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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 12h 18m 15s
Overall Rank = 1173/2891
Age Group = 45 - 49
Age Group Rank = 156/352
Pre-race routine:

Connie and I drove down in the RV, along with the dog on Tuesday and arriving Wednesday. We were staying at the campground near the start of the run course not far form the transition area and race headquarters. I did manage to get over to registration on Wednesday as well.

Thursday morning I met up with the BT crew for a swim. Good to see Kathy and Kevin G, Sue, Jasha, James and a few others that I did not get or can't remember the names. Considering the number of BT folks doing the race, not many came out for this. But, I know of at least 2 FB groups meeting for swims at the same time as well as other times so I guess people had options and exercised them.

Skipped the Friday swim as it was quite choppy out in the gulf and it wouldn't have accomplished anything.

Race morning I woke about 3:45 and walked the dog. Had my first breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal, and walked over to body marking, dropping SN bags off along the way. After getting marked I pumped up the bike tires and put the bottles on the bike. After that I just went back over to the RV and hung out for about an hour. Drank my ensure and had a bagle, plus alternated sipping gatorade and coffee. Probably should have done less sipping, this will become a bit clearer when we get to the bike report.

Put the suit on up to my waist and Connie and I headed over to the beach. Stood there for a bit waiting for the pro's to go off then I said goodbye and went through the arch to the 1:20 - 1:30 corral area.
Event warmup:

No warm up, the day is going to be long enough.
Swim
  • 1h 30m 5s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards
Comments:

My comments on the new seeding method are simple - it stinks! I know that some people think the swim chaos is part of the IM experience. To me, not so much. I think the way it was done worked for FL because the gulf is big so there is plenty of room. People would self seed towards the front if they were fast and hang back if they were slow like me. Now, we are spread out across the beach with same paced people all hitting the water together making a bee line to the buoy line! So, unless you enjoy the part of the annual physical that gets added about age 50, there has to be a better way! Fortunately for me, I happen to wind up amongst a group of pink caps so it wasn't the worse thing to take a stroke and come up with a handful of neoprene!

The tough part about going out to the first turn was the congestion. At times there was no place to go as there wasn't room! Swim some, tread water some swim again, repeat. The good news is it seemed really fast to the first turn! There was some discussion later on that there was a tidal flow away from shore during the first lap. I am not sure, but it did seem to go quickly.

After the first turn things started to open up a bit and stayed that way into the beach. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the first lap was about 41 minutes which should have put me on course for a 1:20 or so swim which would be the same as 2010.

Over the past couple of weeks there had been conversations on several sights about whether it was quicker to stay on the beach longer and swim straight out or get back in the water quickly and swim diagonally to the first buoy. I opted for the stay on the beach method and I am fairly convinced now that it may have been a mistake. Now, it could have been that the tidal flow, if indeed that was the case, had diminished. The waves were definately worse on the second lap. But what ever it was, my second lap was quite a bit slower than the first.

It seemed to take forever to get from the last turn buoy to shore and when I got out of the water I was certainly disappointed to see 1:30 on the watch.
What would you do differently?:

Swimming is my achilles heal, this off season I am going to try and change that.
Transition 1
  • 08m 21s
Comments:

I came up out of the water and started getting the wetsuit off. Looked for Connie but didn't see her but did see my ol friend from 2010 Slayer! Thanks for the encouragment !!

The strippers were fast, I got my bag quickly as the volunteers had it waiting for me when I got to my row. By the time I got into the changing room I had my helmet on and my shoes out of the bag. All I had to do was throw the arm warmers over my wrist and put my gel flask in my pocket. Barely sat down and the volunteer took care of my wetsuit. So, I have no idea why T1 was 8 minutes. But, compared to 2010, I came out of T1 at the same time as the swim was faster that year, but transition was much slower!
What would you do differently?:

Run faster?
Bike
  • 5h 30m 9s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.35 mile/hr
Comments:

I have been looking forward to this bike since I started seeing the results of working with my new coach this season. My bike has really improved and I knew if the weather was decent I could have a pretty nice improvement over the last time!
I have the alert on my Garmin set up to record the laps on 5 mile intervals. This gives me a notice every 15 minutes or so which reminds me to drink and take a hit of the gel flask, but it also gives me an idea of my pace since I only have current power, average power, cadence and time on the display. That way I can focus on the goal effort and not go off chasing a pace too early in the ride and burning out before finishing. Since the first 15 or 20 miles of this ride were going to be into the slight headwind, this was a very good strategy here. The good news is that the pace turned out to be right about 20 anyways which was good news as to how the bike was going to go today.

It wasn't long after the start however before I had to find a porto potty. Alright, I will get it out of the way at the first aid station if the line isn't long. In the mean time I find a couple of people that we start leap frogging. Mostly because as we passed other cyclist, one of us would have to up the effort to pass to get out of the draft zone. At the first aid station there isn't a line so I stop.

