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Ironman Florida - Triathlon

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
78F / 26C
Total Time = 10h 43m 19s
Overall Rank = 411/2891
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 78/500
Pre-race routine:

race weight @ 220lbs...I know...know...
• Woke up at 3a and had 5 cups of applesauce and a protein drink, just like in my race rehearsal. That’s a lot of applesauce. But it worked x2! Powerbar and perform later and a gel before the start.
• Got the bike ready, but made the mistake of not checking on the location of my transition bags which made it tough to find when I got out of the water.
• Other than that, it was a smooth morning and we got down to the beach where I saw my wife and the kids and got some good luck hugs and kisses.

Event warmup:

After seeing how close the corrals were together, Mike and I thought that was a recipe for a rough race so we ignored them and went further right and to the front. Got in the water and did a few warm-up strokes before the national anthem and then got back on the beach.
  • 1h 14m 43s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

At the cannon I got down and started swimming as early as possible and found myself past the waves with no issue. For the most part it was pretty smooth sailing for me. Not an absurd amount of contact and some clean water. I was pretty wide of the buoy line, even for the first turn, but I was ok with that.
Garmin says I covered 2.8 miles and it looks like I zig zagged quite a bit. Just getting my money’s worth.
Just tried to keep it smooth and steady and came in from the first lap feeling good. They try and force you back in the water right away, but I went around the crowd and back up on the beach to run down to the buoy line rather than do the diagonal swim. There were only a couple other people doing this so it felt out of place, but I think it worked well. Once again, very little contact for an IM mass start. Finished feeling fine and in control.
Swim file:

Transition 1
  • 08m 26s

Came out of the water, got my suit stripped, brief shower that did not get all the sand off, struggled to find bike stuff bag, got to the very crowded tent and there was barely any room. People were changing everywhere. Finally found a seat and got ready. Got my bike and was off.
What would you do differently?:

locate my transition bag earlier in the morning.
  • 4h 57m 8s
  • 112 miles
  • 22.62 mile/hr

It was so crowded heading out of T1. Admittedly, I was uncomfortable with just sitting in behind people and coasting, so just started moving around them. Probably a mistake as I kind of ignored the JRA pace thing and went to work. Nothing too crazy…I was still under my target watts…but it was more than JRA. Saw my heart rate was a little high after the turn on 79 and forced myself to chill and bring it down. It came down but much slower than expected.
Started to get into a rhythm after the bridge. There were a couple guys riding at my pace that I grabbed onto and tried riding at 4 bike lengths behind to see if I could gain any benefit there, but I didn’t notice anything obvious from it. Not sure I would.
Hit some really big packs that were taking up the whole road, which was frustrating. Probably burned a few too many matches trying to get out of one in particular, but I did drop them and never saw them again.
The out and back was very bumpy and uncomfortable. I did not stop at special needs as the only thing I had in there was a tube and CO2.
Hit the 56 mile mark at exactly 2:30 into the ride. Let myself momentarily ponder a sub 5 hour bike split, but then rejected the thought of trying to go for it as I didn’t want to jeopardize my run.
At the time I thought nutrition fueling was going well. Plan was to grab a bottle of perform at every aid station (I think there were 10?) and finish it, which I did for the most part. Also took 4 powergels and 1.5 power-bars and a few salt tabs over the course of the ride. I did not pee at all on the bike, even though I tried. I knew this was a potential problem and continued to drink more and more, but nothing. Same thing happened at IMLP and Chesapeakeman aquavelo. I did pee 3X in my 2nd RR on similar fueling, but it was a much cooler day.
The last half of the ride the crowd thinned out quite a bit and I just did my thing. Lots of legal slingshots around folks, and smooth riding. Apparently, I passed 662 people on the bike in total, but only 83 of passes were in the last 40 miles. 433 were in the first 34 miles.
I was constantly taking stock of where I was and managing ‘the line’. The one thing I noticed was it seemed a lot harder to generate the .72 power I was looking for. Each of my 5 mile splits had me in the 230w range instead of the 240w range. But, when I would push up to the 240s my heart rate would shoot too high, so I preferred to go with an easier effort. My AHR for the ride was 138bpr and should have been closer to 130bpr per my training rides. The last 50 miles my HR was 141bpm, which is way too high, but my avg normalized power was only .67 IF (230w) for that distance. So, I was working harder than normal but getting less of a power result than normal out of that work.
Coming back down 79, I noticed my speed was really picking up so I assumed that there was a pretty hefty tailwind, which made me think sub 5 ride could happen. I didn’t push any harder, but I did use this target to keep me focused on maintaining my watts, which helped as I find it easy to loose concentration at the back half. It seemed a lot of competitors were fading as I went by a lot of them pretty quickly.
Pulled out of shoes and left them on the bike and had a clean dismount. Some details from the garmin file which is here:
• Avg Power: 227 W
• Max Power: 718 W
• Max Avg Power (20 min): 244 W
• Normalized Power (NP): 233 W
• Intensity Factor (IF): 0.681
• Training Stress Score (TSS): 228.9
• VI: 1.026
• FTP Setting: 342 W
• Work: 4,032 kJ
• Avg Heart Rate 138 bpm

