Ironman Arizona - Triathlon

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
53F / 12C
Total Time = 13h 42m 28s
Overall Rank = 1705/2705
Age Group = 218
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I had my traditional race breakfast of peanut butter and banana sandwich on cinnamon raisin toast with a quad shot of esspesso. Our race group (3 males and 2 females) left the condo at 0530. Our support crew followed later.

I always enjoy the time before the race to feed off the electricity.

It is important to note, this was my third IM start. The previous two ended in failure as I had to resign due to severe muscle (quad) cramps on the bike. I got as far as 92 miles on the bike in IMTX. I knew mile 74-96 would be my most challenging part of the race.
Event warmup:

After getting into our wet suits, we got in line for the swim chip-in. While standing in line, I realized I took me chip off to put on my wetsuit and I forgot to put it back on! I hurried back to where I took it off (near the morning clothes bag area) by the short wall. On the way over there, I got punched in the nose accidentally by another racer who was pointing out something to his friends. He apologized. We hugged it out. I pressed on for me chip and located it IN my morning clothes bag. Phew!
  • 1h 18m 18s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

I was looking for a 1:20 swim. Previous best was 1:32. I lined up about 5 deep in the center of the channel. As I expected, it was rough and tumble. I never really got out of the pack, bumping, and jostling the whole way. Sighting was difficult as the buoys did not rise up out of the water as high as other races and the water was very choppy. The bizarre moment of the swim was at the first turn buoy. I took an inside line and of course it got choked up. I came to an upright position in the water. It was like I was on a moving sidewalk as the current pulled me around the buoy and deposited me on the other side.

Making the last turn, I could not see the stairs very well. A group of swimmers were heading off at an angle to my right (west bound). I felt pretty sure the stairs were directly in front of me so I took that route even though I couldn't see the dang stairs. I remember thinking, "one of us is going to be really pissed when we reach the shore!" Luckily, I took the right line. I put my butt on the bottom step, swung my legs around, and climbed up the steps. 1:18:18! Very VERY happy with that time.
What would you do differently?:

I might push a little harder. I really didn't swim hard. Maybe 65-70%.
Transition 1
  • 11m 38s

I had a definate transition strategy. I was not going to run. When I scouted the transition, I noted it was a long way from swim exit to bike bag. I was tempted to run it, but I resisted the urge. I didn't want any mistakes and I wanted my HR to come down a little. I actually walked next to another make racer and although we talked about running the transition, we both agreed it was best to walk as we could only gain a minute or two.

I changed in the grass outside of the tent since I was wearing the same kit the whole race. I was glad I stashed a small towel in my bag to wife my feet. Grass was EVERYWHERE.

Adding to my lengthy T time was my pee stop. The whole time I was in the water I had to pee something fierce! I just couldn't. Peeing probably took me 2.5 minutes!
What would you do differently?:

For some reason, my body glide was not in my bag. I. Would make sure and pack it.
  • 6h 38m 15s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.87 mile/hr

As previously mentioned, I was forced to resign in my first 2 IMs due to cramping on the bike. Cramps usually started around mile 74. So, I knew the outgoing leg of the 3 lap would be crucial for me.

I wanted a 6.5 hour ride or 17.2 average. I was ahead of pace at about 17.8 on the first two laps but I was feeling fine, so I was not concerned. I resisted the urge to hammer on the downhills. Rather, I just maintained my perceived level or exertion.

Right on cue, as I approached the turn-a-round for the second time (74 miles), my right quad started to cramp. NOOOOOOOOOO! I slowed my pace, took 3 ecaps, ate about 5 pretzels, and washed it down with infinite concentrate. I slowly ramped my speed up from about 10 mph up to my race average letting the cramps subside. Cramps came back one more time heading to the 94 mile turn-a-round.

Another problem emerged as my feet were killing me! I decided to stop at the turn-a-round, take my shoes off, and hit the port-a-potty. After taking my shoes off, the relief was instant! I then realized that I would be walking in my stocking feet in the port-a-potty screw it. I did it.

