Jump to content
The Loop

Ironman Atlantic City 70.3


ocrunnergirl

467 views

 Share

I signed up for Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 at the end of 2019. Like every other race it was Covid cancelled for 2020. 

Immediately following my 2 marathons earlier this year (Tidewater at the end of April & Jim Thorpe at the end of May) I found myself on the injured list. I got a calf strain from pushing WAY too hard. I've come to realize I am not someone who can run multiple races hard and come out okay. Sigh. Once my calf got better I hurt my hamstring deadlifting. And then I followed that up with an achilles/plantar fascia issue. 

To say my running was severely under-trained for this race would be a gross UNDERSTATEMENT! My cycling and swimming however (and CrossFitting) were well trained. My speed on the bike went from approximately 16.5 mph to 18.5 mph and my swimming had nowhere to go but up! LOL! I completed a 2.4 mile swim 3 weeks before IMAC. That swim turned out to be my fastest ever even with my panic attack and my horrible sighting skills. (1:43/100 yds)

As race day approached I tried to think about the race and the logistics. If you have never done a Tri before the sheer amount of gear needed is overwhelming! I then started to try to figure out how long the race would take me. 1.2 mile swim - 40 minutes, transition 1 - 5 minutes, 56 mile bike - 3 hours 15 minutes, transition 2 - 5 minutes, 13.1 mile run - 2 hours 10 minutes. Add it all up and that's approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes!! Combine that with having to get to the race at 4:30 am to set up and start at 6:30 am I then realized nutrition would have to also be added into the logistics!

I went to packet pick up on Friday before the race. I listened to the pre-race meeting 2 times. I studied my athlete guide. I did NOT want to get penalized. I ended up buying an Ironman cap because the run had no shade. Best purchase ever!

1013336854_image1(4).thumb.jpeg.0e52e23406dd05b09902d65aff9e3ee2.jpeg

I slept fairly well Saturday night and was out the door by 4:15 am. I went and set up all of my gear for transition. Towel, helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes, bike socks, bike jersey that I had prestuffed with food (2 Gu, a Honey Stinger Waffle, a Clif Bar and a homemade peanut butter banana muffin with extra peanut butter), sneakers, handheld with 2 more Gu, Ironman ball cap, bib with pins. Phew!

622229873_image1(3).thumb.jpeg.9c821cd0e53fae482228627b0a42ecf8.jpeg

I then went back to my car and ate some oatmeal for breakfast. Before long it was time to put on my wetsuit and goggles to line up for the swim. I placed myself in the 35 - 37 minute swim group and reminded myself to go out calm and smooth. (At AC Tri and the Cedar Island swim I had panic attacks and spent most of my time telling myself to CALM THE F DOWN! Lots of self talk happens when you are under water! Lol)

We went out in groups of 5 from a boat ramp. Volunteers were there telling us to be careful. As I walked down the ramp I didn't realize that the ramp wasn't a smooth transition to the ground so I literally fell into the water. The swim went well for the 1st 500 yards. I was calm, cool and collected. Not a panic attack in sight! Yahoo! When we made the turn to swim across the bay all of a sudden it seemed like I couldn't make progress. I looked up to see why there was so much turbulence in the water. There were people standing up and walking! WTF?? The tide was so low that we could stand (and sink into the muck!) I got up and followed my fellow competitors. It was crazy! I was very worried about what might be on the bottom of the bay that we could step on - The race was in Atlantic City after all! -- ditched guns, knives used in homicides?? As we made the turn to head back on the 3rd side of the box I went back to swimming because it was actually faster than walking in the muck. My stroke was something more like pull the water, claw the mud, push the water. Soon enough the water became deep enough just to swim. I finished the swim in 36:32 (1:53/100 m) 10th in my AG

1341309064_image1(2).thumb.jpeg.79956005bfc045892a432538679aee30.jpeg

Lapped my watch for T1. Felt good enough to run into transition while pulling off my wetsuit. The swim photos of me and everyoneare truly terrible with bay muck covering our faces. I stripped off the wetsuit, pulled on my socks, cycling shoes, bike jersey, helmet and sunglasses. I managed to run/jog out of transition as fast as I could. As I mounted my bike I hit my watch to lap it for the bike portion. My watch showed a screen I've never seen so I tapped it again and now it read T2. Ugh! I didn't panic. I just stopped the Triathlon function on the watch and changed it to the cycling function. Transition 1 actually included 1 "bonus" mile of riding so I still have all of the data recorded for the ride. T1 - 7:03.

