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2014-10-14 9:37 AM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

I had a request for the ride report I did in 2010....

It took me awhile to find it, but it's on pg 68 of this thread:

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=187326&page=68

Here's the text, but the original post has pictures too:

Okay, here's my IMFL course report!!!!  I'll try not to get too long winded.  I'll start with the short version...

Overall, the roads are in GREAT SHAPE.  There's one section early on 79 (and thus late in the course on 79 as well) that isn't exactly smooth.  On a scale of 1-10, if 1 is super smooth asphalt and 10 is the roughest  Texas chipseal you can find, there are a few miles of a 2-3 on 79.  Right before the bridge I think.  But it's really only a few miles.  The only other bad patch is the out and back section of 388.  The first part of 388 is awesome, but that out and back kinda stinks--a 4 on aforementioned scale.  The asphalt has pressure cracked and you just keep hitting these cracks every second or so.  HOWEVER, if you got some bike SKILLZ and can ride a straight line, HUG THE WHITE LINE!  The 6-8 inches of road immediately to the left of the white line is much smoother than the rest.  I usually ride 1-2 feet from the white line on roads without a shoulder, but that's kind of in the tire track and I think the cars have made the pressure cracking worse.  The course is definitely a false flat heading out 79.  The first hour is quite slow.  77 south and 79 south were the fastest sections.  Some good fast spots on 388 too.  There are about 5-6 shallow rollers on 20 headed east.  But all of 20 on the west side of 77 is pretty flat.  I had winds out of the SW which is absolutely the worst case scenario for the race...I battled a 10-15kt headwind for 40 miles!

Okay, longer version.

I started from the Wal-Mart.  That's probably 0.75 miles from the Boardwalk.  So I added a mile to distances to put the mile markers on the map.  And I stopped after 77 westbound figuring you could interpret from there, PLUS I had no idea if I had gone the exact right distances on the out and backs.  Take my mileage with a +/- 1 or 2 mile grain of salt.

Front beach road is nice and smooth, decent shoulder.  There is some sand in the shoulder.  Watch out for it.  I actually hope they sweep the roads, but I'm not holding my breath.  The section on Front Beach is longer than I thought, but uneventful.  It is billiard table flat.   I turned onto 79 North.  You pass highway 98 pretty quickly and then it's just open road in front of you!  This road has a huge shoulder, but the cars are moving really fast.  I was a bit spooked due to finding out about the guy killed on the course on Wednesday so I was going kinda slow through here...cringing every time a car passed me.  I'm riding along on good asphalt when it suddenly changes to "really good chipseal".  That is the best way I can describe it.  On my scale of 1-10, this was the 2-3 section.  Suddenly I looked to my right and a bike path had appeared along the road.  NO idea when that started...but there it was.  It was nice and wide and straight and it was early so there wasn't anyone on it.  So I bounced over there for a few miles until it ended.  It looks like they are making it longer...it was under construction passed where I exited.  Within a few miles we were back to nice smooth asphalt. 

Then I hit THE BRIDGE!  My Garmin was at about 11 or so miles, so this bridge is probably 12 miles into the course (and thus at the 100 mile mark on the way back).  And it's probably the only true "hill" on the course.  I was in my easiest gear spinning up.  Definitely enjoyed coming down the back side!  It's concrete with requisite concrete seams.

Good asphalt after the bridge and the rest of the way up 79.  It's probably important to note that this road is a 4 lane divided highway.  HOWEVER, a couple of miles prior to Ebro (the intersection of 79 and 20), they narrow the traffic down to one lane in each direction and you lose your shoulder for a bit.  I'm not sure what the traffic plan will be for this.  The construction signs don't predict finishing the improvements until Spring 2011 so I am not holding out for it to be done before IM.  Should be interesting.  79 is pretty flat all the way up until the bridge.  After the bridge I am pretty sure it's a false flat headed uphill.  I only averaged 14mph for the first hour.

