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Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 10h 41m 10s
Overall Rank = 70/574
Age Group = 50-54M
Age Group Rank = 6/61
Pre-race routine:

My seventh year in a row at B2B - every year the race has been held. I've done the half four times and now the full thrice. B2B is a great combination of time of year, locale, and beauty of the course. I really love everything about my experience and plan to keep coming back as long as they'll have me.

My story is that I switched my registration from the half to the full four weeks before race day. In a fit of delusion, I convinced myself I could cover double the distance if I slowed down enough on the bike to be able to jog/walk the marathon. I've logged a lot of bike miles this year, including prepping for a week's ride in the Alps, so I wasn't worried about the 112m ride, and the swim current was a matter of public record - people doing the full would get a big lift on the swim - so no worries there, either. It was the running part I'd have to deal with...

I stayed in Wrightsville with eight other guys at a house about .25miles from the half start. What a great setup! You really learn alot about your friends when the group is confronting racing either 70.3 or 140.6 miles. Great, great bunch of guys who had their own goals - 6 did the half and three of us did the full.

T2bag and bike dropped off on Friday, everything else on race morning.
Event warmup:

Forgot my bottles of Infinit in the refrigerator - about 1/3 of the calories for the day. IDIOT! Problem sorted itself out with one of my housemates help and, voila!, I was pre-disastered for the day and had nothing to worry about for the duration.

Walked the last 400 yards to the swim start from the house and there was my warmup.
  • 48m 1s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 08s / 100 yards

We knew we'd get a lift from the current but I didn't expect it to be so strong - I was only a couple of minutes slower than my swim split in 2011. One aspect you can't discount is that with very little wind to swim against, it's a much easier task.

I trained the last few weeks as though I had get through 55minutes so actual swim time was a nice surprise. I've raced B2B the couple of years when there was no/very little current and I freely admit a wee bit 'o guilt for a swim that's 20 minutes faster than it would be without that push. I'm not ready to kick it out of bed, either.

Started a little wide of the first buoy so as to avoid the scrum and headed for mid-channel. Held that line until the turn buoy(which I'm told by friends watching from the shore that half the field cut short) and started sighting off of SeaPath condos. Avoided contact whenever possible but there were lot swimmers on paper routes or executing Crazy Ivan's so some bumping was unavoidable. Made it the ladder, collected myself for just a moment, wet-suit stripped off, made sure not to run into the metal railing(see 2010's RR), stuck my feet into my flip-flops, and off to T1 I went.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly? Even counting the tide, that was pretty well executed, so I am calling this segment a win.
Transition 1
  • 08m 11s

The group around me in the changing tent seemed pretty jacked up about their swim times, so it was a jolly bunch.

I did a full change into biking gear so this transition was WAY slower, in relative terms, than is typical. Dadgum arm warmers really didn't want to go over my wet arms.
  • 5h 23m 20s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.78 mile/hr

Key to the day, right here.

Strategy was to back off the first half(the part with whatever head wind we'd get) and assess the situation the second half but above all, make sure the legs were ok to run.. Mission accomplished. I settled into an easy pace and rhythm, let some people go past, paid very close attention to nutrition, glared at one bunch of cheaters in a peloton, and basically took it easy until special needs..Sure enough, the wind moved to the side and then to my back, and the whole endeavor got easier and faster. I passed many people on the back half, but really didn't feel like I working that hard and I'm thinking the easy-then-faster gambit is going to be strategy at future IM's. So common sensical and yet so hard to actually do..

Had no idea what my split was but felt ok getting off the bike; the once and future goal - being able to run a mary after riding 112mi. PR for the distance all the same...
What would you do differently?:

Force myself to drink more of the Infinit. I was pretty lite in the calories dept.
Transition 2
  • 05m 44s

Another costume change - out of bibs into running shorts. One ugly moment of cramping that might have been the start of a bad run but the gods of transition were just messing with me.
  • 4h 16m 3s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 46s  min/mile

Plan was incredibly simple - Start slowly, build to a 9min/mi pace, and then maintain. Done.

Weather was perfect, lots of people doing the half and some on the full to keep me company, cheerful volunteers...what's to not like? I ran/jogged the first half pretty evenly, had a good bit of fade on the second loop and went through the usual dark spot for a few miles but kept it together and finished with a modest degree of dignity intact( I'm big on the dignity thing, I guess..). Once again and as per usual, Coke had a big role in the festivities and, man, I am here to tell you, you can overdo the stuff if you're not careful. I was jacked up, big-time.

PR for an IM mary by a couple of minutes - who knew?

Post-mortem is I want to figure out how to break 4hours next time without actually training for it. Anyone with any ideas?
What would you do differently?:

What I'm calling a running success by my own modest expectations happened in spite of a real screw-up with nutrition. Way too little going into the tummy nearly made for a Julie Moss moment at the finish. I spent about 30mins in the med tent.
Post race
Warm down:

Med tent. Oy.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I got a 140.6 PR by 14minutes and I really mean it when I say that was not part of the plan. I expected to cover the distance and get another IM notch in the belt but as far as going fast was concerned, no, that was not an objective.

So what happened? Friends, I think there is something to be said for showing up undertrained and fresh vs. traditionally prepared but beat up with only a two week taper to heal before the cannon goes off. Other stuff had to go right - incredible weather conditions, no mechanicals, a more or less functioning nutrition plan, esp. on the bike, etc. But if I'm really being honest with myself, what I consider a good day by my modest standards started with being healthy at the starting line.

Event comments:

Seventh time at B2B. I love this race - it's organized, friendly volunteers, right time of year, Wilmington is an awesome host..what am I leaving out?

Six of the guys I stayed with PR'd, so it was pretty happy bunch and I think everyone of the group is planning on being back next year. I hope to be with them.

Last updated: 2014-09-25 12:00 AM
00:48:01 | 4224 yards | 01m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/61
Overall: 92/574
Performance: Good
Suit: QR Full
Course: Point to point with a few turns and if you know the lines, you can really make up some time..
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:23:20 | 112 miles | 20.78 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/61
Overall: 67/574
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:44
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:16:03 | 26.2 miles | 09m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/61
Overall: 87/574
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2014-10-28 11:44 AM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

2014-10-28 1:35 PM
in reply to: #5063465

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Awesome stuff. Very solid all around. Nothing wrong with an unexpected huge PR.
2014-10-28 2:03 PM
in reply to: #5063465

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
your training has been rock solid this year, man! glad to hear your nutrition got sorted out. karma, man! the tri gods wanted to see you have a good race! you are a machine on the bike, and all those looooong rides you did across the pond definitely gave you some strong legs for the day! well, that, and all those rides to alabamy and back!

i'm ecstatic that your legs were good to go! i seem recall several PT sessions this year and some disheartened posts about running days were limited. you had a strooooong run, and it seems that the legs were not that much of a bother. i foresee many more B2Bs!

bravo, man!
2014-10-30 1:59 PM
in reply to: d00d

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Extreme Veteran
Greenwood, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

Great race and I am glad someone else noticed the drafting on the bikes. I had people on my back wheel all the time and would not pass. There was no need for drafting with the low number of racers and wide open roads.

Awesome job on your race.
2014-10-31 11:57 AM
in reply to: #5063465

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Well done!

There's a lot to be said for showing up to race in a healthy state and not all beat up from training your rear off.

So take the next whole year off and you'll PR by even more.
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