What would you do differently?:

need to understand why I could not hit my power targets
Transition 2
  • 05m 16s

Well, this time the tent was pretty empty and I had a volunteer stick with me the whole way. He was awesome. Laid out all my stuff for me. Got a glob of sunscreen on my neck and hit the port-o-potty for my first pee.
  • 4h 17m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 50s  min/mile

Of course I came out of T2 like I was running a 5k. Put the brakes on pretty quick, but was still too fast. Heart rate looked good, though. My condo was just before Aid Station #1, so I actually stopped and talked to my family a bit. They were telling me to “GOOOOOOOO”, but I was like “no, I really need to slow down…let me stay a bit and chat”. I was really focusing on my target HR which I wanted at 140bpm, which is my all day bpm long run pace and is usually 10bpm over my bike HR. This usually translates to an 8:30 min/mile or so pace, but I was targeting 9’s out of the gate for the first 6 miles.
By mile 1 I knew this was going to be a difficult run. Heart rate and pace were fine but my gut was cramping pretty badly already. Walked the aid stations. Dumped water and ice everywhere as I thought maybe I was overheating (?). Every time I would drink perform or water, the cramp would get worse, so I skipped a few stations. Took some salt. Just had a really hard time shaking the gut cramp and it was with me the whole 1st loop.
Hit the Alvins Island turn at 1h 58m, which was right on my goal pace, but I knew this was not sustainable based on how I felt. I was already mentally taking myself out of my goal of a sub 4 marathon…probably needed a stronger mental game here.
Saw Mike for the first time since the start coming the other way right by the 14 mile aid station. He looked great…much better than me. By the time I crossed Thomas Dr I entered the very dark place. My gut was finally better, but I was completely drained and wanted to take a nap. Switched to Coke at mile 15 seemed to help. Tried grapes and oranges at some point and they made me want to barf – spit them out. Was walking a lot more now and kept negotiating places where I would start running.
On the way back the pirate aid station said they had broth, so I tried that and it was so damn good. Continued run/walk and drink coke until I got passed Thomas drive and magically started feeling great. Probably because the end was near. Felt really good going passed the girl-town girls and even asked for a whipping. By the time I hit Alvin’s Island I was hammering it and hooting and hollering. I covered the last 1.7m at 8:30 pace but I would guess I was 9 min for the .7 and then sub 7min for the last mile. Great run down the chute high fiving everyone I could. Happy as a clam.

What would you do differently?:

need to figure out why my gut cramped so bad from the start of the run
Post race
Warm down:

Got my first post race massage ever. two strong dudes worked on me for about 30 minutes. it was amazing. really felt like that saved me the next day from being too sore. awesome stuff.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

So, I’m not sure what went wrong on the run. I don’t believe I rode too hard. At IMLP I used Infinit and water and did not have the same gut problems. Well I did, but not until mile 21 of the run when I lost discipline and started treating every aid station like the Sizzler buffet. In this build I trained with IM Perform and Perform Gels and Powerbars…nothing new on race day.

Event comments:

• The volunteers, the crowd, and the enthusiasm from the other racers and EN team was awesome. Inspiring. If only people acted like that in every day life!!
• IMFL gets somewhat of a bad rap, and I wasn’t really looking forward to it from all the stories I had heard, but I actually REALLY liked this race. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
• I had an IM PR of over an hour (IMLP 2011 in 11:49). Yeah, IMFL was a faster course on a fast day, but hey, a PR is a PR.
• Came in the top 15% of the field and my age group – not bad.
• Got to race with my best bud of 30 years and EN teammate, Mike. He had one of those ninja execution days and I could not be prouder or more happy for him.

Ironman is expensive and crowded and hard, but is awesome. First class event.

Last updated: 2012-11-14 12:00 AM
01:14:43 | 4156 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 179/500
Overall: 966/2891
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:26
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
04:57:08 | 112 miles | 22.62 mile/hr
Age Group: 55/500
Overall: 304/2891
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence: 85
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:16
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:17:46 | 26.2 miles | 09m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 78/500
Overall: 411/2891
my garmin nuked all of this info
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 5

2013-11-07 7:36 PM

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Havertown, PA
Subject: Ironman Florida

2013-11-08 8:47 AM
in reply to: #4894787

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

WOW holy smoking fast bike split.......And an amazing race and over an hour PR!! Congrats 

Yeah I kind of makesmy giggle when peole say they don't want to do IMFL because the bike is its A RACE I am not there for the scenery. 

2013-11-08 10:22 AM
in reply to: #4894787

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Fernandina Beach, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Well executed day! Awesome race and PR. Nice job putting your run in check (something I wish I could do). Crazy fast bike split. This Ironman stuff is addictive!
2013-11-08 12:54 PM
in reply to: Socks

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Impressive race!! Congratulations on a great day!! 

Thinking about it after the race, I think your approach to the swim start was a smart way to go!

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