Revolution3 Full Distance - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Sandusky, Ohio
United States
Total Time = 12h 47m 31s
Overall Rank = 176/337
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 18/30
Pre-race routine:

Warning - Most of this is section is spent reminiscing on how I got here.

Where to being with this race report? I guess my journey to completing an iron distance race had two starting points. First, I had a wake-up call in the year 2000. My Uncle Lee passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart problem at 41. At the time, I was out of shape and my Uncle would often run circles around me on the basketball court. I decided then that I needed to get into shape. I was 20 and had already started developing a bit of a gut. I started running with my friend Andy and I still remember that first mile at the track where I laid there gasping for air afterward. For the next 3-4 years Andy and I continued to run, but mainly focused on the 5K distance with a 10K thrown in once in awhile.

Then I had a bit of a detour. For some reason when I was 24-25 (04-05) I decided I wanted to be buff. I started lifted weights like crazy and stopped running. I was the guy who went in and did arms and chest and didn't do any legs. I quickly bulked up, going from 175lbs to 200 lbs. Some was muscle mass, some was fat. I started skipping the 5K and 10K races Andy and I had always done.

So there I was in the summer of 2006, killing weights 4-5 times a week when my wife Andrea and her friend Elise decided to train for a sprint triathlon. When Andrea told me about this something sort of sparked within me. I remembered watching what I now know was the Kona World Championship on TV and I was always fascinated by the idea of doing one. And with a healthy dose of, if Andrea can do it so can I, I signed up for the sprint.

I realized I needed a plan and I scoured the Internet, and that's how I came across Beginner Triathlete. I didn't register at first, but I grabbed the Couch to Sprint plan and started to get to work. I still hit the weights, but I started jogging again and I took the mountain bike I had had since I was 12 into the bike shop to get it tuned up. The first time I went to the pool I went without goggles and used my parachute swimming trunks. I swam 50 yards with my head out of the water the entire time and I was completely out of breath. I also think I swallowed the whole pool. The 2nd time my wife convinced me to stick my head under water, which I did, and I opened my eyes to see the black line, which resulted in my eyes burning for a week because I still didn't have goggles! I remember talking to a fellow graduate student named Rob who had done an IM about how crazy that distance was and how I would never dream of attempting it!

Finally I got a pair of goggles and some tri shorts, and soon enough there we were about to do our first sprint. I'll never forget how hard that final 5K was and how I had to stop and walk. I still managed to beat Andrea but by a mere two seconds. Here's a few photos of that race:


bike metal

That was my second wakeup call. I started running 3-4 times a week and stopped lifting weights. I dropped 25lbs pretty quickly and soon enough was back after the 5Ks and 10Ks with Andy and Andrea. In 2007 I did my first 15K and then in 2008 I added a 10 Miler, a Half Marathon, my first Marathon, and my first Olympic Distance. At that point a half IM seemed doable and I completed my first in 2009. Along the way I added a few things to improve my time like a wetsuit, garmin, and a road bike. I didn't want to spend tons of money on a bike before I knew I was serious about the sport so I bought a used Trek 1000 for $450 and added aero bars.

I finished the Half IM with a lot left in the tank, a smile on my face, and for the first time the feeling that perhaps an IM would be possible for me to do. But by the end of my HIM training I was pretty burned out and I didn't know if I wanted to put in all the training for an IM. As IM-brand events sell out really quickly and you have to register a year ahead of time I knew my plan of seeing how the first few months of training went before really committing would be difficult to do.

But then the great folks at Rev3 came along. An IM distance race in Sandusky, OH, which is basically Andrea's hometown. I would have tons of cheering support from her family, I wouldn't need a hotel, and I could wait to register until I was sure I wanted to do this. So on March 29th of this year I embarked on my IM training plan, with a book by Matt Fitzgerald as my guide. My first goal was sub 13:30, my secret goal was 13:00, and my super secret goal was 12:30. That being said, I still only did Level 2 of Matt's IM plan. For the next 24 weeks I tried to stick to the plan but it is so hard trying to fit 9 workouts in a week. I was working out more than I ever had and still felt like a bum. Our yard always looked like crap because I was too busy training to mess with it. But one crazy Wednesday night after a measly 5 mile run the endorphins hit me hard and I thought I have to do this. I registered for the full before I could change my mind.

