My first Triathlon
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Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Set Up Events
= 12h 50m 47s
Age Group Rank
Arrived Friday and had a LONG day of packet pick up, mandatory meeting, lunch with friends, hotel check-in, and bike drop off. Got to view a beautiful sunset behind the hotel with the Battleship silhouette.
Got up at 4:00 a.m. and had coffee and a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Rode the trolley to T1, got body marked, and dropped off both special needs bags. Checked tire pressure, then decided to put wetsuits halfway on. We were not allowed a morning bag, so whatever we took to Swim Start was to be donated to Goodwill. I sprayed myself down with TriGlide and pulled my wetsuit halfway up, then put my TrGlide in my T1 bag for safekeeping. I had old sweatpants, sweatshirt, socks, and flip flops that I intended to leave in the Goodwill truck at the swim start.
On the way back out of T1, we found BTer Daryn and stopped to chat about race strategy. Then we bumped into Dale and John, two guys I swim with at the YMCA. They were all doing the Half. We decided to go ahead and take the trolley to swim start and relax there.
Ready to take the trolley to T1!
Once at the swim start, we used the porta-potties then just hung out and chatted with other athletes. As it got closer to swim start, I was wishing I knew other people doing the Full. I knew there was one guy from Raleigh, Brad and a BTer, Tim. I didn't think I had a chance of finding either but as I meandered around I happened upon Tim! I only knew who he was because his race numbers were showing. We introduced and chatted for a moment before everyone started walking the 1/4 mile to the end of the peninsula to the swim start
(which looked like March of the Penguins
There we were able to get into the water to get acclimated. I filled my wetsuit with water and checked my goggles, then it was time to line up. They told us to look up into the sky as they played the national anthem. Up above there appeared to be a helicopter with red, white, and blue lights on it! Wow, COOL! At least I "thought" it was a helicopter until is came down and it was nothing more than a remote controlled hover craft of some sort!
1h 04m 41s
01m 32s / 100 yards
The horn blew and off I went on my second iron distance race! The swim was in the Banks Channel which is saltwater with a current. The water was a comfortable 71 degrees. The swim was rather uneventful. It got a little confusing to navigate the left turns into the marina, then the marina had a few curvey turns, but before I knew it, I saw the finish dock.
I took off my cap and goggles and started pulling down the top of my wetsuit on the way up the dock. I always let go of my cap and goggles inside the sleeve as I pull through for safe keeping. I stopped at the wetsuit stripper, but my sleeve was caught on my garmin and she had to work it over. Then she told me to sit on the bench while she wooshed the rest of my suit off. I headed through the shower, but it was quite full in there so I barely paused under the water before moving on to the long run on asphalt to T1
). I heard a teammate call my name which was inspiring
(not even sure who it was!
What would you do differently?:
Swim farther to the left.
I entered T1 and grabbed my T1 bag from the lineup and kept right on running past the changing tents to my bike where I dumped everything out. I toweled off a bit, then put on socks, cycle shoes, cycle jersey, helmet, and grabbed my sun glasses. Then I shoved my wetsuit and everything else into the bag and tied it with a knot. Since this race is point-to-point, we would not be returning to T1, so volunteers would be collecting our bags to take back to the expo center. I grabbed Tiny Roo and headed out.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. I was 2nd place in my AG for T1. Changing tents are for sissies!
6h 18m 1s
It was crowded, so I started out a bit slow. I knew we were heading for speed bumps, railroad tracks, and a dangerous grated bridge. Sure enough, Roo slipped a bit on the bridge, but I made it across.
Now for the crazy part. The city is REAL nice about disrupting traffic for the race. They actually block I-140 to allow cyclist to cross the right lane and get into the left lane. The left lane stays closed to traffic, but the right lane remains open to vehicles traveling at interstate speeds! There are cones to separate the lanes, but some of the cones get moved a little to far left or even get knocked over by cars and if you aren't paying attention could run into one and get thrown into the line of traffic! Roo remembered the course from doing the Half back in 2010. He thinks it was fun to ride on the interstate along with high speed traffic, but I don't!
