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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Ironman North America
65F / 18C
Total Time = 10h 49m 48s
Overall Rank = 353/2402
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 52/204
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3AM after a wonderful night of sleep. No nerves going to bed, just felt calm and very tired from the day in itself. Nice hot shower, got in some pancakes, water, and a banana. Got to transition early and probably was one of the first one there but that will always remain tradition. I like getting there when it's still nice and quiet and somewhat peaceful before it's gets more hectic.

Checked out my bike and everything was fine from checking it in the night before. Got my nutrition on my bike which consisted of water, clif shot blocks, and a bottle of Ultragen which I took during the latter end of the bike.

  • 1h 00m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

Was a bit rushed getting out of transition, 6:30 approached very quickly. So I was hustling to get my wetsuit on but was able to stay composed for the most part. It was nice to have the family right there by my side while I was getting ready and especially nice walking down to the swim start with them. I gave hugs, kisses, and said my goodbyes and walked down to the beach to get ready.

I was able to hop in the water for a few minutes and get some strokes in prior to swim start. Water temp was so much warmer than the outside temps, which were about in the high 30's to low 40's. Pros went off at 6:52 and we followed 8 minutes after at 7:00AM. It was interesting at the start because I wanted to start at the very front because I was feeling confident in my swim. But as I got to the front everyone kept on inching further and further out and I was waiting for the announcer to tell everyone to get back on the beach but that didn't happen and I found myself about 5-6 deep from the front line.

Gun went off and it was chaos out in the front. Someone's heal cracked me right in my nose and I checked for blood but nothing was there, but damn that hurt. I got bounced around alot, the most of any swim ever. The current and waves didn't help the cause at all, but I tried to adjust to everyone around me and find some space. It felt like it took forever to get some space, probably until I rounded the first turn buoy. It started to clear up a bit and I found a good tempo. I finished the first lap in 28:10 and was pumped. I couldn't have asked for a better time.

Had to run a diagonal on the beach to start the 2nd loop. The 2nd loop was a bit tough, I took too much salt water in during the first loop and when I had made the turn to finish the swim and head back to shore I started feeling a bit sick. I thought I was going to throw up out there, so I stopped, turned over, and back stroked for about 50-75 yards. I felt great after doing this and was able to turn home and freestyle it back. I crossed the timing mat in 1:00:09! I was ecstatic!!! I was hoping for 1 hour, and to meet that goal in my first ocean mass swim start I couldn't have been more pleased!!
What would you do differently?:

Stay with the crowd moving to the front of the pack.
Transition 1
  • 06m 53s

It was a decent run to the transition changing area. On the way a volunteer grabbed my T1 bag and I was off to get ready for the bike. T1 was a madhouse. I couldn't find a chair anywhere so I had to stand and get ready. Wasn't too bad but took over 6 minutes. The worst part about the whole T1 is that we weren't allowed to have our shoes clipped in to our bike. So I had to run with them on and it was so uncomfortable.
What would you do differently?:

Carry my shoes to my bike so that I wouldn't have to run that far in them.
  • 5h 25m 12s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.66 mile/hr

Uneventful for the most part. Flat course with the same scenery the entire time. Highway roads with treelines on each side. It was cold and I was shivering for most of the first half. I even had arm warmers on but my face and hands were cooooooold!! I had all of my nutrition on my bike and made sure I replenished water and Ironman Perform at each aid station. I didn't have a special needs bag and really didn't need one. I did stop at the port-o-pots 3 times and probably took a total of about 5-6 minutes. I wish it was just a bit hotter out so I could sweat some of those fluids out, but I'd rather hydrate enough and stop for pee breaks rather than not hydrate enough and get cramps. I also did consume 2 salt pills each hour. It was nice to get a tailwind on the way home and I was hammering it pretty good. I had to make up some time b/c it was a little difficult fighting the wind all day and plus I had stopped 3 times to go to the bathroom.

Overall I was pleased with the bike. But this being my first Ironman I took the bike conservative. Any time I felt I was exerting too much I dialed it back. It's a good feeling to have finished this course sub 5:30 at a conservative pace. I would hope there would be lots of area for improvement!
What would you do differently?:

Practice with some different nutrition and eat some more solids rather than just shot blocks.
Transition 2
  • 04m 39s

Better than T1. It sure was nice not having to go rack the bike. Volunteers were awesome and they just grabbed the bike from me and I was off to the changing tent after grabbing my T2 bag. This transition was much smoother, less of a crowd in the changing tent. I was able to grab a chair. A volunteer told me he'd pack up my helmet and the rest of my belongings and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 12m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 39s  min/mile

Coming off the bike my legs felt good. That was the first time I ever biked 112 miles, and I only hit 100 miles once in training. I started out with a good pace and my first 6 miles were at 8:02. As fatigue set in a bit, and it surely did, I made a commitment to myself. Run each mile and only walk or stop at the aid stations. I did just that. I kept a steady 9-9:15/mi. pace and stopped at each aid station to get in water, coke, an orange slice, and a piece of banana. This routine seemed to settle well with me, so I continued that for the rest of the run. My next 13.05 miles were very consistent. I finished the first 7.05 of those 13.05 at 9:43 per mile and the next 6 at a 9:53 pace. The last 7.15 miles were tough but very manageable. At the motivational mile I got excited knowing that I was going to complete my first Ironman.

I rounded the corner with about 1 mile to go and the street was lined with tons of spectators. I got pumped, emotional, and excited! Coming down the shoot to the finish line I heard the announcer announce "From Walkersville, MD, Dan Pfeil, you are a 1st time Ironman!" I teared up at the finish line and it was so nice to see my family right their at the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Just train more on the bike to get more fit on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Massage, food, home, and then to bed!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

First time ever doing this distance. Hopefully this experience has taught me alot about myself and what I'm capable of doing.

Event comments:

This was such an amazing experience. To have my family right their with me to share this was just awesome! And to also have the support of so many of my friends at home sending their words of encouragement and congratulations and following me online throughout the day made me feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life to share these moments with!

Last updated: 2009-11-11 12:00 AM
01:00:09 | 4224 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 25/204
Overall: 187/2402
Performance: Good
Suit: Synergy Adrenaline
Course: The course is a 2.4-mile two-loop swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The first loop is rectangular with athletes exiting the water and doing a turnaround on the beach. Upon re-entrance, athletes take a diagonal angle before reconnecting with the original portion of the swim course for the 2nd loop.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:53
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:25:12 | 112 miles | 20.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 53/204
Overall: 416/2402
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Mostly flat out and back course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:39
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:12:56 | 26.2 miles | 09m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 72/204
Overall: 554/2402
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loop flat course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-11-22 8:35 PM

Subject: Ironman Florida

2010-11-23 7:26 AM
in reply to: #3222448

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Enjoyed reliving it again Daniel.....once again, I am extremely proud of you and what you put together for your first Ironman.  Looking forward to sharing the experience with you in 2012.  As always, your commitment and work ethic are to be commended!!!
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