General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Arizona Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 1422/2189
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 262/369
Pre-race routine:


Twelve weeks, to the day, before the start I was out for a longer bike ride. I think I was scheduled to get in 70 miles that day. I left my riding partners about mile 38 because they were going shorter, and went up South Mountain and was coming back down when something happened. I don't know what, but the end result of a crash at 30 mph was a broken left collarbone. I lost six weeks of swim training, a solid four weeks of running, and spent almost 8 weeks doing all of my riding on a trainer. I used the elliptical to try to keep my run fitness, but there is no doubt this impacted my training some. In spite of that, I made it to the starting line.


It is pretty standard on the night before the race to get a horrible night's sleep. You find yourself fixating on making sure you didn't forget anything, worrying about whether or not your alarm is going to wake you up, and finally worrying about going to sleep and whether or not 22/7 is a good approximation of PI. Saturday night was not like that at all. I got to bed about 2200 after checking the weather and putting my bike wind-vest my bag. I then went to sleep, and slept pretty solid until about 0345 when I woke up. I turned my alarm off a bit before 0400. My back was really hurting and for some reason a few toes on my left foot. Who knows why on the foot. The back is a known evil. But I knew it didn't matter. Today was going to happen. I got up and started my pre-race nutrition which was about 500 calories. For me that was one bottle of Ensure and a Clif bar. Then I took a shower and started gearing up. Most of the car was loaded, and we were on the road at just after 0430. Tammy and I talk about how many people have done an IronMan. It's here that she realizes her chances of ending up with someone like me were about 1 in a 1,000,000. She's waxes poetic about how the lottery would have been a lot nicer and she'd be a couple of million richer. I like to think she would have been 140.6 poorer, but she doesn't find this argument that persuasive.

For a change, getting into Tempe and finding parking was no issue, and as a result, a little after 0500 we were down at transition. Only the athletes are allowed in, so I went in and checked out my bike, filled my aero bottle and put my bottle of concentrated InfinIT on my bike. I got body marked by Dave, who I had met the night before at the potluck and then took the time to "biobreak" while the port-a-potty lines were nonexistant. From there I went over and tossed my wind vest into my T1 bag and then met back up with Tammy. We went over to the special needs drop off area and dropped off Bike Special Needs (BSN) and Run Special Needs (RSN). Then we had about 40 minutes to relax, which we did. About 0640 I started getting my wetsuit on, and I had that on and ready to go when the cannon went off at 0650 for the pros. We met a few Durapulse people, and then I went in and started to head towards the water. I end up standing on the dock next to the ageless Joe Bonness. This was his 58th IM distance event and like most of them, he won his age group. At 0655 I was in the water and I stroked up to a good location without a lot of people and tried to relax and not use much energy when the cannon sounded for us at 0700.
  • 1h 34m 4s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 14s / 100 yards

...and we're off. You have about 2200 people in one big group all getting started at the same time. In triathlon it is known as the "washing machine" for the beating that you take. I experienced none of that. I had seeded towards the back and there were plenty of people behind me, but I had a pretty big open area. I was among my people, the hydro-sloths. We are not a violent people, we are a people of love and understanding and very little swimming ability. My goggles were leaking a little bit and I stopped a few times to fix them, and finally they were ok. Then I just tried to settle into a rhythm. I was slow but steady and the time slipped away. I got to the Rural bridge and knew I wasn't far to the turnaround. During that time I managed to draft once or twice, and it felt amazing. I'm just not good enough to do it for long, so I just tried to take the shortest course. Then I was on my way back. It felt like less than 45 minutes but wasn't. Still, back I went. About the 1:15 mark my eyes started to hurt from the goggles, but at that point is was time to just deal with it and move on. I made it to the stairs out and the volunteer helped me out. My legs felt really heavy, and the clock read 1:33:57. Slower than I would have liked, but over with. I walked over to the wetsuit strippers and they skinned me efficiently and I let them help me up as I trotted down the path and gave the traditional hydro-sloth battle cry: "I didn't drown!" I really do need to work to become a better swimmer. I can't continue to give up 30 seconds/100 to my peers.