The bike ride was a loop. We had to ride the loop 2.5 times to complete the 56 mile ride. The wind was out of the southwest at 20-22 mph. Ugh. As soon as I got up onto the Atlantic City Expressway I took my first Gu. I was going to make myself drink and eat. On the forums the day before people were saying they drink up to 4 bottles on 50 mile rides. 😲 I maybe drink 1 bottle. It was around 80* so I knew I needed to stay hydrated. My bike splits were good until my last time coming out of Atlantic City. The wind had picked up and it was a battle. I ate 2 more times - one honey stinger waffle and my pb banana muffin. I skipped all of the on course aid stations.

943128589_image0(2).thumb.jpeg.7a362e98a88f766266d2bf764c8090eb.jpeg

53911322_image3(1).thumb.jpeg.788e4a366b7684b5e215e6a332a616d9.jpeg

Bike splits per 5 miles -- 19, 19.2, 19.2. 18.2, 18, 18.2, 19.7, 17.6, 17.4, 17.4, 18.6. Overall average pace of 18.4 mph. 13th in my AG

We still had a one mile "bonus" to bike back to transition. People were actually slowing down here. I couldn't believe it. I passed so many people who were just cruising in. I dismounted my bike and re-racked it, put on my calf sleeve, running shoes and hat as fast as I could. I grabbed my handheld, hat and bib number and then made a pit stop at the port-a-potties. Even though I still only managed to drink about one bottle on the bike I guess I was well hydrated. I had to pin on my bib number because my race belt broke at my last Tri. T2 - 8:54 (ugh!)

I shuffled out of transition for the half mile out and back that we had to do in the festival area before heading down to the boardwalk. My plan for the run was to run 1/2 a mile and walk 30 seconds or so since I was so under-trained. Let me tell you my foot/achilles was killing from step 1! I had no idea if I was going to be able to handle the run. My 1st mile was an 8:47... No idea. As we left Bader field we made a left to head down to the boardwalk. The traffic the race caused that day was epic! The poor police officers were being yelled at by all of the motorists. The first aid station was right before the 2 mile mark. I filled up my handheld with some of the ice and water, but then I didn't get the lid on correctly. It was spilling everywhere!

612533709_image3(2).thumb.jpeg.d8f1cc6b0db5265a64c0602eb6928b91.jpeg

I saw 2 of my friends as I came up on the boardwalk and then quickly I saw one more. The guy behind me said that I knew everyone. I told him it paid to race local! I continued my run/walk strategy and grabbed water/ice and or Gatorade at every rest stop. Mile 2 - 5: 9:20, 9:06, 10:14, 10:07. I took a Gu around mile 4.

I was so happy when we made the u turn to start running back north. I saw another friend volunteering around mile 6. She was directing everyone to run out on the fishing pier. Perfect photo op spot!  Mile 6 - 7: 9:35, 9:55.

image3.thumb.jpeg.c8f4fc041d11fd6f4fdb21a182890a7e.jpeg

image2.thumb.jpeg.55888206bd981d8940dbe7d343d5406a.jpeg

We had to go out around the Pier at Caesars (a shopping mall). It was the only shaded spot on the whole course! mile 8 & 9 - 9:36, 10:50. I took a Gu in the shade.

When I made the turn to continue north on the boardwalk I saw Nicole and then Cathy and Cathy's friend!!! Cathy drove all the way from CT to see me race! I tossed my handheld to them and continued on with a tiny bit more pep in my step. Mile 10 10:01.

1485693498_image4(2).thumb.jpeg.d91660b4365be6ed46f59dcf0f9929bd.jpeg

I came up to an aid station that was manned with all of my Tri club friends. They cheered for me. Yay! They said the turn around was just ahead so I decided to keep going and grab some water/Gatorade on the way back. The turn around was not right around the corner! It felt forever away! Mile 11 - 10:21.

I wasn't going fast but I just kept going happy to be finally headed for the finish line. I tried to pick up my pace as we rounded the Pier at Caesars one final time. Mile 12 & 13 10:00, 9:24. I could hear Cathy and Nicole screaming for me.

909427616_image0(4).thumb.jpeg.d0087ec929c8c7f04b6d25b800221686.jpeg

As I left the boardwalk to run to the finish through the soft sand I tried to go as fast as I could ... which wasn't fast at all!

