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Ironman Florida - Triathlon

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
50F / 10C
Total Time = 9h 06m 3s
Overall Rank = 166/2680
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 23/465
Pre-race routine:

This was my first attempt at a full IM, after having done 3 HIMs. 2nd year in triathlon, 43 years of age.

Woke up around 230am, laid in bed until 350am. At 4am I ate one pack of oatmail, one Ensure Boost and a banana. This was supposed to be 3 hours before the start, but ended up being 5 hours before due to the cancelled swim. Walked to transition around 430 to put nutrition on the bike and in the run bag, pump up tires and drop off my bike SN bag. Came back to condo to stretch and wait. Put on wetsuit due to the cold temps and walked back to transition around 6am. Started heading to swim start around 635am.
Event warmup:

  • 00m
  • 3800 meters
  • / 100 meters

Swim was canceled due to "double red flag rip current". The waves and chop weren't too bad, but they claimed the kayaks could not be controlled in the current, and thus it was too much of a safety risk.
Transition 1
  • 00m

N/A due to canceled swim.
  • 5h 19m 21s
  • 112 miles
  • 21.04 mile/hr

Due to the cancelled swim, the bike became a time trial start, starting at 8am and going by race number. I was fortunate to have a relatively low number (#1002), and I started at 8:55am. Some didn’t start until after 10:30am.

At the start the temps were around 50 with 22mph NNW winds, gusting to ~30mph. The cancelled swim allowed me to start dry and in full clothes. I weigh 140lbs and get cold easily, so I went with 3 layers on top (tank, tri top, cycling jersey), arm warmers, full gloves, knee warmers, calf compression sleeves, socks and toe warmers. I also put the plug in my helmet. I warmed up rather quickly and could have probably done with 2 layers up top and no knee warmers, but I never got hot.

We’d have a stiff headwind for the first ~22 miles, going WNW for the first 7 miles, then due N for the next 15 miles. I was targeting 175-180w for the ride, and decided to go a bit harder in the headwind, knowing I could relax a bit those last 30 miles. With the TT start, I was concerned with the crowded roads and how to avoid drafting. Indeed the first 4-5 miles were crowded, and officials wasted no time in giving out red cards (and the first penalty tent was full when I rode past). But it wasn’t too difficult to stay legal, and it opened up more once we turned N.
I kept it in the small ring those first 22 miles and was at NP = 195w when I turned E, which was higher than I wanted, but my adrenaline got the better of me as usual. I basically spent the rest of the ride trying to slowly bring it back down to my ride target.

The trees blocked the worst of the cross winds on the roads which ran E and W. I expected more of a push headed E but didn’t seem to get it, but going S was fun. From mile 50-58 is a bad stretch of road, with cracks every yard or so that created just constant bumps. I had been warned about this stretch, but it was still more aggravating than I expected.

Heading south for the home stretch provided a lot of relief, and provided an opportunity to rest the legs a bit without losing too much speed. I realized I’d be around 5:20 which I was happy with, given the windy conditions. I ended up with NP = 179w, which was right on target, although I wouldn’t know if that was the correct target until the run. I left my shoes on the bike.

I consumed 1400 calories of Infinit in two bottles, and it went very well – no stomach issues at all. I started with water in my BTA bottle and picked up 3 water bottles during the ride. I took 3 salt tablets during the ride. I also had a Stinger waffle that I did not eat. Due to the colder temps, I had to constantly pee and did so 4 times on the bike. It was not easy for me, I basically had to stand up, stop pedaling, and just wait until I could pee. A couple of times I almost slowed down to a stop while doing it.

What would you do differently?:

Shed a couple layers of clothes. But I was happy with the ride.
Transition 2
  • 06m 16s

I left my shoes on the bike, ran to my bag and ran into the changing tent. There were only 6-7 guys in there, so I had my own volunteer. He dumped out my bag and started to help me. I took my time, taking off my gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers, socks and cycling jersey, then put on my PF socks, real socks, De Soto arm sleeves, Garmin Forerunner 220, hat, race belt and 20oz handheld water bottle (filled with 400 calories of Infinit). The volunteer sprayed me with sun screen while I did other things. I took ½ of a 200 mg caffeine tablet in T2, thanked the volunteer and jogged to a porta potty to pee. I could tell that my legs felt ok, and the weather was great.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, though I could have probably shaved off 30-60s by just thinking more clearly in there.
  • 3h 40m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 25s  min/mile

During training I had done a few 4 mile runs after 100+ mile bike rides, mainly to test nutrition and bike pacing. My longest previous run ever was 19 miles. So I was not really sure what to expect.

