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Ironman Florida - Triathlon

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 15h 25m 18s
Overall Rank = 1815/
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 58/
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4am. Ate my uncrustables and drank some coffee. By 4:30am, my Sherpa was awake and I got my TriTats on. My Sherpa braided my hair into two french braids (I can only manage to braid my pony tail). Then we set off to drop off my Special Needs bags and then put my nutrition in my T1 bag. Then I went back up to our condo to use our clean bathroom and wait for the start. I put my wet suit on up to my waist and ade sure to Body Glide my neck really well. With about 40 minutes until the start, we walked downstairs to the swim start. We stayed at the Boardwalk Condos, so it was right at heart of everything.
Event warmup:

I finished putting the rest of my wetsuit on and got into the water. It was a bit chilly at first entry but got comfortable quickly. I swam a tiny bit just to make sure everything was in it's proper place. I headed back to the beach and lined up with the anticipated swim time.
  • 1h 43m 14s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 43s / 100 meters

This was my first attempt at a full ironman. I've done the distance in the pool and I've done 9 70.3s, but never a full, so the plan was to swim easy and stay within myself. The second half of the first loop was pretty difficult as the faster swimmers were lapping me finishing their second loop. My second loop was much less congested, but there were more sea creatures present as well. Tons of jellyfish (I didn't get stung but I heard several people who did), also what I found of later to be jellyfish larva/baby jellyfish (gross thinking about potentially getting that in my mouth and nose), and a fish that I was told was a small shark.
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps swim a bit more aggressively. Although I was ready to be out of the water at the end, I didn't feel drained and probably could have swum faster. I knew this was just the start to a long day, so I tried to keep myself in check. I had debated wearing full sleeves vs sleeveless. Coach recommended full sleeves, so that's what I went with. In retrospect, I might have been more comfortable in sleeveless. I chafed pretty bad in my right armpit (Where I've never chafed in my wetsuit before!) and on the back of my neck despite thorough Body Glide application. Luckily this was just a small area of chafing on my neck and only bothered me when the kind volunteer slathered it with sunscreen.
Transition 1
  • 12m 23s

I managed to get my wetsuit stuck on both of my wrists...has never happened before, but of course, it would happen in my first full. I just told the wetsuit strippers to pull and if it ripped, I'd deal with it later. They did, the suit didn't rip, so it worked out ok. Ran through the fresh water shower (rinsed my face off mostly). I saw my Sherpa at the railing cheering while I trotted to grab my T1 bag and get into the change tent/ballroom of the Boardwalk Beach Resort. Once I sat down in the change tent, I started dressing myself. There were so many people in the tent that the volunteers were running around. One came by and upended my T1 bag, but then ran off to do the same for someone else. I ended up dressing myself. I had stuck a bandaid in my shoes for my little toe, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I hoped that my little toe wouldn't rub and headed out to my bike. I stopped to let the volunteers slather my legs and neck with sunscreen. Everything else was covered by cycling bibs, cycle jersey and arm coolers (mostly to prevent sunburn since it wasn't too hot, only got to the low 80s)
What would you do differently?:

Move faster, but with this being my first full, I wanted to make sure that I had everything that I needed, so no complaints on the time
  • 7h 16m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.40 mile/hr

Started off feeling good. Had to keep focused on getting HR down into planned range. Coach wanted HR 120-130 and power at training pace power or lower. HR stayed up for a few minutes and I had to really ease my efforts to get it down. I finally did and got going. The plan was salt on the :15 and :45 of the hour and nutrition on the :00 and :30 of the hour. This kept my mind occupied during the ride. I stopped at the mile 50 aid station port-a-potty to pee. I had to wrestle my cycling bibs down enough...but still glad I went with the bibs over my tri shorts. I did stop very briefly at special needs to get some chap stick with spf as I could feel my lips burning. Got back going and managed to screw up my Garmin around mile 71 or so. Somehow my wrist bent backwards just enough to press the lap button, sending my Garmin into T2. I decided just to stop the workout and restart it later when I got into T2. I had my Garmin Edge on the bike so I was still good looking at HR and power data there. Around this time, my second and third toes on each foot started going numb and burning. I usually get soft tissue pain in the saddle area, but I never really had that during the race. I've never had this burning in my toes either. All I can think is that maybe I was positioned just a bit differently on my saddle that usual and that caused this difference. Despite that, I continued on following the plan. I never had any problems with my little toe rubbing, so I'm really wondering if I was positioned just a little bit differently that normal. In hindsight, I was having just a bit of soreness at the top of my right calf at the end of the bike ride. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but this would come back into play later on the run. Overall, I felt pretty good coming into T2.
What would you do differently?:

not mess up my Garmin, but otherwise very happy with this ride. I followed the plan exactly.
Transition 2
  • 08m 53s

