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Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 11h 40m 51s
Overall Rank = 753/2277
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 168/404
Pre-race routine:

Warning - this report is long and my notes and thoughts from the day (about 4 pages in works)

Journey to Ironman, the last few miles.

In the year from the time I signed up for Ironman Florida to race day I rode nearly 4000 miles, ran about 700 and swam about 70. In the week before the race, as a family, we drove 1600 miles from Denver to Panama City Beach. The kids traveled well and we enjoyed the trip. A good portion was spent off the Interstates and we got to see some interesting things across the country.

We arrived in PCB on Wednesday, October 31. I went for a ride on the course, ninety minutes out to the bridge and back to the condo. I saw so many nice bikes and really fit people. I was making judgments about them and about myself - something upon which I still need to improve. That night we hit a local super center for groceries, 75% of the people must have been in town for the race, it was really funny.

Thursday morning rolled around and I got up for the Gatorade swim, not early enough to meet the BT group but early enough to be out there with enough people to be comfortable swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. I swam fairly relaxed and slow. I did a lap of the course in about 44 minutes - after seeing that, I was hoping I could go faster on race day but at a nice easy effort level. The rest of Thursday was for getting checked into the race, getting the race bags, checking out the expo and the welcome banquet. Met DHYTE at the banquet wearing his BT shirt and answering to the name of Danny and found Jason (Greyhound) after the banquet and prior to the athletes meetings. There was a lot of walking back and forth from the condo to the venue and I was tired.

Friday I had planned on a short run through of all three disciplines, but I was still tired and decided to rest instead and get everything ready. We headed over to the pancake breakfast put on by Gulf Coast Baptist Church and then we stayed for the Iron Prayer get together. We met a newlywed couple (3 weeks) who was racing together the next day. I went through the packing and repacking of the bags, decided on what to wear for the race then Jason came over and we walked our bikes and bags to check-in. I came back and ate and napped while the family went and played on the beach. I had a good night’s rest (and some good sleep in 1 hour spurts).

Event warmup:

I woke up at 3:00 and took in some meal replacement drinks and some baked oatmeal and went back to bed for another hour. Got up a little after 4:00 and got dressed and had some more baked oatmeal. Got the last of my stuff together, kissed everyone and headed out the door about 4:40 and arrived at transition a couple of minutes before they opened. Got to my bike and then got marked, got the wheels pumped up, bike loaded with food and drink, things added to my T# bags and by 5:20 I was done with everything I needed to do. I sat down by the Pro transition area and put on sunscreen and watched as they went about getting ready. Then I found Jason and we sat and talked for a while by his bike. About 6:10 got in line for one last pre-race potty stop then headed to the “other side” and put on the wetsuit. Joined the Iron Prayer/FCA Endurance folks for a pre-race prayer and headed down to the “corral”. Went in and saw Rick (Daremo). After the pro’s went off, I had a gel and some water, and did ask myself again - “Why did I want to do this”. One harbinger of things to come, I had to pee again already. The anthem is sung, the cannon goes off. Here we go……

  • 1h 16m 56s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

Twenty one hundred folks entering the water, what was clear on Thursday was a stirred up mixture of sand and whatever creating an eerie color in the dawns early light. Looking back at the video, it seemed to take minutes for everyone to enter the water. Somewhere there in the middle of it was I. I didn’t bother sighting for the longest time, it was just a chaotic school of fish swimming in the gulf. Eventually I realized we had went inside the buoy line just like the pros had earlier. Things were not as bad as I had expected contact wise for the first two buoys. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have any rhythm but it felt like we were moving quickly. From the second buoy to the turn the full contact stuff I was expecting at the start finally happened. It was unsettling, but I tried to roll with it the best I could. (You know, I think they should even this up and allow full contact cycling and running ;) ) The turn was a cluster at the buoy and you went straight into the sun. So I just aimed at the sun from there to the next turn. Made that turn and headed back to the beach for lap one. I tried to draft effectively, but I kept bouncing from feet to feet. I did have a nice calm pair for a while that was going a good pace for me but I lost them in some congestion. I had some others that were quick moving feet, but too periodically went to breast stoke. I was off someone’s hip for quite a while and that worked pretty good. Got to the beach and finished lap 1 in under 36 - I was very pleased. I seemed to take forever to get back in the water and get started on lap #2. We were instructed to go around the Ford floating advertisement and then head out to the buoy. I did that with some people I was around, but a large number of folks went inside of that. I ended up with a wider line out to the turn on lap 2 and a lot fewer people around me although there was one rather aggressive swimmer who was taking it kind of wide too. He was the only one I really wanted to retaliate against all swim. Hit the turns and headed back to the beach. I felt much slower but really didn’t have a clue. Finished the second lap in 40:46 and it felt like my chip strap was loose, I looked down and it was secure. So while the second lap was significantly slower than the first, if you would have told me I will give you 1:16 and change, I would have gladly taken it. I beat my “realistic” target, was only a little shy of my optimistic goal, and a much slower second lap away from my “dream” swim. I didn’t expend much energy and I was ready to get on with the day.
What would you do differently?:

Swim more and longer sets
Transition 1
  • 09m 5s

Transition was much slower than I had targeted. On Friday I decided to change into cycling shorts so I had to go into the tent. Go a chair and then couldn’t get into my T1 bag. I don’t remember tying it like that. I was in slow motion drying everything off, putting on some body glide, thinking about getting to the bathroom. I just could get it moving in there. I might as well of had some biscuits and gravy while I was at it. And in all that time, I realized I didn’t do any sunscreen - good thing I did some before the swim. I go through transition and they have my bike ready for me. I jog it out to the mount line and get on, but there are like 6 people still walking their bikes ahead of me so I have no where to go.

What would you do differently?:

Have had my Transition bags untied, have even brought my tri shorts so that would have been an option, remembered sunscreen,
  • 5h 48m 28s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.28 mile/hr

Eventually I got around them and out on the road. I was focused on keeping this a low effort - zone 1 and 2 for much of the ride. I was moving through town, passing folks and getting passed. For a while I was looking for Blackbird to fly by me, but I never saw it happen. Looking at the times, it very well could have happened in that cluster exiting transition. I tried to stick with the plan and just enjoy the day. I worked to keep ego in check hoping that it would pay dividends on the run. I was taking water and Gatorade at the first couple of aide stations. Traffic was heavy for the first 25-30 miles, then I seemed to hit a fairly “open” area, at least relatively. I tried that relieving yourself on the bike thing, not really sure I liked it. One thing I didn’t anticipate was all the wetness in the shoe. At the approach to the third aide station, someone swerved and I took evasive maneuvers. Unfortunately, my rear wheel slipped. I pulled off and released, reset and tightened it. While I was there, I filled my water bottle straddling my bike. I come out of that aide station and all these people I passed and then some where out ahead of me; the road filled with traffic. Lesson, a short stop, can mean dozens if not hundreds of places. I got back up to speed and spent a few minutes trying to “make up” for that issue. Then I put it behind me and got back to the task at had, riding zone 1 and 2 for as much of the 112 as I could. As I was coming up a hill I saw a red #115, Mimi, (a BT’er I had wanted to meet - actually I wanted to meet most of them that were there but was not too successful) and as I approached her, someone came up behind me and commented on my number - and this guy was a tax form (1040 ) and also BT’er Brian. So for a brief moment in time 3 BT’ers were within about 25 feet of road space. After the 60 miles I hit and aide station and found a port a potty with just the person in it. Jumped off the bike and took my turn in there. Again, scores of people went by during that time. The wind seemed to be out of the south west, basically opposite of what it had been the days leading up to the race and causing a headwind on the back portion instead of the out portion. The ride back from the turnaround was pretty uneventful, just a long stretch. I had a couple of more “necessary breaks” in motion, this led to some irritation and pruning on the outside of my left foot, something I hoped would not cause issues on the run. I kept the nutrition going and reduced some of the fluid intake. The road quality deteriorated for a while here too. Played leap frog with a guy on a Softride for a long time. Hit 79 again and figured we were in the home stretch. Again this wind seemed stronger than expected. Got back to town and was heading down condo row. Got a little agitated with someone here and just said enough of this holding back and opened it up for a couple of miles, it felt great. I was thinking, how about I just ride another 26.2 and call it good. My reminder throughout was that there was a marathon ahead and I have never done more than 20 before. Made some of the turns and realized I was headed for home. Swung a leg over and jumped off at the dismount line, handed my bike off - how cool!! - and headed for a rest area, I mean T2.

