Swim Bike Run


Ironman Texas - Race Report (2012 OP & 2013 on Page 2) (Read 474 times)

    MTA: post race video: youtube

    MTA2: signed up for 2013 too.


    Race Report:

    Ironman Texas, May 19, 2012


    Race Day Weather:

    Water Temp: 80 degrees

    Morning Air Temp: 67 degrees

    Daytime High Air Temp: 90 degrees

    Wind: early morning, calm (less than 4mph).  Mid-morning from the south at 10mph.



    We were scheduled to leave on Thursday early morning, but on Wednesday morning, the Air Conditioner in our house broke.  We had the A/C guy come to the house, and he wouldn’t be able to fix it until later in the week.  The house was 88 degrees inside when we left, and I considered that last afternoon at the house to be “race conditioning”.  The timing was actually perfect.  We left Wednesday night, and drove 3 hours of the 4 hour drive and found a hotel to sleep in that had a nice A/C.


    Friday night (the last supper):

    Dinner @ The Cheesecake Factory at 5pm.  I ate a salad with a pepperoni pizza.  It was good.

    Evening (1 salt tablet, 1 bottle of water)

    Race Morning:

    Alarm: 3:00am

    Breakfast at iHop (or is it Ihop or IHOP?) at 3:30am.  I had a waffle, syrup, 2 strips of bacon, and 2 eggs.  My brother in law joined me, and gave me some last minute calming talk before the race.  I updated my Facebook status with the following quote I received a few weeks earlier from a friend of mine: “Everyone comes up with a brilliant plan for Ironman, and then everyone has to deal with the reality that planning for something like Ironman is like landing a man on the moon.  By remote control.  Blindfolded.”

    Our hotel was about 8 miles from the race area, and we left at 4:30am with a car full of my family (wife, and 2 sons) as well as my brother in law and 2 sister in laws.  It was great having a support crew there to help with parking the vehicle, cheering for me, picking up my bike and bags, etc.  It made it much easier for me, and much easier for my wife.

    Dropped off at the transition area (which was about 1 mile from the swim start) and about another ½ mile from the finish.  Brother in Law parked the car near the run finish (which would make for a nice evening commute home).

    In transition, I did what I needed to do (air up tires, water in bottle#1, Gatorade in bottle#2).  I added a couple of other stuff to my T1 & T2 transition bags (nutrition, advil, ???).

    Walked to the swim start and got body marked



    At 6:50, the canon fired for the Pro’s.

    At 6:52, my toes went into the water.  It was a non-wetsuit race, and the hardest part of the swim for me was the 8 minutes treading water.  I’ve never treaded water before, and realized that my natural buoyancy is around eye level.  So, I swam for about 5 minutes of the time and setup about mid-pack on the left hand side.  When our canon fired at 7:00, it was a little crazy, but I was expecting much worse.  My pre-race strategy was to swim the swim, not race the swim.  I constantly found swimming partners to sight off of and draft.  The water was dirty, so it was very hard to see their knees and ankles when swimming beside them, but the bubbles and water current from their arm stroke got some sunlight near the surface that enabled me to know they were close while I was swimming.

    The swim course consisted of about a 1500 yard out (south), 1500 yard in (north), and about 1500 toward transition heading east.  Heading north caused challenges sighting because of the sun in the eyes with a jagged shoreline “nearby”.  The 1500 yards heading toward transition were along a channel with cement walls on both sides.  The channel was only about 40 feet wide, and my 2:00 / 100yard was about the same speed as many others, which made for a surprisingly tight and busy swim section.

    Time: 1:23:02, 1:58 / 100yards


    Transition 1:

    The tent was hot, humid, and dark.  I felt fine (since I never pushed myself too hard on the swim).  However, with all of the people, I was kind of disoriented while trying to find everything from my bag.  I put my HR strap on in Transition.  I put my helmet on before my shirt (because my helmet was on top of my shirt in the bag).  There were things like that which made for a “less than perfect” Transition 1 time.

    Time: 7:47



    The bike course was smooth and pretty.  On my Garmin 310xt, the only thing that I was showing was my HR.  I knew my HR was controlled.  On mile 3, I had a HR of 155 (which ended out being my maximum HR for the day!).  The first 50 miles were with the wind at the back, and the last 50 miles were with a headwind.  I maintained a steady pace without burning any matches.  On hills, I just rode up the hill allowing others to pass me if they wanted.  I drafted legally as much as I could as I was passing other riders and I was surprised how many others had excellent equipment that I was passing with my non-zipp wheels.  My Cannondale Slice was a great comfortable ride!  I averaged 20.16mph for the first 56 miles, and 19.06mph for the ride back.  There were a few tires that blew, and a couple of accidents that I saw, but otherwise, the course was smooth and safe for riding.

    Nutrition was fine (7 salt tablets, 4 zingers, 2 clif bars, 6 GU's, plenty of water and IronmanGatorade stuff.)

