Ironman Texas – Run Recap

Ironman Texas – Swim Recap can be found here.

Ironman Texas – Bike Recap can be found here.


After telling Scott I felt great it was time to head to the Run Gear bags.  I yelled out my number and the volunteer pointed me to where it was.  I ran down there and was handed my bag and toward the changing tent I went.  I noticed that not everybody was running into the changing tent and I thought to myself why would I go in there.  I can slip on my shoes (I had removed my feet from my cycling shoes on the ride so I had no bike shoes on), turn my race belt around, put on my visor, grab my handheld and go.  So that is what I did.  I got out of T2 in an un-MattyO like 3:55.

Now here is where this is screwed up I thought.  I still had to run through the changing tent to get to the run course.  Why?  That was the flow of traffic and it slowed me down.  Probably a good thing though.  As I exited the changing tent I had them slap that goopy mess of sunscreen on me because I did not pack any into my Run Gear Bag (remember this for Ironman Arizona in November.)  They lathered my shoulders, my legs, my neck, nose and cheeks and off I went.

I looked down at my watch and it was still running so I was happy to have it with me to check my heart rate.  As I looked down at my watch I saw my goal Heart Rate for the run of 155bpm.  That was going to be the top end for me and so I started out with that in my head.  Within moments you are at an aid station. Following my plan of stopping at each aid station and walking 30-45 steps I began to implement my plan.  I took in some water and squeezed a sponge on my head and then about 5-6 sponges into the top of my race kit and zipped up.

You head out onto a grassy section where you do a complete 180* turn and then head up a steep grassy hill.  Now the hill is only about 3 steps long but it could be dangerous because the footing is not solid.  Once over that hump you are into a parking lot and doing a lot of turns and zig-zags.  The best part is that you are under a canopy of trees but this also screws with your satellite connection to your watch.  I saw I was at an 11:00/mi pace but told myself not to move faster because the data was getting screwed with because of the turns and trees and having to locate the satellites.  Keep steady, keep strong and only walk at the aid stations.

Each aid station is so loaded you could get through without bringing any nutrition or hydration of your own.  If you train with what is going to be on the course then you would be all set.  Since I love the EFS Liquid Shot Kona-Mocha I trained with it and was using that in my handheld.  I also had two HoneyStinger waffles broken in half in my race kit to be consumed every two hours.

As I was running I started to notice a lot of people walking.  The problem is you don’t know if they are on Lap 1 or Lap 3 and are walking.  Either way my observation was that there were going to be more and more walkers along the way.  I got passed by a few people here and there but for the majority of the time I was passing people.  I could hear people complaining about the heat and I thought to myself this isn’t hot.  I again go back to the fact that I trained with 5-6 layers of clothes on and forced my body to adapt to the heat and humidity that we would face.  This helped immensely at this race.

About one-third of the way through Lap 1 I heard footsteps coming up on me.  They were moving fast but there was no heavy breathing.  My initial reaction was that this person must have just started and they are going out too hard.  Sure enough as I got passed and I looked to my right this person was hauling ass.  They were not breathing heavy and their cadence was quick and light.  I looked down at the calf to make sure they weren’t in my age group and noticed the P.  I just got passed by Caitlin Snow as if I were a volunteer handing out water.  She looked effortless and within 30 seconds she was out of eyesight.  It was unreal to see that speed at what proved to be her third and final lap.

The run course is gorgeous.  There are some easy rolling hills but nothing that saps your energy or takes your breath away.  Having aid stations approximately every mile apart was perfect.  I knew that I would drop off the sponges, grab a cup of water or ice, then more sponges and be on my way.  It was a perfect cadence and rhythm  through these aid stations.  At one point I thought I need to really keep everything cool and so I stuck two sponges down my short and into my crotch.  As I was running I was thinking what if I have to pee will I take the sponges out and go or just pee on the sponges.  I’m not sure if this was the same thought from the volunteer who just handed me the sponges or not but after she saw me jam down my shorts she made this look of disgust.  I laughed so hard and said:  Jason take them out if you have to pee.

After the 30 minute mark and the 2nd 15 minute alarm the watch started to really go nuts and beep.  At around mile 5 I looked down to see where my heart rate was at and my watch was blank.  The battery finally died and it became a race of perceived exertion.  Where am I?  How do I feel?  Are you breathing heavy?  Are the legs hurting?  All questions I would ask myself for the remainder of the race.  Each time I asked the response was you feel great keep plugging along.

