Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - TriathlonFull Ironman

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 14h 22m 26s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Event warmup:

This has been an incredible journey. I've written down my entire journey including a more detailed race report in the following link. FYI it is very long but it explains in detail why I took this journey and what I've learned in the last 2 years.
  • 1h 19m 53s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

Immediately I took an elbow to the face which messed up my goggles but I knew if I stopped at that point I would be run over so I swam through it. About 200 yards into the swim it was slightly calmer so I could quickly fix my goggles and start swimming. About 400 yards into the swim I hit my rhythm and began what would be the best swim of my life. The swim is in Lake Woodlands and the first 1500 meters are out, then a short turn around and 1500 meters back. You swim past some huge houses and every one has people out cheering and screaming for you. As you make it back towards the swim start we made a right hand turn into a canal that is aprox 30 yards wide. The canal is about 1000 meters long and one of the most exciting parts of the day. Lined on both sides of the canal are people screaming and cheering. I even tried to scream back at one point and quickly realized I couldn't do that when I swallowed a mouth full of water. My goal for the swim was 1h30 minutes. I set my watch to buzz every 15 minutes. While in the canal my watch buzzed letting me know I was 1h15m into the swim. A few minutes later I was shocked as I swam almost smack into the last turn bouy. Since the swim is in a canal you don't have to sight as much as you do in the open water. I rarely looked forward since I could see I was going strait by looking at the side of the canal every breath. After I recovered from almost running into the turn bouy I began sighting every stroke and ran into a wall of people trying to exit the water. Finally it was my turn to walk up the stairs and I was shocked when I looked at my watch and saw 1h19m. From a guy that couldn't swim one length of a pool 2 years ago that was a pretty awesome Ironman swim.
Transition 1
  • 11m 2s

Immediately upon exiting the water I sat down so the wetsuit strippers could help get my wetsuit off and then as I walked up the small incline I saw Wayne, Cristen and Austin cheering for me. It was great to see a familiar face here. Just past them was Seth a friend from Tyler. I had some trouble finding my bike gear bag and almost went to get a volunteer to help but then finally found it. After getting my bag I walked into the changing tent and did a full change into dry Tri shorts, my Tri4Him bike jersey, heart rate monitor, bike shoes, sunglasses, helmet, and applied some of my own sunscreen. I grabbed my extra bags of infinite nutrition, stuffed them into my jersey pocket, and went to the bike racks to find my bike. Rachel was standing right beside my bike but I never saw her. I was so focused on making sure I didn't forget anything that I never looked up. From there I headed to bike out and saw my parents cheering for me then headed out on what would be a long day on the bike.
  • 7h 04m 55s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.81 mile/hr

The bike started out in the Woodlands through some neighborhoods then on to some country roads where we headed north up through parts of the National Forrest. It is a beautiful ride. My plan was to ride at 130 watts which through trial and error would give me about a 6h30m bike split and allow me to run strong off the bike. I planned to drink 300 calories of infinite mixed with 20 ounces of water per hour with another 10-15 ounces of water at every aid station every 10 miles. This should have given me a little over 1 liter of water per hour which I knew I needed on a hot day to stay hydrated. By mile 20 into the bike I was having an upset stomach and every drink of the infinite made it worse. For the first 2 hours I stayed on plan drinking 1 bottle of infinite and a few big swigs of water at every aid station but my stomach was not letting me get down the water fast enough. By mile 40 on the bike I was pretty sick and began to dry heave but nothing much ended up coming up. At that point I knew I was starting to get dehydrated. By mile 60 on the bike I could not hold my planned 130 watts. My power and cadence dropped pretty significantly and I struggled to hold a 85+ cadence averaging 100 watts. I continued to try and drink as much as my stomach would allow. By mile 100 on the bike my legs began to cramp and I knew I was in store for a tough day on the marathon. As I came back into The Woodlands the crowd began getting stronger and you could hear more and more cheering. As I got off the bike after 112 miles my right hamstring locked up pretty bad. I walked as easy as I could through transition to try and loosen my legs for the marathon ahead. My bike split was 7h4m about 30 minutes slower than I expected but not bad considering the dehydration problems I faced.
Transition 2
  • 12m 54s

As I walked through the gear bags looking for my run gear bag I saw my dad who was shouting encouraging words to me. The first thing I said to him was "Where is Rachel?" Sorry dad, I was glad to see you too, I just hadn't seen my wife since before I started the swim and after 8.5 hours of exercise I needed to see her. At the end of the gear bags there was my mom and Christopher standing there cheering for me. I gave Christopher a high five then grabbed my bag and headed into the transition tent.Tri4Him volunteers were staffing the changing tent and when I walked in someone screamed here is a VIP and I got pretty much all the attention I needed. That was pretty cool! I changed again into a fresh pair of Tri shorts, my Tri4Him tri top and then re-applied my sunscreen. One of the volunteers grabbed my sunglasses which were caked in all kinds of sticky infinite nutrition and cleaned them off with his shirt. Thank you! Then I headed out of transition to begin my first ever 26.2 mile marathon.
  • 5h 33m 42s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 44s  min/mile

