2014 Ironman 70.3 Florida

Have you ever heard the term “an uphill battle? As I spin this yarn on a who is keep this in your mind.

So last year I ran my first 70.3 at Attempt Charleston. It was the thing I had ever achieved. I have come far in the times where I believed I was going to perish being the number in my weight. However, the Law of Diminishing Returns is something and I figure I can’t be fulfilled with having FINISHED per distance race at this point.

There’s something to be said from the world for participating in the “M Dot” races. That’s to saythe Ironman branded triathlons. Earlier this season, a lot of people from your Chucktown Triathletes club decided that Ironman 70.3 Florida was likely to function as long-course race of selection for the first season. I, not being one to back down in the face of adversity, determined that I would add this race to my list. So it occurred.

Enough chit chat.
More substance.
Race week arrived and we hit on the street …


Trotta and I arrived on scene at Haines City, Florida around 5:30 on Friday afternoon following a trip down from Charleston. (Well I suppose there was that whole high speed chase item in Georgia and the phantom in the air purifier …) We hit Ironman Village and assessed the spectacle.


We then tooled around the expo for just a bit and went and picked up our race packets. I wasn’t all that impressed with the expo bee tee dub (BTW). It didn’t look that much better than some races I have been to. I picked up a brand new set of compression leg sleeves and a pair of recovery socks while there, however. We scoped the lake and also the transition region and met up with a few of the additional Chucktown team. Lake temp that day was 72.4 … Hmmm, maybe I should have brought my wetsuit. Oh well. At that point the race was imminent and I was assessed in.


Fast forward to Saturday morning where we hit the resort hotel s breakfast buffet. I killed a few toast and bacon. Carbed up like a bawws. We headed back outside around the bike and also a little 1 mile jog to Haines City to get a leg opener. I received my bicycle checked in to breakout and it was time to cool. We headed back to Orlando and had our pre-race tradition of an early film and grilled fish and potato meal. On to sleep. For most. I never sleep in front of a race. I am so nervous. I lie there in bed and go over all the “what-ifs” for the moment. Then the alarm clock goes off (at 3:30). That is what happened. Oh well. Sleep is for the poor perfect? (jk)

We arrived on site around 5:00 at the A.M. and started getting everything prepared. It was right about then I heard the telephone going around the lake temp was 74 degrees and so the race WOULD be wetsuit legal. Florida, it appears that I have been underestimating your crazy mood swings along with terrain inconsistencies. I wish now I had attracted my wettie…

Regardless, I feel so comfortable in transition now that I had everything prepared and put up in half an hour and was essentially left to sit about and waitfor. Which I hate.


I grabbed my goggles and cap and pulled down to my race skivvies and led to the lake. My wave started at 7:34 so that I had enough time to mill about and talk it up along with my home crew in addition to some of the additional 5000 folks there. Before I knew it, it was go time.

Swim — 1.2 Miles “M” Shaped Swim in Lake Eva
This was an in water beginning, which I would rather shore starts because I am not that good at running out into the water and then getting through the shallows and dolphin diving and everything. The water temp was 74 degrees which made the race wetsuit legal im703florida-swimthough I’d left mine at Charleston, hanging from the laundry area. The water felt great . I received a set of Aquasphere Kayenne goggles a couple of weeks ago and was using them. They are the “small” frame design which I hadn’t utilized in a hurry before but they turned out to be perfect. No leaks what-so-ever. My wave had no more than 200 individuals inside which is just another boon looking at a number of the other waves have been much larger. I prepared to receive my swim on and waded out to the start buoy. When the horn went away, I jumped ahead to the front because I wasn’t too worried about traffic early because of the wave size. There were a few elbows and knees in the way, but for the large part my path cleared and led for the first turn buoy. I felt like I was swimming and I did not have any difficulty holding my own. I started heading for the two turns and left the first turn with no trouble. At one stage I realized that I was sighting from the incorrect pencil buoy (which interestingly enough I can see on the GPS printout there) and adjusted. I struck the interior turns and felt great. I guess I wasn’t swimming as hard as I do, possibly for fear of tiring out. But while I was swimming I was feeling amazing. I left the interior reach a traffic and turns. A errant arm swung down and required a pull making contact with me and narrowly missed my guy parts. This was a glancing strike with no actual pain, but I understood that if there had been contact, I may have been out of pocket. This has been a definite triathlon first. The turn that was outside was made by me and was headed for home. I saw several caps out of the waves which began prior to me, although I found swim caps out of the waves which had begun after me. I felt like I was in good form. I took a recovery stroke and also looked at my watch and realized that I wasn’t on speed. I am not certain that I wasnt even completed yet and why but I had been about 4-5 minutes from my target. I picked up the speed somewhat and approximately 300 yards from the coast , right leg seized up. It was weird. It didn’t hurt bad just like a cramp. I simply couldn’t move it. I arm and one leg kicked stroked until I felt the floor. I was a bit far from the shore, and so I began kicking from the floor together with my leg. I stood up when I finally got close enough. I needed to take a couple of seconds to perform the kink and then was able to run right into transition. I have no idea exactly what happened AND my was never bothered by it again for the rest of the day. Weird weird. Looking back at the information, I lost time. It might seem that I didn’t take a line that is straight on them. However, I think I didn’t push myself as hard as I might have. One benefit to this, however, is that out of this weird leg thing, I felt unbelievably good and prepared to move into another game.