I turned right on HWY 20 which also has a really really wide shoulder.  Like 2-3 feet wide.  And decent asphalt.  Probably a 1.5 on my scale.  This section of 20 is pretty flat.  The best way I can describe this...everyone knows that a false flat LOOKS flat but actually isn't.  Some parts of this are JUST BARELY steeper than a false flat...as in, you can SEE that it isn't flat, but it isn't a hill either.  I hope that makes sense to someone other than me.   HWY 20 is one lane in each direction with big wide shoulders.

Next thing you know you reach HWY 77 and hang a right.  Another 4 lane divided highway.  I really made up some time here.  Winds were still light out of the north at this point and I was hauling butt.  I think this is a false flat downhill.  Great asphalt.  I think I spent some time in the big ring here.

Turned left on County 388.  First road all day with no shoulder.  No kidding, the white line is next to the grass.  But the asphalt is good and road is about 75% fast feeling.  Parts of it feel slow...false flatty.  But mostly speedy.  By the 3 hour mark I was at 48 miles or 16mph...up from my first hour being 14 mph.  So, that's good.  Right after I turned onto this road I got chased by a dog.  He was a tiny little thing and gave up after 100 feet or so, but that could definitely get dicey if there are a lot of cyclists around.  I hope his owners keep him locked up on IM day.  The way I see it they hopefully figure that out while the fast people go by and he'll be tired of chasing by the time I get there!

There's one lone four way intersection sign that tells you that you are coming up on the next county road which is blue springs road.  As soon as you cross it the road goes to pot.  It has pressure cracks that you hit every second or so.  I slowed way down at first.  After a few miles I was really getting tired of it.  It's not so bad that you can't stay in aero...it's just ANNOYING.  Finally I figure out that if you really hug the white line the cracks are not as bad.  Be careful doing this since there is absolutely no shoulder, but it's definitely the way to go.  I had no idea where the turnaround was.  From the course map it looks really close to 231.  So I went until I could SEE 231.  There's an elementary school maybe a tenth of a mile from 231.  I used their parking lot to spin around and did my own special needs stop and refilled my infinit with a baggie of powder and my camel bak.  I think I went too far.  There's a nice open field shoulder about a quarter mile before I stopped and I think that might be where special needs ends up.  The shoulder from there to 231 is a lot narrower.  Either way, I turned around right at 56 miles (and 3:29 on the clock).  Special needs is going to be very very very close to exactly halfway.

So...then you have to go back over the crappy road (hug the white line!) back to Blue Springs.  It was probably 5.6 miles in each direction, so a long time on the crappy road, but not horrible.  When you take the right onto Blue Springs you really appreciate how nice the asphalt there is.  This road is MOSTLY flat, but almost right away when you turn on it there is a sweet downhill...during which all I could think about was, "I'm going to pay for this."  Sure enough, it's a little valley and there's a short uphill right after it that I used my easy gear on.  Short, but enough to slow you down.  Nothing else interesting on this part.  Highway 20 comes up pretty suddenly at the bottom of a short downhill, so be careful!

I hang a left on HWY 20...back on the two lane with big shoulders.  As I recall there is another nice downhill right away.  Then you hit a series of 5 or 6 rollers.  I believe these are the "hills" Sue referred to.  They are decent, but really not that bad.  I think the first "uphill" was the worst of the group.  And...right about here is where the wind kicked up.  Absolute WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR IMFL!!!!  I had a 10-15 mph wind out of the SW...so ALL of 20 was a headwind.  Suckage!

After the 5 or 6 rollers it flattens back out to the "slightly steeper than false flats" that I mentioned before.  All the way past 77 and to 79.  Not a speed demon part of the course, but as long as we don't end up with a headwind for it I think we'll be okay here.  Once you pass 77 you are back on the part of 20 you already rode.

Left on 79...you hit the couple of miles of construction...again, I am interested to see how they deal with this.  It's a busy enough road that I can't imagine they will close it...but this has the potential to be a big traffic bottleneck.

