Getting to the race isn't always easy, but often more easy than finishing. I had a lot of help out there and I want to give credit where credit is due.
Laurie at Infinit Nutrition has been working with me very carefully over the last six months to dial in my Ironman nutrition. She's been very patient with my Type A ways. When I found Infinit, I was skeptical at first, but training and eventually racing with it gave me confidence. On the bike I used a custom blend for cycling, mixed for my weight, how much I sweat, and how hot the race is likely to be. It took a bit longer to get this dialed in than the run nutrition, but I didn't have any nutrition issues with Ironman Texas. I saw a lot of people that had gotten sick - not an issue for me. I used the new Napalm for the marathon to reduce how much nutrition I needed to carry and to eliminate a special needs bag on the run. Great choice. I picked up water from the aide stations, and once again, Infinit proved it's worth. I did my Ironman on entirely liquid nutrition and water.
Sweet racing tires, Dude! So they're light, but sticky enough to be maneuverable on corners. I'd been on a pair of heavier tires, so getting these on the bike was a D R E A M! Fast and reliable (I got caught in a freak thunderstorm with HUGE puddles on the road during training once) I was a bit nervous taking lighter tires than I was used to out for the Ironman. And, the course proved pretty brutal - flats and broken spokes everywhere. But my Duro Slicksters held up to what I considered a beating. My bike split was sub 6 hours, so I'll be sticking to my Slicksters.
Where do I begin? The system is similar enough to many of the aero bottles and remote drink systems available on the market today. But look again. The bottles don't spill when tilted (like so many other aero systems) and you aren't limited to a specific size bottle or a specific location on the bike. It's as flexible as you need it, and customer service ROCKS! So my FlexR Ironman went like this: Get on the bike, drink nutrition as necessary, refill at special needs stop (it took less than a minute), get back on the bike and ride, drinking nutrition as necessary.
HEY RUDY! Nice sunglasses! I'm pretty pleased with the sunglasses and helmet. Enough airflow in the Slinger helmet kept me cool, and it's light enough that my neck didn't hurt because of the helmet. I purchased the Rydon sunglasses at the race expo to replace my Hypermasks, and was pretty pleased with my purchase. They stayed put, stayed clear, sweat didn't drip onto them, and were light enough where I didn't even have to think about them.
Now - I want to really give props to the volunteers. Without them, we wouldn't have a race. At all. These guys and gals gave us the ability to really think about our race, while they worried about us, and worried about making sure the course was safe, we were safe, etc. Most importantly, they kept us going. It's a hard day for sure to do an Ironman, but to keep a bunch of people motivated who (not all the racers) are running out of any desire to be on the race course anymore takes some really amazing and dedicated people. Thank you. From the bottom of my running shoes. You guys helped me fly.