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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
80F / 27C
Total Time = 15h 37m 18s
Overall Rank = 1928/2189
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 45/50
Pre-race routine:

Okay, here goes. First, I will warn everyone in advance that there is some serious TMI in this RR. I apologize, but it's the way the race went!

I will try to summarize the days leading up to the race.

I left Rapid City on Monday. The plan was to get a massage and then leave for Denver. But on Sunday my massage therapist sprained her wrist and had to cancel my massage. I got to Denver without any incidents and started brainstorming ideas for getting massages in Phoenix. I made the loooooong drive to Phoenix on Tuesday. I got a late start because I overslept. But I finally got the dogs punted off to puppy prison and made my way south. I was able to talk to Tanya (StandswithFist) during the day and she hooked me up with a massage place that could fit me in on Wednesday. I got into my condo with no problems and went to bed.

Wednesday I did a quick bike ride and then headed off for my massage and chiropractic adjustment. Mmmm…nice. That afternoon I hit the grocery store and got all my tri gear unpacked. Then I went out for dinner.
Thursday I did a brick workout out on the Beeline. By now Rio Salado had been closed and I saw all sorts of triathletes out and about riding and such. After my brick I hit the race site. I got my race wheels put on, did packet pickup (AZStateRick put my wristband on!!!), got some spare tubes, and went to the NA Sports goodie store. Then I got my pedicure done (more thanks to Tanya for recommending a place) and relaxed the rest of the night.

Friday was a rest day. I organized my bags and gear a bit more and had lunch with Tanya. Then I pretty much chilled out at the condo until Juliapurr’s airplane landed. I picked her up at the airport and it was off to bed.

Saturday we went to the race site for a practice swim in the AM. We met up with a bunch of other BTers. This was a lot of walking around! Back to the condo for lunch then Julia went to run with the non-racing BTers and I did my last mini-workouts….ride the bike to make sure it works and a short short run. Then I dropped the bike and gear bags off at transition. By now my feet were getting tired so I went back to the condo and put them up on the couch and dozed a bit until Julia got back.

Off to the BT get together at PauletteJo’s house! I tried not to stand around too much at the party, but that’s always tough. I got to see SO many BTers and it was fun! But I left kinda early (7ish I think?) to go back to the condo and get ready and sleep. Julia and some of the other BTers…ended up at a gay bar. Heh. They apparently had a lot of fun.

Back at the condo I finalized my bags and nutrition bottles, ate a banana and a harvest bar, and went to bed. I woke up at 1:30 or so in the morning and figured I should eat a snack. This was supposed to be one extra “post dinner” meal that was a meal interrupted by sleep. So since I woke up, I ate some toast.

I got up around 4:00 or so, had PB and toast and another banana and sipped on some Gatorade. I took a shower…most importantly shaved the legs…we gathered up my crap and were off to the race site around 5:30. This was perfect timing. I had just enough time to do everything I needed…add water/infinit/ergomo to the bike, pump up tires, drop off special needs (which Julia did for me), and hit a porta potty. I sipped on some infinit. 30 minutes before race start I hit up some shot bloks (actually, that was while I waited in line for the porta potty). By the time I got done with the porta potty I had about 20 minutes to race start. So we found a spot to get me into my wetsuit and were walking me towards transition when we ran into Aaron (JeepFleeb), Liz (Chippy), and Jess (Tri Take Me Away). My awesome jockstrapper Julia left me at this point to go spectate and I hung with the BTers until it was time to get in the water.
Event warmup:

Warmup? Are you kidding? I suppose all the walking around beforehand counts. And then there was the few hundred yards you had to swim to the start line. Yup, that's about it!
  • 1h 12m 28s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

You had to start in transition and walk over the timing mat to activate your chip. Okie dokie. That was rather the bottle neck. The dock you were supposed to enter the water from was pretty narrow, so they said you could enter from anywhere along the wall. Well, with as many people as were standing around you pretty much entered the water wherever you ended up on the side of the lake. I had been sticking with Aaron because he wanted to start off the front and so did I. Aaron and I came up to the lake at a metal railing. My FIRST thought was about Cathy (COGirl) from the infamous Chicago Marathon fence hopping. Needless to say, I REALLY took my time getting over that fence and into the water so I could do it without hurting myself. Hopping fences can lead to pregnancy you know.

