Beach 2 Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set up events
65F / 18C
Total Time = 12h 22m 50s
Overall Rank = 176/387
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

The timing company only got my T2, run and overall times. I'm guessing on the other times from my bike computer and stopwatch.

On Wednesday morning before the race I drove to meet Jungle Jenn down in Portsmouth, Oh. We spent Wednesday driving into Wilmington together. She dropped me off at the hotel where Amy (amymengle) and her husband Andy and I were staying. Jenn then headed off to a house she'd rented with her family.

Amy, Andy and I hung out for the next couple of days. We checked out the Battleship USS North Carolina, went for a run, went for a swim on Friday morning with a bunch of BTers and checked in together. It was great having Andy there to drive me around and Amy to talk shop with. Thanks Andy!

Jenn ended up not being able to race. Her knee has been bothering her and she finally decided to take the advice of three doctors and skip the event and allow her knee time to recover. I was bummed that she couldn't race, but not as bummed as she. She made the right decision not to race.

On Friday night my cousin, Travis, drive in from Charlotte, NC to jockstrap me. The four of us went out for an early dinner at Fat Tony's. As we left we stopped to say hi to the BT group that had come in to eat.

Back at the hotel I talked Travis through his jock strapping responsibilities. This was his first experience with triathlon. He did great!

Event warmup:

None really, I stretched a bit and did some neck and arm circles.
  • 55m
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 18s / 100 yards

After I checked my bike tires and got my nutrition ready Amy and I caught the bus to the beach. It was C-O-L-D on the beach. Standing on the sand was the worst. We found some washed up plant debris near the water and stood on that for a while just to get off the cold sand. A few minutes before 7am we headed over to the start. We gathered together with about 7-8 other BTers and did a little BT cheer! We all thought we were pretty hot stuff until a college Tri team did a 60 second cheer that put ours to shame. HA!

The horn goes off and we all hit the water and swam towards the first buoy. As I rounded the first buoy I got kicked in the face. Not hard, but it stunned me and I swallowed a mouth full of sea water. I was trying to get my bearings when someone behind me said "are you gonna go, BT?"
To be fair, there was a whole lot of space in front of me, and I was just treading water. But I was also trying not to throw up. I started swimming again and the salt water had no ill effect on me.

Toward the end of my swim a lady ran into me. She stopped swimming and gave me a funny look. I popped my head out and asked if she was ok. She told me she had a cramp in her leg. She grimaced and started screaming from the pain. I told her I'd stay with her. She screamed for a few more seconds and I asked if she needed help. I started looking for a safety boat and waving. Then she told me to stop, the cramp had gone away and that I could go on. I asked if she was sure and she said yes, and thanks for stopping. We were pretty close to the swim finish, and I got out quickly after that.

What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 10m 50s

The T1 time includes a long 400 yard run from the swim exit to the transition area. The pavement was really cold and my feet were blocks of ice when I got to the changing tent.

I grabbed my gear bag and went into the tent. It was wall-to-wall naked men. There was hardly room to move around. I found a spot behind some chairs and changed into my bike gear. I had cut the toes off an old pair of sweat socks and used them as arm warmers. I had planned to throw them off when I warmed up but ended up wearing them the whole bike. After I got changed I found my bike and exited T1. I stopped to put my socks on (my feet)and then mounted up.

What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 49m
  • 112 miles
  • 19.26 mile/hr

The first 70 miles of the bike were pretty good. I got a little annoyed at the blatant drafting that was going on. The course had been described as pancake flat. There were a few small hills but nothing major. I've still got some residual hill legs from all the hill work I did getting ready for IMKY. I was able to pass a few others on the hills. I also saw a guy who had to be cold. His bike shorts were ripped and his right butt cheek was showing for the entire ride. I learned later it was a BTer, but I can’t remember who. It was a good looking butt cheek though! :)

I stopped twice, one to use the bathroom and again at special needs. At mile 72 we turned into a headwind. It sucked (or blew:) ). We were into that wind for the last 40 miles. I had been keeping about a 20.5 MPH average until that point. I hit the wind and my speed dropped into the 16-17 MPH range. The drafting really pissed me off here. There was a group of about 6-8 riders all drafting off each other. I’d pull away and keep them behind me for a bit and then they'd reel me back in. I'd get sucked into the group and have to deal with keeping the rider in front of me at a legal distance while someone was sucking my wheel. Eventually they passed me for good. I was happy to let them go.

I was hurting pretty bad by mile 95. I really wanted to stop and rest a bit, but I kept telling myself that the bike was my strength and I could rest on the run. Those 40 miles into the wind really knocked me around good.

At the last aid station I saw a big box of bananas and oranges under the aid station table. As I rode up to the station I began yelling for a banana. The volunteers kept yelling back; "water, Heed, gel." I'd yell "banana." They'd call back, "water, Heed, gel." I pointed to the box of bananas and yelled again "BANANA!" All I got back was "water, Heed, gel." I guess no one told them to get the bananas out. I did not get my banana.

The last mile was up a small hill. I was actually glad to see a hill right then because it meant I could stand up on the pedals and use different muscles to power up the hill. There were a bunch of cars waiting for the bikes to pass; I got a lot of yells and encouragement for the passengers as I passed them by. I'm sure I looked cool!

