyperventilating and swollowing so much of Decker Lake. A few really good burps and it was better.

Aid stations were very well stocked with Water, Gatorade and Gu. At the first took a water to refil my aero bottle, and a Perform which I never even opened. Also had to take a GU as the 5 servings that I had in my flask had solidified to the point where I could not get it out due to the cold. Kind of threw my nutrition plan in to tizzy but I made do.

At the second aid station had to stop to use the potty. Seems like I always have to go more in cold weather. Stopped at the third to take off my LS shirt as it was getting warmer.

But, where was Steve. The fact that I was past mile 45 and had not seen him meant he was having a great bike. Also, the fact that Shannon had not passed me meant she was having problems. She had been having constant flats lately and thought maybe she had a mechanical. Turns out at 30 her deraileur locked up and she could not shift for the rest of the ride.

Grind away. Up and down and up and down. Finally, at mile 55, with the transition are in sight I catch up to Steve. He had a great bike. It was so good to see him. I figured he was worried about me as I should have been out of the water before him. I passed him and got to transition about 2 minutes ahead.
What would you do differently?:

Not put my GU flask with the bike overnight in transition. I fought with it too long to try to get something out.

Other than that, nothing. I had to stop to pee, that was not an option. I also had to take off the LS shirt as I was starting to overheat.

Decent bike for me!
Transition 2
  • 09m 46s

So, here is where a kind of crappy race turns into the best race ever. Got into T2. Got my shoes and hat. Bagged up my bike stuff. Then made one of the best decision I have ever made.

Walked down to Steve's rack. He was just getting in. Decided that since this may be my last long course race, what a better way to end it than with my best friend. I asked him how he felt about us doing the half together, at his pace. He was all for it so I waited for him to finish and we left transition together!
What would you do differently?:

Not one single thing. I would not have cared it I was in there for 20 minutes.
  • 3h 12m 24s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 41s  min/mile

And so our journey began. The course is a 3 loop and you are either going up or down. I knew Steve was still very gassed from the ride so we really did not talk much on the first loop. I let him set the pace. Ran when he ran and slowly jogged to keep up with his walking pace. Stopped at every aid station to fill my Amphipod with water and Perform.

The second loop was a little slower but we started chatting a bit. I told him in detail about the swim and we talked about the bike. We also played the game of where will will see Shannon and John. Shannon actually came in from the bike while I was waiting for Steve.

Started to take a little food at the aid stations as I realized I did not have anything solid since breakfast. 1 Bonk Breaker and then some pretzels.

By the third loop we had slowed considerably and were out there with the rest of the death marchers. But we were just having the best time. Just joking around and encouraging our fellow marchers. The aid stations were so incredible. Never ran out of anything, even for us BOPers.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

The finish was really cool inside the arena. We decided that we were going to hold hands across the line, and we did! Logan, the announcer said something along the lines of "Here comes the Webster Clan from Keller, Texas". And...ANDY POTTS gave me my medal. He won overall. As a matter of fact, I think he was done before I was out of the water!

I don't care how bad I look in the finishers picture, I am going to plop down my insane amount of money to buy it. Shannon and Linda (mom) were right there at the finish line. John came in about 10 minutes after we did. Hung around for a while. Went to retreive our bags and headed home.

All diet bets are off after that. Stopped at the first Sonis we saw and wolfed down a grilled chicken wrap and Tots. And thanks John Clayton for the Cherry Diet Sprite suggestion. It was so good!

Drove and drove and drove. Good to be home!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I would have said the problems I had in the swim. But, it was because of those problems that Steve was able to get so far ahead of me and we were able to run together. Had my swim gone as planned, I would have gotten out of the water before him and the whole experience would have been different.

I have been thinking for awhile that I am done with the long course stuff. I have done 7 HIM's and and IM and have nothing left to prove to myself. I did not enjoy the training this time around. And the wetsuit issues make it even tougher to find races to do. It is bittersweet. I'm happy and comfortable with the decision.

Event comments:

Keith Jordan does it right. What an amazing event. With the exception of the thorns in the transition area, which they cannot control, and the cold front, it was perfect.

The aid stations were well placed and fully stocked. The volunteers were amazing.

Race shirts were OK. A little boring but still nice KSwiss tech shirts. Got hats at the finish line which was a nice touch. The medals were really nice to.

If I was to race a HIM again, I would do this one again in a second.

Last updated: 2012-05-19 12:00 AM
00:52:33 | 2112 yards | 02m 29s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction
Course: Triangular keeping buoys on the left
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:03
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:37:41 | 56 miles | 15.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Loop through Farm country
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 09:46
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:12:24 | 13.1 miles | 14m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 3 loops up and down
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4