Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 10h 55m 58s
Overall Rank = 409/2896
Age Group = W35-39
Age Group Rank = 8/142
Pre-race routine:

I got the full Ironman experience. Expo on thurs and friday, athlete dinner on friday night & bike drop saturday. Got my moneys worth, LOL. It was a fun build up!

On race morning I woke before my alarm, got up around 3:30 and started eating. I had my usual PBJ on waffles and a strong cup of coffee. Woke JT and the boys at 4:15, we were out the door just after 4:30 and driving over to Tempe. It was a chilly morning, 48 degrees. We were bundled up. JT unloaded the car and I went to do the pre-race stuff like bag drop, bike set up and body marking, some more eating. We met up with the rest of the Trirevolution crew and set up base camp just east of the bridges, there was a tent, chairs, food table, signs etc. My kids were cozy in their sleeping bags. Before I knew it, it was time to get in the wetsuit and get to the start. I wore an old pair of socks until it was time to get in the water. I looked for my training buddy Amy but couldnt find her in the sea of people.

  • 1h 16m 10s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

I jumped into Tempe Town Lake with the other 2500 Atheletes just after the Pros started. The water was chilly but not as bad as I has expected. I wore earplugs and a neoprene cap because the water temp was 63 and way colder than I am used to. I was just getting to my position on the right when the cannon went off. The mass start was crazy. It's hard to describe. I just let myself get carried along in the people. I couldnt see anything up ahead, so I just went with the crowd. It was going pretty well until we went under Scottsdale Rd bridge, suddenly I got really cold. I was shivering to the point that it was difficult to swim. My feet felt numb and my calf muscles cramped really bad. I made the turn and tried to relax the legs but then I got kicked realy hard in the left shoulder. Now I am trying to swim with only one arm and no kicking, LOL. I was like Nemo. This lasted for about 15 minutes and I was miserable. The cold water was awful. I dont do well in cold anyways. I just tried to put my mind on other stuff. The shoulder eased up but the cramping came and went, the calf muscles would cramp one at a time. I tried all the usual stretches but it wouldnt go away. I was worried how this might affect the rest of my day. The final turn towards the exit was super crowded, I made it to the stairs and was pulled out but my legs weren't cooperating. It was really hard to walk, I was shivering and cramping. I got the wetsuit pulled off and tried to hobble towards transition, it's a long way to T1. I had forgotten to start my watch (such a rookie!) but glanced at the time when I was in T1 and saw it was 7:19am so I knew I came out the water ahead of my goal of 1:20
What would you do differently?:

More OWS practice in the couple of weeks leading up to IMAZ would have prepared me better for the cold water.
Transition 1
  • 08m 5s

My friend Rhett was a volunteer, he handed me my gear bag and looked concerned because I was sooo cold. I hustled toward the changing tent and up ahead I saw my friend Sam from Vegas! Yipee! A friendly face. She was my T1 helper and man, did I need her! She pretty much did everything while I shivered. I was glad I decided to leave my tri top in the T1 bag so it was dry and I put on the $6 walmart jacket I bought the day before (I was originally just going to go with arm warmers). Then it was off to find my bike. I was racked right next to the bike exit and the handler grabbed it for me.

What would you do differently?:

I would have moved faster if I hadn't been so cold.
  • 5h 32m 48s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.19 mile/hr

I was still freezing (I know, I must sound really whiney) for the first 30 mins of the bike and my left shoulder still really hurt. However after I hit the Beeline Hwy I started to relax (I had to keep reminding myself to relax). I started to drink the Gatorade and ate 1/2 powerbar. My tummy wasnt too happy which is wierd as usually I can eat anything on the bike. I switched to a Gel for the next snack and that went down better. I soon settled in to a good pace, it was windier than I had expected, we had a nice headwind going uphill and then the tail wind meant a very fast descent into Tempe. My nutrition was bit off all day because my tummy wasnt completely happy. I had to make a quick stop at a porta potty to take care of some GI issues! I was concerned with the cramping on the swim, I kept waiting for it to come back. My legs felt tight but never cramped. I took in more Gatorade than I had planned on to make up for less of the solid nutrition. My training partner Amy caught me on loop 2. She was flying! I knew she was out of the water about 5-10 mins behind me, she ended up with a smoking 5:21 bike split! I kept her in sight after she passed and we would see each other every now and again and chat a bit until the final 10 miles when she took off. My friends and family were on Rio Salado before the turn around so I saw them twice each loop. They were so loud! I also had a picture of JT and my boys taped to my handle bars, they were with me all day long!
The bike course is 3 loops. The first loop I averaged 20.3 mph. The second loop was a bit slower at 19.27mph but included a porta potty stop and the 2nd loop was definitely the windiest. The wind died down a bit the 3rd loop and I felt good, I pushed it a bit and averaged 21.06mph.
I was hoping for a 5:40 ish bike split if conditions were good so I was very happy with 5:32.