After riding the interstate for several miles, they blocked traffic to allow cyclist to cross back over the right lane and down the exit ramp. Whew! Now we head out into the country roads towards White Lake. At about mile 20, I saw Tim changing a flat tire. Oh no! I waved to him as I went by. The rest of the first half of the ride was uneventful and I was averaging 18.8 the whole way. I was getting very uncomfortable and was definitely looking forward to the special needs stop. Once there, I racked my bike, went to get things from my special needs bag, went back to my bike and realized I had a bottle that needed put in my bag. Went BACK to my bag and put it in there, decided to grab a bottle of water from the volunteers, then restocked my bike with water/nutrition. I then used the port-john before grabbing Tiny to head back out for the second half.
Not long after starting the second half, the headwind got stronger. Ughh, I was barely moving! I struggled along while watching my average drop even more than it had from the special needs stop. I was alone a great deal of the time out in the country and just kept plugging along. Every once in awhile I'd come upon a group and be able to crank Tiny up to pass them. I was getting VERY uncomfortable from being aero and from fighting the wind. My lower back hurt and my ITB began pulling on the side of my knee
). As I passed a guy, I asked him if he was getting as uncomfortable as I was. He responded by offering me a banana or a hammer gel. How nice! I politely declined and pressed on. Later, aero-helmet guy latched onto my rear wheel. Now I know people get bunched up sometimes which results in short periods of drafting, but we were the only two there and he was not passing. Mile after mile I could hear his race wheels rolling every time I fidgeted. Sometimes he had to move a bit left to avoid rolling up on me and I thought he would pass, but he never did. I saw the referee NUMEROUS times, but where is he when you need him? And of ALL the people on the race course, you're going to draft ME? A little female on an extra small bike? How much draft can I possibly give? I felt like saying "Dude, either pass or back off!" But I didn't. Instead I tapped my brakes forcing him to go around me, but we were approaching a water stop, and he proceeded to slow WAY down and drop an empty water bottle right in front of me. Grrrr! I finally got away from that guy and cranked it up.
I was SO happy to see the 100 mile sign! That was when Tim came around me said that "Maria, you are one strong woman!" I said, "Oh, you finally caught after having to change a flat," and he said 'Yeah, but it took me 80 miles!" We chatted briefly, then he pressed on. I tried to keep him in site to pace off of, but could not keep up. I was dying from the wind and worried about my run at this point. Back over the railroad tracks and the grated bridge brought me to T2.
What would you do differently?:
This bike felt harder to me than IMFL. I did not train hard enough this year but this was still okay for my fitness level.
I was already wearing down and in some pain, so I could not wrap my head around having to run a marathon at this point. T2 was inside the expo center. I handed off Tiny and followed the carpeted rug around to the special needs bags. Grabbed my bag and into the changing tent which also had a full indoor restroom. I changed my shoes then went to the restroom and washed off my face at the sink. I had taken in plenty of calories on the bike and knew digestion would be shutting down, so I decided not to use my fuel belt which had more infinit in it. I put on my run belt and knotted the bag. But once I left the changing tent, I remembered that my pouch of sportslegs was in my fuel belt pocket and I needed it. So I stopped to un-knot my bag and get the sportslegs and a Gu from the pocket of the fuel belt before handing it off to a volunteer. I don't feel like I can do this.
5h 15m 29s
12m 02s min/mile
I started plodding along hoping that I would feel better after a few miles, but that did not happen. I wanted to hold between 10 and 10:30 for the first half, but as the miles went by, I continued to fade my pace away. My lower back was really hurting and my ITB was pulling on the side of my knee reminiscent of last spring. I was worried.