As I crossed the start line to the run I saw Rachel for the first time since 6:30am. I almost started crying. It was so good to see her. I ran up and gave her a kiss, told her I love her and then started out on my run. My plan was to start this run at a 10:20 ish pace and then settle in to a 9:30 ish pace. I knew almost instantly that due to the dehydration that my plan was going out the window and it was just going to be a fight for survival. I even took off my HR monitor and threw it away and changed my garmin so that I could not see my mileage. I knew Plan A wasn't going to happen so I came up with Plan B. My goal was to break the marathon into 3 loops and forget heart rate and pace and everything else. Just survive the 3 loops and I would finish. This run course is truly inspiring. There are 1000s of spectators cheering and dancing and really getting you motivated. Every Aid station was run by a different crew and most had their own music and own spin on things. It was great. The run is divided up into 3 loops. I ran the entire first loop. Coming back to the waterway was incredible since that is where most of the spectators were. There was a crew drumming on trash cans, another crew dancing in speedos, signs reminding me how much I paid to put my body through this 17 hour event, crowds screaming your name as you passed, and lots and lots of kids with their hands stretched out giving high fives. At mile 5 ish on the first loop I saw my family from across the water way. They all were standing screaming and cheering for me. As you can see in this picture although in pain I was having a blast. I could not stop smiling. Then at mile 8 ish I saw my Tyler friends Kristi and Kirk. They had driven over from Austin just to see me and Jason finish. You could tell that they had just arrived because they had such new energy. It was great! Kristi was screaming and Kirk was telling me how awesome I was. They talked to me briefly as I rounded the corner and then headed back down the other side of the water way. This time I got to see my family all together up close and give everyone high fives. Just as I started my second loop I ran past Team Emge and Clay and Seth ran with me for a few hundred feet. Clay turned pro this year and came in 7th for the day and Seth is a beast on the bike. They were very inspiring talking to me and giving me advice. Clay checked on me every lap and even Allie (another friend from Tyler) jogged by me for a minute to keep me motivated. By mile 13 I was starting to feel the effects of not taking in enough liquid. I began to walk and I walked for the next 2 miles trying to drink as much water from each aid station as I possibly could. By mile 15 I was starting to feel a little bit better and found Rachel and Daniel right after I re-entered the water way on the second loop. Daniel was smiling so big I had to stop and give him a hug.Then as I came back around I spent a little more time when I came up to my family. I gave Christopher a big hug and took another opportunity to give high fives to everyone this time. It meant alot for them to be out there all day and I wanted them to know that. I saw Kristi and Kirk again on that second loop and Greg another Triathlete from Tyler. They told me that Jason had some trouble on the bike but he was on the run course and in good spirits. Jason and I are always competitive at each event but training for an Ironman together I just wanted to make sure he was ok and going to finish. The last loop my right IT Band began to really hurt and I had trouble trying to maintain a 13 minute mile. I spent some more of the 3rd loop walking trying to just keep moving forward. What I loved about this run course is you run passed the finish line 3 times and all 3 times you can hear Mike Reilly scream "you are an Ironman". I knew that if I just kept moving forward he would be calling my name out before midnight. Finally I made it to the final turn and was able to follow the sign to the finish instead of 2nd/3rd lap. They say that when you enter the finish shoot all pain goes away. Well that didn't happen. It hurt worse than the whole day, probably because I was pushing even harder but I truly didn't care, I was there. I saw Wayne, Cristen and Austin and gave them a high five. Then I ran down the side of the finishers shoot giving everyone high fives.The crowd was screaming and cheering. Kristi and Kirk were standing there and they got a great video of me running the last 50 yards.Then I heard the words I had been waiting to hear Mike Reilly say all day, "Jonathan Johnson from Bullard Texas, You are an Ironman". I crossed the finish line in 14h22m which beat my time goal of 15 hours. As I crossed the finish line a volunteer grabbed me and walked with me for a few minutes making sure I was okay. Once I was able to walk on my own I made my way to the end of the finishers area where Rachel was standing waiting to give me a big hug and a kiss. What an amazing day!
Post race
Event comments:

I absolutely loved this event! The crowd support is nothing short of amazing. You always make a plan and try to plan for everything but the one thing I couldn't plan on was getting sick on the bike. Had I not gotten sick and stayed properly hydrated could I have had a better bike split? Could I have run to my potential? Who knows. Maybe one day I will find out

Last updated: 2013-07-17 12:00 AM
01:19:53 | 3862 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 11:02
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:04:55 | 112 miles | 15.81 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 12:54
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:33:42 | 26.2 miles | 12m 44s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]