Beach2Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 11h 40m 43s
Overall Rank = 103/337
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 14/47
Pre-race routine:

My Dad and I drove down to North Carolina on Wednesday and stay at a friend of my Dad's. We played golf in the afternoon which turned out to be a small mistake. I ended up twinging my back which didn't feel right until the morning of the race. It didn't impact the race but scared the crap out of me for a couple of days.

Got into Wimington on Thurday afternoon and picked up my race packet. We went to the athlete's dinner on Thurday night and got to meet a few BTers including Jim (Run4yrlife), Bob (RStocks), James (JamesHatcher), Wade (Nuthouse), Dick (Spot) and Falls Runner. I heard that Ron was racing but I didn't get to meet him. The food and company was good.

Friday I ran around and got set up for the race. I skipped the Friday morning swim as I didn't want to get out of bed. This was a good race but a logistical challenge and I wanted to make sure I saw all the transition areas. Went to dinner early and got to bed early.
Event warmup:

Got up at 4 after a pretty good nights sleep. Slept straight through from 9:30 to 3:30. I rolled around for 30 minutes or so and then got up. I had my normal race breakfast of slimfast and granola. The hotel was pretty close to T1 and got there by 5:15, which worked out perfectly. It was still not crowded, got a good parking place and set up for the race. I kept trying to figure out what I forgot but everything seemed set up perfectly.

This was a point to point swim and they had buses to take you to the start. Saw James on the bus and set next to him. It was nice to have someone to talk to before the race. We ended up at the start about an hour before the race started. It was 40 degrees out and it felt cold even after I put on my wet suit. It was funny seeing people with wetsuits on with sweat shirts over the top. The sand was really cold and I ended up keeping my socks on until right before the start. I found and talked with James, Bob and Wade waiting for the start. It's cool to go to a race and meet a bunch of BTers. The race ended up starting about 10 minutes late as it was still dark. The said they would start at "nautical sunrise" which means as soons as the could be sure they would see if someone was drowning. They played the national anthem and everyone started getting fired up for the start.
  • 55m 4s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 18s / 100 yards

I can now tell everyone that I had a 55 minute IM swim. If anyone wants lessons, let me know. :) A fasat current really helps with the swim. It was a beach start for the swim which was a first for me. It was a funny start as the course went out for 50 yards or so into the channel and then a right turn down the channel. I started to the left to miss the jam at the buoy. Also, someone at the start told me that the current was stronger on the left side of the course.

I went about 10 yards to the left of the buoy directly into the middle of the course. I felt good in the water, did a little drafting and was holding a nice pace. I looked the houses on the beach and realized I was moving pretty fast. There was hardly any contact and everyone was really spread across the course.

This time will need an asterik next to explain the fast pace. I think on a normal course I would have been about a 1:10.

The last third of the course was a zigzag into a yacht club dock for the finish. I slowed down some going cross current and trying to site through the turns. I thought we still had a ways to go when I sighted the finish.

It was a strange finish as you had to climb a ladder to get up on to the dock. They had about 10 ladders so there was no waiting but I was little shaky going up the ladder. I couldn't believe the 55 minutes when I looked at my watch. The current was good for at least 15 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I knew this was going to be a fast swim. I swam regularly in training but didn't do a lot of long distance sets. I'm glad because I could have floated and made the cut off. I'll be bragging about this swim for a long time. :)
Transition 1
  • 09m 45s

It was a least a 300 yard run from the dock to the parking lot. Luckily my feet were frozen and I couldn't feel anything running across the asphalt. The tent was crowded and I ended up outside as I wasn't changing by shorts. I should have never gone in the tent. Saw James in the tent and he seemed really happy with his swim. Took my time drying and cleaning my feet. I got everything comfortable and ended up with a pretty good transition time compared to my age group.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I could have rushed but I didn't want to forget anything. 6 hours on the bike uncomfortable really sucks.
  • 6h 02m 8s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.56 mile/hr

My goal for the bike was to come off the bike ready to run. My mantra for the ride was, "What would Johnny Kay do". I've always been impressed with his race tatics. The hardest part of the ride was the two bridges getting out of town as they have steel grates over a draw brige. They put down mats but it was still slippery and slow going.

The roads were dry, smooth and real fast. There was only a light breeze into my face on the way out and a tail wind coming back. I got on the aerobars and made sure I wasn't pushing hard. I could hear Johnny saying "Don't eat the paste" and I didn't worry about getting passed or what other people were doing. Everytime I looked down I was right on 18.5 mph or a little more. I thought I was going too fast but I didn't feel like I was pushing.

It was the first day of hunting season in North Carolina so a lot of hunters on the side of the road. I'm glad that I didn't have antlers on my helmet. I did see a guy riding a motorcycle in full camoflague clothing and a shot gun on his back. ALso there were a lot of dead animals on the side of the road. Not a scenic ride but very fast and smooth.

I thought I was being careful about drafting and staying away from people. As in most races, there were 4 or 5 of us that kept passing back and forth. Made it to the half way point in 2:58 and hit special needs in good shape. At one point, a race official pulled up next to me and I saw him writing in his book. I thought it was for someone else as no one was within 20 yards of me. After the race I found out that I got a penalty (6 minutes). I'm still not sure what why unless it was for something before I saw the official. I know I started one pass and backed off as the person I was passing sped up. Very frustrating and took the edge off what turned out to be a good race.

