Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
63F / 17C
Total Time = 11h 37m 58s
Overall Rank = 1051/2514
Age Group = M55-59
Age Group Rank = 30/98
Pre-race routine:

My second Ironman. At Couer d'Alene in 2009 I finished my first Ironman in 13:43:03. My goal for IMAZ was to finish under 13 hours. The plan was to take as much time as possible out of my bike split. If I could shave a few minutes from my swim or run that would be great but I didn't see the opportunity for big gains in those disciplines.

Event warmup:

I got a full 8 hours of sleep Friday night. Saturday was the pre-swim and lake temperature was perfect at about 63 degrees. Pasta and chicken for dinner at 7pm and straight to bed. I slept fine through midnight but erraticly after that. Up at 4am and Carmel and I hit the road at 4:30. Made it to race venue just after 5am. Pumped tires, put nutrition on bike, got body marked and headed to the ONE tent to relax. Tempe Town Lake was calm which was very different from the choppy waters in Lake Couer d'Alene 3 years ago. After some pictures, a team prayer and the requisite potty stops, Jeff, Paul and I were headed to the swim start. And the adrenaline started pumping.

  • 1h 18m 29s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 02s / 100 meters

I got positioned center left about half-way back. It was crowded. I had been warned open space would be scarce. I realized my goggles are slightly fogged but I could see and decided I was happy with a good tight fit. I am again awed by an Ironman start. Boom. Off we go. I really have no choice but to start swimming immediately. And it is tough going. Just not much open space and what little I found didn't last long. The bad news was these conditions continued for the first half of the race but the good news was the turnaround came sooner than I expected. I fought to get wide on the turn and my calf cramped. I even had to tread water for awhile before I could resume swimming. But when I did I stayed wide right with the pack about 40 yards to my left. The next mile was simply an awesome swim - open water, no sighting issues and even the goggles had cleared. At the Mill St. bridge I had to re-engage the scrum and some position fights ensued. But I was soon out of the water and having the wetsuit stripped. I checked my Garmin and saw 1:18. Could that be, had I really taken 10 minutes off my last IM swim? Yep.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 12m 38s

I had decided to swim, ride and run in my tri shorts thinking it would save some time. Perhaps it did but just like at CdA, I spent a lot of time in the transition tent. Everything was clock work until my bike helmet would not tighten. Figured I would deal with it on the bike. Left T1 feeling really good and ready to ride.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 57m 25s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.80 mile/hr

The start of the bike was a little chilly but with arm warmers I felt fine. What didn't feel fine was my helmet. I tried unsuccessfully to tighten it but had to conclude it was broken. If not for my sunglasses it would have hung over my eyes. But the sun glasses kept it more or less in place and the chin strap secured it. I rejected the idea of stopping to check it out as I could see getting pulled from the race for "safety" reasons. So I put the focus back on riding. The race is 3 loops. A gradual climb starts at the Beeline about 10 miles into each loop. It steepens over the last 4 miles and then you have a good long downhill stretch following the turnaround each loop. I was very familiar with the route since we rode it often in the 6 weeks preceding Ironman. I knew we would have a good tailwind on the first loop but the winds were almost sure to change direction later in the day. And so it happened. With this knowledge I attacked the first loop downhill while many riders were conservative. I was riding at 25-30 mph for the entire Beeline return. (The last I would see of 30 mph). Felt great at the turn and started the second loop eating "breakfast" (1.5 honey stingers). At 40 miles I made my first potty stop at the bike aid station I had worked last year. Other than the helmet issue, I was having a great ride. My Valdora and the race wheels were performing great. My heart rate was fairly steady in Z3 (134-140). Beginning the last lap I ate "lunch" which was the same as breakfast. I was hitting all my nutrition, plenty salt and electrolytes and about 250-300 calories an hour. Another stop at bike aide station to shed the arm warmers and generously apply some butt butter. Back in the saddle and up the Beeline. At the turn I decided to hammer the downhill again and skip special needs. I was flying past riders. Heading back into town with less than 10 miles to go I felt surprisingly good and knew I was riding under 6 hours. Mentally and physically I was in a good place.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 06m 56s

Not fast but not too bad. I left my bike jersey on and full of stuff I didn't need. Ended up emptying the pockets on loop 1. The run course is full of water and nutrition.