The first jump in was pretty chilly, but I warmed up decently while swimming towards the start line. I set myself up about 4 or 5 deep but as I treaded water waiting for the start I ended up closer and closer to the front. Hunh? I was probably in the 2nd or 3rd row after a few minutes.

The gun totally scared me. I was expecting a 5-4-3-2-1 kind of deal but instead there was just this gunshot out of nowhere. It startled me SO badly! I quickly hit my watch and just took off so that I wouldn't get completely run over.

This was my first 2000+ person mass start. Honestly, it wasn't much worse than any other mass start. But the chaos just lasted longer. The first bit was very crowded (duh). I didn't seen a buoy for the longest time. I was just a water lemming. All I could do was swim along with this mass of people. If they had gone over Niagara Falls I was going to end up following them! I just saw a whole bunch of people to my right and a whole bunch to my left and I just kept swimming. It thinned out a little but for the most part I was constantly running into people.

I think I was halfway down the first side before I saw a buoy. And it was WAY to my left! I toyed with the idea of moving closer to the buoy line but as I tried to scoot over I just ended up hitting more people in the process so I decided to screw it and just keep being a water lemming.

Finally I was able to start sighting off of the Rural Ave bridge. I picked out a spot between two pillars and swam very nice and straight. I only wish I could say that about the people around me. I was getting extemely frustrated at this point and will admit to throwing a few punches. Run into me once...okay, it's an accident. Run into my twice? Now I'm mad. Three times? Watch out for a fist. Seriously, people...if you run into someone THREE times...maybe you should look out ahead of you to see if you are swimming straight. I also had one guy whack me in the head not just ONCE but TWICE. KEEP YOUR DAMN ARMS TO YOUR DAMN SELF! None of this ridiculous not keeping your arms close to your body stuff.

Whatever, nothing I can do about people who can't swim. Now I was finally seeing buoys so I kept an eye on them but sighted mainly off the bridge. Once passed the bridge I looked for the turnaround buoy. It seemed to take awhile to arrive. I saw a lot of people WAY off to my right and thought that they were going to have a lot of extra yards to swim to get to the buoy. By the time I got to the turn around I was within 10 feet of the buoys. Yay! The crowd narrowed in around the turn and I could feel the draft factor increase as I made it around. I did swim head up around the two corner buoys to try to avoid hitting anyone or getting hit.

The back side went a lot better for me. I think I just take a half ironman distance swim to warm up. That or I was just happy to be in more open water. I had a lot more room on that side. I was right along the buoy line and basically able to see them all. Every buoy it seemed like the crowd thickened around the buoy and then thinned out again.

I could see a few buoys ahead and realized that if you swam straight for the next buoy you would be going out of your way so I sighted off the bridge and the other buoys. This was where I had my most annoying other swimmer. This guy would sight, then put his head back down and proceed to pull left into me. After the third time in 100 yards I basically swam over the dude to his right. If he could not learn to swim straight I was at least not going to be on the side he kept pulling to!

About three fourths of the way down I began to realize 99% of the people I saw had blue caps on. Blue was for boys, pink was for girls. There were hardly ANY pink caps! But I found one that seemed to be going my speed and I drafted off her for about 200-300 yards I would guess. I lost her feet when we got crowded around a buoy.

I was very happy to pass the Mill Ave bridge and make the final left turn towards the exit stairs. Man, those stairs didn't seem to get any closer! But I finally got to them. I grabbed the hand of the volunteer at the bottom and stood up. As I got a step or two beyond the volunteer I almost toppled backwards! I had to grab the railing to avoid falling. As I got to the top of the stairs there were volunteers warning you about the two or three steps DOWN after the top of the stairs. Um, can someone say bad swim exit? Way too many stairs and steps for the exit of an IM swim if you ask me! But I negotiated it okay I guess!
What would you do differently?:

Learn to draft! :)
Transition 1
  • 07m 34s

So once I had my balance and was out of the "obstacle course" portion of the swim exit I got my cap and goggles off so that I could read my watch. I was happy to be out of the water under 1:15 even though I was secretly hoping I would have been faster. I ran through the wetsuit stripper area looking for Q. If I had found him I was going to let him strip me, but since I never saw him I just kept the wetsuit on. I had it around my waist very quickly and just kept a nice steady jog towards the transition area. It was a LONG way so I wanted to keep jogging.

