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Gulf Coast Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Panama City, Florida
United States
Gulf Coast Triathlon
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 02m 12s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 62/
Pre-race routine:

Woke at 3:30 AM. Taking my time I showered, dressed and ate a light breakfest: A toasted Bagel, a bananna, 1/2 cup of cheerio's, and 1 glass of water. Conducted one last minute inventory of my kit, then drove to the race. I made sure I arrived by 5:00 to get a decent parking place and not have to fight the lines to get marked.
One funny thing happened as I was making the 1/4 mile walk to the transition area. As I was walking my transition bag began to feel very funny. As I took off the bag to investigate, I realized it had come unzipped and as I was walking I was making a small Hansell and Gretel trail with tri related bread crumbs. Goggles, areo bottle straws, gel packets, etc...etc... were strewn in a neat littl row as I was walkking (Mr. Shizzles at it again!). Under most circumstances this would have sent me into a frenzy however for some reason I felt very different this race morning. Sooo I collected my effects and moved ther rest of the 400 meters to the transition without incedent (ha..ha..).
I arrived early and got immediately marked and was the first on my rack to set up my transition area. Very easy to locate, since it was ID'd with not only my number, but my name as well. I was amazed how people wait until the last minute to come to the transition area race day. It seemed like a mad frenzy the last few minutes before the transition area was closed.
Event warmup:

After some waiting around I finally suited up in my wetsuit and did several short swims through the surf to get warmed up. The surf was big and the water choppy, but but nowhere near as bad as the day prior. For some reason I can't explain I felt very calm and confident about the swim. All of the anxieties I had felt the days leading up to to race day had vanished. Even looking back now I can't explain why.
  • 52m 50s
  • 2078 yards
  • 02m 32s / 100 yards

Ahhhh....The swim, my Achilles heel. I was really venturing into the unknown on the this race. Although I had swam the distance several times in training, and was very confident about my fitness, the ocean presented several issues I had not had to deal with before. The surf, currents, long distance navigation, the chaos, jellyfish, sharks, Mr. Shizzles, etc... Race day morning it seemed I had reach a state bliss because all of the anxieties had completely vanished. My tactics were straight and simple. Swim and forget about everything else. Worked perfectly. Even though I was painfully slow, this was a big success for me. After looking at the results, I more than made my swim time I lost back on the run as compared to the guys I considered MY competition.
One sad note is the athlete that died. As I was swimming past the first bouy I briefely stopped to ask an obviously panic-stricken swimmer that was clinging to the bouy if he was ok. After offering some words of encouragement I continued on. I couldn't help but wonder after the fact if that was that unfortunate swimmer.
What would you do differently?:

Not one goddamned thing!
Transition 1
  • 02m 29s

Transitions continue to be a strength for me. Even with my mounting foot slipping off the pedal and racking myself, I manage to mount a get up to speed with little difficulty.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 53m 59s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.31 mile/hr

I I maintained a very comfortable effort the entire course. Going out their obviously was a tailwind since my average speed was exceeding 23 mph, but on the return trip that average dropped significantly. I was pleased to see that very few cyclist passed me. That of course could be attributed to my slow swim and starting in the last AG wave ha..ha.. Nevertheless It was nice to be passing riders the entire course.
What would you do differently?:

Pacing. My pacing sucks. I know now I could have been faster. But since this was my first HIM I was very concerned on bonking. So what would I do differently? More race simulations to determine proper pacing and effort levels.
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

My best transition ever!
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 11m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m  min/mile

My plan was to stay conservative at least until the the last 10K. I did just that. I walked through aid stations, used sponges, etc....Only to realize at mile 7 that I was over half way and felt very fresh!!! Never even close to running out of gas. My last 10k was 52 minutes. The I had feeling crossing the finish line was indescribable!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing under the circumstances. In the future, pacing.
Post race
Warm down:

Linked up with my race buddy Tom M and walked back to the MAMSC tent and drank some beer!

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

This was an unbelieveable experience. Everything from the expo to the organization, race support, post race activities were first class all the way! Best I have ever seen, ever!
As far as my race performance goes I couldn't be happier. Of course my goal was to finish, preferably under 6 hours. Looking back on that now I see now that my experience at the distance was the major limiting factor. I can't say enough about my fitness level. Tom even asked after the race how I had so much energy, I really could answer why, only that I honestly felt I could probably run the run course again. This alone tells me I could have been faster, much faster. That's a take a way lesson.
Things I will do as a result of this race.
I will hire a swim coach to teach me to be a faster swimmer. Fit is not enough. I will seek some coaching advice on race strategy and pacing. Once again I see fit is not enough.
I want to congratulate all of the other NAMSCers that raced. Everybody finished! Thanks to all of you that offered me inspiration along the way. I thought about you all during the 6 hours I was racing.

Last updated: 2008-04-22 12:00 AM
00:52:50 | 2078 yards | 02m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: 2xu Sleeveless
Course: Counter clockwise, 900 out, 200 across, 900 back.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:29
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
02:53:59 | 56 miles | 19.31 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Out and back. Pavement was the worst I've ever raced on for about 18 miles of the racecourse. Saw racers with flats strewn along the the entire course.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:11:00 | 13.1 miles | 10m  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back. Was probably the hottest and most miserable half marathon course I've ever been on. Awesome!!!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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

2008-05-14 9:38 PM

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Subject: Gulf Coast Triathlon

2008-05-15 6:10 AM
in reply to: #1403469

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Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Great job David! I am glad that the only incident you had with Shizzles was before the race. Good job!
2008-05-15 7:26 AM
in reply to: #1403469

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Hansel and Gretel..Yes, that is a very clear image! LOL. But who is this Shizzles of whom you speak?

Congrats on your day! Based on your run experience, I predict even faster times in the future.

Good of you to stop and ask the swimmer on the buoy if they needed help..
2008-05-15 8:25 AM
in reply to: #1403469

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Nashville, TN
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Great race David.  It was a tough day for everyone...especially those in the later waves.  You fought the demons (and Mr. Shizzles) and put together an outstanding day. 
2008-05-15 8:43 AM
in reply to: #1403469

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Great Race and way to feel calm throughout your day.  It's amazing how much better a race goes when you just relax. 
2008-05-15 8:50 AM
in reply to: #1403469

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Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon

Sounds like finishing your first with gas left in the tank isn't a bad strategy.  Keeps you coming back for more. 

2008-05-15 10:47 AM
in reply to: #1403469

Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
OMG I am cracking up!! First off, excellent race!  Glad to read you were able to put your swim fears aside, and just swim and enjoy it.  You had a great race!!  The trail of crap and racking yourself on the bike....priceless! Haha!
2008-05-15 12:45 PM
in reply to: #1403469

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Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Great race David!!  The first HIM is definatly like heading into the unknown, but you did great.  You seemed to really exceed on the run when a lot of people ran out of gas!  You're gonna do great this fall in your IM!

(I'm dying laughing about your t-bag...luckily you found everything!!)
2008-05-15 1:14 PM
in reply to: #1403469

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Sous Mon Diadème
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Congratulations, David!!!  Glad Shizzles didn't follow you onto the course. Sounds like your mental game was right on and that will  carry you through your IM this fall.  
2008-05-15 8:07 PM
in reply to: #1403469

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Winder, GA
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Congrats on a great race, David! As with all races, there are lessons to be learned so you can go out again and kick some tail! (and remember to zip up your t-bag )
2008-05-15 8:51 PM
in reply to: #1403469

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Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Great job! 52 minutes on your last 10k! Wow!

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