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Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
63F / 17C
Total Time = 12h 31m 1s
Overall Rank = 195/500
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 38/99
Pre-race routine:

So, to say that I didn't properly train for this race would be an understatement. The bored among you can look at my training logs - as barren as they are, they are 100% accurate. Not an ideal way to head into your first full IM. Needless to say, I came into this a little apprehensive about it, but mostly just the bike. I'd never ridden more than 70 miles at once, so I was not sure at all how I would handle it, much less run a freaking marathon afterward. I've done precisely one standalone marathon to date, and without biking beforehand, that was a special level of suckitude, lol!

Drove down from Cleveland with my oldest brother as my sherpa on Thursday and we stayed with a friend of his that lives in Wilmington. Had some Uh-MAZE-ING soul food Thursday night after we got settled. If you're ever in the area, you MUST go to Casey's Buffet!! Don't argue, just do it! :)

On Friday night, I did something you probably shouldn't do.... on the night before an IM, when folks suggest "hey, I know a great Mexican place we could try", you *might* want to politely suggest a less volatile option. In the end, it didn't hurt me too badly, but boy did it have the potential to!
Event warmup:

Woke up at 4am-ish, had a bagel w/ peanut butter on it and a banana. Needed coffee badly, but I couldn't find it in the house we were staying at. Ugh. The morning was COLD. We drove to T1 to set nutrition on the bike and check my Swim-to-Bike bag. Ran into a few guys from Team RWB (I was in my RWB tri-suit) and got a picture taken. Before long, it was time to catch a shuttle down to Swim Start, so I boarded the first one I came across and rode it on down. Turns out I was about the 3rd shuttle to arrive and there was hardly any folks down there yet. Fortunately, some of the race peeps had a box truck with some propane heaters there and one of the guys that rode down with me jumped on in and helped get them fired up. I proceeded to park myself in a spot between two of them and stayed relatively comfortable in that spot until about 5 minutes before the race start when we were all called to the beach. Reluctantly (VERY reluctantly) I left the heaters and plodded my way through the dunes to the start. National anthem, then some song with a good beat and before I knew it I heard people clapping and cheering.... oy, we were on our way! I kicked off my flip flops and worked my way into the crowd about half way back and started following bodies to the water.
  • 1h 09m 32s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 39s / 100 yards

As soon as I got into the water, I was happy and contented. The water was BEAUTIFUL. Warm, clear, and there wasn't too much "washing machine" around me at first. I just pushed forward into the water and started into a nice, relaxed rhythm. The first half of the swim seemed to fly by. Not a lot of contact and I seemed to always have some feet to draft off of. Before I knew it, when I turned to breathe I could see a bunch of silhouetted bodies on shore - that had to be all of the Half peeps, which means I was half way there! On the second half of the swim, I started to feel a little slower. I also started to run into more people as we neared the turn buoy and my sighting was starting to fall apart a bit. I just adjusted myself as best I could and kept going, never really feeling too tired. When I finally got to the exit, I was SOOOO happy! My first IM swim was done, and I was feeling GREAT!

Hands down, this is one of my favorites swims, ever. Probably second only to San Juan.... perhaps I need to put more salt water on my schedule?
What would you do differently?:

Sight better? Push harder? Absolutely nothing?!
Transition 1
  • 09m 3s

I came up the ladder and as soon as I was at the top, some nice young lady unzipped me... that's ALWAYS a plus. Ran up a ramp and around a corner to the wetsuit strippers. Suit was off in seconds and I was back on my feet and trotting to grab my T1 bag. Saw Tony (mr2tony) on the run up... thanks for the cheers! Saw my T1 bag immediately without really even having to look hard, snagged it and headed into the changing tent. The feet were numb and hurting at the same time from running on the cold ground. I grabbed a chair, dumped my stuff out and put on my bike shoes, bike gloves, and my brand new, never worn arm warmers. Thank God I bought those at the Expo!! I ate two gels and then stuffed my gear into my bag and dropped it off. I got to my bike quick enough, but I was a little slow putting my helmet on and un-racking the bike. Finally got my butt in gear and headed out. No running/jumping/flying mounts here, it was a tight and awkward turn at the mount line, so I just stopped and climbed on - it was going to be a long day, those couple of seconds weren't going to matter.
What would you do differently?:

I could definitely have moved faster, but I preferred to be thorough and sure of what I was doing given that it was my first IM.
  • 6h 29m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.26 mile/hr

This is the animal that I have been fearing.
In short, I had no idea at all how well I would handle this, so my approach from the outset was to manage myself around the course. I felt that, based upon my HIM bike splits, that I could probably average 19 mph for a 6 hour bike, so I set out with that as the primary goal but guided by the notion that if RPE didn't feel "easy", I should back off. My nutrition plan was two water bottles with a 3-hour Perpetuem mix in each, then an aero-bottle between the arms full of water that I would refill as I go. The plan was to keep hydrating to the point where I needed to pee. I also was taking one Salt Stick capsule per hour.
The first 20 miles flew by, but the body also started to give me reminders that I'd had Mexican for dinner the night before... I started to get a little gassy. So, when I came to the first aid station at mile 25, I stopped and hit the port-o-potty and took my time refilling water. I then stopped at every single aid station during the bike, even if I was just refilling on water. I gave up 5 minutes at that first stop, 15 minutes at mile 55, and 2 to 5 minutes at the other four aid stations. From a racing standpoint, it was less than ideal, but in terms of managing myself and ensuring that I got to T2 ready to do a marathon, I think that it was just what I needed. The headwinds had been killer most of the day, and I was entering uncharted territory. The stomach started to feel a wee bit nauseous around mile 70-75 because of the lack of solid foods, so I made sure that I grabbed something solid (chocolate covered donut and a Nature Valley bar) at the next aid station. I gave myself a little cheer of "W00T!" when I hit mile 100 because I had now done my first Century, then I was just holding on for that bridge at mile 111 so that I could start thinking ahead to T2.
I almost got creamed by a white car driving into the bike course less than a quarter mile from T2 with volunteers screaming "STOP!!" all over the place It was a little disconcerting, but as soon as I saw that I wasn't going be creamed, I got back on my way and finished the bike. W00H00!!!
Goal was 6 hours, I nailed it at 6.5 - I was quite happy!
What would you do differently?:

I could have taken shorter stops at the aid stations, I could have hit a few on-the-fly.... I could have actually prepared for the distance.
For where I was physically, I wouldn't change a thing.
Transition 2
  • 08m 33s

Got to the dismount line, hopped off and handed the bike to one of the volunteers. There were two guys just in front of me that were walking around the path inside the convention center and I was perfectly Ok with that... I was not in a mood to jog right now. I shouted out my Bib # to the volunteers with the bags and they got my my bag zippy-quick. Off to the changing tent. I seriously took my time here. I found a chair, and as I questioned the wisdom of sitting down, I sat and started changing shoes. I put on socks for the run, something I never do even for HIM's. I ate two more gels, put my gloves into the pocket in the back of my trisuit in case it got cold enough after sunset to put them back on, pushed the arm warmers down to my wrists and after a short bathroom visit, headed out for a little run. This was also going to be only my second run with a new pair/brand of shoes. In the test run the weekend before, they were fantastic, and as it would turn out, they still are.

What would you do differently?:

Nada. It's my first IM, I made it to T2 still feeling decent.... I didn't make any mistakes, so I'm not going to rush myself and push my luck.
  • 4h 34m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 29s  min/mile

