Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ironman Austin 70.3 Race Report

If memory serves, Micah Noland (Oklahoma) narrowly missed a major car crash a few months ago. Later that same day he signed up for Ironman Austin 70.3. What a great example... we never know what curveballs life will throw at us, so just appreciate and attack every day. No regrets!

Race Morning: 

I woke up at 4:15, transition opens at 5:00, walked out the door of the motel and the wind was already strong, you all know how this makes a triathlete feel, especially us not so strong swimmers. Got body marked and I am in swim wave 10, set to go out at 7:40.

This will be my 55th Tri and my 3rd HIM, I did not realize Ironman Austin was so big. 2296 participants, the largest one I have ever been a part of. Reality sets in when the sun is coming up and I see how far the dang buoys are out across the lake. It was 56 degrees and I was shaking uncontrollably. I know I have put in the time on the swim in the pool, but wow does that look long and this many people, I ain’t gonna lie, I was a little nervous. Getting ready for takeoff a guy is pulling his swim cap on and his hand slips and he slaps me right in the face. He did say “I am so sorry sir”, I laughed and said “that is about to happen many more times buddy”, good luck.

I told myself to not be intimidated and just take it in little chunks, we will get there. 100 people had to be pulled from the water because of the windy conditions according to; myself I didn’t think it was that bad. I finished in 44:30 and by the time I hit the transition mat I was at 46 minutes, about what I expected. 5 minutes faster than my first HIM swim that Collin rags on me about.

I usually average about 20 mph on the bike for this distance; I did not realize the difference a Tri-bike makes, hurry up Argon! It seemed that there was a strong head wind or cross wind all day long, that coupled with the fact the roads were in horrendous conditions from the rains made for a slow time for me on the bike. I feel this is where I lost the most time in trying to reach my goal of 6 hours.

I saw at least 5 bike crashes that resulted in ambulances arriving on the scene, being a safety major I opted to obey all the “slow down” and “Caution” signs.

My first mile on the run was a 7:15, but I would soon realize how much the rolling hills of Texas had taken out of the legs. I train all the time on hills like that, they didn’t seem hard at the time of the ride, but got to me on the run. I ended up averaging about 10 minutes a mile for the ½ marathon and finished with a time of 6 hours and 24 minutes, 22 minutes slower than my last HIM.

Things I learned:

The 2 transition areas cost me several minutes on trying to reach my goal. Coming out of the water and ready to get on the bike at T1, I had to pack up all my belongings and shove it in a gear bag so they could have it for me at 2nd transition area, same thing at T2. 9 stinking minutes in transition total.

2nd thing I learned: It is hard to set a time goal for a HIM. So much of this comes down to the conditions on race day. My best HIM is a 6:02, but I am more proud of overcoming these Ironman Austin conditions and finishing with a 6:24 while battling windy conditions on the swim and bad road conditions on the bike and 2296 others all day long. I am tired, I am sore, and I can’t wait to do another HIM!

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