This section is NICE.  Despite the stupid headwind I am really moving.  This HAS to be a false flat headed downhill.  I couldn't seem to find Steel Field.  I was expecting it a lot sooner than it came up.  In fact, I had given up on finding it...thinking it was maybe during the construction on the closed side of the road.  But, finally I see a sign for Steel Field Landfill, and then Steel Field Road comes up.  I have NO idea how far this turn around will be.  But I do some mental math and realize that it can't be much more than 3-5 miles total based on where I hit 77.  I knew just going straight back from 77 was 34 miles....and I hit it at over 72 miles.  So I went down SF road a little over 2 miles.  Quite funny...you make the turn on Steel Field and it's nice asphalt...but the first thing you see is a sign that says "Rough road".  Say what???  I think what they mean is that the asphalt has bubbled in a few places.  If you were riding closer to the middle of the road you would feel a little washboard where the asphalt has heaved.  But really, this road isn't rough.  It's quite nice.

I headed back to  79.  79 is a lot flatter from there on back.  It was flat...i.e. I wasn't getting the bonus downhill anymore.   Then at about 100 miles you hit the overpass bridge again.  It's right after you pass CR 388.  Back up and over and then the rest is really exactly the same as the way out.  Very flat and I had the nasty headwind until I got to Front Beach and had a tail.

I stayed out of aero on Front Beach.  I hope this road is closed race day...there was a LOT of traffic and many parked cars that really put you on edge.  It was nice in the morning when I left town but by 3pm it had a lot of action.

I got back to the Wal-Mart at 112.5 so I know I went too far on one or both of the out and backs.  The Wal-Mart roundtrip should have been closer to 111.  I had some time left so I made the trek down S Thomas to the boardwalk.  Not surprisingly, this road is STILL under construction...it didn't look like they had made any progress since last year...in fact, it looked WORSE.  I highly recommend you stay OUT of aero once you are on S. Thomas.  There are some bike eating pot holes and large piles of sand.  Just cruise this part...really...it's not worth wrecking.

Well, there you have it.  My IMFL course report.  I hope this answers everyone's questions about the new course.  All in all, mostly great roads, and mostly flat.  I probably went to my "easiest gear" (I think I have an 11-23...I haven't looked, but it's whatever cassette came with my bike) 3 times.  But I'm a pretty lousy biker.  I didn't spend as much time in my big ring as I thought I would either.  I might have spent more without the dang headwind all the way home.  I will be interested to see how they handle traffic...especially on the sections of 20 where you will have people riding in both directions...I think that is a recipe for disaster if they don't close the road to traffic.  Or at least only let one direction through at a time or something.

Fire away with questions!

Edited to add pictures!  Temps/winds at both PCB and Ebro...and I added some general mile markers to the course...



2014-10-14 11:41 AM
in reply to: jldicarlo

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

Surf's up today!  http://www.schooners.com/multimedia/beachcam.htm

 

High's in the mid 70's all week.  Looks like lovely weather for an Ironman race!  :-)     Maybe the surf could lay down a bit.

2014-10-14 12:30 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Hey all,

Recalled this very helpful bike course report from Jenifer Dicarlo so thought I'd post a link (many thanks to Jenifer for finding the report - I had searched but couldn't find).

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...

The report is from 2010 - I believe that the course is the same. Report starts about half way down page

Enjoy

Ooops!, guess I should have looked up before posting......

Edited by millarg 2014-10-14 12:53 PM
2014-10-14 1:45 PM
in reply to: millarg

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

One update from Jen's report:    As of last year S. Thomas Road construction is finished and the road is really nice.  Be real careful of traffic though, everyone coming and going from IMFL will be on this road. 

2014-10-16 9:51 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Calf cramps/charlie horses - Last night a bad one hit while resting my leg on the coffee table I moved and could feel the muscle get pinched, then got hit with a scream-producing painful cramping in the muscle. I relaxed it out but my calf is still sore from it when I woke up this AM, I did my swim workout and after a 1,500 or so set, it came back and hit me again, I walked it out in the pool and resumed the swim but it reoccurred. Also got a small one in my other calf. Is this a nutrition thing? Eating bananas for potassium and I took a salt stick tab this morning, even though I really hadn't worked out hard yesterday. I am concerned about running on it right now due to the soreness. Any helpful thoughts?

