Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
55F / 13C
Total Time = 4h 48m
Overall Rank = 46/985
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 8/118
  • 25m 10s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 11s / 100 yards

This was, I think, one of my best swims - ever.
40-44 was the 2nd swim wave of the morning. I lined up as close to the front as I could. The current kept wanting to pull us up past the start, so I had to keep stroking backwards to hold position. As soon as they gave us the horn, I picked a line between two guys and shot forward.

I gave a fairly strong effort for the first couple of minutes, then settled into a solid rhythm. I aimed directly short of the first marker buoy before turning into the channel. I felt this did the best job of getting me downstream and into the best part of the current. At that point, I just turned slight right and aimed at the turn buoy in the distance. I kinda surprised myself with my sighting and the line I held. I normally swim like I golf... everything going to the right, but I held straight and on course the whole way this time. I glanced at my watch out of curiosity when I hit the turn buoy and was pleased (and even chuckled a bit) at the time - 8:31. That current was MOVING! By the time I made the turn buoy, I lost sight of all other swim caps from my wave and was only seeing folks from the Full and the wave ahead of me. I just steadily sought out feet to pull me along, then went past people and picked my way through the crowd and got to the swim exit was faster than I realistically thought I could. Got out of the water with the watch saying 24:xx, 25:10 when I crossed the timing mat after visiting the wetsuit strippers. I was definitely stoked!
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely not a thing.
Transition 1
  • 03m 34s

A little on the slow side, but I took a couple of extra seconds under the fresh water wash to rinse, then it was a long barefoot run to T1 on cold, hard pavement. I quickly unpacked my bike gear from the T1 bag, then stuffed my suit and swim gear back into it, tying it shut. Shoes on, helmet on... grabbed the bike and went - waving and saying hi to my Mom as I exited transition. I went wide left at the mount line, running past the line with the bike and jumped on and started pedaling.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing significant, this was a somewhat solid time for the transition.
Could have been faster, but I'm comfortable with it.
  • 2h 34m 4s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.81 mile/hr

In talking with my coach before the race, the gameplan was to ride the whole thing within a small heart rate range, and stay a slave to the HR as much as possible. I was to ride the first 28 miles between 138-141 and the second half between 140-143.

With the elevated HR coming from the swim, I knew I had to take it easy early on to get the HR down and manageable. Fortunately, this bike course starts with some winding turns that force you to take it easy, and I took advantage of that. That's probably one of the few things that went right on the bike, lol.

Somewhere along the way, I ejected one of my nutrition bottles, and I didn't realize it until too late in the ride to replace it. This upset my calorie and hydration plan, and I think it bit me back on the run when I was trying to compensate for it. I ended up riding the second half of the course light on fluids, and because of that, I was feeling a bit dehydrated and sluggish. I also allowed my attention to lapse a bit, and as a result I rode well below where my HR should have been for a fair bit of that back half.

Aside from getting mad at the pelotons out there, this was a really uneventful ride. The first half was marked by passing lots of people, while the back half was marked by not seeing hardly anyone after we'd split from the Full riders.

I took it somewhat easy the last two miles knowing that I wasn't going to make up any significant time at that point and I just cruised my way into T2 just trying to avoid making any big mistakes (I almost got taken out by a car pulling onto the bike course on my way into T2 last year). Slowed down and hopped off the bike and started to run right at the dismount line.

Lower output that I felt I was capable of coming into this combined with lost nutrition made for a slower bike split than expected. Still, even with the slower than expected time, it was a P.R. bike split, so that's all good right??

What would you do differently?:

Probably push harder.
Definitely keep better control of my technology.
Not lose nutrition.
Transition 2
  • 04m 25s

Slow. Slow. Slow!!!

Wow, not sure where the time went on this one!
Handed my bike to a volunteer, jogged my way around and got my T2 bag, then headed to the changing tent. Moved somewhat casually in getting changed, then took a gel (or two? can't recall). Also made a bathroom break and then what may have been a mistake... I hit the water fountain for some plain water.