I found my bag very quickly and headed to the change tent. The men's tent looked SO crowded and there were lots of guys sitting on the ground outside it. I made it through the men on the ground (sts) and into the women's change tent.

I didn't get a volunteer right away but I did see a chair. I got to the chair and started to strip off my wetsuit. I sat down to get it off my feet. Then I dumped my bag and stood up to start working. I threw on some deodorant (no lauhging) then I used my towel to dry off a bit and tried to put my shirt on. It was just a bike jersey and I thought it would be SO easy to put on but it definitely got stuck on my back. I spent a lot of time dealing with that. Then I started to work on drying and cleaning off my feet to get my shoes on. About now a volunteer noticed I was alone and came over to help me. She put my race belt on for me while I worked on my feet. It was going to be a long day and I didn't want any dirt on them! I felt the volunteer straightening out the back of my shirt (whew).

After I got the shoes on I started to shove stuff into my bike jersey...6 packs of Clif bloks, a spare tube, aquaphor, chapstick, ziploc bag with SIX tampons in it. Maybe this is the time to mention that I was WAY late. Like, was DUE on Friday but EXPECTED on Wed or Thurs per acupuncturist. And it never came! Dammit! So I had to be prepared for the possibility it would show up during the race. Hence the nice big stack o' tampons I put in my bike jersey.

Back to the race report. All that was left was helmet/sunglasses. I picked them up to put them on while the volunteer shoved all my stuff back in my T-bag. I thanked her and ran out of the tent.

I had a volunteer spread a little sunblock on my forearms and in hindsight I should have done a little more sunblocking even though I didn't end up burned.

I kept up a nice jog as I went into the bike area. As I got to my row I spotted a volunteer grabbing my bike so I ran up the row to meet him. Then jogged with the bike towards bike out. I saw Mike Ricci and gave him a "low five" and then headed out the bike out.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe dry off a bit more before trying to put the bike jersey on? Otherwise, I think I did pretty darn well! I had my bag very well organized. I had the loose stuff in a gallon size ziploc which made it all very easy to find.
  • 7h 26m 32s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.05 mile/hr

I got passed the mount line and it was very crowded so I ran an extra 15 feet or so for some clear space. I threw a leg over my bike, clipped in, and took off. I heard some BTers cheer for me but didn't want to take my eyes off the narrow area to see who it was. But it was nice to hear cheers. :)

From my very first pedal strokes I knew I was in trouble. My achilles hurt. Yes, it hurt that early. I wasn't even out on Rio Salado yet. This had happened maybe twice in the last three months? The first time it was a 60ish mile bike ride and it got progressively worse and worse during the day. I was limping quite a bit after the ride but went to my LMT who was able to fix it with a little bit of her magic. So, I thought it was a fluke. It happened once more a month or so later but LMT was again able to fix it. It was hardly a blip on my radar...really! Never in a million years did I expect my achilles to hurt on IM day!

I had to face reality was hurting. And from previous experience I knew it 1. Wasn't going to go away, and 2. Was going to get progressively worse as the bike ride wore on.


Double Shit.


Well, lots of inner monologue profanity later I had no choice but to keep executing the plan and see what would happen.

I took the first hour easy, per the plan. I got passed and passed and passed...which I expected. My first thoughts were wondering how far I would make it before I saw the pro's on their way back in. I think it was just before the Beeline. :) That's not too bad!

The Beeline came up VERY quickly. I was surprised the first time we hit it. It took longer than that during all my practice rides. Nice to have closed roads ride on! :)

Once I turned up the Beeline I noticed that the wind was a little stronger than predicted. It wasn't bad...but maybe 10 mph and predicted was less than 5mph. So it was a bit demoralizing heading outbound and seeing some low speeds. After an hour I picked it up to a Z2 effort which was easy since this was about when the "steeper" part of the Beeline hit. Worked out well.

I had picked up right away on my nutrition plan since coming out of the water I almost felt hungry. I figured hungry was meant my tummy wanted food! So the plan was Infinit on the 15/45 and 3xClif bloks on the 30/60.

