Saturday, November 23, 2013

Getting back to training...

Decided it was time for an update (also known as procrastinating on doing some work work)

Training has been spotty for the last few weeks.  I've been focusing mainly on running with a couple bike rides on the trainer.   I have yet to get back in the pool.  With the weather changing, my new work responsibilities, and catching up on 6 months of chores, it's been difficult getting back in motion.  The last three weekends I've done a couple brick workouts and definitely getting in long runs of 17, 18, and hopefully 20 tomorrow.  Basically I'm getting in 5+ hours each weekend but the mid-week training hasn't been consistent.  With the upcoming holiday, that might not happen until December.

The Next Big Thing
People have asked me what my next big race is.  While I have registered for multiple 2014 races already, I'm debating on doing the Phoenix Marathon in January.  My parents "winter" in Arizona and it would give us a chance to visit them there for the first time.  With Phoenix being a flat course, it provides a great opportunity for a Boston Qualify.  I'm still hoping I can ride the coattails of my ironman training into a 3:08 marathon.  That would be a 21 minute PR and taking 30 minutes off my ironman marathon time.  Technically I need a 3:10 but with the floating time cut-off, it may mean I need a 3:08 to actually get a bib after everyone has registered for Boston.

I'm still thinking this is a possibility.  I did 18 miles last weekend at an 8:08 average pace and I finished this morning's 10 miler with a 7:25 average pace (miles 6, 7, and 8 were 7:00, 6:58, and 6:47).  To hit a 3:08 I have to run 7:10 pace for 26.2 miles.  My plan would be to hang with the 3:05 or 3:10 pace group.

All of this is up in the air for multiple reasons.  That week may be a huge week for a project at work, so that may cancel my plans all together.  The other reason?  I loathe cold weather training.  This morning was a battle to get out the door:

That 11 mph wind was NOT fun.  Tomorrow's 20 miler is going to be even colder. I just hope the wind is nonexistent.

Photo of the Week
One cool thing that I got in the email last week was this:

I got an invitation to participate in the 2014 Age Group National Championships!

I'm still debating on participating because this race is two weeks before my "A" race of the year, Chicago International Triathlon.  Having two international distance races within two weeks doesn't bother me but it means a lot of traveling in August.  My hope is that I qualify every year, so if I miss this year I'd be invited back.  My current age group and the 40 - 45 age group is pretty competitive, so it might not be that easy.  To qualify you have to finish in the top 10% of your age group.  I qualified at Beach2Battleship 140.6.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beach2Battleship 140.6 - Race Report

Warning: This is going to be long…. but there are lots of pictures!

Race Week
Finally!  The week started with two days in the office and completing a swim, bike, run, and weights session.  Wednesday morning was the first travel day.  There was so much excitement that I needed to take a melatonin just to get to sleep on Tuesday.

Tuesday night we pretty much packed everything up and added some fun to the car:

Wednesday I was finally on the road around 8:30am

I was making this drive by myself.  That made me a little nervous but also a little excited.  I could listen to whatever I wanted, stop whenever I needed, and drive as far as I wanted.

Since I was going to be doing an ironman in a few days, I naturally had to be smart about what I consumed on the drive.  No more chugging pop for the caffeine.  Instead, I kept myself busy with healthy options:

Lots of water, carrots, sugar snap peas, grapes, and...

About 1.5 pounds of whole wheat pasta and pulled smoked chicken.

Wednesday I drove from Kansas City to Valle Crucis, NC.  It took me about 15 hours on the road (including stops) and 880 miles.  

I stayed with Tricia's parents that night.  It added about an hour to the trip but it was nice to see familiar faces and a good bed to sleep in.

They have a beautiful cabin in the mountains!
Thursday I left around 8:30am and drove through beautiful scenery to Wilmington, NC.  Another 6 hour commute and 330 miles and I was in Wilmington!

