Race Reports, Triathlon

Race Report: First Attempt at IRONMAN = DNF

Definitely NOT the post I wanted to make…Today was not my day. Mother nature won. My first attempt at completing an IRONMAN in Panama City Beach, Florida ended in a DNF (Did Not Finish) from the ocean swim. The first 800m felt really good. I gave it my all, but not too soon after, I just felt like something was off. I was putting in the effort I trained for, but wasn’t going anywhere.

The rip tides and waves were legit. I knew I wasn’t going to make the swim cut-off, I was asked twice by the kayaks if I wanted to call it quits, but refused. I did not give up or quit on my own will. But after coming out of the water, the official took my timer chip despite me wanted to still do the bike and run. It is what is, and was out of my control. As I went to the transition area to collect my bike, I was stunned to see how many were still racked. Apparently 300-400 triathletes also DNF the swim, which was abnormal. I later heard that there was double red flags on the beach, which meant no one should have been in the water to begin with. I really don’t want to make excuses, the swim is my weakness to begin with, and after this it’s well confirmed that I need to focus on the swim. It absolutely sucks, and I’m feeling so many mixed emotions. I cried and hugged many of the other DNF’ed athletes, a lot of them were 10+ veteran Ironman finishers too. Everyone close to me know how much training, time, and effort I put into this over the last 2 years. Even coming back from a broken collar bone. I wanted to be called an “IRONMAN” so badly. Right now, not really feeling clear minded and very doubtful in myself. So, it will take a long while for me to get motivated again. Despite this, I could honestly not ask for a more phenomenal first IRONMAN experience than this entire week. And on the positive side, I can proudly say I swam over 5km in ocean rip tides.

It was a roller coaster of emotions 100%. however I got to meet all of my heroes, even made into a Lionel Sanders YouTube video and got a high-five from hi at the finish line, and made the best people ever. At the end of the day this is all about the community. And it’s a beautiful one. I will finish what I started. I will become an IRONMAN one day. But for now, time to reflect, settle the feelings, and rebuild. Thank you all for all the kind messages and love today. It means the world to me.

On my last day in beautiful Panama City Beach, I ran to where the IRONMAN Florida Finish Line at Pier Park was. I don’t have a medal to show for it. But I’ll always have the good memories. Thank you to all the volunteers, spectators, and race organizers for making this an ironic classic event. In such a short time, I met new friends, Amanda, Chelsea, Marissa, Jenny, Logan, Chris, & many more, who turn out to be some of the most kind and best people on Earth. After about two years of training for IMFL non-stop, I’m officially in off-season! A few weeks of very unstructured exercise for fun and a ton of time to reflect, and recalibrate. Despite not having the race and result I wanted, and leaving empty handed, I got and learned so much more. This will be a week I cherish forever and never forget. I’ll be back Florida, one day, I promise. Peace.

Mark Allen’s thoughts on IMFL 2021:

Cycling

My first 100-Miler

What a glorious Sunday. Today I completed my first ever 100 mile (161km) century ride And boy am I feeling it! It wasn’t a pretty ride, had quite a few stops for breaks, but kept to my goals of keeping cadence at 85rpm, power in Z2, and HR in Zone 1& 2. It’s been a crazy 2020 for everyone, especially me…but long story short, yesterday I was supposed to do IRONMAN Florida. It happened. It was the only full distance IM race in North America for 2020. My years goal was derailed in many ways. The crossing boarder, quarantine & no swim training. And of course, I broke my collar bone & had surgery. The universe was loud and clear. So I’m grateful to have this extra year to prepare. And hopefully I will become an IRONMAN in 2021. Anyways, I’ve been working on my outdoor cycling bike handling skills and building up my aerobic fitness for super long distances. A few weeks ago I did 103km and this morning I was aiming for 120km. Well that type-A personality issue I have really came out today, and went for an imperial 100 mile century. Just 20km off for the @ironmantri bike distance of 180km. I have no doubt I can reach that with proper progressive training! Time to rest up and let my body absorb today’s load. I really want to brush my teeth, shower, and am craving a salad. Thank you!

