Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 13h 28m 1s
Overall Rank = 81/205
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 9/23
Pre-race routine:

As usual, you might as well plan on being here for a while as anyone who has read my race reports before knows that I tend to talk (or write) a LOT. Bring coffee, water, snacks or just plan on reading in sections - getting up whenever your butt goes numb or something. :)

I should also reassure you that there was NO ingestion of a 3ft tall bottle of wine the night before the race. I *think* I may have learned my lesson on that one, but I guess only time will tell.

The pre-race routine would really be everything leading up to the race - which in this case, involves me ACTUALLY following the training plan! Well, mostly. There were a fair number of mornings when a certain enabler (*cough* Tony *cough*) would convince me that staying in bed was definitely preferable to getting up early. Oh well, sometimes sleep is a good thing, right?

Even though my training went much better than last year, and it felt a lot more solid, that doesn't mean I wasn't completely freaking out about this race. IMAZ hurt SO badly last year that I was letting it play with my mind and confidence in a way. BUT - I was signed up and doing the race, so I should probably shut up and just get to it already!

Tony, George and I left from Chicago on Thursday morning, landing in Raleigh and then getting the rental car and starting the couple of hours to Wilmington. The drive was really easy, but holy crap was the wind ever noticeable as we were on the road. No worries though, all of the weather reports were saying that the wind was going to die down to a manageable 10-15mph on race day. Easy peasy!

We got to Wilmington and had enough time to get to the expo so I could go through packet pick-up and take a gander at all the shiny stuff on sale. I'm one of the superstitious types that just didn't want to buy a finisher's jacket before I had actually finished the race, so other than a mini bike pump I didn't buy anything... even though I REALLY wanted to. Shiny, pretty new triathlon stuff!

From there we checked into our hotel the Shell Island Resort and it was fantastic. Located on Wrightsville Beach with a great view of the ocean! It made me really happy to wake up to the ocean every morning - I'm glad we decided NOT to stay downtown - this was so much better! Time to unpack George and get him back together... front wheel on, check. Back wheel on, check. Handlebars back on... where the hell is the allan key for the handle bars??? Oh fuuuuudddggggeeee. Except I didn't say "fudge". I said the F--- word. The mother of all swear words. After panicking a bit (and swearing a lot), Tony did the smart thing and ran downstairs to the front desk begging for anything that might help, and the front desk saved the day! Handlebars back on and now to take him for a bit of a spin to make sure he's good to go. I get out onto the road and clip in and start pedaling, wondering why the heck it's feeling so freakin' sluggish and hard to pedal. What the heck is going on?? Race wheels are supposed to make him feel faster, aren't they??? Well, maybe that would be true if I had remembered to pump the tires back up after deflating them for the plane ride. DOH! I love being smart.

That night we went to dinner with the one and only Dan Arnett, his girlfriend Stacy and another one of his athletes Havil. It was a great dinner with a ton of laughs and only ONE bottle of wine... of normal size. :)

Friday morning there was been a practice swim organized by the local bike shop Bike Cycles that I really wanted to go to as I'd never done a swim in salt water before so I made Tony get up early and drive me to the spot where the swim was scheduled to leave from... and... where the heck IS everyone? Huh. Nope, no one here. No one waiting in the hotel. No one in the water other than three guys. Hey guys - where the heck is everyone? Ohhhhh. It was at 8am and not 9am like I wrote down? Well that's just great. So, off to the bike store we went as the guy who was organizing the swim used to be the bike course director and was going to go over the course. We get to the bike store and WOW - absolutely EVERYTHING is on sale! Wheeee! I'm having a great time looking at all the pretty shiny stuff when I see that they have an aero helmet on sale for $50 - but it's a large so way too big for my tiny little pin head. I wander to the back of the store and there's another helmet, but it's not listed as being on sale so I ask the owner of the shop if it's regular price or not and he takes a look at it and tells me to just take it. Um... what??? Are you GIVING me an aero helmet? Yep, he is. He's been trying to get rid of this XS helmet for ages and told me that it was mine if I wanted it. HELLZ YES! And OMG - thank you! I then proceeded to buy a multi-tool, CO2 cartridges, 2 sets of replacement bike cleats, tri top, tri shorts, hand warmer thingys, and a hat with the store logo on it. Bike Cycles in Wilmington, NC - you guys totally ROCK!

