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Zen and the Art of Triathlon: Brett completes self-supported Ironman in 13:15

Posted Nov 01 2009 10:00pm


Click HERE to listen.

Join in for the biggest ZenTri episode of the year - The IronBaby self-supported Ironman!  I take you along for the ride as I swim 2.4 miles at a local pool, bike 112 miles around my town, and then finish it off with 26.2 miles of running around my neighborhood. 

That' s right, a self-supported Ironman!  It' s an amazing experience and I encourage you to try it yourself. This is my third and each is better than the last.

Not only was the race free, we raised over $1200 for charity.  And there was lots of carnage along the way.  I had to get out of the way for guys training to be Navy SEALs, a hellacious front came through on the bike, I wrecked, flatted, and so much more.

Kai biking with me on the run.

I cap off the show with some other great audio.  Not only did I record some night trail running in a lightning storm, I also captured the sounds of backpacking through the national forest with my son and dad.

Here' s a link to the official page and race course times.  Enjoy the show and let' s see you out there with me next year!


  • Prepping all the gear.
  • Course is measured, but using GPS as backup just in case.
  • Driving to swim with Emily.
  • There should be a Mom App on the iPhone.
  • Roxy is angry with us.
  • Emily threatens to shove me into a mailbox. She is so sweet!
  • Race review with werewolves and Kai.
  • Night trail running with friends.
  • Backpacking with three generations of studs in the Sam Houston National Forest.
  • Grading your races by "Happiness Index".

Chalk marks in driveway to count the 8+ loops of running.

Swam next to the Texas A&M women' s swim team.

Roxy joining in on the run.

Just a quick tally of the times for the Ironbaby.  I keep two versions of the time.  One is the official time and includes all the carnage and time delays.  The other is without those issues and better reflects what I' m capable of - a true measure of my own fitness.  It' s good to know the second one so I can target it in a normal race.

2.4 mile swim - 1 hour. 1:32 / 100 meter pace.

Transition from pool to bike - 25 minutes. (Had to drive to house).  In a normal Ironman, this would be 10 minutes or less.

112 mile bike - 6:30, including a bike wreck and changing a flat.  Time actually moving was 6:12, an 18 mph avg.  

Transition from bike to run - 10 minutes.

26.2 mile run - 4:55, an 11:16 min/mile pace.  

So, the official time goes down as 13:15.  A massive PR over my last Ironbaby of 15 hours.  And if I was to compare my fitness now to Ironman Wisconsin in 2007, I went 12:42 compared to 12:59 back then.  Nice improvement! 12:42 = 13:15 minus an extra 15 minutes of transition time and 18 minutes of bike wreckage and flat repairing out on the road.

I don' t want to get into a whole bunch of "what if' s" and "well.....".  You get what you get on race day and you really can' t compare two races or even the same race on different days.  Weather and lots of other conditions makes every race a singularity.  Ironman Wisconsin was hillier, but this Ironbaby was like biking in a hurricane. And the previous Ironbaby felt like I was doing a race in Antarctica.

What I do know is I finished this race feeling absolutely amazing, unlike ever before.  It' s a real tribute to how some key changes in my diet and training has made an incredible difference.

I' ll write up a race report soon with the real dirt!

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