Overall, my training went well. I hit most of the long workouts and skipped a lot of short ones. I went to one of the Rev 3 training days put on by the Cleveland Tri Club and it was fun riding the course and getting a taste of the Lake Erie waves. The week before the race I made sure to get a race tune-up, extra tubes and CO2 for my Bike Special needs, and countless other tiny details.

Andrea and I drove up to Sandusky Friday night and we stayed with her Mom and Stepdad and they were great hosts. I focused on getting hydrated. Saturday morning I woke up convinced I was getting sick but it turns out I was just nervous. Andrea went with me to check in and to drop off my bike and it was cool going through the process. We got back home and I laid out all my gear for the big day! Saturday night I managed about 3 hours of sleep and at 4AM I was up and ready to go. I shaved, had some pop tarts and away we went to start my big adventure!

Event warmup:

My cheering crew was out in full force in the wee hours of the morning. Andrea, my parents, Andrea's mom and stepdad, Andrea's dad and her dad's girlfriend, Andrea's uncle and her cousin all showed up before 7AM on a Sunday to support me. It felt great to have that many people there supporting me (and a little nerve wracking... what if I messed up?!?!).

I loaded my bike nutrition, made sure my tires were inflated, turned in my special needs bags and transition bags, got body marked, got weighed, got sunscreened and body glided, put on my wetsuit and headed down the beach. It was go time!

I also finally joined the club. I know everyone does it, but I had NEVER peed in my wetsuit. Standing there, waiting as there was a 10 minute delay, already in my wetsuit, with no bathrooms in sight, I finally joined the club.
  • 1h 18m 19s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

The swim went great.

The range I had given everyone was 1:15 to 1:40 so I was pretty happy to go 1:19. I started towards the front and other than one guy with happy feet I didn't have any issues with getting hit. Even the turning points at the buoys didn't seem clogged up.

Man I was wound up! Getting out of the water after the first loop was awesome. I high fived spectators all along the beach and ran at a full sprint. In fact it took me a good minute or two to get my breath back once I started the second loop!


But yea everything went smooth. My goggles stayed on during the dolphin swim portions. The waves were a lot more calm than the previous day and during the training day. I nailed sighting. And man it was cool when I hit that final turn for home.

I jumped out of the water to tons of screaming people, including my crew. It was great. 2.4 down! 138.2 to go!

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The swim went awesome.
Transition 1
  • 02m 51s

I had a bit of a hard time finding the strap to unzip my wetsuit, but I managed to get it off quickly after that. I grabbed my swim to bike bag and hit the changing tent. I think I was pretty methodical about the whole process even though I was singing along to Haddaway's What is Love the whole time. I think I got some weird looks in the changing tent.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. T1 went awesome!
  • 6h 30m 59s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.19 mile/hr

I wanted to pace myself on the bike. I did not want to have a bad run because I went too fast on the bike. I knew I was capable of dropping a 6:00 but I didn't think it was wise. As I headed out from T1 I reminded myself to not eat the paste and just keep it slow and steady. The first half of the ride was cool and overcast which was great. I had to stop and use the facilities around Mile 10, 20, and 40. Man I guess I was hydrated!


My support crew was out in full force. It was great slugging along at Mile 30 and seeing them up in the distance! They really kept me motivated!

Random Thoughts!

1.)There was no bathroom at the special needs area so after a volunteer gave me the okay, I went towards the back of the area and let it rip. I looked up and there was a highway full of cars whizzing by.

2.)I saw a couple of people get busted for drafting, including one tool who was riding two abreast with another guy blocking an enormous bus that caused a dangerous backup of cars and bikers. And if that person is reading this sorry but yea that wasn't cool.

3.)The second time I went down the hill I asked the volunteer at the top, "Is this the big hill that makes your butthole pucker up?" He said, "It sure is"

4.)Oh my god the Cedar Point Chausseway you get on around Mile 100 felt like it went FOREVER. I just wanted off the bike!

