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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Total Time = 14h 20m 19s
Overall Rank = 1699/
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 76/130
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:30am when the alarm went off. I had planned to get at transition right at 5am due to an issue I had with my rear tire the previous day- more details on that later. I actually tried to fall back asleep until 3:45am but that didn't work. I couldn't fall back asleep so I just got up.

I have heard a lot of people say that they didn't sleep well the night before their IM, but I didn't have any problems falling asleep the night before. I was in bed and out at 9:30pm and woke up once to pee. I was hydrating like crazy, so that was the first of many times I would have to pee. When I woke up to pee around midnight I was going to eat an uncrustable and go back to bed, but decided to skip out on eating. I figured that waking up at 3:30am and eating would give me plenty of time to digest breakfast and then I'd be ready to top off the fuel tank before the race. So I just went back to sleep and had no issues falling back asleep.

Back to waking up- I showered after not being able to fall back asleep for another 15 mins and that really helped me wake up. As I was showering I started to think that I was crazy- why in the world was I up by 3:45am showering to do this IM thing?? Of course- I knew I wasn't the only one doing this and 2,000 others would be joining me. I felt better after getting out of the shower and was more awake and getting excited. I didn't put my race clothes on yet- I was too cold to hop into a swimsuit. I know, it didn't make sense but I just threw on some comfy clothes and changed right before leaving the condo. I guess it was my way of helping me relax.

I drank an Ensure and ate 1/2 a banana for breakfast. Watched the weather channel again for about the millionith time since I arrived in PCB. I knew it was going to be cold in the am and windy on the bike- ugh. After eating breakfast and double checking my SN bags again, I finally put on my swim suit and threw some layers on over it when it was getting close to leaving. I knew it was going to be chilly so I wanted to be layered appropriately.

I wasn't rushed in the morning at all and took my time in the am since I pretty much had everything together the night before. I went through my SN needs and dry clothes bags one more time to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. Went to the bathroom again. I waited around for my friend Sandee and her husband to be ready. We took some pictures in the condo and then we were off. On our way down in the elevator, I realized that I was carrying one of Sandee's SN bags. She left it on her way out of the condo near the door and I assumed it was mine. Anyways, we made sure to check and count our bags again and everything was good. Like I said before, we had issues keeping all of our bags straight :)

Jon carried all my bags for me and we all walked about .4 miles to the start which was easy because I didn't have to do a whole lot besides walk. On the way to the TA we had to drop off our SN bags in a store parking lot. Once again I checked the color of my bags and make sure I was checking the right one. As if you can't tell these bags stressed me out a little. It was difficult to figure out what went in each bag and then making sure not to mix of the bags. I dropped off my bike SN bag and only had one more to go. As we got closer to the TA we dropped off our run SN bag. Whew- last bag to get rid of. It was actually a relief to get rid of all my bags and know that all I needed to worry about at this point was the race.

We arrived to the TA and I was freezing. It was mostly my toes- I was wearing flip flops and my feet were literally frozen. I got body marked and it was almost painful to drop all my clothes to get marked because I was so cold. I'm not sure what my deal was but I tried to pull my pants back up before she had put my age on my calve. It had been so long since I raced I forgot about that! I'm telling you- I was more flustered race morning than I realized. I got body marked and entered TA.

The first thing when I got into the TA was check the pressure in my back tire. Now for the tire fiasco...sorry it's long, but it does explain why I felt so stressed before this race and why I was so flustered. Monday before I left for PCB I had a new tubular tire put on. I rode my bike on Tuesday which was my last ride before leaving town. When I took my bike out of my car to ride it on Tuesday, the back tire was flat. I called my LBS to see if they had pumped up the tires or not. They told me know and not to worry- that's why it was flat. So I pumped up the tire, rode and never thought anything of it. Well, when I took my bike out for a test ride on Friday before checking it, the back tire was flat. I was worried and pumped it back up and rode for 30 mins on it. Got done riding, and it was 1/2 flat. I was freaked out and wasn't sure what to do. I called run4yrlif and he suggested I take it to a bike mechanical tent near the expo and have them change it. Now I could have changed it if I HAD TO, but I was more comfortable having someone check it out. So I took it down to a mecahnical tent and told the guy. He was nice, but a little arrogant and actually stressed me out by telling me everything my LBS did with my tubulars was wrong. to make a long story short (I'll shorten it because it's long) he visually inspected the tire and didn't see anything caught it it that would cause it to look and suspected that the valve was leaking. He put telfon tape around the valve and told me that later that night or am I would know if the tire needed to be changed or not. The problem was that my bike had to be checked in within the next hour and a half so I wouldn't know until race morning if I needed to change my tire or not. So I bought another spare tire and got a valve enxtender put on it, just in case I needed to use my first spare I would still have one on my bike and another in my bike SN bag. I'm shortening the story,but pretty much this guy tried to rip me off and thought my friend and I were dumb and made a comment about us being "damsels in distress." Maybe true, but we're not stupid and I do realize that it doesn't not cost $20 for maybe an inch of telfon tape to be wrapped around a tire valve. When he started folding my spare tire up for me he went to wrap electrical tape around it. I made a smart comment asking him if he was going to charge me for that too, because if so I had some of my own with me- which I did in my backpack. After the comment I made and the comment my friend made that we know what we're doing but it probably didn't seem like it because we're all flustered about all the race stuff, he only charged me $5. Anyways, after dealing with the helpful/arrogant bike guy, I was somewhat back on track.

So I got into transition, and let out a huge sigh of relief when I checked my back tire and felt that it held pressure overnight- whew. I pumped up my tires, filled up my aerobottle with Perpeteum, and put one bottle of perpeteum and a bottle of water in my bottles cages. I was good to go with the bike stuff. Now I had to put my Garmin in my bike gear bag and throw an uncrustable in there.

On my way to finding my bike gear bag, I stopped and used the porta potty- I had to pee again. Go figure.

I found my bike gear bag thanks to my bright pink ribbon with white polka dots I tied to all my bags. I turned on my Garmin and went to turn off the satellite function so the battery would last me the entire race. For some reason, I forgot how to turn off that function. Then I started worrying about not having my Garmin last on the bike to give me my HR. I ran into ziacyclist on my way to my bike gear bag, and asked him if he knew anything the Garmin 305 and how to turn off that function but he didn't. Then I just said "oh well" and turned it off and put in my gear bag. Honestly in the big scheme of things that was minor. After taking care of everything in the TA I left- it felt good knowing all that was behind me. As I was walking out of the TA I saw Christine and Cathy. Chatted with them got a picture, and then we were all off. I decided to take some tylenol eight hour. I forgot to take it before leaving the condo, but luckily my friend Sandee still had some with her- thank goodness because I figured I would need it. After taking my drugs I was on my way to meet the rest of the BT'ers in run4yrlif's room. It was so warma and toasty- it felt great for my toes to unthaw. Got there and jeepfleeb and DB 8 were there. We watched the buoys get moved and rearranged several times from Jim's hotel window for awhile and were hoping they were shortening the course, but they weren't :( typeapilot girl arrived a little later and so did Jess and Chris (cbost). I snacked on hlaf a Snicker's Marathon Bar and drank a small bottle of Powerade. I had extra BT tats and we put them on our left calves and got ready for the swim. I went to the bathroom again- this is the third time I had to pee, not including how many times I went before leaving my condo. Put on our wetsuits, I put on some sunbblock and made sure to put PLENTY of body glide on my neck to avoid chaffing from my wetsuit. We posed for one final group picture and we were off to the swim start. That was the last I saw of the Bt'ers until the run course.

