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Beach to Battleship HIM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
44F / 7C
Total Time = 6h 13m 3s
Overall Rank = 252/441
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 48/80
Pre-race routine:

None. Didn't even read athlete booklet. I did complete some nonspecific training over the summer, mostly swims and bike, little running and no bricks (other than my aquavelo and sprint events). I wasn't even sure I would do this race until week of race. I signed up and then got injured with a sports hernia, that took 5 months to figure out. I went to several docs, then finally figure out it was likely a sports hernia. My last doc was a triathlete and said I would have no problem with the half ironman race, finally a doctor that agreed with me, so I took his advice and decided to do it! Looked at it as a long catered training day for nutrition and long distance training. Went to prerace meeting, they asked for first timers of HIM and IM distance, lots of hands went up, then asked first timers to triathlon and my buddy's hand was one of two that went up, the race director said they were both disqualified already! LOL! Set up transition bags night before, first time for that. Got to swim start, and was told body marking was at T1, which we didn't stop at because we setup last night, finally found a lady with a sharpy and marked each other. Forgot to take GU 15 minutes before swim.
Event warmup:

  • 34m 51s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 39s / 100 yards

My first point to point swim race. My group was second to go so I had to get into the water, thought it might feel warmer since it was 45 outside air temp. Nope, it was freezing on the feet, they instantly went numb, jogged in place and complained about how cold it was with everyone else. Didn't wade out any deeper until they called 2 minutes to gun time, then I got brave and moved to the front center. Boom. We are off and the head is under and I get freezer shock, then salt water tastes and waves getting into face and hard breathing. I started to feel sick, not sure if it was from the water temp, salt water in mouth or just mental. Told myself to focus on smooth stroke and breathing and got settled in, but felt like I didn't know where I was going. I then found some feet and drafted some, this was a first time for that, it worked for a small time, but was good experience for the future. Then I looked up for dr. joe and didn't see him, thought I might catch him at some point today. He was in first group that started 5 minutes ahead of me. I kept sighting and zigzagged course some, too many things going on in the water, boats, bouys, etc and I didn't have any good landscape marks picked out, heard them talking about a white hotel, they all looked white, so I just kept sighting, sighting and sighting some more. Thought this must be slowing me down. I finally saw the dock and when I came up to the ladder I could find the step, felt like forever before I took a step up. I think they unzipped my wetsuit, and then I jogged up the dock and through the showers, that felt good. Then came the long jog on pavement to T1, major feet pain from the asphalt. I also had to keep my pres. goggles on so I could see and I bet people wondered why I was running with them on. Lots of fans cheering though. My time was faster than my last half, they said it would be, but I expected it would be even faster the way they talked up the tide coming in behind us, it probably did help alot though. I was happily surprised to see my AG rank 9/80. My swim is like that one good stroke or hole in a round of golf that you remember and keeps you coming back!
What would you do differently?:

Swim with BT group the day before to reduce water temp shock. Not miss ladder step 10 times. Review course before race.
Transition 1
  • 06m 28s

Couldn't tell which rack I was on, then a great volunteer yelled out my bike # and pointed me to my rack, awesome! Then he asked if I needed help with my wetsuit and he pulled off my wetsuit in one quick yank, that was quick and easy! Hope they don't care I was in my skivvies. Then I took my time, put on tri shorts, buckeye bike jersey, GU's fell out of pockets, had to pick them up and stuff them back in, put on garmin and turned on, it shut off, turned on again, shut off again, dead charge. Panic. What am I going to do without my HR monitor, I've never race without it, especially a long race. Oh well, have to take it easy, just a training day afterall. Shoes and sunglasses on and I took off.
What would you do differently?:

Check garmin night before, so it is charged.
  • 3h 12m 22s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.47 mile/hr

Just took bike easy, was looking for Doc Joe entire ride, thought he was a head of me still and kicking it! I'll see him on the run I said. I tried to keep up with GUs and Heed, sipped some water. Stomach felt woozie a couple of time, so I backed off on calories and sipped water, it seemed to settle back down each time. Then I remembered to stop drinking last 30 minutes of ride. The ride was first hour seemed to take forever, then as you get into drinks, GU, drinks, etc. the time the second half of ride always goes by so much faster for some reason.
What would you do differently?:

Push harder, start taking salt tabs.
Transition 2
  • 03m 35s

They yelled at me to slow down as I approached T2, stopped dead and got off bike at line. Gave bike to voluteer and ran to transition spot, changed into new shoes, didn't get my yanks on them yet. Popped on race belt and cap and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Have my yanks on. Hustle more.
  • 2h 15m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 22s  min/mile

