Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Ironman North America
40F / 4C
Total Time = 12h 47m 32s
Overall Rank = 1251/
Age Group = M18-24
Age Group Rank = 35/53
Pre-race routine:

I arrived in PCB on Wednesday evening in the middle of the downpour, wasn't too bad of a drive and I was finally starting to feel like this whole Ironman thing was actually going to happen.
Met up with some BTers down by the swim start and swam about a loop of the course. It was somewhat difficult since they didn't have the large buoys out, so we had to try and spot the small white fishing buoys as we navigated the waves. The salt water was a bit of a shock to me since I've never swam in it before and I felt like puking when I got out of the water. Fortunately I didn't and was able to make my way back to the condo down the beach.

Later in the morning I made my way over to registration to stand in the line in the pouring rain and finally got all the race info (packets, gear bags, etc.). In the afternoon I went on a nice easy ride for just under an hour to be sure all the mechanicals on the bike were working properly before it had to be dropped off on Friday. Was pretty tired at the end of the day so I went to bed early with a plan of swimming Friday morning.

Woke up around 6:30 and had a look outside the window to see it was horribly overcast and there were whitecaps across the whole gulf. I decided a swim wouldn't really be that helpful if I was just going to tire myself out fighting the larger waves. I didn't go back to sleep so I just worked on organizing the rest of my race gear before heading to the Ironman Shop at 9 to get the last K-Swiss jacket in the store. (Yes!!) Went and dropped off race gear and then just relaxed for the rest of the day and took a short trip with my parents over to Seaside Florida where they filmed "The Truman Show".

Saturday Race Morning
Woke up around 4:30 and was happy that the day was finally here. Had a peanut butter and jelly sandiwch as well as a granola bar and started sipping on a bottle of water. Grabbed my special needs bags and wetsuit and then bundled up for the walk over to transition. I aired up my tires on the bike and loaded up my bottles and Garmin. For the next hour my support crew and I hung out in the Boardwalk convention center and waited for it to get closer to race start before heading out onto the cold COLD sand.
Event warmup:

Basically just stretched out a bit and got some water in my wetsuit which was much warmer than the ambient air temperature. Other than that didn't really warm up much at all.
  • 1h 19m 38s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

Wow this was a lot of fun! I've seen the videos and watched it in person last year when I volunteered but it was a different thing altogether being in the middle of it. For the most part I was off to the side of the start but still managed to get kicked and punched quite a few times on the swim. The buoys were very congested at the corners and that's where a lot of the contact happened. My goggles kept filling with water for the first half of the first lap but then they fixed themselves somehow. I was surprised to be out of the first loop in 36 minutes and very happy when I came out of the water in under 1:20. I didn't feel like I had exerted myself much at all and was ready to conquer the rest of the day with a smile on my face.
What would you do differently?:

Since this was my first IM I'm very happy with how the entire swim went. My stomach felt fine and I didn't feel overexerted. When I do another The only thing I'd want to change is stay closer to the buoys and go fasterrrr!
Transition 1
  • 09m 24s

This was a bit long, but not surprising or disappointing. There were a ton of people trying to cram into the change tent and because of the cooler temperatures outside people were putting on a lot more clothing than I'm sure anyone anticipated. I ended up double layering up my top which I'm sure added sometime. Overall it wasn't too bad and pretty much what I expected.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster so I can get into the change tent with less people and less of a traffic jam.
  • 6h 10m 24s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.14 mile/hr

Wow was it cold! I must have been one of only about ten or so people not wearing gloves on the bike. My hands were numb after about the first 15 minutes before we even got out onto 79N. It took a good two plus hours before I got full feeling back into my hands and full function of my fingers. It was definitely challenging trying to squeeze Gu out of those little packets and to successfully grab bottles from the aide stations when your hands don't want to do what you tell them.

On top of the frozen hands the cold definitely kept me from sweating anywhere near the normal amount I do on a long bike ride. I was drinking the same amount of water but without the sweat I think I ended up stopping 5 or 6 times to take a bathroom break. I never practiced peeing on the bike and wasn't going to try out on the course, but I'm 110% sure that I would have cut about 10 minutes off my bike time to go sub 6 hours if I didn't have to pee so much.

It was definitely windy out there but I only saw two "peletons" out on the course so it looked to me like the drafting was very well controlled this year. Obviously with 2400+ people out on a flat course you're going to get people in long lines but I didn't see anything too atrocious while I was out.