From the shopping high that I was still riding we headed to the athletes meeting where the most entertaining race director ever was speaking. It's the first time I've ever heard the line as part of a race "for those of you who haven't used wetsuit strippers, just lie there and let them do the rest... kind of like real strippers." Awesome! Off to lunch with Chris Gregg and his brother after a little bit of an error on our part in finding a restaurant. They went to the correct place and as Tony and I were walking towards the correct place, we totally got distracted by puppies on an outside patio and just went in that restaurant. Whooops - sorry Chris & Chuck! Then back to the hotel to get my transition & special needs bags ready, drop off George, have a very bland (by my request) spaghetti dinner, take a sleeping pill around 6pm and then absolutely crash out by 8pm or so.

The alarm went off at 5:30am and it was the most rested I think I've ever been for a race - I felt great! Double, triple (or it might have been some multiple of 14 or whatever at this point) checked the rest of my bags and then loaded myself into the car for the drive over to the transition area where I got to feel just how cold it was outside that morning. 38* UGH. I got my bottles filled, body marked and then onto the trolly that takes all the athletes to the beach for the swim start. It was dark, cold, and I was seriously beginning to question my sanity (not for the first time) of embarking on this adventure again.... but it was a little too late to really think about it. I got to the beach and THANK LITTLE BABY SWADDLING JEBUS that some smart person had thought to have heat lamps out there that we could all huddle around. Tony found me pretty easily, and it was SO nice to have him there with me. The announcement came to start moving towards the beach and en masse, we made our way to the big arch at the water's edge. I guess it was now or never... a last kiss from Tony, a couple of announcements that I couldn't really hear because of the ear plugs in my ears, and then the horn sounded...

Event warmup:

Standing around shivering, wondering if I was ever going to be able to feel my feet again!
  • 1h 12m 29s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters

I put myself towards the front of the race thinking that I was going to have a blazing fast swim and be done in no time. Well, obviously THAT didn't happen, but I'm still glad I placed myself where I did - it meant a LOT less swimming around people, though a few did try to drown me at times...

I started the swim fairly strong, but one person came along and pretty much pushed my face under the water as I was trying to take a breath, which really didn't work well for the breathing thing. I was fine though and realized that I just needed to keep going, which I did. There was NO tide to help push us along as there has been in previous years, it was a slack tide and eventually there was some choppiness when meant that I drank a whole lot more salt water.

FYI - salt water really isn't all that tasty, though if I had had a sore throat, I'm sure it would have been cured by the end of this swim.

One thing I wish is that there had been more buoys on the route. Knowing that there was only ONE buoy (yep, that's right... ONE) to indicate where the left turn was going to happen was a tad annoying as there's nothing really to sight other than the people in front of you to try and keep in a straight line. As usual, I started to pull to the left... a LOT and found myself pretty much all alone out there, but no one seemed to care (or at least I didn't hear any of the kayakers yelling at me... but again, that could have been due to the ear plugs?) so I just kept going. Just keep swimming... just keep swimming...

Eventually I saw the big orange buoy (YAYYYY!) and realized as I was getting closer and closer to it that I was starting to feel more and more nauseous. Uh oh... perhaps a tad too much salt water? I had to veer way back to the right to make the buoy turn, and as I did, I had that unmistakable feeling. Yep, I was going to be sick. It was just a matter of how long I could hold off... Instead of this being about a fast overall swim time, this now became a race to the shore just off to the LEFT after making the turn (swim exit was off to the right, just so you know how desperate I was). I have no idea what my split time was for this 200m or so, but I'd bet it was faster than any other part of the swim! I also lost my swim cap somewhere along the way... how the heck did that happen?

I eventually was able to see sand under the water and as soon as I was able to stand up... Yep, you guessed it... I did my best to get rid of ALL the salt water that was sloshing about in my stomach in a big way. I saw some of the swimmers way off towards the swim exit looking at me (possibly with sympathy?) as they made their way to the exit.

Some minutes later, I figured I might as well get on with it as I wasn't getting any closer to being done by just standing there with my hands on my hips, so back into the water I got and swam over to swim exit with everyone else.

Up the ladder and on to the dock where I tried to keep my bikini bottoms on (and was mostly to not so much successful) as the wetsuit strippers did their thing.

