Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ironman Florida Race Report: T2 + Run

What I would do differently on the bike: Not get a flat!!! I would stop using my floor pump when I change tires in practice. I plan to practice with CO2 a few more times and then use my hand pump more often until I can pump the tires to 140psi. I'd also like to work at accurately guessing the psi by feel. For all I know, I'd pumped the flat tire back to 140psi and just wasted time looking for a floor pump. I'd also make sure that I kept eating on schedule, even if I am stuck with a mechanical problem.

T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 19:12 (!)

It's a little annoying when the dismount line is before the timing mat. You hop off your bike and have to run a bit before your bike time is officially done. It just makes your bike leg seem a smidgeon slower. (Vineman 70.3 was the worst offender of this I encountered this year. I think it was almost 1/2 mile between the dismount line and the bike racks!) Here I was careful not to fall getting off my bike. I figured I might be a little wobbly after riding 112 miles. All that time on my feet must have helped as I slipped off the bike easily and jogged the few steps to the timing mat, so I could finish ahead of the guy next to me. A volunteer took my bike from me almost immediately. Actually it's possible the volunteer held my bike while I got off of it. I can't really remember now. Either way, I felt so pampered by the volunteers!

I made a quick right and since I had such a low race number, my gear bag was very nearby. The gear bag volunteer handed me my bag and said "Wow, this is heavy!" and then I wondered what excessive things I had put in there. The change tents were in the same place, but the exit for T1 was now the entrance, which made for a shorter trip to get in the tent. The tent was practically empty. In contrast to the morning, it was totally empty! In the morning there were probably 1.5 women per chair, now I had enough chairs to myself that I could've taken a nap.

I took a seat as another volunteer opened my bag for me and dumped everything out. She saw my "to do" list and started reading it off to me. To Do list: Body glide (toes, feet, inner ankles, inner thighs, HRM straps, waist); change watch settings: 1) run, 2) autolap on, 3) shoe pod on; face wipe (wipe of leg so IT band wrap sticks?); from jersey: eye drops, inhaler. You only need to take 2 flasks!

A little explanation of the To Do list: I've noticed after about 15 miles on the run, when my legs get tired, I sometimes keep my legs and feet too close, I end up kicking the insides of my ankles, etc, so body glide is useful! I hadn't ever gotten chafed from my amphipod belt but I thought body glide couldn't hurt. Since my watch doubles as a bike computer/run computer, one downside is I have to change the settings between sports. This only takes a few seconds, but the risk was that I might forget to do it. And then I lose the total workout duration time. But since I knew my race started at 7am, I could always look at the time on my watch and figure out how long I'd been on the race course. During the run my watch would tell me how long I'd been running too. As for the face wipe, I'd gotten some of those travel sized face cleansing wipes so I could feel somewhat clean on the run. I figured it might be bad enough without feeling like I hadn't showered in weeks. I'm not sure why I told myself to put my eye drops and inhaler from my bike jersey into my run jersey since I was wearing the same top all day.

So what I did do is take off my helmet, fix my ponytail, put on my hat. Took off my sunglasses - had planned to wear them until I saw Dave and then hand them over to him as the only sunglasses case that I had was still in my T1 bag - but the volunteer said she'd just put it in my bike shoe. She had a very calm demeanor which I'm sure was great for anyone who might've been frantic in T2 and when I asked she said she'd done her first IM earlier this year (Canada), so since she was the expert, I let her deal with my sunglasses. Since the run course goes west to east, I knew I wouldn't need my sunglasses at all because it'd be dark before I had to head west. I changed into my running shorts and then I think I got really slow.

I'd forgotten that I needed to take my evening asthma medication until I happened to see the sandwich baggie with my inhaler and a pill on the floor. Normally I take a ton of vitamins too, but I'd already decided to just take my allergy pill so that my stomach would have less to deal with. When I took my inhaler, I think I just saw there between each puff. If I'm out on a long run and need my rescue inhaler, I just slow to a walk when I need to hold my breath. I'm usually very efficient with multi-tasking. But I was definitely not multi-tasking in T2. Eventually I finished with the multiple inhalers and tried to figure out what else needed to be done.

