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Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
91F / 33C
Total Time = 13h 45m 59s
Overall Rank = 51/137
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 8/16
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:25am. Had a cup of honey-nut Chex, some sunflower seeds, and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Periodically sipped from some Gatorade and water bottles on the drive over to Cambridge, Maryland.
Took the shuttle bus over to the T1 area from Vikings Stadium (S. Dorchester H.S.). I sat at the back of the bus...pretty unsure of what the day would have in store for me.
Event warmup:

Upon arriving at the T1/swim start area, I went over to see how my bike did overnight. It was so hot yesterday, I half feared either the tires exploded or a CO2 cartridge underneath the seat detonated! I was imagining having to do the race with some gerry-rigged piece of cardboard atop my stem. :) Fortunately, the wheels and seat were fine. I took a little air out of the tubes the previous day when I dropped off my bike for inspection, so I made sure to pump the tires to 116 psi.
Event warmup on the morning of the event included a unique christening of one of the port-o-potties. I had the good fortune of being the first person to use port-o-potty #8. :) I even got to rip the inspection paper tape that covered the ne'er before used potty!
Took off my khaki shorts and tee-shirt after I made sure my tires were pumped up.
Tunes were playing and folks were slowly filling up the transition area. It was around this time the "hiccurp-regurg." began. Hiccupped a nice mouthful of stomach acid and the damn GatorAde pre-race formula stuff included in our race swag. At first I thought it was just in response to being subjected to Gloria Estefan's "Get on your Feet." (oh dear God could there be a worse song ever recorded?)
Too much was riding on this day to worry about bad music. A few songs later Eye of the Tiger came on and that is a great pump-up song.
I wished a few folks good luck then made my way over to the ramp.
On the way I was hoping I could just barf somewhere, but it wasn't coming up. Oh well! Swimming out to the white buoy start I went with all the competitors...(thinking to myself this is freaking insane!)

  • 1h 22m 16s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards

I don't know what it is about these mass swim starts I enjoy...oh yeah, that's it! Smacking people! :) Sure, I got smacked some myself, but I know I definitely dished out more than I took. On the outbound portion of the 2nd loop about midway through that long side of the trapezoid, I thought I brushed up against some seaweed on my right side. I didn't think anything of it and just kept rollin' on.
I'm not a great swimmer and I realize this. No probs. I remember being about 5 to 20 feet behind a chick in a wetsuit with hot pink striping for almost all of the race.
I was proud of myself for not swallowing any of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Hmm, when I checked my watch right at the start of the 2nd lap, it was just about 40 minutes, so I may have gone out a little quick? Hey, what the hell, it's my first iron distance! Actually, that meant the 2nd lap really wasn't that much lower as the 2nd lap had the little extra swim and walk up the ramp to get to the timing mat.
Transition 1
  • 03m 43s

Honestly, when I saw T1 times I was shocked to see I went through this relatively fast. What was everybody else doing in T1?
The good news about Transition 1 was there was a stripper there!!! YEEEEAH!
The bad was a dude. :)
Good news? Wetsuit came off in a jiffy.
What would you do differently?:

I can't think of anything I'd change about T1.
  • 6h 21m 33s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.61 mile/hr

hiccurp-regurg.-vomit...whatever ya want to call it. It aint pretty. I was conducting a science experiment on how much abuse I could give my right shoulder area. On the bike I felt a burning sensation behind my right arm. After 2.4 miles in the water honestly, I didn't have the energy nor the flexibility on the bike to see what it was. There was only one possibility...JELLYFISH! Wow, I was totally scared of getting stung prior to the race, but now that I knew I made it through and all it did was burn, I figured no prob. that pain would just serve as good motivation. Now, one more variable to the science experiment. hiccurp-regurg-vomit. Since swimming that damn long then biking can tend to make you a little stiff in the neck, I really couldn't turn enough to completely clear my R shoulder every time I had a mouthful of bile acid loveliness. The R shoulder started looking really nice after I added a couple of bananas into the equation. They added texture to my R shoulder art project. :)