Due to the lack of nutrition/hydration on the bike, I was feeling really, REALLY parched. Water just sounded too good to pass up, so I drank. A few miles in to the run, this began to seem like a bad idea as things began to slosh and cause me belches and GI issues.

Finished up all that business and set out to go for a jog, handing my bag to a volunteer on the way out.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe skip the water... maybe wait until the end of the race to try to pee.
  • 1h 40m 50s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 42s  min/mile

This started out feeling fan-freaking-tastic!
I averaged a HR of 144 on the bike, and coach wanted me to start my run 5 beats higher than what I averaged, so I set out to target 149, but overshot a little and ended up doing the first mile at 151. No big deal... I was to shoot for increasing my HR by 1 bpm per mile, so I just decided to hold that 151 for the first three miles, which includes all of the hills, so I thought it was a pretty solid plan. I'd start building further after that.

I had planned to take a gel every 30 minutes, but at the 50 minute mark, I realized that I had completely forgotten, so I quickly took one and then decided to just get back on schedule in 10 minutes to take the second, but at that point I was beginning to fade. I had drank more water at a couple of the early aid stations and things were sloshing and causing me GI issues that made me feel like I was going to puke every time I tried to push my HR up. I had to dial things back to a much slower than desired pace from about mile 6.5 through 9.5. Had taken a couple of Cokes at aid stations during that span, and that seemed to help me recover well enough to go into "tunnel vision" mode and just find that zone where things won't hurt any worse than they already do. I was able to resume a nice pace, no more stomach issues, and took Heed the rest of the way (which I had taken at every station up to this point as well). Coming down the last hill, I started to hear footsteps and shortly after hitting the base of the hill and turning right toward the last stretch, I was passed by someone. I glanced at his calf and saw '43' and I was like "oh, Hell no! Not today!" and I picked it up and started to kick it. I re-passed him, and hear his steps speed up to respond. I decided to just turn the thing into a 400m interval and went into a near-sprint to the finish.... and I took 8th by :01.

I looked at my watch and saw that I had just set a Half Marathon P.R. - including standalone runs! On top of that, I set a P.R. for the Half Iron by roughly 41 minutes, and in the process grabbed a Top 10 AG (and top 7% AG) finish. By far, my best execution, ever. It was a great day, from start to finish. There were some tough spots in it, but overall I dealt with them fairly well and came out the other side with a P.R. ... I can't ask for much more than that!
What would you do differently?:

Avoid water at all costs.

Post race
Warm down:

I was crushed. When the guys in the finish chute were asking me if I was Ok, all I could honestly say was "I'm not sure". With some assistance, I hobbled to get my medal, finisher's pajamas, and then some water. Within seconds, I was mauled by family & loved ones who very quickly arranged for me to get into the massage tent where I had the BEST post-race massage, EVER. After that, I was ready to get some food and relax... then it was time to take the kids to play in the ocean :-)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Ejected nutrition, I think, played the biggest role here.
Had I had that bottle, my calories, electrolytes, and hydration would have been a LOT better going into the run and I would likely not have felt such a need for plain water.

After spending 8 months training with nothing but sports drink, the decision to put plain water in me during the race was likely a very, very poor choice - no matter how much my mind was telling me that it is what I wanted/needed.

Event comments:

Seriously... if you don't know by now, this IS a Bucket List event.
If you've done it, you know.
If you haven't done it... go sign up right meow.

Last updated: 2013-11-07 12:00 AM
00:25:10 | 2112 yards | 01m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/118
Overall: 28/985
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro Full Sleeve
Course: Point to point in the Banks channel
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:34
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:34:04 | 56 miles | 21.81 mile/hr
Age Group: 20/118
Overall: 77/985
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:25
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:40:50 | 13.1 miles | 07m 42s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/118
Overall: 49/985
Performance: Good
Course: Out & back, mostly flat, single lap.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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