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Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas - TriathlonFull Ironman

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
81F / 27C
Total Time = 15h 02m 52s
Overall Rank = 1665/2589
Age Group = 40-45
Age Group Rank = 281/401
Pre-race routine:

Bike check-in the night before the race went smoothly, except I noticed that the transition was muddy. Run and bike bags were meant to be left outdoors, but volunteers distributed extra bags so we could double bag our stuff as it was supposed to rain overnight. I went to bed at exactly 10 PM, but woke up at 5:30 am, way later than planned. I had to rush through transition eating two bonk breakers and a bottle of scratch for breakfast. I had no time to pick up my pump from the hotel, and I was hoping there's a tire pump I could borrow. Just my luck, volunteers were everywhere with tire pumps when I arrived at transition. I was able to inflate my tires. My nutrition consisted of one 5 hour bottle of scratch, GU Chomps enough for two hours, and a 1 hr refillable aero bottle in between aerobars. Off I went to the swim start in my wetsuit. Non-wetsuit racers were seeded by expected time finish according to rolling start rules. Us wetsuit swimmers were seeded last, but were also starting on a rolling basis.

Event warmup:

Stretching waiting for rolling start of non-wetsuit to finish. The rolling start went by fast.
  • 1h 52m 22s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 58s / 100 meters

I hit the water at exactly 7 AM, which is good because that meant I had the full 17 hours maximum time to finish the race. Passing yellow buoy after yellow buoy felt endless, and I was constantly hoping for the red turn buoy to finally show up. I was punched and kicked in the head, and I swallowed water many times. At last, I swam up to the first red turn buoy, then to another, and then to a serious of orange buoys. I knew I just need to keep heading for the bridge, not miss the canal entry. I noticed from afar that everybody was turning right to where the canal must be. Waves were coming from everywhere, but I just kept heading towards the end of the canal, which I thought would never end. At last, I saw the end and an arm reached out for me. I clocked in at 8:53 AM, which was way ahead of my expected 9 AM finish.

What would you do differently?:

Practice more and more time in the pool
Transition 1
  • 12m 12s

I headed towards transition and grabbed my bike bag, which had been tied with a red ribbon. Inside the transition tent, it was all mud! I wore my helmet so as not to be penalized, but did not put on bike shoes yet because of all the mud. I had one bonk breaker and one Roctane Gel. Bike transition was a "Tough Mudder" race in itself; I grabbed my bike and carried it out barefoot. I washed my feet at the small kiddie pools set for us. Off I went, as there was no sense staying in transition like the some others and not gain a single mile.

What would you do differently?:

probably brought some disposable hospital booties.
  • 6h 22m 8s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.59 mile/hr

The first 10 miles were good. There was wind, but it was not so bad. The ride from Woodlands Parkway towards 2978 was not bad, except I noticed that my power meter was not working. I didn't mind that too much, as I was going by RPE, and as long as I was in sustained pacing I would be fine. My strategy was sustained speed on flat, spin going uphill, and hammer going downhill. From 2978, it was on to the dreaded 149, where the rolling hills were endless. I passed Mile 60 with plenty of time ahead of cutoff. I could feel the humidity, and it felt hotter than any other training rides I went on. At every aid station I grabbed a bottle, and poured it all into myself. FM 149 wall allrolling hills and hot headwinds and crosswinds. FM 1486 was another ride through endless rolling hills, crosswinds and headwinds. I knew it would get better when I got on Jackson St, but, no, headwinds were still blowing when I got there. After Jackson mile 80 is 1488, where there has always been a tailwind, and I thought I would be home free when I got there. Not that day. Headwinds were still blowing, and I felt as if the winds were just bullies out to get the riders. I noticed a lot of riders were slowing down due to the heat and humidity. Finally, I passed the 100 mile marker, and the last 12 miles were the longest 12 miles I ever rode. I was in transition at 3 PM, way ahead of the 5:30 PM cut off. The sun was high and humidity was at its worst.

What would you do differently?:

PRactice more hill climbing and hydrate more swith from a 28 OZ bottle to 35 Oz Aerobottle. Wear Socks with bodyglide on the bike to prevent bisters
Transition 2
  • 11m 38s

I handed my bike to a volunteer. I was already focused on getting out of transition quickly, and grabbed my run bag. I wolfed down a bonk breaker and another Roctane gel and drank Skratch. Socks on, shoes on, and, most importantly, bib on with my hydration belt.