What would you do differently?:

Not lose the time to injury. I'd really been seeing progress, and that all got tossed out the window.
Transition 1
  • 08m 4s

First thing first, grab my bag and then hit the port-a-potty. I know that is going to cost me time, but not as much as if I have to stop on the bike. Then it was into the changing tent. I dumped out my bag, and stuffed my wetsuit, cap and goggles into it. I grabbed my towel and wiped my feet off and got my socks on. Put my race belt and helmet on, picked up my shoes and headed out. Stopped to get some sunscreen on my hands and legs and moved on. I'd gotten a feel for the air temperature and my clothes seemed fine so no vest or beanie under the helmet. That ended up being the perfect call. I grabbed my bike and trotted to the mount line. There a volunteer held my bike while I put my shoes on, then I hopped on and was off. How in the heck this turned into 8 minutes is beyond me.
What would you do differently?:

I was as fast I could expect on a race of this distance and with the T setup the way it was.
  • 6h 14m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.97 mile/hr

Lap 1
On the bike I had a plan. Nick had me keeping my heart rate (HR) between 130 and 140 and my cadence at 90 RPM. As I started out my HR was high so I tried to make sure I geared down to let it settle. My anaerobic threshold is 148, so I knew I couldn't go over that. Finally I got it down to the 142-144 range and settled in. It felt WAY too easy. People were passing me and I felt great. But the reason you have a plan is because it is how you believe you can succeed over the long term. In the middle of a race isn't when you decide to try to be smart, because then you're stupid, which just isn't smart. Ok, now I'm confused. Anyhoo, I just stuck with it. Each lap is just over 37 miles and I felt good. On the out portion I had one problem with a group. Someone going a little faster than me would pass, and then pull in front of me and slow down. The rules say you have to drop 10m behind them before you can repass. The problem is that more and more people would do the same thing, and pretty soon we're going slower than I want to maintain, so I then would repass back to the front. Finally we hit a hill and a marshal came up and I heard him warn someone behind me that they needed to be out of the draft zone, and then someone ahead who wasn't getting right. Once that happened it broke up and I was able to move forward again.

I passed one guy wearing a Fat Cyclist jersey. As I went by I said, "Win Susan!"
"Ok, whatever", he replied. Then about a second later, after looking down he exclaimed, "Oh yeah!" It seems he had forgotten what jersey he was wearing.

Coming back into town I really had to pee, so I stopped briefly and then was back on the road to repass those people again. As I pass Dave the second time and he tells me I have to pee on the bike. I've tried that in the past, but I just can't relax enough and I think being uncomfortable and having to go slower to try, just isn't worth it. At least that is how I rationalize my constant interior decoration critiques of the port-a-potties. Did you realize that they are sized to handle the normal load of ten people for a week? Fascinating.

I'd also been getting rid of what I affectionately refer to as "swamp nose". I blow out my right nostril, and suddenly my left one is bleeding pretty good. I end up coming into town with one hand on an aero bar and one hand holding my nose closed to stop the bleeding. I have a little blood on my shirt, a decent amount on my hands and leg but I'm still going.

It was neat to have the pros blow by. I was moving pretty good and they are so much faster it is hard to imagine.

Lap 2

I still feel good and just keep on going. Less than half way through this lap I've finished off my first bottle of InfinIT. That's about 900 calories so I know I'm going good on nutrition, but I have to pee again. I know when I pickup my second bottle at BSN I need to try to take in less water with the calories. I console myself with the knowledge that you won't get pulled from the race for peeing too much, but if you collapse due to dehydration, you're done. I stop at the port-a-potty right before BSN and then coasted up to swap out my bottles. I try to size up the port-a-potties for a line, and BSN, only has one unit. There is no wait so I take that as opposed to waiting for the "Five hole" down at the next aid station. I had been flat free so didn't need those spares and didn't feel like the peanut butter filled pretzels, so I just moved on. From there it was the long downhill into town and I was in aero and on my highest gear just cruising. I did get one gust of wind that scared me, but other than that it no issues.

The pros blew by again, including the women's leader. You could see some real differences even among the pros just based on the spread.

Lap 3

Last one and I was still feeling good. My heart rate was now in the high 130s and I was really happy that I had followed my plan on lap 1, as opposed to letting my body fool me. It's tricky like that, but I am wiley. This lap is where my training really showed. In the previous laps I'd have a lot of the same people around me and we'd sort of pass each other back and forth for a while. In this lap, with only two or three exceptions, anyone I passed stayed passed. It was a lot less crowded this lap because the pros and fast (or even not slow) age groupers were off. I cruised into town, got my feet out of my shoes and got ready to hand my bike off. I knew my bike had been quick so I happy. Gave my bike to a volunteer, grabbed my Garmin out of the mount and headed into transition.