Official swim time: 46:21

Transition One
The run upward from the lake shore into transition wasn’t too awful. I hustled in since I knew that to get to my bike and then out was going to have a bit. I sort of had to go around my arse to get to my umbow. I got ready to roll out on the 56 mile trip and must bicycle. I chugged a few Skratch Labs hydration mix I started putting my helmet and shades on and had waiting. I’d prepared my 40 ounce Spedfil Aero jar with GU Roctane endurance (grape if you “have to ” understand ) and two 24 ounce bottles in rear mounted pliers and I’d Honey Stinger waffles and Lara Bar Alts for my strong nourishment. I put on my race bib and swung it. I am not positive if we were supposed to wear it. Although the lady at packet pickup said I believe the athlete manual said . I listened to yes. My sneakers were already clipped to the bike so I threw in my dry-fit socks and started running out… Looking back, there isn’t anything that I feel I might have done to make this transition almost faster. PS- Someone yelled my name since I was leaving T1 and that I looked up but that I didn’t recognize you. Should you happen to read this recap please comment and let me know it was you personally …

Official T1 Time: 4:01

Motorcycle — 56 Miles – One Loop from Haines City to Lake Wales and rear
I hopped on my motorcycle and got my feet in my head and headed out. I felt quite strong and so I pushed on the pace. im703florida-bikeThere were a few up and down rollers at the start of the class but for the most part the first 30 miles were flat, smooth and fast. There were things where I held 21-22 miles wihout even attempting. Come back to find out there was a tailwind. I will own it . I held that a average during the bicycle divide and it felt great. Again, this is the race I have ever participated in so I guess that stands to reason, although there was a ton more bike traffic than I have ever noticed before. I had been chunking people left and rigt (not right, that would be poor form and dangerous…) I know that there are constantly newbs over the path and I concede that I had been simply as newb as the next guy last year, but please, for the love of all that is great and for your safety and mine, so please understand the principles of the street when biking. I came upon a small pack of folks at one point and there was a man who was riding side by side with another biker and was not attempting to pass. I came up behind him yelled “in your left” and he didn’t even pretend to proceed. I cried and he looked back over his shoulder but didn’t move. So I handed him closely on the exterior and yelled right in his face, “You don’t cruise. ” He started to use most unfriendly words which the village children had not heard and cried threats by canzonette to curse his crafty biking however, I was way beyond him and never saw or heard from him again. Learn the principles folks. A little later on I saw a woman on a bike in front of me get knocked off of her bicycle phantasm or by some apparition. Either she or that struck at an place in the road. In any event, she took a nasty spill. I checked her fast and she said she was ok so I kept on moving. At one point I saw a group of whom I suspect were pterodactyls. They had been either that or some kind of any such or red whooping crane. So as I began to return towards Haines City and as I made my way around the rear side of this loop, I detected a change in the end. There were several sections of fierce mph gusts of crosswind. At one point I was hunkering down in aero, pedaling my heart out every time a gust ALL BUT took my bike out from under me. I really carefully popped up to the horns and then held on for dear life. Someone came up from behind me made a remark about getting knocked on by that gust. I just kept on kepting on. The winds shifted from cross to back and head a few times and there were a few hills around the course’s backside. I really pinpointed my nutrition on this leg and I felt well hydrated and well nurished. I knew that I put up a time and it gave me a moment of thinking I actually went to PR this particular half. Oh Florida, you tricksy hobbit. I got back into town, watched the chute for T2, pulled my feet out of my head and also made a adequate dismount right in the point. I pumped my toes into transition two feeling pretty good.