I walked down to the beach and was freezing. I got a picture with my friend Sandee and we were both shivering. The sand felt so cold on my feet and I really thought I was insane for doing this. I knew I'd be warmer once I got into the water but it was hard being so cold before the race. I talked to rrizzo on the phone and was trying to see her before the swim start, but I was running out of time. I finally decided to line up for the swim. Gave Jon a kiss and I was off. As I was walking off, I was getting a little choked up. It finally hit me- I thought, "This is it, this is really it." I was feeling a little overwhelmed and emotional.

Event warmup:

Nothing- just walked .4 miles from my condo the TA and start. Does that count as a warm up?
  • 1h 16m 49s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

There were so many people I had no clue where to stand for the swim. My plan was to be middlish toward the outside. But once I got into the crowd I realized that it was really difficult to see where I was relative to everyone else. I think I did a pretty good job about being in the middle/outside. As I was walking to my position I saw 2 TNT'ers from Atlanta. I chatted with them briefly, we wished each other good luck and were off to position ourselves. It was nice seeing familiar faces and helped me realized I wasn't alone. The pros were off but I coudln't see anything because of all the people.

Not shortly after the pros were off it was my time. At this time I realized I needed to pee- AGAIN. I guess I got all caught up with the race because I never peed before the swim start. I adjusted my goggles and started to get a little teary eyed. I really didn't want to cry because that would mean I'd have to readjust my goggles and defog them. Luckily I was able to contain myself. I chatted with a man and a lady next to me. We were all first timers and the more we talked and joked the more relaxed I got. The announcer said we only had 2 more mins. I frantically tightened my chip strap and tried to get it under my wetsuit as much as possible. For some reason at that point I realized how much physical contact the swim would have. The cannon went off- from where I was standing it wasn't that loud because I was so far away.

Athletes in the front ran into the water, whereas where I was, we all just walked into the water. The spectators were cheering and I was hollering and cheering going into the water. It was awesome- the energy and exceitment was beyond what I could imagine. I was having fun and I was just geting started- what more could I ask for? As I was entering the water all I could do is look around and take it all in. Athletes were everywhere, the beach was lined with spectators- all I can say is wow. It was impossible to run into the water because of so many people but I didn't really care. When we got into the water where it was too high to walk anymore, we kinda looked at each like, "ok, now we gotta swim." I looked at the guy next to me and said, "I guess we have to swim now." Yeah right- little did I know.

The swim was crowded but it wasn't bad where I was. I was getting bumped and stuff but it honestly wasn't bad. It was hard to even see where I was going with all the people- all you could see was people's arms and heads- so I didn't know how far right of the buoys I was. Eveytime I'd sight or take a breath I would look around to see what was going on around me- it was amazing! We hit a sand bar not far from shore and a lot of athletes were walking over it. Luckily I didn't have to do that because my arms are so short they never hit the bottom- so I kept swimming.

Now for the fun part. I started to angle in toward the buoys, which was a terrible mistake. I should have swam on the outside a lot longer than I did. Once I merged into the crowd it was absoutely crazy. Nobody around me could even swim- not even breast stroke. There were just people everywhere and you couldn't help but come in contact with someone. I was pretty much doggie paddling along with everyone else. All we could say was "this is crazy." Every now and then I would have room to swim, but I got clobbered in the head repeatedly. Sometimes I barely noticed it, others times it kinda hurt. One time I got kicked in the chin and that actually hurt. One guy next to ended up hooking his arm around my neck. We both stopped swimming and I looked at him and jokingly asked him if he was trying to give me a hug. Honestly all we could do is laugh becuase I knew that most of the actions were unintentinal- there were just so many people it was expected. Although I think some of the men deliberately clobbered me. What's strange is that I never got hit in the head by an women- it was the men. They were horrible and it seemed like they were doing anything within their power to take the women down. It could have been my imagination but that's what it seemed like. They were never willing to inch over one bit at all.

It was really crowded around the frist turn around buoy and we were at a stand still again. A few guys kept yelling "keep swimming don't stop!" So as I fought my way around the buoy, I was swimming free style with my arms, but my legs weren't even floating becuase there wasn't room- they were sticking straight down. After that first turn around bouy, it got a little better. But now I was swimming into the chop- the ocean seemed rougher swimming parallel to shore. Everytime I would sight I got a mouthful of saltwater. I inhaled a lot of salt water on this swim. If it wasn't from a way, it was because someone was so close to me that they'd splash water into my mouth from their stroke.

After the second turn around bouy, I was heading straight into shore. I had checked my watch at this time and I was around 20 some mins, I think- but I was swimming faster than I thought I was and was excited that I felt so great. I just continued to keep my groove, and everytime I would breath or sight I could hear all the noise, music and excitment from the beach. It was nice to feel like I wasn't that far away even though I was. Going into shore wasn't too bad. It was still crowded but I was in a groove and had more space. Coming into the shore I swam for as long as I could without hitting the bottom with my hand. I could see alot of other already walking, but I figured I'd swim as long as I could before walking. Finally my hand touched the bottom and I got up and exited the water.

It was hard running through the sand tp the chip mat so I didn't even try to run- I just walked as fast as I could. There were so many athletes coming out of the water with me the chip mat area was congested. I saw Christine at the swim exit- she's the only person I saw. There were so many people lining the swim exit and cheering it was awesome- I honestly felt like a rock star. I passed over the chip mat and started walking back through the sand when I realized I had passed the water table. I really needed to rinse my mouth with water since I had inhaled so much salt water. The water stop was crazy- the volunteers had a million triathletes flocking around them and they didn't even have even cups filled so they were pouring cups as fast as they could. I finally got a cup of water, rinsed my mouth and was off for my 2nd lap. This is when I realized I forgot to pee because I had to go and decided to go when I got back into the water.

I was ahead of schedule so I was excited. I wasn't dizzy or disorineted exited the water on the first lap like I usually am so I figured I'd keep that pace since it was comfortable. As I was getting in the water for my 2nd lap I was talking to a lady next to me. It was also her first IM, and we were just saying how crazy the first lap was, and we were hoping the 2nd lap would thin out.

The 2nd lap was much better. It was still congested at some points near the turn around buoys, but I was actually able to swim around the buoys without stopping so that was good. I was in what I called "my happy place". I was in my groove and had little interruptions. I was actually able to pee while swimming I was that relaxed. Although the second lap seemed a little harder- it was more choppy and the swells seemed like they had gotten bigger. At that point I knew the bike was going to be windy, but didn't let myself think about the bike too much- I needed to focus on the swim. I peed one more time while swimming before I exited the water. As you can already tell, I was very well hydrated for this race. I finished my 2nd lap and felt great. i wasn't out of breath and my arms felt fine- I was very surprised. The ocean was kinda rough, but I just sucked it up and swam. I had swam under rougher conditions in ocean swim races and practice swims, so the conditions of the swim didn't bother me too much.

I got to the wetsuit strippers and the area was crowded. I wanted Kathy to strip my wetsuit but didn't see her because it was so crowded. So I just went to another volunteer. The wetsuit stripping was great- it just happened so fast- unbelievable. I got on the ground and within seconds my wetsuit was off and handed to me. I told the volunteers "thanks- you guys are awesome!" and I was off to the TA.