As soon as I checked into the Hilton (the host hotel), I made a beeline to the race expo for packet pickup.  It was only 2 blocks from the hotel. It wasn't a huge expo (maybe 15 booths) but I wanted to make sure I had first crack at the merchandise.  I picked up a sweet finishers jacket then headed back to the hotel to relax a bit.

Vicki and her family arrived not long after, and I met up with them back at the expo (and picked up another shirt at the merch booth).

My plan for Thursday dinner was to go to one of my favorite pizza places called Mellow Mushroom. I downed a personal sized Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  So freaking good.

I obviously don't have too much concern for what I eat a few days before the race.

After making it back to the hotel, I worked on a blog post.  My plan was to get a good night's sleep Thursday because I knew I wouldn't Friday night (My rule of thumb).  Of course I was working on my blog post on my computer, whose clock hadn't changed to Eastern Time Zone.  I ended up shutting down around midnight instead of 11pm.  Oops.

I actually woke up at 8am.  I don't think I've woken up that late since March.  It felt great!  A lot of things on the list today.  I found a local cafe and got a Pumpkin Pie Latte (so good) and breakfast sandwich.  I then took to the streets and Riverwalk!  

This was a beautiful day.  My hotel is the white building in the middle of the photo.
Why would I want to walk around the streets of Wilmington?  Well, the wind was supposed to be similar  to that of Saturday (race day) and I had a HUGE concern about riding my bike with 80mm deep dish rims on my front wheel.  The wind would push my steering around like crazy.  The back wheel would be fine with my weight keeping it in check.  The wind wasn't too bad but I was still skeptical.

Back to the hotel to pack my race bags.  I had 5 of them!!!

Our friends from New England would be arriving around 11, so I had plenty of time.  You may remember Jill and Ronnie from my race reports for the Walt DisneyWorld Marathon Weekend.  We got to meet Ron's wife, Donna, for the first time this trip.

While I had taken in a lot of water the previous two days, I began to drink Gatorade to start priming the pump a bit.

Race Bags
Because I'm anal, my race bags were mostly pre-packed from before I left.  They were overpacked for multiple scenarios, so I had to decide on the few to pack for:

I snapped this photo to send to Vicki as she was making fun of a guy she saw with bags pre-labeled.  It wasn't me…. these weren't pre-labeled.

Swim to Bike Transition

Socks (2 pairs if it's super cold)
Toe Covers
Old pair of glasses (I ended up putting my sunglasses in here so didn't need them)
Arm Warmer
Gloves (sans finger tips)
Gloves (no sans finger tips)
24 Gu Chomps (12 in each bag)
3 Clif Bars (1.5 in each bag)
Cycling Jersey
Sunblock (didn't use… got lucky)
Honey Stinger (if I needed something different… but didn't)

Bike Special Needs

My plan was to not stop for my special needs bag, but I packed spares just in case I dropped one of my bottles or food.

Bike to Run Transition Bag

Calf sleeves
Running Shoes
Running Socks
Hydration Belt with Bib, 5 Gu Gels
Hydration Bottle with Honey Stinger
I also put in another pair of arm warmers in case I wanted to change.

Run Special Needs

Socks in case I needed a change
Hydration bottles with gatorade
Replenish of Gu Gels plus Honey Stinger if I needed a change
Running shorts and shirt if I want another layer in case it was cold

All my food for the bike.  I took the other half of that Clif bar to the swim start for a pre-race snack.  I didn't want to be hungry on the swim.

Once Jill, Ronnie, and Donna (our New England friends….  who shall now be referred to as the Patriots or Pats….. or the Osmond's) arrived, we all went to the Swim to Bike transition to drop off our bikes.  I drove over with Vicki and Bill (Vicki's husband).

Bike Porn - Not Safe For Work
The racks were pre-numbered with 6 bikes per rack.  We got there about 30 minutes after the transition area opened up.

