Beach 2 Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Setup Events
50F / 10C
Total Time = 12h 01m 40s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

A big "Thank You!" to all the folks who trained with me, advised me, encouraged me, and motivated me. It is way to many people to list and I'm sure you know who you are, Again, Thanks. I thought about all of you at some point while I was out there.
I have to thank my wife seperately. She was/is amazing. From the day she gave me the green light to sign up all the way to driving me home. She never waiver in her support. Thanks Steph.

I decided to do B2B after talking to Neal about whether he should do it back in May. I had been looking for a challenge, and hadn't put in the hours swimming and biking over the winter. I swam once since October and had maybe 300 miles of biking. Mot exactly the base you are supposed to build up, but I've never let details get in the way.
Event warmup:

I met some BTer's for a Friday morning swim from Blockade runner to the swim finish. This ended up being perfect. The water was cold, but manageable, and I now knew I would need to wear swim booties to survive the cold concrete all the way to T1.

On race morning I woke up about 3:30 and decided just to get up. I started the coffee, checked the weather, and relaxed. Breakfast was two peanut butter and honey sandwiches on wheat for a total of 800 calories. This worked perfect.

We got to T1 early and Steph started body marking and I checked on my bike. I let Steph body mark me since she was the hottest chick doing the body marking. I saw Fallsrunner getting ready and found Neal. We got in the line for the bus to the swim start and relaxed.

At the swim start we wondered around in the cold and then removed our sweatshirts and put them in our Swim Start bags before heading out to the start. The start was out on a point with the Atlantic to the left and a channel to your right. They played the Anthem and then Eminem's "lose yourself" and we were off...
  • 55m 11s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 19s / 100 yards

I stayed back a bit on the start and then went wide left to get some clean water. It worked like a charm. I could look to my right when I breathed and see the chaos, but I had it pretty smooth. I had heard a rumor that the current was faster on the left side of the channel. I did some web surfing in the final days and learned that channel currents are stronger in the deeper portions and the local fisherman confirmed the left side was where the current is stronger. I headed to the left for obvious reasons and was amazed to find myself a lone. I bet I bumped into 4 or 5 people total for the rest of the race! I would look off to my right and see chaos. Strange. The one turn is marked by a boat with an inflatable "wiggly man". It was kinda funny to see. I rounded the boat with about 20 feet between me and the boat and made the left turn. The mass swim was a good 100 yards from the turn. I know. Strange. I picked it up a bit and made it to the dock with no issues. As I climbed the ladder I felt both my hamstrings cramp like crazy. I hobbled a bit and fought all the crazy thoughts. I couldn't imagine this kind of pain for the rest of the day. I crossed the mat right after we got off the dock and started the long trek to T1. It was a couple 100 yards on a 36 degree morning. I'm so glad I had on swim socks! I weaved to Steph as I jogged to T1.
What would you do differently?:


Ok. Maybe swim during the winter.
Transition 1
  • 10m

Lots of folks in the tent and it was tough to change. The time includes the run to T2. I didn't get my T2 split, so time is a guess.
  • 6h 35m 53s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.97 mile/hr

I was really concerned about staying warm for the first hour of the bike, but it ended up being fine. I wore arm warmers and a vest and felt good. I took it really easy for the first few miles and let my HR come down. I'm one of those people whose HR goes into zone 4 or 5 after a swim. Neal passed me at about the 10 mile mark and proved again that he is a sandbagger. He looked great. Anyway, I rode at about 17-18 mph, but the problem was my bladder. I had to stop and pee 5 times in the first 60 miles. Imagine if I would have had a beer! lol. I lost time with each stop, but was not ready to pee all over myself or my bike. The ride was pretty easy and there was very little wind. The time was passing pretty quickly and my stomach felt great. I took in 250 calories in liquid per hour and about another 100 per hour in chomps, Gu, and crackers. I stopped at special needs at mile 65 and applied some more butt butter and ditched the vest and arm warmers. It really hadn't warmed up and my butt wasn't chaffed, but I was trying to play it smart. Next time I'm not stopping. I was averaging 17.5 when we made the final turn and headed straight back to the battleship.

Say hello to my little friend the wind. It was blowing pretty good and I knew I had 38 miles to go and it was supposed to get stronger as the day went on. Great. I saw an American flag and noticed it was fully extending with some good flapping. I knew this meant it was a three on the Beaufort wind scale and therefore 8-12 mph. You didn't know I grew up on a sail boat did you? lol. I quickly started to find my unhappy place and settled in a tight little ball for 2 plus hours of frustration. I kept my HR low and kept telling myself that I needed to save my legs and not to over do it. I was going about 15 mph and watching my average tick down. I was passing a lot of folks, but I was getting really down. I saw another flag and knew the wind had picked up some more. Great! Two things got me out of this funk. First I remembered one of those sage IM sayings. IM is like wrestling a gorilla. You don't get to take a break when you are tired. You rest when he is tired. I started muttering to myself that the f'ing gorilla isn't tired. After that I decide to hold average at 17 and screw the HR. I had about 20 miles to go and I felt fine. At about this time I was passed by a big guy and ended up falling in about 5 bike lengths behind. He was like Felix big. The perfect size to cut a big hole through the wind. I don't know if it really helped or I just felt like it was making it easy, but "Felix" pulled me for about 10 miles. With about 10 to go "Felix" started to sit up and coast a lot. I felt bad, but I left him. I kept the pace for the last few miles and hit T2 feeling OK. I didn't get my bike split, so time is a guess.
What would you do differently?:

Pee all over myself.
Don't stop at Special Needs.
Push it early in the bike when the wind was calmer.
Transition 2
  • 05m 57s

I ran in the tent and changed into my running clothes. I tried to put some band aids on my nipples to keep the chaffing down, but the bodyglide from the swim was making that impossible. I put a giant glob of vaseline on them and decided to HTFU.
What would you do differently?:

Not try and put bandaids on my nipples.
  • 4h 14m 40s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 43s  min/mile

I met up with Mr Tony from BT and we set out together. We fell in at right around 9 minute miles. We went up and over the big bridge for the first time and Tony and I commiserated. I saw Coldfire (Brian) flying back in on his first loop and he looked like a man possessed! I knew he was having a great day. Tony and I settled in to a routine of encouraging the other runners and enjoying the crowd. I got water at every water stop and a gel at every other. My nutrition was perfect and I felt great. The problem was the stops were costing us about 30 seconds a mile becasue niether of us could drink while running worth a shit. I longed for my fuel belt. We passed Neal Phelps at about mile 3 or 4 and he was battling an IT band. I felt bad for him because I knew it wasn't going to get better and he had 23 miles to go. Tony and I headed back to the turn around and we both agreed that we had a chance to get under 12 hours if we pushed it. Tony had some cramping that was starting up and my left IT band was twinging every once in a while. I saw Steph directing traffic just before the turnaround and she was yelling like crazy for me. I put some Biofreeze on my knee and took 3 advil at the turnaround. Both worked great to get the IT under control, but next time I will take the advil then slather my hand with biofreeze. Mmmm. Minty chemical taste. It was starting to get a bit dark as we headed out over the bridge, but we both remembered the race book mentioned repeatedly how the whole course would be lit up. Tony mentioned to me that no one, but this one lady had passed us the whole time we were out there. I thought cool. I'm gonna track her down. We kept pushing the pace, but the water stops were killing us. We had to take the time to drink and fuel, but we weren't running fast enough to make up for it. We finished the long climb up from the river and headed towards the park when Tony's cramping came back in full force. He stopped to stretch and I kept going. I felt great and thought I still had a chance to get in under 12 hours. As I entered the park I realized it was dark and there weren't that many light towers. I tried to run as fast as I safely could, but I was on an uneven 5 foot wide path with two way traffic. I almost ran right into a couple folks coming the other way and saw a guy trip and fall on one of the wooden bridges. This was a disaster for anyone trying to run. I pushed on and finally emerged from the park. I passed the lady back and felt a surge of energy now that nobody had passed me. It's the little things that motivate me. I booked it down the hill to the river and the crowd was yelling like crazy for me. I probably looked like Forest Gump. Most folks were walking or slowly jogging, but I was running just under 8 min miles. I yelled to the crowd to keep it up because I was going to need it. My watch wasn't working that great and I didn't know if I could make it. I yelled to the crowd for the time every few minutes and I knew my chances were slim. I thought about slowing up, but I decided that I wanted no regrets. I gave it all I had back up and over the bridge, but it was pitch balck out there to. Well, actually the oncoming traffic did a great job of blinding me. I crested the bridge and picked up the pace as much as I could. I was figured if I tumbled now and pulled something I would still finish. I rounded the last turn where Steph was volunteering and she ran in with me. I was pumping with all I had and I think it took her by surprise because she struggled to keep up and lost her stocking cap. She finally adjusted and told me to suck it up. I was about a quarter mile out when I realized I wasn't going to make it under 12 hours. I could here the anouncer at the finish line and I knew I was to far away. We saw the clock at the turn around and it clicked 12:00:00 while I ran by. I thought I would be really depressed, but I didn't care. I coasted in for the last bit and enjoyed the finish line. I was an Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

Bring the fuel belt or learn to drink while running.
Run faster earlier. I was holding back waiting for a wall that never came.
Wear an unusual shirt so it was easy for folks to spot me.
Post race
Warm down:

I had a couple pieces of pizza and some hot cocoa. I felt great. Strange. I have felt far worse after marathons.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor decisions kept me from breaking 12 hours, but the reality is I have no regrets. I went 140.6 miles and finished with a smile on my face.

Event comments:

Everything except for the lighting on the run course was excellent. Running in the dark on dead legs is unacceptable.

Last updated: 2009-05-01 12:00 AM
00:55:11 | 4224 yards | 01m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless wetsuit
Course: 50 yards out to a bouy and hang a left. Straight down a channel for 1.5 miles and then left at the boat.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:35:53 | 112 miles | 16.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: It was a lolipop design. Pretty flat, but not "pancake flat."
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 94
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:57
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:14:40 | 26.2 miles | 09m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: An out and back done twice. Over a BIG bridge and then through town. Next you go up hill and then through a nice park. This is far from flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3