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Race Goals for Ironman Florida

by Meghann on October 28, 2013

When you’re training for a race (ANY race) you always get two questions:

  1. How’s training going?
  2. What are your goals for race day?

Well, right now training is going great. I mean, I could get used to this whole tapering business. Sleeping in? Only working out once a day? Brilliant!

Now, about those race goals. Hmmm….

If you would have asked me at the beginning of training what my goals were for race day, I would have had no comment because I honestly had no idea. I had never trained for a full Ironman before and had no idea what to predict time-wise for either my swim, bike, or my run. Now that some time has passed – and I’ve gotten to learn a little bit more of what my body is capable of over the last 24 weeks – I have slowly narrowed down some time goals for myself. I’m not looking to break any records (hellz no!) or qualify for Kona (HA!!!!), but I am looking to push my own personal limits and see what my body can do.



Alright, alright, this one is a no brainer, but my first goal is to make all the cut offs. Not only do I have multiple cut offs to make for the swim, bike, and run, but I have to cross the finish line under 17:00:00 or I will not have the pleasure of being called an Ironman. If I cross at 17:00:01 I’m toast.

GOAL #2: Finish under 15 hours.

This goal is actually the realistic fingers-crossed one that my coach and I came to based off of my training and current abilities.

This would break down to:

  • Swim: 2 hours

Screen shot 2011-09-27 at 10.07.09 AM.png

My coach is actually predicting more of a 1:30 for the swim, but I’m a little worried about the conditions of the water. Panama City is known for being a little choppy at the start and I haven’t had a lot of training in choppy waves. I also plan to stand back a little at the beginning and let the crazy, competitive swimmers a chance to plow themselves over before I make my own attempts of entering the water. This time would also include the time for T1.

  • Bike: 8 hours


Let’s face it, I’m slow on the bike. It’s my least favorite of all three and the motivation for speed has never clicked with me. However, it is a “flat and fast” course that I can use to my advantage. My goal is to maintain a 15 – 16mph pace and not let all of the “on your left”s I’ll hear persuade me to go faster than my goal pace (any faster and I will eventually burn out). As long as I limit my stops to emergencies and special needs, I should be good.

  • Run: 5 hours


Running will always be my first true love. I’m sure I’ll spend the whole race telling myself “just make it to the run! just make it to the run!” (that’s what I always tell myself in triathlons!) I felt surprisingly good during the run portions for my two 70.3s and I’ll take the great run I had after my 100 mile bike ride a few weeks ago as a good sign. I plan to do a run/walk for the run, which usually works well for me during tris. This race will probably be my slowest marathon to date (my current slowest was my first marathon in 2009 with a finish time of 4:29), but I’ve also never run a marathon after a 2.4 miles swim and 112 mile bike before ;).


So those are my time goals. I guess my other goals will be to keep crying to the minimum (each time I imagine what it will be like to finish each of the three sports, I start to tear up) and enjoy the race. This may be my one and only Ironman attempt, I need to soak it all in!



I’m not 100% sure what my siblings’ goals are, but I can guess how it’s going to play out… Basically Ben will kick mine and Kelly’s booties in both the swim and on the bike. However, there’s a chance either of us will catch up to him on the run (depending on what his lead time is, more than likely he’ll build such a large lead that he’ll finish before we have a chance to catch up). Kelly will kick my butt in the swim, but I may catch up to her on the bike or the run. Kelly and I have caught up to each other during both our 70.3s (we even finished our first one together). However, Kelly is so competitive that I can see her pushing harder to finish first.

Either way, I know we’ll all finish!

Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 9.24.17 AM.png

Wouldn’t it be cool if we all finished together?!

If you want to follow us on race day, I’ll post a list of friends and family members that will be on site later this week. You can also follow the hashtag #IronSiblings on Twitter and Instagram.

1 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Awesome! I am so excited to follow along! It is so amazing to see your journey all the way from the day that you signed up until now! You have got this! You and all your siblings will do AMAZING!
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2 Rebecca@Running.Food.Baby. October 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm

You are going to do amazing!! Can’t wait to track you on race day – which sounds a lil creepy, but I’m super excited for you and your brother and sister!
Rebecca@Running.Food.Baby. recently posted..Rattle me Bones 2013 Race Recap

3 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I’m so excited for you & your siblings! All the best with the race prep these next few days!
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4 megan w. October 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I am so excited for you and amazed at your courage and ambition! You are going to do great!!

5 MissPinkKate October 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I didn’t know you were working with a coach! When did that start?

6 elena October 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm

she’s talked about her swim coach for a while now…and always talked about it.

7 elena October 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm

oops! i meant HAD a swim coach for a while now

8 Kristina October 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm

But a swim coach is different from a tri coach who can really help with all of the legs and also nutrition. I just signed up for my first IM and will be working with a tri coach to help with all aspects of training, not just swimming.
Kristina recently posted..Surf City 10K – now that was fun!

9 MissPinkKate October 29, 2013 at 6:54 am

Right, I wasn’t sure if it was the swim coach or somebody different!

10 Jen October 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

This is true dedication! That’s a long time to be out there. I can’t wait to read your recap!
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11 Ali October 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I think sub-15 is a great goal for you, but I think you’ll surprise yourself and do the swim and the bike much faster than you predicted. 🙂 Can’t wait to follow to you and siblings on race day!
Ali recently posted..This Week in Training: WC 21 October

12 Shauna@Pleasure, not Punishment October 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm

SOOOOOOOO excited for you! Can’t wait to read the recap of the crushing!
Shauna@Pleasure, not Punishment recently posted..Race Recap – Let’s Go 510!