With 2,200 participants, they need a football field sized transition area. 
Then we all walked down to the swim exit to get an idea of the route.  I barely remembered it from two years ago.  The long run from the beach meant a painful .25 miles over concrete and asphalt to the transition area. Vicki spotted a good place to put her running shoes Saturday morning so she could slip them on as she exited the swim.

It was at this point that I would have to decide whether or not to change my front wheel.  Bill, a seasoned cyclist, helped convince me to stick with my 80mm deep dish wheel instead of using my 40mm stock wheel.

After a good 45 minutes checking out the area, we went back to the Expo for one of the three mandatory athlete meetings (they would charge people who didn't attend a 4 minute penalty).

Once again, they confirmed the swim would not be aided by a current.  No story of a bag of chips that could finish the swim in 90 minutes.

By now my parents had arrived in Wilmington, so I went back to the hotel to do some final prep and left for my parents hotel to visit.  I placed reservations at Carrabbas at 6:30 for dinner as well.

However, reservations apparently don't mean anything.  It was 7:30 before we got seated, and nearly 8:30 before food arrived, which was also about the time Kyle arrived from Greensboro.  It was awesome having all these friends and family in town!!  

We made it back to the hotel around 10 o'clock.  Kyle stayed with me, but only for a bit until he took off to pick up TKB from the Wilmington International Airport (yeah, they probably fly to Jamaica, which makes it international… just like the Kansas City International Airport).  I finally turned off the lights around 11pm but didn't get to sleep until TKB and Kyle made it back to the hotel around 11:30pm.

Race Day!!
Alarm at 4am and was staring down at this:

I was happy to see that 6 degree jump at 9am.

Showered, sunblocked, bagel, peanut butter, banana, and in the lobby at 5:15.  The hotel had Starbucks coffee, so I picked up my traditional pre-race frothy milk coffee.  I rode over to the transition with Vicki and Bill.  TKB and Kyle followed.

It was about a 15 minute ride to the Swim/Bike Transition.  Once there, we pumped up our tires and topped of our bottles by the bike.  There was no need for a full transition setup by the bike because we would pick up our Swim-to-Bike bag on the way into the changing tent. Vicki and I walked down to the swim exit so she could place her shoes for the run into the changing tent.

Around 6am or so we got in line for the trolley to take us the 2.4 miles down to the swim start!

On Friday I stopped in at Walmart and bought a super cheap sweat suit to keep me warm, but that I could abandon at the start without feeling bad.  The goggles were my emergency pair ,but I used them for vision after we got on the trolley because I gave my glasses to TKB to hold.  Vicki really became my seeing eye dog.. a very warmly dressed, almost hobo-looking seeing eye dog!

The trolley ride felt long, as you could expect.  We passed by the Blockade Runner hotel, the biggest building in Wrightsville Beach.  It is also in line with where the first turn is during the swim, so I noted it.

Once we arrived, we immediately got in the port-a-potty line.  Having a tri-suit on makes it a little more difficult to use the bathroom, regardless of #1 or #2, compared to separate tri shorts and tri top.  This stuck in my mind as I thought about using the bathroom during the race.

After that, we pulled on our wetsuits and then put our cheap throw away clothes back on.  At about 7:15 they called for everyone to move onto the beach.  It was a much longer walk to the beach than I expected.  The beach was a mess with all the dropped clothes.  I still had on an old pair of running shoes that got donated to the cause.  I should have left my socks on because the cold sand stung my feet.  

National Anthem time and then Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (B2B's traditional start song) started playing:

Once the horn blew, it was time to roll!!!

Swim - 2.4 Miles

We were near the back of the pack and it took over a minute to finally hit water, which was a nice 70 degrees so no breathtaking chill when the face finally went in.

The strategy here was to take the swim easy and not push it too hard.  I just kept an eye out for the Blockade Runner hotel to know when the course would turn.  In the mean time, I looked for certain landmarks just to keep pushing past.  Big boat thing in the water, then a water tower, then the hotel… and so on.  

