Monday, May 21, 2012

Ironman Texas Race Report

Huge thanks to my great homestay - their kids made this for me.

The Swim: Zoot Ultra SpeedZoot & Sable Goggles
I really like non-wetsuit swims. Might seem odd coming from someone whose strength does not lie in the swim, but I like the freedom of movement. I actually had a lot of fun in this swim. It used to be that I survived the swim and could not wait for it to end. Now that I have gotten stronger, it is actually fun to chase the pack and get on feet. Several times my feet fell off the main pack and I was able to swim around them, push hard for ten minutes and get back onto the main pack. By the time I reached the canal at the end of the swim I was second position in the second pack. I came out of the water 7th female in 59:11.

The swim start looking out on the course.
Thanks Cook-Train-Eat-Race for the photo.

Run to bike. Put on helmet. Not much happens in here. 2:09.

It took about ten miles before I stopped feeling like my legs were made of lead. Then I started having fun - the scenery was beautiful, the roads nice, and it was toasty. I drank. And ate. And drank more. I caught and passed Caitlin Snow around mile 52 and at this point knew that if I wanted to finish ahead of her, I needed to put time in since she runs fast. I picked up the pace. I decided I would rather take a risk that could end me in a higher position overall at the end of the day, than be safe and not try. Somewhere in the low 80s mileage-wise I completely imploded. Looking back I think it was more of an early-season lack of miles in my legs rather than a calorie issue, but whatever the case - my implosion combined with the headwind all the way home made me feel like I was crawling at a snail's pace. Cait re-passed me around mile 95. Doh! So much for that great plan. I came off the bike in 5th place after 5:07.

Throw bike at wonderful volunteers. Ouch ouch ouch, run into tent where more wonderful volunteers stuff green apple PowerBar gels into my pockets while I throw on my Zoot Ultra Kiawe shoes. 2:22.

In hot races I always feel the run is the coolest since there is ice and water every mile. It was hot. But not unbearable. I had a bicycle escort, which I really love. My legs felt ok. Not amazing and not terrible. In the first of three loops I had two sections where I felt absolutely horrible and was sure I might crap my shorts. Thankfully I did not and located an outhouse. My bicycle escort patiently waited. I was getting splits that I was gaining on 4th. Toward the end of the second loop I moved into fourth and got a new bicycle escort. Sweet! Except about 30 seconds later the girl behind me came blowing past and I moved back into 5th. Darn. I willed my legs to go faster. Chase her!! This is what you do best - running! Except on this particular day the legs were having none of this "faster" type of running. As competitive as I am, I had nothing to go after her. I gave all I had on the day and really that is all I can ask of myself. I ended up running 3:16 to finish 5th in 9:27.

My Thoughts:
I am happy. I wanted to ride under 5 hours, but I also took a risk on the bike and it didn't quite pan out how I hoped. I have no regrets about this. I wanted to run faster. (I am fairly certain I will always want to run faster!!) But again - it was what I had on the day and at this point in the season, I gave it everything possible.

Chrissie greeted me at the finish. She was still there at 11:30pm, handing out medals. I love going back to see the last finishers. I can not imagine racing for that many hours and it is inspiring to see how this sport changes peoples lives and gives them confidence that they can do anything they set their mind to.

  • Coach Elliot - we make a good team, thank you for pushing me, pulling me back and making me laugh.
  • Zoot - the Kiawe shoes are awesome. Hands down best race flat yet!
  • Profile - fast wheels, great aero bars and hydration!
  • Cannondale - my Slice is NICE!!
  • Extreme Endurance - since I am crazy enough to race 7 days after my Ironman, I am putting your products to the test this week!
  • Tribe Multisport - It is great to have a supportive bike shop on my team!
  • Powerbar - scientifically tested fueling that tastes great - green apple gels are my favorite!
  • Rudy Project - Love my helmet & sunglasses. Especially the green ones!
  • SableWater Optics - It's awesome being able to see when I swim.
  • - I love both my jobs.
I am actually racing an Olympic distance race next weekend in Tobago - yes, that little island off Trinidad. Not sure if I am crazy or smart - since I will in fact be on an island surrounded by blue water when I am done!!


Meredith said...

Amazing! Congratulations.

Christi said...

Great job on your race Charisa!

jameson said...

AWESOME!!! congrats!

Beth said...

Huge congrats Charisa!!! Love reading your report and how you really went for it!!! That seems like the best possible plan even if it doesn't pan out. :-) Recover well and enjoy your island vacation/race!!

Jason said...

Loved the report. It is true about the stories of those people coming in and how it changes their life.

I have been emailing with a person who found my blog and he finished in 13:XX. During the lead up to the race he said he would be one and done. His email to me today was I am doing another, maybe not IMTX, but maybe IMMT or IMWI in 2013. Yup, his life is changed forever. I know mine is from this experience.

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Katie said...

Huge congrats! You had such an inspiring race!


Stellar performance... Good thing Chrissie is sitting this year out.

You know where I think you should go for your next IM..
I think they sing songs about the place..

MissFancyPants said...

Congratulations!! such an inspiration and you really had an awesome race!

Hong said...

Awesome race report! Congrats Charisa!

Hong said...

Awesome race report! Congrats Charisa!

Damie said...

:) Your run looked great- and that was awesome you kept working to reel 4th in. So proud of you...wicked fast!!!!!!!

JC said...

AWESOME job out there Lady! SUPER CONGRATS!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on taking 5th place!!

I was one oof those wonderful volunteers in T2, I was racking a bike and saw you running along the fence line towards the tent.

Biker Steve said...

Awesome IM Charisa! You should be proud of your race, on this course under the conditions! I enjoyed leading you out (on my bike) on your marathon leg! You were so steady and strong, especially at the end, clicking off the miles at a steady 8 mph! I was glad I was on the bike escort and not doing it, as I had initially planned!

Kim said...

Awesome job charisa! You friggin dominated out work so damn hard and it definitely is paying off! Cait is one helluva runner!

Libby said...

congrats charisa! awesome race!!! enjoy tobago, that's going to be such a good vacation (after the race!!)

solarpowered said...

Love that you felt strong in the swim.
Love that you had the power to continue strong through a bike implosion.
Love that you had a bike escort.
Love that you had a pit-stop and ran a 3:16.
LOVE the huge smile on your face after all that.