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Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Setup Events
40F / 4C
Total Time = 13h 27m 16s
Overall Rank = 262/531
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 42/81
Pre-race routine:

Didn't sleep much the night before. Nerves kept me awake. I guess I got maybe 3 hours of sleep. Woke up at 3:00 and had coffee. Then I started trying to get calories down. Had some yogurt and a Gatorade. That was all I could force down. Took a few gels and a cliff bar to munch on. Got to T1 and made sure bike was good. Loaded 2 bottles of infinite mixed thick. About 900 calories each. Met up with my friends Dave and Marc. We put on wetsuits and caught a shuttle to the swim start around 6:15. Was really cold out. Hit the port a John at swim start to try and take care of a little business. Little did I know how familiar I would get with the inside of these stalls over the next 13 hours.
Event warmup:

It was so cold, everyone just seemed to try and stay warm as best they could. I tried to stretch a little.
  • 1h 30m 24s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

I really enjoyed this swim. It was supposed to be fast, but it didn't work out that way. When the gun went off, I hit the water pretty quickly. Huge release of adrenaline! Was in the washing machine for a couple of hundred yards. I managed to make it through the crowds without any major issues. I found some clean water and space and started to get into a nice pace. I kept trying to catch the feet of anyone that came past me, but never really got much of a draft. About 1000 meters in I stopped and looked around. It was an amazing site to look every direction and see folks stroking away. The sun was coming up, and the water felt great. I got a little caught up in the moment and was a little over whelmed. I took about 30 seconds or so and just tried to absorb the scene. It was awesome!
I was really comfortable on the swim, and never really pushed my pace. I figured that I would have a great swim time with the help the current was supposed to provide. As we reached the half way point the chop started to pick up. As I would raise my head to sight, I began to take a few mouthfuls of sea water. This probably happened 5 or 6 times. More salty water than I would have liked to drink. I believe this seemingly inconsequential few mouthfuls of sea water would play a huge role in shaping the test of my race. I glanced at my watch as I rounded the corner to the marina and swim exit, and saw 1:19. To this point I still thought I was gonna be out of the water in around 1 hour. I climbed up the ladder and saw the clock at 1:30 and thought, what the hell? Where was the current? I glanced over and coming out of the water right beside me was my buddy Dave. Small world.
What would you do differently?:

I would have pushed my pace more. This has been my problem on the swim all season.I stay way to comfortable. More importantly, I would do my best not to drink any ocean water.
Transition 1
  • 14m 56s

What can I say. By the time I had ran the 300 yards to the changing tent, I was an ice cube. I literally couldn't make my fingers work. I changed as fast as I could, but I was layering on the bike gear. Bike shorts, under armor base layer, Tri jersey, sleeveless cycling jersey, arm warmers, 2 pair socks, shoes and full shoe covers. Finally was dressed and headed to the bike.
What would you do differently?:

speed up.
  • 5h 59m 22s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.70 mile/hr

Mounted and headed out on the course. I was feeling cold, but awesome! About a quarter mile out of transition there were a few speed bumps, I hit the 1st one and both my infinit bottles went flying. I had to turn around and stop.they were both laying under a parked car. I had to lay down and crawl under to retrieve my nutrition. Was a bad omen.
The wind started pretty early on, and was in our faces. Not terrible, but definitely enough of a headwind to slow ya down.around mile 10 on the bike, I started to have stomach cramps. I've never had GI issues, so I was very frustrated. The cramps continued to get worse, and drinking infinit only seemed to make them worse. I dropped my power to try and reduce my heart rate to see if it would help, but the cramps were just brutal. The vomiting started around mile 45. Must have been horrible for those behind me when I ralphed over my right shoulder. I was not feeling good. Even with all this, my power average was spot on, and I was carrying a 19.9 mph average when I hit special needs at mile 51. I knew I had packed a few antacids in my special needs bag, and I knew I needed to try and hit the port a John and see if I could get some relief. I pulled into special needs and both bathrooms were full. I ate a few antacids and finally had my turn in the stall. It was violent. I lost about 20 minutes at special needs. My speed average had dropped to 16.9. I continued to battle the stomach cramps, but was determined not to stop again on the bike. By the time I was nearing the bike finish I knew I was gonna have lots of trouble on the run.I had only managed to get down about half a bottle of nutrition. Maybe 500 calories. I knew it was already to late to try and catch up on my nutrition. No way around a rough marathon at this point.
What would you do differently?:

Not much I could do to prevent the cramps.
Transition 2
  • 11m

T2 went well, but I had to make another stop by the POJ.
  • 5h 31m 36s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 40s  min/mile