About 1.4 miles in I got kicked in the face.  When I sat back to adjust the goggles I got a massive cramp in my left calf.  It was debilitating and I had no clue what brought it on, since I really wasn't using my legs to kick.  Maybe it was the cold?  It took about 15 seconds to get moving again.  At one point I thought maybe I actually got bitten by something!

Not too long after, I got another cramp but this time in my right calf.  It was weird.  Maybe too much water and not enough electrolytes/salt?  Was this going to be an indication of my day?  Was this going to be the only thing to cause me problems?  The right cramp wasn't as near as bad as the left, thankfully.

I finally saw the Blockade Runner hotel and positioned myself for the turn.  I mostly stayed in the middle of the channel hoping to take advantage of any available current, but needed the buoy to be on my left when I passed it.  The turn was very crowded and I got swam over a few times.  I'm pretty sure I accidentally clocked someone in the face on the recovery portion of my stroke.  Sorry dude (or dudette).

There were a couple more turns before I saw the huge condo building that indicated the end of the 2.4 miles.  This was it!!!  I started to really kick and move into position.  Kicking would help move blood into the legs in anticipation for the bike portion.

Once I climbed the wooden ladder on the dock, I found a wetsuit stripper who had trouble with my wetsuit.  The timing chip was causing problems around my leg.  Vicki commented later that I should make sure my timing chip is under the suit.  Noted.

I then took off for the transition area and crossed the first timing mat!

Swim: 1:09:40 / 1:48 per 100 meters
Age Group (AG) Rank: 34 / 79
Overall (OA) Rank: 180 / 499 (NOTE: This is Male Overall, they didn't mix male/female to incorporate that)

I beat my realistic goal by over 10 minutes AND beat my unrealistic goal by 20 seconds!!

Swim to Bike Transition
Super long run to the transition.  They have all the Swim to Bike transition bags sitting out by number so you have to find and pick yours up on the way to the tent.

The tent was a mass of wetsuits and naked body parts.  I just found a few square inches of grass and set up shop.  It was dark in the tent and all I had was tinted goggles, sunglasses, or be blind.  Somehow I managed to put on:

Toe Warmers
Arm Warmers
Full Fingered Gloves
Cycling Jersey
Double check food was in my bags
Get my GPS tracker running

I then put my wetsuit in my bag with my cap and goggles and dropped it off by the door.

I ran to my bike to put on my helmet, turned on my bike computer and was off!

All in all (including the long run) it took 11:08 to finish my transition.  That's about 5 minutes slower than planned, but I had no clue what to expect when setting my transition goal times.

Space Command, this is Captain Buzz Lightyear read for duty.

Checking my time, I think.
Bike - 112 miles
Now the fun starts!!

It takes about a mile to get out of Wrightsville Beach, during which you ride over a grated swinging bridge.  About 100 feet and you are over it.  It's kind of scary.  It was at this point that I noticed I hadn't opened the straw valve on my hydration system.  It's pretty tight so I stopped and opened it.  It added about 20 seconds to my time, but I'd rather stop and do it than wreck while trying to do it while riding.

The swim is one thing, but the bike is a practice in patience, math, food, hydration,  and biometric monitoring.  My plan:

Eat every 15 minutes (2 Gu Chomps or 1/4 Clif bar)
Drink whenever I can and often, not when I'm thirsty
Keep heart rate in 135 - 145 zone
Keep cadence in the 93 - 98 RPM range
Shoot for a bike average around 18 mph

I checked off all of those except one thing…. the last.  I was cruising around 21 mph, not 18. This course is extremely flat compared to what I train in.  My heart rate barely spiked when I was traveling over 21 mph unless I was passing a big group of people (which happened quite often in the first 30 miles), which put me over 25 mph during those times.

I was flying and thinking, "I'm going to blow-up on the run."  Every time I made an adjustment to slow my roll, I would end up spinning around 105 rpm.  Shifting gears to keep me in the right range simply pushed me over 21 mph.