I hit the boardwalk and hit the showers- I rinsed off pretty good for as much as I could. It was really crowded and you couldn't really stop- you just had to go with the flow. The shower felt great and I was able to get the sand off that got on my from being on the ground for wetsuit stripping. After coming out from the showers I could a nice breeze and realized it was freezing cold outside. I started running to T1.

There were spectators lining the swim exit and TA it was just awesome. I honestly felt like a million dollars after the swim. The crowd kept me going and it really made a difference. It was hard not to get choked up- I was osaking up the moment.
What would you do differently?:

Not angle in so early in the swim and that's about it. My goal was to swim comfrotably and never push it hard. I never felt like I was going too hard. The first lap was frustrating because of all the congestion but that was beyond my control and expected. I was exceptionally pleased with my swim time- my goal was under 1:20 and I did that without even realizing it.
Transition 1
  • 11m 48s

No I didn't take a nap in T1 :) I took longer than I wanted to in T1, but that's ok. I got into TA and a volunteer handed me my gear bag. I thanked him and arrived in the changing tent. That was a crazy place- just as crazy as the swim. If you didn't know it was a changing tent, you would have thought there was a Victoria's Secret semi- annual sale gonig on in there. There were women everywhere with their stuff everywhere. You could brealy walk without stepping on somebody's gear.

All the chairs were occupied and there wasn't really a good place to get dressed. It was CROWDED. I just found a place and started changing and set my stuff on the floor. I used a towel to dry off and a lady next to me wanted to borrow it- she had forgotten hers. As long as I used it first I didn't care. Plus it was cold outside and I knew it would be to be dry so I could sense her desperation. I took my time changing- I wanted to make sure I had everything and didn't get my stuff mixed up with everyone else's. I didn't have room to dump my bag out on the floor. As I got rid of my swim stuff I tried to keep it in a pile while carefully and deliberatly getting one piece of clothing/gear out of my bag at a time.

I thought I had toweled off good enough, but apparently not. I was fighting to get my tri top on- it was all balled up in the back and I couldn't even pull it down. A lady next to me helped me get it on- she wasn't a volunteer but saw that I was obviously in need of help after struggling with it for awhile. I wasted sooo much time getting on my tri top-it was frustrating but thankfully someone helped me.

Orginally I had planned on not changing and wearing my tri top and shorts through the swim and bike, and just cahnge shorts for the run. Well when I realized how cold it would be on race day, my appparel plan had changed. I ended up wearing my swimsuit for the swim and then changing into my tri top and shorts for the bike so I'd be dry and warm. So that's what I did even though it was a pain to put on dry clothes while being semi- wet.

I decided to throw my bike jersey on top of my trip suit, and watsed time putting on my arm warmers. But I knew it was worth the extra time since I wanted to be warm on the bike. I even put on a cycling hat to keep warm since my hair was still wet. Put the Garmin on and turned it on in hope it would get a signal by the time i crossed over the chip mat. I put an uncrsutable in my bike jersey and was off- thank goodness! I handed my gear bag to a volunteer outside the tent, and was headed for my bike. A volunteer yelled "2084" into a megaphone and then "poof"- another volunteer was standing there holding my bike- very cool. I thanked the volunteer, squeezed my back tire- it didn't lose pressure- whew. I was on my way out of T1. I looked around and didn't see any spectators I recognized even though Jon was there. Besides peeing a lot, not hearing/seeing people cheer for me was my theme. On my way out of T1 it was congested and a guy fell over with his bike. The volunteers kept telling us to be careful and keep moving. I crossed over the chip mat and found a place to stop to get clipped in and then I was off for a LONG training ride on a cold windy day :)
What would you do differently?:

I honestly don't think I could have been any faster. I made the best of the situation with the crowded changing tent. Maybe I could have asked someone sooner to help me with my tri top??
  • 7h 12m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.55 mile/hr

The bike...ahhh... where to begin. I was excited to be on the bike and be out of the salt water. I was just sick of inhaling it. I had planned to eat a Now & Later on the bike to get rid of the salt water taste in my mouth, but forgot to take it. I was so extremely thirsty after the swim that I headed right to my aero bottle for my perpeteum. What's weird is that after tasting all that salt water, that Perpeteum tasted really good.

After riding out of T1 it hit me again- I'm really doing an IM. With all the spectators cheering I started getting teary eyed. I told myself it was too early in the race to be crying.

I was in the right gear and started rolling. When the wind blew it was pretty chilly and I was glad I was appropriately dressed. I got passed like crazy on the bike- especially within the first 25 miles or so. But I didn't care- my thoughts as all the hammerheads passed me was "I'll pass ya on the run :) " My plan was to stay aerboic for the entire race and stay in Zone 1 and never exceed zone 2. Mike Ricci gave me the advice to save everything for the last 8 miles of the run. I had to keep telling myself that this race was all about the last 8 miles of the run. I knew it was going to be windy on the bike, so I made sure to just do my best and take it easy.

Within the first 15 miles on the bike I was passed by a tandem bike. My first repsonse was "What the heck? This isn't a LBS saturday group ride! What's a tandem donig out here?" And then I saw the bike jerseys that both guys were wearing. It was for a physically challenged organzation. And then I just thought that was really cool that this race is for anyone and everyone who wants to dedicate thier lives to such a commitmment, regardless of one's state. It was inspiring- espeically since they were hauling and blew right by me!

The bike at this point was the most frustrating part of the race. Once we left the TA and were away from all the spectators, it was completely mental. I cannot tell you how mental this part was. The first 15 miles passed very quickly. At this point in the race I was thinking "this isn't so bad." I pretty much just watch people pass me and felt like I was creeping like a turtle. The beginning of the bike was windy, but it wasn't a headwind so it wasn't terribly bad. Occasionally I thought I caught a tail wind or so so it wasn't bad. From what we had discussed before the race, we should be getting a headwind on the way back in but we'd get a tail wind on the way out. Well that was not the case. We made a right turn onto a road after going over a large bridge, and it was headwind the for the nearly the first 1/2 of the race. At first my speed decreased to 15 mph, then 14.5, and then as the day went on I think the wind picked up. Because then I was only going 12-13 mph. I wanted to keep my HR in zone 1 which I was successful at, but my gosh- I was SLOW. At this point all the hammerheads had passed me and I felt better because now I was surrounded by people that were more my pace. And then I didn't feel so slow. I didn't see any drafting at all, but then again I was probably at the back of the bike course with those who weren't so competitive and weren't out to hammer it. I was glad because had I seen cheaters on the course it would have made me mad- especially since it was so windy and it was really would be a huge advantage.

As I was riding I was actually surprised about the hills on the course. I mean, I guess I always thougth FL was flat and didn't realize that the bike course was that much different from the Gulf Coast bike course. The hills weren't huge, but they kinda got to me because I was already slow from the wind, and then I had these hills to slow me down!

Riding in the headwind was mentally draining. Physcially I was fine, but it was hard giving it everything you got while seeing your speed decrease. I knew that the wind could be much worse so that's what I kept telling myself. Yeah it's windy, but it could be worse. Going into the race I expected the ride to be windy and was prepared to be out there for a long time. Looking back it was better to battle the wind earlier on in the race than later on in the race. I was trying to have those thoughts during the race, but was worried that I would never catch a tail wind so I didn't want to get my hopes up.

