Ironman Texas Check-in Process

The week leading up to the race I was a ball of nerves!  I warned my husband, it would be like I was PMSing x 10!  So many lists, things to remember, and worries, even though I tried my best not to.  There is definitely fear of the unknown as a first timer.


I had been packing all week, and after a final check, I loaded my things and headed up to The Woodlands where I’d stay with my in-laws for the weekend.  The ironman check-in process is a bit exhausting, and I decided it would be easier to be up there for all of it.  I met my mother in-law and she was kind enough to join me for the check-in.  We got there just before 11 AM, and the line was enormous.  She was kind enough to hold my spot in line while I listened to the athlete briefing (looking back, I definitely recommend bringing water, sunscreen and a hat for the check-in!).   I was glad I went to the meeting – I got a few tidbits such as it was likely wetsuit legal, where the SN bags would be, if we could access transition bags Saturday morning, and just small course details.  I will admit – I was a bit intimidated by all the fit bodies around me!  Anyway, after the meeting I popped back in line and finished registration, then we headed home for lunch.  Once we got home, we realized my “free” $650 ironman backpack was a defect and was missing the chords to hold the helmet on the outside, so we went back and they apologized and got me a new one.  Heck, I’m paying for it so I was going to get a good one!  Then we stopped for groceries and headed home to relax the rest of the afternoon.


{ At ironman village for pick up & the athlete meeting }


 { lunch wrap using veggies from my in-laws fridge + black beans and tofu }

David came up to The Woodlands after work and he and his family gave a BIG surprise of Team Brittany shirts that David designed!  I loved them and was teary-eyed already.



Thursday night was pizza night, my “carb-iest” meal and we had a couple of Amy’s margharita pizzas (the best frozen pizzas by far!) and added pineapples to the top, so good – plus a small salad.  I think the fam was happy with that.  Then some Game of Thrones viewing to take my mind off ironman for a second!


 { Two nights out carb-y meal }

We did make one last-minute run to the local Walgreens since Erin posted a tweet about her power meter battery dying and I freaked out that this would happen (probably a bit irrational), but after emailing Karel, he suggested I get one.  I purchased one and just put it in my flat kit in case something happened.


I slept well, but was wide awake at 5 AM.  Once I was up all I could think of was the race and checking the weather – I got obsessive over this even though I knew it was completely out of my control.  Oh well.  On the schedule was my race-warm up of a 20 min OWS, a 45-60 min bike, and a 10-20 min run, all to get comfy and wake up the legs.  I was meeting fellow TriMarni athletes Ginger & Justine at the practice OWS at 8 AM, so I got there to park at 7:40 AM and still had to park pretty far away.  Ginger & Justine had a hard time parking so they weren’t there until 8:30 or so.  We got our wetsuits on and jumped in.  It was choppy from the wind that day! 


I had done the practice swim a couple weeks ago and the lake was much smoother.  I lost my cool and was not used to this lake being so wavy.  I actually looked at my watch at one point and we were only 6 minutes in and thought “crap, how am I going to swim for 1.5 hours tomorrow?!”  In all honesty I was just a bit intimidated being around other athletes that seemed faster and stronger than me.  I got out of the water with some serious doubts.  Not much to change at that point though.  I went on back to a closed loop near my in-laws to finish off the bike & run.  Once I got home for breakfast it was 11 AM and I was starving.  I cooked myself up some French toast, eggs, oatmeal and fruit immediately.  That was probably one thing I’d change, I didn’t mean for the whole morning to last this long, but from 5 AM to 11 AM I got pretty hungry and shouldn’t have let myself get that hungry.


{ so much organization & gear required! }

After eating, cleaning up, and packing my gear bags, I asked David if he’d join me to check in my bike and gear bags.  You drop off your transition bags Friday and your special need bags on Saturday.  We dropped off my bike, and then my bags which I re-checked no less than three times each.  I would hate to not have my helmet or run shoes and ruin the ironman!  


Anyway, David waited patiently, then we made one last grocery stop for beer, drinks, and snack foods for the friends coming to cheer Saturday.  It felt really good to be finally done with the check-in process!  The rest of Friday afternoon I had some small snack meals, visited with family and laid everything out for the morning (nutrition/gear/etc.).  I ate my standard pre-race meal and then we had an 8-8:30 bed time for the house. 


I had asked David if we could sleep in separate rooms just this one night since sometimes he needs to toss/turn to sleep.  I tried to go to bed at 8:30, I was still hungry from earlier that day, so I came down before 9 for a snack, then finally got to bed from 9-12:30.  I woke up again, snacked a bit more on a bonk breaker, emailed Marni frantically since I was thinking I had sabotaged my ironman by not eating enough the day before (sorry Marni, I was going crazy!) – she was on a red-eye flight home so I thought she’d see it once she landed.  Anyway, finally I went in to David’s room and told him I needed him and I wanted to snuggle.  He of course told me he was there for me and let me crawl into the single bed and fall asleep on his chest.  I finally relaxed and got another 1-1.5 hours of sleep and then was up at 3:30 AM before my alarm.    Not much longer and I would be an iron{wo}man!!


6 thoughts on “Ironman Texas Check-in Process

    1. Laura, the very sad thing is those additional alarms were just old alarms from training… not snoozes for that day! Haha! I wish I could sleep through more 🙂

  1. I love this- the nerves are palpable! It’s pretty insane how intimidating it can be around all those other triathletes, but at the end of the day, almost everyone has put in the work!
    So awesome your in-laws live there so you had a home to go in and out of, home-cooked meals, etc.
    Can’t wait to read about race day!

  2. This is so real…reading it through your words takes me back to my first IM race like it was yesterday. You are lucky to have in-laws that are so understanding and willing to make accommodations for you and your race. I can’t wait to read about the race 🙂

  3. A good couple days leading up to your first IM! All your pre-race meals looked delish and like great fuel for the big day. Good call on the power meter battery 🙂 Looking back, mine was telling me it was close to done… it wouldn’t calibrate in the couple days leading up to it dying. Also, LOVE the team t-shirts!

    1. Haha, yeah I read yours failed on twitter and had a minor freak out 🙂 Ran to the pharmacy to get a battery back up in case! Yes, the bright shirts were the best, I could spot them so easily!

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