Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - Triathlon

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 12h 58m 17s
Overall Rank = 768/2814
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 99/284
Pre-race routine:

This was my third IM-TX, so I've gotten over the pre-race hoopla and expo excitement. I did packet pick-up on Wednesday, arriving around 1:00, so there were no lines at all. In past years I'd gone right as they opened, and the lines got a little long,

Friday morning I rode the scooter down to NorthShore Park and swam for 15 minutes of the practice swim. Parking is a real issue during the swim, so the scooter made a lot of sense. I was able to pull in about 50' from the park. Friday afternoon I checked in the bike and bags.
Event warmup:

We parked in the garage behind the pavilion, about a 5-minute walk from transition. Pump tires and headed over to NorthShore Park. It's about a 15-minute walk from transition to the park.

My goal for this race was to go sub-12 hrs. Last year I was at 12:04, and around 12:20 the year before.
  • 1h 36m 59s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 18s / 100 yards

Poor swim, but it's what I expected. Despite my good intentions, I've only swam 7 or 8 times this year. So, with no training, I wasn't expecting much from this swim. I'll be the first to admit that I wear the wetsuit as a crutch. Even with my lack of training, I still managed to get out of the water feeling pretty fresh, which I owe to the good folks at Xterra, the makers of my wet suit.

This was the tird year for "optional" wetsuits. Personally, I think that term and the staggered start confuses a lot of people, and a lot who should wear the suit choose not to. I respect everyone's choice, but for back of the pack swimmers, I don't think it makes any sense. I saw a lot of people "walking" along the shallow shore of the lake and the sides of the canal during the last half of the swim, and almost all of these people were not wearing the suit. If you're such a weak swimmer that you need to walk part of the swim, why not just wear the suit?
What would you do differently?:

If I'm not going to spend time in the pool, this was close to what I was looking for,
Transition 1
  • 05m 31s

Used wetsuit strippers and sat in the changing tent. Used towel to wipe feet and slipped on socks. Didn't wear shirt under the wet suit, so I had to slip this on too.
What would you do differently?:

Good transition. Nice and easy.
  • 5h 53m 41s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.99 mile/hr

My goal for the bike was to average 20-mph, with a stretch target of beating 5:30. The ride started well, with a tail wind on the outbound section. The ride to Richards was pretty uneventful. I'm not a top-tier rider, but I ride better than I swim, so I ended up passing a lot of people, especially during the first two hours when everyone is so bunched up. My rear wheel flatted about 15-minutes after Richards. Got the tube changed in about 5-minutes or so and was back in the race. It's pretty discouraging to have to pass the same people more than once.
I expected the section on 1486 to be a lot windier than it was, but my speed seemed to stay up close to 20. After getting back to 1486, the wind and heat seemed to be taking its toll on a lot of people. Many really slowed down. I was still feeling pretty good though, and made the turn onto Jackson and then 149. On 149, about a mile from the gas station, I got my second flat, on the back wheel again. I normally just carry one spare, but decided to bring two for this race. I got the new tube put in, but couldn't get my inflator valve to function. I fought that valve for 5-minutes or so when a support motorcycle came by and said he'd pump it up for me. It was a relief to get back on the road, but all that messing around took the "race" right out of me. I kept up the pace on the last 20-miles, but was not feeling like it was a race anymore.
What would you do differently?:

Good ride....everything seemed to be working for me....except for the flats. I rode the disc wheel for thraining the last 6-weeks and never had a flat, so I don't think it was an equipment issue....just bad luck!
Transition 2
  • 05m 53s

Handed off the helmet and shoes to the bike wrangler. Luckily, I put on socks before the bike, so I didn't have issues with hot concrete than many people experienced.
One bad thing that did happen to my was my bodyglide melted in the T2 bag.
What would you do differently?:

Find a bodyglide alternative that will hold up in the hot sun!
  • 5h 16m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 04s  min/mile

By the time my ride was done, I had already checked out of race mode and decided to take it easy on the run. As a result, this was my worst IM run by far....time wise. It was also one of the most pleasant. I ran when I felt like running and walked when I felt like walking. I did catch up to a family friend doing his first IM on the thrid lap and was able to spend some time running with him and providing him with a little encouragement. The first two loops were pretty hot, but the sun was starting to go down by lap 3. Things cooled off and there was quite a bit of shade.
What would you do differently?:

Slow but enjoyable run.
Post race
Warm down:

Met up with the spouse, collected my stuff and hit the road.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

No swim training and flat tires.

Event comments:

Excellent IM race. Fast course and great volunteers. The wild card is the weather! On a nice day, this is an easy, PR kind of course!

Last updated: 2012-11-28 12:00 AM
01:36:59 | 4224 yards | 02m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 184/284
Overall: 1552/2814
Performance: Below average
Suit: Xterra Full
Course: Swim is out and back, down the length of Lake Woodlands, then a right rurn up the canal to exit at Town Green Park.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:53:41 | 112 miles | 18.99 mile/hr
Age Group: 96/284
Overall: 677/2814
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Nice single loop course. Overall, roads are in good shape. Small rolling hill and you can expect some wind for portions of the course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:53
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:16:13 | 26.2 miles | 12m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 96/284
Overall: 794/2814
Performance: Below average
Course: Three loops......very flat.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
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