I actually felt really good on the first hour of the run. I made the first turn around at mile 6.5 in about an hour and thought "wow, maybe I can put together a good run." I was putting down as many calories at the aid stations as I could grab. I guess I was trying to make up for the deficit I knew I already had. This strategy back fired around mile 8. I had to visit the POJ at every aid station for the next 5 miles. I made the turn around at the half way point in 2:20 and was still running to each aid station. At mile 15 my friend Eric jumped out of his spectator spot and ran with me for about a mile. It was great to have the company. Miles 18 to 24 were really rough. I was reduced to run a minute, walk a minute. At mile 25 I decided that I was gonna finish as strong as I could, so I picked up the pace as best I could, and ran like hell. Just before the finishers shoot, I saw my family. My 5 year old hopped in and ran the last few hundred yards to the finish with me. That was really cool.
What would you do differently?:

other than the GI issues slowing me down, I regret that I ever started walking. Once you start walking, its easier just to keep walking and harder to start running again.
Post race
Warm down:

I just wanted to get in bed. It would have been nice to hang out for a while, and take in the moment, but my kids were cold and they had been out cheering me on all day. I couldn't wait to go to bed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


I'm happy with my first Iron Distance finish, but definitely disappointed that I couldn't perform my best due to the GI problems. I thought I may me a one and done Iron Man racer. Now i know I have to do another one, to see what sort of time I can post without stomach trouble.

Event comments:

Great Race, and setup did a great job, but there has to be a better way to get out of the finish than just the boats across the river. We had to stand in line for 45 minutes waiting to catch a boat.

Last updated: 2010-06-13 12:00 AM
01:30:24 | 4224 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 54/81
Overall: 328/531
Performance: Average
Suit: Xtrerra vortex full sleeve
Course: Course is almost a straight shot down the ICW, with the only real turn coming near the end when you swim into Seapath marina.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 14:56
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
05:59:22 | 112 miles | 18.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 23/81
Overall: 0/531
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind
Course: basically flat, but a headwind until the turn at mile 75.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 76
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 11:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:31:36 | 26.2 miles | 12m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 55/81
Overall: 0/531
Performance: Below average
Course: 13.1 miles 2 loops course. 2 bridges for hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-11-15 11:28 AM

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Subject: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance

2010-11-15 2:11 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Extreme Veteran
In front of computer when typing this.
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Tough day man! Sorry about the GI issues and the vomiting. That bites. I imagine this kind of unexpected adversity is what makes ironman especially tough. I had a random knee thing flare up during the run and it messed up my whole strategy but I think it is part of the race. Its hard to have everything go your way for 140.6 miles. Having said that though, you had more than your fair share of adversity!! Way to tough it out and finish.
2010-11-15 2:27 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Nice report.  Way to dig deep and tough it out till the end!
2010-11-15 2:41 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Sorry to hear about the GI stuff. You are no doubt an Ironman for dealing with that for the whole race.
Kudo's to you for a job really well done.
2010-11-15 2:57 PM
in reply to: #3211417

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
congrats! the wind going into the current really made for more of a chop and prolonged the slack tide. good job pushing through!
2010-11-15 3:32 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Outstanding effort!!

2010-11-15 3:52 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Congrats!  Way to 'gut' it out (sorry).  Yeah, swallowing saltwater definitely sucks.
2010-11-16 7:30 AM
in reply to: #3211417

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North Alabama
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
It might not have been what you wanted, but you're still an Ironman!

2010-11-16 2:31 PM
in reply to: #3211417

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Huntsville, AL
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Great Job!

Note to self, "do not breath when sighting on the swim."
2010-11-17 11:18 AM
in reply to: #3211417

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Philadelphia, PA
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance

Your ability to persevere with all of those stomach issues is impressive!  Way to stick it out and congrats on your first IM!

2010-11-18 7:45 AM
in reply to: #3211417

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On your right
Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Great job man.

Oh, and for future reference, the busses only had about a 10 minute wait to get on, and go back to the hotel.

2010-11-18 8:33 AM
in reply to: #3211417

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Subject: RE: Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance
Congrats Ironman! that a few breaths that you inhaled some sea water had such a big effect on your race. I vomited for hours in my IM  in '09 and my coach suspected it was from swallowing water. It is hard to accept years worth of focus and training is effected by what seems like a stupid little thing. I know quite a few folks that have DNFed over same issue.

You adapted your pacing, handled how your body reacted, perservered and finished. There is a lot to be proud of in that.

Enjoy your post IM time and hope your recovery goes well.
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