This year one of my goals was to pick HARD races. Races that would challenge me in a different way. IMTX did not disappoint. Up until race day there was not a whole lot of certainty in the course…They changed the bike and shortened it, and then on Thursday before the race they announced that the swim would change and we would have two transitions.
I will say…HANDS down the Texas athletes that we have are AMMMAAAAAZZZZING!!! Most of them I had met at Galveston, but this group racing IMTX was so FUN. We met up on Friday for a little brunch and it was fun to hang out and chat. We saw each other on the course on Sat and everyone was ALL SMILES and everyone finished which = WINNING!
I also brought the best SHERPA race team ever!!! So they made my days SMOOTH and FUN. It was great to have Aly along for the travel and Tara does a great job in the CHEER department so it was a win win. THANKS to you both!
I liked arriving on Wed, since it was the first time that I flew to an IM…Texas just happens to be a full day of travel for us since there are no direct flights. The days before the race seemed to pass quickly and there was enough prep work to keep me busy.
I slept fine the night before, only woke up in a panic that my alarm was set for Eastern time, but it was not. We were close to the race site that we could have walked to the start…we caught a ride and that was helpful. I was in and out of transition, just loading my nutrition and pumping my tires.
SWIM 59:58 3rd AG
This was the first time that I swam in a swimskin since the water was a mere 80 degrees. It was a rolling start and my goal was to be one of the first 20 people in the water. I was not able to get there…people we much more aggressive in Texas with the swim. I was also a little concerned about the water quality. They changed the swim and with all of the flooding, it sounded like it was going to be NASTY. While it was no Mirror Lake, like Placid, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. I dialed back the pace a little with the warm water and a long day ahead and tried my best not to swallow any of the nasty Texas water.
BIKE 4:39:52 10th AG
The bike was short only 95 miles, and when the course was announced there were only 86 turns…so it was going to be an interesting day. I got out of the lake and the swim was a quick transition..one benefit to being a strong swimmer is no one is in the change tent. So I commandeered some volunteers and set to work, out the tent. On the bike and off we go…happy riding. The course was flat…really flat and it was fast. Ironman did a good job with what they had and the roads were in solid condition. It was HOT for me…and immediately my watts and HR were not matching. So I dialed back and rode by RPE and HR…I felt like it was the smart choice. So each aid station I picked up two waterbottles and dumped one over my head and kept one for cold water until the next aid station.
RUN 4:57 20th AG
The Texas run was three loops of a little over 8 miles…and it is flat. The crowds are awesome and FAR better than IMLP. It is an easier course to spectate and navigate because of the loops. Minus the crazy weather, I liked this run better than IMLP.
On the run finally…and it was HOT…for those that were acclimated it might not have seemed that bad but I thought it was going to be one long run on struggle street. I walked each aid station, water over the head, ice, sponges, etc…rinse repeat lather. While I trained this cycle in the Asics Nimbus, that shoe was a brick when it got wet.. maximum cushioning = lead feet when it was wet. I managed to continue my no blister streak though..and Ironman #3 in the books and the better part of 4 hours my feet were wet. My short PSA…get a good fitting by someone who KNOWS what they are doing…and if you are going to spend a ton of money getting yourself to the start line, don’t buy your run socks from Dicks. end of PSA. On I soldiered, commenting it would be nice if a little storm blew in…and that it did. As I was finishing my second lap and onto the third…the wind, thunder and rain started…and it was an awesome storm. Sideways lightening, parking lots with calf deep water and 20mph winds…and we trudged on. Until mile 21…when we came to a screeching halt…the race had been stopped.. 5 min, 10 min, we just waited..I ate another gel and tried to keep moving around so I did not get to tight. No one knew what was going on, and it was cold and still raining pretty hard…finally we got moving again but it was slow. The course was crowded and bunched up and it was hard to move. Lets be honest, no one was going anywhere FAST. Finally we were on the homestretch and it felt good. Lots to work on with this leg…it is for sure my weakness. Some good lessons from this marathon though so I am glad that I did it.
Total Time 10:47:20 20th AG