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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 13h 22m
Overall Rank = 1459/
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 76/
Pre-race routine:

A bowl of oatmeal and a half a bottle of Infinit. The rest of the usual stuff including body marking, dropping off bags and getting the bike set up.
Event warmup:

There was none. I stood on the shore watching the waves crash down. I was scared literally spitless. :) It was a strong emotion of fear and excitment. I never saw my family before the start. I wanted to see them but didn't really want my kids to see me afraid.
  • 1h 26m 4s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

While this was not the fastest swim in my life, this just might be the turning point in my whole view of swimming and maybe even how I view myself. If you were to take every swim fear I have and shove them together into one race, this would pretty much be this race. Take away my wetsuit and throw in a few sharks and that would be the only thing to make it worse. I have never enjoyed being in the middle of the crowd in a swim. I like to swim long but not far from shore. The waves were crashing over my head and some point and the swells were making people puke. Yes, it was a REAL Ironman swim people. I didn't panic. I swam wide. I ended up swimming 2.74 according to my Garmin. I guess that was a little too wide. I was so proud of myself for staying calm. I honestly felt that what ever else happened that day, I had pushed myself WAY out of my comfort zone and come out on top. I was slow to start the second loop. I hugged a friend, took a gel and tried to wade back in with the current pulling me every which way. This was not record time but it was what got me through the second loop and eventually to the bike. I will take it.
What would you do differently?:

If I do another IM, maybe I will venture a little closer to the masses. I got hit, kicked and the like even on the outside of the crowd. For this day, I honestly wouldn't have done anything differently. Staying calm and in control is what I needed to do and set a positive tone for the day.
Transition 1
  • 09m 21s

I have never been at a race with wetsuit strippers. I was looking for my family so much when I came out of the water that I showed up at the wet suit stripper having done nothing! I still had to take my watch off too. I was ordered on the ground and off came the suit. Under the showers I went for about 10 seconds. The crowd pushes you through. I would have gladly stayed and actually showered the sand off me if I could have. I did a full change in the T1.
What would you do differently?:

I think I wouldn't take my suit off on the ground or I wouldn't have laid flat in the sand. I hated the sand on my body all day and I changed clothes.
  • 7h 00m 34s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.98 mile/hr

Well, I think I saw about everyone who raced pass me on the bike. :) I knew this wasn't going to be easy. I am just not all that experienced on the bike. I worked REALLY hard to be better this year. This is better for me. I wanted 7 hours and I got it. It was hot. My feet were asleep and in agony starting around mile 60. Off and on the pain would take my breath away. This would turn out to be the most pain I was during the day. I didn't draft like the large groups that passed me over and over. I take pride in the fact that I just kept plugging along. The salt I drank in the ocean messed up my nutrition a little but I had really thought long and hard about Plan A, B and C on the bike. I was able to pretty much keep moving. I found out that there was ice to be had around 60. I stopped twice to fill my aero bottle with ice. It was heavenly.
What would you do differently?:

Gosh, I guess be a better athlete. I think I really didn't have much more that I could have brought race day that wouldn't have effected my run. I just need more time and maybe a cycling coach. I got my very first tri bike 9 months before this race. I am really not that disappointed by my performance here. It could have gone a lot worse.
Transition 2
  • 06m 15s

Well, the first steps off the bike were excruciating. My feet had been asleep. It was a rude awakening for them to have to be on the move. I was hoping to see my family in 2 miles from transition so I got a little excited at the idea. This moved me forward when my body thought I should go sit down and have a Coke in the shade. I had three pre-teen girls help me in the tent. They were so darn cute and really trying to help. It is a little overwelming to have six hands trying to get you ready and your mind is still somewhere on the bike. I tried to put on my tri top and they suggested that I might want to remove my helmet first. Yeah, I wasn't quite with it yet. Anyway, have another full clothing change I was spit out the back of the tent and on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Again, I did the best I could. My mind just wasn't really working that well. I am glad I had a check list to go over before I left. I was afraid I would forget something important, like switching my orthos from my cycling shoes to running. If I was seeking Kona, this would have be a disgraceful T2. For me, I am pretty happy with it.
  • 4h 39m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 41s  min/mile

