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Tri Geek Alert

by Meghann on September 30, 2013

The Athlete Guide for Ironman Florida was released over the weekend. Gulp.

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My brother called on my way home from work yesterday to let me know and I immediately downloaded and printed it as soon as I got home. Full distance Ironman races are done a little differently than regular triathlons, so I want to make sure I’m fully prepared.

There’s a lot to know, for starters, athletes have to check-in at the race site on either the Wednesday or Thursday before the Saturday race day. That means I need to be in Panama City a full two days before race start. My bike and gear won’t need to be checked in until Friday, but I will need to pick-up my packet, sign my waiver, and attend one of the mandatory pre-race meetings on Thursday.

Derek and I are planning to leave for Panama City bright and early Thursday morning. Check-in closes at 5 and I’m hoping to book a massage appointment at the massage tent for that evening

There’s also a complimentary Welcome Dinner on Thursday night and complimentary pancake breakfast Friday morning. Free food – check and check!

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I like being forced to go early because that also gives my siblings and I a chance to test the course out with an open water swim and bike ride. Nothing crazy, just enough to get a feel for the course.

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I’ll go over race bags in a different post because I’m still mulling them over. I think race bags – and the fact you have changing tents instead of a traditional transition – are really what separate the full distance Ironman from other distances. Basically I’ll be heading to the changing tent instead of my bike for transition. This also opens up the option of, well, changing instead of doing the entire race in a single tri kit. Man, I also still need to figure out what I’m going to wear (yep, that’s another post, too!).

Gear bags will need to be turned in Friday (when the bike is dropped off), but special needs bags don’t need to be dropped off until race day.

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Ironman has been testing self-seeded swim waves this year (instead of the traditional mass start) as part of their swim-smart initiative. Florida wasn’t on the original list of races with swim waves, but was added later. Honestly, before the decision was finalized, I’d been rooting for the mass start. It makes me a little sad my time won’t match up with the official race clock’s time when I cross the finish line. Boo. 🙁

The bike course and run course seem pretty normal, with aide stations every 10 miles on the bike and every mile on the run. There’s special need stations at the midway point on each. Something to note – chicken broth will be available after dark at the aide stations on the run (something I plan to take advantage of!).

Something that I’ve noted in the athlete guide (and have been obsessing over since I signed up for this race) are the cut-off times.

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I keep running every time scenario imaginable through my head to see which ones have me making time and which ones don’t. I’m nervous, really nervous, but I know I’ve got this. I just need to get to the run and I know I’ll be good.

So, yeah, you know you’re training for an Ironman when you spend an entire evening reading and obsessing over an athlete guide, then write a whole post about it. I sometimes forget no one else really cares about this, but I find it all so fascinating. Yep, I’m officially a tri-geek. 😉

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth September 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

So exciting! The guide for Tahoe didn’t come out until about 9 days before the race and I printed it the day it came out as well. Can’t wait to read about the rest of your journey and to hear if you get addicted!
Beth recently posted..Ironman Lake Tahoe – Race Prep

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2 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Wow, it’s all coming up so fast! Best of luck with the rest of your training & planning! 🙂
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..Weekend Update

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3 [email protected] September 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm
4 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Wow I can’t believe it is already coming up so soon!! You will do GREAT! Believe in yourself – don’t freak yourself out! 🙂 You’ve got this!!!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..My Stress Fracture Recovery Supplement and Vitamin Regiment

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5 Megan (The Lyons' Share) September 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Don’t say no one cares – I think a lot of us following along are loving “going on the journey with you”! You’re an inspiration for sure!
Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted..Taking Steps to a Healthier YOU + Foodie Penpals

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6 meghan @ little girl in the big world September 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Oh we care. We’re all invested in this and rooting for you. And holy crap athletes guides make me nervous. I just got anxious reading this.
meghan @ little girl in the big world recently posted..Weekly Workout Recap 9/23-9/29

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7 Emily September 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Those living vicariously through your athletic endeavors care! 🙂 I used to pour over the husband’s race bibles back in the day, too. I like to think it’s because I was a good cycling wife to remind him when his TT start time would be, but really I think it was to feel a part of things when he was traveling.
Emily recently posted..Burgers, Life Decisions, and a Dramatic Makeover

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8 Laura October 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

You aren’t alone-I find it so interesting!