It was true what the RD said... all I had to do was lie there (and hang onto the bench) and the strippers took care of everything else. :)
What would you do differently?:

Don't drink as much salt water on the swim - my tummy doesn't like it.
Transition 1
  • 14m 20s


From the time the wetsuit strippers stripped me down (wheee!) you would run through a tent that had some hot water showers in there, but it was crowded and not a whole lot of water pressure so I only got a little bit of water, and then on the road/sidewalk to the transition area, grab your bag and into the changing tent.

I couldn't feel my feet. At all. I'm pretty sure they were still attached, but if they had been cut wide open by something I never would have noticed.

My hands also didn't want to work, so while putting on my bike shorts, arm warmers, wind vest and skull cap were no trouble... trying to get into my socks, gloves, extra gloves with a little hot pack in them and my helmet buckled somewhat resembled a clown with big foam fingers trying to tie a bow with a piece of dental floss.

I eventually made it onto the bike and out onto the road, but I still couldn't feel my hands or feet. Psh, whatever, it's not as if I needed them!
What would you do differently?:

Considering the long run, stop for a shower, and my body's inability or unwillingness to function... not a thing!
  • 6h 44m 26s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.62 mile/hr

I'm out on the bike! Yayyyy!

I can't feel my hands or feet!

The first portion of this ride was really just hanging on for dear life as I couldn't feel my hands, feet, or my face for a while. We headed out of downtown and out onto the Interstate and my legs just felt totally sluggish. Everything just felt slow, and I was getting passed a LOT. Not that I really cared, I had quite nice pace booty to follow for a while. I don't remember his number at all, but I do remember that he had on bike shorts that were red on one outer thigh, white on the other thigh, and black everywhere else... and he was wearing tights that came down to just below his calves and they were the yummiest looking calves I think I've ever seen. I just decided to follow him as we were going approximately the same pace and it gave me some nice scenery to follow!

I skipped the first aid station because it looked like a huge cluster going on and I had more than enough food/water/electrolytes to get me to the next one, so on I went. Weirdly, I started to feel REALLY tired. As in I was almost falling asleep on the bike kind of tired. I felt mentally exhausted and just wanted to pull over and have a nazzzzzz... NO! No sleeping on the bike! I'm in a RACE, dammit! I said this out loud to myself and then slapped my own face - which made another racer look at me as though my very own Dr. Jekyll had come out to play - to give me a bit of a wake up... huh, nope, that didn't work. I stood up on the pedals for a bit just to give my legs and undercarriage a break, which helped - but I was still feeling groggy. No idea why?

Finally the second aid station was in sight and I decided to stop, get off the bike and use the loo because I felt that I needed to do SOMETHING to get my brain to wake up a bit, and maybe this would help. Well, it certainly helped relieve my full bladder!

At first I was sad that I was going to lose my pace booty, but lo and behold... there he was! He had pulled off to the side of the road to do the same as I had just done in the loo, and was getting back onto the road right in front of me! YAY!

It was starting to warm up a tad, or maybe it was just that my body temperature was starting to get to something normal, but I was starting to look forward to special needs... not because I needed anything from the bags, but because I was going to take off a layer of clothes - more yay! I also knew from the talk at the bike store the headwind that we were constantly facing usually turns into a tail wind when you make a turn at mile 70 so in my head I was breaking things down into segments... only 15 miles until special needs and then only 15 miles until we get a tailwind. I can totally do that!

The intermittent grogginess continued and every time I felt myself doing the head nod of sleep, I'd slap my face and then stand up on the pedals for a bit. Possibly not the best solution, but it was effective in that I never fell asleep, so that was good. After the eternity of 15 miles from the last aid station, special needs finally came into view and the volunteers were awesome in getting my bag, taking and racking my bike for me and asking if I needed anything. Nope, I just need to strip!

I grabbed a bit of extra nutrition, took off the wind jacket, and the extra layer of gloves and started off again... and almost instantly regretted taking off the extra layer. I was back to being cold. DANGIT!! Oh well, it's not as if I was going to turn around and go back, so I might as well just keep going forward... into the never-ending wind.

The miles markers were spray painted onto the pavement in 5 mile intervals which was nice, it gave you an idea of where you were... and at mile 65 I started to get excited. Only 5 miles to go until we get a tailwind! YAY!!! Okay, I can do 5 miles, right? Easy peasy... closer... clooooooser... and there's the turn! WOOT!

