Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 12h 13m 59s
Overall Rank = 980/2357
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 197/386
Pre-race routine:

Picked up Alex, drank some "mate", talked to my wife and prayed with her for a safe race.
Event warmup:

No warmup, doing the longest race of my life is enough of that. I just stretched my shoulders a little bit.
  • 1h 14m 4s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 45s / 100 yards

After singing the anthem, the cannon went off completely unannounced and things got going!!! It was plain awesome to be in the middle of that sea of bodies.
My swim was picture perfect! I almost didn't get touched at all, just one elbow in my hip and that's it, someone was drafting off me for probably twenty minutes and every now and then I would get my feet touched so I would kick easy to avoid hitting him/her hard. After the turnaround (I estimate mile 1.4 or so) I had a mild cramp on my right calf, and I had to stop to soothe it out. I re-started and flutter kicked until it went completely away. The sighting was perfect too. After I did the turnaround on the last buoy I got another cramp in the same calf. I stopped again, massaged it away and swam to the exit. When I got out I was amazed to see that it was only 1:14'04" W-O-W!! I approached a super cool dude that stripped my wetsuit in no time, he congratulated me, I thanked him and ran my way to the bag pickup area yelling to people: cheer! cheer! with a big smile in my face.
What would you do differently?:

Ab-so-lu-te-ly NOTHING.
Transition 1
  • 11m 46s

My transition was slow, however flawless. I purposedly wore a speedo under my wetsuit so I could put on bike shorts and jersey for comfort. I guess a few extra minutes in an Ironman are no issue.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe next time I do an Ironman I will go with one of my trisuits to try it out, maybe I'll shave a few more minutes. I don't know.
  • 6h 04m 43s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.43 mile/hr

I started VERY slow on purpose. I got passed easily by five or six hundred people in the first half of the first loop. I totally disregarded that, I raced my own race, measuring my heart rate and not caring about the speed at all. I went small ring for the entirety of the first half of the first loop, at a very high cadence. Trust me it paid off tremendously later. My average speed was:
1st. loop 17.82 MPH
2nd. loop 18.11 MPH
3rd. loop 19.40 MPH
My average was beyond what I expected and I did perfect negative splits. There was HUGE drafting going on, at points it looked like ITU races pelotons of fifteen or twenty, shameful. During the first loop I got passed by one of my team members, she was in was in one of these happy trains and I couldn't help it to say something so I yelled: "hey, I thought it was a non drafting race". They were sucking wheel like crazy.
Penalty boxes were empty, which is a sign that the course wasn't very well policed. I stayed clean and never drafted and if I found myself too close to the person in front of me I would fall back or pass.
On the third loop I passed probably two to three hundred people, most of the people that passed me on the first loop.
What would you do differently?:

Ab-so-lu-te-ly NOTHING. It was a perfectly executed plan.
Transition 2
  • 07m 36s

Again, I changed my shorts and top, my socks and took off the calf guards. Talked for a bit with the person next to me, took a couple of Advils, put on my cap and running glasses and took off a happy camper. Right outside of T2 my beautiful wife and kids were waiting, so I stopped and kissed everybody, then I started running slowly.
What would you do differently?:

Same as in T1, next time I will probably try a trisuit to shave some more time.
  • 4h 35m 50s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 32s  min/mile

Heart rate was a bit elevated in the first three miles, so I backed off a little bit to stay below the anaerobic threshold. Just like I was told, I hit the wall on mile 11, and it was probably because all my nutrition on the bike was low glycemic. I had to talk myself out of the negative thoughts trying to make me walk, thought about my angels and I kept going. I was craving sugars so I hit the "Pit Stop" aid station on the corner of Priest and stopped for oranges and grapes, which are fast digestion. THIS PROOVED TO BE THE BEST DECISSION DURING THE RUN. My sugar went up in no time and I felt my running legs come back to me. I didn't abuse that fact and I kept a modest pace, after the second loop was completed I started feeling the exhaustion, this time nothing to do with nutrition, just plain old tired. Every time I passed by my wife and kids, I kissed them all, they gave me such good energy... My son ran a mile with me at the end of the second loop, staying far enough not to get penalized. I think that is an unnecessary rule though. The third loop was a run between aid stations, I walked most of them. I caught up with Eduardo and ran with him for a while, he seemed to be struggling a bit but I admire the guy, he's a great athlete. On the uphill of Curry Rd. I walked about a quarter mile, my heart rate was a bit too high to run it. At that time I started chatting with this cool dude from the area, Jason. We ran all the way to the mile 25.75 together and then he sprinted his way to the finish line, I just couldn't do it but I was fine and dandy. Then it hit me: I was about to become an Ironman. Half a mile before the chute I felt a huge wave of emotion hit me and my eyes got full of tears, I kept on running and finally made that last left turn to the finish. Nobody was in front of me or behind me and I turned into the chute and heard it: Ernesto Villarroel from Dallas, TX, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing at all, it wasn't my best marathon but obviously the "warmup" before had to do with it.
Post race
Warm down:

Kissed and hugged everybody, I took the finishers picture, got my medal, t-shirt and cap and headed out to get my bags and bike.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles before the mmarathon.

Event comments:

The volunteers are worth a whole chapter, amazing work and good energy for a long day. I am absolutely impressed with the race quality and I can honestly say it is the best $550 ever spent.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-11-25 12:00 AM
01:14:04 | 4224 yards | 01m 45s / 100yards
Age Group: 161/386
Overall: 867/2357
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU V:1 full
Course: Rectangle starting under Mill Ave. bridge, past Rural Ave. bridge and back. Water was a little murky.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:04:43 | 112 miles | 18.43 mile/hr
Age Group: 227/386
Overall: 1165/2357
Performance: Good
133 BPM average, a very aerobic ride.
Course: Three loops in mostly flat smooth asphalt, a mild inclination going up the Beeline Hwy, mostly the last three and a half miles. The turnaround is amazingly fast.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:35:50 | 26.2 miles | 10m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 178/386
Overall: 919/2357
Performance: Good
149BPM average.
Course: Three loops around Papago Park. Pancake flat except for a couple of bridge overpasses and a quarter mile long slight uphill on Curry Rd.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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