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9 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 1, 2013 at 8:57 am

Theres sooo much that goes on in an IM that I had no idea about! I think your training will have you finishing strong 🙂 I love following along with all of it!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..The Pink Lining: Finding the Good in Breast Cancer

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10 Bridgette October 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

I definitely care and I know others do too. I love living vicariously through your endeavors…Plus we all want you do to well… Will you have family and friends tweeting for you during the race?

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11 joelle (on a pink typewriter) October 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

It’s your blog – you can talk about whatever makes you happy, gf! I would love to one day just do a regular ol’ tri — an Ironman would be beyond amazing so I enjoy reading about your training. 🙂
joelle (on a pink typewriter) recently posted..HEALTHtober

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12 Ashley October 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

Oh my gosh this makes me anxious (and excited!) for you!

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13 Lisa October 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I love reading about your training and everything involved. It’s exciting! Mostly because ill never do one, but I feel like you give us an inside look at the good bad and ugly 🙂

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14 Katie October 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Oh no, we care, we want to know more! Feel free to post as much as you like!
Katie recently posted..September 2013 Recap

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15 Anne Weber-Falk October 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm

While I’m a group fitness instructor I am not an athlete but I find your blog fascinating and very educating. I really enjoy your blog and I am rooting for you. GO MEGHANN GO!!

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16 Katie October 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I love reading about your training for Ironman! I read your blog during my morning break at work and then tell my co-workers what you’re doing. We are all very excited for you!! And I’m beyond excited that I’ll be in a (sprint) triathlon the same day you’re doing Ironman! 🙂 Keep posting.

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17 Reenie October 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I sometimes forget no one else really cares about this. . . . Girl, whatcha talkin’ bout Willis? Of course we care, or we wouldn’t be here. WOW!! I can’t believe it’s almost here….. You and your sibs will Rock this!!! 🙂

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18 Mary October 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I LOVE reading about the Ironman stuff…keep us posted on everything!

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19 Caroline October 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Even though I have no plans to ever do an ironman, I still enjoy learning about it. Enjoy reading.
Caroline recently posted..Walking The Final Mile of the Boston Marathon Route

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20 Faith October 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Whew! Glad I’m not the only IM newbie that did this! I was doing laundry today and starting re-thinking what I am going to wear race day “should I wear these bike shorts or those?” and the cut-off times… I also know I’ll be fine but it makes me nervous to see it there in the official guide! See you in PCB!

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21 Jaclyn October 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

You’ve got this! You have been training hard and diligently. By the way, what’s up with the chicken broth at night?

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22 Sil October 2, 2013 at 6:03 am

Hey I love the way you describe al your pre-competition feelings. I’m pretty sure I’d be doing the same thing if I were to do an IM. Actually I’m running NYC marathon next month and can’t wait to get the runners guide in my hands! Even though I don’t know if I will ever be able t-or dare- o do an IM I’m planning on doing the 70.3 Miami next year… So, I’ll be waiting for your next post, whatever is in your mind, we all get amused !!! Keep going!

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23 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy October 2, 2013 at 7:45 am

You’ve worked so hard for this! I’ve been following and can’t wait to see you rock it!
Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy recently posted..Stop the Judging Tends and WIAW

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24 Anne October 2, 2013 at 9:22 am

Aside from the fact your an awesome athlete Meghann, you inspire soo many because of us because of your incredible gift to set a goal, go for it with extreme enthusiasm and the most positive attitude in a person i’ve ever witnessed. You show us all how when we want something bad enough nothing can stand in our way to achieve it. I think you inspire so many of us in so many different ways. Keep posting ~

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25 Natasha October 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I definitely care and I know others do too. I love living vicariously through your endeavors…Plus we all want you do to well… Will you have family and friends tweeting for you during the race?
Natasha recently posted..Does Nuratrim Work? Our decisive answer!

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26 Lesley T. October 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Checking out the athlete guide seems like worthwhile or even necessary race prep to me!

I’m always amazed by how intense, organized, and tough the entire IM experience is. It’s really cool (and really intimidating to me, but then again I’m a couch potato).

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27 danielle October 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Fascinating stuff!! I would love to do an IM, but simply am unable to dedicate the amount of time that this type of race deserves. I would love to see a post about how you are practicing race day nutrition. From my friends who have done this distance, I know how important getting that spot on and practiced is, so I’d love to hear what works for you!

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