After having the opportunity to race my first Ironman here in Texas last year I was pretty psyched at the chance to return and try and improve upon my 2016 result. Race morning was pretty calm as my homestay was great about getting me to transition area to set up my PRSix and then giving me a lift down to the swim start. I caught up with my husband who I hadn't seen in 10 days and then headed to the starting line.
The gun went off and I got out as hard as I could. I was happy to land myself in a small pack of 6 girls, but unfortunately I was at the back, the pack broke up and the rest of the swim had me leading my own way. When I hit dry land I was satisfied to see I swam 5 minutes faster than last year, but the elusive one hour mark is still something I am determined to find.
Onto my PRSix and aero the whole way! I love grinding out super steady watts in aero for a long time so the IMTX bike course was right up my alley. I focused on fueling well throughout the ride and really tried to nail my HR and watts according to my race plan. QR set me up with a new top tube storage that had a zipper, that storage was awesome! It was super easy to get my nutrition out, I didn't have to worry at all about losing/dropping any of my gels, and the storage was large enough for me to fit 9 gels and salts! The wind picked up throughout the day and would keep things real for the later part of the bike. I was slowly moving my way up through the field, but once we hit mile 85 everything felt good so I stepped it up a notch and let it roll. I was happy to catch a nice little pack of girls just as we got off the Hardy Toll Road. I kept things moving super smooth all the way to T2 and found myself in 2nd place off the bike.
Heading out on the run I was over 5 minutes down on Lauren and I knew I would have to post a solid run to catch her and hold off many hard charging girls behind me. I never quite found my groove out on the run course, but I was able to keep moving forward. I caught Lauren around mile 9 or 10 and then did my best just to hold everything together all the way to the finish line. In an Ironman anything can happen so I made sure to stay focused and in the moment.
I was humbled to cross the finish line and grab my first Ironman win! Thank you to a great field of women for pushing me all day and all of the amazing families that supported and welcomed me in Texas. Sharing the finish line with my husband, parents, sister, aunt and uncle (who all flew to Texas to watch me race) was extra special. Thank you to my coach Jesse for his patience and guidance. See you in Kona!
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