My first Triathlon
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Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Set Up Events
40F / 4C
= 10h 35m 2s
Age Group Rank
Woke up at 4AM, fixed and ate oatmeal and coffee, then just hung out in the hotel bathroom so as to not wake up the kids and wife. Grabbed my bags and walked out the door at 5:15.
On my way out the hotel lobby to get in the shuttle, was greeted by a blast of frigid air. "Nice", I thought to myself. It's going to be a cold day.
Arrived at T1 and immediately noticed the
) energy. Everyone was doing something. Some were spectating, some were body marking, some were grabbing Special Needs bags, some were doing this, some that. I went over to my bike and started to get everything set up.
I spent a good 15 mins setting up. I didn't want to forget anything, especially since I was not going to go to the changing tents. I'd do everything next to my bike: dry off, put on long sleeve shirt and then tri top over, add gloves, helmet, glasses, and run out. I figured the changing tents would be a mad house and that the lighting would not be great.
After setting up T1, went over to get body marked, then went to board the buses to the swim start. Boy, those buses were a treat. They were warm and it gave my feet a chance to get some blood back into them. I was wearing socks and $1 flip flops, but the grass was wet I might as been wearing ice blocks on my feet.
Before the start to the swim, we huddled around the heaters that were placed at strategic locs around parking lot. They felt great....once they were started. They were high up, so feet didn't get any warmth, but at least you could feel the heat on your face and shoulders. Heaven.
10 mins before the race start, I suddenly had the urge to go...really bad. I had to hop in a line that was at least 15 deep and wait. There was a volunteer that was yelling out times and he kept urging us to head to the swim start. I had to go, so I had to stand around and listen to him.
I came out of the portojohn and then had about 3 mins to get to the swim start. I decided to drop my throw-aways right there and then run in. Boy, what a mistake! Halfway down to the beach, I had to return to the throw-away and retrieve my swim cap! I don't need this stress! I then had to sprint back, running on frozen feet that just hurt more and more b/c the sand was even colder! I'm feeling numb...
1h 09m 56s
01m 49s / 100 meters
Before the horn went off, I tried to make my way to the front a little, but b/c there were 800 athletes, I didn't make it past the first quarter. I stopped when the speakers started to blare Eminem's One Shot.
Man, there's just something about that song. I know...it's overplayed, it's stereotypical, it's blah blah blah. It's awesome. Listen to the words. They're perfect for what we were about to do. The only other song lyrics I can think of that gets it that good is Right Now.
Ran into the water, already far behind the start, and just started to head out towards the middle of the channel. I was going to just try to get out there, swim my best, not overdo it, and get on with my race.
The air was so much colder than the water and every time I came out to breath, my skin felt like it was freezing. Great time to just concentrate on breathing every second or third stroke, right?
I have to say that about a quarter mile into the swim, I absolutely loved it. I could see the swimmers' silhouettes over the rising sun and it was just beautiful. Hundreds of arms coming up out of the water, then entering the water again. So mechanical, yet so graceful.
Saw the big orange buoy, headed towards it, then rounded it and headed towards the finish. I hit it perfectly and then just kept following the other swimmers.
My face kept freezing every time I pulled it out of the water for a breath. "Man, it's COLD!", I thought to myself. This would be a great time to have a snorkel and just swim with your face in the water.
Reached the end and climbed up the ladder. My hand slipped on the ladder and, I splashed back into the water. Ha! Glad there was no one behind me! They'd of gotten a face load of butt.
Notables: Loved seeing the boats, kayakers, and ppl on the docks cheering us on.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. I swam as well as I could have and felt great, despite the slack tide. Very happy with this swim.
28th in AG and 143rd OA. For me, not bad. I have slowly moved up from BOP swimmer to a solid MOP.
Not my best T1, but I wanted to make sure to dry off well first and foremost. I did that, then put on a long sleeve UA shirt and then my tri top over that. Put on gloves after that, then helmet, sunglasses, and ran out.
T1 could have been much faster, but the weather was something that I did not want to mess with. Glad I took the time to dress the way I did...
Notables: I was one of only a few athletes changing in T1 and not inside the tents. Everyone was watching me, so there was added pressure to not screw up! ha!
What would you do differently?:
Plan out my T1 a little better. Despite being fairly quick overall, I think I left at least a minute out there.
3rd AG and 18th OA.
5h 30m 15s
Ran out of T1 and did a flying mount. Got up to speed quickly, but noticed the wind was strong and my hands started to get really cold right away. I was glad I spent the extra 2 mins in T1 putting on something to block the wind.
The first 65 miles were brutal. Headwind all the way. I really thought I could average 21 mph for the distance, but new that was not going to happen after the first 20 miles. I just put my head down, monitored my HR, and settled in.
Had one BIG concern at the very start of the bike. Both hamstrings felt like they wanted to cramp...very badly. I pretty much ignored them, though, thinking that they were like that b/c of the cold swim and cool temps. I didn't change my tri shorts, so the very cool air must have been the cause.
Started my nutrition plan immediately. First 30 minutes, start hydration, then after the first 30 mins, alternate Perpetuem tabs and a Hammer gel every 15 mins. This, plus the endurolytes in my water, would give me about 300 cals per hour. It worked PERFECTLY.
The plan was also to drink one bottle of fluid every hour on the bike. I ended up grabbing 3 bottles of water out on the course, never stopping at the aid stations. I was very impressed with my frozen hands for clamping on to those bottles and not dropping them once.