What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 02m 30s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 33s  min/mile

While it never felt warm on the bike, at 2:30 in the afternoon with temps about 78 and no breeze, it was hot when I started the run. I took it out easy but was under 10 min/mile pace after two miles. Then I started with the run/walk plan. While running I was about 10 min/mile, the walks (mostly aid stations) brought the overall pace closer to 11 min/mile. I hit my first bad patch at about 3-4 miles when I let myself think about the suffering in store for the next 4 plus hours. Then I got a huge boost passing the ONE tent and seeing Carmel. At about 6 miles the one hill on the course appeared and I took my first extended walk maybe a quarter mile. Ran the downhill and got a lot of energy at the next aide station and especially the ONE LOVE aid station which treated the ONE athletes like rock stars. Before long lap 1 was in the books. My running was not too bad on lap 2 and I caught up to Mr. Ironman, Paul Keller. We walked the Mill St bridge and talked about the day. I began running again and took my Saltsticks and Advil out of my special needs bag. Next I caught up with another training buddy, Richard Swetonic. We walked the Rural St bridge and again I felt encouraged and was running all the way to the "hill." Walked it as planned but then ran well to the ONE aid station and heard Thunderstruck blaring as I came down the hill. Thank you Cindy Blair. So many friendly ONE faces. What a boost.

I took stock of how I felt for the umteenth time as I tried to finish lap 2 and darkness set in. Given my steady regimen of salt and advil I was feeling little pain; exhaustion yes, pain no. The only thing that hurt were my feet which I attributed to wet socks (from the constant water pours to cool off). I thought I would remedy that with the fresh socks I had in my run transition bag. As lap 3 started so did the mental demons. "Just walk" they said. And walking felt better than running. Digging deep I kept running aid station to aid station. Soon I was back to special needs asking for my bag and clean socks. It was not to be. You only get one chance at your special needs bag and I had used mine. Disappointing but with only about 6 miles to go I had to stay focused. Soon I was back walking the hill, then passing the ONE LOVE aid station for the third and last time and there was the 24 mile marker. Could that be - just 2 miles left. A mental boost but my legs were barely hanging on. At mile 25 I saw Yati Yadav and he wants to "run" it in. I tell him go ahead. I was at full speed albeit about 11 min/mi. And I couldn't hold that. I walked near the beginning of the last mile but pulled it together for the final time as the spectators shouted encouragement. I wanted to relish the last mile more but the exhaustion was nearly overwhelming. Next came a beautiful sign: the turn to the finish. Somehow even 500 yards sounded like a long way at this point. But entering the finish chute the exhaustion simply disappeared. What a rush, then "Peter Dewey you are an Ironman" and in that moment it was all worth it.

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I felt surprisingly good in the finish chute. Got my medal, hat, t-shirt and didn't need the Mylar blanket. I shuffled into the post-race area and found the pizza before Carmel (and it was still hot). Ate a slice, then found Carmel. Shared pizza and stories with my biggest fan then we got some pictures. I thought I was doing really well until I got my bike. I was standing there in the middle of the park which I know well and had no earthly idea which direction to walk. Fortunately Carmel got me back to the car and into some clean clothes. I was fading. A "recovery beer" at Monti's didn't have the desired effect and Carmel made the decision to take me home. I have yet to witness the last hour of an Ironman. Still I was a happy warrior.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I was 12 minutes better than my A race. I think I got the most out of my fitness and had good execution on the day.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-11-11 12:00 AM
01:18:29 | 3862 meters | 02m 02s / 100meters
Age Group: 24/98
Overall: 1010/2514
Performance: Good
Suit: Rocket Science full wetsuit
Course: Rectangle - 1 loop
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:38
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:57:25 | 112 miles | 18.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 35/98
Overall: 1048/2514
Performance: Good
avg HR 137 max HR 157
Wind: Some
Course: 3 loops out Beeline then up to turnaround at Shea
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:02:30 | 26.2 miles | 11m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 30/98
Overall: 1054/2514
Performance: Good
Avg HR 138 Max HR 155
Course: 3 loops around Tempe Town Lake. Mostly falt with one hill of about a quarter mile.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5