Toward the end of each lap you get onto the canal and it is lined with spectators.  People cheering for their athletes but as I came around for Lap 1 it was kinda dead.  I yelled out to the crowd that I understood we were having all the fun but let’s hear some noise.  Let’s get some cheers going and they responded.  Right after that I came up on the Kingwood Tri Club tent, which Jeff is a part of, and sure enough a sign.  Powered By Veggies….Go Jason!  I almost peed’ myself from laughing.  It was the perfect sign to see.

Right after that I caught up with a guy and we started chatting.  He told me he was on Lap 2 and ready to be done.  I told him he has to look at this like a 5K.  The first mile you fly and love life, the 2nd mile sucks and you are wondering why you are out there, the third mile you are so geeked to be finishing that you turn up the speed.  He thanked me for the analogy and off he went.  I kept at my pace because I was still on Lap 1.

Midway through Lap 2 and the bladder was yelling at me.  I knew it was about time to release and so I took out the sponges and started peeing everywhere.  It felt magical and made me feel a lot lighter until my stomach rumbled.  It wasn’t a rumble of you have eaten too much and drank too much but more along the lines of having eaten a big meal and your body had to get rid of the waste.  I crossed over the bridge and into the Swim Start area where there were 15-20 porto-potty’s.  Stupid me ran past them thinking I could hold it.  Looking back:  Hold it for what stupid?  Anyway about 1:00 past the porto I was faced with turning back and going, keep going forward and potentially be the cover of a poster for Ironman who doesn’t quit regardless of situation but then I remembered the bathroom I used at 6:30am was right around the corner.

I must have had this look on my face of desperation because a volunteer was about to enter the bathroom when he gave way.  As a matter of fact he did not enter with me either.  I blew that place up and I apologize to those that had to go in there after me.  Let me tell you though about 5 pounds lighter and this race was ON.  I got out of there ready to roll.  My pace felt like it picked up and I started passing more and more people.  Keeping steady to not overheat myself though.

Toward the end of Lap 2 I saw Karen sitting at the Kingwood Tri tent and I yelled at her and she yelled back.  It was great to see a friendly face at that point knowing that within the next 8.5 miles I would be an Ironman.  I chugged along and each time you pass through this section you hear Mike Reilly calling out somebody else’s name and saying YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.  I played this vision over and over in my head.  My goals times were out the window as I didn’t have a watch and just wanted to keep running.  Walking was never an option and especially on Lap 3.

I was on cruise control and running strong when Jeff of Apex Endurance caught up to me.  I asked me where we were at because I had no watch.  He told me it was 6:40p and that we had about two miles to go.  I said to him that we have 20 minutes or 10:00/mi to beat 12 hours.  I was ecstatic to think that.  After hearing that I came up on Karen again and handed her my handheld.  I honestly wanted that thing gone at Mile 18.  I was tired of drinking the EFS at that point and even more tired of carrying it.  At Mile 20 I took in some coke and a mini-brownie.  Then at Mile 24 took some more Coke and that would be the end of the nutrition/hydration.  Giving Karen that handheld felt like an anvil was being let go from my hand.

Jeff began to pull away and I just kept running.  When you know you are getting closer your pace picks up, and the volunteer directing traffic between the 2/3rd laps and finish was awesome.  When she saw me veering for the finish she smiled bigger than me and said you are almost done so soak it up.  Coming up that hill and into the finisher’s chute was something I will never forget.  Karen, Jeff, Scott, Annie, Shannon and Lesley were all there cheering hard.  Hearing their voices was incredible.

Now the finisher’s chute starts but then you have to make a right turn and then a 180* turn to head back toward the Finish Line.  I was beyond word and high-fiving people when I heard some spectator say you only have 30 seconds to beat 12 hours.  Mike Reilly said something along those lines as well.  Then I saw our friend Stefanie yelling my name and cheering and I just bolted up the hill.  I saw 11:59:4X and knew I would be in under 12 hours.