13 Christine @ BookishlyB October 29, 2013 at 12:00 am

Psychologically (and probably physically too, haha) I just can’t even imagine doing the three events back-to-back-to-back on race day for the first time. I was the person that said screw the race plan that said to stop training at ten miles for a half and did fourteen “just to make sure.” I know it’s nothing in comparison, I just can’t wrap my brain around all that at once. Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you eat afterwards, haha.
Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..I Almost Forgot- I’m Pregnant

14 Ashley October 29, 2013 at 12:02 am

You are so freaking strong — such an inspiration. I cannot even imagine, and cant WAIT to hear al about you becoming an IM.
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15 Missy October 29, 2013 at 1:25 am

I have really enjoyed following your training and your journey! You have such determination and strength, you are quite an inspiration! You will do great come race day! Good luck and enjoy the race 🙂
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16 Gwen October 29, 2013 at 7:14 am

Go Meghan and the #ironsiblings! Hope you all have so much fun and reach your goals <3
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17 Katie October 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

You better believe I will be following you guys!!! Go Meghann Go!!!! You are such an inspiration! 🙂

18 Rachel October 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

I can’t believe it’s already ironman week! I think I’m more nervous than Eric and I’m just spectating! I’ll have to find your family Saturday so I’m not alone all day.

19 Eric October 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

Shouldn’t you be at work?
Eric recently posted..Treasure Coast Classic Circuit Race

20 Eric October 29, 2013 at 8:26 am

That 15 hours Goal should be a cake to break. Looking at the weather forecast, the wind will be tough the first 22 miles. Just stay calm and in your comfort zone. The last 30 miles back into town should be fast.
Eric recently posted..Treasure Coast Classic Circuit Race

21 Runner Girl Eats October 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

I can’t wait to follow along! Your training has been ver inspiring and I know you’ll be an ironman by the end of the week 🙂

22 Elizabeth @ Positive Change October 29, 2013 at 8:44 am

You will do amazing! Your goals are so realistic; such a role model! I also think it is awesome that you are racing with your siblings. I so wish my siblings were active!
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23 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 29, 2013 at 8:53 am

I am so excited for you, Meghann! Race day is almost here! You will CRUSH it! Good luck to you, Kelly and Ben!!!!!!! 🙂 I’ll be cheering for you from Ocala!
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24 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian October 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

You’re going to do awesome!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian recently posted..My Name is Sarah, and I’m a Marathoner

25 Joy October 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

Really excited for you – you’re going to have a great race. Best of luck! I’ll be excited to hear how you and your siblings do.

26 Kristen @ glitteranddust October 29, 2013 at 11:38 am

It has been so fun, and MOTIVATING, following you along your journey. You have inspired me to seek out new challenges and I am now looking into doing an Ironman in 2014! Can’t wait to watch you cross that finish line. 🙂
Kristen @ glitteranddust recently posted..A Tough, TOUGH, Half Marathon

27 Natalie @ Free Range Human October 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I’m so looking forward to seeing how it all turns out for you. Good luck!
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28 meghan October 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I am so excited to track y’all! I wish I was going to be up there. You’re going to do great! Your time goals are so doable, and I’m going to agree with Felipe and guess that your swim time will be a lot lower than you’re giving yourself right there. I’m so excited for you!! Good luck Meghann!!
meghan recently posted..Peak Weeks, Training Thoughts, and Workouts Recap

29 eb @ Running on E October 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I’m really excited for you! It’s so fun that you are doing it with your siblings. I ran NYC marathon with my brother and it was something I will never forget. Great race goals.
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30 Ashley October 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Ironsiblings! How CUTE! Good luck!
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31 Kate October 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I’ll be trying to track you from Maryland! You’re going to do so, so great and I can’t wait to hear your recap about it. Good luck to you and your siblings!!! Your parents must be so proud 🙂

32 Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose October 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Your goals are awesome, and love the pics! YOU WILL DO SO GREAT!! 🙂
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33 Kaitlyn October 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I know I’m echoing everyone above, but I am SO excited for you! I’ll definitely be following along on race day. You’ve worked so hard for this!! Go get it!

34 Courtney October 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I think you are the first person in the history of ever to have a cute post swim photo. My photos unzipping from the wetsuit always look like I’m a deranged seal escaping from a trashbag.

Anyway, I can’t wait to follow all the action on Saturday! Good luck!!!

35 Lindsey October 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

Have a great race! I will be out on the course watching some friends, then volunteering in the penalty tent coming back into transition. Hopefully I will NOT see you there!!! Good luck!

36 Heathers Looking Glass October 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

You are going to have SO MUCH FUN! My sister is racing again and asked me if I wanted to come stay in her condo but since I am doing wine and dine the next weekend I can’t drive to FL twice in one week haha. GOOD LUCK!
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37 Gabby (Quest for Delicious) October 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

What an exciting time! You will do so amazing!
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38 Reenie October 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I’m so excited for you, Kelly & Ben….. go Iron-Siblings!!

39 Kristi October 31, 2013 at 9:18 am

I give you so much credit girl! You are seriously a strong, amazing woman. You are going to do great 🙂

40 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed October 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

I cannot WAIIIITTTT to follow your progress. You’re going to make this IM your bitch.
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41 megan @ theveryhungryrunner October 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I can’t believe it’s already here. You’ve been training for so long, you will be totally prepared. Good luck!!!
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42 Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen October 31, 2013 at 8:36 pm

all your hard work is going to pay off! Good luck!!! can’t wait to hear the recap
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43 Sana November 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

It was amazing watching you finish, love the LIVE FEED! P.s you KILLED your goals, how amazing is that!!!!

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