What would you do differently?:

Guess take in a little less fluid, but still I was only a few minutes slower, and I'm really happy with my bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 43s

My plan was to change my shorts and put my shoes on and get moving. A volunteer helped me and that happened quickly. I went with standard laces instead of speed laces, which just don't fit quite as well. The difference in 30 seconds seemed like a good investment to me. I grabbed my hat that had my sunglasses and Garmin wrist strap in it and started moving. This transition time was much faster. 2:43 is perfectly respectable.
What would you do differently?:

Smooth and fast. I'm happy with it.
  • 5h 30m 50s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 38s  min/mile

The run is a three loop course that is vaguely like a figure-8, with the top half (or in this case the west half) being much smaller than the right. It turns into about a 3 mile section and a 6 mile section.

Lap 1

Two out of the three events are down. I get my Garmin switched back over to satellite (I'd had it just reading the bike magnets to save battery) and got moving. Once again my heart rate was up. It was over 150 and I knew I needed to back off, so I did. Thi was a marathon, not a 10k, so I needed to take my time. I was nice and steady and didn't have any issues. My stomach was feeling a little full, so I went with water at the first aid station. From there I would just take in Gu when my stomach felt good, and then whatever else sounded good. I think I only hit one port-a-potty on the run, but I made sure I was far, far away from transition. Those things are scary over there. The Port-a-potty Monster from the Black Lagoon could grab you with no warning!!!

I got to the backside of the second part of the lap when I saw someone that sure looked like Cliff from Ultimate. When I'd been thinking of who else in ultimate would do an IronMan I thought it was no one. Then I said, "Nah, Cliff could do one without a problem." Suddenly, there he was. I called out:

"That's not Cliff is it?"
He looked around puzzled, and then finally recognized me. From then on I saw him every time I came down that backside and at the front of the aid station. He was very encouraging and it was great to see a friendly face out on that section.

I got to the hill on Curry and jogged up part of it, and then started walking. It was going to be a long day and I knew I got to see this 2 more times.

I managed to see Tammy both sections of the lap and felt fine just under 9 miles down.

Lap 2

It's started getting dark, but I was still feeling good and moving steady. I continued to walk through the aid stations to get in fluid and calories. After the top half of the figure-8 I stopped at RSN to drop off my sunglasses, change shirts and get a dry hat, then I was moving again. It had gotten dark so the aid stations started making up the chicken broth. I can tell you that November of '08 was a great vintage for chicken broth. It was the best tasting thing all day, as long as it was warm. I got one cup that was cold, and that tasted like someone had just tried to juice a chicken.

For the first time I could start to see who the runners were that were behind me. Until then you had no idea if the person passing you was someone fast on their third lap, or someone slow, but feeling good on their first lap. Since I didn't have a glow necklace yet, and others did, I knew they were behind me. Even though I was just competing against myself, it was a way to keep my mind active and off of me.

About mile 14 I felt a blister forming on my left foot on my toes. It wasn't very painful, so I decided it was good enough and ignored it. I figured more painful things would come along soon enough.

As I finished up lap 2 I noticed I was running up behind some people on the path that looked like ESCKTC people. I called out to them and sure enough it was. We talked for a few minutes and I kept moving.

Lap 3

As I cruise through transition on the final lap I get my glow necklace, and I know I only have 9 miles to go. I catch up to Graeme from DuraPulse here. I'd seen him early in Lap 1, but he'd finally gotten back around to running and I hadn't seen him since.

"Come on, you've been kicking my tail for 12 miles, time to get moving!"
"I've got to stop and get some blisters taken care of", he replied.

That was the last I saw him.

At mile 17 my right knee started to hurt in that ITB kind of way. I had known it was coming, just not when. I walked for a minute and tried just flexing it and it really seemed to help. I resumed running (well, ok, jogging) and tried to favor my left leg to help it along.

I saw Tammy at the junction of the figure-8 and we agreed I'd see her at the finish. I was walking more of the hills, and for the first time had to walk down the transition from the Rural bridge to the trail, sort of sideways. My legs wouldn't let me go down forwards. But still I was normally running.

My knee strategy worked until about mile 22 when both knees started complaining and I had to really adjust to try to compensate. I tried to walk with a purpose when I had to walk and to do a racewalk/shuffle when I could. I was getting passed by a few people, but not many. I heard one lady who barely passed me talking to someone telling them it was her second lap. That felt good.

