So, I realize that most people do their race recaps soon after their races. But I am new to this whole blogging thing.
Ironman Texas was my first attempt at an Ironman distance race. Leading up to it I did a half iron triathlon November 1, 2012, a sprint in August 2012 and a super sprint in May 2012. I never was much of a swimmer (still am not) and started in January 2012, struggling to make one length. I had bought a beginner road bike back in September 2011. I ran my first marathon in 2010 and have since run 5 (and qualified for Boston). I signed onto triathlons after watching the ironman world championship in Kona and saw a man like 70 years old finish and thought if he can do it, I surely can do this. So as crazy as it seemed at that point, I started triathlons solely with the thought that I would become an ironman.
So I had to come up with a plan. I joined a group in August to train for the half. November. Before that I just swam and biked whenever I felt like it and didn't have a plan. My schedule had me doing three swims, three bikes and three runs for the half. It was a hot day and I finished in 5:55. The group I had belonged to closed/stopped and I joined a group called Sportsbra Slingshot SBS. The group is semi sponsored and the title sponsor is Johnny from Powerhouse Racing. He is a Tridot coach. I did the Houston marathon on 1/13/13 and started my tridot schedule the following week. This plan had two swims, three bike rides, two brick runs and three other runs on the average week. Tridot incorporates a lot of speed work and overall is less of a time commitment compared to other plans I have seen.
Race morning started around 4am. I got up, got dressed and loaded n SPF 100 and had breakfast. Breakfast consisted of two servings of old fashioned oats with almonds, honey, raisins and soy milk and grabbed a cup of coffee with cream. My fiancé Ryan and I landed up my special needs bags and got in the car. We parked at the HEB right across from the transition. I loaded my frozen bottles of UCan on my bike. And then walked the mile going to the swim start.
I got to the swim start and wow the lines for the port o potties were long and slow. Next year they need more for sure! I stood in line and realized that I forgot to put myBento box on my bike. My bento holds salted almonds and my salt tabs. I didn't have time to go back to my bike put it on there and drop my special needs. What a rookie mistake.
I finally was done in the line and dropped my special needs and zipped up my speed suit. The water temp was above 77 degrees so people had the option of wearing a wetsuit but they wouldn't be able to qualify for Kona. I figured I was going to qualify but I wanted to see how I did following the official rules. So I headed to swim start and the cannon went off before I could get in the water. That's how long the ports lines were... Anyways I was the last non wetsuit athlete in the water. My garmin and I were not agreeing with each other. I have the 910 and bought I had it turned onto multi sport but realized as I got in the water that it was not ready. Another rookie mistake...
Sometimes at the beginning of race starts, I get a little bit of swimming anxiety. Even though I have logged hundreds of open water swims I just forget how to breathe. Can't really explain it. Well I dipped my head in three times and breathed out a full lung of air and then push off to swim. I kept to the right for maybe 50 stokes and then slowly angled to the left all the way to the turn buoy. I started out with a stroke, sight, stroke, breathe and then switched up the sides of breath. And yes it was super crowded. There were many more green caps (men) than pink caps (women) and for the whole swim, I probably was kicked over 20 times and was punched or elbowed many more times. Just when I got in a rhythm, I was running someone down. There were very few people that swam over me, which was due to me being the last person of the first wave to enter the water. Oh and the water, you can't see sh*t when you put your head in the water. Very brown water and well who knows what bad bacteria is in that water...and unfortunately I somehow swallowed a lot of it. I think at caused some issues
Made it to the first turn buoy and this woman directly in front of me stopped, threaded water for a second and started yelling. She said something like "whoever is f-in hitting me needs to f-in stop." I laughed in my head and thought "we'll swim faster then" and also thought "maybe you should have not signed up for this if it really bothers you". Anyways she slowed me down big time. Made the "u turn" and then swam on to the next turn buoy, made the right turn and started the swim down the waterway.
That waterway was awesome. People were lining the sidewalks that were right next to where we were swimming and were cheering loudly. It was great. However the waterway path was a lot longer than I had thought. Definitely deceiving And at this point the men and some women I wetsuits caught up with me. But I saw the end and made it out if the water and clocked a time of 1:38. Not what I was hoping. In the pool I had clocked 1:19 and in open water 1:24. Oh well.
I ran on the very hot side walks, seriously feet burning, to my bike bag. Ran to the tent and reapplied
sunscreen and put on my shoes, helmet and sunglasses. Ran up to the people that had sunscreen and has them coat my smiley face zone on my back and my shoulders. My transition time was terrible. For sure
Ran to my bike and realized as I was about to hop on that my garmin was still on my wrist. Ring 112 miles with a watch on your wrist with the aero bars =not comfy. So I stopped and strapped my watch to my aero bar. I need a better bike mount... And yes, another rookie mistake.
The plan was supposed to be easy heart rate for an hour and then stay I zone 3 for the rest of the ride. Having done my longest ride leading up to the race of 140 miles and seriously getting bored and having my butt hurt, I knew I had 112 without any issues. The being bored part really goes away when in a race. The whole road closed part is super nice and I always had people to pass, I didn't get
passed that much. People would pass me hammering up a hill and I would pass them down the hills. I surely didn't have weighing more on my side to roll down the hill faster. I just geared up and pedaled down all of the hills. And these hills were really rollers, nothing to be afraid of. I biked the course 3 times and was pretty familiar with it. However what I wasn't familiar with was the heat. Oh man, it was HOT on the ride. Biking on pavement with zero cloud coverage on a 90+ degree day with 90+percent humidity is hot and I don't know how some people prepare for that. Oh yeah, forgot to say that I took the salt and almonds out of my special needs bag and put them in the back pocket of my Tri top in a zip lock bag. And you wonder how it faired in the swim? Almonds were definitely fine and the salt, well most were fine. One exploded or something. So every time I took salt, I tasted it.
I took a salt every 45 minutes and then every 15 minutes I took a gulp of my Ucan. I drank water when I felt like it. And with my salt. So I passed the first station because I had all my nutrition loaded on my bike. Each aid station was 10 miles. When I saw the second aid station, I decided I wanted cold water, bad. I took the bottle hand up and poured some in my aero bottle, some in my mouth, and some over my head. I did this for every stop to the end. And I didn't miss a bottle hand up once. However, half of them were not open....slightly annoying to open the water while pedaling. And one water stop, some guy had his blinders on and forgot about everyone else. Thank God I am quick to react as the guy cut me off big time as I had just grabbed the bottle of water. Quick jerk around him and went back on my way. Social needs came up and I didn't plan on stopping so I kept on going. Didn't stop the entire ride.
I had some serious tummy issues going on. I think I swallowed too much lake water. I had some serious gas issues and bloating going on. I had never had that issue before. I thought about stopping to go to the bathroom to see if there was something else going on, but didn't. I usually pee a lot while riding 112 miles but well this day everything was off even though I followed my plan. I only peed once only a quarter of the way in the ride. Thinking I need to experiment on nutrition in the future... Another rookie issue...