Back on the bike, we turn east and the pace picks up some. It seems like I just get back on the bike and I have to go again! WTF? Skip the second stop and get on the short section south that I remember being fast and it didn't disappoint! It wasn't long before I rejoin the 2 I had been riding with earlier. But lose them at the 3rd stop when I stop again.

Coming out of this stop I run into Jasha (not litterally). But get back going with the next planned stop at SN to refresh the bottles. During this section, and even with the rough road on the out and back the pace was solidly in the 20 plus MPH range, even had one 5 miles split that averaged over 25 MPH. Maybe the 5:30 goal is within reach. Unfortunately the rough road didn't help my over hydration problem so in addition to exchanging bottles at SN, another stop. This is getting ridiculus!

From half way to about mile 80 or so is boring to me. Not that this course has a lot to offer other than just being outside enjoying the nice day, that part is kind of no man land in the IM bike. The first half is exciting because the swim is done and you are out on the bike. The last 30 or so miles is the finish where you can see the goal is in reach and I am just happy to be close to getting off the bike. But in between it is just pedal, pedal, pedal! Fortunately the alerts giving me my pace gives me something to focus on and the success I was having gave me motivation to keep moving along.

Unfortunately about mile 70 the urge to pee shows up again! Alright, time to find a new strategy! No one close behind, lets learn to go on the bike. I try, I try, get close a couple of times but nothing! Stage fright I guess! So, one more stop at the next aid station.

Finally I see the 80 mile sign. I know it is close to the turn south with the tail wind, plus it is becoming clearer that 5:30 is within reach still. The power numbers are holding up well, the IT band has behaved nicely so all is good. I find my friends from earlier in the race on the short out and back. Chased them down, exchange where have you beens and keep going.

I make the last turn towards transition and it is going to be close! Although I didn't beat 5:30, I didn't miss by much and I couldn't be happier!! Sadly though, if I could have limited the number of stops I could probably have been under 5:25! Glad to be getting off the bike and to get running!

Interesting side note, I came out of the water in 2146 place and got off the bike in 1044 place. Which means I passed about 1100 people! Truth is it was probably a lot more than that with all the stops.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, the focus since I started working with a coach for the first time has been improving the bike. Mission accomplished!! I still have room for improvement on the bike, but that will come in time.

The only thing to do different next time is figure out how to pee on the bike!
Transition 2
  • 07m 6s
Comments:

Hand off the bike, grab the run bag and head in for a full wardrobe change. I wasn't going to change the shorts but they were getting uncomfortable on the bike so I opted to change everything plus I had to put on socks. So, I have no idea how this transition was a minute faster than T1.
What would you do differently?:

It wasn't bad
Run
  • 5h 02m 34s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 33s  min/mile
Comments:

The run goal was to go at about an 8:45 - 9:00 pace when running, and walk (quickly) the aid stations to get in the proper nutrition. The first lap this went well for the most part. Although the temps weren't bad, it was in the mid 70's so it wasnt ideal for running either, but I moved along well. I even skipped a couple of the closer together aid stations as I didn't think it necessary to walk every mile and I was for the most part feeling good.

I got to see a lot of the male pros finishing up thier race, including the leader. I saw some of the pro woman as well and was passed by a few of them as well. One of the reason I love this sport!

I also saw the Prince of Bahrain several times on the run. I know some people found his participation an anoyance, but to me he just seemed like a person trying to complete his first IM. I don't know about the politics of his country, and I am guessing since he flew in on the family 747 that it is probably not a democracy, but that doesn't impact me I guess and other than having a MOPer having the only State Police escort, I didn't see the big deal.

Hit the turn around and saw Connie again. Told her I was fading, but since I did the first half at about 2:10 I felt it was going to be a good day. Unfortunatly, it was shortly after this that the GI issues started to show up. Since I had such a problem at Peasantman back in August, I did have some Tums with me. Approaching the next aid station I popped a couple of them and washed them down with some water. It became difficult to get back running after the aid station and this continued for most of the 6 plus miles out to the turnaround. Running became challenging, and nothing seemed to help.

It started to improve at about mile 20, so I tried to pick up the pace and for the most part I was running about 50% of the time. About mile 22 I figured out that I need to pick up the pace some more or I was in danger of not beating my 2010 time overall! By now, it was dark, but I was feeling better so I started to run. A couple of times, I almost ran over some walkers as I couldn't see them. I wasn't running fast but I was running!

I have said it before and will probably again, but there is no better feeling in the multiple lap races than getting to the turn off to either make another lap or finish and get to chose finishing!! It was just before this turn off that Connie, her parents and the dog were along the road! All I could manage at this point was a fist pump! I knew if I stopped or even tried to talk I would get more emotional than I already was.

I crossed the finish line and had a great catcher take me through the medal stop, water stop, etc.


What would you do differently?:

I need to figure out the nutrition for the run. It wasn't the bike effort as the avg. HR on the bike was only 122. The run HR never got real high either. I may go back to Infinit or something different. I like the EFS, and maybe I just need to adjust the mix? I don't know.

