running austin texas

2016 Ironman Austin 70.3

Racing the Ironman Austin 70.3 Duathlon

I raced back to back race weekends of Ironman Miami and Ironman 70.3 Austin.  Dense fog on the lake in the morning in Austin resulted in a 90 minute delay to the race followed by a swim cancellation.  The race proceeded as a time trial duathlon of a 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.

Melanie McQuaid riding Ironman Miami 70.3 bike course
Duathlon is bike plus run ? Wagner Araujo

This was my first time racing a duathlon Ironman event and I am impressed by how quickly the organization arranged the contingency plan. Although the race was delayed quite a bit, it only took half an hour from the decision to cancel the swim for the men to start their time trials 30 seconds apart.  The women pros and age groupers went immediately behind.

running austin texas
Really loved running on the gravel paths by Lady Bird Lake and Barton Springs

I had high hopes at the start that it might not make any difference to me whether there was a swim or not if I could run the same as last week.  In the end, I don’t think the adjusted race format made any difference to my result.  I rode well but my run was not good.  Jeanni Seymour destroyed the field with a huge performance and two other really strong runners, Jenny Hanson and Beth Shutt, ran their way to the front.

I ran¬†in top three for two of three laps of the run but I wasn’t going in the right direction through the field. ¬†I might have set myself up with a good bike performance but I needed to close the deal with a solid run. ¬†When I went out onto the run things went pear shaped very early on. ¬†I am fitter than my result indicates.

Visting Austin

swimming at Bartholomew pool
I did enjoy training in Austin

Initially, I was extremely frustrated and disappointed with my race. However, that bad performance really won’t overshadow what was otherwise a really fun week in Austin living a local’s life.  Thanks to Jamie and Michelle Cleveland I had the run of the house, dog responsibilities, and a vehicle.  It was excellent and I enjoyed being the dog sitter for Sock, Molly and Oleander.  Once I calmed down a bit, I appreciate my time in Austin was well spent both for me as a pro athlete and as a curious wanderer.

sock the pug before austin 70.3
Hanging with sock the pug before Ironman Austin 70.3


I met a guy at Big Stacey pool in Austin the Friday before the race.¬† I had asked if I could share the lane with him and he noticed my ankle.¬† As it turns out, he had also broken his fibula (that bone I had the¬†plate with 9¬†screws in) and he was still recovering from the accident two years later.¬† I actually sent him to my website to read some of the stuff I did to get better so my friend if you are here‚Ķ please remind me of your name ūüôā ¬†He said that he used to run marathons but was still working¬†to get back to running… two years later. ¬†That is some perspective on my progress, as this weekend was my seven month anniversary. ¬†Sometimes you are meant to be somewhere and I guess he gave me some needed perspective. Thank you, sir!

seven months broken ankle progress - happy to have mashed toenails from running!
The seven month cankle check – happy to have mashed toenails from running!

If I focus on the progress I showed in Miami I can be positive about where I will be in another month.  One week ago I ran 21km for the first time.   I rode the fastest on the day this weekend.  My bike strength is getting closer and closer to pre-injury.  Finishing that race is another notch of fitness back.

Next up

I am going to stick with my plan and continue racing back to form.  I will go to Australia in another month.  Every hard effort helps me take a step forward.  I knew it would be a roller coaster trying to race before I was 100% healed with a long training block.  I hope to hit another high point on the carnival ride of life before I call it a season.

Thanks to my sponsors and supporters for helping me get back to racing. Really am positive about the plan that Kelly Guest has to get me back to full speed again.  There are some execution adjustments that I can make to make more of the fitness I have.  I am confident I can build on this momentum.  I have safely gone from not being able to run at all to an okay half off the bike in two months.  This is thanks to his coaching and therapy from Jamie Grimes at Synergy Wellness.  I am excited to have another block and then another chance to try again.


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