On the final stretch I came across a lady nearly bent over sideways. She was 60 and had a volunteer going with her. She was on her last lap with back cramps. Absolutely amazing.

Then it was down to the final 200m. I took off my glow necklace and tossed it to the crowd. Now I knew I was going to beat 13:30. The last 50m were a blur of people and cheering, and then I was done. I don't even remember hearing my name.

What would you do differently?:

Again, less injury.
Post race
Warm down:

Post race

Two volunteers caught me, wrapped me in mylar and held on tight. It was actually reassuring. I got my finisher gear, and then they stopped and we got another picture. Evidently I seemed pretty solid because one volunteer dropped off and the other one continued on until I got to the exit. I had thought at the race meeting that they said we all had to go through medical, but I guess not.

I then walked out and tried to figure out where the Family "Meet & Greet" area was supposed to be. Evidently, it's a lot like Narnia or Middle Earth, it only exists in fiction. Regardless, Tammy was smart and tracked me down over by the food tent. I got some water and a few slices of pizza, served on the top of a pizza box and went to sit down and eat. This method of creating plates with half a box wouldn't have worked if it weren't for the fact that on average we were eating half a pizza. They had other things there but nothing looked really appetizing. We relaxed and talked to another athlete for a while, and then got moving.

We checked out the store and bought a finisher polo shirt and then went to collect my bags and bike. They were letting one "sherpa" in with you, so that was great. Then off we trekked to the garage to go home.

We met the ESCKTC people again and then loaded up the car and headed home. We got home about 10:00 and took showers. My goal was to make it through the shower without crying. I knew that I had some serious chafing and that is never fun. Another goal achieved! The best part is there is no chip involved so you can't go back and verify.

Post post race

My legs hurt so badly I couldn't sleep, even with pain medication. My back was also not feeling so hot.

I got up in the middle of the night to pee and had to struggle to sit down. I know, I know...I should have either blinded myself with the light or been a real man and gone by sound, but I in a pain filled fog and you're not going to get me to change my excuse. I went to stand up again and didn't have anything I could grab to lever myself up, so I held onto the door frame. Then my hand slipped and I crashed onto the floor. Tammy called out to hold on and she'd come help me. I protested that I was ok, but by the time she got to me an eternity later (at LEAST 15 seconds) I hadn't managed to even get up to a sit. So she came in and helped me get back to the bed. Hopefully that gives you some flavor of exactly how sore I was.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Injury. Athletic ability. Having ~15% of my left lung removed in '02.

Last updated: 2008-11-25 12:00 AM
01:34:04 | 4224 yards | 02m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 338/369
Overall: 1926/2189
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Profile Aquaman
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:04
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:14:02 | 112 miles | 17.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 262/369
Overall: 1406/2189
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 139
Wind: Some with gusts
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:43
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:30:50 | 26.2 miles | 12m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 262/369
Overall: 1422/2189
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 134
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-11-26 11:45 AM

User image

Subject: Ironman Arizona

2008-11-26 12:31 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Surprise, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Jot - simply AWESOME race and report!  Congratulations x 1000!!!!
2008-11-26 12:45 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Very entertaining RR Jot. In fact, it was funny.  You kept this race low key for most of the year. I forgot you were doing it until a few days prior. I almost missed you at the finish. I read your bib and it said Joshua and I was like thats Jot. You came in much earlier than (I) expected. Your T2 time is the best I have seen so far.

Now, that you have this experience, you can share with me some of your lessons as I start my journey.


2008-11-26 12:59 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Jot, that was an amazing feat to overcome a broken collarbone only 12 weeks away from the race! TRULY amazing! Your bike time was incredible as well.

After all you had to go through, and to finish so well, you truly are an IRONMAN!!

2008-11-26 1:00 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Amazing!  You are amazing.  Congratulations on the finish...great RR too.  
2008-11-26 1:00 PM
in reply to: #1827650

User image

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Thanks a bunch! I may not write well, but I can write long.

Remember, I can always be bribed by beer.


2008-11-26 1:03 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Extreme Veteran
Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations on a great race. You are an Ironman!
2008-11-26 5:15 PM
in reply to: #1827547

User image

Flagstaff, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome race Jot!  It was fun to see you out on the bike course.  I couldn't hang with you though.  Great job!
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Arizona Rss Feed