I saw Travis as I neared the transition area and gave him a shout out. I dismounted, passed my bike to a volunteer and got my T2 bag. I went into the changing tent and collapsed into a chair.

What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 08m 42s

I took my time changing into my run gear. It really felt great to be out of my bike shoes. The guy next to me had some sunscreen; I asked if he could spare a squirt, which he happily did. I spoke with a volunteer who had done the swim portion of the race as a relay team member and was now working the changing tent. Turns out he's a BTer, but I can't remember who.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 20m 45s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 14s  min/mile

I exited the tent and started slogging along. I couldn't run very fast. My knee started bothering me immediately. I'm generally pretty good when running off the bike. I can do the first three miles in about 26-27 minutes, but I could not get my legs to fire right for the first 2 miles. I stuck to a quick walk with short bursts of running. Miles one and two were 12:46 and 11:06.

Once over the first couple bridges my legs began to loosen up and I was able to run a bit. I saw Travis, Andy and Jungle Jenn at about mile 4. Jenn told me later I looked pretty bad. Thanks Jenn! I saw Amy for the first time since the beach a few minutes later. She looked quite strong.

I finished the first 6.55 miles and made it to the turn around. I started feeling pretty good and jogged more than I walked for the next leg. Looking back over my Garmin information for the run this was my best section. I kept about an 11:00 M/M pace for this section. I saw a few BTers, and gave a shout out to Carol (Keyone) each time we passed.

At about mile 14 my knee really started bothering me bad. I had taken two Aleve that I'd packed with me and it still hurt. I mostly kept to a quick walk. Each mile I'd jog just a bit but then my knee pain would slow me to a walk. I saw Amy for the last time a good 4.5 miles in front of me. She said she was feeling lousy but she had a quick pace. Carol passed me about mile 17. I saw her from the back (it was tough to miss that bright green jersey she was wearing). I caught back up to her a few seconds later. A funny thing happened when I started running to catch Carol, my legs suddenly felt pretty good, I passed her for a second, enjoying the few minutes of new found speed. I slowed and Carol passed me again, I told her to go get 'em, She was confused for a second, not realizing that I had repassed her. I tried to hang with her for a while but she was too fast.

I came to the last turn around a decided to try to catch two runners I'd seen about a half mile in front of me. I caught them a few minutes later and we'd take turns passing each other. We walked together along Water Street, where there were a bunch of spectators. I was actually feeling pretty good mentally. I couldn't move very fast due to my knee but I kept the two other runners and some spectators entertained by encouraging the spectators to make some noise. They would yell at me and I'd yell back at them. One of the runners looked at me like I was crazy and said that if I had that much energy left I really ought to be running. I assured him I'd like to but my knee hurt too much.

I started jogging again with about 2.5 miles left to go. I'd count cones or light poles, whatever I could to make the time pass and to try to ignore the pain in my knee. I actually walked/ran up the last hill- something I had not done all race. I made the final turn into the battleship parking lot and was joined by a volunteer/runner from one of the local high schools. We talked a bit; I asked him what his event was. He said he did "distance stuff"-the 5k. I chuckled a bit to think that the 5k is considered a distance event.

I crossed the finish line and was caught by a volunteer. He started to put his arm around me to hold me up and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was just fine and gave him a smile. I got my medal and finishers shirt and Travis met me at the end of the chute.

My fastest mile was #3 at 10:14; my slowest was #22 at 14:06. I had my wits about me the entire run which was kind of strange.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was trying for an 11 M/M pace but my knee hurt too much.
Post race
Warm down:

Travis and Andy got me some food and water to drink, Travis helped me with my sweat pants and shirt then he got my bike and gear. We got on the trolley and headed back to the car and then back to the hotel.

Event comments:

This was my second IM this year. I cut my swims down to 2 per week and blew off several workouts. Despite that my bike was about 20 minutes faster than KY. My run was just three minutes slower, though I felt much slower. I'm glad I did this one but will have to think long and hard about 2 IM races in one year again.

I have to say thank you again to Jungle Jenn, who drove me down to NC and back again. Also to Amy and her husband Andy who drove me all over the race venue and Wilmington. My Cousin Travis gave up an entire weekend to come support me, thank you Travis. You were really good to me out there. I can't believe how fortunate I am to have family and friends like these people. I think Travis got the bug. He's talking about a HIM next year. Travis, you do it and I'll be there to jockstrap you. Just name the race. Lastly I want to thank my wife, Alice. I floated the idea of an Ironman 2 years ago. She said she'd be supportive. And boy, has she been. After KY I said that there were some things I thought I could have done better and that I wanted to do just one more IM this year. She encouraged me to sign up for B2B, kept me on track (mostly) while training for the race and took care of the kids and worked while I was gone for 5 days. Thanks Alice.

I think I've got this out of my system for a while.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-09-08 12:00 AM
00:55:00 | 4224 yards | 01m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/387
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU wetsuit
Course: A long stright-away then a left turn. All with the current.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: High
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Bad
Time: 10:50
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:49:00 | 112 miles | 19.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/387
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: A 1 loop lollipop, some on interstate.
Road:   Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:20:45 | 26.2 miles | 12m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/387
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 out and back laps over bridges, up hills and along brick and cobblestone streets.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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