My first Triathlon
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Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Wilmington, North Carolina
38F / 3C
= 10h 00m 5s
= Relay - Mixed
Age Group Rank
First: Special thanks to Bowdre, Billy
), and Jess
) for being part of the relay teams. I had a blast and could not have done this without their help!
Background: Originally we had a business trip planned for this weekend which fell thru. I was looking at an Aquabike IM to see how prepared I could be for a full IM. I selected this race specifically due to the swim. It was advertised as having a strong current with fast swim times. For my first I thought this would be perfect but next time I need to check tide charts. Since a couple of guys from work were going to go we turned this into a relay.
We ended up with two relay teams. I would do the Swim/Bike and Jess
(Super Jess – RWTF or Jesswah – BT
) would do the run. For the 2nd team we ended up a swimmer Chris
(found thru the B2B athlete forum
(from my work
) would do the bike, Billy
(ElCaminoBill on BT and a fellow member of a BT mentor group
) for the run. I found a condo thru VRBO.com and we were set.
Goals: Finish, that’s it, just finish. Just keep telling myself that.
Thursday – Bowdre and I flew in Thursday and found Billy already at the condo. It was a beautiful condo with a great view of the harbor. Wrightsville beach is a wonderful town. The only downside was we found that we were supposed to bring our own linen, WTH? Like true males we headed over to the grocery store and stocked up on beer and steaks. I ended up seasoning them then grilling them. Great steaks!!!
Friday morning – I headed out to meet a group for a 7am swim, Billy came along for moral support
). It was walking distance which helped. Oh boy it was cold, my swim booties helped but I knew I needed a swim cap and possibly gloves. Headed back to the condo wearing my wetsuit and wearing my retired running shoes. Bad idea as my shoes for wet for the next couple of days.
Cleaned up, Jess arrived and we all headed off to register and check out the expo. Check-in went fairly well but I could not find a neoprene swim cap my size and no gloves. Ended up buying a cap too small and decided I would modify it to fit
(basically the strap was too short but the cap portion felt fine
). On the way back we toured the USS North Carolina
(finish area for the race
), hit a Tri shop, and lunch. Checked in our bikes and checked out the transition area.
That night Chris arrived, he had sat in the athlete meeting and it was announced there would be no incoming tide for those doing the full IM, HIM’ers would get some. Ah carp, but I already knew this but I guess I was hoping for a miracle. Ate pizza for dinner and went to bed early wondering about my decision to do the swim.
Saturday – Woke up at 5am, PB sandwich, OJ, Banana and Diet Pepsi for breakfast and headed over to T1. Pumped up the bike tires, got body marked and headed back to the condo. Took a Salt Stick Capsule
(thanks Mav for the recommendation
) and from there we drove down to the swim start. Put on my wetsuit and was cold with air temps in the 30’s. I ended up cutting the strap on the neoprene swim cap and just used the swim cap and goggles to keep it in place. I didn’t put my clothes into the post race bag which was a mistake as I forgot to tell the others to leave my clothes in the truck. Oops! Headed down to the beach start and talked with a few others.
At this point my nerves were shot and I was pretty close to handing Chris my chip and telling him I would meet him at T1 and I would just do the bike. Watching the paddle boarders slowly drift back and knew we would have a little negative current, fun. National Anthem and we are off!
1h 32m 29s
02m 23s / 100 meters
Headed out mid-group, fought my way around the first buoy and from there it’s about 1.5 miles to the next turn. Lots of running into folks from ahead and behind but finally got some open water. Dang this water is cold and that sun rising is right in my eyes. Bi-lat breathing worked okay but I was much more comfortable just breathing on the right. Kept sighting on a water tower that was just before the turn, a tip from the swim group that proved invaluable. What a long, dang time to swim! The water tower never seemed to get closer. Water started getting choppy and took in some seawater a few times. Ended up gagging a little into my mouth a couple of times but was okay. I drafted on some folks and some drafted on me. Kept trying to find topics to keep my mind occupied but nothing lasted very long. Finally past the water tower and was looking for the turn sign. According to the athlete meeting there was supposed to be one of those air squiggly man
) at the turn, those things that are air blown and bounce around trying to get your attention to some business. Well, it wasn’t at the turn. Instead there was a green buoy and everyone was headed that way so I followed.
At this point, mentally I was done with the swim. All I wanted was to get out of that cold water. All I had to do was swim 200 yards straight and I could be at the dock for out condo. Decided that I didn’t want to face Jess about not finishing and made the turn. At this point my neck started to hurt and I realized I had not put any Body Glide on my next. Bad, Bad, mistake. My neck is raw and painful now.
Nothing I could do but keep swimming. Ended up flexing my knees and my ankles to keep from cramping up and it seemed to help. Eventually I saw the swim exit! Was a little left of the group but just powered my way to the ladders. At this point I was really afraid I would cramp up on the ladders but crawled right out. Someone next to me got out and puked. There was a warming room right there but declined. I asked a volunteer
(in a loud voice
) “I was told there would be free beer and sex if I finished”. She told me to keep going and I might find what I was looking for but I wasn’t hopeful. They had a shower area to rinse off and took advantage of it and then saw the clock at the end walkway. Realized I needed to stop dawdling and get across that timing mat! Jogged down and over the timing mat, probably lost about a minute trying to get my body to work and the shower. At this point I could not feel my hands. My ears and head were warm and my feet were cold but not bad, the modified cap worked great.
What would you do differently?:
Actually I am happy with my time and it is actually a faster pace than when I did my HIM. Obviously slow but I am improving. Who would have thought? Next time I will be prepared with gloves and a proper cap if they would be legal. More time with Masters Swimming will get me faster. I tried to pace myself some and could have gone faster. Glad I didn’t. In one way I am glad there was no current. I proved that I could do an IM swim with no asterisks.