I also think to some degree that once I start walking on the IM run, it is more difficult mentally to start running again. Especially on the second loop where there are more runners than walkers. I need to fix the nutrition first, but a good healthy dose of HTFU wouldn't hurt either.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed the bike and gear bags and found Connie. We walked back over to the RV, chatted with Connie and the inlaws. Answered some texts and e-mails from friends and family sending out congratulations. Then, started the official recovery by getting cleaned up and heading to Margaritaville for a giant cheeseburger and a couple of margaritas! They had a nice band playing there too. Another IM finisher was passed out at the next table, I hope everything turned out ok for him.

After that, we went back and hung out at the finish line until about 11:20 or so when it got too cold for what we were wearing. We enjoyed that a lot too!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Since I decided to move from self coaching to hiring a coach this season I have completed 3 HIM, a HM, a full marathon and 2 IM. Other than the first IM (which was an independent with an 118 mile bike) I PR's every race. I am lighter than I have been since I was a junior in high school and I am 49 years old. I think I had a pretty good day.

Event comments:

I know there has been a lot of conversations about how expensive IM races are getting. And I know there are some very well run independent races, but you can tell that a lot of money is spent putting these races on so to some degree, you get what you pay for.

I also want to give a shout out to my training partners Dudley and Mike! Especially Dudley since in addition to providing company on some of the long bikes and swims, he also helps me rehab the occasional aches and pains and is just a very good friend to me. Unfortunately the 3 of us didn't get as much racing and training in as we would have liked, we had a lot of fun when we did!

I was always concerned about hiring a coach. After a couple of injury riddled seasons, I decided I best seek out the advice of a good coach. Dan Jarecke has put me through a challenging program that let me race often (probably too often!) but more importantly race strong while at the same time staying healthy! I am grateful for making that decision to hire Dan!

Obviously it takes a lot of support at home to do these things. I saw a sign on the course that said something to the effect that if your relationship is strong, you didn't train hard enough! I trained pretty hard, but my relationship is strong because Connie gets me and my crazy ideas. Sometimes it costs me (like the cruise I am taking her on next month) but I couldn't have asked for a more supportive family, especially my wife!!

Now it is time to get ready for IM Chattanooga!




Last updated: 2012-11-08 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:30:05 | 4156 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 277/352
Overall: 2146/2891
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full sleeved
Course: 2 loops in the gulf
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 08:21
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
05:30:09 | 112 miles | 20.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 154/352
Overall: 1044/2891
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course:
Road:   Cadence: 77
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 07:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:02:34 | 26.2 miles | 11m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 156/352
Overall: 1179/2891
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 out and back along gulf
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2013-11-07 12:31 PM

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Pro
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Canandaigua NY
Subject: Ironman Florida


2013-11-07 12:39 PM
in reply to: #4894503

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Well done!! that was an awesome result.  Congrats. The self seeded swim was stupid.  Totally agree

2013-11-07 9:11 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Well done!

 

Some rather amusing IM stories there, the physical contact and reference to medical exams cracked me up.  Attempting to pee on the bike…..Love it!

Sounds like hiring a coach was a good move for you this season.

2013-11-08 7:03 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Master
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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

N I C E !!! Successful race..well done & well enjoyed..does it get any better? I was one of those transient faces at the beach for BT swim on Thursday- Congratulations on your day..on to Chattannooga indeed!

2013-11-09 2:59 PM
in reply to: #4894503

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Expert
1023
1000
Malvern, England
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congratulations!
Hope you figure out the run nutrition thing soon. Oh and as an IM veteran about time you learned to pee on the bike!!!
2013-11-10 9:16 PM
in reply to: jackjack

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Veteran
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Va Beach
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Don't feel bad, after 7 IM races I still don't pee on the bike and I stopped 4 times this race! (Although I did not use a porta potty all 4 times) Nice job and I'll see you At Choo, Jim


2013-11-11 8:48 PM
in reply to: #4894503

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Master
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Sin City
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
AWESOME JOB Ken!! When you improve on the swim a little, and learn how to pee on the bike, you'll be unstoppable. :D
2013-11-12 11:59 AM
in reply to: CyborgQueen

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Expert
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Chugiak, Alaska
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congratulations not only on a great race, but on an amazing race season!!!!! Super happy for you!
2013-11-12 12:11 PM
in reply to: #4894503

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Master
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Gurnee, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Nice report.  Great info.   I'm not going to pee on  my bike either.

2013-11-12 5:55 PM
in reply to: oriolepwr

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Veteran
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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Nice job! Great bike pace, esp with stopping :-)
2013-11-13 3:30 AM
in reply to: Dixbry

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great race reports! thanks for sharing and congrats for the result


2013-11-15 1:14 PM
in reply to: #4894503

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Expert
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,
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Congratulations again on the PR, Ken! Outstanding! Since it took me 4 seasons before I could pee in the wetsuit, I fully understand your reluctance to go on the bike1

I am especially impressed with how strong you finished after having some GI issues on the run.

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