    Time: 5:42:59, 19.59mph


    Transition 2:

    Since the tent was hot 6 hours earlier when it was 70+/- degrees, I decided to change my shoes outside in the sun on the grass rather than sit in a hot and stuffy tent.  I stopped for a few seconds to talk to my wife and then eventually made my way through the tent and onto the run course.  I also used the bathroom.  I truly don’t know how I could have save more than a minute or two from the time it took me in transition.

    Time: 6:03



    The run course consisted of 3 loops of about 8.4 miles.  The first 6 miles were good (decent anyway).  I was hoping to run a 10:00 / mile throughout the run, with the true hope of possibly being able to hold onto a 9:00 / mile.  However, I found it very hard to maintain a 10:00 pace, and after 7 miles, my back began to spasm.  With every right foot step, I felt like it might go into a serious spasm, so my walk breaks became more frequent and more enjoyable.  The problem is that I let that last for a long time.  For about 2 ½ hours, I couldn’t run.  Actually, what I know is that I couldn’t run for a while, and then I decided that I wouldn’t run after a while.  My brain won a game and it took 2 ½ hours to decide that I was wrong.  About 3.75 hours into the marathon, I decided to run again.  Other than walking through the aid stations, I kept on running, and felt very good.  During the last mile, I also hit a HR of 155 (matching my maximum HR from the bike from mile 3).  My back felt fine.  I was able to complete the run (and the race) with my arms raised high and with a smile on my face.

    My nutrition was mixed (coke, water, ice, early on migrated to coke, chicken broth, chips with occasional water and ice later in the race).

    For 2012, my goal was to finish and enjoy an Ironman.  I finished the Ironman.  I enjoyed the Ironman.

    I want to do another.

    Time: 5:11:26, 11:53 / mile


    Total Race Time: 12:31:17


    What I realized through this journey is that we (all of us here as well as those not reading this) can do so much more than we think we can do.


    Years ago, this was a sport reserved for crazy people.

    A few years ago, it was a dream.

    A couple years ago, it was a possibility.

    A few weeks ago, it was a probability.

    This week, and forever, it is a reality.

    I am an Ironman.


    I have climbed my Everest!

    Life Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do

    #2: Enjoy life




      Congrats! Thanks for sharing your RR. I hope to finish an Ironman someday

      Swim , Bike, and Run A LOT

        Nice job Brian, looks like you've just set the bar.


        The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff


        2014 Goals:


        Stay healthy

        Enjoy life


          Besides the obvious awesomeness of "climbing your Everest", three things stood out to me.


          1. No wetsuit swim - probably because swimming is my weakness, but still, you rocked the swim without a wetsuit. To me, that's a huge deal!


          2. Man what a bike split! 


          3. It was 90 degrees on your run!  That probably had a LOT to do with the fact you found it tough to keep your goal pace.


          And I really liked this:


          "Years ago, this was a sport reserved for crazy people.

          A few years ago, it was a dream.

          A couple years ago, it was a possibility.

          A few weeks ago, it was a probability.

          This week, and forever, it is a reality.

          I am an Ironman.


          I have climbed my Everest!"


          Nothing like it.  Enjoy the Ironman high.... it lasted a few weeks for me!






            Congratulations my friend!  You have just completed a feat very few people can say that they have done.  The level of commitment required to cross that line is almost incomprehensible.  Let alone with work and family responsibilities!  Nice job!  They say that there is nothing like your first!!  Not so sure about that.  Enjoy some quality family time and let your body heal before jumping into another big event.

              Thanks guys!

              It was a great week, and an awesome race experience!  Ironman hosts great events with tons of support through the volunteers and the community!


              JDais, I wish you well, and I also hope that many people choose to experience what I experienced!


              BT, yes, last night, I was searching on Ironman.com for my next destination race Smile


              Tony, thank you!  I've scoured through your logs in the past looking for great ideas and I've read your race report and your experience in the past (through posts or through your logs) to better prepare me for this race.


              MM Leto, thank you!  The healing process for my MDot tattoo is keeping me from training this week and part of next, and a family vacation after that will also keep me well rested before I begin to start much activity.


              Interestingly, my body feels fine.  My muscles feel great, and I would go out for a run today (slow, low HR).


              I told my wife last night, though that the toughest part of recovery from this event is the tit 'n tat.  I received some chafing on the nips that's been very sensitive, and the post tattoo tenderness is also slowing me down.


              Life is good!

              Life Goals:

              #1: Do what I can do

              #2: Enjoy life



              Me and my gang in Breck

                Very Nice. I really enjoyed reading the report. Good luck on the future races.

                That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Neitzsche "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." "Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into reality."


                  Looking for training advice.  What is a waste of time and what to make sure and do lots of??    What will you do different next time??