What would you do differently?:

Drink a little less for the conditions, make sure my rear hub is in good shape, have race wheels, have a tri bike, have more miles in so I would feel confident pushing a harder pace. I really didn't push myself but just rode comfortably the whole time.
Transition 2
  • 08m 16s

T2 was again a slow motion process, I couldn’t get into my bag and just took my time to get things done. I dropped my T2 bag off outside the tent and ran to the port-o-let. I still had my helmet on and one of the volunteers reminded me. She would have taken it back for me but I still had to go change. I had decided to change into running shorts based upon long runs in training. Also, I took time to put some body glide on the tips of my toes and the soles of my feet. I also said a prayer that there would be no issues from my pruned up left foot. I made sure I got sunscreen on my face and arms and neck this time. I elected to go with the same race number (last name version) I had on the bike, it didn’t seem in too bad of shape. Besides, deep down I really didn’t want to wear my wife’s pink rack belt on the run ;) Got everything packed up and handed the bag to a volunteer and sauntered off, about to partake in my first marathon.

What would you do differently?:

Again, make sure the bags were untied, although I was into the run bag in the morning and I do not remember tying it back up. Change and then potty, put on the race number with my first name for the run.
  • 4h 18m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 51s  min/mile

I came out of T2 feeling pretty good, as I got going. My goal was to run the whole thing with the exception of the aide stations and I would take something at every aide station. (I have learned that I don’t take in food and drink from cups well on the run). They had the first water stop right there and I walked and grabbed a cup of water. Then I saw my family along the barriers, I stopped to kiss BJ, AJ, JJ and my wife then I was off. There was another aide station before the end of mile 1 - kind of surprised me, but I did walk through and get some water and Gatorade. I hit the first mile in 8:37 so I as moving very quick considering all the stops/slowdowns. I settled in and did the next mile in 8:29. Funny, but I seem to always slow way down the third mile and did that in 9:27. Next mile I had my first potty stop and it also had most of the signs people created at the Janus Inspiration Station. I was looking for the ones my family had made but didn’t see them. I did that mile in 9:52 then I was back down to 8:59. Was out in the state park and was encountering the first 3 women looking so strong. I kept looking for the turnaround, it seemed to take forever to appear. After that I went over the mat for the inspiration message, curious it would display for me since I was just on my first lap. It did and made me smile to think of my family. I passed some folks as we were exiting the park and one thought was “Why were they still ahead of me at this point” Again, being judgmental and suffering from a little bit of unfounded ego. Then I passed Joe Boness on the side of the road, losing some nutrition. Of course, he was on his second lap and about a mile later he passed me again enroute to another age group win. On the way back through the inspiration signs, I one my wife made. She posted some lyrics from the Newsboys “I Am Free”. It made me smile and put a great song/reminder in my head. As I approached the aide station at mile 10 I ducked into a port-a-potty, but not enough for it’s short door, I majorly conked my head on it, I still feel it as I write this. I came out of this a bit agitated and starting to feel the results of the entire day. I started on the cola at this point. I also started having to hit the potty way too much. Dehydration was definitely not an issue for me on this day. I passed Greyhound somewhere out here and figured he was about 3.5 miles ahead of me at that point. I continued onward and as I ran by our condo, the family was in the grass out front. BJ wanted to run across to me but told her to be still and I would be back in 10 minutes. It was probably longer but oh- well. I ran be and decided against my special needs bag, I thought I wouldn’t need my long sleeve shirt. I felt pretty good still at this point. If I could run a 2 hour ½ mary I could still finish in the daylight, after sunset, but still daylight and also beat 11:30. As I ran towards my family, the girls were playing with new friends behind the row of chairs. I bolted over to them and “attacked” BJ with a hug and gave kisses all around again and I was off. I was having fun. The around the corner, there was a tent playing music, my last time by they were playing “I Ran” by Flock of Seagulls, this time by, they were playing “Runaway” off of Bon Jovi’s first album. I was singing and having a kick going through there. As I rounded the corner way from that I commented that it was probably a needless waste of energy, but it was fun. The guy next to me said I had a great attitude and that would carry me through. What followed next for me was a string of potty stops and my long miles on the course. I saw Greyhound again and guess he was about 4 miles up the road. He was looking strong and on target for a sub 11 finish. In review, I think every mile that was over 10 had a potty stop in it. By this time I was only doing cola and maybe rinsing my mouth out with some water. I really didn’t want to eat what they had and couldn’t even finish a ½ banana at one station - it was just disgusting to me. I then saw pro Amanda Lavato having a really tough day but still progressing. I so wanted to walk between the aid stations, by one goal was to only walk the stations and run in between. At this point, I was reciting many of the verses I memorized (or at least my butchered remembrances of them) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, It is not I, but Christ who lives inside of me, I call this body strong and not weak, all things are possible to him who believes, by Jesus stripes I am healed; and also words from the FCA creed, I will not give up, I will not give out I will not give in. Just make it to the turn around then it is only 6.7 to go, then I hit the port-o-john right before the Inspiration message and cleared out the system. Being so much lighter I was able to get going and felt like a new man. I knew I could finish and finish well, I just wish I could have done it without any more necessary breaks ;) I saw the message from my family again. I was also wishing I had my shirt, it cooled off quicker and earlier than I had expected. But also, I was just counting down the miles, I could do this. 5.2 miles to go, 4.2 miles to go, 3.2 miles to go, a 5k, I will do this. At this point I was thinking, you know, I am good with one IM. I don’t have to do any more. You know, maybe I am good with triathlons too. I built to this and it is time for something else. Maybe I won’t race next year but focus on helping my wife race and train. 2.2 to go, I will do this I am not as strong and fluid as I had hoped but still moving. 1.2 to go, then I started striding out (or at least it felt like it) I was passing lots of people and felt like I was flying - more 5k finishing then end of a triathlon. As I approached Spinnakers I thought, I started that way to early, but I kept going, it wasn’t really about time or positions at this point, I just felt great and felt like running. Went by Alvin’s Island, what a long finishing straight, went by the lady directing left for another lap and just shook my head and went right, smiling and giving fives to the kids and spectators on the right side of the road. Saw three people up ahead of me, then looked behind me - no one really close. Took a peak at the clock no “break” I was already over 11:40 and could easily beat 11:41 without anyone passing me. I slowed down and let the folks of me get a clear and solo finish and also allow myself to have the same thing. I raised my hands and eyes heavenward, and thanked God and presented Him the glory, it was His strength that finished strong!!