– started what I thought was a jog to the changing tent. The swim booties did their job protecting my feet from the asphalt and watched people without them try to cross the street, not pretty. Saw Billy and Jess and they got a picture of me. Grabbed my changing tent and headed inside. Wow, mass chaos. Picked my way to an open spot, which wasn’t easy as my balance wasn’t great so it was slow going. Wetsuit down to my ankles and dressed top down but my fingers weren’t working well. Tried to take a Gu but it was out overnight and had the consistency of peanut butter but forced it down. Got dressed slowly but no major problems except for my shoes. I had put the covers on them and rolled them back but just could not get my feet in my shoes. Lost a lot of time there. Some guy was shivering and complaining about the cold and I told him
(in a loud voice
): “If it makes you feel better there is a whole tent of naked women next door”. This got a few laughs and smiles. Headed out the door, found my bike, tried to get my helmet on but couldn’t do it with my gloves on. Some guy helped me out along with my Garmin and I was off.
What would you do differently?:
usually have fast transitions but I simply failed to practice a transition like this. Mistake! Really slow transition time. Swim gloves might have helped keep my fingers working
7h 00m 6s
Got on the bike and headed out. I was cold but warming up except for my feet, took it slow the first few miles and just tried to get into a rhythm. About this time a motorcycle with an official pulls up next to me. The driver keeps looking at me. WTH? I am nowhere near anyone. If anything get the group up there that is drafting. Sure enough, the rider taps the driver, points to the next group and they were off. No penalty for Gary but in the results I saw a lot of 6 min penalties on the results. After a few miles we get on the freeway and my time picks up with a tail wind. At this point I am cooking and look down to see my Garmin says I am doing 21mph and I am barely pedaling. We are in the left lane and traffic is in the right lane. Eventually I come across a rider on the side of the road, holding her arm with a cop standing next to her. Didn’t see her bike but she obviously crashed
(probably hit the rumble section on the side of the road
) and I later heard she broke her arm. Little while later we get off the freeway and get a head wind that lasted a good 50-60 miles
(off and on
). Hit the first aid station at mile 21, dump one bottle and pick up a water bottle. I realized that I was going thru liquids faster than anticipated. Knowing I could not drink the HEED they offered on the course I was a bit worried. A couple of miles later I go over some railroad tracks and my aero bottle almost falls off. I hold onto it until the next aid station. There I stop, fix it and then hit the porto. No more information to state other than thanks to the salt water I spent a little too much time in the porto. Between the repairs and the porto I lost 5-10 minutes.
Back on the road and am finding I mixed my first bottle of Inifinit too light but it will have to do. At this point I am amazed at the number of hills on this supposed “pancake flat” race course. While there weren’t any huge hills this course is not pancake flat. For the hills I just shifted as low as I could go and sat and spun. Once over the hill I made sure to pedal down the hills to get the free speed. The RD needs to come to Louisiana to find the true definition of a pancake course. Eventually make it to mile 50/Special needs. Call out my number and my bag is waiting for me when I stop. Eat one of Jess’ brownies, part of a PB sandwich, wished I had a Diet Pepsi. Swapped out water bottles and hit the porto.
I should have put two Inifint bottles in special needs and this was a mistake that would cost me some. I grabbed a bottle of water and a HEED gel. Raspberry, ugh. Better than nothing but this was awful. Off I go with 62 miles to go. At this point I see a lot of bikes getting tires changed a couple of riders down getting their blood pressure checked, etc. I was drinking a lot more than I thought and eventually had the Raspberry gel, ugh, but it helped as my Infinit was gone. Seeing less and less riders so I know I am falling behind. Turn a corner and see a sign saying 38 miles to Wilmington, knowing that was my distance it was a bit dis-heartening. I head off and there is no one. Occasionally I see a bike tech truck go by or a bike bottle on the ground but past that I am alone and start singing to myself. It is amazing how many songs I don’t know the words to! About this time I come across an older couple sitting by the side of the road and they start cheering me on! I say a big thank you and keep going, it really helped. Mile 80-102 was just about keeping going. I really needed more calories and the gels and banana’s were helping slowly. At the 102.5 mile mark I stopped at the aid station and tanked up. This really helped and made the last 10 miles back into town easier. Started seeing more riders and lots of auto traffic. At one point I am on the shoulder, two lanes of autos stopped and there is a tow truck on the side of the road in the way. It was a bit dangerous the last mile and had to go slow. Finally get to the Battleship area and there are these big rigs hauling something in the way. The volunteers wave me around and I hit the dismount line. A volunteer takes my bike and I tried to waddle towards Jess. She runs up, grabs my chip and she is off. I go sit in the T2 tent and munch on chips. Bowdre takes off to get my shoes. After a few minutes I head off and find pizza and soda. I quickly feel like I am alive again.
What would you do differently?:
Two items, more time in the saddle and a better nutrition plan. I needed to do more bricks with longer distances. I will use 2011 to build my bike base to where it should be.
After eating a bunch of pizza and downing a couple of sodas I felt good. We had a beer then hung out in the truck getting warm. Eventually we headed out to the run turn around to try and cheer Billy and Jess on. Unfortunately our timing was off and we missed both of their turn arounds. Eventually saw Billy and tried to chase him down to watch him finish but my legs weren’t moving. Caught up to him and we headed to the warming tent where we ate and drank. Eventually we went to the truck, moved it so we could see the run course and waited for Jess to finish. She ended up burning up the course with a very speedy time.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Cold, lack of training
Last updated: 2010-04-22 12:00 AM
01:32:29 | 3862 meters | 02m 23s / 100meters
62F / 17C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:00:06 | 112 miles | 16.00 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles | min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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