My first Triathlon
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Wilmington, North Carolina
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71F / 22C
= 12h 54m 1s
Age Group Rank
On Thursday morning Kevin and I drove from Raleigh to Wilmington, drove the course, and went to athlete check-in at the convention center. We walked around downtown Wilmington a bit and then split a steamer at Fish Bites.
On Friday, we drove from our hotel downtown to Wrigthsville Beach were I had a short splash in the inlet by the Coast Guard Station where the swim would start. Then we went back downtown and attended the noon athlete meeting at the convention center where saw Monica on Tony from across the room. Then I dropped off my transition bags at the convention center
). Then went back to Wrightsville Beach to drop off bike at T1. The rest of the afternoon was spent just hanging out and then dinner at Mellow Mushroom.
Saturday morning I was up at 4:20. I ate
(bagel and peanut butter and a banana and part of a fig newton plus a bottle of water with electrolytes
), put on the tri shorts and sports bra that I would wear for the swim, lubed up liberally, grabbed my Garmin and the bag with my wetsuit, towel and nutrition. Triple check that I actually had the wetsuit with me. Since it was a cold morning, I also had on some sweat pants and several long sleeved tee shirts that would soon become the property of Goodwill. I was wearing some very worn out shoes that Goodwill might not even have wanted.
I took the elevator down to the lobby and got on the bus to T1.
Once I was at T1, I checked the bike, added the towel to transition bag, brought my helmet back to the bike, pumped the bike tires, took multiple trips to the port-a-john. I also had the rest of my bagel and fig newton somewhere in there. I was sipping on water throughout. I found Monica's bike and low and behold, Monica was there too! I said a quick hello!
At 6:00 the race announcer started to nag us to get on the bus to the swim start. I stayed in the transition area until closer to 6:30 when I noticed a short line for the buses and then grabbed my wetsuit and got in line for the bus.
hanging out but the outdoor heaters and talking to other participants.
Once I was the swim start area near the Coast Guard Station, I joined the other athletes huddled around the patio heaters. I made one final trip to the to the port-a-john and then pulled on my wetsuit. Soon we were moving from the parking area to the beach. The announcer said five minutes... Everyone started stripping out of their Goodwill-wear and piling it to the sides. Swim cap on. Goggles on. Eminem's "Lose Yourself" starts to play and we are entering the water for the 2.4 miles to the Sea Path marina...
1h 22m 8s
02m 08s / 100 meters
After standing in the cold air, the 71 degree water felt great! I sited on the water tower
(near the HIM start
) and then on the turn buoy. From there I followed the channel markers until I could site on Seapath. I had to get pretty close to the Seapath to see the squiggly man on the docks. I had no problems with the ladder but I was glad the the volunteers reminded me that it was slippery. I got up the ramp to the wetsuit strippers and by now I am really cold -- it's 39 degrees out and I soaked. I ran through the warm freshwater shower and was glad to get the silver mylar blanket for the 400 yard run to T1. 400 yards on asphalt? Good thing that my feet were frozen!
Overall I'm pleased with the swim. I thought that I would finish in about 1:30 based on last year's swim time at Vineman. I figured that I would go somewhat faster in saltwater than I did in the Russian River but with no current, I knew that my 2011 time wasn't going to happen.
I was very shivery by the time I got to the changing tent. The tent was in the shade and it was cold in there. I dried off the best that I could and tried to keep moving so that I could get back into the sun!
I wore a sports bra and tri shorts under my wetsuit for the swim. I changed to dry tri shorts and added a bike jersey, arm warmers and and shoved a large zip lock bag under my jersey to act as a vest. Of course socks, headsweats, gloves and helmet. There was a line for the port-a-john so I skipped it. Then on to the bike!
I thought that this transition would take about 15 minutes given the long run from the marina and change into warmer and drier gear.
6h 15m 24s
When I was in transition I was shivering and it took a while for me to warm up on the bike. The sun was warm and the sky was blue and cloudless but I was cold at first and as a result, I had a hard time drinking water for the first thirty minutes or so. I had a pack of fig newtons about 15 minutes into the ride a little bit of water to wash them down. I was back on track with fluids after the first 30 minutes or so and I had five bottles of water on the bike. After the first hour I had part of a Clif bar and 20-30 minute later I ate the rest of that. I continued this pattern at the start of every hour on the bike and I continued to drink every 15 minutes and any other time I felt like it. Somewhere about the middle of the ride I started to feel like a stuffed turkey and did not did not did not want any more food. I knew that I needed to eat but I was just too too full on the bike and not all that comfortable shoving more food down as a result. until the start of hour five and I had a Honey Stinger Waffle to finish out the ride nutrition.