What would you do differently?:

nothing bring extra socks on the run.
  • 6h 22m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 35s  min/mile

I sensed I was doing good on time. I knew the run was three loops, and I started with a sustained pacing for 6 miles, grabbing one cup to drink and 2-3 to pour on myself to fight the heat and humidity. On the 8th mile, I felt a kind of weakness. I felt I could not continue anymore, and the wall started to get real. I tried run walk 10/1, but still felt weak. I tried 5/1 as well, but still felt like giving up. I felt my feet were all blistered. At the next aid station, I ate everything I could: potato chips, bananas, pretzels, and I started walking. I felt revived while walking, and I figured if I walked fast enough I had plenty of time to spare. My target time to finish was completely gone from my head, and all I wanted now was to finish.
I passed by a guy who was cramping, and I offered him electrolyte tablets. He took two and I moved on. The second 9-mile loop was my slowest 9 miles ever, drinking 1-2 cups at every aid station and pouring 2-3 on myself. My legs were weak and feet ached from blisters I thought I would go numb when I reached the 18th mile. When I finally completed a second loop fast walking, it was growing dark, which was great as it helped to lessen the heat. Glow sticks were being handed around. By this time my feet were heavy and wet from water. I passed by a 65 yo guy crunched over and cramping. I offered him my electrolytre tablets and he popped 4 right away and I offered him all my water. I needed to continue so I left him with some girls in the crowd. I passed by special needs and grabbed my bag to change socks. I was in pain from the blisters.
It was dark, and after the 18th mile, and it gave me just the strength to fast walk one mile after the next. When I reached the 23rd mile I didn't care if I had to crawl across the finish line. The last 3 miles was the longest 3 miles in pain, even as the crowd grew louder and louder. I see a bright light, and one of my best feelings of relief: "Carlo, you're an Ironman!" I was grabbed by a nice guy who gave me water, and placed a medal around my neck, and gave me a shirt. I did not notice my family at the finish line, but I knew it was already too late for my son to be up. So I just grabbed a pizza to make sure I didn't pass out. I went back to transition in pain from my feet and I was so glad the volunteers grabbed our bikes for us. I headed back to the hotel. My son was still awake and I just hugged my family. Best feeling in the whole world.

What would you do differently?:

Hydrate some more. Bring extra socks. USe non-blister socks body blide my feet and foot.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank bottle of water and somemore at the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Dehydration , blisters.

Event comments:

It was physically the hardest day of my life . If you ask me if i would do it again its worth every sweat and every pain.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-04-28 12:00 AM
01:52:22 | 3800 meters | 02m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/401
Overall: 0/2589
Performance: Average
Suit: Wetsuit
Course: U shape with a turn towards the canal
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 12:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:22:08 | 112 miles | 17.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/401
Overall: 0/2589
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: One Loop Rolling hills 3000 FT. of climbing.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 11:38
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
06:22:08 | 26.2 miles | 14m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/401
Overall: 0/2589
Performance: Bad
Course: 3 Loops Flat
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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

2015-05-25 10:29 PM

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Subject: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

2015-05-26 6:02 AM
in reply to: #5118014

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Congrats on your day, Ironman!
2015-05-26 8:35 AM
in reply to: alltom1

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Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

Originally posted by alltom1 Congrats on your day, Ironman!

x2 - awesome job on keeping going!

Beautiful photo of you and your son! 

2015-05-26 8:47 AM
in reply to: #5118014

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Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

Great job Carlo.  It was a tough day out there for sure.  Nice job pushing through

2015-05-26 3:41 PM
in reply to: uhcoog

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Alturas, California
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Carlo job well done!!! Quite a bit of heart out there, the kind that gets you through the dark tunnel as well as the kind that helps others who are struggling in the race to feel your compassion, take the salt and maybe also make it to the finish line. Glad you made it and are on the mend, no one can take that from you, you are an Ironman.
2015-05-26 6:12 PM
in reply to: #5118014

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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

What a great race report, thanks! Great job, Ironman!

P.S. set an alarm next time! That part scared me just reading it!

2015-05-28 6:37 AM
in reply to: zed707

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Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Awesome job Carlo! Love the pic of you and your son!
2015-05-28 11:36 AM
in reply to: scubabrad02

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SOUTH WINDSOR, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

Awesome job Carlo!... Ironman Carlo!!!


2015-05-28 1:22 PM
in reply to: #5118014

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New user
Subject: RE: Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Great job Carlo, you did it! Beautiful picture too
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