I make the turn and... YOU'VE GOT TO BE EFFING KIDDING ME! This is the exact opposite of a tail wind? Where the ever-lovin' faching fach is the tailwind we were promised? Well, I can tell you where it wasn't. It wasn't anywhere on that course. Anywhere.

Fine - just put my head down and keep going forward, without falling asleep... which was easier said than done. The grogginess issues just wouldn't go away... but what's this? Oh, hello inner thighs - you want to cramp up now, do you? NO! No, you are NOT going to do this to me at mile 90!

Funny... having your inner thighs want to cramp up makes the grogginess go away! I didn't want to stop and stretch because I felt like if I did that, mentally I never would want to get back on. So... I basically changed how I was riding so that I was focusing on pushing down on every pedal stroke with the outside of my thigh. Which worked great for a while until it became apparent that just mentally trying to engage those muscles wasn't going to be enough. I needed to physically change my pedal stroke so that I was flaring my legs out and forcing just the outside of my legs to do all the work.

Good times. (and yes, I'm rolling my eyes as I type that)

Again, this worked really well for a while until my right knee started hurting from not tracking properly. So, I would focus on pedaling with my left leg for 100 pedals, and then the right leg for 100... and just kept alternating back and forth. I would have to do this until the end of the bike. Every time I tried to bring my legs in so that I could ride "normally", my right inner thigh told me in no uncertain terms that it just wasn't gonna happen.

Fine. Fine, inner thigh, be that way you big jerk!

The slow plod forward kept going and at one point I looked at the person I was passing... it was pace booty! Oh hai pace booty guy! As I was passing him I let him know that I had been following him and using him as my pace booty - he laughed and said that he wished he was following me as it was sure to be a better view. Awwww - thanks pace booty guy!

The mile markers FINALLY said mile 100... then 105... then 110... and then we were on the roads to the convention center! There were runners! I could see them! As I got closer to T2 I started yelling out to the runners that they were doing great and to keep going. It was really nice to see some of the smiles and waves that came back.

And finally, with a loud WHOOOOOP! I had made it to T2. I gave George to the volunteer, got my bag and ran into the change tent.

I KNEW at this point that I was going to finish, which was an amazing feeling.

What would you do differently?:

Get stronger on the bike - I know I can do better than this!
Transition 2
  • 06m 42s

Run into the change tent, bike shoes off, socks off, body glide up the feet, new socks on, shoes on, take 2 Tylenol... and what's this? There's a card in my T2 bag!

Unbeknownst to me, Tony had volunteered for 2 hours at T2 just so that he could sneak a card into my bag. It was so touching to have that card and it was all about how much he believed in me that it almost brought me to tears. I have an AWESOME hubby. :)
What would you do differently?:

Nada - this went about as well as I could have hoped. :)
  • 5h 10m 15s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 50s  min/mile

I started out from T2 and my legs felt pretty damn good after all the shenanigans they were playing out on the bike. Um... what the hell gives, legs? Oh well, I figured I would go out with my usual 4min run/1min walk that I've done throughout my training until my legs were going to crap out and then walk whatever was left.

I started on the first couple of run segments and my right foot promptly goes numb. As in it was like a block at the end of my ankle that I was just lugging around with me. Huh, not exactly how I wanted to start out, but whatever. I was just going to keep at my 4/1 and my stupid foot could either join the fun or be the party pooper that no one likes.

Thankfully it only took a couple of rounds of my 4/1 for it to smarten up and realize that... hey... this isn't so bad! From the cobblestone streets by the water (which I figured I was totally going to bail on later in the evening), there's a really short, steep road up to the upper level... and who's there, but Tony!! And he's with Dan Arnett who is wearing a massive afro, glasses, big gold chain, and leopard print pants... which the then reaches down and tears off his pants to reveal a matching leopard print speedo which he then starts dancing in!

OMG - LMFAO!!! How could I NOT stop to dance a bit a smack that ass? And that right there set the tone for my entire marathon... just go out there and have FUN!

The first loop went by in a bit of a blur - I kept at my 4/1s for then entire thing, though took a couple of extra minutes depending on where I was for aid stations. I just kept going and my legs never complained... I had NO idea what was going on, but I figured the good times were going to end eventually so I might as well use the good times while I still had them. And somehow, I just kept going. There were a few stations with music and I danced with them, the tiki themed aid station at the turn around in the park was awesome & I danced with them too. One station had minions... And I profusely thanked the minions, even though secretly I wanted them to come with me. How awesome would THAT be to be running with a bunch of minions following you?

