Kerrville Half Ironman Race Recap

Pre-Race

A very early alarm went off since we had a 40-min drive to Kerrville and wanted to be at transition early.  We did the usual routine – bagels, almond butter, lemon water, braid hair – then we body glided and sun-screened everywhere (or so we thought).  Mrs. Breaux rode with us to Kerrville while Mr. Breaux checked out of the house.  We had a pretty good playlist, with some Rob Zombie, Good Charlotte & Daft Punk.  Mrs. Breaux was awesome for rocking out with us while we listened to our get-pumped-up music!!  We got to transition, did a quick set up, then sat in a nearby warm hotel lobby for almost an hour.  It was great because there was a nice bathroom right there.  Before we knew it, it was time to don the wetsuits and head to the start line.  Team Breaux at t-10 minutes:

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That’s more like it!

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Swim: 1.2 mi, 41:27 mins, 6th in AG

My wave was last, but just 4 minutes after David’s (sweet, no extra hour of waiting!).  Kind of weird that the girl in front of me has a Gerber Baby tattoo…

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The race started quickly; I’d barely gotten in the water, and other girls were still on the ramp when the announcer started the countdown. 

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Things actually weren’t too bad at the start.

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This was my first time wearing a wetsuit for a longer-distance swim and it was pretty nice.  My only complaint is the torso was too short and nagged at my shoulders, even though I have a women’s medium long.  The swim was a one-loop rectangle and was pretty easy to navigate.  I swam faster than I thought I would, and even drafted off another girl for a good portion of it.  It was awesome following some bubbles!  By the time I saw the exit ramp, I thought “already?? I could go longer!”  I’m still pretty psyched to have done it in 41 minutes since I expected closer to 45 AND to have gotten 6th in my AG, considering I normally feel weakest on the swim!! 

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David also kicked butt on the swim and made it in 40 minutes – he loved his wetsuit and got a super confidence boost when he beat me out of the water Smile

T1, 2:40 min, 4th in AG

The wetsuit strippers that immediately helped me out of my suit and sent me on my way up the very steep hill to T1.  Doesn’t look that bad, but it isn’t fun running straight up hill barefoot after your mile swim.

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The rest of T1 went smoothly, though I was a little dazed since it wasn’t like a regular tri – I had to remember to pack all my swim stuff back into the “swim bag” to make sure it was transported to T2 to pick up later.  Plus, there were so many lolly-gaggers just sitting around having conversations.  It kind of threw me off!

Bike: 56 mi, 3:23:39, 10th in AG

Off to the bike it was! My bike time is almost embarrassing for me; in all my shorter tri’s this year biking was my strongest leg, and I’ve held closer to 19 mph.  I knew I needed to save my legs and stay at 145bpm, but 16.5 mph was SLOW.  The wind was brutal.  I also knew I’d suck it up on the bike due to my 3-weeks of taper and wanting to stay at a 145bpm HR with lots of spinning… but I didn’t want to stray from my plan. 

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The bike course was two-loops, with the back half being the windiest.  The course was fairly scenic, and the roads weren’t too bad (some chip seal on the back half of the loop).  I had my road bike and no aero bars, so I was hurting being in the drops for extended periods of time.  I tried to spin a lot and just took it slowly which was frustrating as I watched girls whizzing by me with their tri bikes and nice wheels.  I keep saying I might get a tri bike, so maybe Santa will deliver this year…  As far as hills go, I hardly noticed them.  We’d prepared with so many Chappell Hill rides that had much more elevation change.  The 12% grade hill I was concerned about was so short it was nothing to worry about!  It is funny that I prepared with Jester Boulevard, which was WAY harder, like times ten.

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It was fun to go through town twice and see Mr. & Mrs. Breaux cheering us on.

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T2, 2:30, 6th in AG

T2 was okay, but I had some trouble racking my bike (silly) and remembering what to do (take off bike gloves!).

Run: 13.1 mi, 2:14:31, 4th in AG 

The run was an out and back 4-loop course; I knew this would be the hardest part of the day mentally, and the biggest unknown.  I just ran on HR which kept me pretty slow, but sure to finish without walking.  I don’t care for that many loops, but the cool thing about the run was that David was about 1.5 miles ahead of me, so we passed each other twice per loop and got to high five and motivate each other.  There was also a pretty good band playing rock music at the finish.

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 I’d been doing my long runs with sub 9-min miles, but I was at 10+ min miles for this one.  The wind even slowed me down on the back half of the loop.  David crossed the finish line at 6:05.  I can’t resist spending some time on his most awesome finish line photos.  I couldn’t stop laughing:

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Look at that stride, dang!

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I’m not sure if this is the look of determination or the look of “I’m about to kill someone”:

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Twenty minutes later, I came through in a totally different mood (“yay!”):

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His & Hers:

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I was so happy to cross the finish line – even the announcer even “and look at that big smile on her face!”  It was a pretty cool moment; I almost felt like I might cry.  I got that way after the marathon too – so happy, but so exhausted.  Overall I got 6th in my AG of 21 other girls, with a time of 6:24:49

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Minus a lot of soreness and a little chafing, we survived pretty well.   Even with a challenging course and less than ideal conditions, I beat my sub-7 goal away and was pretty happy with my time.  I also stuck with my HR and nutrition plan and had no stomach upsets or cramps. 

It was great to have our #1 fans as always, Mr. & Mrs. Breaux!!  I love having them there at our races.  All the action pictures are thanks to the Breaux’s.  I think their job of standing all day just to see us for a split second is harder than doing the race sometimes.

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What’s next?  All I can think of is recovery and maybe some off-season type training over the winter. The Half IM distance was fun, but probably something I will do every once in awhile since it took a toll on my body.  What I really liked this season was the Olympic distance and am looking forward to some more of those – it’s more like doing a half marathon; fast, fun and you can still do stuff the rest of the day.  A full IM is on the life list for “someday”, but I still haven’t figured out where it fits in…

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2 thoughts on “Kerrville Half Ironman Race Recap

  1. Congratulations to both of you! I think that’s so awesome that you did this together (no way could I convince my husband to take that bait).

    That run course is very tough mentally. Having to pass by the finish line 3 times before you could cross it is torture. That’s one thing I wish they would change about that race. I can also imagine the wind had to make things pretty darn tough. There is not much out there to block the wind on either the bike or run course.

    Congrats again and enjoy your recovery! Oh yeah, the Gerber Baby tattoo is kind of creepy!

    1. Thanks, Erin! I was hoping they would change the run (it even said they would on the website), but last minute they decided to leave it as is. At least there were lots of spectators to see multiple times. And yes, of all tattoos, a baby face on your upper arm??

      Anyway, good luck to you on your taper (taper is so hard!), sounds like you have the right idea putting your feet up and getting lots of sleep.

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