A volunteer grabbed my bike from me and another handed me my T2 bag and I made my way into the changing area. I planned on a full change here. I stripped off my cycling jersey, sports bra, arm coolers, cycling bibs and socks. I changed into a new, dry sports bra and removed my Garmin HR strap (should have left it on...more later). I had a volunteer hook the back of it and I slid my feet into socks that I had prefilled with vaseline in the toe section. Since I started doing this, I haven't had a blister yet.
  • 6h 04m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 55s  min/mile

Coach had the plan of run 19min (no faster than 11min/mile pace leaving T2) and walk 1 min for the first 6 miles, then 14/1 for the next 6 miles then 9/1 until the finish. This went perfectly according to plan until mile 14. The back of my right leg behind my knee (?upper calf/lower hamstring) was so tight that I couldn't straighten out my leg. It never cramped but it just got tighter and stiffer. That ended up killing my 9/1 plan. I ended up walking the rest of the marathon after that. I did meet up with several guys who were in a similar situation, so we made sure that while we were walking, we were at least walking 17min/mile pace. My Garmin died 11 miles into the run, so I don't have any data from the end of the marathon. My Sherpa came out almost 3 miles out from the finish on the course to check on me. The athlete tracker had stopped updating and she was worried that she hadn't seen me yet. I assured her I was ok and that while I'm sure no one would have said anything, that her walking with us could be construed as outside assistance, so she jogged back to the finish line to wait for me there. The guys all hung back at the finish to let me experience the finish line carpet for myself (they were all repeat IMers, and I was the only first timer). I trotted down the carpet and got a little emotional thinking that my body managed to carry me 140.6 miles and I was so close to the end of it. An athlete in front of me grabbed a flag from a friend at the railing. He then proceeded to stand at the finish line for a good 30-45 seconds holding the flag up behind himself and blocked almost all of my finish line pictures. I wish I had just sped up and passed him while he grabbed the flag. I don't understand how people can be so inconsiderate of others. Take your 5-10 seconds, let the photographers take your picture and move your butt down the chute to let the other athletes coming in behind you have their time. My Sherpa's Mom managed to photoshop him out of a few pictures so all is not lost. I was escorted over the picture area and had my pic taken. My Sherpa was waiting for me and we took a picture together and slowly strolled back to our condo where she had beer and pizza waiting. It took a good hour and a half for me to even think about eating the pizza, but when I did, it tasted SO good.
What would you do differently?:

not sure, but if my leg hadn't tightened up so badly, I would on pace for a great finish (for me...I'm sure others hope for a much faster time). While I always said that I would be a one and done for a full distance ironman, I'm regretting not being able to run during most of the second loop. I promised my husband that I would only do two 70.3s next year, so maybe I will revisit the idea of another full in 2019. I chafed so badly at the lower portion of my sports bra (where my HR strap usually covers) that I had a scab there for a week. Not sure if I will just run in my HR strap next time or look for a different sports bra that does rub there (although it never did this in training either).
Post race
Warm down:

Not much. Leisurely stroll back to the condo. Laid on the cool tile floor for a few minutes and talked to my husband to let him know that I was indeed alive.

Event comments:

Thoroughly enjoyed this race. The community was very supportive. If I ever do another full, it will be Florida. I got a massage at the Expo area on Sunday (the day after the race) another another on Monday at a hotel spa about 3 miles away (Sherpa and I had planned a spa day to relax, knowing I wouldn't feel like doing much). I truly believe that with my coach's training and those 2 post race massages, it why I felt almost back to normal when we got home on Tuesday. It was amazing to see the change in the town in the days after the race. We stayed until Tuesday. While there were still quite a few athletes around on Sunday and Monday, Tuesday was a ghost town. Everything was cleaned up and there was almost no evidence that a race was even held there. The only thing left was the large dumpster in the transition area for the garbage. Everything else had been hauled off. Overall, loved Panama City Beach, the course, the locals, the volunteers and the experience.

Last updated: 2017-11-16 12:00 AM
01:43:14 | 3800 meters | 02m 43s / 100meters
Age Group: 75/
Overall: 2066/
Performance: Average
Suit: full sleeved
Course: Two loop rectangle
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:23
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:16:16 | 112 miles | 15.40 mile/hr
Age Group: 60/
Overall: 1929/
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:53
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:04:32 | 26.2 miles | 13m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
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

2017-11-16 12:23 PM

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Subject: Ironman Florida

2017-11-16 2:16 PM
in reply to: #5231109

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Really nice race Jen, very inspiring for me to tackle a a full IM.

Cheers, Tim
2017-11-20 2:12 AM
in reply to: #5231109

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great RR and congrats on your day, Ironman!
2017-11-20 9:11 AM
in reply to: barrld21

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
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