What would you do differently?:

Drink less, find that chicken broth, I didn't see it but heard from others who tried it for the first time that it was fantastic. If I could have had half the time back from my potty stops/made half the number of potty stops I would have been at least 5 minutes faster.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my catcher, my blanket, then I went over and thanked Amanda for finishing despite the tough day. She said she DNF’d once and it was the worst experience every. It is all about finishing for her and she was pleasant and had a awesome attitude despite what she went through. I got my medal and turned over my chip. My family made their way down from the bleachers and over to where I cold talk to them. Hugs and kisses and a couple of photos later I was off to the food tent, I was hunger but in no mood to eat. More pizza arrived and I got a plate. My wife dialed the phone and handed it to me, calls to my parents, her parents and then one of our friends. During this, JJ stole my pizza I was working on, then the girls took another. I really didn’t care. Went to transition, changed, picked up my stuff and worked our way back to the condo.

Took an ice bath and spoke with Jason, he went sub 11:00 (awesome job), about the race and got something eat. Put the kids to bed and headed back over to the venue. Got in line for a massage, turned out I had to wait about 1 minute - sweet. That felt awesome. Then I got some more pizza and went to the finish. Spent the next 2 hours cheering in the folks. Stayed for a couple of folks that came in over 17 and walked back to the condo. As I was heading toward the elevator, saw some flashing lights and a group walking with someone still finishing at 12:30 - awesome for them. If I saw correctly later, that was another BT’er who had the fortitude and desire to finish regardless of the obstacles. I salute you. ,/

To those of you that have read this far, thanks

What limited your ability to perform faster:

First time at the distance and not sure how hard to push and still be strong. No marathon experience so I didn't know what the run would be like, I was stiff as could be for the week leading in, I could not/did not get stretched out and loose. I should have had a much better stretching program and should have been more diligent with it in the taper and race week. (The drive from Denver did not help but stretching would have off set that).

