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Ironman 70.3 Austin: Tami Ritchie’s Race Report

by Pro Triathlete Tami

Ironman 70.3 Austin was a rainy dayRace morning I woke up to thunder and rain so hard on the windows I couldn’t see out. By the time I was ready to head out to the race site it had settled down to just rain and occasional lightening.

Ironman 70.3 Austin is set up with two separate transition areas. Parking is by T2 and you take a shuttle to the swim start/T1. We arrived at T2 and it was still showering some so we just waited in the car for a while. Eventually it was time to head over to T1. From then until pretty close to the original race start time, 7:30 a.m., it kept raining on and off but no thunderstorms.

The start was delayed 15 minutes, which I found out at, oh, about 7:31.

The Blah of the Swim and Bike

Ironman 70.3 Austin Pro Women StartWe finally got started. My swim time was okay, but I never really felt like I got into any grove during the swim. I just felt kind of blah. [Editor’s Note: An “okay” swim time for Tami means third out of the water in 25:32.]

This blah-ness continued on the beginning of the bike. I thought I finally had my bike working perfectly, but it was again making a rubbing noise at times. I’m still not entirely sure why. It checked out perfectly fine many times before the race, but then not when I rode it. However, I do know what I will do differently before Cozumel and my bike WILL work perfectly! Anyway, I think this rubbing noise affected me much more mentally than it did time-wise. (I have no idea how much time could be estimated.)

Ironman 70.3 Austin Tami Ritchie Out of the WaterI just couldn’t get over feeling sorry for myself. Why me? Why does this happen? Why can’t everything just fall into place for a race. It hasn’t happened in so long and I am due! So on and so forth.

After about an hour or so I got over myself and decided this wasn’t helping anything, so just ride!

My bike time wasn’t quite what I wanted, and I’m sure would not have been even if my bike was working perfectly. My legs just felt flat and tired. Bad news at Ironman 70.3 Austin, but good news for Cozumel, where the main focus is.

Ironman 70.3 Austin - Texas AnimalsI enjoyed the views of the Texas country and animals on the bike course—except for that dog that ran out in the road trying to attack me. The roads are in quite terrible condition in places, but rideable. There are some technical spots and it has some rolling hills.

The rain had stopped and it was just gray and wet. I probably rode way too cautiously on the rough wet roads, and it was probably worsened by the fact that the ten or so days before I left I was on the trainer due to work schedule, cold, and rain.

The Cold and Hot of the Run

Ironman 70.3 Autin - Rough RoadsI never thought I was cold during the ride, but once I took my feet out of my shoes before T2, I realized they were numb. It took a little more effort than normal to get my run shoes on.

The first four miles of the run, my legs felt heavy and slow. I had been going back and forth with a guy for a few miles and decided it was time to pass him and catch another pro gal at the turnaround to start lap two of three.

Just as I made this decision, I was told I was 1:00 behind the pro gal. So I just upped things a gear, passed the guy, and caught that pro gal about two miles later.

Miles 5 to 12 felt pretty good. Pace was slower than I wanted but the Ironman 70.3 Austin course has you go down and up a big hill, do it the other way, and repeat on laps two and three. I worked it hard up those last hills, and mile 13 was downright painful. I welcomed that knowing I had given all I had to give on that run. I passed one more pro gal also.

Ironman 70.3 Austin Results and Future Plans

Overall I’m not thrilled with my performance at Austin. [Results for Ironman 70.3 Austin can be found on Ironman.com.] But I do think things are still going in the right direction. I was tired from the week of training the week prior to the race, and because of that and maybe some other things I just felt a little flat and blah for the race. I’m still trying to sort out exactly why I was feeling so blah.

For the time being I’m going to take the positives from the weekend and get in one more big training block before Cozumel and head into Cozumel with confidence.

Thanks to all the guys at Kyle’s Bikes and DiscountTriSupply.com for making sure I can make it to race day with all the equipment that I need and to Krueger Chiropractic for helping keep my body functioning to make it to race day!


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Katherine is our Content Champion. She has done triathlons in the past, and now focuses on mountain biking and long-distance gravel riding. She still has a soft spot in her heart for weird multi-sport events like indoor triathlon and aquabike. She also teaches indoor cycling.

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