5.)The tailwind on the bike was awesome. The head wind wasn't as bad as all the whiners made it out to be ;P

6.)At one point I started blowing by people and I thought I was the man. Then I realized they all had blue arm bands are were HIM folks.

7.)The entire time I was just hoping that I wouldn't get a flat or have bike issues. Thank you Bike Gods for letting me escape this time!

8.)The sun came out about halfway through the bike and was out the rest of the day. I adjusted my plan accordingly.

With about a mile to go I started to ponder how I was ever going to run a marathon at this point.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
Transition 2
  • 05m 6s

It was cool having a person to rack my bike. I stripped completely in the changing tent and put on some nice dry running clothes which was totally worth the time it took. I made sure to body glide and sunscreen up, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade, and I was on my way!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! The bike went awesome!
  • 4h 50m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 05s  min/mile

As I mentioned I was worried about the marathon while I was on the bike, but I felt great as soon as I was off it. My original plan was to run a mile every 10 minutes while walking the water stops, but the sun was really bearing down so I adjusted my pace to around 10:30. The wind felt good as I made my way down the causeway. My support crew was out in force in Battery Park and it was cool having them cheer me on. I knew I would need them on the second loop.


I kept eating Gu and I tried some pretzels and grapes here and there. I stuck to water and the bottle of gatorade I carried. I drank one bottle the first half and grabbed another at special needs.

I finished the first loop and felt fine and headed back out. The second loop I went a bit slower, but I realized I was on pace to break 13 unless something bad happened. So I just made sure to eat and drink and stay positive. I said hello and smiled at every single person I passed. I figured as long as I could talk I must be feeling okay.

I hit the dreaded Mile 18 and my support crew was there cheering me on. More of my wife's family had shown up including her grandparents. Next thing you know I had hit the 20 mile marker.

Also Rev3 had a nice setup on the aid stations. It seemed like I would hit an aid station, run a 1/2 mile hit a mile marker, run a half mile hit an aid station, and so on. It really made a difference mentally when I was always a half mile from something.

I started getting excited at Mile 23 and it continued to build. At Mile 25 I had a huge smile and one spectator commented that yea this is your last lap with that shit eating grin. I tossed away the bottle of Gatorade that I had carried for 25 miles and started to speed up. I could hear the roar of the finish line and as I came around the corner I heard them say my name and my town and the whole place went nuts. It was awesome! Up ahead they had a finish line tape just for me!

(As an aside, at this moment out of nowhere some 7 year old kid jumps out and runs in front of me and hits the tape so I didn't get to lol! I hope he's not in my finish line pic but I don't see how he won't be. )

I cross the line and get a huge hug from my wife and all my support crew. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!


What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It was an awesome run.
Post race
Warm down:

I felt totally awesome for 5 minutes. Then I had to go to the bathroom, where I determined I was pretty dehydrated. I started to eat some of the post race spread (I had that very hungry but nothing looks good thing going). While eating I started to get cold and then I started shaking. I went to medical to get checked out thinking I might be badly dehydrated. They gave me some extra blankets and gave me some chicken broth which worked wonders. After 3 cups I felt like my old self again.

We headed back to transition to pick up my gear and my noble steed. Obligatory finisher pose:


Later that evening I couldn't sleep. I finally determined I was starving. I raided my inlaws fridge and had two pieces of chicken, 3 cookies, and some pretzels and peanut butter. I was still hungry and I was seriously craving greasy food. I drove to Taco bell at 3:45AM and ordered 5 tacos. I ate all them in about 2 minutes. That seemed to do the trick.

It was one heck of a ride. Thanks to Andrea and my family and friends for all their love and support. And thanks to BT for all the great advice over the past 4 years!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not peeing on the bike, which I'm okay with.

Event comments:

I think it is great that are alternatives to the IM brand. This was the inaugural event and I think Rev3 and all the volunteers did a heck of a job.

Last updated: 2010-05-19 12:00 AM
01:18:19 | 4224 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 91/30
Overall: 109/337
Performance: Good
1st lap: 37:34 2nd lap: 40:44
Course: Two rectangles with a run on the beach in the middle of them.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:51
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:30:59 | 112 miles | 17.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 0/337
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:50:16 | 26.2 miles | 11m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 0/337
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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