Zenner Jason Timmons recently PR’s at Ironman Texas with a total time of 10:18. His race report is here:
Race was Saturday I flew very early Thursday morning. Wore CEP compression socks on the plane and wore no shoes during flight. Brought some carb snacks with me on the plane. Landed, drove to registration checked in, it was very hot and I was drinking all day long, mostly water and Ironman Perform (it is what they were handing out). Lunch was pasta with vegetables and olive oil with some breadsticks and water. Since it was a 45 minute drive to Fabrice’s house and we were attending the pre race dinner. We just hung out in Borders so we could be in A/C and just off our feet. Banquet dinner was pasta (unfortunately it had cream sauce only), some vegetables, and mashed potatoes. I did splurge on a small piece of apple pie (and it was good). Had a good night sleep, even though it was on the couch.
Off to the race site, barely made the cutoff for the practice swim. Water was cool but only as I got in. Water was BROWN, worse than Orlando or the Marine Stadium. Did an out and back swim just to loosen up, felt fine. Picked up bike from Tri Bike Transport tent and went for a 20min ride. Roads were busy and course wasn’t yet marked so it wasn’t a great place to do any serious riding but spun the legs out and got a feel for the wind (VERY WINDY). Off the bike went for a quick run around the area, it was brutally hot even though it was windy. Back to the hotel, checked in, had lunch at Olive Garden of pasta with vegetables and light tomato sauce (tried to avoid the sauce for acid reasons) and bread. Hotel, shower tried for an early dinner at Carraba’s (next door to hotel). It was busy so it took a while to get food. In bed by 9:00 – 9:20 (not entirely sure).
Race Day (Saturday):
4:45 Wake up call, (note that a I had a Boost at about 1:30am), breakfast was a Thomas’ bagel with PB&J in the car on the way to the race site, also had another Boost in the car. Dropped off at transition, aired up tires to 115 PSI, added water bottles to bike, and fuel belt to T2 bag, one more port-o-john stop (this was the third poopy break) and started the walk to the swim start. Fourth poopy break and off to get in the water. I got in the water with 2 minutes to spare, the walk in was slow and I didn’t want to tread water for 10 minutes.
I was in the middle of the line from left to right and about 10-15 yards from the front. The first 5-10 minutes were pretty physical but then I found a nice little hole where it wasn’t crowded and when I could I would draft near someone but I stayed away from the crowded spots. It was overcast and I wished I hadn’t worn my dark tinted goggles, the yellow lenses would have been better. Also since there was no sun I could breath to my left which I am more comfortable with for the entire swim. The out and back section was actually a nice swim. Then the right turn to the canal (that felt like it never ended) got REAL physical since it was only 60 feet wide and was funneling 2000+ people into it. To give you an idea of how brown the water was, in the canal I was next to the wall and I could touch the bottom with my fingers but not see the bottom. Swim time ended up being 1:17:20, it should be noted that based on my plus two other racer’s GPS the swim was about 650 yards long.
Transition run to bags was short and I ran into the tent and ran to the exit and stood instead of sitting to put on shoes, race belt, sunglasses, helmet, one EFS flask, bottle with slat caps, and bottle with caffeine pills and aleive (just in case). T1 time was 3:59.
I ran a few yards past the mount line to get a clean spot to mount and probably passed 10 people right there. As soon as I was strapped in (shoes), I hammered (25mph) for a few minutes in the left lane to get away from a majority of the congestion, then I backed off into a nice steady pace. The run course was uphill for the first half with total elevation gain of 2400 feet but had the advantage if a tailwind and it was overcast, the second half of the course was downhill but had a serious headwind. There were several rolling hills on the bike course and my strategy was fly down them in the aerobars, use the speed to get me up the next one and if necessary use an easy gear, sit up and spin if I lost momentum, I wasn’t going to get out of the saddle and hammer up hills and burn energy doing so. I wanted to keep my AVHR under 150 and try to average 190 Watts. I ended up with 149 and 187 respectively so I was pretty much on the money. Fueling was as usual, sip of Perpeteum every 10 minutes, sip of water every mile both have beep reminders set on my watch, and a salt cap every hour (since it was overcast otherwise I would have gone more frequently). If my stomach felt off I would skip a mile or two of water. I only stopped at every other aid station and used any remaining water in my bottle to cool off over my body before picking up a new bottle. I did get a yellow card early in the bike because someone passed me and then stopped pedaling so I went to pass them back and apparently I wasn’t far enough back (stupid rider and stupid rule), if you are going to pass someone have the legs to keep it going. Bike time was 4:59:59 and the course was spot on 112 miles, I ended up passing 496 riders on the bike.
When I got to T2 transition was pretty empty so I felt pretty good. I quickly got my bag hit the tent, sat, swapped shoes, took off helmet, donned my BZ visor, grabbed a second EFS flask and my fuel belt (which I put on upside down). T2 time was 4:00.
My legs felt good starting the run. The sun was now out full force. First aid station came quick and I took a sip of EFS, washed it down with some water, put a cold sponge in the back strap of the visor and one in the back of my jersey and kept going. I took the same thing at every aid station during the run but added a third sponge in the front of my jersey on the third loop of the run. I also took one salt cap every 30 minutes until I lost them at mile 18, or there about. The course appeared mostly flat but there were sections that were a false flat as it ended up having 270 feet of elevation gain over the course (equivalent of 1.5 bridges per loop). There wasn’t much sun on the run course and there were a lot of sections that were on concrete instead of asphalt which increased the pounding feel. I stayed away from looking at HR for most of the run and tried to run on feel. Lap one went as planned, lap two I started to slow down and walked through three of the aid stations. By the third lap I was suffering and walked through every aid station. My HR wasn’t the problem because it wasn’t even high, my legs and feet felt fine, my abs were cramping badly and preventing me from maximum effort. Run time was 3:58:00.
Upon finishing volunteers wanted to wheelchair me to medical and offered me IV. I declined both the chair and the IV. All I needed was a place to sit for a minute and a few bottles of water as I had stopped peeing about 2.5 hours ago. Before that it was about once per hour or so. I drank two bottles of water, one bottle of perform, had a burrito (best post race food of all time). Then I went for a massage. The only thing that I could not find which I wanted was an ice pack or two. Went back to the hotel, showered, and came back to watch the last person finish at midnight. After that all I can say is that I am still a little sore 4 days later.
This was possibly the best organized race I have ever been to. Just some notable things:
– The pre race banquet food was excellent
– There were more than enough volunteers and they were well informed to help
– Every aid station was well stocked on the bike and volunteers made good handoffs
– Beautiful scenery on the bike course
– Good road quality (except for between miles 85-90)
– Good police support (they even stopped two trains) on the ride
– Excellent number of aid stations on the run, they were well stocked (except for one that briefly ran out of sponges on my third lap but heard they were replaced quickly). They even had generators and huge ice machines at every aid station.
– The location of the three loop run course in a heavy shopping district made for huge crowd support
– The layout of the finish allowed for a pre finish victory lap around the square of the crowd (very motivating)
– Huge (thousands) crowd support until midnight