I got to the turnaround at 1.5 hours. There was an aid station right after the turnaround which was PERFECT. Pick up water at the top of the hill before you pick up speed headed downhill. So I got a bottle and headed downhill. I kept my Z2 effort and was really hauling between the downhill and tailwind. I passed a few people back. I maybe even was pushing a bit too hard, but I hit the next turnaround at 2:20 on the, 50 minutes inbound. What a difference!

I headed out on the second lap hopeful that I could pull off the 7 hour bike split. I kept up the Z2...didn't go to Z3 even though at this point I could per the plan. The Z2 felt like it was going to be a sustainable effort...any more was going to feel like too much. The achilles was still bothering me. I tried to stretch it out a few times and massage it a bit but nothing was really helping.

I felt like I had to pee but I wanted to wait to stop for a bathroom until at least more than halfway in the hopes that it would be my only bathroom break. About 50ish miles into the bike I felt my tummy rumble and all of a sudden I felt like I had to poop. At first I thought this was good...I mean, get rid of it BEFORE the run, right?

Winds were less this time and I was ahead of my lap 1 pace.

I still wanted to hold out for the bathroom until beyond halfway. I thought I would stop at the aid station at the turnaround, but when I got there the line was WAY too long and I figured the next one would come up pretty quick since it was downhill. Special needs came up first and I made a lightning quick stop to switch out nutrition bottles.

The next aid station also had a line for the potties so I continued to move on. But pretty soon after that the need for a bathroom became pretty critical. I wasn't able to pass gas for fear of shitting myself so in addition to feeling like I had to shit my stomach was rapidly filling up with gas. And it hurt. Line or not I had to stop at the next aid station. Pedaling was difficult because of all the cramping and gas so I totally slowed down.

I lucked out. No line. Handed my bike off to a volunteer and popped into the porta potty. Whew. Feel better.

Back on the bike and I was SO much better. Picked the pace back up and made it to the end of the loop. I don't remember exactly what time I got there, but maybe another 2:30? So, slowing down, but not bad! I saw the BTers and asked Trixie to show me her boobs, but all I got was a lot of cheers and a bit of stomach skin.

Only one more time outbound!!!! Headed out I suddenly felt more gurgling in my intestines...ruh roh. I had to go again. NOT GOOD! This was when I realized I was in trouble. I hit the next aid station and (TMI alert) noticed I was basically pooping orange-brown good. SO not good. I tried to figure out what on earth was going on. The only thought I had was that my stomach had stopped processing food. All I could think to do was stop eating. Additionally I was feeling pretty crappy so I was seriously slowing down. There was no aero anymore...that only put more pressure on the intestines. Very quickly after that aid station I felt like I had to go AGAIN.

I stopped one more time and spent the rest of the bike just taking small small sips of infinit once in awhile. I was totally Z1, getting uncomfortable and tired, the achilles had progressed to a downright nasty ache, and to cap it all off on the inbound leg the winds had flipped around and I had a small headwind. And right after the last aid station I felt like I had to shit again. With no more aid stations I had no choice but to hold it. It got SO bad (TMI alert) that every time my intestines would cramp I would have to stop pedaling and squeeze my butt cheeks together to avoid shitting myself. It was bad.

I was SO freaking happy to see T2. I coasted in.
What would you do differently?:

I have no idea. Not get the shits? Not have my achilles randomly act up?
Transition 2
  • 04m 43s

I handed my bike off to a volunteer and then Tanya (Standswithfist) meets me and asks how I'm doing. I do believe I responded, "I have to shit SO bad." Sorry, Tanya. :)

I got my bag (only took slightly longer than T1) and headed towards the change tents. The porta potties were near the ENTRANCE to the change tents but I wasn't wearing any shoes at this point and as bad as I had to shit I was NOT going into a porta potty in bare feet! I figured I would backtrack the 15 feet to the porta potties after I was ready.

This time I had a volunteer right away (the bonus of being one of the last few hundred people off the bike). I dumped out my stuff and the volunteer started to sort it while I grabbed a towel and worked on my feet. I got all the dirt off and took some extra time to spread Aquaphor all over them before putting my socks on. After socks came shoes and then I started to sort my stuff.