                  Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ


                    In reviewing your log, it looks like you might be a year away from an ironman (not 3-4 months away).  I might be wrong, though.

                    Regardless, I'll write as if you're further away and need a long term plan rather than write regarding race day plan.


                    Please know that how I answer will likely be different from how others that have also done an Ironman will answer this same question, so don't take my words as authoritative.  Others have done better than me and were likely more prepared that I along this journey.


                    Regardless, I started my Ironman quest by finding an approach for going the distance.  I met with a triathlon coach (Level III) in the fall of 2010 and seriously considered paying for a coach, but after listening to him, I felt like I gained enough information to coach myself through the process.  I left the meeting with him telling him that I'd like to take a few months to study Ironman on my own through reading books before I invest money to have a coach.  I've been in contact with him since then, but haven't paid for a coach.  He's applauded my accomplishment and my time, and hasn't yet told me that if I went with him as a coach, he would have been able to better my time (although I'm sure he could have).


                    My training guide is a book titled "Going Long" by Joe Friel.  I decided early on that I would choose only 1 guide to lead me to my first Ironman.  I didn't want to go from Friel to Scott to Allen to "coach D" to "coach E" or take a little bit from each.  I don't know that Friel is better than any of the other coaches, but his book guided me, and his words were clear enough for a man with as little physiology background and as little science knowledge to get me to the starting line.


                    The details of the book are for you to gain and for you to absorb.  After reading the book twice, the book became my training "Bible".  The book was within 3 feet of me most evenings and I would pick it up almost nightly to try to ensure that the path I was going down through my training was consistent of the perscription described within the book.


                    The core principles within the book relate to:

                    - heart rate training

                    - perceived level of effort during your training.

                    - key limiters (ie. muscular endurance, swimming inefficiency) and how to work through your limiters

                    - how to become race ready


                    I used this book beginning in the fall of 2010 for my May, 2012 race.

                    I used this training guide for my trial race in April 2011 (1/2 Ironman), and was very pleased with my results and I "knew" that it would guide me to my full Ironman a year later.

                    My next Ironman, I'll use this same training guide.



                    Regarding things that I would have done differently or things that were a waste of time....

                    I don't know that I have many things to say there.

                    My aerobic training mix was about 20% swimming, 50% biking, and 30% running.

                    Some might consider 20% swimming to be too much, considering it's only 10% of race day.  But, I only began swimming 3 years ago, and needed the lap time to get me to the starting line with confidence.  My next race, I may dial down my swimming commitment slightly and increase my running commitment (but I haven't thought that far ahead).


                    What are your goals?

                    When do you desire to race?

                    What have you learned so far as you've researched training?

                    As I wrote earlier, there are many people here that have responded to this thread and others that haven't that are Ironman kings that have approached Ironman training different than I have.  Their approach has as much merit and as much value as anything I wrote.


                    Best wishes.


                    Life Goals:

                    #1: Do what I can do

                    #2: Enjoy life




                      Nice report, thanks for writing that up and great job!

                      HTFU?  Why not!

                      USATF Coach

                      Empire Tri Club Coach
                      Gatorade Endurance Team

                        I'm 4 days away from doing a repeat Ironman Texas.

                        It looks like the water may be slightly cooler, and I'm debating wetsuit vs. non-wetsuit (if that's even an option).


                        The air temperature should be about 85 degrees with a 10mph wind from the south.  Last year was 5 degrees warmer.

                        This year, I've trained similar hours, but focused more on running than on swimming.

                        Last year's training cycle, I did 55 hours of swim training, and this year, I've done 44 hours.

                        Last year's training cycle, I ran 92 hours, and this year, I've run 110 hours.  My bike training is similar to last year.


                        A couple of differences though...

                        1. I better understand and respect the challenge of Ironman, and have mentally prepared for the run challenge

                        2. I gained a lot of knowledge regarding nutrition last year that I hope will help me this year.


                        But, there is 1 added challenge this year.... My stress levels over the past week have been fairly high due to an unforeseen situation involving my extended family.  The media attention with that situation has shifted my focus and added some level of stress


                        My youtube video from 2012 helps prepare me mentally.

                        Last year, I did 12:31:17, but had a very tough run.  This year, I'm looking to beat that time by 31+ minutes.

                        I'll be leaving Thursday and racing Saturday.

                        If you're interested, my BIB# is 1475, and you can follow live at IronmanLive.com

                        Life Goals:

                        #1: Do what I can do

                        #2: Enjoy life



                          Race well Brian, I may just be logging into Ironman Live and spying on your progress.


                          The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff


                          2014 Goals:


                          Stay healthy

                          Enjoy life


                          hairshirt knitter

                            Best of luck with your time goal, and wishing you an enjoyable race. Looking forward to the race report from this year...

                            Village people

                              Good luck! I am anxious to read your next RR after reading the first.

                                Good luck, Brian. Enjoy it.