Tuesday, June 27, 2006

2006 Gulf Coast Triathlon Race Results and Report


This one is out late, but if you look at the number of postings on my normal blog in the past 6 months, you will understand why this hit so late.

This is my second triathlon that I have completed thus far in my brief triathlon career, and it went from a Sprint Distance for the first one (total of about 16 miles), to this one, which is a "Half Ironman" (although not an "Ironman sanctioned event") with the distance of about 70.3 miles. I will note that I was originally training for the Olympic distance tri in Hiawasee, GA, and then my manager Charlie convinced me to do this one on short notice, by fronting half my entry fee. Thank you Regions Bank!!! Let us look at the results, shall we?

1.2 Mile Swim: 49 minutes, 1 second (763/853)
Transition 1: 5 minutes, 40 seconds (638/853)
56 Mile Bike: 3 hours, 9 minutes, 19 seconds (732/853)
Transition 2: 4 minutes, 47 seconds (686/853)
13.1 Mile Run: 3 hours, 17 minutes, 9 seconds (793/853)

Total Time: 7 hours, 25 minutes, 55 seconds (786/853)

I might edit this later with the age group results, rather than the overall men's results, but they are really f(*&'ing hard to read! If you go to the website, they have them listed in a non-table format that is damn near impossible to figure out.


Jackie and I arrive Friday around 11:30am CST, after getting up and leaving by 6:30am EST. Drive was really good. When we arrived, we drove the complete wrong way for miles before we came back to where we needed to be (no thanks to the ladies at the gas station who live in panama city, and had no clue where the Boardwalk Beach Resort was in relation to their place of work, about 1/2 mile away.). While we were driving, I saw many people running and biking long distances the day before the event. I was kind of intimidated by this, since I tapered as well as I could under the training circumstances, and I did nothing on Thursday, and was not planning to do anything on Friday. We were going to stay city side, but for $20 more the entire weekend, we could have a beachfront room and the resort where the event was being held! So we changed hotels that day! Sweeeeet!!! We went to the beach that afternoon, Jackie laid out and I got in the water and swam about 500 meters total. I hate seaweed. It got everywhere, and I mean everywhere! The water was really rough near shore, and I hoped it would not be that way the entire race. We went to the Expo and then to the free race dinner ($10 for her ticket), and carb loaded like crazy! Went to the room afterwards, and then was in bed by about 10:00pm.

I was awake and asleep during the morning about 3 times, but I do not think it affected me much, it was more jitters than anything. Got up at 5:00am, had power bar, apple, amino vital and gatorade. I took a shower (god knows why, after what I was about to do), and then proceeded to put my tri clothes on and leave. Got to transition around 6:00am, and got my stuff just the way I wanted it. I brought my bike pump, and it got more work from everyone else in the area than it did from me! 6:30 rolls around and they closed transition. Then it hit me..... I guess my body felt it needed to proceed with the "Morning Constitution" before I spent the day on the race, but everywhere there was a line. I sprinted back to the room, and banged on the door till Jackie came out. She stated that she could not use the bathroom until about 11:00am, but I do not believe her (ha ha ha). I started just before 7:00am

After getting out past the sandbar, the swim was easier than I thought. I was gunning to break 1 hour, even though my training in the pool kept me at about 45-50 minutes. I paced myself, and did really well at not zig zagging through the course. With about 600yds to go, I thought I saw a baracuda below me about 10 feet, so I hauled butt for about a 100yds, and then slowed down until I hit beach. Time 49 minutes, 1 second.

Transition 1
Ok Ok, I know, 5 minutes and 40 seconds. No I was not going to the bathroom. The beach was about 150 yards from my personal transition area total, and I made the mistake of drying more than just my lower legs off for my shoes and socks. I have still not been able to get that shoes on the bike thing yet, but I am getting faster with everything else. I was also looking to pace myself, and considering how long it took me to finish this race, and extra 2:30 on T1 was not going to make a whole lot of difference.

I had been working on the bike the most before this event, and I had been able to get sub 3 hours at the Silver Comet trail in Atlanta, for 56 miles, but that was with doing no brick workouts or anything with that at all. I came in at 3 hours, 19 minutes, 9 seconds. The first 10-15 miles were nice, as you went through the Panama City Drag, and then turned north on some highway. At around mile 16 I noticed that my chip was about to fall off, so I stopped for about a minute to put it back on, cursing myself all the way. Around Mile 17 or 18 I saw the 1st place men's finisher riding his bike back the other way. Then there was this huge bridge!!!! No problem, I just stayed in the gear I was and muscled over it. from Mile 20-35 I would like to name this area suckville, as the roads they had us riding on were horrible. I think it did slow me down a bit, as well as make me miserable since my butt was killing me by know, I don't know why (probably ususally not wet when I ride that long in Atl). At this point I was beginning to slow down and pace myself, since I knew I did not really incorporate any bricks in yet this season, so I was not going to be a happy camper when the run came. I was a nice guy and held my water bottle for the last 6 miles that was given to me since I wanted to keep the city clean.

Transition 2
Transition 2 was kind of the same idea as T1, so I clocked it in at 4 minutes and 47 seconds. It would have been closer to 4:30 if I would not have forgotten to take my helmet off. I also used the bathroom as well, so that accounted for 30-45 seconds of time. And we are off to the foot races!!!!!

This was the bane of my existence. From mile 1 to 13.1, I always had some cramp, stitch, something that was holding me back. At around Mile 1, the women's second place overall finisher passed me going the other way. I could only swing my legs no further than a foot in front of me! I dealt with it until about Mile 6 (the loop in St. Andrews state park), and then it really fell apart. I did a combination of jogging and walking, and the closer I got to the finish, the longer my walks were. I ended up with a 3 hour, 17 minute, and 9 second run. If i did not have any of the other events, I could probably finish the half marathon in 1:40 to 1:50.

By this time I was completely cramped but I ran to the finish anyways, passing the Atlanta Chapter of Team In Training! When I got there I wanted to collapse, and there was an overwhelming sense to cry for some reason, but I did not. I was real quiet, and the volunteers as well as Jackie thought that something was going on. I was tired that is what the problem was!

Saturday Night
We partied at Spinnakers with free BBQ and free Beer for a few hours and then went to bed. I developed a slight case of plantar fascitis after the event, but it subsided after about two weeks. I dropped 7 pounds during the race and weighed about 168 after the race was over. I have gained most of it back by now.

I would like to be able to get into the 5 hour 30 minute range next year if at all possible. I do think the main thing that I want to do is aerobars and a heart rate monitor, and this before anything else (besides shoes and stuff of course).

I also need to work on the run, focusing on the brick workouts. I can run all day long, but after getting off of the bike, it is really damn hard! I also need to work on my swim. Some of the fastest people completed in 22-24min, and i was just over double that.

Any comments or advice would be great! I am planning do to this race again next year, hopefully with Regions Bank sponsoring me again, and this time I will hopefully be wearing some of their gear.


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