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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 14h 46m 36s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Cup of coffee, bagel with peanut butter, some gatorade and a Clif Bar.
  • 1h 24m 41s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

This was my first mass start, so I was a bit nervous. The start was fine, but it got rough fairly quickly where I was. I got kicked, shoved, hit, pushed, etc. I did some of the same too as I was trying to swim, but it's definitely an interesting way to start.

The other major issue for me was the waves. The sea has some decent sized waves, and they were pushing us around quite a lot. By around midway through the swim, I was feeling pretty sea sick - my stomach was a mess. My unease only intensified during the back half of the swim. I never got sick per se, but I was real close and it's not a very comfortable feeling with more than 1 mile left to swim. (From what I heard later in the day, a bunch of folks were in the same boat, and some actually got sick in the water and on the beach.)

By the time I finished lap 2, I was feeling pretty bad. I was so happy to get out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

More OWS practice in the ocean would be helpful. My time was sort of what I expected, but I could have done better if it wasn't for the sea sickness.
Transition 1
  • 13m 50s

T1 was fine. I took a few extra minutes trying to settle down my stomach, which didn't really work.
What would you do differently?:

Don't get sea sick during the swim leg, and organize my swim-to-bike bag better.
  • 6h 59m 17s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.03 mile/hr

My plan was to bike at a reasonable pace (16-17mph) to save something for the run leg. Overall, my plan worked fairly well, but it wasn't without complications. My stomach didn't settle down for a while, so I really couldn't start my nutrition as I had planned. So, this put me in a calorie and water deficit immediately. By around mile 15ish, my stomach was ok with liquids and some limited foods. I tried to stick to my plan, but it wasn't easy. Things would have been much worse if I didn't have salt tablets, so I was glad I had them.

The first half of the bike leg was ok - I was reaching 19-20mph fairly easily, so I eased up some. The second half was a different story. First of all, there was an 8ish mile stretch on a super bumpy road. My backside was killing me. It was a horrible stretch of road. I started seeing a lot of folks on the side of the road taking breaks. Then we had a 20 mile stretch with some headwinds. It was a long straight road with no shade and no break from the winds. A lot of folks were starting to fade. I tried to maintain a 15mph pace, and did ok, but the winds took their toll.

We then turned south for the final 25 miles, and the winds were there too. At an aid station at around mile 70, the numbers of folks taking breaks noticeably increased, some were laying down, some just sitting, but the number of 'casualities' was definitely increasing.

The best decision I made was to take a 5 min break at the aid station at mile 90ish. It felt so good. I just sat down, drank some water and just rested. When I got back on my bike, I felt so much better.

The rest of the bike leg was uneventful. I ended-up averaging 16.1 mph, which isn't too bad for a road bike without aero bars. I was so happy to get off my bike, my backside was thankful too.
What would you do differently?:

Get aero bars! If you're going to race IMFL, get aero bars. I used my off the shelf road bike, so I knew I was 1-2 mph in the hole from the outset.

And bike more. I had only biked more than 50 miles once during training, so this needs to be an area of focus for future races. Having said that, I'm reasonably pleased that I maintained my planned pace, but more training would have definitely helped me on the bike and subsequently on the run leg.
Transition 2
  • 12m 24s

Bike to run transition was a nice opportunity to sit in a chair and just relax some. In my bag, I packed a small toothbrush and tube of toothpaste so I could brush my teeth. My helper in transition happened to be a dentist and he was over the moon that someone was brushing. I just wanted to start the run 'fresh', but I'm glad I made someone's day.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 56m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 36s  min/mile

My plan for the run was to run between aid stations and walk the aid stations. Well, that plan didn't last long. I did that for a while, but I was pretty beat by this point and my stomach was not a happy camper. I ran a decent portion of the first loop, but not as much as I planned. By the time I started lap #2, I was walking, but not a defeated slow walk, but a 14-15 min/mile fast walk. I hooked up with 2 others and we fast walked the entire second loop. At our pace, we passed a lot of folks trying to do the Ironman shuffle, so this new plan was working out great. We did the math and knew we we're making great time - we we're on track for a sub 15hr finish. A lot of folks we passed commented how happy we looked, and they were right. We didn't have energy to run, so we walked, talked and had fun. It was a great way to finish the race.

We all maintained the a lot of ways, we 'carried' each other to the finish line. There was no way I could have done that pace by myself, so huge thanks to my walking buddies. At mile 25ish, we decided it was time to run to the finish, so we, along with a few others who were near us, all picked-up the pace and ran for the finish line.

Entering the 50 yard finishing chute was so incredible. The noise, the high fives, the announcer yelling "You are an Ironman" it was all so awesome. I felt so great crossing the finishing line despite the fact that my body was so tired and sore. As I entered the chute, all the aches and pains went away, I felt so fresh, so energized and basically, ready to do it all over again. It was such a great feeling!!!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Try to stick to my run plan better. BTW, the grapes and the chicken broth were great - they went down smooth and helped significantly.
Post race
Warm down:

Pizza, water, putting on a dry shirt, getting a massage and watching the late finishers.

BTW, the party-like atmosphere watching the last few finishers is alot of fun. It was great to watch other athletes cross the finish line as I had done a couple of hours earlier. I was so psyched for them, it totally made my day watching them. I probably should have had an ice bath or done something else more useful, but watching the late night finishers (while still wrapped in my foil blanket) was a great way to wind down a great day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mostly training. I had only one 10+ hr week of training all year. I generally averaged 7-9 hours per week, so without question, training was my limiting factor. No aero bars on my bike also was a limiting factor. And I was really tired going in the race. Hurricane Sandy threw a huge monkey wrench in my race week plans, and long story short, I didn't get enough rest the week leading into IMFL and my support crew/sherpa wasn't able to travel to PCB, so I was a one-man band all weekend.

IMFL was my first IM, first marathon, first 112 mile bike ride and first 2.4 mile ocean all in all, I'm extremely happy with my performance! Sure, there are a number of areas in which I need to improve, but for now, I'm going to focus on relaxing and recovering.

Event comments:

IMFL is a great race. Kudos to all the volunteers and the city of PCB for doing such a great job. The crowd support along the run course was also amazing! Though, seeing dudes on roller skates wearing speedos, a chick in leather with a whip and an old Elvis dude dancing in the middle of the run course isn't your typical tri crowd support, but they were having fun and it made me laugh. You gotta love PCB and IMFL!

Last updated: 2011-12-30 12:00 AM
01:24:41 | 4156 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 13:50
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:59:17 | 112 miles | 16.03 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 12:24
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:56:26 | 26.2 miles | 13m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-11-06 11:01 PM

Subject: Ironman Florida

2014-06-24 9:57 PM
in reply to: #4487251

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Sounds like you enjoyed the race. I am with you! Why not enjoy the last loop and meet some friends rather than be completely miserable?? I am in!
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