As I took the bike crap out of my pockets and added the run stuff the volunteer asked if I needed any massage or anything. I thought about having someone look at my achilles but I didn't want to wait. I wanted to get moving. I still had to go to the bathroom so I kept my shirt in my hand instead of wrapping it around my waist. Put on my hat while the volunteer collected all my extra junk into a bag.

I told the volunteer I was going to backtrack to the porta potties and she told me there were some out the other side. I said, okay and with shirt/coke in hand I walked out of the changing tent.

The problem was that the porta potties she was referring to were those in the BIKE AREA that I couldn't get to. CRAP. But now I didn't want to turn back. Keep moving forward was my one rule!
What would you do differently?:

Not listen to the volunteer regarding the porta potties and go with my original plan. Otherwise I think I did fine. The extra time for the aquaphor sucks, but comfort trumps a few minutes of time.
  • 6h 46m 1s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 30s  min/mile

I felt like a complete idiot WALKING through the huge crowd of people right outside of transition. HUGE idiot. They were all cheering and so encouraging and all I could think about was how the HELL am I supposed to run a marathon when I'm STARTING with the shits and a really really sore achilles. I started to cry because I thought I would have to walk a mile to the first aid station before I could get to a porta potty. And all these people were cheering but I was walking. And it wasn't good.

After a minute or two I found Julia and Lisa and they started walking with me. This was when I had my complete ironman meltdown! I was crying and started babbling about how I had to shit really badly. And how could I possibly run a whole marathon this way? How could I possibly RUN? I guess luck was with me since shortly after I found Julia and Lisa there were two random porta potties on the side of the run course. I told them I absolutely HAD to stop there so I handed the stuff in my hands to Julia and popped in. I was in there for quite some long that Julia finally knocked and asked if I was okay. I was just finishing up at that point.

I came out and took my stuff back and we kept walking while I tied my shirt around my waist and continued to have a meltdown. Julia and Lisa let me walk for awhile then finally suggested that maybe I should try running...after all, I only had to run for 2.5 minutes before I got to walk again. And they said I should probably try to eat some bananas...which was my plan at that point even though I had NEVER tried that during training.

So we transitioned to a shuffle and I almost stopped because my achilles was PISSED. Really pissed. But I made it through that 2.5 minutes and Julia and Lisa left me to go back to the transition area and I soldiered on.

I think I ran one more time before I hit the first aid station. I took one small little piece of banana. By the time I got it peeled I was very near the end of the aid station. I popped it in and kept walking. Very predictably, food in = felt like I needed to shit...again. But I was past the aid station and the #1 rule was no backtracking! So I walked quite a bit after that aid station. Lots of trying not to cry here. When the feeling didn't get any worse I decided to try to jog a little bit more. I just wanted to keep the "have to go urges" from becoming ridiculously critical. I decided if it got worse I would just go back to walking. But I managed several 2.5/1 intervals before I got to the next aid station. Not willing to risk it getting way worse before the next aid station I hit the porta potties there then took another few bananas and some coke.

I walked a bit to let that settle then did more 2.5/1's. Things do start to blur, but I do know I definitely hit two more porta potties and must have had two more bananas. The last porty potty on that loop was the rest stop right after you go over the Rural Ave Bridge. They were at the lead end of the stop so I walked through the aid station getting more bananas/coke. It was getting dark. And then I saw sportyj giving out fluids at the end of this station! She walked with me for a bit before she had to return to her post. I also TMI'ed her and told her how badly I had the shits. :) And that my achilles was very very very unhappy! I think this is when Chippy passed me. She was running with a guy and chatting away. :) I said hi.

At this point I was feeling a lot better. Less was coming out at every porta potty and I figured if I could do two more laps like I had just done that one then I could be okay. It wasn't ideal, but it was manageable. So when I saw Julia and Lisa (this time joined by TJ) in transition again I stopped and said, "Hold out your hands, I am SO done with all the nutrition I brought". I ditched my extra nutrition weight on them and I think it was Lisa who said, "So what is working?" I said, "Bananas and coke, so that's what we're going with." Julia took off walking with me again and someone handed me a glow necklace (goal met! I made one loop before getting a glow necklace!). I told her how the last lap had been...about the four porta potty stops but that I thought I was getting better and it was manageable. That I was even feeling good enough to maybe try to pick up the run pace a little (which had happened naturally with her running alongside me). She left me when I made the right hand turn onto Rio Salado.