46138202_image1(1).thumb.jpeg.f65bbab93491c9f483d9ba1605a05f5f.jpeg

689310934_image2(2).thumb.jpeg.206a6a58df33ccdbcb69828731d8b566.jpeg

1563598174_image4(1).thumb.jpeg.73980ca9137f9eca956427f3c325a906.jpeg

image0.thumb.png.a8c4106bac05826b74ce3df9f1258c9c.png

I was so happy to be done! 13.1 - 2:06:54 (9:36 pace). 6th in AG

What an epic day! So many good friends helped me make it to race day!

2129391499_image0(1).thumb.jpeg.2a6adb055819c3de3480e960a012afa4.jpeg

I finished with a time of 6:01:57. 7th out of 38 in my AG. 10 minutes out of 4th and 30 minutes out of 3rd.

I went into this race not knowing what to expect. I left this race with goals. Heaven help my friends. Lol!

1927748313_image0(3).thumb.jpeg.51e3e3046a6c4b1271d43627246dc8a8.jpeg

 

image0 (1).jpeg

Edited by ocrunnergirl
pictures

  • Like 9
 Share

23 Comments


Recommended Comments

1 hour ago, CompulsiveRunner said:

Way to go, Gwen! Such a great race. You're really an exceptional athlete - you know that, right???  

Awww thanks! I’ve got some great people that I’ve been gaining  a lot of knowledge from

Link to comment

What a great race report, Gwen! You are just so inspiring, and it's fun for me - a non-triathlete - to get a taste of triathlon from the inside.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
7 hours ago, gdionelli said:

What a great race report, Gwen! You are just so inspiring, and it's fun for me - a non-triathlete - to get a taste of triathlon from the inside.

Yes! I actually like the multi sport! It is fun (but difficult) to train the 3 different events. I really want to run healthy and see what I can do.

Thanks for reading!

Link to comment

Great job! It sounds like a good time, but finish in soft sand, I would have died! (Who am I kidding, I would have been dead long before that!)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Great Race, way to adapt to running the half and finishing it well, especially after doing the swim and bike portions.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

well done ! 

Quote

I went into this race not knowing what to expect. I left this race with goals.

and so it begins ;-) 
That's exactly what happened when I started tri.. hm wait, I'm nearly on the podium, just a bit more training maybe ?  a new bike perhaps ? 
 

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment

Finish on the sand. Add that to my list of reasons I'll never do a tri.

I know you don't do any of this to impress me, but I will say it anyway - I'm seriously impressed.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
17 hours ago, doug in co said:

well done ! 

and so it begins 😉
That's exactly what happened when I started tri.. hm wait, I'm nearly on the podium, just a bit more training maybe ?  a new bike perhaps ? 
 

 

OMG!! That’s exactly what I’m thinking!! Honestly if you saw my running leading up to this event you would know that I left so much out there in that event alone. 
Definitely thinking about a professional bike fit or a new bike … if I can afford it

  • Like 1
Link to comment
22 hours ago, Run2BFit said:

Great Race, way to adapt to running the half and finishing it well, especially after doing the swim and bike portions.

It is weird how separate they are. Swim for me is not a cardio event. I just have to get through it. When you get off of the bike you think there is no way that you can….yet you can because it uses different muscles 

Link to comment
On 9/18/2021 at 10:36 AM, DaveDec said:

Great job! It sounds like a good time, but finish in soft sand, I would have died! (Who am I kidding, I would have been dead long before that!)

 

I’m just too dumb to stop. Lol. The sand was super short so not a big deal. Definitely not a fan of beach running.

Thanks for reading.

Link to comment
16 hours ago, Dave said:

Finish on the sand. Add that to my list of reasons I'll never do a tri.

I know you don't do any of this to impress me, but I will say it anyway - I'm seriously impressed.

This race director loves sand finishes!! Lol. I don’t think it’s the norm though.

I like trying different things because there are zero expectations. A finish is a win. Now that I’ve got goals … ugh!!

Link to comment
23 hours ago, ocrunnergirl said:

Definitely thinking about a professional bike fit or a new bike … if I can afford it

the bike is very annoying because you can buy speed, which means to be competitive you have to spend money.. 

every single expensive bit of my tri-bike is from ebay ;-)  including the frame, bought it for $500 and then built it up.. 

cervelo.thumb.jpg.ffe33b37254bf914cea28a6724941c30.jpg

A new bike won't do much for speed. 
Cheaper and faster is to buy a few bits for the existing bike.

A disc rear wheel is worth 2min or so over the 70.3 bike ride. That is relatively easy, $100 for a wheel cover from wheelbuilder.com. 
Real discs are thousands but the wheel cover is about 98% as effective aerodynamically as a real disc.. 

front wheel isn't so easy, but can be found used for a couple hundred. Another minute or two. 

