Monday, October 20, 2014

Ironman Texas 2014

(May 17, 2014)  I wasn’t sure how this race would go this year considering I cut back my training even more from the previous year.  However, I made sure I hit my key workouts and went big on the weekends.  All my long rides felt really good and I PR’d Galveston 70.3 with a 5:20 finish.  The weather was looking perfect and I was hoping for another sub 12hr finish.

My buddy Wiley and I made it down to the swim about 10mins before the cannon went off.  We staged to the far right near the shore so we didn’t have to tread water waiting for the start.  The swim was way more congested than previous years as this year was wetsuit legal and everyone started at once.  I swam comfortably and tried to keep a steady pace.  No major issues and just the typical punch, kicks, MMA fighting, etc of an Ironman swim.  Finished 1 min faster than last year but still in the same range I have finished all my previous races. 1:23:18

I started off on the bike with dead legs.  Felt like I was riding on flat tires most of the time and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  Was I undertrained? Nutrition off? Is it just the wind? The first 30 miles I averaged 19.1 MPH and I had to work for it.  We didn’t have the tail wind going out like previous years and the wind just got worse throughout the day.  I also had an un-normal empty stomach feeling and couldn’t get enough nutrition in to kick that feeling.  To make things worse, at special needs I had my chickfila chicken sandwich in my hand and after taking one bite, I Tony Romo’d it to the road beneath me.  I watched in horror as the buns separated from the chicken along with the signature two pickles and they all when their separate ways.  Seriously thought about turning around to salvage what I could but I kept on pedaling. Back to perpetuem for the rest of the bike. Never felt right the entire ride and struggled the rest of the way in. Off the bike in 6:31:07 (17.18 mph) – Slowest IMTX bike split.

Thought I could salvage what race I had left in me and started off on the run feeling decent.  That didn’t last long and I struggled the most of the 26.2 miles even puking a couple times. Seriously thought I might not finish and may have to pull myself off the course.  I had to walk almost all of the last lap. As I came down the finishing shoot I saw all my family, gave hugs etc., and then heard my dad yelling at me. He held out a beer for the finish line celebration. I grabbed it popped it open and took a small sip then raised my hands in the air as I was crossing the line.  Nothing beats the finishing shoot. As difficult as it was to pull myself together to finish that race, I still got it done and couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends. Finished the run in 6:15:39 (14:20 pace).  About 45 minutes slower than my IMCDA run split.
T1 – 8:12
T2 – 7:03
Finish - 14:25:19

As always I can't thank my family and friends who came out enough.  This was by far the toughest race I have completed and I've thought long and hard about racing Ironman again. It’s such a long day and so many things can go wrong. Something wasn't right with my nutrition or maybe even swallowing something in the swim. I’m going back next year though, I have some things to prove to myself and won’t go out having a miserable race.  I’m not worried about finishing time or anything except enjoying the journey. This should be a good one and possibly my last for a couple years.

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