Edited by DavidKSC 2014-10-16 9:54 AM
2014-10-16 10:24 AM
in reply to: DavidKSC

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

Originally posted by DavidKSC Calf cramps/charlie horses - Last night a bad one hit while resting my leg on the coffee table I moved and could feel the muscle get pinched, then got hit with a scream-producing painful cramping in the muscle. I relaxed it out but my calf is still sore from it when I woke up this AM, I did my swim workout and after a 1,500 or so set, it came back and hit me again, I walked it out in the pool and resumed the swim but it reoccurred. Also got a small one in my other calf. Is this a nutrition thing? Eating bananas for potassium and I took a salt stick tab this morning, even though I really hadn't worked out hard yesterday. I am concerned about running on it right now due to the soreness. Any helpful thoughts?

could be nutritional or taper madness.  Get some calf sleeves if you don't have any and stretch.  Rest it a few days before trying to run



2014-10-16 12:03 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

Originally posted by Socks

Originally posted by DavidKSC Calf cramps/charlie horses - Last night a bad one hit while resting my leg on the coffee table I moved and could feel the muscle get pinched, then got hit with a scream-producing painful cramping in the muscle. I relaxed it out but my calf is still sore from it when I woke up this AM, I did my swim workout and after a 1,500 or so set, it came back and hit me again, I walked it out in the pool and resumed the swim but it reoccurred. Also got a small one in my other calf. Is this a nutrition thing? Eating bananas for potassium and I took a salt stick tab this morning, even though I really hadn't worked out hard yesterday. I am concerned about running on it right now due to the soreness. Any helpful thoughts?

could be nutritional or taper madness.  Get some calf sleeves if you don't have any and stretch.  Rest it a few days before trying to run

What Sue said.

Other possible anti cramping aides:  calcium (tums), pickle juice.    Yup and like Sue said, I wouldn't run on it till it's not sore.  Definitely don't want to tear that muscle two weeks before the race.

2014-10-17 11:56 AM
in reply to: jashac

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Thanks Jasha and Doc Sue - No run - kinda sucks it is a beautiful/weekend here in SC. Went for a 20mile Z2 bike yesterday and probably shouldn't of. Thought the blood flow might help, but I hit a couple of hills that may have put more stress on it then I would have liked. Have a calf sleeve and wearing it along with occasional massage with my stick. Called my P/T but that's no help he's on vaca until next Thursday - how dare he do that when he knows I have an IM coming up
2014-10-17 1:03 PM
in reply to: DavidKSC

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

Originally posted by DavidKSC Thanks Jasha and Doc Sue - No run - kinda sucks it is a beautiful/weekend here in SC. Went for a 20mile Z2 bike yesterday and probably shouldn't of. Thought the blood flow might help, but I hit a couple of hills that may have put more stress on it then I would have liked. Have a calf sleeve and wearing it along with occasional massage with my stick. Called my P/T but that's no help he's on vaca until next Thursday - how dare he do that when he knows I have an IM coming up
  Ice stretch rest the hay is in the barn ow anyway

2014-10-19 3:20 PM
in reply to: jashac

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Finally booked a room. Paid a bit more than I wanted but got a room at the Boardwalk. Since I'm coming down solo, this makes it super easy to navigate. Missed out on my Sunbird room this year so I just grabbed what was out there. See you all next week.
2014-10-20 3:04 PM
in reply to: papson14

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

I cannot believe we're only two weeks out from the race! 

Can anyone concentrate at work this week?