Tires and tubes are startlingly important - mostly through rolling resistance. Check bicyclerollingresistance.com for more detail than you could possibly want ;-)
I tend to get the mid-range tires that are a bit cheaper and more durable, something like Continental 4000. Then latex tubes in them for race day. Ordinary inner tubes are butyl and slower and less comfortable than latex. 

Other cheap improvements that give good bang for the buck, 
- aero helmet 
- tight fitting bike top with sleeves, and keep it zipped up ;-) 

A generally good aero helmet is the Garneau P09, though I have trouble paying $200 for a bike helmet. My aero helmet was $100 used from a friend who was upgrading. 

Position on the bike is the single biggest factor in speed, because of aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is weird and wildly specific to the individual. The only way to tell if a bike fit or position change will actually be faster is to go to a wind tunnel, or do some homebrew aero testing. I used to ride a small circuit on the road out at a state park at max effort, early in the morning to avoid wind and traffic, and do 5 repetitions with each setup. Averaging the times gives a rough idea of whether it is any better. 
Things like angling the aerobars up, moving them up and down, saddle etc. 



 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Fantastic job! Considering also the muck-wading/swimming (ew)… massive congratulations!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
20 hours ago, Slow_Running said:

Way to go OC!  You crushed it!  Congrats. Miss you.

Miss you too! We didn't get our summer fix. You'll be at Rehoboth, correct?

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Moose said:

Fantastic job! Considering also the muck-wading/swimming (ew)… massive congratulations!

Thanks! I'm a beach girl so used to muck, seaweed, etc. Lol. Hope you are doing well!

Link to comment
20 hours ago, doug in co said:

the bike is very annoying because you can buy speed, which means to be competitive you have to spend money.. 

every single expensive bit of my tri-bike is from ebay 😉 including the frame, bought it for $500 and then built it up.. 

cervelo.thumb.jpg.ffe33b37254bf914cea28a6724941c30.jpg

A new bike won't do much for speed. 
Cheaper and faster is to buy a few bits for the existing bike.

A disc rear wheel is worth 2min or so over the 70.3 bike ride. That is relatively easy, $100 for a wheel cover from wheelbuilder.com. 
Real discs are thousands but the wheel cover is about 98% as effective aerodynamically as a real disc.. 

front wheel isn't so easy, but can be found used for a couple hundred. Another minute or two. 

Tires and tubes are startlingly important - mostly through rolling resistance. Check bicyclerollingresistance.com for more detail than you could possibly want 😉
I tend to get the mid-range tires that are a bit cheaper and more durable, something like Continental 4000. Then latex tubes in them for race day. Ordinary inner tubes are butyl and slower and less comfortable than latex. 

Other cheap improvements that give good bang for the buck, 
- aero helmet 
- tight fitting bike top with sleeves, and keep it zipped up 😉

A generally good aero helmet is the Garneau P09, though I have trouble paying $200 for a bike helmet. My aero helmet was $100 used from a friend who was upgrading. 

Position on the bike is the single biggest factor in speed, because of aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is weird and wildly specific to the individual. The only way to tell if a bike fit or position change will actually be faster is to go to a wind tunnel, or do some homebrew aero testing. I used to ride a small circuit on the road out at a state park at max effort, early in the morning to avoid wind and traffic, and do 5 repetitions with each setup. Averaging the times gives a rough idea of whether it is any better. 
Things like angling the aerobars up, moving them up and down, saddle etc. 



 

Yes! The buying speed was one reason that I never delved into tris before. Just doesn't feel right. 

I messaged a local guy who does bike fits so I will see him soon. Definitely will look into the wheel cover.

I had to change my tires recently. I went tubeless and they did give me a nice bump in speed.

Someone else also said I should get a better helmet for aero. I also should get a better helmet in case of crashing. (One of my friends crashed on one of our group rides - tire bump. Ended up with a brain bleed. 😢)

Might get more comfortable aero bars.

Thanks for all of the tips!

Beautiful bike!!

Edited by ocrunnergirl
Link to comment
3 hours ago, ocrunnergirl said:

Miss you too! We didn't get our summer fix. You'll be at Rehoboth, correct?

I'll be there! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Congrats, so amazing! (I'm so behind on reading bloops and commenting - I actually did read this right after you posted but it was on my work computer and I wasn't signed in so I couldn't comment) I did comment on facebook...

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...