Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Ironman North America
74F / 23C
Total Time = 13h 29m 38s
Overall Rank = 1595/2439
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 216/310
Pre-race routine:

Here is the preview video to get an overview of the event

We arrived Wednesday evening. We checked in to the hotel and moved all our equipment up to the room. I couldnt park in the hotel parking lot because thats where the transition was to be, so I drove to the overflow area and parked. We went to a nice steakhouse with a dirty name. I think it was "dead eye Dicks steakhouse". They had a good prime rib for 13 dollars. We looked around at the ironman village and then went to the room and bed. Thursday morning we got up early and met the BT folks for a practice swim. We were able to take some good pictures and capture a lot of good tips. We then did a practice bike ride. After the ride we went to the village and right to the store. We didnt wait. I bought 3 ironman polo shirts, 2 t shirts, a really cool visor, water bottle, coffee mug, beer glass and wine glass, chip strap, and a sticker. I think that was it. Then we went to registration. Volunteers whooshed us through. We had to sign some papers, then received our nice back pack and bibs, bags and everything else we needed. They put a blue band on my wrist and it was official. I was athlete number 2360. Outside the registration tent I couldnt pass up the photo people. I had to buy the big one. The frame with all the photos and a finisher medal. The village was busy with vendors and zumba dancing. We stopped to watch the pro's press conference. heres a video of the expo Finally we went to eat at our local waffle house. We stayed busy after that. We signed up for a 3pm massage then went upstairs to pack. We had to pack a bike bag, bike special needs bag, run bag, run special need and a pre/post race clothes bag. The bed was covered with tri gear and most of it was needed. After the massage it was time to check out the area again and then get ready for the athlete dinner. I had chicken, salad, pasta, bread and a killer good brownie. Then it was the manditory athlete meeting. They briefed us on the race and stressed that we should not go too fast. They auctioned off a poster signed by some pro's for $3500, I think it was staged. It was after 8:30 when the meeting ended and we went upstairs for bed. What a long day it was. At this point Im pretty sure Im having the time of my life. Im surrounded by thousands of triathletes. Finally I can say something and everyone can relate to it. We are all talking to each other sharing tips and concerns. Everything here has transformed into a giant village of triathletes and enthusiasm. There are people riding, swimming, running and checking the sites. Friday we did another practice swim. This time the front moved in and we faced waves 4-6 feet. I was sure hoping that it was not going to be like that on race day. After our swim we did our 20 minute practice run. There isnt a cloud in the sky. After the run I cought a lecture being given on the beach. He went over the entire race and gave instruction on how to approach each leg. The temperature is borderline cool and warm. After our run and shower it was time to check the bikes and bags. I brought my equinox down and put him in the transition. They stopped each of us as we entered the transition and took a photo of us with our bikes. I dont know if those were for sale or if they were for security. Then I had to place my bike bag and run bag in transition. Volunteers were everywhere to assist me with directions and help me out. I dont think Ive seen anything that can compare to an ironman race and its volunteers. It was back to the store for a beanie cap, then we were done. I took a few more pictures of the trasition area. 2400 bikes, I wonder how much money is in that fenced off area. We went out to eat at dead eye dicks other place. It was a seafood place. I had a kabob with lobster, shrimp and scallops. Off to bed. I hoped I could sleep. I think it was about 8pm.

Event warmup:

I got up a little after 4AM and downed an ensure drink. I then took a dramamine to keep me from getting that sick feeling in the swim. Breakfast was coffee (with a serving of mud which is a pre/post workout drink)and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on one slice of bread. We went to the transition area to drop off our run and bike special needs bags. The first thing we did when we got down there was to get our body marked. It was almost 6AM but still dark. After body marking we went to Alvins island where the special needs bags needed to be. We threw them in the proper boxes and went to bike transition. Transition was a mob of people. Many people were looking for a bike pump or in a long line to get their tires pumped. I had to hold on tight to mine. If I lent it to one person I would probably end up lending it out to a hundred. I pumped up the tires on my girlfriends bike then did mine. I put my water bottles on the bike and did a last check. There wasnt much to check since all the transition things were spread out in seperate bags. We went back to the hotel room and got into our wet suits. I put sea safe all over my exposed skin in case a jellyfish tried to sting me. We were ready so it was down the elevator to the swim. Before we got to the elevator we looked over from the fourth floor and saw everyone on the beach. I grabbed a snap shot then headed to the beach. We didnt know where the truck was to pick up our pre and post race clothes bag so we tossed them under the deck of our hotel. The sand was cold and I was glad to have my throw away reefs. we went through the start and over the chip mat. Let the race begin.
1 serving Ensure= 250 calories
1 serving mud= 127 calories
1 serving peanut butter=200 calories
1 slice of wheat bread= 60 calories
1 serving jelly= 40 calories
Total= 677 calories