I had expected to see my family around the run out spot, but didn’t. The first mile was a bit fast, but then I settled into a steady low 8ish pace. I’d drink a bit of Infinit every mile or so, and chase it with water from the aid stations. The goal was for the Infinit (400 calories in a 20oz hand bottle) to last until I switched to Coke for the last 6 miles or so of the run.

The wind was still strong and it was something of a tailwind going out, headwind coming back. There was not a cloud in the sky. By mile 5 or 6, I wasn’t tiring and I started to feel good about the run and my bike pacing. I was surprised to see my brother and his family parked out near the entrance to the park, and I saw them again coming out of the park. I saw my wife and son just after SN, starting lap 2. I gave my son a high-five and it was very uplifting.

I held a sub 8:20 pace through mile 15, after which I started to slow. My quad muscles started to hurt around mile 13-14, feeling really sore, almost as if I had run a half marathon the day before. I started worrying about cramps, and took a salt pill and kept drinking water at each aid station. I took ½ of a 200 mg caffeine tablet about halfway through the run.

After the last turn around in the park, I started drinking Coke at each aid station. The last 4 miles my pace slowed to low 9s, but I was able to hold it there. My quads kept hurting but never cramped. I started talking to myself at mile 20, and the miles started to take forever. But once I hit mile 25, I picked it up and finished strong. Passing SN and entering the finishing chute was an amazing feeling. I had the chute all to myself and soaked in the cheers. The sun had set but it wasn’t dark yet. I saw my family along the wall of the chute and leaned over to give some high fives, and heard my name called over the speaker.

What would you do differently?:

I was very happy with the 3:40, so it's hard to say I would have changed something. Perhaps starting out a bit slower would have resulted in a more even pace throughout the entire 26.2, but my slowest mile was 9:08, and so I won't complain, especially never having run more than 19 miles before.
Post race
Warm down:

Met my family and grabbed some food, although my stomach wasn't much in the mood. I grabbed my bags so I could put on some warm clothes, and then hit the massage table. After that I got my bike and walked (ok, hobbled) back to the condo. My quads were hurting like never before.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I just can't complain about my results. The wind was rough on the bike, especially for a lightweight like myself. One guy I talked to said he went 20 mins slower on the bike this year vs. last year. But the cool temps were perfect for LC racing. Everything went according to plan, and for that I am very happy. I was targeting a 10:45 and feel I would have easily had that if we had swam, as I'm about a 1:15 full distance swimmer.

Event comments:

First time the IMFL swim had ever been canceled, but I guess that's the risk of an ocean swim. The volunteers were great, and WTC puts on a good show. I would like to come back and try this one again, to complete the full event one year. But I'm signed up for Louisville in 2015.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-11-05 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 3800 meters | / 100meters
Age Group: 0/465
Overall: 0/2680
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:19:21 | 112 miles | 21.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 34/465
Overall: 188/2680
Performance: Good
Avg HR=145, Max HR=158
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: 1 loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 195
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:40:26 | 26.2 miles | 08m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/465
Overall: 166/2680
Performance: Good
Avg HR=143bpm, Max HR=152bpm
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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] 4

2014-11-05 11:13 AM

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Subject: Ironman Florida

2014-11-05 12:48 PM
in reply to: #5065451

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Fast Ironman! Congrats on your day!
2014-11-05 5:09 PM
in reply to: alltom1

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Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
WOW, impressive
2014-11-05 6:51 PM
in reply to: #5065451

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Chagrin Falls, OH
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
congrats, fast time!
2014-11-08 6:20 PM
in reply to: #5065451

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Extreme Veteran
Brisbane, Australia
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Great race!. Pity that in your first full IM the swim gets cancelled.

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