Over the next few miles, every time I would start my next 2.5' run interval my achilles was just in agony. Loop 2 was my lowest point. I thought maybe I was going to have to walk from then on out...the achilles hurt SO badly. I kept mentally calculating the time I had left and I had to keep telling myself that I couldn't just walk yet....I didn't have time! I wouldn't make the cut off. More bananas and coke were really helping. I only hit TWO porta potties on this stop. But I had to do SOMETHING about the achilles. I eventually realized that it was the act of starting to run after every walk break that hurt the most...but once I got going the achilles seemed to "warm up" and hurt a little less.

Plan B. Run longer. Walk longer. Minimize transitions. I first tested this theory at what I had now dubbed the "Sportyj" rest stop since she was the first person I had seen there. I walked through it (saw Tanya and sportyj and informed them of my slightly improved state) and then started jogging. And I jogged all the way to transition. When I saw my cheering section again I started walking and Julia walked with me. I gave her the porta potty report and told her that I had just run all the way from the last aid station. So I told her Plan B was now in effect and I was going to do longer runs and longer walks. But that I was worried I wasn't getting enough sodium and was getting a bit light-headed once in awhile. She suggested gatorade and broth and said that they would see me after the short half of the loop.

So, as I crossed over the Priest bridge I started to feel a sugar bonk coming on. A BAD sugar bonk. I slowed to a walk and thought I was in trouble. I was still pretty far from an aid station and almost panicked. But then I remembered that I hadn't removed a half pack of Clif bloks out of my bike jersey when I ditched the rest of my nutrition. I pulled those out and gobbled them down. But I think I walked the rest of the way to the next aid station just in case. Once there I think I had three cookies and two cokes at that aid station. Whew. Sugar bonk crises over! But all that walking and a porta potty stop made me cold so I put my long sleeve shirt on finally and ran for quite some time.

I think I was still running as I came over the Mill Ave bridge and ran past my wonderful jockstrappers again! Now I started to really look forward to each mile marker. They were coming much faster than I really expected at this point. I fell into this trend of walking an aid station then walking for awhile after the station, then running until the next aid station. I was eating anything and everything...bananas, craptons of cookies, coke, etc. Anything to keep sugar in me. And the miles kept ticking away! Most people I saw out on the course were in WAY worse shape than I was. I kept passing people but then when I would have to stop at a porta potty they would pass me back. I would get frustrated when people could walk as fast as I was running.

But this was when I really realized I was going to finish this thing as long as I didn't do anything stupid. I just took it one mile marker at a time and celebrated every one. I was so surprised that there were a lot of people out there with me. I was never alone and someone was always close. I thought to myself, "Dammit, I wanted the finish chute all to myself!" At least I was thinking about finishing! I remember the last few miles. I walked the second to last aid station (which was my last porta potty stop and 3rd on the that loop) and a bit beyond it. Then I jogged until the "up ramp" to the Rural ave bridge. I walked up that then ran over the bridge until the last "sportyj" aid station. Then I walked past that until I thought I could run the rest of the way. I think I ran the last mile...but I never saw mile markers 25 or 26. Once I was running at the end I could not stop. I knew if I stopped again I wasn't going to start up...the achilles was just SO mad.

Once I hit the Mill Ave bridge I started to prep for the finish line. I took my shirt off from around my waist and took the glow necklace off my head (did you know that with a visor on the glow necklace is just the right size to wear like a halo?), straightened out my shirt, ditched some trash, etc. I thought about taking the tampons out of my jersey too but then I thought, "I carried these things the whole freaking race and never needed them. Dammit, they are crossing the finish line with me!"

I just had this steady slow jog going and everyone was so encouraging. I made the turn towards the finish, noting that they had closed off the was past the cutoff to start the third loop. As I ran through the parking lot I noticed for the first time in the last two hours there was no one around me. Yay! I looked ahead and behind and NO ONE! I had the finish chute all to myself!

Then...OMG, then....I rounded the last corner and THERE IT WAS. The fucking finish line! HOLY CRAP! And the tape was already up and there was NOTHING between me and that line! I started looking around for someone to hand off the stuff in my hands, but didn't see anyone I knew. I just remember a lot of cheering and so many people. Finally I had to give up on handing off my stuff...I was getting SO close to the line.