  • 1h 23m 24s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

I lined up what I thought was way to the right of the buoys. There were 2400 swimmers and I was concerned about getting clobbered out there. When the cannon blew we all slowly moved toward the water. I can't believe it but I was very calm for the swim. It was crazy at first with people swimming over each other. I kept trying to find a spot where I could swim without someone hitting me. after only a minute or so I hit a shallow spot and had to walk for a few feet, then back to swimming. Here is the swim start from you tube:"I was feeling good and had found a good clear spot to swim when I heard some girl to my right having a panic attack. She was hyperventilating. I starting talking to her telling her that she is ok, slow down, Ill swim with her and not leave her side. Another guy stopped too and in a moment she said she was ok, and started swimming again. I felt pretty good about myself and it motivated me to have a strong swim. The current started to take me too far left and soon a yellow buoy right next to me. I had to move to the right because I had to be on the right of the big red one to make the left turn. When I turned left the current moved me right along. The sun wasnt up quite high enough to cause any sighting issues. I then turned left again and headed back to shore. It was 800 yards back in. About 400 yards from the shore I got a nice punch to the right side of my head. It knocked my goggles lose and they started to fill with salt water. Somehow I was able to reseal them and continue without stopping. Thats a first. I hit the shore in 38:34 and did the horseshoe run back to the water. There was an aid station swamped with people getting a cup of water. I was able to move in and grab two and the headed back to the water. I gave one to a girl who was trying to muscle her way to the table. She thanked me and we headed back for lap two. Here is a video of the second loop: swam against the current to get back to where the yellow buoys started. The second lap had everyone spread out so there wasnt the washing machine effect. The 800 yards out was good as was the the turn into the current. Coming back to shore with about 300 yards to go I felt a big sponge smack me in the face then hit my right shoulder. Right away I felt a stinging sensation on my nose, lower lip, and right shoulder. A JELLYFISH GOT ME. I had that sea safe on me so there wasnt much pain at all, however there was a definite sting so it had to be a jelly fish. I got to the shore and just like that the swim in which I stressed for months about was over. It was over and I did ok. I ran to the timing mat and then to a wet suit stripper, I mean peeler. The second loop was done in 44:50 but that included the water stop.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing that I can think of. I might have started a little more to the right.
Transition 1
  • 14m 16s

at 2:02 of this video theres my red bike.

I ran from the swim and went to the transition area. Volunteers were everywhere. I called out my number and some guy grabbed my bike bag and ran to get it to me. I took it and ran past my bike to the changing building. a volunteer yelled "women over there, men over there!". I turned the corner and BAM! I was greeted by a bunch of naked white butts. There wasnt a place to stand or sit. Hundreds of men were sitting or standing and changing into their bike clothes. I finally found a seat when a guy left and sat down. I started to dry my feetand put on my injingi socks. That was easier said than done since its like putting gloves on your feet. I had so much stuff in my bag that it confused me. I didnt meed my jacket, so I left it in the bag. Helmet and sunglasses, bike shirt, socks and shoes. I put arm warmers in my jersey in case I needed them. All the rest of the stuff, gells, band aids, kt tape, powder, waffle, extra (a third) tube, and other stuff I left in there. I was talking to the guy next to me. It turned out he swam next to me when I was trying to calm down that girl. I got good recognition from that. I put on my gloves and tossed my bag in the big pile. Then I carried my bike shoes down the chute, past my bike again, and then down a third chute. It was like the bank where you have to go back and forth through the roped area. I passed by a volunteer who asked if I wanted sunscreen. You bet I do. Then he spread it all over my arms and legs. Someone yelled my race number and a volunteer had my bike ready for me. I grabbed it and ran out of the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