I tried to just focus on my nutrition and hydration plan and make sure to take in 300-400 cals. per hours as I had practiced on my training rides, and that helped me keep my mind off the wind. My plan was to drink 1/2 bottle of perpeteum (260 cals)an hour, and take either a gel (150 cals)or eat 3 cliff bloks (100 cals). I was so thirsty after the swim that I ended up going through an entire bottle of perpeteum within the first hour of the ride!! That would catch up with me later- more details in the run section. But I figured it was better to take in more cals than not enough and didn't worry so much about it. I had enough nutrition to last me 8 hours on the bike (I planned for worst case because you never know) so I didn't have to worry about running out. Within the first hour I also ate a bag of Cliff Bloks (200 cals)-so I took in more cals than I usually do. For the first hour of the bike I consumed close to 700 cals- holy crap- that's a lot of cals and more than I usually take in.

The aid stations were every 10-12 miles and they gave me something to look forward to. Most of the time we were alone out there- occasionally spectators were along side of the road and it was really nice to have support out there, even if it was scarce. I was pleasntly surpirsed at how some of the specatators waited patiently for their family or friends to pass by to cheer them on- they were so dedicated. I know that us atheltes were dedicated to training and the race, but the spectators were just as dedicated as we were.

By mile 25 my stomach was hurting. It was cramping in a weird way. It didn't feel like I was having GI issues, but like it was tied up in a knot. I was getting worried because this had never happened to me before. For the next hour, I laid off the Perpeteum and didn't take any enduroytles. I figured it was probably a combination of all the salt water I swallowed during the swim along with the extra calories. I tried to drink more water and that seemed to work. Once I gained control over my stomach, I was back to my normal nutrition plan. While I was still battling the headwind on the never ending straight road, I felt like I was accomplishing something with my nutrition plan. It felt good to drop a bottle and pick up a new bottle of water- at least something was going right. I think that having a nutrition plan in place and following it made me feel like I was getting somewhere, even though the headwind was slowing me. It sounds silly, but at this point of the race it was 100% mental, and if following a nutrition/hydration plan made me feel good, then so be it. This was just my little game to help the time pass because if you didn't have games to play then this ride would just suck enery ounce of mental energy out of you.

At times on the bike you could see the frustration in the eyes of other athletes. We'd all just kinda comment on the wind in passing. It made me feel better hearing others comment on how tough it was- knowing that we're all dealing with the same struggles. At one point a guy passed me, and he was really struggling with the wind. I gave him a little pep talk and hearing myself tell him that it wasn't supposed to easy, and that the harder it was the more rewarding it would be was great reinforcement to myself. I just kept praying for a tail wind at some point during the bike.

Because I was well hydrated, I had already peed twice on myself on the bike before reaching the bike half way point. It was hard because the bike course was crowded and I had to make sure nobody was close behind me. I kept turning around to check. The only bonus with the headwind is that when I peed on myself, instead of eveyrthing trickling down my leg, it just got blown behind me- which is why I wanted to make sure that nobody was remotely close to me. I know it sounds gross, but I was slow at it was and I didn't want to have to keep stopping to pee so I just went. It was actually nice just going without stopping.

I saw Sue at some point before SN. She came blowing by my and we complained about the wind and then she was off. Later I passed her and she wasn't feeling so great- apparently I wasn't the only one with some type of cramp.

I just kept pedaling along. Hitting 25 miles was an accomplishment. And then making it to 40 miles was a goal. And then it was to get to my SN bag. I was so happy to see my SN needs bag! a volunteer called out my number and it was handed to me. Since my number was so high, I had to pedal very slowly (to avoid those who were stopped along the road) to finally get to where my bnag was. The SN area was like an oasis in the desert. I probably took longer than I needed to, but mentally I think I needed a break. I got off my bike, propped it up against a huge cardboard box filled with bags, and went into the woods to pee- this is the 3rd time for me on the bike. I got near the woods and another lady just dropped drawers and started going. I didn't care and she was polite and said "sorry." I told her not to worry and that I was there to do the same thing. It felt so good to pee.

Came out from the woods and went through my SN bag. I decided to shed my cycling hat and arm warmers- it had warmed up and I was getting too hot. I debated whether I should shed my cycling jersey or not. And then I decided to keep it to utilize the pockets with trash. I had a little pack of Kneelex in my SN bag and it felt soo good to finally blow my nose. My nose was running the entire bike. I didn't try any snot rockets because I'm not good at doing them. I had a bunch of unintentional ones. My nose was running so bad that the snot would come shooting out when I would breath. It was crazy! I was worried that my allergies would flare up on the bike because I didn't take a claritin that morning. But I had taken one the night before and was hoping that would prevent further problems like a major allergy headache that I usually got on long training rides. Luckily I didn't have any headcahe issues. Because my nose was running non stop that I don't think doing a million snot rockets would have helped. It felt good to blow my nose even though it was just a temporary fix. For the most part I kept wiping my nose on my bike jersey, but then it started to get sore and raw. Anyways, back to the bike SN- I ate an uncrustable, grabbed another gel, grabbed 2 more bottles of perpeteum and was off. I probably took more time than I needed but that's ok. A quick mental break was what I needed. I think I put WAY too much nutrition in my SN bag that was really unnecessary. I could have done without all the extra stuff but I didn't know- this was my first IM.

I continued to battle the headwind after SN and then finally- I was at an intersection and made a turn. Got a killer tail wind!! Oh my gosh- I was so happy to turn and realized this is what I've been waiting for. I geared down and tried to take as much advanatge as possible with the tail wind and make up some time. At this point my average was just below 15 mph. As soon as I got into a groove guess what? I had to pee- again, for the 4th time. This time I just went on myself. A little while later- maybe a 1/2 hour? I had to pee again- #5. At this point I didn't have enough space between me and the person behind me so I had to stop. I stalked out some good bathroom spots on the side of the road and instead of stopping I kept pedaling hoping for a break with those behind me. But when it didn't happen I finally stopped to pee. I hated having to get off my bike but after peeing again it was worth it. I clipped in and was ready to keep pedaling.

Because I kept peeing on myself, I decided to get a new bottle of water at the bottle drops even if I wasn't finished with my bottle of water. Because I needed extra water to rinse off with after peeing, I didn't want to take the chance of not having enough water for drinking. My water plan worked well so that's what I did. Occasionally I'd grab a banana from the bottle drops. The bananas were peeled in such a way that they were really easy to unpeel- you didn't have to do a whole lot. I was excited to see this and thought it was cool- the little things that make me happy :) The volunteers at the bottle drops were great. When they knew you needed something, they would run next to you while you pedaling to make it easier to grab. That made it so much easier than having volunteers just standing still waiting for you to grab something out of their hands in hope that you don't drop it. The bottle drops were never congested and everyone was good about slowing down and being cautious.

Once we got a tail wind I mentally felt better. I thought "ok- I can do this." I never once doubted that I would finish the bike, but I didn't know how long it would take me. By getting out of the headwind it wasn't mentally draining. I saw a spectator with a sign that read "love the insanity"- I made sure to tell her I loved it.

Around mile 70 ish- I think...we turned down a road where we looped around. And guess what- I had to pee again. This stretch was in the headwind, but didn't last long. I saw kathy and Christine wiht the BT sign and made sure to yell for them!! And then I saw May flying on her way back. After the turn around, I had to pee again. I had passed a porta potty at the bottle drop, so I went on myself. I got back to the intersection and passed Kathy and Christine again- I had lots of BT love on the course at this point.