Again, I cramped in both quads twice between 95 and 106 miles. I went back to my routine and fought through it. At 105 miles, I had had renewed energy. I was feeling awesome knowing I was going to finish the bike leg FINALLY! I resisted the urge to ramp up the pace, though. I knew if I got to my running shoes, I was going to be an ironman.
What would you do differently?:

nothing. I was conservative on the bike as I wanted to. I made it off the bike for the first time in three tries, so I was happy.
Transition 2
  • 08m 34s

As I headed to my run bag, I saw my support crew of my wife and my old Army buddy. All three of us knew the importance of getting off the bike leg for me. As we locked eyes, My buddy told me, "You got this! Get your running shoes and kill it." I burst out in tears. We all hugged over the fence, and I was on my way.

Again, I walk the transition as planned. This time I changed in the tent. As detailed in other threads, I have no love for the head volunteer in the tent.
What would you do differently?:

I would have used sterner language to the lead volunteer who wouldn't get out of my face. I was doing MY race strategy, not his and he should have respected that. As it was, I made the mental mistake of leaving T2 with my left cycling glove on forcing me to throw it away near the run SN bags.(Another $30 donation to the money eating beast that is the Ironman.)
  • 5h 25m 43s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 26s  min/mile

My goal coming into the run was a 5:30. I made that by 5 minutes. The first mile was mentally draining. I never thought I would finish it. I ran what i thought was a mile, but it was closer to a half. After the right S turn up the hill, I started setting small goals. Run 10 lamp posts, walk 5. I did this to the turn-a-round aid station. At this point, I started talking to a female in a green top. She told me she thought we were going to leap frog each other the rest of the run. I told her this wasn't going to happen because I just decided to walk the rest of the marathon. (I was in one of those dark spots.) I walked about a half mile then told myself to snap out of it. I started running again. From this point on, I probably ran 65% of the time.

I used the spectators to trade energy and it worked. As I approached the SN area on the way back, I saw my support crew again. Man! They lifted my spirits! I was soooooo happy my wife decided to fly out Saturday night. She is my rock!

I kept talking to racers who were on their second lap. They gave me encouragement. "Just keep moving. You are going to be an Ironman today."

The sunlight left and the second lap came. On the second lap, I knew the course so I planned my walking points accordingly. Especially, the walk up Curry Hill!

About 1/2 way through the first lap, I grew to DETEST Ironman Perform. Dear God, that stuff is nasty. I lived off of coke, water, broth and pretzels. Mainly broth and pretzels. I actually, dropped my pretzels into the broth, let them soften up a bit, and then consume them both.

When I got to the last bridge around mile 24, I started doing some calculations in my mind. If I didn't stop running, I could break 14:30, I thought. The route to the finishing chute from here was mostly downhill. Except for the last aid station, I ran.

The last mile (where the course split) was probably the easiest mile I ever ran. Even during the previous 20 miles my ankles we're killing me, i didn't even notice them.

I read about the energy that people felt approaching the chute, but like the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower and Niagra Falls, it is just not something you can appreciate until you experience it firsthand. It was like a super magnet pulling me. I could hear the finish line loudspeakers in the distance. I saw the glow of the lights. The crowds were getting thicker.

The funny things you remember: about 400 yards to the chute, a lone spectator told me, " you look great. Nice and relaxed stride. You are going to be an Ironman, dude. Dont stop now!"

I turned into the chute. Man, oh man! I told my self I was going to slow down and enjoy it, but I couldn't ! I looked up and saw 13:42 on the clock! I was thinking I was going to get in at 14:30 so I was just amazed.

I heard my name followed by, " You are an Ironman!"

Mission accomplished. 2X IM Loser Demons slain!
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Pizza and fries

Event comments:

Unbelievable is my only description. I failed twice at this distance, so finishing for me was inscribable.

Last updated: 2013-11-22 12:00 AM
01:18:18 | 4224 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2705
Performance: Good
Suit: Full sleeve aqua sphere
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 11:38
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:38:15 | 112 miles | 16.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2705
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 08:34
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:25:43 | 26.2 miles | 12m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2705
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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