I took in 7 Gu's plenty of water and Powerbar Perform from the aide stations and a Snickers bar I had taped to my aero bars at mile 80. My stomach felt great and I felt well fueled and over hydrated.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe push it a little bit harder on the bike especially in training. I think I could have gone a bit faster and still fared the same in the run.
Transition 2
  • 06m 54s

It felt good to finally get out of the saddle and get the top shirt off. I took my time getting my feet Body Glided up and into my shoes. Grabbed my hat and Gu's and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing this went pretty smoothly
  • 5h 01m 14s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 30s  min/mile

Well After coming in off the bike I looked at my watch and saw that I had 4 plus hours to do the marathon and still come in under the 12 hour mark. I knew my run training wasn't up to snuff and my longest run ever was just around 14 miles. However I figure to hell with it and that I was going to give sub 12 a shot and took off at what I considered to be a comfortable pace that would get me there.

After about the first mile or two I started to get cramps in my quads but nothing that was bad enough to make me falter or stop running so I kept pushing through and taking salt tabs and Powerbar at the aide stations.

At the halfway point when I got back to transition I was perfectly on pace to hit my sub 12 perfect day goal which I was able to hold onto until about mile 16. It was then that the run started to fall apart. My legs just kind of stopped cooperating, but I ran the numbers in my head and though well if I can just stay at XX:XX pace I can still come in with an 11 up on the clock. Unfortunately my run/walk slowly turned into a walk/jog until about mile 20 where I got a shooting pain up the outside of my right knee. That's where I knew I wasn't going to hit my goal and that the last 6 plus miles were not going to be fun.

The run course got pretty cold and I ended up getting a trash bag that I fashioned into a poncho from one of the aide stations. I hobbled along for the last six miles throwing in a bit of a run every once in a while before having to stop to stretch out my legs. The Coke and Chicken Broth were very tasty towards the end and I was very happy that it was warm Broth which helped stop my shivering.

Fortunately as I got closer to the finish the adrenaline kicked in and got me to run the last bit down South Thomas Drive and to the finish line. I ditched my home made poncho and headed for home and the sounds of the crowd. I was so happy to finally be done and it still feels a bit surreal that I covered 140.6 miles that day.
What would you do differently?:

More run training. My pace felt great and was around an 8:45/mile for the first 16 miles before it fell apart. I think if I had been smart and had more run volume and longer runs I may have been able to hold it for a bit longer and not suffer so much on the last 10 miles with the last 6 being almost complete walking.
Post race
Warm down:

Ate a bite of pizza, literally one bite and had a small cup of Coke. After that I grabbed my bike and gear bags and headed back to the condo. I had a beer and then ended up eating an entire pizza from Mellow Mushroom across the street. Originally I had wanted to go back to the finish line to cheer on the people coming in for the last hour or two but I was dead tired and ended up falling asleep around 10.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Pacing and run volume, but in no way disappointed.

Event comments:

It's been a great journey getting here and I'm so happy that I completed it. Could I have gone faster? More than likely, but I'm very happy with how the entire day went and how well I'm currently recovering. I was pretty haphazard with my training and didn't follow a coach or any kind of plan whatsoever other than perusing over the BT IM plan to see how they laid out the week or two before the race. The energy there was amazing and I'm proud to call myself an Ironman. I've already been looking at the side trying to figure out when and which one I'd like to do next, I won't be surprised with myself if I'm back in PCB in November to volunteer and race again in 2012.

This year's training stats:

2010 totals
Bike: 168h 11m 42s - 3076.33 Mi
Run: 63h 36m 18s - 448.25 Mi
Swim: 54h 10m 34s - 154882.5 Yd

Bike: 102 miles
Run: 14 miles
Swim 4200 yards

Peak Training Week: 12 Hours

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-11-16 12:00 AM
01:19:38 | 4156 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 46/53
Overall: 1454/
Performance: Good
Suit: Rocket Science Sport full sleeve
Course: Two loop course out and back in the Gulf of Mexico
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:24
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:10:24 | 112 miles | 18.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/53
Overall: 1369/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: IMFL bike course goes out does a little loop and has some turnarounds before coming back in on the same road.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 06:54
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:01:14 | 26.2 miles | 11m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 35/53
Overall: 1322/
Performance: Average
Course: Two loop course out and back to the state park at the end of Panama City Beach.
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5