What would you do differently?:

OK, I'm going to admit it. I need to train with a HR monitor. It was hard to be riding "blind" out there, not really knowing if I was pushing it enough. I had a lot left at the end of the bike but it was my first IM so I wanted to be conservative.
Transition 2
  • 03m 42s

They grabbed my bike and a volunteer handed me my bag. Rhett and Jen were still volunteering and gave me a shout out. I used the porta potty real quick and a great volunteer helped me in the tent. I got the running stuff on and sunscreen then out onto the course
  • 3h 55m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 59s  min/mile

As I headed out onto the run, I saw my friends and family. Gave my kids a hi-5 and settled in. This was the big unknown for me. My run training has been minimal (conservative) due to injury this past summer. My longest run was one 2.5 hour run over a month ago. My Garmin wouldnt pick up a signal so I ran blind for the first mile or so. I caught up to Amy who had left T2 a couple of minutes before me, so I knew I was going too fast. Then I got a signal and saw 7:50 pace. Slow it down! Not long after I passed Amy, BryanCD came by and gave me his trademark butt slap! He was looking strong and running his way to his Kona slot! I was also passed on the run several times by the men and women leaders. I knew Rapp and McGlone were the leaders but it was hard to tell who was who after that. I slowed my pace down to closer to 9 min/miles. I felt like a lot of people were passing me but I knew I had to take it easy. After a few miles I did a body check, everything felt good but I was again concerned I might cramp. It never happened.
I have always wondered how it would feel to run a marathon after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike. Today I got my answer. It wasn't too bad. The volunteers and supporters on the course were awesome. Having your name on your bib means everyone calls out your name, I couldnt tell who knew me or who was just yelling out support. In any case, it really helped. The aid station were fun, many of them had a theme & loud music. Again, I saw my friends & family twice each lap. It was such a great boost to see JT and the boys. JT would run along the path opposite me and chat for a few minutes, he also gave me updates on my friends who were racing. I never felt really bad during the run, every now and again my tummy would feel "tight" and after an hour it refused any more sweet foods, so I tossed my jelly beans and just took water and gatorade in at every aid station. I didnt walk one time, I perfected the aid station jog: I'd grab a cup of Gatorade (spill half of it all over my face), then a cup of water to wash down the sweetness (they dont dilute the Gatorade much!) and then a sponge at the very end to clean myself off. I thought about trying coke later in the run but stuck with what was working. Besides a queasy feeling every now and again, I felt really good on the run, it was really surprising to me and I kept waiting for the fatigue or the wall to hit me! My feet really hurt though, it reminded me of how they felt after a 10 hour waitressing shift (I used to wear the most ridiculous shoes because I wanted to look cute and taller!). When I got to mile 20, I felt an extra burst of energy and picked up the pace a bit. I passed my family again at around mile 21 and knew I had just the 5.5 mile loop to do. I pushed it up the hill on Curry road and touched the 23 mile sign that I was now seeing for the 3rd time. A girl passed me and said "Come on, we can go under 11 hours if we keep it up!". I was shocked, I wasnt paying attention to my watch much. I saw it was just after 5:30pm and we had 5k left. Could I do it?
The run was 3 loops of a figure 8 type course. The splits from the website show my pace:
First 3.5 miles: 8:29 pace
Next 8.6 miles: 8:59 pace
Next 8.6 miles 9:32 pace
Last 5.9 miles: 8:18 pace
I was shocked when I passed the group tent again and realized my marathon would be under 4 hours (I ws hoping for 4:15-4:30) and I would break 11 hours. I think I had a complete look of shock on my face as I ran toward the chute. I quickly removed my sunglasses, and ran down through the crowd. I heard "Sally Aston from Goodyear Arizona, You are an Ironman". It was awesome!

What would you do differently?:

Wear better socks. I got really bad blisters because my socks were too thin.
Post race
Warm down:

It was a blur: got my Tshirt, medal, drank water, got a photo taken, found my family, hugged my peeps. Then I got a quick massage, some food and walked back to the TriRev tent. More hugging. Cheered on my friends who were racing. Amy finished in 11:45, soon after was Jack, Gene & Brandon. I talked to my coach on the phone (he is in Argentina), he was so proud of all of us. My kids fell asleep on the grass in their sleeeping bags. I picked up all my gear and we headed home at 10:30pm.
It was such an unbelievable day and I got to share it with so many great people: The friends that I trained with through the hot summer months and early mornings all became Ironmen. Our friends and family that cheered all day until they were hoarse. My friends in the tri community that I saw out on the course. It was great because I got to share this day with you all!

Event comments:

It was my first Ironman. I went in not knowing what to expect but I loved every minute of it! It was great to race so close to home and have so many friends and family out there with me!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-12-03 12:00 AM
01:16:10 | 4224 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/142
Overall: 0/2896
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:05
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:32:48 | 112 miles | 20.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/142
Overall: 0/2896
Performance: Good
Course: 3 loops from Tempe out the Beeline Hwy
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:42
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:55:13 | 26.2 miles | 08m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/142
Overall: 0/2896
Performance: Good
Course: 3 loops of a kind of figure 8 loop around Tempe lake
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]