Ironman Texas Finish Line Video

Race report & pictures coming soon! 
For now, here's the finish line video!  :)


Tracking Link Change

It's 4:20am here in Texas! Rise and shine!
Here's an updated tracking link:

Have a great day!!

Stalking... Err... Tracking Information :)

I'm not sure what the next few days will allow, in terms of blogging, so I wanted to make sure I posted the tracking information for Ironman Texas!

There are two options:
#1-  Real-Time Tracking with MyAthleteGPS:

On Race day, you should be able to find a hyperlink to my name (Shannon P.) under Ironman Texas:

#2: You can also track on using my bib numer:  332!

Ironman Live seems to have some delay issues, so the best bet is the MyAthleteGps, plus you'll be able to see the course map and my little dot.... hopefully moving forward! :)

I will try to have either my friends Chrys or Michelle post on my Facebook page updates on my progress, but those will be less frequent, I'm sure.  

Best of Wishes to my fellow bloggers and friends competing this weekend as well: 

Marcy Webster (#629)
John Clayton (#1625)
Craig Welch (#1137)
John Davis (#1235)
Erin A. (#156)
Warren Thompson (#1113)

And, thank you to my Angels and Ninjas Crew who have supported me through this entire journey with laughs, encouragement, tough love and motivation!!   You're the best!

Mom, Dad, Brian and Pookie
Michelle S.
Blake V.
Chrys P.
Shawna B.
Megan T.
Mike B.
Rebecca M.
Jason B.
Big Daddy Diesel

List Crazy!

Ironman... "Girl-ified"
I am doing what I can to stay focused this week... but wow!

Talk about mush for brains!

I've been in list-making mode for the last week or so: 

-  Packing lists for me
   (separated between normal & race day essentials)

-  Packing list for Pookie

-  Food list (Snacks, etc.)

-  Gear bag checklist

-  Event timeline list (Starting Wednesday)

The bags are mostly packed and  I've completely taken over the dining room table...    

One more day of work! 

My best friend, Chrys flies in from CA on Wednesday evening.  This is really happening! 

Sorry, that I'm behind on reading blogs.  I have the attention span of a gnat right now! 

My Daughter's First Triathlon - In Pictures

Pre-race breakfast of milk, cheerios and
a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

"Pookie" had her first triathlon this weekend at the Hooty's Kids Triathlon in Decatur, TX.  The hospital that I work for puts this on and she had a blast.

Unlike some other races, this one is completely laid back and parents are encouraged to be with their kids at every point during the race.  At 2 1/2 she was the youngest one in the race, so we just were there to have fun and to do whatever she wanted to do. 

Here's some pictures from her big day! 

Fellow blogger, Chris from Tri 4 Success was also there with his kids.  They did awesome!  Here's a link to his Race Report!
Getting Bodymarked

"It tickles!"

Technically still "2", but went with the USAT
Age of 3.   Youngest competitor! :)

Ready to swim!

Transition Set-Up
Huggin' on mama

Getting ready for the Under 6 division, 25-yard swim

Dog paddling our way down

Finishing strong!

Heading to T1

"But I want to go swim..."

Gramma helps out with the change

Out of T1 to the bike!

This is as far as we got on the bike.  She wasn't
having it.  Ok.  No problem!

Let's go run!  Much happier! :)

She makes her move on the straight-a-way

She stopped to pick some pretty flowers for
Mommy & Gramma. 

All finished!

Finisher's Medal
Post-race swim fun.  My little mermaid!
A big, pancake breakfast at IHOP!
Mmmmm... bacon!

Good Luck EMZ! You've. Freaking.Got.This!

She doesn't follow my blog, so she probably won't see this... but I follow hers and think she's pretty awesome for doing this:

Because your brain doesn’t know what your body already does..

My friend, Marcy, who is also racing IMTX, sent this to me.  It made me cry.  It was originally written by (Hurricane) Bob Mina.  

The Ironman: Am I ready?

Right now you've all entered the taper. Perhaps you've been at this a few months, perhaps you've been at this a few years. For some of you this is your first IM, for others, a long-overdue welcome back to a race that few can match.

You've been following your schedule to the letter. You've been piling on the mileage, piling up the laundry, and getting a set of tan lines that will take until next year to erase. Long rides were followed by long runs, which both were preceded by long swims, all of which were followed by recovery naps that were longer than you slept for any given night during college.

You ran in the snow.
You rode in the rain.
You ran in the heat.
You ran in the cold.

You went out when others stayed home.

You rode the trainer when others pulled the covers over their heads.

You have survived the Darwinian progression that is an Ironman summer, and now the hardest days are behind you. Like a climber in the Tour de France coming over the summit of the penultimate climb on an alpine stage, you've already covered so much ground...there's just one more climb to go. You shift up, you take a drink, you zip up the jersey; the descent lies before you...and it will be a fast one.