I did my is my trademark after all! I am honestly amazed the sudden rush of blood to my head didn't make me pass out. :) I came up from the cartwheel and I was at the line...and I decided that my knee deserved the honor of breaking the tape. So I raised my left leg as high as I could and tore down the tape with it. Which almost caused me to trip! :)

Then I put my hands in the air and ran across. Holy crap.
What would you do differently?:

Not get the shits....or the sore achilles for that matter.
Post race
Warm down:

The first person I saw on the other side of the line was AZStateRick. Poor man...I started crying and hugged him and babbled about people telling me I should stop running for the rest of my life. He took care of me a shirt and a medal and finisher photos. Then I rounded the exit corner and there were my jockstrappers. I fell into their arms and was just in tears. After I was done hugging and crying several people they steered me towards the post-race food. Then I hit the massage tent. Then Julia was a saint and helped me gather up all my crap and walk back to the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training for this was very hard for me. I had a really rough year. I was deployed from late January until the end of July. During that time I had a major mental crash and ended up on anti-depressants while my professional life crashed and burned around me. I had a bad case of plantar fascitis which made running really hard. Not to mention that we were taking the running SUPER slow since I had knee surgery 14.5 months ago. During the race, the whacked out achilles made my life VERY difficult and the shits from mile 50 of the bike damn near ended my day. So what limited my ability to perform faster? Previous and current "injuries" limiting my training, depression, diarhea, and a random achilles issue.

Event comments:

Wow. Just wow.

Two years ago I couldn't even imagine stepping to the starting line. I had knee pain for four years. Four orthopedic surgeons, 6 physical therapists, two chiropractors and an acupuncturist. No one could fix it and many of the ortho's and PT's actually told me there was nothing they could do and I should just stop running for the rest of my life. Really. I finally took matters into my own hands...found my own doctors in Boulder. Who told me they COULD fix it. And they they DID. I had knee surgery in September of 2007.

I signed up for the IM a little more than two months later. Work was causing massive anxiety/depression issues and I needed something for ME. So I signed up for an IM. Dumb, I know. Then when things got a whole lot WORSE finishing the IM became even more important to me.

I don't even know how to describe how happy I am just to have been able to get to the STARTING line. Finishing was sheer bonus. If you've never had a four year injury combined with a mental illness....I'm not sure if anyone can comprehend just how important this race was to me. And to overcome two very serious race complications (diarhea for 10 hours and a pissed off achilles) just made it incredible. I really had no idea at the start of the marathon if I would be able to finish. I had never raced under such dire conditions. Usually one of those is enough to make me miserable. Combos are just evil. The finish alone would have been sweet. Overcoming obstacles made it even sweeter. I'm babbling.

Oh, and porta potty total = 12! I must have spent more than 30 minutes in porta potties. And, for those that were wondering...despite the fact that I jumped a fence (which we all know leads to pregnancy), I am NOT pregnant. I finally got my period on Tuesday after the race. Weirdness. I am so glad I carried six tampons for 14 hours.

One of the best days of my life...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-09-24 12:00 AM
01:12:28 | 4224 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 24/50
Overall: 886/2189
Performance: Average
Suit: Promotion Sleeveless
Course: One counter clockwise rectangle. You start about under the Mill Ave bridge, swim a bit past the Rural Ave bridge and then back towards transition.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:34
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:26:32 | 112 miles | 15.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/50
Overall: 1892/2189
Performance: Bad
FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi. (3:40:14) 15.83 mph SECOND BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi. (6:13:23) 14.50 mph FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 38 mi. (8:46:34) 14.88 mph
Wind: Some
Course: Three out and back loops...through some city streets then out the Beeline highway.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:43
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:46:01 | 26.2 miles | 15m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 45/50
Overall: 1928/2189
Performance: Average
FIRST RUN SEGMENT 3.5 mi. (9:43:01) 14:46/mile SECOND RUN SEGMENT 8.6 mi. (11:52:03) 15:00/mile THIRD RUN SEGMENT 8.3 mi. (14:09:07) 16:30/mile RUN FINISH 5.9 mi. (15:37:18) 14:56/mile
Course: Three figure 8 loops around Tempe Town Lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
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

2008-11-29 1:47 AM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Ironman Arizona

2008-11-29 10:00 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Amazing journey to get to the starting line and then a tough and inspiring execution come race day!