I would not pack the kitchen sink. I had way too much going on.
  • 6h 39m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.84 mile/hr

I got on the bike and headed to front street. The wind was blowing from my right to left, towards the water. The gusts were strong, up to 20 mph. I knew that once I made the right turn on hwy 79 it would be in my face. I had to pee. great, now what. I figured I would go at the first aid station at mile 12. Oh no, my left knee was starting to feel that pain again, and I just started the bike. Mile 12 there was a line at the port a jon so I kept up. I reached out and grabbed a water from the volunteer and took a swig and put it in my bike shirt. Those guys were great. Volunteers had bananas, gels, water, heed and perform drink. I had my infinite. I planned on having 5 servings on the bike. mile 24 I had to pee worse but there was another long line so I passed it up. I did slow to get a drink but when I did my chain came off. I had to get off the bike and put it back on. My knee was really hurting by now but I was able to keep turning the pedals. I passed some folk and was passed by some folk. I saw a lot of spare tubes, water bottles, gels, and power bars that were dropped. There were obstacles all over, and many had flat tires. I passed my girlfriend on the bike and chatted for a second until I turned around and she was way back there. Mile 36 I figured I better stop and pee. There were about 6 people in line ahead of me. I racked my bike and went to the line.We chatted as we did the peep pee dance. I felt pretty good after that. After that I got back on and took off. I passed my girlfriend again as she was parking her bike next to a tent pole. The wind was very tough to handle. Im glad the ride was flat. There were a couple rollers and a big bridge to cross but for the most part it was flat. Ploice did a great job with traffic control. There were cars backed up forever, but we kept on going. I was thinking that I could make the bike, but my knee was starting to get worse. I turned around at the half way point and crossed the timing mat. All the headwind was now going to be a tail wind, whew hewwww. I rode to the special needs box that had my stuff and a volunteer handed me my bag. This meant it was time for another pee and what turned out to be a picnic with some other athletes. I laid my bike in the grass and opened my special needs bag. It was like a kid opening his stocking on christmas morning. I ate a waffle (which is not a regular waffle but a waffle shape to a energy bar)and had a hammer gel. I love those apple cinnamon gels. A guy offered around half a pb and j sandwich and I offered around my extra aleve pill. The aleve went faster than the sandwich. The sun was shinning and it was warm, nap time. Oh yea, I had a race to get back too. I grabbed the 3 pieces of KT tape from my bag and pulled down my knee brace. I wrapped my knee with KT then replaced the knee brace. I got on the bike and kept on. I opened up my power bar and ate it on the move. The road was very bump and there were broken water bottle cages, water bottles, gel flasks and all kinds of stuff that could have posed a hazzard. Im glad the wind was pushing me because by now my knee was very sore. Normally I could stand up in the saddle and pedal. At this point I couldnt do that because the knee hurt to be extended and have pressure at the same time. It was also growing very hard to get the push on the pedal with my left foot. It seemed ok from 3 oclock position to the 12 oclock position. The first quarter turn was alot of pain. I ended up using my right leg for all the power and coasted the left leg through that quarter cycle. The good thing was my butt wasnt sore and I only had on tri shorts. The saddle swap was a good thing. Coming back on 79 we had to turn right to do an out and back. As I went in I saw my girlfriend coming out. Wow, she was doing great. Theres no way I was going to catch her. I went through the next aid station and grabbed a water and then a half of a banana. I was getting pretty good at grabbing things from a moving bike. I passed a little league football game and was getting passed by alot of people. My knee was killing me. About mile 95 my right knee was yelling at me for making it do all the work. with 10 miles to go I hit front street. The wind was in my face, hard. A guy passed me and yelled out "and were back to reality". Yep, the last 10 miles sucked. My knee held up thugh as I took my feet out of my shoes and rode to the dismount line with my feet on top of the shoes. I hought about doing a fancy dismount but decided not too. I got off the bike and walked it from the dismount line to transition.
calories on the bike
infinit x 5 servings= 1250
power bar= 240
2 gells= 180
1 waffle=160
1/2 banana= 53
total on bike=1883
What would you do differently?:

I would not mess around and change things on my bike with only a week remaining before the race.
Transition 2
  • 08m 31s

A volunteer grabbed my bike and another gave me my run bag. I went to the changing tent again. Off with the bike shirt and on with the singlet, visor, and inspire shoes. I grabbed my fuel belt with 2 bottles of infinit, each having a serving with 250 calories. When I left T2 I forgot to take off my bike gloves so I ran 13.1 miles in them. The volunteers threw my bag in the big pile as another pointed me to the run out. Some guy with latex gloves had a tub of sunscreen and as I stood there he spread it all over my exposed skin. I stopped at the porta jon to pee and then walked out of t2. My knee was sore and it took a few minutes before the pain went down enough to start running.
What would you do differently?:

Im not sure. I guess again it was all about having too much in my bag and getting confused. KISS. Keep it simple stupid!
  • 5h 04m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 37s  min/mile

As I walked out of T2 I stopped and stretched my left knee. I remember someone yelled out "Cramp?" and I said "no, knee". I walked to the end of the run out chute to the open course then it was run on! I went to start my garmin and realized that someone must have bumped it that morning and the battery was already dead. It was 3:30pm and I had 26.2 miles to go and no way of telling time or pace. I just ran. Every aid station I grabbed water and a cold sponge. I felt good and my left knee was feeling normal again. I ended the first half of the loop (5.5 miles)averaging 9:37 miles. On the way back to t2 I felt myself slow and I made sure to grab water evry chance I had. I was getting tired of infinit but still did 2 servings on the first loop. There were people yelling for us all over the place. It felt good to have them yell our names (which were printed on our bibs). I passed Elvis and some woman dressed in black leather. They were drinking and having a blast. I passed a sign that said "chuck norris is not an ironman" and one that said "Run like her husband is coming home". Too funny. We passed people sitting outside their homes and rooting us on. You know, I passed some of those folk all 4 times. They didnt have to sit out there all night but they did. I figured I would run 13.1 then walk the 2nd loop. When I got to the end of the first loop I saw my girlfriend taking off from the special needs bag area. I grabbed my special needs bag. Again I had way too much stuff in it. I grabbed my long sleeve shirt because the sun was going to go down soon and it would be cold. I took off my bike gloves and threw them in the bag. A volunteer grabbed my bag and left with it. I then realized I wouldnt need my Rudy Project glasses any more since it was getting dark. I had a short conversation about getting these bags back after the race and wasted more time. I needed to know I would get my glasses back. I didnt even grab my last 2 servings of infinit because I was infinited out. Then I thought to myself that there is no way Im going to walk. Im a little stiff, big deal. I started to run and the sun went down. I watched out for potholes as it was hard to see. They put out big flood lights so you would be blinded by those then once out of their beam you wouldnt have any night vision. It was a long 13.1 miles back. Every aid station became a welcome sight. I drank about 4 or 5 dixie cups of broth and waters. It was cold so I didnt want sponges. I took a second salt pill. The first I took at the bike special needs picnic. After the second lap loop at the state park it was a long 6 miles to the finish line. I stopped to take off my knee brace. I didnt want to have it on in my finisher photo. I must have left my fuel belt there because I didnt cross the finish line with it. I was so ready to finish this run. I was running behind a walker and was not gaining ground on him. I figured I better walk and stretch out. After a short walk I started my run again. I was stiff as can be expected but kept going. I had several short conversations with other athletes. As I got closer to the finish line I was seeing alot of folk just starting their second loop. Yikes I was sure glad to almost be done. I passed the Ford motivational mile which had a big marquee. I saw my name up there "Athlete 2360 Peter Poggetti, you're doing great!". I was motivated again and started to run harder. I ran hard the last 2 miles in. I could hear the announcer in the distance telling everyone they were an ironman. As I ran the last couple hundred yards people were screaming and clapping. It was truly an awesome experience. I came through the finish line and I heard "From Fayetteville NC first timer Peter Poggetti, is an ironman!" I would have cried if I had all my senses. I crossed the finish line and alost collapsed in the arms of a volunteer. It was Elyce that was holding me up, a fellow tri-club member. I am thankfull to have friends like that. She made sure I got my finisher medal, finisher shirt and hat and photo. She held me tight until I had my land legs back. She threw a space blanket on me to keep me warm. If it was not for her I would have probably fell down and got trampled to death by the finishers. Once again those volunteers were awesome. My girlfriend was there too and she took me to the free pizza. After that it was smooth sailing.
calories on run
2 servings infinit=500 calories
1 gel=90 calories
1/2 banana=53 calories
1/4 cup of green seedless grapes=68 calories
perform drink= 100 calories
5 chicken broth= 10 calories
1 coke (2/4 dixie cup full)= 48 calories
total calories on run= 869
What would you do differently?:

I would want to have my garmin to keep track of how I was doing. My last 1/4 of the run was done in 13 min miles. If I had known that I may have been able to go faster. Once again my special needs bag was filled with too much garbage.
Post race
Warm down:

We had to get our bikes out of transition by midnight so we did that and got our run and bike bags. I had to meet someone at lost and found to get a cell phone returned so I had my 4th and 5th piece of pizza. People where crossing the finish line up until 12 midnight. About 11:30 or so I went to bed and could hear the countdown to midnight, with the last finishers coming in at 11:59 and some change. Then it was over. Sunday we got up and went to eat breakfast. After that we got in line to get our finisher jacket. The store didnt open til 9am and we were in a huge line. Im glad we got in line early because when we got in the store alot of stuff was almost gone. I got the stuff I wanted then went to the room to drop it off. 10am was our massage appointment. at 11 we got our special needs bags.We went back to the village and watched zumba and mingled. I didnt want it to be over.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think my left knee was the only thing holding me back on the bike. Could I have gone harder without the pain? Maybe. Maybe if I did I would not have had a decent run, who knows.

Event comments:

I tried to calculate my calorie intake and execute it during the race. Although I "winged it" on the last run loop I think the rest was pretty close. Judging by the tri calculator at needed to take in 4056 calories. I actually took in 3429. I took in 254 calories an hour (calculator calls for 300. This was the best race experience I have ever known. Here is a highlights video. My girlfriend is in it a couple of times. She did awesome and beat my time by 25 minutes.

IMFL" target="_blank">">IMFLRace Highlights 2011

This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. There is nothing that can compare to an ironman experience. This video here is for the volunteers who made it happen it was all over we took pictures and walked the beach. I was treated like a person on a cruise ship. Everyone was wanting to get me anything I needed. I wore my wrist band until the following Thursday morning. I loved B2B but Im sorry Benji, your race can not compare to the Florida Ironman. Now I know what they mean when they say its a life changing experience. It changed my life because of the extreme training required. The pain of racing for 13 and a half hours makes you realize how strong you really are. Crossing the finish line is a rush you can not explain to anyone but a triathlete. It was 2 years coming and 5 months of 2 or 3 workout days, but it was worth every minute of it. I have nothing I can compare it too, nothing comes close. Everyone has their own opinions of an ironman, some good and some bad. They have a right to their opinion and Im not going to knock them. To me, this was one of the biggest things in my life.

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Last updated: 2010-11-07 12:00 AM
01:23:24 | 4156 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 222/310
Overall: 1711/2439
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless wet suit
Course: 2 loop mass beach start rectangle course. The front had moved through so the water was calm. What a blessing that was. It was as if all our prayers were answered.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 14:16
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:39:02 | 112 miles | 16.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 257/310
Overall: 1793/2439
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: one loop.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:31
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
05:04:25 | 26.2 miles | 11m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 216/310
Overall: 1595/2439
Performance: Good
Course: it was an out and back 2 loop course. It was flat and through the beach front streets to a state park. We looped through the state park (about mile 5.5) and then came back to the transition where we circled a cone and stopped at the special needs bag before going out for another loop. Every mile had an aid station so I guess there to be 6 in total. One aid station had a christmas theme and santa was there. Another had a luau theme. One person dressed like a banana. Everyone was ready to serve with warm chicken broth, coke, heed, perform, water, gels, bananas, pretzels, cookies, oranges and I dont remember what else.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5