Event comments:

Hey, it was an Ironman. They provide a pretty consistent product.
As for me, I am happy with how it all turned out. I met some goals, missed some goals, finished strong and all in all had a great time. Wish I could have met more of the BT'ers though.

Last updated: 2006-11-25 12:00 AM
01:16:56 | 4156 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 247/404
Overall: 1312/2277
Performance: Good
Lap 1 35:48, Lap 2 40:50
Suit: Full
Course: 2 loops of an out and back rectangle with a run on the beach.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:05
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:48:28 | 112 miles | 19.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 215/404
Overall: 958/2277
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 1 big loop with a small out and back spur flat with some small rollers.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 08:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:18:08 | 26.2 miles | 09m 51s  min/mile
Age Group: 123/404
Overall: 585/2277
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-11-06 4:05 PM

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Lakewood, CO
Subject: Ironman Florida

2007-11-06 5:26 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
That was a seriously NICE race!  I can't get it out of my head that you were singing during the marathon.  Talk about maintaining a positive attitude.
2007-11-06 6:27 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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South Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Hey, #115 here   Soooo nice to meet you out there!  You tore it up - what a run!!!.  My lack of sunscreen made my son tell me I looked like a burnt cookie    It was a great day, wasn't it!?!
2007-11-06 6:46 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Wow, that was a great race and a fine report. Congrats on executing your plan.
2007-11-06 6:48 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Simpsonville, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great race report and great race! Singing and happy on the marathon? Very cool. Congratulations on your first ironman!

2007-11-06 7:11 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida


Congrats on nailing your IM race!  Sounds like you had a wonderful time, as well as your family.  Hope you see you at another race some time !


...I am free to run.... 


2007-11-06 8:45 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Awesome job staying strong for the whole race. Sounds like the biggest injury was bumping your head on the port-a-potty.....not bad IRONMAN!
2007-11-06 8:59 PM
in reply to: #1041226

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Extreme Veteran
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
I hope you do another IM, fantastic effort...congratulations Ironman!
2007-11-07 9:09 AM
in reply to: #1040736

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Millersville, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Awesome race and RR.  I appreciate how your faith and your training got you through for a fantastic first IM experience.
2007-11-07 9:48 AM
in reply to: #1040736

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Congratulations Scott.  What a great experience.  I am sure the thoughts and emotions are still going.

I watched part of the finishing, it was really interesting seeing how different people crossed the line.  You finished and you are an Ironman.

2007-11-07 10:18 AM
in reply to: #1040736

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Jamestown, NC
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Great job out there and wow at the run. Sorry I missed you while in Florida

2007-11-07 5:54 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
So proud of you - I thought I was the only one who sang spirituals and quoted verses when the going got tough. It's my secret weapon that's for sure. You rock and You're an Ironman and you ought a be smiling for another year. What a great run - fast considering. You rock.
2007-11-07 8:17 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Solid race bro.  Great ride and run to cap off a fantastic day.  I'd love to borrow a few of your mph on that bike ride.  Especially around mile 70 to 100.'re solid bro.


Congrats IRONMAN! 

2007-11-07 9:05 PM
in reply to: #1040736

portland, or
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Hey, we finished together! Well within a minute anyway. Did you see the volunteers putting a tall guy in a wheelchair?

Congrats on your first IM. You did great!

2007-11-08 6:55 AM
in reply to: #1040736

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congratulations on an awesome race.
2007-11-08 1:26 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Westminster, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

simply a fantastic race Scott!  You should be extremely proud.   ...I wish you would have sang to me when we passed each other.....

enjoy your MDot and your off-season. 

2007-11-08 4:38 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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Golden, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida
Congrats Scott, terrific job on first IM.
2007-11-27 2:57 PM
in reply to: #1040736

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A farming town in MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Florida

Awesome race Scott!  How you ran a 4:18 marathon after a fast swim and ride is beyond me...

Congrats IRONMAN!

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