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Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - Triathlon

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 12h 02m 26s
Overall Rank = 418/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 77/
Pre-race routine:

As I have the previous 2 IMTX races, I was up around 3:45-4:00am. Got a quick shower, ate some oatmeal, drank some OJ, took a few salt tabs, and work up the wife and squid for the walk to transition at 5am. Got to transition and made sure tires were inflated properly, dropped off some stuff into my transition bags, put my computer on my bike, water bottles, etc .. then headed out to the swim start with a few friends from our triathlon club.

Once we were at the swim start area, I just tried to relax. Normally the walk over from transition to the swim start allows time for me to "work things out" but today seemed to be a little different and I didnt have the urge. I went to the bathroom anyway, but no luck. I knew this might come back up at some point in the day but tried not to think about it and just told myself that there were stops every 10 miles on the bike and every mile on the run.

With that issue pushed aside, we met up with the rest of our group and just enjoyed trying to keep each other loose and smiling. We had some first timers in our group, some that were here for the 3rd time, and one member that had aspirations of a Kona slot. So, lots to talk about and enjoy in the company of close friends. A few pictures, a motivational speech by our group president, a prayer, and we were all left to go it alone from there on out. I hugged and kissed the wife and son and told them I would see them in a few hours.
Event warmup:

Made my way down to the swim entrance, got in the water, swam around to one of the docks and sat there while the pro's got staged and the gun sounded at 6:50 for their race to begin. With about 5 min to go before the AG start, I worked my way up the right side towards the front about 3-4 people back and just tread water waiting for our start to the day.
  • 1h 18m 55s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

First hiccup of the day right at the swim start. This was my 3rd time at IMTX and I cant tell you how many other OWS starts I have done. I feel very confident in the open water and actually prefer OW swimming to pool swimming. That being said, I have no idea why, on this day, my mind/body decided to have a freak out moment about 45 seconds into the start. I felt like I couldnt breathe, my heart rate spiked and thought I was going to hyperventilate or something. Now, obviously, 45 seconds into a mass start at an IM race is not the optimum time to have this happen as you just cant stop right there and let things settle down. I tried that for a second and with everyone trying to swim over and around me, it was best to just keep trying to move forward. So, I put my head down and did just that. Talking to myself the whole time "calm down, breathe, focus on your stroke, nice and easy man, get in your rhythm". After about 4-5 minutes of that, I felt pretty good, although I decided it best not to push the swim the remainder of the way so I settled into what was a really easy pace for me. Swim time ended up being about 6 min slower than last year and about 9 min slower than what I wanted. But, I was out of the water, I didnt expend too much energy, and I was ready for 112 on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

This was the first time I have ever had any type of issue at the start or during an OWS ... Dont know that there was anything I could have done differently to handle the situation.
Transition 1
  • 04m 12s

Came out of the water, found my transition bag very easily, and went through transition pretty well. Found a seat inside the tent, made sure I got socks and bike shoes on, helmet and visor on, grabbed the nutrition I had stashed in my bag (peanut butter and honey sandwich and 2 cliff bars, and I was off to grab the bike and get on the road.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 30m 49s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.33 mile/hr

2nd hiccup of the day started about the time I got on the bike. The issue I wasnt able to take care of first thing in the morning decided that it wanted to start bothering me on the bike. My stomach was not right and it was hard for me to put calories in with the intestinal issue I was experiencing. In hind sight I should have just stopped and taken care of it, but other than this little issue, I was feeling really good on the bike and didnt want to stop.

I had 2 water bottles and my nutrition bottle to start the race. My plan was to stop briefly at special needs, grab my 2nd nutrition bottle, grab another sandwich and continue rolling down the road. Starting at about mile 30, or the 3rd water stop, I was grabbing 2 water bottles at every aide station. I would use those 2 bottles to drink and to keep my body cool until the next aide station. Any water I had left as I rolled up to the station would get dumped on me, discarded,and I would pick up 2 new bottles.