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/4309944357

Cycling

Fall Riding

Back at on the stead! There’s nothing like a nice hot chocolate on a cold morning ride ?? went straight up Warden Ave. and back for a solid 100K morning ride. I chatted up with Angelo the owner of Lake-View Grocery, a popular stop for cyclists on beautiful Lake Simcoe. Cool dude and his first customer of the day. Good times.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/4242791937

Cycling

My Broken Collarbone Story of 2020

May 17, 2020:

This morning I broke my left clavicle aka collar bone. Bike is totally fine, phew. I’m glad I chose to ride super early as there was no traffic. But just as the universe is derailing all our race plans I did some derailing of myself. Was in aero position going fast and lost control, there might have been a hole in the road I can’t really remember. Things looked pretty dark for a second but after getting everyones best wishes and some tips from people like @jacksonlaundrytri who also have lived through this injury, things don’t look too bad. I have a fracture clinic on Tuesday and I’ll update you from there. Sucks as I was on great training progress too. But for now I’ll rest up for the next few weeks. Also a friendly reminder always use a helmet!

May 23, 2020:

Surgery for broken clavicle went well yesterday. Surgeon said he knows my mindset to keep active is strong but his orders are to stay still much as possible. No physical exertion (even walking or easy spinning, especially in this warm weather) to decrease any chance of sweat build up under the waterproof dressing to prevent chance of infection. I’ll be out for 6-8 weeks. I’ll take it easy and maybe turn on my PS4….Two weeks until follow-up, then bandages can be removed, and Physio/rehab can be discussed. Thanks to Dr. Lee and the surgical team at @southlakerhc for a very pleasant and compassionate procedure. And of course, thanks to all of you for your prayers and best wishes ?? Road to recovery begins now.

June 8, 2020:

Say hello to my new left clavicle. First post-op with my surgeon Dr. Lee went well. He told me the surgery took a bit longer than expected because the brake was worse than the first X-Ray showed. It actually broke into 4 pieces. But said it looks like it’s healing well. Finally got the heavy duty bandaid off. What a relief. What I didn’t realize until today was that they used around 35 staples to close the wound. Turns out this was causing those spontaneous “electrical surges of pain” I was experiencing. They plucked all of the staples out today, which was kind of uncomfortable. So that is pretty much gone now and can turn my neck without it hurting. I still need to use the arm-sling, it will be around 6 months for a “full recovery”. But now that the bandaid is gone and it’s not infected, I can begin some light cardio like walking and ez indoor cycling, but more importantly Physio to get my full range of motion back. Funny part is that Dr. Lee said I have $2000 worth of metal in me, and he only got paid $400 to fix me up ? then we chatted about Lance Armstrong as he was a cyclist too ? Thank you all for your support and loving messages

June 13, 2020:

 

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A post shared by Sean Chin (@seanchin)

Slowly but surely. On the path to recovery. Heart rate pretty high for minimal watt effort 130bpm at a mere 60W…All that fitness lost…but glad to have got the bike back on the @wahoofitnessofficia lKICKR indoor trainer. Very easy miles on @gozwift for a while still. Thanks to @evolutioncycles for fixing up the bike. Happy to be able to do something at least

July 1, 2020:

I’m very glad and fortunate to have Jen Bladon @jenbtf as my physiotherapist! She works out of @crossfitnewmarketcentral so it’s really close by to me and a place I’m familiar with. The progress I’ve made the last few weeks have been very good. I have a lot more range of motion now, things are feeling better, getting strength back, but still got some deep bruising that will take some more time to heal. She really spends quality one-on-one time with her patients which is something I really admire! Her exercises are top notch as well ?? Additionally, my surgeon told me the fracture line is no longer visible on my second post-op X-Ray and so I can ditch the arm sling for good. Got the clear to drive again so I can get back to work in a few weeks too! Best of all, he gave me a wink and nod to begin easy running as long as there isn’t big movements of my shoulder. It will be a little while longer for swimming, but I’m so looking forward to getting back my fitness and into shape before summer is over!

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