So, I totally expected that this was going to be a major suck-fest, but I ended up having a total BLAST on this run. The run along the boardwalk and through the historic district was incredible! The crowd support from spectators and volunteers alike was better than any event I've ever been to. At this point, I knew that barring some major medical fiasco, I was going to finish - even if I had to walk. My thoughts heading into this were that as long as I didn't smoke myself on the bike, I could probably do a 5 hour marathon, at worst I'd come in at 6 hours. With that in mind, I set out at whatever pace just felt "easy" making sure that I kept the turnover rate high. I also decided in the first mile that I was going to walk every aid station... no point in burning matches I may not have; manage it early so that I have something late. The way out on the first loop seemed to take forever, but it was really scenic and the crowds were great. There is one hill of note on the course that is short but semi-steep. I chose to walk it both times - again, just taking care to make sure I had something left toward the end. Finally, I got to the turnaround on the first lap and started to head back. I kept my mind entertained by high-fiving other Team RWB folks that I saw (there were several of us out there) and trying to calculate when I would make it back to certain mile markers, etc... I was wearing my Garmin, but other than just occasionally using it to satisfy curiosity about my pace, it was there only for data collection and to let me know how long I'd been out there. It was busy work for the brain. The trip back clicked off without much notice, but once I got back to the area around the finish, the atmosphere there REALLY energized me. That place was hopping! I went on past the finish line toward the start of the second lap where I hit special needs to get some Body Glide for my lats... the chaffing from my arms swinging was killing me. That only took about a minute or two and I was on my way again. I was carrying gels and more Salt Stick capsules, taking one cap per hour and taking a gel roughly every few miles (when I could remember to). I continued to walk every aid station, getting water, coke, or broth each time. A bit before mile 20 and the turnaround to go finish, I started to get REALLY lightheaded and kinda dizzy. I decided that perhaps the body just wasn't absorbing calories or something fast enough, so I decided to walk a little extra at the next few aid stations. At those I grabbed some pretzels and ate them as I walked and chased them with some water. Whatever the cause was, the dizziness cleared and when I hit mile 23, I decided that I'd had enough of the aid stations and it was time to finish this. I settled back into my shuffle and just passed the rest of the aid stations on the way and just held on until I finished.... and then I heard my name over the speakers and I was done!

I've never been so wiped out in my life, and so happy to be that wiped :)
I had hoped to finish the marathon in 5 hours and did it in almost 4.5, making up for the longer bike AND nearly setting a PR.... I was completely stoked!!
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing. This was barely 5 minutes from being a PR for the marathon, period... I'm totally stoked that I had this run! On top of that, I had now completed two HIM's and my first IM in the last 7 weeks.
Post race
Warm down:

I was in a daze. I shuffled through the chute, grabbing water, my awesome Finisher's Pajamas, medal.. and then I set out to the food area. Nothing looked good except the pizza, but I only grabbed one slice and a can of Coke. Chugged the water, then ate the pizza. Walked back over to the finish chute to see if I could find my brother, where I drank the Coke waiting for the next hour, lol, when I finally got to see Tony again and Monica finishing!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Too much racing all summer, not enough training to prepare properly for this distance.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-04-28 12:00 AM
01:09:32 | 4224 yards | 01m 39s / 100yards
Age Group: 36/99
Overall: 176/500
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro full sleeve
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:03
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:29:16 | 112 miles | 17.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 54/99
Overall: 264/500
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 73
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:33
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:34:56 | 26.2 miles | 10m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 38/99
Overall: 176/500
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop out and back
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-10-29 3:33 PM

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Subject: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

2013-10-29 3:56 PM
in reply to: #4887604

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

Holy moly, minimal training and you pulled off a SOLID first IM time!!  Wicked fast swim!! Solid bike and a great run!!  SWEET!

2013-10-29 6:20 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
great job out there on what a tough day! and this was your first IM?! boy, you rocked it!
2013-10-30 7:02 AM
in reply to: d00d

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Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

Congratulations! You make it sound easy!

2013-10-30 9:08 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
What a great looking day! I think being able to enjoy the run is the hardest thing of all - Congrats all the way around!
2013-10-30 9:26 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Levittown, PA
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Enjoyed the write up. Minimal training and first IM and you put down 12:31. Very impressive. Congrats

2013-10-30 2:16 PM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Great job out there man!
2013-11-01 6:56 AM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Washington, DC
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Awesome job! Actually, I think I saw you finish -- I went to college in Ohio, so when the announcer said something about Cleveland my ears perked up
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