I ended up just accepting this.  I felt awesome!  A few times my lower back would bother me, but only slightly.  My left calf muscle was cranky, but it wasn't cramping.  It was sore because it went rock hard for about 30 seconds in the swim, not from cycling.  I coasted a bit so I could rub my calf. 

The only other thing that bothered me was if I opened my hand.  It was sore when I did that. I'm not sure why.  Think of it as if you were carrying a super heavy suitcase for a long time.  Your hand would get sore just from holding the handle.  As long as I kept my hands curled around my handlebars, it was just fine.  Easy enough.

The bike portion put you on I-140 interstate for about 15 miles.  During this I noticed a Prius drive by and slow down.  I also noticed the 26.2 sticker on the back and realized it was Jill, Ronnie, and Donna!!  We chatted for about a mile or so before they took off.  I may have only been 15 miles into the bike, but it was great to talk to someone!!

After the interstate, you ride on 421 for a good portion, then start circling back through the country roads until you meet up with 421 for the final 10 miles of the ride.  I was seriously flying by people.  I still felt concern about blowing up on the run with the splits I was ticking off, but I just kept going.  I realized that I was going to come in under 5 hours, 30 minutes, which was my unrealistic goal for the bike!!

I was thanking Bill in my head for recommending I keep on my 80mm front wheel.  I think that was truly helping my ride.  There were no dangerous cross winds anywhere on the course.  I was also thanking Ryan for helping me procure the wheels!

As planned, I had everything with me on the bike.  When I was about 10 miles out from the special needs bag I made a decision.  The only reason I needed to stop on the bike would be to pee.  That's it.  Since I was cruising along, I didn't want to stop and jeopardize the mojo.  So the decision I made?  Pee on the bike.  That's right, I peed on myself.  I know this is gross and people who don't do triathlons or endurance events are probably going to be giving me the stink eye next time they see me but everyone else understands.  Right?!

So once I decided to do it, I kept trying and trying.  I wanted to make sure there wasn't anyone close behind me.  I'd lower my left leg down and coast.  I didn't want anything to get on my water bottles.  Eventually, I finally hit the right combination and it flowed, literally.  It felt great! 

And that's all I'm going to say about that.  

For a long while I was pretty lonely out on the course.  I would occasionally see someone and they motivated me until I passed them.  It was fun passing someone going 22 mph during mile 90 of the bike!  

Once we reconnected on 421 to head back into Wilmington, I was catching the tail end of the half ironman participants.  I tried to say motivational things as I passed.  I hope they appreciated it.

Now that we were getting back into civilization, traffic was starting to pick up, but for me the drivers were all nice.  (Vicki had a run in with some jerk who was swerving left to right, she informed them of her lack of appreciation).  I crossed over another bridge with metal grating.  I ended up swerving a little bit, but saved myself before anything nasty happened.

After the bridge I slipped out of my shoes and rode the rest of the way in!  Flying dismount and I was done!

Time: 5:18:58 / 21.1 mph average (!!!!)
AG Rank: 2 of 79
OA Rank: 18 of 499

HOLY CRAP!  I blew out my realistic goal by 58 minutes and my UNREALISTIC goal by 11 minutes!!  Sure, I was aided by a flat course but there was also a 7 - 12 mph headwind almost the entire time.  Nice trade off?

I'm still in shock of this, especially considering I kept myself under heart rate limits.  Had I actually ridden competitively, I can't imagine what this would had been!

Interestingly enough, this is almost exactly twice the time of my Pigman 70.3 bike.

Bike to Run Transition
I handed my bike to a volunteer and then into T2.  The transition area is actually inside the expo (minus all the expo stuff).  You enter through a service entrance and then run around the room to pickup your T2 bag and then into a curtained-off transition area.  

Helmet off
Cycling jersey off
Cycling socks off
Calf Sleeves on
Running socks on
Running shoes on
Race belt on
Bathroom break on

Running out of transition I felt AWESOME.  My legs were working and I was ready to kill this marathon.