Started jogging and felt ok, but stopped just out of T2 to pee. As I came out on main highway, I heard a "Go Buckeyes" coming from a biker, it was Dr. Joe, I passed him somewhere, but never saw him I guess. Then I noticed a women runner was next to me going about the same pace, so I just kind of jogged next to her for a few miles. I kept getting so many "go buckeyes" on the course it was amazing. The women next to me said "I sticking with you, everyone is cheering for you" and it really felt that way, it didn't feel like I went 20 ft without a "go bucks", it really picked me up. There was a huge amount of cheering as you went through town, this definitely makes this race awesome. When I made it to mile 4, I felt it should be mile 5, I knew that was not a good sign. I couldn't wait for halfway mark now. I was sticking with my new "training partner", we chatted some, but kept each other company mostly. She actually ran a pretty good peanut gallery of the racers surrounding/passing us. My original plan was a jog/walk every mile due to sports hernia, coming up on halfway turnaround I had not stopped jogging yet, well there was the tiny hill that I walked up, but I kept pace with my partner who jogged it so she said "I think I'll walk the next one with you". I knew I would see Dr. Joe again soon since this was an out and back, about mile 7-8 we passed and gave each other high fives and he said go bucks again, then the guy behind him said "give me some", so I did, it was like I was some kind of star hahahaha, the "buckeye nation" rules! LOL! Got tired of GUs, so I pulled out my cliff shots, took one at a time and they were good. Then it was getting very difficult to keep going, I didn't want to stop though and said if my partner stops so will I, she didn't. Then a small hill came and I walked this again, she kept going, I got to top and then caught up to her yelling "Ohio State" as in where are you??? My right leg was feeling like it was going to cramp, I was getting worried about my sports hernia, and felt a tweek in my hip flexor, I was thinking here I go pushing myself back to injury, if I don't finish this or finish poorly I won't regret it. Ray said I needed to remember getting my finishers medal this time, that was my race motto, but I just kept going and going. Then it came, the bridge, which meant, the big last hill until the finish line, I told my partner I was going to walk it, she just kept going, I was too worried about hurting myself or cramping up and falling down I just didn't want to go there. So it took a while to walk up and my partner made good progress ahead of me. I got to the top and started to pick up speed down the hill, I had to catch my parter and finish with her, it's been a long journey together. So I finally did catch her, she said she had been calling for me, but she never looked back, we came up to the finish and pushed our last effort and crossed together!!! What a great feeling.
What would you do differently?:

More running in training, not have a sports hernia next time.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my first massage, well worth it, will do that again. Waited for Joe to come across, missed him though, I was getting my transition bag to put on warm cloths and get some more pizze, down 4 slices. After I found Joe we went and go a free beer, tasted pretty darn good. Watched a first ironman racer cross the finish line, amazing what these guys can do in 9 hours. Met the fourth place male, my wife was hanging out on the beach all weekend with his wife, so we met them after the race. He's done 21 ironmans, unbelievable.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This was supposed to be my second A race, but after my injury, it became questionable and then just a "long training day". Sports hernia and lack of specific training.

Event comments:

Awesome job by race director. The best volunteers in any race I've been to and great course and city. Loved it!!

Last updated: 2010-06-13 12:00 AM
00:34:51 | 2112 yards | 01m 39s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/80
Overall: 112/441
Performance: Average
Suit: xterra vortex3 full
Course: Point to point swim from Wrightsville Beach in the Banks Channel. One 90 degree turn and then two 45's. Finish at a marina..
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:28
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
03:12:22 | 56 miles | 17.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 64/80
Overall: 349/441
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Very flat, out and back (sorta) through town and several major highways
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:35
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:15:49 | 13.1 miles | 10m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 42/80
Overall: 222/441
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back from the battleship into downtown Wilmington and then turn around at Greenfield Lake. Two bridge crossings within the first two miles meaning you get to cross them again the last two miles.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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

2010-11-15 8:30 PM

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Subject: Beach to Battleship HIM

2010-11-16 6:25 AM
in reply to: #3212450

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: RE: Beach to Battleship HIM
Awesome race Matt! So glad it didn't make the injury worse and that you are able to remember the finish!

Good to hear about the quality of the race - it's one I've considered for the full distance. In other reports from the same race, there was a lot of talk of the wind - but it didn't seem to affect you a bit. Look how far you've come!

Now - let's get you healed/recovered and back on the path.
2010-11-16 9:34 AM
in reply to: #3212450

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Subject: RE: Beach to Battleship HIM
Awesome day Matt.  Your bike must have been great since I also read a lot about the wind but you didn't seem affected at all. 

What a super finish to the year and a good way to prepare for the healing.  Get healthy and continue on the journey.
2010-11-19 10:16 AM
in reply to: #3212450

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West Grove, PA
Subject: RE: Beach to Battleship HIM
Great job, Matt!  I am so impressed with your pacing during this "catered training day".  A little over 6 hours... wow!  You obviously have all the fitness you need to take it to the next level.  Once you get the sports hernia taken care of, you're going to be a monster out there in your next HIM and in your full IM.  Great job!  You've inspired me to get out of the RB court and start doing some S/B/R-ing.
2010-11-20 2:49 AM
in reply to: #3218230

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On your right
Subject: RE: Beach to Battleship HIM
Great job, man.  Heal well after the repair.
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