Now, all joking aside, the stomach issues were ridiculous. I tried my best not to let it frustrate me. At first I went with the philosophy of, "Okay, if you're not hungry or it aint going down, don't force it." I started the race with one bottle of water. At the 1st aid station I was able to toss my old bottle and grab 1 gatorade and 1 water. I did this throughout the bike course despite the fact I wasn't keeping a lot of it down. The heat was picking up something fierce as the day wore on. It really was ungodly. Race officials reported 92. said 91. A participant in the race had a thermometer that hit 102 out there.
By mile 93 I was pretty damn tired of pedaling into wind. I felt some tightening in my quads and I saw a stop with bananas. I stopped and grabbed a nanner. I ate it there enjoying a rest for about a minute. About 2 miles down the road at mile 95 my legs slowly seized up. And when I say seized up, I mean it! I have never had this happen to me, EVER! Pain, stiffness...I could not move my right leg. Fortunately the left leg didn't go at the same time so I was able to lean left on the side of the road and dismount to the left. I massaged my leg, stretched, and probably took a good 3 to 4 minutes working on that leg. There was no shade, zero, nada, zilch. Blackwater Refuge was trying to claim another victim.
After getting back on the bike (I know this sounds bad, but misery does love company) I saw three very fit triathletes separated by about a mile apiece around the 100 mile mark on the side of the road. 2 had there helmets resting on the aero bars, one was squatting on the side. Hopefully the path of hiccurp-regurg-vomit I left behind me was reassuring to them that they were not alone.
Seeing Kim and the kids for the first time at mile 64 at the high school was both awesome and rough. Awesome because I knew they were safely there, but rough because I had to keep battling the elements and the toll it was taking on my body. Seeing my crew all wearing homemade lime green jerseys decorated in 140.6 lettering and wording (including Eric in his special one-zee!) was just awesome.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, I probably should have looked at the course map. Just having that knowledge probably would have been reassuring.
Honestly, riding my bike around the small parking area near T1 just before bike inspection probably wasn't enough time to test out a new chain. (luckily, the guys at Tony's Bike Shop knew their stuff and the bike rode like a charm)
Now whether I had some sort of stomach bug prior to the race (as evidenced by the episodes starting pre-race/no heat early morning) or something that was exacerbated by the heat and grueling test, or something else, I have no idea.
Right now, all I can think of that I would have done differently is made sure I got enough sodium in. As a fam. we just don't consume a lot of sodium...thinking that I could get away with a couple of endurolyte electrolyte capsules and margarita flavored shot-bloks for sodium on this journey was a mistake in hindsight.
Also, in hindsight, slowing the bike down to avg. around 17 mph would have saved me some juice for the run.

Transition 2
  • 09m 56s

Wow. I stopped to visit the fam. before crossing the timing mat and then entered the changing tent.
The changing tent had about 3 or 4 guys in it and nobody looked pretty. I just laughed as I was putting on sneakers with speedlaces. Ha! I had plenty of time to tie my sneakers and continue to force down fluid that I damn well knew for every 6 ounces going in, 2 were gonna come out. (That was my estimate) Interesting note...I ate a bunch of black cherry shotbloks which are reddish in color. I had puke that was clear and or yellowish, but that red stuff never came back up. Either it was coating my stomach and refusing to move, or my body was truly craving the beet juice extract a-la Dwight Schrute of The Office. :)
What would you do differently?:

Wave to Kim and the kids outside of the tent to let them know I was okay...Kim told me she asked one of the medics to go in and check on me as I was in there for some time. :) a marathon in 90 degree heat????????????????????
  • 5h 48m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 18s  min/mile

I can't believe I'm saying "below average" instead of "bad," but that's what I'm calling it in hindsight.
3 equal loops down and back on Egypt Road...and yes it may as well have been in the Sahara Desert. I must have stunk that road up something fierce...I wonder if stomach acid dissolves roads? I hope the town of Cambridge doesn't send me a bill.
The aid stations were amazing. The volunteers were LIFESAVERS! I threw cups of ice down my pants, down my top, icewater on my head, down my back, drank 3 to 4 cups of gatorade, water, coke, mt. dew at every rest stop...even had some potato chips out there. (btw, the chips resembled bananas when they came back up)

The best part of the run came down to karma boys and girls. Before the race, a chick a few bikes down asked a dude across from us a question about the buoys. Apparently, he responded with a bit of an attitude like, "what are you planning on winning this thing?" or something like that. I didn't hear that and just let her know what I knew. Now, during the bike, I noticed sidewalk chalk all over the bike rooting on bib # 180. This chick was a celebrity! While starting my death march walk on my 2nd of 3 laps I saw #180 and said hello. We got to talking (not much, just too damn tired to talk!) and decided we'd encourage each other to finish the race. It was total synergy. I was very appreciative that she did not get ill from watching/hearing me barf up mouthfuls of whatever fluid was bouncing around my belly on a much too frequent basis. Her hubby was there rooting her on and was a very nice dude. I actually got to introduce them to Kim as I was coming in then heading out for the 3rd and final death lap.
I told her with about 4 miles left in the race that when we got to the end, she was going in first. She was like, "Hell no, we're going through together!" Very nice offer, but ladies finish first, and besides, she could cross with her hubby, and I could cross with my family. We shared a pic after the race. Amazing stuff. She was actually the 5th overall female and won $200. Pretty sweet!
We most definitely helped each other out big time. I apologized to Kim after the 1st lap letting her know it was going to be a VERY long evening. 2:10 with the 1st lap, and I was thinking in my head it was only going to get worse. Fortunately, it got a little better with the 2nd lap...and then the 3rd was better than 1:45. (I wish they posted those run splits, that really would have been cool to see)
The fact my first urination since before the swim, was on about mile 3 or 4 of the run was disconcerting. I was hoping I needed to go while biking. The concern I had was dehydration of course. From the stream of urine I saw though, while darker than Mountain Dew, it wasn't brown or red. No matter how much was coming back up, it was imperative I kept shoving down the fluids. I kept the hydrating up on the ride home as well.

