Beach2Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
42F / 6C
Total Time = 10h 21m 4s
Overall Rank = 20/397
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 3/57
Pre-race routine:

Got up just before 4am and ate a sausage, egg and cheese pancake sammich (mmm) and drank some diet coke. Showered and put on some warm clothes before driving over to the Hilton to get the shuttle out to T1 (got a coffee on the way.

Hopped the shuttle to T1, dropped off my post-event gear and found my T2 bag--I forgot to take the all-important pre-race Aleve, so I fished a couple out of my bag. Got on the shuttle to the beach start, where I hung out until about 30 minutes to go. Put on my wetsuit, left my socks on and dropped my pre-event gear bag off. Walked down to the beach.

Swam a little, just to get acclimated to the cold water and then waited for the sun to come up so we could start. It was chilly...

After the National Anthem, it was time to get busy. Seeded myself a tthe front, right in the middle. Rock and roll, baby!
Event warmup:

Just that 100 yards of swimming.
  • 46m 37s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 06s / 100 yards

I started off a little slow, just getting warmed up (the water was cold, even in the full suit). After a very quick right turn right off the beach, it was off to the races with the current. It seemed like there were people all over the course, with no one swimming what I could discern as a direct route. But since I didn't really know the course and couldn't really see any buoys, I just swam. Followed feet when I could, but found I was just swimming faster than the people around me.

After right at 30 minutes, I found the turn boat and zeroed in on it, made the left turn and then sighted the condo where I knew we exited. There were two guys slightly ahead of me at that point, so I concentrated on reeling them in.

I was getting closer to the finish, but suddenly saw a yellow turn buoy way off to my left. I knew I had to pass it on the right, so I had a choice: follow the two guys just ahead of me and cut the course, or go back and round the buoy. Thought for a second, and then turned left to get the buoy. It'd be a long day and I didn't want to think about cutting the course all day. But the interesting thing is, even with going hard left, away from the direct line to the finish, I still rounded the bouy and got the the finish before the other two guys. Must have been a trick of the current. Still, that little detour probably cost me a minute.

Before I knew it, I was at the dock. I hoisted myself up the ladder, just ahead of another guy (who I later found out was the eventual winner) and started the long 300+ yard run to T1. Hit my watch as I was got on the dock (45:26). Paused briefly under the shower, and then booked it. Way down the dock I crossed the chip mat (weird to have it so far from the swim finish). When I hit the asphalt, I noticed I couldn't feel my feet--it felt like I was running on stumps. I was briefly concerned that I might step on something or turn my ankle, but before I knew it I was at the changing tent. Grabbed my T1 bag and went in.

What would you do differently?:

Swim straight; know the course. But, I was looking for a 45 minute swim and that's what I got.
Transition 1
  • 07m 28s

Dumped out my bag and stripped of my wetsuit (no way I was using the wetsuit strippers way back at the dock--it was cold enough and I didn't want to make that long run in the cold with just a swimsuit on). Pulled off my swim suit and then wrestled into my bike shorts and sleeveless Powerbar jersey. Tried to put an armwarmer on, but it wasn't working out with my wet arms, so I said f**k it. On with the socks and bike shoes and I was out of the tent.

Interestingly, Bob Stocks (rstocks), who said he was going to follow my feet the whole way on the swim, beat me out of the water. First time since IMFL in '06 that I didn't win my age group in the. But, I was out of T1 way before him. :)
What would you do differently?:

Not much--I had one of the fastest T1's of the day.
  • 5h 33m 44s
  • 113.7 miles
  • 20.44 mile/hr

Within the first 5 miles or so, Bob caught me and we ping ponged for a while (apparently he didn't know who I was--oh well) until I dropped my chain after about 10 miles. Stopped briefly to fix it and then I was off again. Settled into a grove pretty easily, although I was freaking freezing. My feet were numb and my hands were nearly usesless--eating was interesting. It took me probably twice as long as it normally would to, for example, open a Clif Bar package. It's like they were moving in slow motion.

After probably 12 miles, I passed Bob who was on the side of the road with a flat. I was expecting all day long for him to catch up to me, but I never saw him again after that.

For the first 50 miles or so of the bike, I was really antsy. Even though I was going easy, my pace was good and I was super-comfortable (no ass or back pain and my Morton's neuroma wasn't even whispering to me) all I wanted to do was get the damn bike over so I could RUN. SO I concentrated on eating and drinking and getting to th e70 mile marker, when the course turned southeast and out of what little wind there was.

I passed a few people and a few passed me, but it was remarkable how few cyclists I saw all day. I was in the top ten overall throughout most of the bike, and it got relatively lonely. Compared to IMFL and the seemingly endless peolotons that passed me that day, this race was stark. But the scenery was nice (although I can safely say I've never seen so much road kill).

A couple of times I saw the BTers names on the road, which was very cool...

Probably the one annoying thing was the absolute inaccuracy of the mile markers. They were consistently off by about 2 miles every 20 miles--I went past the 100 mile marker with almost 108 on my odometer. It was pissing me off because I knew my computer was correct, and I was afraid we were going to be doing a 120 mile bike, and I really wanted to be off in 5:30.

BUt, just a few minutes after the 100 mile marker, the 110 mile marker popped up in sync with my computer. Guess whoever set them out finaly figured they had f**ked up. So I knew I was almost done, and right on schedule. I went past 112 on my computer in 5:27 (52 minutes faster than IMFL--guess it helps not to ride 40 miles with your brake pads rubbing), but I still wasn't near the finish.

But then I saw big hill ( a bridge) and I knew I was done. Rolled into T2 in a cumulative 6:26 and knew I was waaaay ahead of where I was in my first IM (looking back, I was 7:30:16 off the bike--I had taken an hour back already...sweet!). I remember doing some quick math and, after a quick transition, 10 minute miles on the run got me well under 11 hours.