After the turn around I was getting a headwind so I just did all I could to make up some time and stay in zone 1. Since I had a feeling for what zone 1 felt like, I decided around mile 75 to shut off my Garmin. I only needed it for Hr. I had my bike computer for time which I needed for my nurition plan. So I turned off my Garmin and that actually made the time pass quicker because I wasn't constantly checking the milleage. I peed on myself a few more times and was so happy to see mile 90- wow! I couldn't believe I was almost there!!!

Somewhere between mile 75 and mile 90 I saw Becky on the bike. She passed me and saw my BT tat and we chatted briefly. It was so nice seeing BT'ers on the course!

Once we got off a bumpy road and went over the big bridge, I knew I was in the home stretch. It felt so good to know that I was almost there. I caught a tail wind on this stretch and the pavement was fresh and smooth- I was feeling good both mentally and physically. I peed on myself- again. You see the pattern??

Around 80 miles I was ready to get off my bike. And everyone else was too. Most of the people I talked to said they couldn't wait to get off their bikes. It was a weird feeling, because I had absolutely no perception of time. At one point I saw a mail truck delivering mail, realizing it was only 11-12pm. And then I would hear volunteers say what time it was and I felt like I was in a time warp. I had no idea it was already 2pm or whatever! I mean it was a long day and I knew this, but I had no clue how long it was until I knew what time it was.

Sue passed me around mile 100 or so and came cruising by. I was behind her for the last 12 miles. She took her feet out of her shoes and pedaled on top of them. I thought about doing the same but decided it was best not to- I didn't want to end up falling or something. I didn't know if I was that coordinated to pull it off. Having Sue in site was nice- I loved seeing Bt'ers on the course!

I approached the mile 100 marker- wohoo! As people passed me and others passed me, we were really encouragining each other by saying "almost there" and "this is the homestretch" and "12 miles is nothing". It was nice to see that everyones' attitudes had changed.

The last 12 miles seemed to take forever, but more so the last 5 miles were the longest few miles of my life! We got onto the main stratch along the beach and guess what? There was a head wind. I was rubberbading with a TNT girl from Dallas and we chatted briefly about the last 5 miles, wondering where the heck the TA was. I honestly thought the miles were mismarked but knew they weren't- it was just a mental thing. As I got closer to the TA spectators started to line the streets. It was so nice having lots of people around again cheering. As I cruised into TA, one of the volunteers said "Welcome Back." That comment was so appropriate. I honestly felt like I had left the planet and ventured into outer space or something. Because the bike course environment was nothing like the environment neat the TA.

It felt good to pass over the chip mat and hear it beep. My thoughts as I went into T2 was "now all the BT'ers online know I survived the bike" :) At that point I wish I could have let everyone know how windy it was out there but I figured you guys would know that.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe not eating so much within the first hour of the bike would have prevented my strange stomach cramps.

Mentally I think I handled the wind rather well. I couldn't control the situation and tried to make the best of it.

My goal for the bike was to stay in zone 1 and hopefully everage 15-15.3 mph. I ended up averaging 15.5 mph which was better than I thought. The entire ride I didn't really know my overall pace due to my bathroom stops and taking my time at SN. And I wasn't sure how the headwind and tailwind would pan out.

I wish I was stronger on the bike going into this race. But I wanted to be conservative and save my legs for the last 8 miles of the run. I never bonked on the bike and felt like crap, so for me this bike was success! My nutrition and hydration plan was pretty much on target. I couldn't have asked for much more- except maybe be faster for Z1 :)
Transition 2
  • 09m 15s

It felt great to get off the bike. I felt bad for the volunteer who took my bike, because I peed so much on it. I got into T2 and a volunteer yelled out my BIB # and as soon as I got to where I needed to turn to get to the changing tent a little girl handed my bag. The volunteers were awesome! Once I got off my bike I realized I had a painful cramp on my right side. It hurt to stand up straight and I was worried how I would feel on the run.

I got into the changing tent and there was more room and it was less chaotic than it was in T1. Sue was in there across from me finishing up.

I took my time getting changed- I knew this was going to be a LONG run. My side cramp was still there and it was really hard to bed over and put my shoes on. I ended up putting the shoes on a chair, and then propping my feet up on the chair to put my shoes on. It just hurt really bad to bend over.

I only had to remove my bike jersey, and change my tri shorts and put on some fresh ones. And of couse I had to change my socks and shoes. I wore some blue cycling socks that had little black paw prints around the ankle. I called them my "Bella socks" because of the dog paw prints on them. I forgot to mention that at one point during the bike a guy told me my socks and shoes were cool. I didn't plan this, but my blue socks matched my blue and white tri shoes perfectly.

Anyways, my T2 was fine and it was easier to get changed because I didn't have to worry about as many things as I did in T1. I made sure to grab my race belt number holder and my hat. I shoved all my bike gear into my gear back and left the tent. I handed my bag to a volunteer, and she asked if I needed sunblock. I had her spray me, even though I knew that the sun would be going down shortly into my run. I hit a porta potty in T2 to pee again, and then I was off. I was walking through transition until I neared the chip mat and then I started to run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing- had I not had the cramp I may have been speedier. But I wasn't too concerned with time at this point in the race- I knew that taking my time would help mentally help me get through the race.
  • 5h 30m 11s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 36s  min/mile

I left T2 and had a side cramp. It was slowly going away and I just took it easy for the run. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I left T2 with the feeling that this was going to be a terrible run. My stomach felt full and I had a cramp. But luckily the cramp went away quickly. At mile 1 I stopped at the aid station to grab some water and washed another does of my tylenol 8 hour down with it.

The first lap of the run was mentally tough for me. I left T2 knowing it was going to be a long evening. It was hard to know that I was just getting starting and see all these other people blow by me starting their 2nd lap. I wanted to be at the point where they were at, but had 13.1 miles to get to my 2nd lap. I tried to stay positive, but it was hard.

I just chugged along keeping an eye on my Garmin to check my HR and pace. At first I was around 11 min/mile pace, and then my pace started to creep up to 12:30 min/mile. I was just happy to run at a pace where I could finish the marathon under 6 hours- that was my goal. I was comfortably chugging along while I was silently burping. My poor stomach-sometimes I would burp, hiccup, burp, have a verp, etc. I never had this happen before in training and I was worried. I didn't know what was going on.

I came across some interesting folks at this point in the race- most of them were coming back getting ready to finish their 2nd laps. I saw a guy wearing little devil horns. Later Jon asked me if I saw the guy wearing the devil horns becuase his BIB # was #666- pretty funny. I didn't notice his BIB # at that point though. Also, I saw 2 guys that were tethered together buy a bungee cord. My fist thought was "Wow- they're pretty serious about not wanting to get separated. They must really want to pace each other." And then I realized it was the same 2 guys who were on the tandem during the bike, and put 2 and 2 together to realize that one of them must have been blind. Which later I found out was the sitation. But how cool is it that a blind person can complete an IM, neverthless they finished way ahead of me??

I saw Debbie (DB8) blow by me on her way back from her first lap. And then I saw Aaron. Jess came pedaling by on her bike and we chatted briefly. I told her about the strange issues I was having with my stomach and all the burping and what not. She said to try drinking mroe water to break up al the Perpeteum in my stomach. Chatted shortly and then she was off. Not much longer afetr that I saw Jim, with his goofy hat that didn't match his running outfit at all. I must say that of all the BT'ers, Jim had the most interesting wardrobe.

