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Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 6h 03m 47s
Overall Rank = 77/334
Age Group = 30-34F
Age Group Rank = 15/57
Pre-race routine:

My husband dropped me off at T1 around 6:30 a.m. I got body-marked, borrowed a pump from bike support to air up my tires, arranged all of my nutrition on my bike, and dropped off my swim-to-bike bag at my spot on the rack. After a trip through the bathroom line, I got on a shuttle to the swim start. It was FREEZING cold in the morning -- I was wearing my tri suit and had pulled on the legs of my wetsuit, plus two pairs of sweatpants, socks, sneakers, two long-sleeved shirts, a sweatshirt and a jacket.

The transportation to the start line was perfectly executed. I had a bagel and some water while waiting to start, then ditched all of the throwaway clothes and got into my wetsuit. Then my wave got called into the water and away we went!
Event warmup:

Wriggling into my wetsuit.
  • 38m 35s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

This was my first saltwater swim, and I've really been neglecting my swim training since I can usually do OK without much pool time. Knowing that it would be a long day, I had decided to take it easy and relaxed. This race usually has a strong current that results in super-fast swim times, but I really didn't notice a push at all -- and this is actually quite a bit slower than what I would have expected.

I kept ending up next to a girl from my wave with a very distinctive and exuberant kick. She caught me hard in the lip within the first 200 yards, then in the nose at about the halfway point, and then in the eye close to the finish. Every time I thought I had lost her, she'd get me again! I have a fat lip and a gash on my eyelid from my goggles.

Aside from the constant battering, the swim felt fine and I managed not to swallow too much salt water. I wasn't overwhelmingly happy with my time, but considering how little time I've put in the pool, I expected it.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 07m 14s

Oh man, this was the worst part of the race by far. Totally feel like I could have broken six hours with less stupidity on my part.

All the dumb things:

1. Climbed the ladder to exit the swim and the world immediately flipped upside down. I have NEVER experienced anything like that before. I'm lucky they had volunteers at the ladders. The poor guy probably held me up for a full minute before the vertigo passed. I have no idea what caused it and luckily it wasn't an issue for the rest of the race.

2. Ran to my spot in T1 and suddenly felt strongly like I was going to throw up. Sat down immediately, drank water and felt better after a minute or so. Again, luckily not an issue for the rest of the race.

3. I had decided to put on gloves and arm warmers for the bike since it was still pretty cold. In the wrestling match of me and my wet arms v. arm warmers and gloves, the arm warmers and gloves get the win every time.

4. We had to stuff all of our swim stuff into our swim-to-bike bag for transportation back to the finish. I could not for the life of me get my wetsuit into the plastic bag. Probably took a full minute.

5. FINALLY got my bike and exited T1, only to have a hell of a time getting clipped in. I bought toe covers at the last minute -- which truly was a good idea and my feet were much happier for it -- and hadn't had a chance to ride with them, and they made it trickier to clip in.
What would you do differently?:

Not be an idiot.
  • 3h 20m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.74 mile/hr

The bike has definitely been my biggest challenge in triathlon. I'm not overwhelmingly delighted with my performance or anything, but I finished right in the range of where I expected to be and without incident. This was a very nice course overall, flat with nicely surfaced roads.

The first few miles of the bike course are through Wrightsville Beach and over a bridge with some funky metal grating on it, so it was slow to start. Once I was actually out on the course, I felt pretty good. The first big chunk of the bike course was in the left lane of a highway with cones separating us from the cars, which was kind of weird but not as unpleasant as I expected. Once we got off the highway, we rode for a long time on a road with some headwind. It wasn't terrible, but it slowed me down quite a bit and was demoralizing.

The turnaround point is a little loop on country roads -- traffic got dicey at points through here, which was kind of irritating. But then we turned back on the road we came in on, and the tailwind was amazing!

The only part of the course I really disliked was the last five miles or so. The race director said in the athletes' meeting that we would never need to ride on the shoulder or in the bike lane, but in that last stretch there was NO traffic control and bumper-to-bumper traffic in both lanes. A truck even zoomed out of the traffic lane and drove along on the shoulder right in front of me at top speed, obviously irritated by having to wait for bikes. I was by myself at this point with no other competitors or volunteers in sight, and I was panicked that I had somehow gotten off the course and ended up on the shoulder of a highway. Finally another girl pulled up alongside me, similarly freaked out, and we rode together for a mile or so until we saw the bridge and a cop and realized we were OK. Not sure if something failed there, or if I mis-interpreted at the athlete meeting, or what.