The course is one long loop. Looking at the forecasts in the says leading up to the race, they all said 5-10 mph with wind from the N or NW or NNE. Then, on Friday night I saw one report that said wind from the N until noon and then wind for the S. Uh oh... I tried to put this out of my mind but after heading north on 421 into a headwind for about 50 miles, I was looking forward to turning to the west to get out of the wind. I'm not sure how out of the wind that we got though, because the next section on Buckhorn, Wildcat and Ennis Bridge is all chipseal. The good news is that I knew that there were a few downhills on Wildcat that I could use as an opportunity to empty my tanks shortly after the special needs aid station at mile 55.
I was thankful when we got on 210 because the pavement was better but now we definitely were back into the headwind. And yes, we were heading south. About this time I started to think, "I need to get another hobby." We did get a little bit of tailwind when we turned east for a short while on 53 but then we were back heading south on 11, Blueberry and then back to 421. Somewhere in there
) I manage to empty my tanks again. Like the section on Wildcat, Blueberry has not so hot pavement. The pavement on 421 was smooth but we had to cross two sets of railroad tracks there and I took the second set a bit too fast.
At mile 111 we cross the Cape Fear River on the Isabel Holmes bridge. This is a drawbridge. When I previewed the course I noticed that the mesh part was on the downhill side but I was still going slowly from the uphill side of the bridge. I wanted to coast across the grating because pedaling felt sketchy. I don't know that this would have bothered me earlier in the ride but with the end almost literally in sight, the grating section really got on my nerves. I had to remind myself not to look down. I was glad to be back on pavement!
After that it was a matter of figuring out how T2 worked at the convention center.
I had targeted a faster time than this and I felt frustrated during parts of this ride. I was glad that when I got to T2, everyone was commenting on the headwind. Even one of the volunteers said that all they had heard was The Wind The Wind. You have to take what the day gives you and do your best with it!
What would you do differently?:
Rework nutrition plan. This has worked for me before but seems that it needs to be tweaked.
I attended the athlete meeting but I was still not 100% clear on how T2 would work. We took Nutt Street to the Convention Center and pulled into the parking deck ramp closest to the building. A volunteer took the bike
(I grabbed my Garmin from it first
) and I ran down a path to the far end of the Exhibit Hall
(past the concessions stand, etc.
). At this point there were racks with our transition bags on them. A volunteer directed me to my row and I got my bag. Then I continued to the women's "changing tent" curtained off by a set of bathrooms. I took off my helmet, arm warmers and jersey and put on a tri top, hat and my number belt. I saw a roll tums that I forgot that I packed. YES! I had half the roll
). I had some Tums and ran to the restroom. Then stuffed everything in my bag and ran past the men's changing area to hand my T2 bag to a volunteer. Over the timing mats and I've started the run!
4h 54m 35s
11m 14s min/mile
My plan was to run between aid stations and walk and drink fluids at every aid station. I wanted to have 100 calories every 45 minutes. My stomach was unsettles so I had water at the first two station and started on calories at mile 3 where I had a Hammer gel. I checked my watch and had a second gel 45 minutes later and continued on that pattern for the first lap.
At about mile 7, I started to have gas. To be blunt, I was farting so much that I stopped at a port-a-john to make sure that it was just a fart. Thankfully, it was all gas. During the run I ended up stopping a port-a-johns twice more and both times it was just gas as well
(I guess the pressure was messing up my signals
I was wearing my CBC tri top and it was awesome to go through downtown and have people yell, "CBC!!" It was great to see Maria and Pete and to see Kari on the run course. I kept on looking for Monica and I saw her with Tony on Ann Street
(and again in the park on our second lap
). I saw Kevin the Riverwalk both heading to the turnaround and again heading back. He took some nice pictures there.
Towards the end of the first lap, we ran by run special needs, did a turnaround a block or so latter and headed back to the special needs area. I stopped and put away my sunglasses and grabbed a long sleeved tee to put on for the second lap. I made it a few steps out of special needs and had some dry heaves but I was able to get started again pretty quickly.
On the second lap, I stopped with the Hammer gels and started on pretzels and water. Then pretzels, coke and water. Then coke and broth
(that worked well!
). By the time I was done, my stomach was OK.
I had hoped to improve my run time from Vineman and I really tried to push myself here. I was within one second of my Vineman run time. I know that I ran as fast as I could and I'm happy with the results.
Medal! Finisher pajama bottoms!
I did not see the alligator on the run course but I heard about it and saw it on the news!
I realized a few minutes after finishing that I forgot to put my hands up when I crossed the finish line!
The only complaints that I heard were about timing
(they had a computer crash
) and pizza
). If that's all that people can find to complain about, that's a pretty good race!
Last updated: 2012-12-10 12:00 AM
01:22:08 | 3862 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Blue Seventy Reaction Long John
Point-to-point Banks Channel from the Coast Guard Station to SeaPath Marina.
71F / 22C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:15:24 | 112 miles | 17.90 mile/hr
One long loop. Headwind almost the entire way.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:54:35 | 26.2 miles | 11m 14s min/mile
This was a two loop out and back course with a small hill on Ann Street during each loop.
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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