As I neared the finish line I pumped my fist and just let out a yell then jumped high over the finisher’s line.  The catcher grabbed me and put her arm around me, then asked me to dinner and a movie…..just kidding.  She asked how I was feeling and I told her great that I just needed a moment.  To them that means medical and ice.  Told her I didn’t need any of that and I was just overwhelmed with the enormity of the whole process. From training to racing to finishing.  The whole idea was incredible and now it was over.  She walked me to get my medal and lo and behold:  Chrissie Wellington.  She put the medal over my head and then said to me:  Way to crush that course Jason.  I smiled and thanked her and kept moving.  Another volunteer poured ice down my back and chest, I was handed a shirt and cap.  They took me over to take pictures and were going to shepherd me to the athlete lounge when I told her I wanted to hug my wife.

I walked over to Karen and grabbed her and held on for dear life.  Each second that passed my grip on her got tighter as did hers on me.  My tears were flowing (as they are now) and I could barely keep my composure.  I kept telling her how much I loved her and thanked her profusely for going with me on this journey.  As tough as it was to wake up at 2:30-3:00am every day to train it was harder on her.  Lots of missed family time and friends but through it all she kept me moving forward toward this dream.  I cannot say it enough but without her this day never happens.  Thank You Karen…..You Are An IRONMATE!

After the crying and hugging we walked into the athlete lounge where the worst part to the whole adventure took place.  I walked to Freebirds to get a burrito and asked for the veggie burrito.  The lady handing them out promptly went into the whole you need protein…..OMG LADY I JUST RACED AN IRONMAN. GIVE ME THE F’N VEGGIE BURRITO NOW!  I then told her that the burrito had plenty of protein in the black beans and what I really needed and anybody out here needed was CARBS.  After that moment came a better moment and that was running into Susan and Neil again.  Just two great and wonderful people.

After all that was over Karen and I went alone to our favorite after race or hard workout spot.  IHOP!!!!!  Those pancakes never stood a chance.


4:09:43 (9:31/mi) –> Goal 3:55 – 4:00

First Lap: 8.4 miles: 1:11:01 for 8:27/mi pace

Second Lap: 8.5 miles: 1:26:08 for 10:06/mi pace

First Lap: 8.4 miles: 1:26:24 for 10:04/mi pace

0.7 mi: 6:10 for 8:48/mi pace

Division Rank: 113 (moved up 91 spots from the bike; moved up 171 spots from the swim)

Gender Rank: 544 (moved up 481 spots from the bike; moved up 1010 spots from the swim)

Overall Rank: 443 (moved up 404 spots from the bike; moved up 771 spots from the swim)

And for those keeping score at home:

#1s on the run:  1x

#2s while on the run course:  1x

#3s while on the bike: 0x

Thank you for reading.  Come back tomorrow for the overall experience and wrap-up.

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  1. Tonia says:

    Reading these recaps has been amazing. I am so in awe of what you have accomplished. Congrats my friend! Can’t wait to see what you do at IMAZ!
    Tonia recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Future HeartbreakersMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

      I am excited for IMAZ. Now that I know that I CAN do and how to prep my calories better for the bike to avoid the puking and setting up a good run. It is going to be a blast.
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  2. Kevin says:

    I love that T2 time!

    You let Caitlin Snow chick you???? Ok, I guess that is alright… haha

    Jeff’s sign is awesome! I tried getting him to make a “Bacon at the finish line” one, but I guess he skipped that one… haha!

    6:40pm with 2 miles to go. Dude. I know that feeling. I was totally there. 6:36 with 2 miles to go for me.

    Awesome, awesome, awesome, recap! Can’t believe you got your medal from Chrissie.

    You. Are. An. IRONMAN!
    Kevin recently posted..Free SpeedMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Dude – she went by in a flash. I was lucky enough to be able to see her nose and then her calf. They are just absolutely amazing athletes.

      Getting the medal from Chrissie was really cool.

      I just re-looked at your IMWI results because I thought you were close to 11:30 and couldn’t figure out the 6:36 with 2 mi to go comment. You need to teach me how to swim. If I could get 10 minutes faster in the water (not even close to your 1:07) the 12 hour mark would have been easy to reach. And I honestly thought I was swimming fast, well until the canal.
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  3. Bob says:

    You pulled a rarity Jason. Most that go 8:27 (first loop) and then 10:06 (second) have a 11:30 or something pace to look forward to on the third.. your 10:04 on the third was stellar.
    Just shows you were in top condition and a true Ironman!!
    Great job!
    Bob recently posted..IMFL 70.3 part 2My Profile

  4. Loved every word. Especially the part about the finish and hugging Karen.

    Dying laughing at burrito lady. She clearly did not know who she was messing with.
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Dressing UpMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Beth – I was mumbling audibly as Karen was directing me away from the tent. I was so pissed at this comment. She clearly had no clue about refueling. Yes we need SOME protein but we really need carbs…….frustrating…..but thank you for reading and commenting.