I had put 4 gels and a bag of cliff Bloks and some enduroyltes in my race belt. But for some reason I couldn't even imagine choking any of that down. My plan was to take an E gel every hour on top of fluids and whatever else I could choke down at the aid stations. At the next aid station I took Jess's advice- I grabbed a cup of water first and drank that. Then I grabbed some pretzels- I couldn't really eat them, so I just sucked the salt off them and tossed them down. I also reached for some Cola for sugar- although it wasn't until later I realized it wasn't flat and was contributing to all my burping. I also drank some broth, which was my lifesaver on the run. That stuff was golden and saved my life!

For the first lap of the run I just took it easy. Going into this race, I had planned on running for as long as I could while walking the aid stations and then just doing a run/walk when I needed to. So far so good. I just chugged along, walking the aid stations and grabbing a cup of water, some pretzels, cola and broth- it that exact order each time. Sometimes it was hard to carry everything and I felt like I was at a buffet. But that combo worked for me and toward the end of my first lap my stomach was feeling better and the burping subsided.

I found myself entering the State Park. Now I did the Gulf Coast 1/2 IM back in May when it was brutally hot and ran through the park and it was extrememly mentally and physically draining. I wasn't sure how the State Park would be for this race. But since sunset was nearing and it was cooler the State Park wasn't bad at all. Since aid stations were every mile it really livened up the park and I didn't have issues dealing with it. Shortly after I entered the State Park there was an older couple who were sitting outside their camper playing opera music- yes opera music. It was great that were out there cheering us on, but the music didn't do a whole lot to pump me up. They were cute though.

The first aid station in the park was pretty fun- they had good music so that was fun. I could hear the music as I kept running along and heard them playing "outkast." I have a few on their songs on my Ipod for training so hearing that made me rememeber my training runs and how much I relied on my music to sruvive my long runs. I just continued to walk the stations and grab my usual water, pretzels, broth and soda. I hit the turn around point and ran over the chip mat and heard it beep. It was such a good feeling to hear that beep and know that I was 1/2 done wiht my first lap. I looked forward to hearing that beep on my 2nd lap.

As I traveled out of the park it was starting to get dark. Alot of other athletes making their way into the park already had glow neckalaces. I figured I'd get one at the enxt aid station but I never did. I never saw anyone passing them out and I was a little bummed I didn't get one. I did however have a strip of reflective tape on the back of my tri top so I was somewhat visible as it was getting dark.

Around mile 10 my feet started to hurt. They didn't hurt bad, but I was defintiely starting to fele the wear and tear on my legs. I was thinking "Oh no- this isn't good. It's too early to start feeling pain." And then I started to notice it in my ankles, and the discomfort worked its way up to my knees- specifically my right knee.

As I got close to the turn around, I really had to pee. I kept trying to wait for an empty porta potty, but didn't have any luck. Everytime I would approach an aid station, someone ahead of me would run into an empty one. I didn't want to wait in line, so I just kept holding it. I wanted to just find a place to go in the woods, but at this point I was running through a neighborhood and didn't want to go in someone's front lawn. Finally around mile 11 I was able to find an empty porta potty at the aid station. It was weird because when I got in there, I felt like I was on a boat. I wasn't dizzy, but the entire floor of it seemed like it was moving. I thought maybe it was the wind, my equilibrium was off, not sure. But I didn't have this sensation when I ran or walked the aid stations so I'm not sure what was going on.

On my way back to the turn around I saw Jess and Chris. Jess had her kissing booth sign and I got a kiss. I told both her and Chris that it was getting tough. I thought I was going to be in for it on the 2nd lap.

As I got closer to teh turnaround, I saw Jon and Bill, my friend Sandee's husband. Jon snapped another picture and asked me if I needed anything. I told him it was getting harder. And then I asked him to take all my gels that I had in my race belt because I never wanted to see them again. I handed him 4 E gels and a bag of Cliff Bloks. I felt much lighter after not carrying those things around. I wasn't using them so what was the point?

The main strip was incredible- lined with spectators and so much cheering. I saw rrizoo and trigods along the side and ran up to them and got hugs. And then I kept chugging to the turn around point. A volunteer called out my # and had my SN bag waiting for me. I reached in and grabebd my long sleeved runnign shirt- it was getting chilly and was almost dark. I grabbed 2 packets of biofreee and some tylenol 8 hour and was off again. Since I had a strip of reflective tape already on the back of my long sleeved runnign shirt, I pulled the strip of it off the back of the tri top and put it on the front of my running shirt to be more visible since I didn't get a glow neckalce- I was a little disappointed but no biggie.

I passed Jon and Bill again near our condo and I stopped to have them rub biofreeze on my knees. And then I was really off again. Before the 2nd aid station on the 2nd lap I passed some people that had a beer stand set up. The thought of taking a swig of beeer made me ill, so I passed again on the beer. But one of the guys had something- either a budda statue, or a moneky statue, or something? I can't remember. But I know that they wanted us to rub the top of its head for good luck, so I did. They were drunk and so excited when anyone did it- pretty funny.

I tried to pick up my pace on the 2nd lap because I really wanted the run to be over. It was now dark which made me realize how long of a day it was. I was used to running in the dark- I finished up a lot of long training runs in the dark. So I kept reminding myself how much I loved running at night and this was just like all my long training runs.

I ran past Chris again- didn't see Jess at the corner they had camped out on.

The 2nd lap of my run was uneventful. I just kept plodding along, and looking at my Garmin every so often to make sure my HR was good and I wasn't slowing down. I kept on taking in cola, broth, water and pretzels at the aid stations. Before I entered the park again I really had to pee. And of course I could never find an empty porta potty. So I finally found a godo place to aquat behind a huge Fl type tropical looking plant. tree. Not sure what it was, but it was perfect to hide behind. It was in front of a large brick wall to a hotel or something. I had to go and I was desperate. I felt much better and kept on trucking.

I came across an older guy laying on the grass next to the sidewalk. he was laying on his bak and had his hands on his head. Another guy was with him. I asked if everything was ok and the other guy told me he was cramping up. I offered some enduroyltes but he didn't want any. Oh well- I tried to help.

I entered the State Park again and passed the older couple outside their camper playing opera. It was really dark and hard to see people. Along the way I saw lots of Bt'ers again- manatee, Jim, ziacyclist, Debbie, and Aaron. I had to pee again and found an empty porta potty before the aid station before the turnaround.

I finally hit the stretch where the turn around was- and man, it felt great to pass over the chip mat. Only problem was that I crossed over the chip mat running next to 2 other guys. The volunteers sitting at the turnaround didn't think it read my chip. My chip strap was on my left ankle, and they didnt think my left foot hit the mat. So then I hear "pink shirt- it didn't read your chip." I didn't pay attention because I thought she was talking to the guy in the green shirt. But then she yelled it again and I realized she said pink shirt, not green shirt, and that was me. So I ran back to the chip mat and hit it for the 2nd time. She apologized but I thanked her- I'd rather be safe than sorry. On the way out of the park I saw rob and joannah. It was really dark and the only way I recongized them was I saw a short girl runnig next to a taller man- I yelled out her name and said- is that you? Then I let her know it was me, because I doubted she could see me.

I kept waiting for the moment to have a melt down (like I've read in other's RR) but it never happened, thankfully. I thought I would be way more emotional on the run than I was. Sure there were times when I was physically hurting and wanted to be done, but I always knew I would finish and I knew I could. The run was easier for the than the bike and any stand alone marathon I've ever run.