I found myself walking all of the aid stations and basically shuffling everything in-between. I only remember stopping at a porta-john once, but I stopped several times at aid stations. I made it to special needs and hoped that the second half of my run would be better now that the sun was going down. I changed my shirt and put my sun glasses in the bag, then continued on. I felt worse rather than better and was disheartened about having to do that loop a second time. I saw a lady in my age group and tried to pick up the pace, but I could not overtake her and gave up. I knew I was 30+ min behind Pete and was becoming worried about meeting my goal of <13. And I was too mentally foggy to figure out my projected time.
The last turn-around was at about mile 20. I stopped at the aid station looking a bit delirious and the volunteer asked if I was okay. She offered me advil and eletrolyte tabs
(which I had never taken before
) and said they would make me feel better. I sipped a bit of chicken broth and took my final does of sportslegs. I tried to run but then stopped again to stretch my ITB and hips. 6 miles to go and I am WAY behind schedule!
All of a sudden out of nowhere, I felt an urge to RUN! So I RAN! And I was suddenly running at a pretty good clip and feeling pretty good too. What in the world? Too little to late, but I hung onto it. I felt like I was flying and I felt like I could hold onto it all the way to the finish line. Why didn't I get this burst earlier? A young girl picked up my pace from behind. I could here her tracking me like a wolf. She stayed on my wing for miles, so I started talking to her a bit. I did not think she was in my age group, but she was a girl just the same. I did not want her tracking me all the way to the finish, then sling-shotting by me. We made it all the way back to where there was a rather steep downhill onto the cobble stone road lined with spectators in town. My ITB did not allow me to take that downhill very fast, and this is where she passed me. Once down the hill, I picked up pace and just stayed steady through town. I knew there was at least one lady in my age group in front of me, so as we approached the finish chute I went into a full fledged sprint and passed every person who was still in front of me including the young girl who used me as pace booty.
Then I heard my name called as I crossed the finish line! Pete was there with his friend Richard, and teammate Steve was there. All of my other teammates who did the Half had headed back to Fayetteville, but it was good seeing them earlier in the day at the run start.
I was a bit discombobulated at the finish when they handed me my medal and a ski cap. Pete, Richard, and Steve came around to catch me. As we stood there chatting, a lady whom I'd never noticed came up to me and said congratulations. She said she had passed me because we are in the same age group but that I caught her off guard when I sprinted by at the last second. Ha! So I actually took TWO places back in the Finish Chute! I finished 6th out of 21
(would have been 8th had I not sprinted in
). I met my goal of PRing IMFL
(by 15 min
) so I'm happy enough with it.
Heading out for a marathon after warming up with a little 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike!
What would you do differently?:
I don't know for sure what happened. I was not as well trained this year and the headwinds on the bike wore me down, but I'm still confused about this run. How was I able to "turn on" in the last 6 miles? Was my sluggishness in the first 20 miles all mental? Could I have clicked that switch on sooner? I suppose I could have, but no use crying over spilled milk at this point. I expected this run to be 4:50:00ish.
We ate two pieces of pizza, then went to our hotel room to shower and change
(the finish line was right outside of our hotel
). We relaxed, but only for a few minutes. It was time to go collect our bikes and bags. We walked the 2 blocks to the expo, got our bikes and T bags from inside, then found our bike special needs bags outside at a truck. We took all of this back to our room, then had to go back down by the finish line to get our run special needs bags. We watched a few athletes come in, but it was getting late and we were tired so we headed back to hotel for a bottle of champagne and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Got slack with training plan. Also, I came down ill immediately after Augusta 70.3 which put me out of commission for a couple of weeks. Once recovered, it was taper time anyway, so my last month of training was very light.
Setup Events does an AWESOME job with this race and with making the point-to-point dynamics easy to accomplish.
Last updated: 2012-05-18 12:00 AM
01:04:41 | 4224 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Banks Channel (saltwater)
71F / 22C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:18:01 | 112 miles | 17.76 mile/hr
Headwind with gusts
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:15:29 | 26.2 miles | 12m 02s min/mile
Crazy hoop dee doos through a park
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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