      I was a great day and one that will be cherished forever. It has changed me for sure.
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  5. Jeff Irvin says:

    Jason, can you please explain how you get protein from a plant based diet??? j/k

    Great run man, you were flying out there on the course.

    I knew you would love the run course because it is perfect for an IM race. Especially the waterway parts with spectators just everywhere.

    Congrats on a perfectly executed race – You are an Ironman!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Texas 2012My Profile

    • CTER says:

      Well you see there is this sh*t called tofu and this other sh*t called beans. Toss that into a salad and BOOM protein……haha!

      Thank you for all your help throughout this process. When I am ready to start processing improvements you will get questions for sure.
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  6. misszippy says:

    Laughing at Jeff’s comment!

    Ok, I cried too on the part about seeing Karen! Awesome.

    You had an amazing run out there. Way to make it work for you, even w/o the technology (maybe that even helped, who knows?) You are just going to crush AZ.

    I think you need to go get some protein now.
    misszippy recently posted..Why I don’t think DNF is a four-letter wordMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Yeah I think the non-technology helped me. I was thinking that if I had a watch I would have kept pushing the pace to get to 9:30/mi or so. Same time I think it may have helped pull me back on the first lap. Either way it wasn’t there and I just ran……
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  7. Beth says:

    Congrats on an AWESOME day!!! I love how amped you look at the end. You are an IRONMAN!!!
    Beth recently posted..I’m Cranky About ItMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Thank you. Any my friend you are going to be getting a video of me swimming so that I can improve on that all day event I had to start out the race. 1:34 is just too long to be in the water. If I can cut 9 minutes off of that I’ll be in pig’s heaven.
      CTER recently posted..Ironman Texas – Run RecapMy Profile

  8. Shannon says:

    It’s been such an amazing journey. I’m so proud of you and so glad that I was able to be there for you to cheer you, Juan and all of the competitors along. Couldn’t have been a more fantastic weekend!

    Congratulations, Ironman!
    Shannon recently posted..Try the Tri Series VideosMy Profile

  9. Christi says:

    I just shed tears of joy for you and your big accomplishment. Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us! I am so happy for you!
    Christi recently posted..JumpStart to Clean Eating SummaryMy Profile

  10. Chris @ Tri4Success says:

    Congrats Ironman! Great recap and wish I could have made the trip down there. You see the pros giving the medals all the time on the broadcast but how awesome is it to have that be your reality? Great job. You killed that course.

  11. Angela says:

    Congratulations Jason! I have enjoyed following your training and it was fun to read about how the race played out and to see all your hard work pay off!

  12. I can’t believe the burrito lady was giving you ‘tude and I’m glad you schooled her.

    Good job man, I’m stoked for you. You did it!
    Patrick Mahoney recently posted..Getting My Tour Of California OnMy Profile

  13. Emzr says:

    Of course this part is my fav.
    Well a 180* turn in grass actually sounds like straight ass but other than that….
    So awesome to have all those amazing peeps out there to support you.
    Oh & you tri-people and peeing freely…cracks me up.

  14. Congratulations Jason – I’m just in awe reading your recaps! Love the part about you hugging your wife at the end!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Decisions, Decisions – To Race or NotMy Profile

  15. Jon says:

    Awesome run Jason and awesome job finishing sub 12! Proud of ya!!