Time: 6:46

Getting the crowd involved
Run - 26.2 Miles
The run is a two loop course, which means you have to run by the finish line at the half marathon point.   At the athlete meeting, the race director gave hints to help push people along and not quit, such as to just push yourself to run one mile past the finish line and then you'll feel compelled to continue. Good advice.

The weather was upper 50s, if not 60, degrees.

I broke the run down into 4 10k segments (plus a few miles).  With this being essentially two out-and-backs, it was easy to do.  The first turn around was actually near the 8 mile marker.  The first half went extremely well, with my first hour completing 7.75 miles.  I had some 7:20s and 7:30s but the cool thing was all of my first 8 miles were well under 8 minute miles.  I felt great.  The legs were getting a little tired, but nothing was telling me to walk.  I even stopped noticing the soreness from the cramp in my left calf. I'm guessing the calf sleeves helped that.

Even though I had my Garmin watch with me, I never checked the splits as they bleeped off.  I just tried to keep my heart rate in the 140s and 150s while walking the aid stations.

I knew at one point I'd see Vicki but wasn't sure when.  I had no clue what she was wearing, which didn't help.  I was deep in mathematical time quantum calculations when I heard someone yell my name.  I barely caught her as she flew by!  Vicki was looking strong!!

I eventually made it back to the finish line on my first lap with a 1:40 split.  Only 3 minutes off my half marathon PR!

The run special needs bag was around mile 14 but I elected not to use it.

My second hour completed another 7 miles, so a bit slower than the first hour.  This definitely took me off my marathon PR but I still had plenty in me to get done in under 4 hours. This also included walking the only two hills on the course.  So my splits for those were in the 10 minute range.  I'm fine with it, I'm just doing this to complete, not compete.

About this time I started doing two things.  One was drinking coke/pepsi at the aid stations. It was in little cups about the amount of a shot glass.  This helped immensely.  While my splits were averaging 9 minutes (which included a little extended aid station walking), I was starting to feel like I was cruising again.  So what was the second thing I started to do?  Looking up at that big bright ball in the sky.  One of my unpublished goals was to finish before sunset.  I was going to do it!

Regarding the pop, I read on DC Rainmakers blog that once you start drinking pop, you can't stop.  If you do you'll crash pretty quickly.

Now being on the second loop I got to enjoy seeing (instead of hating) the 18, 20, 25 mile markers!

I saw Vicki two more times and the last was on one of the hills, she was on her second lap and I was a mile away!

I zipped up my tri suit and was ready for that finish line photo.  Here we come!! (Yes, "we".. me and all my demons from the day).

Finish: 3:38:17 / 8:19 pace
AG Rank: 5 of 79
OA Rank: 25 out of 499

Beat my realistic goal by 12 minutes, but for the first time I missed my unrealistic goal by 8 minutes.  I missed my marathon PR by 9 minutes.  Gotta love a beautiful flat-ish run course!!

Finish: 10:24:04
AG Rank: 5 out of 79
OA Rank: 25 out of 499

I'm amazed.  This was an absolutely fabulous day!  The weather turned out to be near perfect (minus some wind on the bike course, which always seemed like a head wind).  I hit everything from nutrition to heart rate to beating the sun at sunset!

I blasted my realistic goal by 81 minutes and missed my unrealistic goal by 2 minutes.  Had someone told me I'd finish 5th in my age group, I'd be shocked - and I was.  I missed the podium by 5 minutes (I can easily find 5 minutes that could have been cut out had I been running this competitively).  Had I done it competitively, I feel 3rd place would have been mine easily!  It doesn't matter, I'm loving this result!

I will be reliving this race for a couple of years, until I decide to do another.  The fact that I'm looking forward to doing another is a huge feat in itself!

Post Race
They had an OK selection of food to replenish carbs but the protein options were rather lacking.  They went through pizza pretty quickly, so I didn't get any of that. I spread some peanut butter on bread but that tasted horrible and got tossed in the port-a-potty.  Chocolate milks would be good enough for me.

