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  • Writer's pictureTina Shiver

Ironman Florida….My Roots….Panama City

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Logo for Ironman Florida Panama City Beach

This race is pretty emotional for me because of the location. I grew up and spent the summers on the beaches of Panama City and Mexico Beach. My mom and dad actually met on the beach at the “hangout” which was a dance spot where you could catch a glimpse of some really good dancers including my mom and dad.

My grandparents lived in Panama City and the other grandparents lived in Mexico Beach. As many of you know both towns were devastated by the hurricane and I’m anxious to see if my grandmas house is still standing. My parents, siblings and extended family are not here but they are all with me in spirit. I’m running this race for my mom and dad as they both have been on a tough journey for the last 10 years.

I love the beach at Panama City and when I cheered on really good friends years ago at Ironman Florida, I remember saying to myself if I’m going to do an Ironman this is the place I want to race because of so many good memories.

So, my training started about 11 months ago and what I’ve learned along the way about myself has allowed me to grow and discover what is possible. For the first time I really committed to swimming consistently and putting the mileage in and the same with the bike and run. I took care of myself when I was tired, I slept well and I fueled myself with wholesome food that helped me repair, recover and gave me enough fuel for the next day.

Some weeks the training was 14 to 16 hours and I had to really be on my game with nutrition. I can say this time around with training I have fueled myself, so I feel strong and I am repairing muscle versus breaking it down which happened in the past when I trained for Ironman Maryland. I did not fuel enough early on and it caught up with me and I felt like muscle was breaking down faster than I could repair.

I’ve changed my fuel strategy about 5 or 6 times for the run and the bike. Both bike and run time increased and each time as I got closer to race, I tweaked my nutrition plan. Race day is two days away and I’ve prepared for this race and I feel as though I now have a nutrition strategy that will carry me through and if I need to adjust then I know how to be flexible and

I’m going to enjoy this race!


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