Ironman Texas 2016

A very raw report of the race – a few bad words (you’ve been warned) and not poetically written – just my brain on paper after 123 miles 🙂

To set the stage for this race – IM didn’t have a bike course until ~a few weeks before the race…and that course got flooded out by rain in Houston.  IM miraculously still managed to put together yet another course but it was only 94 miles (rather than 112).  THEN the lake we were to swim in failed to meet quality standards (raise yer hand if yer thinking what I’m thinking about ‘Texas quality standards’…) – so they had to alter the swim course (we still swam in the same lake….see run report for details on how that worked out #poopyerpants).  The altered swim course meant we added another mile back to the bike – so now at 95 miles!  All was well and good – until the hail storm on the run which forced them to (kind of) temporarily shut down the course….some of us kept running (there’s nothing temporary about stopping w/ 4 miles left in an IM #permanent #wheresthebeer).

ok – before i forget – thoughts in most basic form (punctuation not included):

leading up to the race i was actually pretty relaxed – i started to get nervous going to bed the night before and the morning of ….and then as we lined up for the swim i was about to come unhinged 🙂

swim
i had no idea what to expect from myself on this – hoping i was under 1:02 and figured if i could navigate well i’d be able to go under an hour.  i don’t wear a garmin when i swim, but i’m certain i cut off time by swimming inside the buoys out of the crowds.
note to self: people lie about their swim times.  Some guy looked like the before picture in a total immersion video starting w/ the 1 hour group!  i have never punched or kicked people in a swim but i did on this swim. JEEZE.
transition 1 –
betty helper bees were swarming but nothing compared to the tea party in T2!  honestly – they were great but it’s really hard to focus w/ so many people asking you questions and handing you stuff – and all your sh*t you’ve put in a certain order now spread out all over.  next time i think i’ll just go in my corner and try to avoid the help.
bike –
well the first thing was that my HR monitor didn’t work the whole day.
Then i pulled my bike off the rack and the saddle was nose down – i didn’t realize how bad it was but after ~ 45 minutes before i decided there was no freaking way that would work (my arms were burning like hell b/c i was holding my body up! and i had to keep sliding myself back on the saddle).  by the grace of baby gumby himself i passed the bike tool guy on the road – i never saw him again that entire day – he fixed my saddle…not quite right the first time so i took off and had to turn back around – but the second time he got – i kind of can’t believe how lucky i got w/ that.
my legs felt good – and i didn’t have any of the cramping stuff that i had at the start of the biek during my 70.3s.  and my hip never hurt on bike or run!! …this might be due to the iburpofen i took in the days leading up?  which might have also made me shit my pants in the run – but i’ve taken ibuprofen SO many times before and NEVER had ANY problem. And i did NOT take it the day of the race. more on this to come.
i wasn’t sure what to expect w/ power – i was aiming for 165 – 180 but i noticed i was averaging over 20 mph w/ holding 160 power – and i felt like my legs were working as hard as they should be for an IM ride (honestly i was worried they were working too hard).  I just uploaded it though and my average was 150.   I knew my power was low (i thought it was about 160 – no idea it was 150) – but i was consistently passing 10 miles in under 30 minutes – so i knew i was holding ~20 mph.  I thought about needing to pick it up to come even close to the power goal (and i didn’t have HR so no effort gage there) – but I thought 1. my legs are working hard. 2. i’m consistently over 20 mph for nearly 100 miles – over 20 was my reach goal (for me….i know [my coach] thought i could do over 21 mph but yikes) so I was going about where I was hoping….given how my legs felt i didn’t think i could bump it up another 10 watts much less 30.
Plus, i was worried if i pushed it too much i’d crash at the end of the ride – BUT:  i felt stronger in the last hour of the bike than at any other point. yea!
nutrition: i didn’t realize anything was wrong at this point – i thought it was a little weird i wasn’t as hungry as i usually am on the bike – i really had to force myself to eat but it didn’t set off any alarms….
irrelevant side note:
there was this navy dude on his bike in the last ~5 miles that i passed and as i passed him he was like – “uh, hey do i have a flat? (I was thinking there’s no way you’d be asking me to slow down and check for your flat if i was a guy….and then i realized he was doing that b/c he was being passed by a girl so thought something must be wrong – or at least he wanted to make me thing the only reason i was passing him is b/c he had a flat….well if that didn’t get me going).  The best was when he sprinted past me on a hill at mile ~93 STANDING UP – (ps we have a marathon next)….unfortunately for him i flew by him on the downhill and headed in.  We got off our bikes at the same time and he sprinted past me in the transition yelling at spectators for smoking during his IM and yelling at the rest of the athletes for running on the pavement and not the grass and how we needed to save our feet…..i thought he was kidding and actually started to laugh and smile at him but he was NOT kidding and he was most definitely NOT smiling.  needless to say i ran past him at mile 3 – walking.
T2:
grandmas tea party.  how can you say mean things about such nice people – but next time i’m flying solo.  That night i found my missing salt and tylenol that they couldn’t find (i even looked in the trash for it) in the bottom of my transition bag. thus my transition time looks like i took a nap in there.
run:
a shit storm on so many levels.  so i actually felt as descent as i would expect to feel for an IM run.  The shits were awful – and the stops added to my time (id’ guess 15+ minutes maybe?) but in terms of my actual pace, i don’t know that i would have run much faster.  I feel like 8:45 – 9:15 is a pretty realistic pace for me – the 8:30 is probably a hair faster than what i’d hold for an entire IM 26.2 – i was hoping for sub 4 and had the shits not happened, i think i’d have done that.  All in all i’m happy w/ my run – and if one has to have the shits for the duration of 26.2 miles at least they were the sort where i could keep running – oddly stomach cramping was fairly minimal – so i could just deal w/ the episodes and carry on. (sorry Houston for crapping in your arboretum!  your shrubs should grow like magic 🙂
the hail storm was a mess – no aid stations for the last 4 miles (which honestly was maybe a blessing b/c every time i put something in my mouth it made me crap – but i was also afraid NOT to eat anything….so at least w/ the aid stations gone i didn’t have to eat :).  the rain cooled things off – it was kind of fun running in the thunderstorm.  a great distraction.  It might have messed w/ my pace a little at times – b/c i had to keep myself moving despite everyone around me stopping and not being sure my time would count.  it was just kind of weird. However, any disruption to my pace i have to believe was negated by the cooling effects of the rain.  really no complaints about the thunderstorm 🙂
out of transition i carried a 24 oz bottle of osmo – and had another 24 oz in my special needs – those were like gold.  heavy to carry but i think really important.
no HR and auto pause was on on my 910 and i just couldn’t pull it together to get the settings changed.  it was like a little buzz alarm for my shits.  BUZZZZ *shit* BUZZZ.  ….however, i just uploaded my 910 and it shows a 4:08 marathon (same as my race time) so i dont’ know – maybe the auto pause wasn’t working.  It was just buzzing all day to celebrate. who knows.
overall i’m happy – esp w/ my swim and bike.  obviously it would have been better to have 112 miles on a non 81 turn course and to not have epic GI issues – but aside from that, it was a great day.
one last irrelevant note:
casey (my hubs) was literally getting hypothermia after the race b/c he stood there in that rain waiting for me – to make a long story short, we were trying asap to get him back to the hotel for a warm shower (i don’t need to tell you getting from the race finish to the car w/ a hypothermic IM finisher in the rain was not a fast process – thank god for todd/ jennifer/jenne/steve) – anyway we FINALLY pull into the hotel and i had to get a key from the front desk b/c mine was in my morning clothes bag still at the race site – i walk in and the woman at the front desk (mind you im standing soaking wet in a space blanket looking like hell and most likely with shit in my pants) started telling me about how her chihuahua just ate a lithium battery – it happened when the bowl of tootsie rolls got knocked off ….can’t afford the vet ….on the phone with the $50 ask a vet….what did i think she should do?
at that point i was just like is this really happening – is this woman seriously talking to me about her chihuahua eating tootsie rolls and lithium batteries while im shit staining her lobby carpet??? …. at that point it all started to become hysterical – i had to turn around and walk out b/c i was going to come completely unglued – i was laughing so hard by the time i got to the car i was crying – and this poor woman’s dog was probably dying!!!!!! OMG!

what a freaking day!

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