Back into town and somehow I managed NOT to fall over on the cobblestones, to the turnaround by the convention center and then to run special needs where the only things I grabbed were a long sleeved tech shirt for under my Betty wind jacket and my headlamp as I knew that I was going to be finishing after dark.

Back out onto the roads and up that short steep hill where I was sad not to see Dan in his speedo again, but figured he was out on the course looking for his GF Stacy... but there's Tony again! YAYYYY!!!

I was still going at a 4/1, but my legs were starting to feel a tad persnickety (such a great word) so I changed to a 3/2 for the rest. And I somehow just kept going... my legs felt GREAT, my breathing was fine, my feet were fine... don't question it - just accept it!

It started to get dark and quite cool - and I was REALLY glad I had the headlamp as it was pretty dark out there, even with the portable lights.

I saw Stacy with Dan riding a bike beside her and stopped to give her a big hug - she was KILLING it out there! Then I saw Chris who was looking strong as ever and heading to his first IM distance finish. I also got to see Janyne who has impressed me to no end with her training leading up to this race and she was ROCKING it out there!

Into the darkness I went, but still stopping at all the aid stations to dance, grab chicken broth, coke, salt tablets, or whatever else tickled my fancy as I went by. Back at the tiki hut... around the turn around... and I was on my way back! Slowly the miles ticked by and I got closer and closer to the finish. Out of the park and back onto the city streets. Tony saw me coming and told me I was going way too fast and had to try and race to the finish so he could get pics. I ran past the last aid station where they asked if I wanted anything... Nope, just the finish line!

Down the steep hill and onto the cobblestone streets... OMG - just look at all the people! They start calling my name and I raise my arms to get them even more involved... then I can hear the announcer. And the music! And eventually I can SEE the finish line and the finish clock. Wait just a cotton-pickin' second. Can that time actually be RIGHT? Is it possible that I will beat my super secret goal time of coming in under 13:30???

Oh.My.God. I am. I'm going to not only finish this race, but I'm going to destroy my previous IM time by 2 hours.

The finish clock is reading 13:27:xx... so what do I do? I dance down the finisher's chute. :)
What would you do differently?:

Keep working on my run - this was the best I've ever felt on a run EVER! I wouldn't change a thing about this, I had a fantastic time out there on the run. I was having so much fun - dancing at all the aid stations that had music, thanking all the volunteers, and encouraging everyone else that I could along the way. Short version - it was awesome!
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the line with my arms raised and a big smile on my face. Got my medal, finishers PJs (which are totally kickass) and one of the mylar wraps, found Tony... and there's Chris and his brother!!! Awesome!

Tony got the car and had already gotten George as well as my transition bags, because he's amazing, so I rummaged around to find my bike and run special needs bags, said good bye to Chris and went off to find a place to grab some pizza. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I really need to work on my biking - otherwise, this was a great time for me. Almost a TWO HOUR difference in time from my last IM. Who knew that actually getting out and training would help so much? ;)

Event comments:

I really can't say enough good things about this race - it was top notch from start to finish, and if I weren't doing Chattanooga next year, I would absolutely be back at B2B.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-24 12:00 AM
01:12:29 | 3800 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 7/23
Overall: 63/205
Performance: Below average
Suit: Orca Full-Sleeve with no anti-chafe. BAD IDEA!
Course: Straight down the channel until you find the ONE (that's right, there's only ONE) buoy that's in the water to indicate where to turn left, then into the marina area and out onto the docks.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 14:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:44:26 | 112 miles | 16.62 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/23
Overall: 73/205
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind
Course: I have absolutely NO idea where we went. I just followed other people, tried to avoid the cones, tried not to run over any other riders, the volunteers and policemen on the course, and just keep pedaling until I got to the end of the bike course. Somehow, North Carolina managed to find about 100 miles of headwind. I have no idea how they did that, but I'd like to write a sternly worded letter to that person!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:10:15 | 26.2 miles | 11m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/23
Overall: 104/205
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops through some of the city streets and into a really nice park... even if it does have crocodiles. Thankfully the one that was ON the run course was removed before I got there...
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5