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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: ChesapeakeMan
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2004
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 11:33:24
Overall Place: 24 / 148
Age Group Place: 3 / 15
Comment: I left everything I had on this course!

Race Report:

I did NOT lose my wedding ring this time!!! Also, I am an Ironman x 2! And this time, the knee did not limit me. I am proud of my time and really excited that I gave it everything I had, although I know I could have gone faster if certain factors had worked to my favor. The main issue was nutrition, or lack thereof. Flat courses sound fabulous on paper, but what is forgotten is (1) you must pedal THE ENTIRE ROUTE with no downhills to break it up and (2) the aero position, if not executed perfectly, reduces your stomach's ability to process food. Both of these affected my race. The first I could have fought through. The second was, I believe, the cause for a time of greater than 11 hours.

First of all, Vig ran a great race! I'd like to thank him and the CTA for putting on a great IM race in the Chesapeake area, and for fighting through the 2+ hours of fog to allow us to complete a full Ironman - true professionalism. The swim, starting 2 hours late, caused me to be a little low on nutrition, although I stayed hydrated with some Gatorade and ate a Clif Bar during that 2 hours. What other IM can you keep your feet warm in a hot-tub while waiting for the fog to lift?!? When the swim finally started, the water was gorgeous, and I was rearing to go! I even managed to smile at my wife (in full swim stroke) while she cheered for me at the dock about 200m into the race. Despite the slight tide against us, I pulled out of the water after a mere 1:06, only 5 minutes behind the leader, and in 7th place overall! Long and Strong, my motto, worked very well during this swim. I loved the point-to-point, and not having to turn around buoys with 1500 other competitors.

I took my time through transition (5:27), stopping at the port-o-let after stripping my wetsuit, donning helmet/shoes/sunscreen/etc. My wife was again cheering for me as I exited transition and took off on a very flat bike course. As I said, I was within 10 minutes of the leader at the first turn-around on the bike, so was very pumped as I felt great. I was eating my GU and Hammer Gel, and drinking enough fluid. However, about 40-50 miles into the bike, a couple of things began to hit me.

(1) My right glute started to have a sharp pain/tightness that took a LOOOONG time to work out.

(2) More importantly, due to being hunched over in the aero position non-stop for a couple of hours, my stomach decided that it wouldn't take any more food. So GU, HammerGel, Fig Newtons, PB&J were out. Also having a hard time holding down GU2O drink mix. As a result, to get any nutrition in at all, I had to sit up on the bike (i.e. no-handed all the way up) to straighten out my stomach. This worked a bit, but I got minimal nutrition in the second half of this bike, as well as exposed my body to an inordinate amount of the wind-kill! This meant a tremendous amount of shouting at myself (thank God we were spread out enough that I didn't sound crazy to my fellow competitors!) to get myself to the finish of the bike at even a 19.2mph average. However, I truly enjoyed spotting the occasional heron, turtle, or turkey/vulture out on the course - beautiful!!! Oh well, at this point, I was doubting I'd finish the race due to lack of nutrition, but figured that I'd replenish as much as I could on the run, go as far as I could, and see what happened.

The Bike-Run transition was also very leisurely (6:22), but on purpose. I wanted to regain my composure from the bike as well as stretch, which I felt was my downfall at Lake Placid. As a result, the volunteer in the Men's change tent was looking at me strangely, seeming to say "come on buddy, let's get a move on!" Well, I finally did, and no Vig, a kiss from my wife is NOT outside assistance ;-) I felt FABULOUS on the first 5-7 miles of the run, averaging 8-8.5 min/mile thanks to Rob from the winning relay team. He helped pull me along as he "warmed up." However, my heart rate was only about 150, with which I was comfortable. Unfortunately, the aid stations didn't have much to offer beyond PowerGel (which I couldn't bear the sight of at that point!). I took bananas when they had them, but that wasn't nearly enough food at this late stage given my under-nutrition during the bike. As a result, I began to slow down considerably due to leg fatigue and "running out of gas." However, I kept trucking, sticking to my goal of running the whole marathon with minor walk breaks thrown in. When the bananas ran out, I stuck to Pepsi and water, and the occasional pretzel which began to turn up at aid stations. The volunteers were wonderful, and cheered us on the whole way!!! The 8-minute pace soon turned into a 10:15-minute pace, but I kept running. Then Lynne from the first place Co-ed relay team passed me, but I re-gained on her, and she kept me going until we hit the 19-20 mile point where we turned around and had to do one last mini-loop. At that point, I had to stretch my cramping calves; this didn't take long, and I caught back up to Lynne and her friend. At this point, it was pitch black outside, so we ran down the middle of the road to sight on the dotted line, for which we had to look VERY hard. The patrol vehicles only managed to blind us, but we were glad they were out there anyway. Well, I cranked up the pace with about 1.5 miles to go, giving it everything I had left in the tank; this was apparently about 1/3 mile too soon for me as I absolutely crashed the last 1/3 mile! However, I kept "running," and ran around the track into the arms of my teary-eyed wife! She put the medal around my neck, helped support my weary body with the help of another great volunteer, and tried to decipher my mono-syllabic grunts as answers to the inevitable "Are you all right?" and "Is there anything you need?" questions. That was literally all I could get out at that point except for the word "pizza" which is what had kept me going for the last 5 miles. There is a picture of me with my eyes closed which I mistakenly thought was taken as I lay on the ground of the gymnasium; it was actually taken as I was walked to the gymnasium! Yes, I was that out of it, although I remember the entire race and post-race, especially the "best massage ever." Severe caloric deprivation as well as some dehydration (based on the unscientific "pee color" measure), but I finished and walked away at the end, albeit with a little help!

24th overall and 3rd in my Age Group - yeehaw!

Several huge thanks:

First and foremost to my astounding wife who (1) handled my year-long training in stride, (2) woke up with me at 4am on the morning of this race, (3) cheered me on the whole way, and (4) drove me home at midnight even though she was amazingly tired herself!

Secondly, to Rob Vigorito who threw a great race! I am especially grateful that he did everything in his power to run a full IM despite a 2+hour delay due to fog. Again, true professionalism! Only minor suggestions for improvement: more food at run aid stations, water-bottle sized water on bike course, no fog ;-)

Thirdly, to all of the amazing volunteers who were out there for the duration, and who cheered us on the entire way, especially during the "Ironman shuffle" in the pitch black of night!

As I haven't been shy to say to others, this is my last IM unless/when I get into IM-Hawaii. I don't have the time/energy to train for these properly and still have a life/job. Plus, I am better at International distance races. I'll still be out there training hard, but I've met my IM goals, and I'm proud. Eagleman and Reston, here I come!!!