I felt great on the run from about mile 3. I missed my family at mile 2 and was a little disappointed to know that it would be 13 miles before I saw them again. I was able to focus in on feeling a little better during this time. I decided not to take anything between mile 2-3. That paid off and I felt better pretty much every mile from that point on. I have never done a flat, concrete marathon before. I have limited experience pacing like that. I have only done trail marathons and ultra. I know how to run on tired legs but wasn't sure what time to even hope for. I was looking to go under 5 hours I thought. My times were between 10:00-11:00 like clockwork. I had one potty stop early on. I saw quite a few people I knew on the course finishing their second loop while I was finishing my first. I saw my family at 14 and they were completely relieved to see me smiling and feeling great. That moment was one I will remember for the rest of my life. My kids, husband, father and brother had lined the side of the road and I was high fiving and hugging them all. A true highlight! I wasn't easy but it wasn't he hardest run I have had by far. I was still throwing ice in my top and holding it in my hands at this point. Finally it got dark and I had the fear that I might fall in a few places. I had a head lamp and still was a little worried about going down. I tired not to think about how many miles left. I made it to 20 before I started to think I might like to be done with this. Most of the people were SUFFERING at this point. I gave words of encouragement and comfort to everyone I could. I received many myself. I have been on the other end of this spectrum and simple words from strangers have helped so much. I hope mine helped others this day. I basically was on a runner's high still and I couldn't believe that I felt this strong still. All this and I completely threw away my nutrition plan. I have everything on me to follow it but I just could take another gel or Infinit after I got off the bike. Water, RC, chicken broth, Perform, ice...these were my staples and I just rotated them. A little bit of a headache would mean I would drink more water. Starting to cramp a little, a bit of chicken broth. And so it went, mile after to mile. By the time 22 miles rolled around, I knew that I could crawl it and still make the time. I spent this time with thoughts of gratitude for the year's journey.
What would you do differently?:

I would not have carried all the junk I had on me. I would have gone to just a Spy Belt, which I had at Special Needs. I wouldn't have carried a long shirt when I was still holding ice in my top. I was just so worried it would get cold at some point. It was still so hot to be carrying all that stuff though. Maybe just grab my armies instead of a jacket at that temp.
Post race
Warm down:

I came in too fast for my family to see my finsih. I was done by 10 minutes when I found them peering over the finisher's chute to see me come by. It was a complete shock for them to see me with the medal around my neck. I am sorry they missed it but it was the journey, not the finish line that got me choked up. I was "caught" by a friend of mine who raced last year. She spent the year in chemo so having her at the finish looking so great is a story within itself.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Again, I am not an expeienced flat race marathon girl. With your first of anything, you just don't know what to expect. I also herniated a disk in my back last FAll. I couldn't run for 4 months. I was actually unsure if I would ever run again.Considering all that, I think I did the best I could that night. I won't second guess it.

Event comments:

This reace has consumed my life like nothing else since the birth of my children. I spent 7 months of hard, focused training 6 days a week. I missed very few workouts. I juggled my life to fit in training. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do and who I believed I was. I did all this with the best training buddies in the world and a family who humored me as I was sweaty and sleepy for months. I am so proud of my willingness to put it all on the line. This just might be the best thing I have done for myself in decades. I am fortunate to feel truly satisfied by my performace. It could have gone a different way. I have to say that my family was impressed with me and that just might be better than anything else.

Last updated: 2012-09-27 12:00 AM
01:26:04 | 4156 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 75/
Overall: 1703/
Performance: Good
First lap- 41:43 second lap- 44:21
Suit: yes
Course: 2 loop course- straight out to sea for about 800- left turn for .2- left turn back home- repeat
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:21
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:00:34 | 112 miles | 15.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/
Overall: 2085/
Wind: Some
Course: Tail wind in the beginning and terrible headwind toward the end. Most of the people were off the bike by the time the 12 mph.winds sucked the life out of me.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:15
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:39:46 | 26.2 miles | 10m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 76/
Overall: 1459/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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

2012-11-11 6:23 PM

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Subject: Ironman Florida

2012-11-11 7:49 PM
in reply to: #4494069

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great write up!!! Congrats Ironman!!! It took me a second to understand why there were girls helping you out in T2... you were were in the female change tent. Duh. Hahahaha. You are awesome, Courtney!!! Really cool about your friend catching you.
2012-11-12 7:14 AM
in reply to: #4494069

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
What a great race!  You did awesome AND had your family there--congratulations Ironman!
2012-11-12 12:41 PM
in reply to: #4494069

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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Well done. Congratulations
2012-11-12 3:52 PM
in reply to: #4494166

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
lol! Maybe some guys would like a group of ladies helping them change in T2! I think working in T2 deserves a medal. Who wants to grab your cycling shorts from you after 112 miles? Thanks or the kind words.
2012-11-12 7:48 PM
in reply to: #4494506

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Looks like you ROCKED the swim! I can't believe he craved pumpkins for you. I can't think of anything sweeter! Way to hold tough!

2012-11-13 12:44 PM
in reply to: #4494069

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congrats.  I was just a volunteer there and you all are amazing!!!  My hat is off to everyone who even started the race!
2012-11-19 10:54 AM
in reply to: #4494069

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congrats!! Great report and a solid race!!
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