The metal grating on this bridge was much trickier, probably because I was tired. Rode the last small segment into the convention center, dismounted, slapped hands with my new cycling friend, and was on my way.
What would you do differently?:

Obviously the bike is where I can make the biggest gains. Hoping to kick my butt on the trainer all winter.
Transition 2
  • 03m 44s

Transition is inside the convention center, which was kind of weird and confusing. A volunteer grabbed my bike, and I showed my number on my helmet to a volunteer who shouted out my number down the line to other volunteers who started looking for my bike-to-run bag and handed it over to me. I ran to the changing tent, plonked down on a chair and took off all of my bike stuff and put on my run gear. A super-helpful volunteer stuffed all of my bike stuff in my bag. As I started to run out, I realized I was still wearing my arm warmers and gloves. Duh. The volunteer helped me yank them off and untied my bag to stuff them in. Thanks, volunteer!
What would you do differently?:

Remember to take off all of my bike gear.
  • 1h 53m 31s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 40s  min/mile

My main goal for this race was to pace the bike conservatively and stay on top of nutrition to set up a strong run, and I am really pleased with how it worked out. I felt AMAZING running out of the convention center, and so happy to be off the bike. I started out running a marathon-type effort, feeling easy and loose. I saw my husband around mile 2 and gave a big thumbs up. I was passing people like crazy on the run, and I actually don't think anyone passed me on the entire course.

I started feeling pretty taxed around mile 8, but I felt confident that I could maintain my pace for the rest of the race. The volunteers were absolutely amazing -- so encouraging, and the aid stations were handled perfectly. I was so excited to see the finish line and absolutely ecstatic about my run time -- my mile splits were all within five seconds of each other and my goal had basically been to break two hours, so I beat that pretty handily. I knew I probably hadn't broken six hours because of my disastrous T1, but the run made up for it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The run was perfect.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the finish line grinning like a maniac and met up with my husband. Got my finisher's medal and the sweet battleship-printed pajama pants they were passing out. Grabbed a slice of pizza and a can of Coke -- HEAVEN. After sitting on the curb for a few minutes, we went and collected my stuff from the convention center and headed back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm a terrible cyclist.

Event comments:

My only complaint about this race was the dicey traffic situation at the end of the bike course. I wasn't wild about the T2 setup in the convention center, but I think it would be easier if I had expected it.

B2B is pretty flawlessly executed...despite complicated logistics, I always knew where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. The volunteers are AMAZING. I've never seen anything like it.

I have a feeling I'll be back next year. :)

Last updated: 2013-03-19 12:00 AM
00:38:35 | 2112 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 21/57
Overall: 108/334
Performance: Below average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:14
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:20:45 | 56 miles | 16.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 20/57
Overall: 143/334
Performance: Average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:44
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:53:31 | 13.1 miles | 08m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/57
Overall: 48/334
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-10-28 7:28 PM

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Washington, DC
Subject: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon

2013-10-28 9:10 PM
in reply to: #4886726

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Great job at the B2B meg!! Glad you liked the volunteers!! Me and my husband were on bikes decorated with Halloween stuff out on the run course as *roving cheerleaders* Hubby had a small stereo strapped to the front of his bike and I had my bell ringing as we cheered every single runner on till midnight! we had so much fun watching all of you out there kicking butt!! Congrats on your race!!!
2013-10-29 7:29 AM
in reply to: #4886726

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Awesome Job!
Sad news about the swim, sometimes it happens.
Sounds like you had a great race...grinning!
REST up, you earned it
2013-10-29 10:51 AM
in reply to: #4886726

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon

Congrats on your finish! I really liked your recap and am glad your crazy T1 didn't affect the rest of your race. Strong work on your run!

2013-10-29 2:28 PM
in reply to: #4886726

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Well done !!! Very impressive run.
2013-10-30 2:22 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Congrats on a great first HIM Meg! I am glad you had a successful race and it looks like all that training definitely paid off. Enjoy the Pajamas! BTW, I think Pajama Pants as race SWAG is pretty freaking cool and I have never heard of it before.

2013-10-30 3:02 PM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon
I love my PJ pants - I totally rocked them on my drive home Sunday - I would love to see more unique swag at races, aside from the t-shirts and stuff
2013-10-30 3:28 PM
in reply to: austhokie

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon

Originally posted by austhokie I love my PJ pants - I totally rocked them on my drive home Sunday  

Ditto. Seriously cool swag!

Great job, Megg!  Congrats on your first HIM, and what an incredible venue to do it at, too.  You persevered through quite a bit to get to that finish line; well deserved!


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