The wind wouldn't stop and the ride was super lonely. As lonely as some as my training rides. At one point, I came up on a 43 year old guy and we played leap frog for a while...He's pass, I'd drop back, and a few minutes later, I'd do the same and he'd drop back. I made sure to remain far enough back that I was not drafting. Race officials drove by us a few times and never even gave us another look b/c we were good.
I was passed by 5 cyclists, I think. I didn't even try to keep them in my sights. Race your own race, I kept telling myself...IM is too long a distance to get caught up in a sprint.
I had to pee 3x on the bike. The first time, I slowed down and just peed off to the side of my bike. The second time, too many ppl around and went into the woods. Same thing on the third. I didn't want to pee on myself b/c it was just too damn cold. 5 seconds of warmth, then hours of cold, peed on tri shorts? No way! I lost a total of about 5 mins there, but it was worth it.
Towards the end, I saw my family and that was a great motivator. I felt great after spending 5.5 hours on the bike. Not the 5:20 I hoped for, but that wind and cold made the ride quite challenging.
One last note...As I prepared to dismount, the volunteers were doing the usual "slow down". I nodded, pulled my leg over the top tube, and did the BEST dismount I've ever done. Stopped on a dime, started running, and was smooth as buttah! Ahhh! That really pumped me up as I ran into T2.
Notables: Great volunteers, strong headwind, very cold temps, pretty ride.
What would you do differently?:
6th AG and 43rd OA.
Very happy with this ride. I rode as best I could in those conditions. I was 15 mins slower than the fastest guy in my AG and 40 mins slower than the top bike split. I'll take it over the 16mph ride I had at my first IM back in 2010!
As mentioned, best dismount ever
Ran to my bag, changed, hit the bathroom, and was out. Not my usual fast T2, but not bad, either.
Notables: nice to go to a real bathroom vs a portajohn.
What would you do differently?:
8AG and 39th OA.
3h 47m 11s
08m 40s min/mile
Started off the run and immediately tore open my honey stingers. Bike nutrition had been spot on and I knew staying hydrated and eating while I felt good would be key to a good marathon.
At the first aid station, grabbed some bananas and water. Legs felt great and I was really excited to be on the run course. I noticed I was running a little fast, so I reeled in the pace to an 8 min/mi. That took a lot of effort, but slow it down voluntarily now, or slow it down involuntarily later...take your pick. I choose the former.
LOUSKIE started to run next to me about 2 or 3 miles into the run, motivating me and giving me an update on my swim. Since I had bungled the Garmin, he told me I had swam 67 mins, which quite frankly shocked the crap out of me. I was expecting 75 mins, at best! That picked me up a bit and then I was off. Thanks, man!
Kept running and hit the sidewalks and trails going out to the turn around. Nice area, shaded, but very cool under the trees. It actually felt nice at this point, but I knew it'd really start to cool off a little later into the run.
I saw QRKID somewhere out on mile 8 or 9 and didn't recognize him at first. This guy was following my on his tri bike and was asking me questions...Then it hit me! I was so glad to see him and i still felt pretty good at this point.
Ran well until mile 12, keeping that pace throughout. Then, my left knee really started to bug me...My IT band, right at the knee, started to get painful quite quickly. I was not happy with it and stopped for a short time to stretch it out...Then, was on my way again...
If you've never run an IM marathon, one thing it is not is comfortable. I told myself this a few times, then started running again. I changed my gait a little to help with the ITB pain, but it was no use. The best i could do was point my toes inward when I ran and then point my toes down when I ran. It was enough to let me run.
The worst miles were 12-15, I think, then I recovered from the pain a bit and picked up the pace again, slightly. It was torture to run by the finish chute and then have to head out on another loop. Pure torture. I did my best to drown out all those sounds and just plug away.
The second time at the turn around
) was awesome and I started to do a few calculations in my head. I had a chance at a sub 10:30 race IF I maintained a 9 min mile for the last 10K. Well, that didn't happen. My knee just really cost me and then I started to have some cramping. The cramping wasn't major, but it was enough to slow me down.
Saw Louiskie and his family one more time as I headed back and then was alone again. Ah yes, the IM run...You're alone alot.
Finally got to the finish and was greeted by my family and some good friends. Happy times!
Notables: very pretty course, awesome volunteers, awesome crowd support, didn't see the 7 foot alligator out by the lake, family and friend support, knee pain, cold broth, flat cola and orange slices, high fiving kids along route, tuxedo and american flag tri suits.
What would you do differently?:
Not sure. I've never had issues with my right knee, so I wonder if something was tweaked or if it was something else. I finished with quite a bit left in the tank, which was confirmed by my friends and family after the race. Don't get me wrong, I was tired, but not all out tired.
10AG and 45th OA. My goal was a 3:25-3:30, so this is the only part of my race that was kind of a disappointment. I am very happy with my overall race.
No pizza?! What?! They ran out of pizza...and that's all I wanted! A friend of mine actually went and found a Dominoes kiosk and bought a pizza for me. We hung out for 30 mins and then went to the convention center to get our bikes.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
My darn knee. WTF?
Great race, despite some of the problems they suffered
(timing, ran out of pizza, some issues with athlete bags
). Love it and will race it again...someday.
Last updated: 2013-01-01 12:00 AM
01:09:56 | 3862 meters | 01m 49s / 100meters
Point to point swim in Banks Channel.
71F / 22C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:30:15 | 112 miles | 20.35 mile/hr
Headwind with gusts
One long loop.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:47:11 | 26.2 miles | 08m 40s min/mile
Two loop course. Very scenic and runner friendly. Very mentally challenging to pass the finish line as a full IMer.
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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