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Ironman Florida - Triathlon

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
74F / 23C
Total Time = 10h 56m 30s
Overall Rank = 199/2245
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 56/236
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 3:45 and ate some breakfast, drank some coffee and hit the restroom. My brother and I walked from the hotel to the transition area and put air in the bike tires, filled bottles, etc then made our way to the swim start. There were a number of pinch points to get to the swim start and it took a lot longer than I thought it would. I was getting nervous as it was getting close to gun time and we were still stuck on the boardwalk. I made it to the front a couple minutes before the National Anthem and seeded myself about 10-15 rows back from the start.
Event warmup:

Nothing to speak of.
  • 1h 07m 21s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 46s / 100 meters

In the words of George Costanza, "The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli!" It was really rough out there and my sighting was terrible. I kept getting taken off course by the current only to have to turn and swim back. My garmin showed I swam over 500 meters extra due to being all over the place. The waves made seeing the buoys extremely difficult. This hurt my overall time. I had planned to be well below 1 hr on the swim. Also, someone hit lap on my watch in the first 100 meters to my entire swim was recorded as T1.
What would you do differently?:

Sight better. I was too trusting on just following the people around me or just going on instinct. I noticed on Strava that they guys with the sub 1hr times also had the shortest runs, closest to 2.4 miles. I learned that it's not enough to be a decent swimmer, as bad sighting can really tack on time.
Transition 1
  • 05m 46s

I didn't want to use wet suit strippers since they were located in the sand and planned to take off my suit in T1. However since I wanted to stand in the shower for a moment to rinse the salt off, I decided to do it right in the shower. It worked really well and the water helped make getting it off really easy.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 26m 4s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.61 mile/hr

Holy moly, the wind. It was REALLY windy out there. Florida has a reputation of being an "easy" ironman but between the rough seas and the heavy wind, it was certainly not anything you'd call easy that day. The sustained winds were 20+ with gusts up to 30. There was a slight tail wind out of transition, then about 15 miles of side wind which didn't slow me down much, but I expended a lot of energy staying in control of my bike. Then we turned and it was headwinds for what felt like forever. The course kept turning but we always ended up in a head wind. It was soul sucking to say the least. I did a good job of just keeping my head down and concentrating on maintaining steady power. I didn't have speed on my watch, which was a good thing because I don't want to know how slow I was going at some points. There was a stretch of tail wind coming back which was nice, until we got to the last 5 miles where the wind was coming at about a 45 degree angle through the buildings. It felt like you were coming to a complete stop one moment from the head wind then a gust would come between the buildings and just about knock you off your bike. I was honestly happy to have made it into transition without getting knocked off.
Transition 2
  • 05m 6s

Went pretty well. I had a bit of a crisis of faith at this point. The swim and bike were both pretty rough and I just kept I have to run a marathon?!? But once I actually started running through T2 my legs felt good. I took a goo and some water as I went to the run start.
  • 4h 12m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 38s  min/mile

To me this was the big test of the day. I wanted nothing more than to pace this properly and have a solid steady run. I had only my HR on my watch and kept it between 125-130 for miles 1-22. At mile 22 my plan was to just go for it. I felt like I was holding back the entire run, which I think was good. At mile 22 I started to go and by mile 23 I wasn't feeling hot. I had been having trouble eating and drinking without stomach cramps and at this point I decided just to run it in without stopping (I was walking all the stations up to this point). That first mile of gunning it did not sit well however and I was really struggling. That's when I saw my brother who was just starting his run. He was in the hospital with a stomach virus up until the morning before the race. For some insane reason, he decided to start the race anyway which to me was pretty bad @$$, however I never thought he'd make it past the swim. When I saw him he was actually running too, not just walking it. That really inspired me. If he could make it that far on no solid food for the previous two days, I could run the last 3.2 miles. I took a minute to give him a hug and took off. I finished strong and felt pretty good crossing the line.
Post race
Warm down:

I didn't feel so hot once the adrenaline wore off and had to sit on a bench for a couple minutes and take in some water. I drank some more water and ate some pizza then headed to the room for a shower. After that I was feeling pretty good, so more pizza and straight to the beer! I went down with my family to cheer on my brother and have a couple more drinks. We saw him after his first loop however that was all he could do. His stomach was causing him too many issues. Still, he made it surprisingly far given the circumstances.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2016-11-17 12:00 AM
01:07:21 | 3800 meters | 01m 46s / 100meters
Age Group: 25/236
Overall: 121/2245
Performance: Average
Course: Two rectangular loops with a beach run in between.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:26:04 | 112 miles | 20.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 78/236
Overall: 244/2245
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:12:13 | 26.2 miles | 09m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 65/236
Overall: 296/2245
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2016-11-17 1:01 PM

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Katy, Texas
Subject: Ironman Florida

2016-11-18 11:03 AM
in reply to: #5205287

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Nice race, Omar!  Hope you got real beer after nearly 10 hours of racing....don't need any of the low-cal crap

2016-11-18 4:30 PM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Thanks Nicole. I prefer Coors Light, so that was beer of choice...I know, I know it's water, but I like it...
2016-11-19 6:18 AM
in reply to: #5205287

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Nice race, man! Solid time.

I've heard a few ppl talk about the rough water. Nice job getting though it and still posting a fast swim.
I raced IMNC this year and can sympathize with you on the winds. Boy, they can make a day really, really long.
Way to end it with a solid run!
2016-11-19 11:28 AM
in reply to: d00d

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Thanks d00d. I just looked at your race report. Way to go on the podium finish!! That's freakin awesome.
2016-11-29 7:32 AM
in reply to: #5205287


Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Obviously you had an amazing race...but man, those pigtails. I freaking love that picture.

2016-11-30 8:58 AM
in reply to: cmbell

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Originally posted by cmbell

Obviously you had an amazing race...but man, those pigtails. I freaking love that picture.

You should see my Strava profile pic...
2016-12-05 7:12 AM
in reply to: 3mar

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Tyrone, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Very nice report and nice race. Looks like a strong run finish after dealing with the winds on the bike. Nice job!
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