Official Bike Time: 3:11:32

Transition Two
So far as I can remember, nothing weird happened within this transition.Oh yeah, there were Sunscreen women employing suncreen along the way from transition. I bet that’s where I lost 20-30 seconds… I racked my bike and came in. I received off my helmet and also my visor on. I sat down to put my 2xU calf compression sleeves on put my sneakers on. I grabbed my hydration belt and headed out. That is where things start getting hairy…

Official T2 Time: 4:35

Run — 13.1 miles — Triple Loop About Lake Eva
Right from the gate I had been feeling fairly great. I ran out of transition and about the chute enclosing IM Village. There were lots of people there cheering everyone on and it felt great to be in that point of the race. It was around then that I noticed that it im703florida-runhad been beginning to get pretty hot. There were two aid stations sort of inside the village area before we set out in the streets of Haines City. I made use of this water cool my gullet and to douse myself. There was a small hill just as we started to make our way. It ran up got back to flat ground and was feeling down right okay. We made another turn on a side walk which appeared to go straight up forever. Did I mention that everyone ran on a ripped up sidewalk that was cracks and slabs and patches of gravel and dirt? Can I mention that I finally crested that hill there has been a very quick downhill before another climb? Did I mention yet that I suddenly understood I would have to tackle those hills two times? I had gotten beyond the hills and has been only about two and half miles in once I hit on a emotional wall that was sudden and almost debilitating. My body hurt, not from anything or cramps, it was only hurting. I felt like my feet have been nailed to the street. Every motion was hurt. I began feeling the soles of my feet sliding. And that I don’t mean between my toes and shoes. I suggest between my bottoms and my bones. I had been painin y’all. I began shuffling since I just couldn’t appear to move any quicker. I was caught around by trotta and was pep speaking me, but it was in one ear and out another. He told me later that he was anxious about me. He told him that he must have been. I was very close. I figured that way would have to return and catch me and that I could at least get back to the end of the loop. Somewhere around that time I started to do a quarter mile shuffle that is tiny, quarter mile stroll thing. I started having disturbing ideas around then too. However, I kept going. I got to the entrance chute back into IM Village and determined that I didn’t need anyone to see me walking so I trotted down the line and people were cheering and whooping and hollering. It game me a small resolve. I chose not to stop and quit. I decided that I would not forgive myself. I realized that I was NOT going to PR, but it suddenly struck me it didn’Regardless of. Recognizing that it didn’t matter I was not going to PR is what did it for me personally. I was able to change out of a dark and nasty mental place into a spot that stated, “Damnit Hank! You will shuffle, or walkor crawlroll, but you’re going to complete that race! ” I walked them up and hit on the set of hills. I didn’t care. I looked on me. I was not the only one. I made certain to take complete advantage of every single aid station. I was massaging ice down the back of my own tri suit and I had been mixing water and Perform drink and taking in as far as I could. I had been inching my way upward. I ended up walking with a couple unique groups of individuals at a few distinct occasions and having fun little chats about how, no matter what, we were planning to complete. I kept going and that I came to the conclusion of the loop. I ran through the chutes as I could and then I hit on the hell slopes for the time. I knew that I was going to make it and my attitude had completely shifted. I was happy. I had been as awake as I could be. I hurt all over, but it didn’t matter. I went to complete.

When I saw skulls tri-kit and a comfortable butterfly up ahead, I had been about a half mile out from the conclusion. Earlier this season, my buddy Bree had worn out a similar lawsuit in the Parris Island triathlon. I understood that her trainer and fellow blogger, Meredith (aka Swim Bike Mother ), was in the race which was her customized kit. I yelled “Hey! Are you Meredith! ” She turned about and stated, “You bet your tri-britches that are handsome I am! ” (some liberties taken in the actual dialogue) We were walking at the point. She had regarding feeling prepared to offer up a similar story. I advised her that no matter what, operate in and we had to come into the finish chute. She agreed. So ’s exactly everything we did.

Here is a screen cap that among her friends caught to the live feed of us crossing the end line.


We crossed the line. They handed me. That was that.

I am now a 2x 70.3 finisher. I cannot say that this race was pretty. It had been far from it. But I finished.


It was by far the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. I don’t have any idea at which the fortitude to last came out. I didn ’ t and that I don ’ t know why, although I wanted to stop and was in poor shape. I’ll be analyzing this for a while to come. However, there will be more races. More chances for salvation. More chances to glow. I move forward and will learn from that race.

I want to have a couple lines to thank some critical people. I would like to thank my amazing trainer Anne Moore, who’s the jam. Without training and her guidance I KNOW I’d have stopped. Making her proud isn’t my goal, but it’s is still motivation. I would like to thank my tri-muskuteer coaching spouses Pearce Fleming and Jason Trotta. They drive me to areas. I need to thank my kids for their support. Charlie always asks your race was , me, Daddy? ” And last but not (whatsoever ) my extraordinary wife Deetz. I am supported by her like every other. She comforts me when I’m hurting (emotionally, mentally, and emotionally – and also to train as I do, there is a good deal of psychological harm ) and affirms my endeavor to be a triathlete. Thank you guys. I love you guys.

I’m done and completed and I’m to another one…

PS- Remember those cream women? Yeah, well…


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