2014-10-20 4:05 PM
in reply to: jashac

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
I'm finding it very hard to concentrate. Luckily my job keeps me busy, so my days go by pretty quick. I can't wait until Wednesday morning, so I can pack up the truck and head south. Should get to PBC before lunch.
2014-10-20 4:10 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Question to those who have done IMFL before. I know bike and run bags are checked in on Friday, but will we have access to them on Saturday morning? E.g. if I wanted to put some nutrition in my run bag, can I do that on race morning?
2014-10-20 6:26 PM
in reply to: mbwallis

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Originally posted by mbwallis Question to those who have done IMFL before. I know bike and run bags are checked in on Friday, but will we have access to them on Saturday morning? E.g. if I wanted to put some nutrition in my run bag, can I do that on race morning?

Yes

2014-10-22 2:48 AM
in reply to: #4895018

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Work is helping me keep my mind off IMFL when I'm busy. But 2:30 am waking up and the mind doesn't turn off (like now) is another issue.

Made an appt at the LBS to have my bike checked over Thursday. Have it back by Friday for last long taper ride Sat 60 miles-ish brick run after not sure how far yet.

Calf pain - gone. 5 days no running and lots of icing/warming and working out the muscle knot. But all is good. Gave me a chance to do an OWS lake swim Sunday IM distance in my wetsuit. Felt great.

My plan to procrastinate making a condo reservation paid off. Got a great 1 bdrm at Long Beach resort (next door to IM Boardwalk like 1/4 mile?) for $125 - normal winter rate was $200. Were 4 to chose from...

Yup. I think I'm ready for this...OK now if only I could sleep ...
2014-10-22 10:51 AM
in reply to: dge12


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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Originally posted by dge12

Originally posted by mikiefaith

Haha. I hit refresh and the temp went up 10 degrees for the high and low



You are cursed ... and forbidden to look at the weather from now on !
Dont make it worse for the rest of us. :-)


On another note i have completed my longest run in the plan, 20 miles in 3 hours 1 minute. I am doing great and hope you guys are doing just as good. Please tell !


Well, heck. I looked at the weather again and as of 10:51 am (central time) on Wednesday 10/22, we are looking at a record high of 86 for race day. If I wanted 90 degrees I would have signed up for Texas again :-)


2014-10-22 11:11 AM
in reply to: mikiefaith

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Originally posted by mikiefaith
Well, heck. I looked at the weather again and as of 10:51 am (central time) on Wednesday 10/22, we are looking at a record high of 86 for race day. If I wanted 90 degrees I would have signed up for Texas again :-)

I saw the same. That's going to be quite toasty. I'm hoping it comes down a bit.
2014-10-22 1:00 PM
in reply to: mbwallis

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread

Be careful what you wish for...in 2010 it was 39 degrees at the start!  People were FREEZING after dark on the run....

2014-10-22 1:29 PM
in reply to: mikiefaith

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Originally posted by mikiefaith

Originally posted by dge12

Originally posted by mikiefaith

Haha. I hit refresh and the temp went up 10 degrees for the high and low



You are cursed ... and forbidden to look at the weather from now on !
Dont make it worse for the rest of us. :-)


On another note i have completed my longest run in the plan, 20 miles in 3 hours 1 minute. I am doing great and hope you guys are doing just as good. Please tell !


Well, heck. I looked at the weather again and as of 10:51 am (central time) on Wednesday 10/22, we are looking at a record high of 86 for race day. If I wanted 90 degrees I would have signed up for Texas again :-)



I know I will probably be given a whooping for this but I like it warm and noooooo wetsuit!
2014-10-22 2:30 PM
in reply to: trirun26


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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Trirun26:

Have you ever done IMTX or IMKY? Just curious.
2014-10-22 5:00 PM
in reply to: mikiefaith

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Originally posted by mikiefaith

Trirun26:

Have you ever done IMTX or IMKY? Just curious.


Yes, I have done Cozumel and Louisville.....I live in the swamp land and train in the summer when it is hot and muggy that's why I like warmth....and I am not a lover of wetsuits :-)

Happy tapering!

Alicia


2014-10-22 10:00 PM
in reply to: mikiefaith

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2014 : Official Thread
Hot ---Cold-----does it really matter. It's going to be freaking awesome (and painful), as always. Lucky #12. Going to make it worth missing Halloween with my little ones.
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