Time that used to be filled with never-ending work will now be filling with silent muscles, taking their final, well-earned rest. While this taper is something your body desperately needs, your mind cast off to the background for so very long, will start to speak to you.

It won't be pretty.

It will bring up thoughts of doubt, pain, hunger, thirst, failure, and loss. It will give you reasons why you aren't ready. It will try and make one last stand to stop you, because your brain doesn't know what the body already does. Your body knows the truth:
You are ready.

Your brain won't believe it. It will use the taper to convince you that this is foolish - that there is too much that can go wrong.

You are ready.

Finishing an Ironman is never an accident. It's the result of dedication, focus, hard work, and belief that all the long runs in January, long rides in April, and long swims every damn weekend will be worth it. It comes from getting on the bike, day in, day out. It comes from long, solo runs. From that first long run where you wondered, "How will I ever be ready?" to the last long run where you smiled to yourself with one mile to go...knowing that you'd found the answer.

It is worth it. Now that you're at the taper, you know it will be worth it. The workload becomes less. The body winds up and prepares, and you just need to quiet your worried mind. Not easy, but you can do it.

You are ready.

You will walk into the water with 2000 other wide-open sets of eyes. You will look upon the sea of humanity, and know that you belong. You'll feel the chill of the water crawl into your wetsuit, and shiver like everyone else, but smile because the day you have waited for so VERY long is finally here.

You will tear up in your goggles. Everyone does.

The helicopters will roar overhead.

The splashing will surround you.

You'll stop thinking about Ironman, because you're now racing one


The swim will be long - it's long for everyone, but you'll make it. You'll watch as the shoreline grows and grows, and soon you'll hear the end. You'll come up the beach and head for the wetsuit strippers. Three people will get that sucker off before you know what happening, then you’ll head for the bike.

The voices, the cowbells, and the curb-to-curb chalk giving you a hero's sendoff can't wipe the smile off your face.

You'll settle down to your race. The crowds will spread out on the road. You'll soon be on your bike, eating your food on your schedule, controlling your Ironman.

You'll start to feel that morning sun turn to afternoon sun. It's warmer now. Maybe it's hot. Maybe you're not feeling so good now. You'll keep riding. You'll keep drinking. You'll keep moving. After all, this is just a long training day with valet parking and catering, right?

You'll put on your game face, fighting the urge to feel down as you ride for what seems like hours. You reach special needs, fuel up, and head out.

By now it'll be hot. You'll be tired. Doubts will fight for your focus. Everyone struggles here. You've been on that bike for a few hours, and stopping would be nice, but you won't - not here. Not today


You'll grind the false flats to the climb. You'll know you're almost there. You'll fight for every inch of road. The crowd will come back to you here. Let their energy pull you. Let them see your eyes. Smile when they cheer for you - your body will get just that little bit lighter.





You'll plunge down the road, swooping from corner to corner, chaining together the turns, tucking on the straights, letting your legs recover for the run to come - soon! You'll roll back - you'll see people running out. You'll think to yourself, "Wasn't I just here?" The noise will grow. The chalk dust will hang in the air - you're back, with only 26.2 miles to go. You'll relax a little bit, knowing that even if you get a flat tire or something breaks here, you can run the damn bike into T2.

You'll roll into transition. 100 volunteers will fight for your bike. You'll give it up and not look back. You'll have your bag handed to you, and into the tent you'll go. You'll change. You'll load up your pockets, and open the door to the last long run of your Ironman summer - the one that counts.

You'll take that first step of a thousand...and you'll smile. You'll know that the bike won't let you down now - the race is down to your own two feet. The same crowd that cheered for you in the shadows of the morning will cheer for you in the brilliant sunshine of a summer day. High-five people on the way out. Smile. Enjoy it. This is what you've worked for all year long.

That first mile will feel great. So will the second. By mile 3, you probably won't feel so good.

That's okay. You knew it couldn't all be that easy. You'll settle down just like you did on the bike, and get down to your pace. You'll see the leaders coming back the other way. Some will look great - some won't. You might feel great, you might not. No matter how you feel, don't panic - this is the part of the day where whatever you're feeling, you can be sure it won't last.

You'll keep moving. You'll keep drinking. You'll keep eating. Maybe you'll be right on plan - maybe you won't. If you're ahead of schedule, don't worry - believe. If you're behind, don't panic - roll with it. Everyone comes up with a brilliant race plan for Ironman, and then everyone has to deal with the reality that planning for something like Ironman is like trying to land a man on the moon. By remote control. Blindfolded.

How you react to the changes in your plan will dictate your day. Don't waste energy worrying about things - just do what you have to when you have to, and keep moving. Keep eating. Keep drinking. Just don't sit down - don't EVER sit down.

You'll make it to the halfway point. You'll load up on special needs. Some of what you packed will look good, some

won't. Eat what looks good, toss the rest. Keep moving. Start looking for people you know. Cheer for people you don't. You're headed in - they're not. They want to be where you are, just like you wanted to be when you saw all those fast people headed into town. Share some energy - you'll get it right back.