Around that time I started to calc. out my projected finish time. I was feeling great and gaining speed. I knew that I could finish at that pace or faster. SO I picked it up a little more. I started to pass people and made sure to tell them nice job. The run course was very quiet- besides noise from the aid stations there wasn't a whole lot going on. Although I will say I was amazed at the amount of burps and flatulence I heard on the course. These IM's were very gasy and nobody held back. I just never expected to hear all that.

At mile 22 I realized that I had about an hour to finish 4 miles to finish around 14:30. If I puished harder I could even finish around 14:20. I was soo exicted and I couldn't believe taht I could actually make it under 14:30. At this point my legs were just feeling heavy and I kept telling myself how great I would feel to finish, nevertheless beating my goal time. I kept reminding myself how bad I really wanted it.

The last 3 miles too FOREVER- oh my gosh. I got to another aid station and had to pee for one last time before I finished. At the aid station 3 younger girls were cheering me on and ran next to me for awhile. They were cute- they introduced themselves, told me their names and told me how great I was doing. And then they told me they couldn't run anymore :) It was cute.

I continued to stop at the last few aid stations. I thought I might save time skipping them, but I didn't want to break my routine and crash within the last few miles so I kept up the routine, but made speedier stops.

I made the turn onto Thomas Drive and it almost seemed like I was already finished. Everyone was cheering and encouraging me. I was getting a little choked up. I was thinking "this is it, this is what it's all about. This is my moment- what I've been waiting to experience for the past year. This is what all my training was for." I saw Chris and Renee again- I was so happy and yelled out "under 14:30 baby!" At this point in the race I was wishing that everyone could experience an IM, and felt sorry for those who will never have the desire to do one. Everyone deserves to feel what I felt. I then realized how lucky I was to have the courage to even start tri's and have the opportunity to train and race and do an IM.

I cruised along the main strip and got to the turn around point. I toko the reflective tape off the front of my shirt and stuck it to the back- I didn't want it screwing up my finish photo!It felt so good to continue to go straight. I could hear the finish but I couldn't see it. I kept running through the rails, twisting into where the expo was. I asked some spectators where the finish was. Not sure why because I was gonig the right way, but for some reason I thought I might be going the wrong way or something. For some reason I thought the finish would be along the main road like it was at Gulf Coast. Darn mind tricks. I ran up the hill in the condo parking lot and saw a big inflatable arch with the Ford Explorer- and then I saw the bleachers with all the lights and spectators. And the most beautiful thing was the finish line with the time clock above it. I couldn't believe it- I was finishing my first IM! I started pumping my arms in the air and hollering. And then I was ready for my finisher's pose and to break the tape. The volunteers held the tape so high (I guess they were used to tall people) that for a moment I was scared to continue becuase I thought it would wrap around my neck. As I got closer I saw that it was chest heighth at me- but in my finish picture it looks funny being that high. Back to my finish- there weren't any other athletes close in front of me or close behind me. I had the moment all to myself. I smiled big at the camera- I was an IronMan!! I have no clue what Mike Reilly said when I crossed- there was so much going on and so much to absorb- I was in my own little world. I thought for sure I would break down and cry when I neared the finish- but I was so fulll of exictement I was just glowing. I didn't see Jon at the finish even though he was there. A vomunteer grabebd my arm, asked me if I was ok. I told him "I think so. It just feels weird to not be moving anymore." He escorted me to get my finsiher's bag, I posed for my pic and then I saw Jon. He gave me a big hug and told me he was proud.
What would you do differently?:

Picked up the pace sooner. But I should be happy- I have a negative split run.
Post race
Warm down:

I waited in line for my massage while Jon got Renee. I got my massage- it helped but the weird thing is that my skin was so tender- everywhere, it just hurt to touch my skin. After the massage I put on some layers, ate 2 slices of pizza, and hung out at the finish line. I met Mike and wendi, and also met Jeff (parrj). The finish line was a rocking party. The music was great and the crowd was having fun- at one point they were doing the YMCA dance. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I was sore and cold. It was fun watching everyone finish. At a few times I was jeaous they were experiencing their finish and wish I was in their place. After getting a pic with Renee and Jon I was off. I went to pcik up my bike and get my gear bags. We walked .4 miles back to the condo. I took an ice bath, drank an Ensure and went to bed without any problems. I slept great!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being conservative- this was my first IM and I didn't know what to expect. My goal was to finish and hopefully under 15 -16 hours and I exceeded that goal so I was happy.

Event comments:

This race was great- the volunteers and spectators really made this race what it was worth. The water and beach in PCB was really nice, but the rest of the race scenary wasn't so great. If you're looking for a flat course with an ocean swim this is it. If you want pretty scenary, I don't think this is the best race for that.

This race was really disorganized as far as the registration process goes. I was very surprised at the fact that even the volunteers didn't know what was going on. I can't tell you how many times I stood in the wrong line for registration ebcuase volunteers didn't even know where we wanted to be. Hopefully as the day went on the registration process flowed better.

A few take home learnings:

Doing an IM consists of a lot of waiting in lines- no matter how early you are, there's always a million other people just as early as you, so you still have to wait in line no matter what.

Be flexible- prepare for any type of weather. You just don't know what to expect.

Also, have a solid nutrition and hydration plan in place and follow it until you can no longer handle it. Be willing to adapt and make changes to your plan accordingly as needed. Because at some point in the race you're stomach is not going to be able to handle the same foods/drinks for hours, and hours. Or you're just going to sick thinking about taking another gel or whatever you've been taking.

Have fun- your attitude can make or break the race. An IM is purely mental. Even at the worst times of the race, if you stay positive you'll still enjoy your experience.

Read as many RR on this site and learn from them. I learned so much from pervious RR and was able to handle situations better as they arose thanks to other Bt'ers! Utilize your resources as much as possible.

Long training days just suck because they are just that- long. But they are the best mental preparation any athlete can ask for.

The IM BT training plan I used really worked well for me. Better than I expected. Always trust your plan and try not to alter it around too much. If you leave it as is it will work for you. There's a reason why you recovery workouts adn long workouts in the sequence they are in. TRUST YOUR PLAN.

This website is great- I learned so much and got a lot of great support and advice. I can't thank y'all enough.

Other Random Thoughts:
This race was not so much of an emotional rollercoaster as I thought it would be. when I was training I thought for sure I've have a meltdown at some point during the run or at the finish. But I didn't. As many of you know my training was my emotional rollercoaster. I had a difficult time dealing with the long training sessions adn the time committment. My trianing was hard and up to race day, my IM experience had been stressful, and both mentally and physically draining. The race was worth it and was the most fun part of my entire IM journey. The trainign is the hard part. I already felt like I had finished the race before it started, because I knew I had survived the toughest part.

I'm proud to become a member of the IM family. And my story is not over. To be continued in 2008...Lake Placid.