What would you do differently?:

When I say drinking amount was "just right," it must be pointed out I was pumping as much fluid as possible in because it just was not staying in my stomach.
Post race
Warm down:

ELATION! Utter joy to be alive and have the good fortune to have my amazing family there to support me...that moment was so absolutely amazing I can barely describe it. Yes, in the pictures Kim took, I look like a lunatic! My eyes are as wide as a jack-rabbit! It's all good though...pure, unadulterated joy. :)
Driving myself home with Kim and the kids following behind was an experience. We took semi-major roads just in case of trouble...we didn't want to end up in the middle of nowhere if an emergency popped up...popped up like that deer I saw on the side of the road coming into Delaware from Maryland.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

hmm, let me think...hiccurp-regurg-vomit, oppressive heat, and wind on the bike and no wind for the run.
Body weight % drop is night before race compared with night after race.

Event comments:

I took a journey through hell and emerged stronger than I was before.
That was the most physically demanding day of my life.
I absolutely could not have accomplished this life goal without the support of my amazing family.
I hope this accomplishment is seen by my kids as a life lesson...anything you put your mind to CAN BE DONE!
  • ..and, as a Vikings fan, does it get any better than to finish under the lights next to Vikings Stadium? :)
  • I highly recommend this race to brave souls willing to take on the mighty challenge of 140.6.
    The race is incredibly spectator-friendly. Parking is right there next to the finish wife and kids were out there for about 11 hours having a blast. (of course during my 1st run lap, they had the time to go hit Wendy's for dinner and Frosties) The race organizers could not have been nicer.
    The kind words from organizers, volunteers, and fellow racers were just AWESOME, and meant so much.

    Last updated: 2010-08-07 12:00 AM
    01:22:16 | 4224 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
    Age Group: 9/16
    Overall: 58/137
    Performance: Average
    Suit: Orca Sleeveless
    Course: elongated trapezoid. the color I saw looking into the water was a brownish-green. It was the same exact color of a vintage tv screen.
    Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
    Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
    200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
    Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
    Waves: Navigation: Average
    Rounding: Average
    Time: 03:43
    Performance: Good
    Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
    Jump on bike: Yes
    Getting up to speed: Average
    06:21:33 | 112 miles | 17.61 mile/hr
    Age Group: 9/16
    Overall: 45/137
    Performance: Average
    Course: the winds were humming...especially on the initial outbound stretch. part of this route was the same as EagleMan HIM which I did in '07. some beautiful marshland out there, but just no shade at all.
    Road:   Cadence:
    Turns: Cornering:
    Gear changes: Good Hills:
    Race pace: Drinks:
    Time: 09:56
    Overall: Average
    Riding w/ feet on shoes
    Jumping off bike
    Running with bike
    Racking bike
    Shoe and helmet removal
    05:48:32 | 26.2 miles | 13m 18s  min/mile
    Age Group: 8/16
    Overall: 67/137
    Performance: Below average
    Course: Hot. Hot...and more hot. Not to mention the freaking wind stopped! There was a 17 year old kid doing the race who was actually the youngest 140.6 finisher at the age of 14...I knew he was supposed to be really good. When I was out on the course and I saw him walking as well, I knew this day was just brutal. It wasn't just brutal for mere mortals like me...the real triathletes were hurting as well...again, misery loves company. :) btw, that dude who was walking finished 10th overall if I'm not mistaken. I saw three ambulances go by with sirens blearing. A lot of folks looked like zombies.
    Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %3.42
    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] 5

    2010-09-28 12:47 AM

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    Subject: Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon

    2010-09-28 8:11 AM
    in reply to: #3120950

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    Parker, CO
    Subject: RE: Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon
    Brian, sounds like a rough day out there with the heat and stomach issues. Yeah, the stomach issues really had to suck.   But you did it!  You are an Ironman!!  Enjoyed following your training over the past few months...I know you worked hard!  Great RR and Congratulations!
    2010-09-28 11:57 AM
    in reply to: #3120950

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    New user

    Liverpool (Syracuse), New York
    Subject: RE: Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon
    Congratulations Ironman! Any time I feel like I am having a hard day of training and want to quit, or struggling in the middle of a race and want to slow down or stop, I will from this day forward think of your race report and your experience in the hell that was Cambridge, MD and how you were able to persevere! You went out there and took what was rightfully yours after months and years of training and I feel so great for you. It's now on the the next big challenge, but this one is truly special!!! You are made of Iron.
    2010-09-28 11:58 AM
    in reply to: #3120950

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    New user

    Liverpool (Syracuse), New York
    Subject: RE: Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon
    btw, send me some pics when you get them. I'll be looking for the bananas and potato chip remnants on your shoulder! Unbelieveable!!!!
    2010-09-28 4:39 PM
    in reply to: #3120950

    Subject: ...
    This user's post has been ignored.
    2010-09-29 10:27 PM
    in reply to: #3120950

    What used to be the country, PA
    Subject: RE: Chesapeakeman Ultra Distance Triathlon
    Congrats on becoming an Ironman; tough conditions and stomach issues but way to battle through.

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