Run when you can.

Walk if you have to.

Just keep moving.

The miles will drag on. The brilliant sunshine will yawn. You'll be coming up to those aid stations fully alive with people, music, and chicken soup. TAKE THE SOUP. Keep moving.

You'll soon only have a few miles to go. You'll start to believe that you're going to make it. You'll start to imagine how good it's going to feel when you get there. Let those feelings drive you on. When your legs just don't want to move anymore, think about what it's going to be like when someone catches you…and puts a medal over your head... all you have to do is get there.

You'll start to hear the people in town. People you can't see in the twilight will cheer for you. They'll call out your name. Smile and thank them. They were there when you left on the bike, and when you came back, and when you left on the run, and now when you've come back.

You'll enter town. You'll start to realize that the day is almost over. You'll be exhausted, wiped out, barely able to run a 10-minute mile (if you're lucky), but you'll ask yourself, "Where did the whole day go?" You'll be standing on the edge of two feelings - the desire to finally stop, and the desire to take these last moments and make them last as long as possible.

You'll hit mile 25. Your Ironman will have 1.2 miles - just 2KM left in it.

You'll run. You'll find your legs. You'll fly. You won't know how, but you will run. The lights will grow brighter, brighter, and brighter. Soon you'll be able to hear the music again. This time, it'll be for keeps.

Soon they'll see you. Soon, everyone will see you. You'll run towards the lights, between the fences, and into the night sun made just for you.

They'll say your name.

You'll keep running.

Nothing will hurt.

The moment will be yours - for one moment, the entire world will be looking at you and only you.

You'll break the tape at the finish line, 140.6 miles after starting your journey. The flash will go off.

You'll stop. You'll finally stop. Your legs will wobble their last, and capable of nothing more.

Someone will catch you.

You'll lean into them.

It will suddenly hit you.


You are ready.

Highlights and Lowlights


Went for a long ride- here's the lowlights:

Difficult ride... still smiling!
- Went to meet my friend, Marcy for our last long ride before taper.   As I turn off to the meeting place, my car died on a busy three lane road during rush-hour traffic.  No shoulder.  Traffic had to divert around me. I've only had the car for a year (It's a 2011! What the heck?!).  Sounded like the transmission just gave up. Horrible grinding noise.  Thankfully I had help to get it pushed out of the way-- amazing how many people aren't willing to help.  Had to have it towed.

- Got the bike loaded onto Marcy's car (an hour behind schedule) and got to the Trinity Trail.  The wind was constant at 25mph and gusts to 40mph!  I went off-roading twice and Marcy almost ended up in the river.  So scary. 

- Ride was detoured all over the place for a Mayfest event- so we road a lot on gravel.

- Saw some raccoons that apparently had been injecting some Human Growth Hormone. Seriously, they were the size of dobermans. ??

- Rode past some guy just lying flat on his stomach in the middle of the trail without his shirt on. He was moving, so we knew it wasn't a crime scene.  ??

- Marcy got stung on her leg by something.

- Marcy's car got broken into- they busted out her back window- while we rode our last leg.  They stole her wallet (hidden in the console), her cooler and my transition backpack.

- Can this day be over yet?  


-Ran the Heels and Hills Half Marathon this morning. 

Michelle, me & my mom
- Severe thunderstorms/ hail looming.  We had a huge downpour that soaked us about 20 minutes into the run.  

- "Due to severe weather, for safety reasons, depending on the time when participants hit certain checkpoints on the course, police may have delayed them or had them complete a shortened version of the course" (I was lucky to make it the full distance)

- Temperatures dropped and the winds picked up...

- PR'd by 3 minutes from Cowtown in February!   New PR for me:  1:53:39!  That's 10 minutes faster than I ran this course last year.

- I didn't even know that he was going to be there, but Jason from CookTrainEatRace spotted me at the finish line and yelled out at me. Helped me undo my chip and then we got to cheer his wife, Karen in to the finish.

- My mom ran the 5k and came in first in her age group!  And not only that, her time was fast enough to beat the top spot of the runners 2 age groups younger than her!  Way to go mom!!  Speedy!

- A huge congratulations goes out to Michelle who ran her first half marathon today.  The weather dampened her plans on being able to finish, but she went out there- endured and did an awesome job for the distance she was able to accomplish. I am so proud of her and look forward to being able to run another one together in the future! 


April was an incredible month for me in training. I pushed myself. I embraced the build weeks and I just went after it.  I did what I could (missed a couple of swims due to doing long bikes during the week day), but I am feeling confident about my training.  I've dealt with some mentally tough training sessions and Mother Nature has definitely been messing with me, but I know that it was all just to make me stronger. My taper begins now!  :)

April's totals:
Bike:708.37 Mi
Run:105.55 Mi
Swim:35012 Yd

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