At special needs, I couldnt wait any longer, and had to hand my bike to a volunteer and hit the portalet for some relief. Wow, that felt great!!! After what seemed like a 10min stop, I was back on the road and feeling even better. I settled back into my power zone and just kept my head down into the wind headed back into town. I made sure that i got 2 bottles at each stop, continue to sip on my nutrition bottle, ate another 1/2 sandwich, gu's, salt tabs, etc .. Just as I had trained. I'm not going to tell you I wasnt ready to get off the bike, but I was in no way feeling like I couldnt keep going. I felt like I had managed my first 2 issues as best i could, and that I had conserved enough energy to get me out on the run coarse in decent shape.
What would you do differently?:

Outside of just getting off the bike earlier in the ride instead of trying to fight through my little issue, I dont think there is anything I would have done differently.
Transition 2
  • 05m 48s

I dont do flying dismounts, so i got to the dismount line, unclipped, stepped off the bike, almost watched a guy totally lose it as he attempted his dismount, then ran up to the transition entrance. A wonderful volunteer, grabbed my bike and as I took of my shoes, she grabbed those as well and headed off to rack my bike as I ran towards my T2 bag. Once in the transition tent, it was time to take inventory. How does the body feel, legs-check, stomach-check,mind-check ... all present and accounted for. OK, socks and shoes on, get your hat and sunglasses, grab your gels and salt tabs and lets go run a marathon!
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 02m 42s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 32s  min/mile

Let me preface this by saying that I dont think I have ever had a good run at IMTX, and today was no different. I do, however, feel like I did everything possible to get myself ready for this run. I changed up my training from previous years and went into this race with no nagging injuries as I had the previous 2 years.

Out of the tent, I stopped by the sunscreen gang and let them hit my shoulders and neck, then it was time to see if I had left enough for the run. I immediately settled into a pace that was about 45-50sec slower per mile than my long training run pace. I did this knowing that the heat was going to be a huge factor and I was hell bent on having a better run this year.

The first aid station isnt far from the exit of transition so I just grabbed a water or 2, a cold sponge and continued running my easy pace. I felt really good running the first lap. Some aid stations I would run through, some I would slow down a bit and pay extra attention to getting fluids. I was taking a gel and 2 salt tabs about every 3rd station. pace was manageable and my run was falling into place.

And the end of the first lap/start of the 2nd lap, I ran by my wife and son and I gave them a big thumbs up that I was feeling well and she yelled out to me that I was looking strong and she said later she could tell by the pace I was running that I was managing my race well.

The crowds and the groups of people along the canal were just incredible. It was so uplifting to be able to laugh and smile as these people did their best to encourage everyone to just keep running and keep moving forward. Up the dirt embankment for the 2nd time and someone yelled at me "thats #2, I remember you.. you look good, keep it up" and I just couldnt help but smile and feel a little lift as I headed out on what is normally the worst lap of the race.

Over the Bridge at the lake, past special needs, and back out on to the parkway, I am still feeling good and managing my pace. Once I turned up Panther Creek, and hit that aid station, I decided I needs to stop and walk for a minute. My sides were starting to cramp up (I remember this feeling from my first HIM in Austin in 2010), so I made sure to get a few salt tabs in, drank some extra water, a little perform and a little coke ... Anything to knock this down before it becomes an issue. After walking up to the point where we transition to the trail, I decided it as time to start running again, problem was now the legs were starting to tighten up and didnt really want any part of running.

For the next 14 miles or so, I was left with a not so gracious shuffle. Walking when I had to and running when felt I could. the cramps in my side were still there but not so bad that I couldnt run, it was more of a combination of the heat, the legs not wanting to go and the knowledge that once again, I am not going to have the run I wanted. At this point it was just keep moving forward. Calculating based on my pace, what my finishing time might be if I kept at this run/walk I had going on.

In the end, my run time this year was a bit faster than last year, which was a bit faster than the year before that. As I look back on the race that was, I know I gave it my best effort, and that given the conditions and the issues, the time I posted was what I had in me for that day.
What would you do differently?:

manage my electrolyte intake better
Post race

Last updated: 2013-05-23 12:00 AM
01:18:55 | 4224 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 119/
Overall: 707/
Performance: Bad
Suit: LG Tri suit
Course: Out and back with a swim up the canal
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:30:49 | 112 miles | 20.33 mile/hr
Age Group: 70/
Overall: 400/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 1 loop out and back
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:02:42 | 26.2 miles | 11m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 77/
Overall: 418/
Performance: Average
Course: 3 loops
Keeping cool Good 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] 4

2013-05-23 12:46 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

2013-05-23 4:31 PM
in reply to: #4754433

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Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Good job out there. Well earned.
2013-05-23 10:13 PM
in reply to: #4754433

Sugar Land, Texas
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Great race!
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