Race Report from Ironman Texas, by Philip Deeter. In addition to being a member of District Multisport, Philip is a professional masseuse, USA Triathlon Level One Coach, and team partner -- learn more at his website, The DEETERmined Athlete.
Some big wins, and some really disappointing mistakes. Here's how it went down:
Pre-race: My training was consistent and I added more strength into my plan over the past four months. My knee was a little weird (the one injured in my 2015 bike accident), but no real pain to speak of. I just have this odd, movable lump above the knee. The PT said to listen to it, and I have been over the past four weeks. Overall, I felt pretty good and slept (and ate) well the whole week.
Swim: I have never been kicked, slapped and pushed so much in a swim! The course is pretty narrow, and I expected some contact, but not like this. After the first turn, I was able to break free for a bit and get into a groove. But as we made the turn into the canal, it got sloppy and bumpy again. I got out of the water in 1:35, an average time for me. What I discovered after was that my pace was the fastest I've ever swam! But it doesn't matter how fast you go if you don't swim straight. Adam Rippon in a beaded evening gown looks straighter than my Strava. Lesson learned? Keep up with the frequent trips to the pool, but add open water swim sessions to improve.
T1: Not my best, but not bad either. I ate a bit to make sure I started off on the bike well.
Bike: Cloudy and no wind to start. I eased into it and felt strong. After 10 miles, I was into a consistent groove. By the three-hour mark, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Despite feeling like I was holding back, my pace was well above anything I had done in previous Ironman events. My HR was steady and I just felt great! I told myself not to push because it might get hot. And then, it did.
The temp climbed as the clouds burned off, and the wind kicked up . After mile 75, I realized I had been so focused on my pace that I had fallen behind in my nutrition and hydration plan. Then I didn't want to eat and the wheels started to fall off (ed. note: not literally). I limped along the last 25 miles and what had started so well, ended poorly. I still had a 16 min PR for the bike, but I knew the run was going to be difficult.
Jen Walwrath, 1st Time Ironman
This was my first full ironman and it did not disappoint. What an iconic course!
Swimming in Mirror Lake can’t be beat. The water is clean and clear, as far as lakes go, and you can catch glimpses of the mountains between trees. I had only one complaint - since I started with a lot of guys, larger people kept swimming over me and I had to work pretty hard to defend my space. I even shoved some legs and threw a few elbows.