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Ironman Florida 2018 - Triathlon

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Total Time = 12h 07m 38s
Overall Rank = 305/1665
Age Group = 55-59m
Age Group Rank = 12/121
Pre-race routine:

IMFL moved from Panama City Beach, Fl to Haines City, Fl at the last moment re. Hurricane Michael. There are actually hills in that part of the state, which suited me just fine, but it was definitely a different race than the normal day in PCB.
  • 1h 22m 14s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards

My swim training was really lacking this year. Enough volume, I guess, but it was all slow back and forth. In a fit of insanity, my friend and I seeded ourselves close to the front and entered the water with sub-1:00 to sub-1:10 swimmers. Ha! Elbowed, grabbed, swum over and generally a hazard to navigation for everyone who properly seeded themself. A duly chastened alltom1 learned his lesson about seeding etiquette.

This was far and away my worst performance in an IM swim - slowest to this point had been nine IM's ago at 1:13 or so. You're supposed to get faster at this stuff! Back to the drawing board...
What would you do differently?:

Stay the F out of everyone's way.
Transition 1
  • 10m 17s

Long-ish transition. I was pretty efficient but there were some healthy distances to cover between water/bag/T1/bike/bike mount so no blazing fast time here, folks.
  • 5h 43m 45s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.55 mile/hr

I have a bike strategy that hasn't changed much over the years; I go way under race effort for about half the distance and hammer the rest. It takes some resolve to let people go past that first half of the ride(pride is at stake, after all) but I followed through and results were about typical: I passed around 30 people in AG and left myself with legs ready to run, more or less. Training rides were about the same pace as I went on race day but on further review I feel like I went a little too easy that first loop. Again, slowest IM ride in quite a while, mainly attributable to the hills on this course vs. flat courses I've done the last few years. It's seldom you feel like you undercooked the bike but that's kind of where my head's at a month after the fact.

Anyhoo, I can say I passed one and all on the hills and next year's schedule is going to focus on races with some climbing...
What would you do differently?:

Allez! Allez!
Transition 2
  • 06m 35s

Tolerably efficient..
  • 4h 44m 49s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 52s  min/mile

Sun was shining at the end of the bike, unfortunately. What could have been a solid effort was interrupted by some oppressive hot/humid miles early on. This is a known problem; I can't do it in the heat, baby...I walked as little as I could on the first loop but it was still a good bit and my overall time was pretty corrupted by the first loop. Mercifully, a front came through at the end of the loop and cooled everything down - what had been a run on the edge of an IM death march/shuffle changed to a run the course/walk the aid stations process. Still slower than we're hoping for but for long stretches of that course I was definitely in high gear. I passed seven more people on the run and finished my day with a good bit of momentum.

My goal at official M-Dot events is 10% in AG - based on number of starters, that's exactly what I got at this year's IMFL. I felt like I left pretty much everything I had on the course and no regrets even if this was slowest time in a decade. Aging up to 55's means smaller fields but at the pointy end, the fasties are still showing up. Interestingly, not one person in 55-59 cracked 4hrs on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Focus on races with lots of hills and cold weather.
Post race
Event comments:

WTC had two weeks to pull together an IM in a different city after PCB was hit by a hurricane. BIG TIME tip of the cap to the organizers/the host city/the volunteers for getting this race off the ground. There probably won't ever be a full IM in Haines City, Fl again but that's only because PCB has the job. I thought all aspects of the one-off 2018 version of IMFL were expertly handled and the fact the race was set up on such short notice is just incredible.

This was IM #10 over 12 years. I'm going to focus on 70.3's next year with an eye to doing an IM i haven't done before in 2020 but things are dependent on the health of the bod and keeping myself motivated to show up at the pool, etc. I'm optmistic...

Last updated: 2018-01-05 12:00 AM
01:22:14 | 4224 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/121
Overall: 796/1665
Performance: Bad
Suit: sleeveless
Course: The wackiest, M shaped course, made to fit for a lake really too small to hold that many people. It wasn't a problem, just way more turning than is typical plus a brief funnel around the mid-point of the course where there was an in-water timing station. Kind of cool but most people agreed there was not nearly enough real estate to swim in those 25 yards and sure enough, I took a nice kick to the chops. No blood, no foul..
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 10:17
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:43:45 | 112 miles | 19.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 13/121
Overall: 305/1665
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Two loops - hills all on the backside of each loop.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:44:49 | 26.2 miles | 10m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/121
Overall: 326/1665
Performance: Average
Course: If I already said the swim course was 'different' the run was totally nutty-crazy. There's no way to describe this route other than there were very few stretches of flat; sloping up or down for most of three loops.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2018-12-07 2:36 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: Ironman Florida 2018

2018-12-11 10:47 AM
in reply to: #5252442

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2018
Bravo Zulu!

You nailed the secret of podium (or near) finishes; just keep getting older while maintaining the fitness. I aged up this year into the 60-64 bracket.
2019-01-13 7:48 AM
in reply to: #5252442

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida 2018
Awesome effort, brother. This is going down as a storied race given the adversity all had to overcome to pull it off ...and that is what Ironman is all about
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