    Omg the finishers tent burritos fiasco. Should have gone mortal combat on her!
    Jon recently posted..Last Week of "Freedom"My Profile

  16. Dammit Jason! Making me tear up at work at 8:45am! I’m so proud of you! And your wife deserves a prize! You truly rocked this course and I am SO stoked for you! What a way to finish the journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Jill says:

    Oh man, Jason, I am just so freaking happy for you. Even if I don’t fully understand the sponges and peeing thing (one day when you have energy, email me about that, will ya? :)). You have worked so hard for this day and learned so much about yourself and the incredible athlete you are! Congratulations, sir. Now get your ass out here and celebrate this summer with a pastry from your favorite bakery!!!!!!!!!
    Jill recently posted..Two times the 5k funMy Profile

  18. katie says:

    I’m reading this from the depths and horrors of peak training and it’s exactly what I need to hear. I’m so proud of you, if that doesn’t sound goofy. You had such a wonderful day. Congratulations!
    katie recently posted..wordless flashback wednesdayMy Profile

  19. Jen says:

    Best race recap ever. I’m soooo proud of you and loved every minute of this journey. I wish I could’ve been there to see that awesome fist pump and smile as you crossed the finish line.
    Jen recently posted..Meatless Monday a new traditionMy Profile

  20. Woohoo!!! I just have to say that I came out of my blogging break to read your race reports! I just got done reading all of them, and I loved every minute of it! You are amazing Jason and I am soooo happy that you had such an awesome race! I have to admit that I got teary eyed when you started talking about coming into the finisher shoot b/c it brought back so many emotions from IMAZ. AND, I loved the part when you found Karen at the end…that was soo sweet! Congrats again Jason…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!! :)
    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) recently posted..Newly Found MotivationMy Profile

  21. Morgan says:

    You make it seem like that was so easy, I loved being able to “feel” the emotions you were going through in each section. And I laughed out loud at the sponges in the pants and whether or not you should take them out if you needed to pee. Congrats Ironman!

  22. Julie says:

    Jason I loved reading all about your experience! I was watching as you crossed the finish line and was so excited for you! I thought it was great that Chrissie Wellington showed up right then to hand out medals. Your RR had me laughing and crying and I’m thrilled for you!
    Julie recently posted..The weekend…My Profile

  23. DR says:

    Chrissie! …what a way to end it
    nice run & Congrats on the Ironman!


  24. Great run brother. It’s an amazing feeling that non-ironmen can’t understand. Like parenting, you don’t know what it’s like until you are one. The dedication and training all pay off. You turned in a great time.
    Carolina John recently posted..50 for FunMy Profile

  25. Maria Simone says:

    You make me cry – especially the part about hugging Karen at the end. What a feeling!! Congratulations!!

    You executed a great race, Jason. I hope you are still enjoying the post-race glow. Do you still have the wrist band on? I didn’t take mine off for over two weeks after my first one. It was practically falling off by then. hahahaha!
    Maria Simone recently posted..Season Opener: Bassman Race ReportMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Glowing? To the point of annoying myself…..haha!

      Last night when Karen and I got in bed. I threw my arm across her eyeballs so she could see the wrist band up close……then I asked what it was like to sleep next to an Ironman…..haha!

      I love this sh*t. There is nothing I have done in my lifetime that is more fun than this. Triathlon Rocks!
      CTER recently posted..Frugal Grocer – On The Way BackMy Profile

  26. Marlene says:

    You really did crush that course. What an incredible day out there. So much to be proud of, my friend!!! And your finish pics are the BEST EVER! How do you look so fresh?? HA!

    I’ve loved reading these, thanks for sharing every detail!
    Marlene recently posted..Lessons in Puppy ParenthoodMy Profile

  27. Colleen says:

    I literally have tears running down my face Jason. Reading a race report of a marathon is always inspiring, but reading the marathon of an Ironman is magical. So much goes on… it’s been a long journey, not only in the months leading to that, but the hours before. And when you think you can’t take in another calorie, or move another step forward, you somehow find the strength. And you float for that last mile. You never know where you get the strength, but you do. And you feel like you could run for days. And you smile like there isn’t any pain in your body. And then you enter the finishers shoot, only to have it just go silent. It’s your moment and no one can take it away.

    You had one heck of a race and I can’t wait to see you in AZ! And I of course want to meet this amazing wife of yours because I know the sacrifices that she made as well for you and she deserves a major hug too!!! :)

  28. lindsay says:

    you make a multi-loop marathon sound amazing. minus the uh, brown cow urge, i enjoyed hearing about it. and i was welling up reading about the experience as though i was there! i am so proud of you!
    lindsay recently like a diva 5kMy Profile

  29. I was pretty busy all week but I had to come look for this post. Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment!!! And congrats to your wife as well! I think you need to make her an Ironmate shirt!
    Michel@Babyweightmyfatass recently posted..Memorial Day 2012My Profile

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