The rest of the ride went well as I kept the pace even and reminded myself that I'm a runner not a cyclist. I stuck to my nutrition plan and enjoyed my Hostess Cupcake at the SN stop. I kept waiting for something to feel bad or hurt but it was a perfect ride except for the mile markers on the course. They were off by at least 5 miles. I was asking other people what distance they had and they were close to my computer distance. I went through the 100 mile mark with 105 on my computer and was getting frustrated. Then the 110 marker came right up on time. After that it was one last bridge and into the transition. I followed the Johnny Kay plan to the T.
What would you do differently?:

Not get a penalty. Otherwise I felt good the whole ride.
Transition 2
  • 04m 40s

Went well. The volunteers took my bike and helmet. Got my bag and went into the tent. Changed shirt, socks, shoes and put on about 10 pounds of body glide. Total porn star treatment.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 23m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 02s  min/mile

The goal for the run was 10 minute miles with only walking the water stops. I came out of transition feeling pretty good but knew I needed to keep to my pace. The course was pretty flat except for 3 bridges on each of the two loops of the course. The first two bridges were in the first 2 miles of the loop. I felt good, was on pace and kept to my nutrition plan. I was talking to people and feeling good. I kept waiting to feel bad and to have to walk but it never happened.

At the special needs stop, I shared some tums with a guy I had been talking to. I got my second cup cake at special needs and was pretty happy. People were laughing as I was walking with my cupcake and making yummy noises.

Made it over the two bridges at the start of the second loop without walking and still felt good. I went through town and was eating what ever they had at the water stop. Mostly a mix of chex mix, grapes and Hammer Gel. I did switch over to Oreos at mile 20 or so, which tasted really good. Not picture perfect nutrition but it worked. They had Hammer products on the course, which meant Heed as the drink. Even with two new flavors Heed is hideous.

Starting the run, I knew if I had a good run I could be in around 12 hours. At about the 20 mile mark, I knew I had a shot at 11:30. I stuck with my pace and didn't rush things. Going into the race I wanted a 4:20 marathon and was on pace. I had told my Dad when to expected me on the run but I was about an hour and a half ahead of my best time projections, so I missed him on the first loop.

I started to pick it up in the last 2 miles or so and was still actually running. It was so different than Lake Placid. I never got into shuffle mode and never felt like walking. It's amazing what happens when you train and then pace correctly on the bike.

I went through mile 25 and could hear the finish line. I picked up the pace and passed a few people but got passed by one person in my age group. I was trying to sprint the last 300 yards or so but I popped a blister about 100 yards from the finish and kind of hobbled across the line.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I hit my pace and nutrition. It would have been nice to break 10 min miles but it didn't matter. I never felt bad during the run.
Post race
Warm down:

My Dad met me at the finish and we got something to eat. We found my stuff and headed back to the hotel. I still can't believe how well I did in this race. I thought 12 hours was a wildly optimistic goal and would have been happy breaking 13 hours. I stayed on an even keel through the whole race. I think this was because I kept my pace to my fitness level. I didn't over eat and I stayed hydrated. The pacing allowed me to keep ahead of my nutrition.

I saw James again at the finish line. My Dad was amazed at how I could go to a race and meet up with a bunch people I've never met because of a website. It is nice to know that I can go to a race and have people to talk to.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Except for the penalty nothing. I think it was more about who helped me beat all my expectations. Training for this race, I learned that I train better with people who are faster than me. Riding with the local bike club helped a lot. Training with other people helped even more and I owe a lot to the local BTers. Jan and Amy went on a lot of training rides that made long rides much more enjoyable. Trying to keep up with Dan's training load and avoid his stalking helped me train harder. Also Dan let me borrow his race wheels. Watching Z swim made me realize I needed to swim 3 times a week. My biggest thanks go to Kristin and Brad for letting me train with them throughout the summer and fall. I never would have done the training I needed to without all the help I got.

This was probably the best I've ever executed a race (except for the penalty) from the training to the race day pacing. I could have done any one of the 3 events faster but not all 3. It only took me 4 years to figure out that it's one race not 3 events.

Event comments:

This was the first year for this race but Setup events did a good job. There were a few things that need to be addressed like the mile markers on the bike and some delays at the finish but I'm sure they will be addressed. I would like to see them change the swim to something a harder or provide times equivalent to other IMs. There shouldn't be swim times in the 40s.

This is definitely a race course to get a PR. Everything about this race is fast. A fast swim, smooth bike and relatively flat run course. I've done Lake Placid and now this independent race and while on the course you can't tell much between the races. Both offered a lot of volunteers, well stocked water stops and all the support you could want. I think the big differences come off the course. This race was more like going to a brew pub with people interested in drinking good beer and conversation while the WTC race is more like going to a night club. It's a loud hyper atmosphere with all the bells and whistles. I guess it's all what you want in a race. I would definitely recommend this race and I'm sure that it will only get better.

Last updated: 2008-01-27 12:00 AM
00:55:04 | 4224 yards | 01m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/47
Overall: 78/337
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: It was a point to point through a boat channel. It was salt water and had both left and right turns. You had to climb a ladder to get out of the water.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:45
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:02:08 | 112 miles | 18.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 22/47
Overall: 138/337
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: A lollipop shaped course
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:23:08 | 26.2 miles | 10m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/47
Overall: 89/337
Performance: Good
Course: A two loop course with 3 bridges on each loop
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5