Beach2Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Setup Events
50isF / 0C
Total Time = 12h 38m 58s
Overall Rank = 177/
Age Group = Military
Age Group Rank = 8/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4 am, ate a bowl of cereal, a bagel, and 20oz of perpetuem. Did one final check of my equipment and made the 20 minute drive to Wrightsville Beach. Since this was a point to point race with two different transition locations logistics were a little complicated. This would also prove costly to the tune of a $30 cab ride to pick up my car after the race
Arrived a little after 5 am. Since I was early I was able to find a parking place right by the Swim/Bike transition area. Dropped off my special needs bags, dropped off my bike nutrition, and jumped on the first bus to the swim start.

Event warmup:

I arrived at the swim start about an hour before the race start. I slow jogged/walked about a mile to stay warm trying to calm my nerves about the swim and my decision to use a full suit rather than my sleeveless. After the practice swim the day prior I had major concerns about circulation and my ability to retain body heat. Over the years in my work in the mountains I have experienced hypothermic symptoms several times as well as superficial frostbite. Although I have never sustained any permanent damage from these injuries I know first hand how dibilitating these injuries can be. It took several hours after the practice swim for me to warm up so.... I went to the expo purchased a 2XU full wetsuit that was on sale for $130.00. I understand the mantra of not trying anything new on race day but I also understand that if something is not working you have to fix it.
About 30 minutes out I began the process of putting on my wetsuit. Once I got into the suit I went up to the beach and eased into the water. The air temperature was several degrees warmer than the day before but it still in the mid 40's. The water temp was 67.
  • 1h 09m 13s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

Although I was no longer worried about the cold I still had some major anxiety about the swim. The mass start of 500+ racers, temperature, my training.....everything seemed to just hit me at once. The National Anthem (still pisses me off when people disregard it, most don't but many do, and for the record, I'm the asshole that will always say hey dude, do you mind) passed then we all were herded into the corral for the mass start.
Just before the start they began playing Eminem's song "Lose Yourself" I never have really listened to the lyrics until then and was surprised how appropriate it was. Kinda summed it all up for me. Horn goes off.....back to reality.
The first 100 yards to the turn buoy into the river channel was chaos. I held my ground and swam through it. Once I made the right turn I immediately relaxed and fell into my rhythm. I could tell the current was pushing me. My sighting sucked, and probably added several minutes to my time. After about 20 minutes I realized the full suit was absolutly the right decision. The additional buoyance, combined with additional warmth was a major improvement over the sleeveless. This boosted my confidence 110%. Before I knew it I was at the ladders climbing out of the water and was immedaitely attacked by the wetsuit strippers. I looked at my watch and couldn't believe my eyes. The run to the transition area was looooong but I really didn't care. I just swam 2.4 miles in one hour and change. So much better than the 1:45 I was expecting. This was turning out to be a great day!

What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 08m 41s

Transition time? Who cares. Loooooong run to the transition area, grabbed my bag from the rack and went into the changing tent. The changing tent was commical chaos. I found a chair, dried off, changed out of my wet shorts, took time drying off. Donned my tri top bike shorts, arm warmers, knee warmers, socks, shoes, and gloves. Threw my wet suit back in the bag, and grabbed my bike. It all seemed to go by in a flash.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 15m 1s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.92 mile/hr

The first 56 miles went by in a flash. The wind was alittle irritating, but not a major issue. Although I was not hauling ass I did continue to steadily pass people for the first half. I think after 56 miles the bike seeding was probably set. Around mile 60 one of my bottle cages came loose and began flopping around. The noise was irritating plus it kept rubbing my leg so I stopped took it off and disgarded it, and pee'd in the woods. Probably cost me 5 min. No big deal. The remainder of the ride was uneventful until mile 108. Believe it or not I ran over a nail and flatted. WTF.. Jumped off my bike, and changed the tube out (glad I practiced that) pee'd again, and back on my way. That probably cost me another 5-8 minutes. No biggie. My bike time was slower than I thought it should have been but I was sticking to my my HR plan.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 04m 18s

Back to the changing tent, or should I say viewing tent. Funny the guy next to me in the tent, butt naked, talking to his wife who was standing in the door. Oh well, if in Rome.......
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 01m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 31s  min/mile

Ahhh the run. I have to look at this as Run part 1 and part 2 as each lap were completly different experiences for me.
Loop 1. Perfect. Eased into my rhythm and pace easily, hr under 130 everything under control. I couldn't believe how good I felt. As I was crossing over the large draw bridge I realized my first lap was going to be under 2:00 hours. As I started doing the math in my head I realized I was on target for a finish of 11:30ish! My first lap time was 1:55:45.
Loop 2 started just like loop 1. The first three miles just ticked off. As I walked through the mile 16 aid station to take a gel I began to feel my right IT band start to tighten up. I've been through this before, no problem, just stop stretch, slow the pace down until it begins to relax. Never happened. It just worsened to point of sheer agony. As a matter of fact I walked more than I ran. Finishing was never an issue, however as I walked I began to see my finish time beging moving ito the 12's. I couldn't believe it. In no way is this race soley defined by the second part of the run for me, but it was frustrating. As I was walking I just realized it's all part of the experience. As I was limping in to the last miles I began to pass runners just starting their second lap and immediately began to feel better, mentally at least. Crossing the finish line was awesome.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Walked over to the transition area to retrieve my special needs bags to find some warm clothing. I was freezing.
After about a hour of searching for transportation back to the swim start I realized there wasn't any (I guess I missed that part). Since I was by myself at this race I decided to call a cab to take me to my car. I then drove back to the finish line retrieved my gear. My right IT Band was aching so I decided to leave and go back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

There are always thing that inhibit our performance. I could probably think of hundreds of nit picky things that would make me faster but I'm not going to. I would not have it any other way. This was a perfect race.

Event comments:

What a great way to finish an awesome race season.

Last updated: 2008-01-13 12:00 AM
01:09:13 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
137 bpm ave
Suit: 2XU Full
Course: Point to point salt water.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:41
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:15:01 | 112 miles | 17.92 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
130 bpm ave. Right on target.
Wind: Some
Course: Flat. It seemed windy to me but whatever.
Road:  Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:18
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:01:47 | 26.2 miles | 11m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
128 ave bpm. 1st half. 137 ave bpm. 2nd Half
Course: 2-loop course through Wilmington. Beautiful but hillier than I anticipated.
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] 4