I wiped my face clean and then went to work on my feet. My feet felt pretty good with the bike socks and shoes off, but I put baby powder on them to make sure they were uber dry. Then I body glided all around my toes, the back of my heel, the inside of my ankles and the outside edge of my foot. I put on my clean socks and then my shoes. I tied my long sleeve shirt around my waist - I knew I didn't need it yet but I wasn't sure how fast it would get cold after dark, and I knew dark would happen soon.

My T2 bag had this in it: PM medicine, non-RX stuff to bring in a baggie (immodium, gas-ex, blister pads), hand sanitizer, baby wipes, face wipe, baby powder for feet, body glide, long sleeve running top (marked with reflective tape), IT band wrap, extra hair ties, running shorts, running capris, clean socks in a baggie, running shoes with shoepod, hat, chapstick. It also had a note that reminded me of my mantras.

My food in my T2 bag included: amphipod fuel belt filled with Heed drink premade and loaded with one Gu vanilla-orange gel (2x caffeine) chapstick and 12 Endurolyte capsules, gluten free pretzels in a baggie with extra potassium salt poured over it, gluten free chicken broth in a box (swanson), flask with 60g powdered Heed, Cashew Cookie Larabar, Gu Chomps Strawberry with caffeine - 2 pkgs opened and dumped in a ziplock , 1 unopened Gu Chomps orange flavored, 3 flasks filled with CarbBoom gels: apple, vanilla-orange, and watermelon. I wasn't sure which flavors would sound good, so I made one of each gel flavor so I could pick 2 that sounded best.

With all that food, here's what I did: I drank some of the broth in T2 - it was so yummy - but I didn't bother carrying it with me because I had so much other stuff, and I felt like I drank enough that I'd be okay on salt until special needs where I had another box of broth. I placed the strawberry Gu Chomp baggie and the flask of extra Heed powder in my jersey back pocket. I strapped on my amphipod belt and pulled the back pocket down below the belt - I've found it secures the pocket better so that things don't jostle around as as much while I run. It looks weird but it feels better! Then I grabbed the apple and watermelon gel flasks which I'd carry in my hands. The volunteer said she'd put all my stuff in my bag for me, so I could get started. I turned on my shoe pod and switched my watch to run mode and headed out the door.

I hit the portapotty before leaving T2. They had a volunteer standing by the portapotties and she offered to hold my flasks for me! So nice! I started jogging right afterwards and very quickly crossed a timing mat, which I assumed was the end of T2 and the start of the run.

What I'd do differently: Take less time and body glide the bottoms of my feet! Honestly I have no idea why it took me 20 minutes in T2. In the half I did this summer, my T2 was 7 minutes, but I did do a bit more than usual for this transition since it was a longer race. I could get by without cleaning my face but it was really nice to get clean! I think maybe I was so slow because I hadn't eaten enough so my brain was a little on the slow side. I definitely had a casual attitude about the transition, somewhat like my first half Ironman (I think that T2 was about 12 or 15 minutes). It's a little weird to have spent 40 minutes of my Ironman not swimming, biking, or running!

RUN: 5:51:52

I ran and/or walked 26.2 miles and then I crossed the finish line. The end.

What I'd do differently: Run faster.


  1. Transitions were a definite improvement point for next year. Mine were 11 or 12 minutes each and I was thinking 6 min each going into the race. T1 was a horror house. I stood for 7 minutes doing my best to change standing up while waiting for a chair. Next year I am wearing my bike shorts and compression socks on the swim. I am also not going to have the wetsuit pulled off on the sand. I am going to let some poor unknowing volunteer do it in the bike area (should make for an interesting scene when I ask them to help me pull it off). T2 is going to have to speed up some how, still thinking on that one.
    But what the hay.... we finished!!
    Happy New Year.

  2. I hope you mean you're going to wear tri shorts, not bike shorts, on the swim! I think you'd have a big wet diaper if you wore bike shorts on the swim! Also the socks might give you blisters on your feet if they're wet and sandy! I like your idea about getting that wetsuit off though. It is silly that we have to sit on sand to get peeled!