A day on

Finished...I didn't sleep too well last night but am feeling more circumspect this morning. A good race yesterday, well organised and signposted, some great water stations, the volunteers and the cops out on the road were great.

My time was not what I'd hoped, mostly becuase I had an appalling run/walk in the heat, worse than even my Wildflower Long Course run in 2003. Still an overall improvement of 40-minutes, I shouldn't grumble.

I started the swim easy, and didn't really move up a gear. I did think about my heart valve problem more than once and I think this held me back; out of the water the run to T1 was about 1/4 mile, I passed maybe 15-20 people, why do people run so slowly?

Exit swimThen it was race belt on, jersey on, helmet on, glasses in teeth, turn and go. It was a long run out of transition with a few turns, when I finally reached the mount line I was less decisive than normal but still a one jump mount and off. The bike was started with a trip around the back lot of Fort Wilderness and finally out on the road I settled into 20-22MPH which apart from a few slight gradients both up and down, I managed to keep a steady pace. I had a few tustles with other competitors, Katrina in a red 1-piece and I went back and forwards between miles 16-20 before she left me; 1526 Christopher and I passed and repassed each other a few times, and apart from one section there didn't seem to be much drafting in packs, although there was plenty of opportunity for one/two drafting.

Going out on the bikeBack towards transition, I took my feet out the shoes way to early, but still managed to keep up the pace and a smooth dismount and run lead to a reasonable T2 despite stumbling while trying to put my run shoes on. Out on the run I was OK for the first mile or so but then started to hurt. Somewhere in T2 I'd fumbled and couln't find the Ibuprofen that I'd meant to take out on the run. I struggled around the first lap, including a fairly tortuous 2.5 mile stretch on a trail where theere was no shade and it was HOT...

At the start of the second lap I was able to pick-up some Ibuprofen and it started to kick-in after the first water break, I ran the rest of the loop and the start of the final loop, but by that time I wasn't feeling great, the thought of doing the stretch out on the trail bought me to a walk. After a couple of miles I picked up a run and tried to break 6.30 but failed by a few seconds.

Afterwards it was a couple of slices of pizza, txt the pro results back to Henry and then back to transition for my stuff and bike and then it was the 1.5-mile march back to the parking lot. Where is that 4yr old?

The gimmick race numbers with your first name on one side, and your surname on the other side turned out to be just that, gimmicks. Despite warnings in the race pack NOT to use them under any circumstances on the swim, and that you were required to wear on the back on the bike and front on the run, as soon as I tried to turn mine, the numbers ripped. I wasn't the only one by a long stretch, which is what the numbers didn't do, stretch.

Stats for the day:
SWIM: 36:21 for 1.2-miles
T1: 3:34
BIKE: 2:40:01 for 56-miles
T2: 2:27
RUN: 3:02:02 for 13.1-miles
Total: 6:31:14 for 70.3-miles
Age Group Position: 112/150
Finish postion: 1327/2410

The most interesting stat was that I drank 9x 750ml bottles on the bike and run; immediately afterwards I ate three slices of pizza, a sprite soda, a large diet pepsi, a bacon cheeseburger and fries, a Bass beer, a Sobe Lean, when I woke up this morning and weighed myself I was still 9.7lbs lighter than yesterday. My ass is boney as heck, what little padding it had seems to have gone...

Oh by the way, I just remembered. Along with the insurance screw up on registration day, the goodie bags were useless. Inside they never had the promised spectator guide, nor did they have the glossy athlete guide, both of which are available on the Internet. It was pointed out by one of the people near me after registration that you couldn't even read the maps. Also, on race day by the time I was doing the last lap of the run they'd already run out of paper cups, good job I carried my own water bottle, I always do on long runs!
[Update 23/5/06] I should point out that post race we got the finishers t-shirt, a medal, a Ford carry backpack and an Ironman finisher sticker. So pretty good. My point above was about the quality of the maps and information before the race.

IronmanLive has some event pictures online here.
The full results are online here and here.
ASI Pictures of me here
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96 degrees??? That's hot! Was it humid as well? 40 minute improvement?? Congratulations! I'm envious of your transition times too.

I looked through the race photos you linked; it's so strange to see everyone without wetsuits. I have yet to do a race without one.
Re: Bravo!
Thanks. The 40-mins is a bit of a misnomer, since my Wildflower Long Course bike I broke a spoke on my front wheel at 10-miles and since I have Rolf Vector Pro wheels which only have 16-per wheel I was a bit concerned about the wheel collapsing so sat back and took it easy for 10-miles per deciding to go for it after standing all the way up Polar Heart Rate hill. A better comparison would be last years Miami Man half distance race, my bike there was 2:58:00 compared with 2:40:.. this time. But it was much windier in places at the MiamiMan race and I used a new bike this time.

Actually I've done three events in Flroida this year without a wetsuit. I'm 198lbs normally so have a reasonable tolerance to cold water, at St Anthonys a few weeks back most people wore wetsuits but I didn't along with a few others. I think people get carried away with the bouyancy aspect of wetsuits, forgetting that they've got to get them off in transition and realisticly for most age groupers who can't afford to rip the suit, this will take more time than they gain!

Assuming tomorrows endosocopy confirms my heart valve problem as bacteria related and not a faulty valve, I'll be racing in the Long Island Sound up in the North East on June 3rd, which will definately be wetsuit race. The HealthNet Mossmand triathlon.
Re: Bravo!
Good luck with your endoscopy. That can't be a fun procedure. I'm rooting for a bacterial result for you. What prompted the test?

Wetsuit stripping is an undervalued skill. I've been lucky so far with my suit. It's a year old with no nicks or tears so far. I use Pam cooking spray on my arms & legs which really helps move things along in transition. Although I do wish I could blame my pathetically slow transitions on the wetsuit.
Re: Bravo!
You gotta dump the pam, sure its cheap, sure it works but it has zero class... it smells rank, looks cheap and what does it say about you as a person... standing around in public half naked spraying yourself with cooking fat! ;-)

If you can afford it go visit Body Shop or Bath & Body works and get yourself some body butter, I really like coccoa or vanilla. If you can't afford their prices TJ Maxx and Marshalls often carry it discounted to $3.50 or $4. And if thats still too expensive I'm told you can make it... anyway you get it, its a class act compared to Pam!

It works the same, you smell great, it even has some benefit for your skin... and best of all is water soluable and won't damage the wetsuit in case of repair, unlike say petroleum jelly.

So, what slows you down in transition? Both my HIM FL transitions were relatively slow as the were long runs, I can normally clear transition in less than 1-minute 20-seconds....

As for the endoscopy. 3-days before the St Anthonys triathlon I had a re-occurance of what I'd always assumed was ligamnent damage to my upper back. I'm with a new insurance company and decided to call their help line, I answered the questions from the triage nurse and she eventually advised me to dial 911 as I might be having a heart attack or agina.

Of course it was none of these, after a barrage of tests at the hospital they found nothing and sent me away and told me to see my local doctor when I got back to NY. Three days later still in Florida I was feeling fine, did St Anthonys and turned in a PB time by over 7-mins.

I saw my doc, for safetys sake he referred me to a local cardio specialist, I did a stress/echo test and the stress test worked out fine, we even managed to get my MRH up 4bpm higher than I'd ever done to 172bpm but they echo/ultrasound test wasn't so good. I'll post results Wednesday afternoon on the endoscopy.