My only real negative of this was that they had some timing problems throughout the day and it took them 48 hours to correct.  My time went from 10:26 to 10:28 to 10:24 and my place floated from 3rd place to 5th in my age group.  It made for some slightly embarrassing corrections to Facebook posts… oh well.

The "finisher" item this year was some sweet PJ bottoms with FINISHER written on the leg and the logo all over.  Very comfy!  A nice large medal too:

Before too long, Vicki came flying through the chute to her 3rd place age group finish!

Vicki in green top and white hat.

After cheering Vicki through the finish, we took off for the hotel to shower and change.  That's where I discovered the chaffing on my neck from my wetsuit.  I consistently turn my head right on the swim to breathe, so that probably aided in this.  I should have done a better job lubing up the neck.

We had dinner back at the Mellow Mushroom.  Kyle and TKB had picked up most of my race stuff (bike and bags) while I was on the run; however, I still wanted my special needs bags back because my run bag had clothes in it. This put us back to the finish line around 11:30pm and we cheered on the last 30 or so finishers, including the final finisher named Mark, who rounded out the 700 participants at around 16 hours and 50 minutes.  Amazing.

I slept really well.  You'd think that would be the case but usually my legs cause me fits all night long but not the case this day.  Had I not forgotten to turn off my 4am alarm, I would have slept straight through from 1am to 8am.

The rest of the trip was planned for relaxing and recovering.  Sunday we visited the Battleship North Carolina to keep the legs moving (plus it was really cool), and then headed to Topsail Island to enjoy 3 nights at the beach.  Monday we had massages scheduled, which we ended up doing this on the deck of the beach house, overlooking the ocean.  It felt great!  I immediately could feel relief in my legs and by Tuesday I was back to feeling about 95%.

Ronnie and I went for a 6 mile run on Tuesday and that pretty much cleared out the rest of the junk in my legs from the race.

This isn't one of those pricey World Triathlon Corporation races (the company that owns the Ironman brand… in my three years of triathlons, I have yet to do one of their races from the 5150 series and half ironman.  That will likely change next year).  Setup Events does an awesome job with this point-to-point race and I wouldn't hesitate doing it again or recommend someone doing it for their first or 50th 140.6 distance triathlon.

Odd Ball Notes
I only recall seeing one guy in anything above and beyond normal racing clothes.  This guy:

Jill just happened to take a picture of me running by and he was in the shot.  Obviously we are on the run here and he is passing me.  I got to stare at his pasty white Captain America butt for 40 miles on the bike when I finally got done playing leap frog and took off.  I beat him on the bike by 6 minutes but he is obviously a great runner and had the best overall run split of 3:07.

The midwest represented in the race!  The first overall male was from Iowa and the first overall female was from Columbia, MO.  And don't forget that the 25th overall male was from Kansas City, MO.

Vicki starting the bike. 

Vicki finishing the bike!

Iron People

If I EVER get the opportunity to buy an El Camino, I'm doing it.  Only so I can take my bike to races like this.  This is freaking sweet.

I mentioned in previous posts that TKB likes triathlons because people bring their dogs to the events… well...

Me,  Dad,  Mom,  Donna,  Ronnie,  Jill,  TKB,  Kyle

Apparently our server couldn't take a good photo.  This was the best of the bunch!
Toasting the race and trip!  Thanks for the Champagne Ronnie and Donna.
We saw this walking around Wilmington on Sunday.  Iron Man 3 was filmed in Wilmington, so this cake was made in honor of that, I guess.
If you remember in my B2B 70.3 Race Report, I mentioned that Joe VI put spoke-a-dokes on my bike.  I put one on each wheel for the 140.6 for good luck.
I've also seen a saying of "Your Marathon is My Cool Down"
My family support crew!

Beach 2…..


Jill got me this sweet wall art.  Jealous, I know!

My brother and family put this together for me on Friday.  Thank you!