Oh yeah...and I saw Amy and Nola just after I dismounted...yay!
What would you do differently?:

Calm the hell down early in the bike.
Transition 2
  • 04m 51s

Handed my bike and helmet off to a volunteer, grabbed my T2 bag and hit the tent. Dumped everything out and got naked. Shorts and shirt on, found my Red Bull and drank half of it and headed out. I had to pee, but there weren't any porta johns near so I decided to hold it. Saw Amy and Nola before the exit chip mat and gave them a quick hug and kiss and then headed out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 48m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 43s  min/mile

From the minute I got off my bike, I knew my legs were good. So my plan was to go easy, holding 9 minute miles. I knew that would be a very conservative pace, based on everything I did in training. And more than anything, in this race I wanted to run the marathon under 4 hours.

I went past mile 1 in 8:37 9which included the first bridge), but had to I ducked into the porta john and was out in less than a minute. he second mile featured bridge #2, a long grind up. I was great going up, but going down I started experiencing some GI cramping--I knew I shouldn't have taken the Heed out on the bike always screws up my stomach). After I got off the downhill and passed mile 2 (just under 10 minutes including the pee stop), it got better. BUt onver the next few miles I alternated really crampy with being fine. BUt i knew I needed to poop. Went through miles 3 and 4 holding just barely sub-9 miles, before I decided to hit one of the porta johns. Dropped off a load and felt better for a while, but by 8 miles it was back. So I repeated the drop off and I was finally feeling better. I figure I spent about 8 minutes taking care of the GI issues, though. By 11 miles, just before the last bridge on the first loop, I started feeling pretty good. My legs were great and I knew if things stayed on course I'd meet my dream goal of sub-11 hours easilly.

I was still hitting those sub 9 minute miles, drinking water and coke and eating mostly oranges with a gel every 45 minutes. At the top of that last hill, I started planning out the rest of the race. I knew that, because of the three porta john stops, I was about 5 minutes off of my 4 hour pace, but I was confident that I could get it back.

I decided I would cruise to 16 miles..that would get the first 2 bridges out of the way. If I was still strong, I pick it up then. If not, I knew that I could hold 11 minute miles and still get in comfortably under 11 hours.

So that's what I did. I hit the turn around feeling good and confident, knowing I just had a couple of hours to go. The first bridge on the second lap was harder, but I got up it quickly and cruised down the other side and prepared for the next bridge. Tough, but manageable. Coming down the other side, I started assessing: mostly I was good, but my calves were starting to tighten up a bit, and I had this weird pain in a small area on top of my left quad. My morton's neuroma was acting up, but I was able to just sort of shut it out. SO I decided to crank it up when I got to 16 miles. Which I did.

So...all day, I was amazed at how easy it had been. Up until the 16 mile point on the run, I felt like I was just cruising. The swim and bike felt effortless, and to that point (apart from the GI issues), the run was flying by. But now it was time to work.

17 miles went by in 8:15. 18, 19 and 20 were 8:03, 7:54 and 7:56. I knew I had 10K to go, and here I was only 9:33 into the race. 1:27 to finish under 11 hours, and a 57 minute 10K got me in under 10:30!

I knew I had my primary goal in the bag...I could almost walk it in under 11 hours, so I went for it. Mile 21 was 7:40, 22 was 7:42, 23 was 7:30, and 24 was 7:22. I was definitely hurting now, but I knew I just had the last bridge and then I was done. BUt as soon as I hit that bridge, my quads started cramping, and for the first time (apart form a few aid stations), I walked. A few steps just to stop the cramping, and then again running. I alternated that up the bridge. On the way down, the cramping was gone, but my quads were just shot--I can remember anything as painful as pounding down that last hill. But at the bottom I hit the 25 mile mark and knew I was almost done. That mile was about 9:00 and I swear it felt like I was barely moving. BUt as soon as I went past that marker, all the pain just seemed to vanish. Before I knew it, I was on the long straight into the Battleship park, with 1 left turn and then 100 yards or so to the finish. I was going as fast as I could, passing other folks on their first lap and just willing myself to the finish. I heard the announcer call my name and found Amy in the stands (but no Nola--turns out she was in the bathroom :). And hit the tape. 10:21:04.


I stood just past the finish for a while with my hands on my knees, just trying to get my breathing under control. Eventually, I started shaking and sat down, and then laid down. A med staff person was asking me questions at some point, and Amy and Nola were there, too. All I remember is my quads just aching. And the shaking. I drank some water and started feeling better and finally got up and walked around a little, feeling much better.
What would you do differently?:

Heed. That stuff should be banned.
Post race
Warm down:

Massage. So good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Man...I dunno. I trained about as wll as I could for this race and hit all of my goals. So I dunno.

Event comments:

This was an awesome race. I've talked about it in other threads, but this should truly be a destination race for everyone.

Last updated: 2008-04-29 12:00 AM
00:46:37 | 4224 yards | 01m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/57
Overall: 6/397
Performance: Average
Suit: QR Ultrafull
Course: Point to point, with a pretty strong current.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Bad
Time: 07:28
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:33:44 | 113.7 miles | 20.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/57
Overall: 43/397
Performance: Good
50 miles: 2:27:09 56 miles: 2:44:57 100 miles: 4:54:09 112 miles: 5:27:56 113.7 miles: 5:33:44 First Half: 2:44:57 (20.36mph) Second Half: 2:42:59 (20.62mph)
Wind: Little
Course: Big ass loop. Slight headwind going out, slight tailwind coming home)
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:51
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:48:25 | 26.2 miles | 08m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/57
Overall: 26/397
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops with 4 significant hills each lap.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]