Congrats Jen on an incredible first Ironman!

You did it with some big issues that came up race day but overcame each and every obstacle. It really shows how tough and determined you are to get the training in while being delployed and having some struggles, and finishing!

Congrats Ironman!

2008-11-29 10:08 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice job percevering! You did it!
2008-11-29 10:31 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Definitely a lot of info in the rr , but it's good to know all that can happen out there.  You are all the more awesome for finishing with everything you had to overcome, congratulations ironman!!
2008-11-29 12:42 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Awesome job out there -  it was tough clearly.  congratulations!

2008-11-29 1:33 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
YAY Jen So happy for you Hope everything is quieting down too   Havign a goal is always good to keep you going.  Trust me Florida isn't so bad you will like it here and we can't wait for youto coem.  Its all good I swear.

2008-11-29 7:37 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Wow! What a sweet victory for you -congratulations
2008-11-29 7:39 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Wow jen.  You are one funny girl and you curse a lot at IMs.    Nice work, way to stick it out (even if maybe you shouldn't have!  Like I said before, I would have done the same damn thing). 

Freakin periods.  The bane of my racing experience....I share your pain.

2008-11-29 10:01 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Hey! Congrats, poopy pants! When I saw you you out there you looked great... who would have known? Must have been miserable for you. I thought stopping to pee twice was (both times on the bike) was a bit much, but 12 porta-potty breaks?! You are one tough cookie!
2008-11-30 6:56 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congrats!!! It was nice to meet you briefly at the potlluck

You did amazing! I hope you dont have to see the inside of a porta=potty for a very long time

2008-11-30 7:46 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Wow Jen, what a day and what a perservence on race day, that's for sure! Congratulations IronZoomie!! I'm so happy for you!

2008-11-30 8:38 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Laurium, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

I'm pretty sure that is the definition of HTFU.  Good job.


and your "slower then expected" IM swim pace is still faster then my oly pace so quit yer bitchin

2008-12-01 4:54 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Frugal Gear Geek
having fun with the kids
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
It only took me 3 days in 5 different sittings, but WOW, now that is a race report to be proud of! Excelent job girl. I am so proud of you!!
2008-12-01 5:12 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
way to hang in there. I feel your pain about squeezing the butt cheeks, I had the hershey squirts starting at mile 2.5 of the run. Nothing nice!!
good job finishing, fellow butt cheek squeezer!!
2008-12-02 10:00 AM
in reply to: #1830006

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
What a funny/sad/scary/inspiring RR Jen!! I had no idea the amount of obstacles you had to overcome - you deserve a huge break after this! Can't wait to see you at St. A's, and way to stick it out on a tough day. You are a champion!!
2008-12-02 2:34 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Now that's a race report! My gosh, you overcame so much to get to that finish line. Way to go and congrats on becoming an Ironman!!!

2008-12-02 6:30 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Wow, just wow.  Congratulations Iron Man. 
2008-12-02 6:45 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Ok, I had no idea how many obstacles you overcame to get to the start and finish line. What an achievement. I have come to appreciate the effort it takes to complete this event. You stayed present and composed throughout the race.

You will always have friends in sunny Arizona. Come see us again 

2008-12-03 8:48 AM
in reply to: #1830006

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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congratulations on a TOUGH race!  You really deserve the title IRONMAN!  Enjoy the post race glow!

2008-12-03 11:47 AM
in reply to: #1830006

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
YOU DID IT GIRL!!!!  This could SOO be my race report with all the GI issues I have so I am HOPING to not repeat what happened to you!!  BUT you totally kept going and showed your butt who's boss!!!!  Very proud of you!!!
2008-12-03 12:55 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Katy, TX (West of Houston)
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Thanks for the GREAT race report!! I DNF'd at IMAZ in April, and am signed up for IMAZ 09. I need this kind of story to keep me on track!


2008-12-03 1:15 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
That was a fantastic read!  Congrats on toughing that out!!  I was cringing just reading (parts) your report.
2008-12-03 4:53 PM
in reply to: #1830006

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New York, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

you did it!!!


congrats - sh!ts and all!!!

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