Last updated: 2006-01-09 12:00 AM
01:16:49 | 4156 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 41/130
Overall: 1004/
Performance: Good
Was 1004 overall out of the water- I was happy to be in the top 1/2!
Course: 2-loop rectangular course. Swam one lap and got out the water to cross the chip mat, then had to run back to the beach and swim diagonally to the first bouy.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:48
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:12:16 | 112 miles | 15.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 87/130
Overall: 1911/
Performance: Average
Was 1772 on the bike overall.
Wind: Headwind
Course: One big lap. Not a lot of turns, a lot of long straight aways. Some of the roads were pretty bumpy and others were freshly paved and smooth.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 09:15
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:30:11 | 26.2 miles | 12m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 75/130
Overall: 1598/
Performance: Good
First lap= 2nd Lap=
Course: 2 loop course winding thorugh neighborhoods and the State Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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] 4

2006-11-10 6:33 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Smyrna, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Awesome report!!  And congrats on such a fantastic job

2006-11-10 6:54 AM
in reply to: #595244

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Extreme Veteran
New Orleans, LA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

"Watched the weather channel again for about the millionith time since I arrived in PCB" - same for us, we got really tired of listening to the Robo Guy say "ba ba booey".

I am glad you had a great race.  It was good seeing you again. 

Congratuations IRONMAN!!

2006-11-10 7:51 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Wow, I knew your report was going to be detailed, but wow.  If I ever do an IronMan I know EXACTLY what to expect now.  Just kidding, I know everyone's experience is different.  I really have enjoyed reading everyone's reports.  I'm so proud of you Jannelle!  It's hard to believe that it was just 2 years ago that you started training for your first triatholon and now you're an IronMan!
2006-11-10 8:10 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Extreme Veteran
Covington (New Orleans), La
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Okay, you definitely win the award for most comprehensive race report.  I think it is great that you remembered so many details and took the time to include all of your memories and helpful tips for IM virgins to read and learn from.  I also benefitted a great deal from reading last year's IMFL race reports as well as those from other races.

Glad that you had a good day with some minor exceptions (burping, side cramp).  I think we all had our challenges to get through on that  day and it is a part of Ironman.  No one said it would be easy, right?   But it makes the finish line all the more special.

I am very proud of you and happy for you and all of the BTers who had such an incredible race. 

2006-11-10 9:27 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Wow - great report!  I learned so much from your experience, especially the tips at the end.  Congratulations on a great race and smashing your time goals.  You are now an IronMan! 
2006-11-10 9:27 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

oops - double post.

Edited by captantony 2006-11-10 9:28 AM

2006-11-10 9:54 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Acworth, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Great job, Janelle.  Congratulations on becoming an IRONMAN!!!!

My reply would have been sooner but I had to put it on hold for a few minutes while I went to PEE!

Seriously, though I find it truly amazing that anyone can complete this distance of a race.  I mean you put your body through 14+ hours of physical exertion.  It is amazing!  And after all that time in the water, drinking the good salt-water from the GoM, the hours fighting the headwind and such in the saddle, and then to have to do a marathon on top and to still have the presence of mind to remove your reflective tape from the front of your jersey as you "didn't want it screwing up my finish photo!".  That is what I call Mental strength beyond compare!!!!!


2006-11-10 9:59 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Central Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congratulations, Great Job, and Excellent Report!!!

I'm in awe of how you Ironpeople perservere and endure.

I have enjoyed reading everyone's IMFL reports...Very motivating to say the least.

2006-11-10 10:37 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Congratulations girl! That's so awesome! Thanks for taking the time to write it all up. You're right in that all of us future IMers are reading these reports and trying to learn as much as possible.

I could really tell from your report that it was an emotional rollercoaster. But what an amazing experience! You did awesome!

Good luck in Lake Placid in 2008!

2006-11-10 10:45 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Fantastic race report! And congratulations on your first IM!

I had the same feeling when I turned onto Thomas drive that last time...this is what its all about!

2006-11-10 10:54 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Wow!  What a race report!  Lots of pee'ing LOL!  Seriously though...congratulations.  You finished and you crushed your goal.  Way to go Janelle!

2006-11-10 11:00 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Janelle - WOW!  Great race report ... I could feel the excitement you felt leading up to the starting cannon.  Way to win the race mentally, through the wind on the bike and enduring through the painful times on the run.

Congrats on meeting your time goal -- you earned it, Ironman!

2006-11-10 12:52 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Marietta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Thank you for taking the time to write such a good race report - it was great to hear your experience. It was definately inspiring to read - you are such an awesome athlete! Congratulations IRONMAN!
2006-11-10 1:07 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congrats Janelle, it will always be awesome to know I was part of your ironman experience....
2006-11-10 1:37 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Epic RR!

Do we have to rename you the "pee" girl now???

Your race sounds awesome and ran it incredibly smart staying within your goal and focus. Awesome job doing what you needed to make it to the end smiling and in such a great time.

Congrats Ironman!!
2006-11-10 1:59 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Athens, Ga.
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Janelle, after all those logs about wanting to quit and looking forward to it being over, I'm so glad your IM totally ROCKED! You did awesome, girlie! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us, no matter how much we bugged you to get it done. Your RR makes me want to do an IM, well, almost. AWESOME job, Ironman!

2006-11-10 2:59 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Congratulations, IRONMAN!!!  What an awesome race and an even better RR.  A lifetime of bragging rights is yours.

"I felt bad for the volunteer who took my bike, because I peed so much on it."  Note to self: grab bike by stem when volunteering at an IM. 

2006-11-10 3:03 PM
in reply to: #594893

Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
I finally got around to reading your RR! I came into work this morning, took about 30 mins to read it, and then only got halfway through it before I had to go to a meeting. Soooo, I just now finished it up. I love how your report takes us through every step of your IM journey. I really felt like I was running in the park, or out there on the bike with you. You have an amazing memory, lol.  So did you ever count how many times you peed during the race? It sounds like a lot. Anyways, congrats- and that's so cool you're already planning IM# 2. Good luck and enjoy your recovery.
2006-11-10 3:04 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Keller Tx
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

wow what a great race report.  I elt like I was there with you. now....I have to go pee!  LOL


Great accomplishment IRONMAN!

2006-11-10 4:47 PM
in reply to: #594893

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Extreme Veteran
Nashville TN
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

thanks for the journey my friend. I personally did not think it was long at all

Loved being there with you!! See you in Lake Placid maybe!

2006-11-10 5:22 PM
in reply to: #594893

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North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great work, Ironman. About halfway through I thought maybe I needed the Cliff Notes version.......but no way. You did a wonderful job with your race report and it was a good read. Congratulations!!!!

2006-11-11 9:02 AM
in reply to: #594893

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

What can I say but, FANTASTIC!  Great race report.  I felt like I was along for the ride from the very beginning.  Your RR has me considering another IM.  Many of the things you experienced were similar to my experience.  You're right when you say "I wish everyone could experience the feeling of doing an Ironman"....but at the same time it's nice knowing people like us are very rare.  We're part of a very small and unique group of people in this world.

CONGRATULATIONS Janelle!  You Are and Ironman!

2006-11-11 10:05 AM
in reply to: #594893

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West Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Seriously great race report! You make an IM sound like a training event. I'm in awe!
2006-11-11 11:48 AM
in reply to: #594893

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Wow. Janelle, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You did a great job training for and completing the Ironman! You have so much to be proud of! Great JOB!!!!

What an awesome report! I watched some of the webcast online during the race and saw your status. Reading your report felt like I did the race with you.

Although I will say I was amazed at the amount of burps and flatulence I heard on the course. These IM's were very gasy and nobody held back. I just never expected to hear all that.
This comment had me laughing out loud. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy your experience and did so well at it! Congrats again, Ironman!

Are you going to get a IM tattoo?

2006-11-11 2:06 PM
in reply to: #594893

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molto veloce mama
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
awesome job! the peeing on the bike cracked me up. i know everyone does it, but it will be something to learn before i can do an IM. you are so fantastic...

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