Monday, November 2, 2009

What I Learned from IMFL '05

1. There will be big waves and lots of people
2. Lap 1 turn 1 will be severely bottlenecked
3. Items 1 + 2 = Physical Contact... just expect it and roll with it.
4. After turn 1, the sun will be low and directly in front of you. No worries, everyone else will be just as blinded and as as you are
5. There will probably be Jellyfish. I know from experience that they can't sting through wetsuits.
6. Starting the second lap, swim straight to the first turn bouy. The floating Ford sign is not a turn bouy.
7. Important! You will swallow some salt water. Salt water can make you feel nauseous and WILL dehydrate you more than swimming in freshwater. Drink more than you normally would in T1.

1. There will be rampant undesirable nudity in the tent. On this rare occasion it will likely be just as undesirable in the women's tent (I'm just guessing here)
2. You don't need you're own sunscreen, someone else will put some on you. Put on your clothes first!

1. Has anyone told you it's really flat? Believe them.
2. Florida is generally a windy place. Expect the wind to shift throughout the ride so that it stays in your face, especially the last 12 miles. This may not happen this year, but I'd rather expect it and be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen rather than the opposite.

1. ...not as much nudity this time. Don't be disappointed.
2. You will likely never, in a single moment, be so simultaneously elated and dejected about getting to run a marathon

1. A marathon doesn't become less of an endurance challenge just because you've done a 114.4 mile warm-up. Respect it.
2. The park at the turn-around is really, really dark when the sun goes down. Embrace you're childhood: glow sticks and anything else that glows can be lots of fun!
3. Expect to seriously consider quitting. Don't unless they force you to. Even then, go down fighting(thanks for that tidbit Jordan).
4. Drunk people make great encourager's. Pray for lots of drunken spectators from miles 20 - 25.

1. You will never be so proud of getting beat in a race by hundreds of other people.
2. Whether they're in front of you or behind you, you'll never be so proud of your friends who took on this challenge

T3 (A.K.A. the Medical Tent)
1. They make a mean cup of warm chicken broth. When you come to, don't hesitate to ask for 3 or 4 helpings.
2. Free hot blankets! They will bring you as many as you want.
3. Don't forget to request a golf-cart rides to your car. If you're family is small enough they will take them too.
4. A couple of liters of IV fluid speed the recovery process, but probably not as much as hydrating properly during the event.

Any other lessons learned from you veterans?



  1. Great post, Bird, thanks!

    From my lone IM experience I remember breaking it down to bite-sized morsels. For example I thought about just one loop of the swim...and then the other and not the entire distance. Same thing on the bike and run. The idea being, it takes a lot of little bites to eat an elephant. That worked for me and made the distance seem not so overwhelming.

  2. This is great and terrible all at the same time! But thank you!!!! :)

    I had not been worried about jellyfish on the swim. Now I am, because your hands, feet and neck are not covered in wetsuit. Hmmm, can I find one like that in 4 days???

    I have been worrying about wind. Now I will just expect it on the bike. Problem solved. Worrying over.

    I love T2 point number 2, hilarious. I'm sure it's a hundred percent correct. And I typically love marathons.

    Also Run, point number 3, well taken. Especially since another IM vet just told me to treat Saturday like a catered training day. I will but will also keep in mind point 3.

    LOVE THIS POST! Thanks! :)

  3. 1. It will hurt.
    2. It will hurt.
    3. It will hurt.
    4. It will be wonderful.
    5. Did I mention it will hurt?

  4. 1. the swim is a nice thing you get to do before you have to get on your bike.
    2. the bike is long and miserable.
    3. during the run you're just glad that you're not still riding your bike.