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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 12h 45m 42s
Overall Rank = 1140/2191
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 249/399
Pre-race routine:

Warning: Long Report Follows

It's not often in life you get to do a complete Mulligan. Sure, you can get a free drop of the golf ball, but you can't really ask your boss for a raise if you screw up the first time. I needed a full mulligan with IMAZ. Most know, but some don't I guess, that I was pulled vomiting from the water at the April edition of IMAZ with severe, unexpected vertigo a mile into the swim. I was taken from the shore of Tempe Town Lake back to the finish in an ambulance. All that training for 1/2 hour of swimming and a day sepnt in bed trying to force Pringles and 7 Up down my throat.

It was no secret that I was devastated. OW Swimming is my leg. I've got nearly 1000 scuba dives. I regularly swim our 2 mile pier to pier course sub 1:00, usually without a wetsuit. I am a top 10% tri swimmer. The vertigo - and the sheer unexpectedness of it - shook my confidence to the core. The lack of control in the water made me want to stay out, and gave me a new irrational fear to deal with.

After the race, I purged the hotel room of anything having to do with IMAZ. But I got up the next morning and signed up for Nov. 2009 the next morning, telling my wife that it wasn't necessarily the IM I "wanted" to do, but one that I "needed" to do. I didn't call it revenge, as for me that would imply the course did something to me. To me, it was simply some loose ends I had to tie up. Unfinished business, to borrow a phrase.

Then, on what was to be the celebratory post-IM finish trip to Sedona and Grand Canyon, I decided to sign up for November 2008 via the community fund. Because this required the mailing of a live check (actually, 2), this resulted in the constant checking of the NAS site and watching the quickly dwindling CF slots, as other DNFers looked for redemption.

Ultimately, I got in. I fished out the training plan that I had been following since the previous November,...... and started all over again. Training for 2 IMs in a year is tough. Training for the first IM of the year and the last IM of the year makes for a very long season. And I had to get over my new OWS fear.

As it turns out, the differential diagnosis was stupidity, and doing something new on race day. Because it was supposed to be so hot, I started taking 2 or 3 salt pills a day on Friday, I think. Turns out there is a set of membranes in the inner ear, one made of potassium, the other made of.... sodium. Screw up the pressure between the two, and you screw up your balance. Then add the rolling motion of the swim. At least this is the best theory my neurologist could come up with since everything else was normal (thank god). I started wearing earplugs just in case. Maybe it was cold water, even though I've been in much colder (diving down to 45 degrees). For the first 2 or 3 swims in the ocean, my ex lifeguard buddy Mike swam next to me, to make sure all was well. Eventually I weaned off Mike's support (not that I could keep up with him anyway), and began swimming basically alone. I was with a group, but the ocean is big. I swam in much worse chop, swells, waves and wind than IMAZ. I swam for longer than it would probably take me at IMAZ. 2 mile races, 1.7 mile races, HIMs, Olys. Never had a problem.

There is another, less believable but as likely to me, cause that I identified. On Friday pre-race, I bought an IMAZ jersey and hat (no finisher's stuff). I went to the athletes' dinner, but left as the mandatory meeting was starting, since I was with a group and they were all leaving. Did I anger the 140.6 gods? who knows. New stuff before race day, buying IMAZ gear, leaving the meeting. Who knows, but this time I had the opportunity to make it right.

Arrived in Tempe on Thursday and went straight to check-in. No lines at all, and was in and out in 5 minutes. Walking through the same area I had left in defeat 7 months earlier was strange. The last time I had been there was when I went back around 9 pm to collect my bike. The time before that, being picked up at the medical tent. Might as well have been a decade, might as well have been a day. It all looked exactly the same.

At checkin, I was given a visor, jacket and long sleeve shirt as a CF participant. I made a point of acknowledging that these things were GIVEN to me, I did not buy them. Nevertheless, when we got to the hotel (the same one we stayed at in April, in fact 3 doors down....), I shoved these items in the back of the closet.

Thursday afternoon met bryancd, livestrong, bkarhu and andy for a quick trip 'round the Beeline. Same as April. Thursday night had Pita Jungle for dinner. Yummy stuff.

On Friday I went to the Gatorade swim and met up with avjetdale. We had a similar history, his April race didn't go quite as planned out of the gate either so we both had some unfinished business to do. The wind was up, from the east, making the swim a choppy affair. It was much nicer on Saturday. Both days swam about 20 minutes. Sat rode about 5 minutes to run through the gears before dropping the bike off. I was going to run, but realized that whether I ran 20 minutes or not would have no effect on whether I went 4:30 or 5:00 or 5:30 or.... Friday night hit the athlete's dinner.... and stayed for the meeting (I was actually glad that I had)

All in all, I came into November IMAZ uninjured and in better all around shape than April. My swim was not quite as good, but my run and bike were about as good as they were going to get. I just wanted to get through the swim this time... a very odd feeling for me.

On Saturday, went to lunch with Cat and Jeff that had come from L.A. (he raced April) to watch me finish, then hung out at the hotel with them. Had spaghetti from Oregano's for dinner, and was in bed about 9:30. Woke up at 3 and had a can of Ensure. Woke up at 4:30, had a quick shower, another Ensure, but couldn't get down the peanut butter sandwich I had made. Sipped on water and gatorade.

Got to the site about 5:00. Dropped off special needs (threw the PB sandwich in the bike bag), put Infinit on thebike, checked my list and dropped off stuff in the bike and run transition bags.... and then sat. I walked over to where Wendy was standing along the fencing near Inside Out sports. That's when it hit me. I was overwhelmed and had a bit of a breakdown. Being there in the dark, just like the last time when I was walking with my head in shame. What if.... ? Wendy reminded me it was just a training day, that's all. How many times have I done this swim?? This is just another lake, ain't no thing but a chicken wing, as she says. :)

I hoped I had done my part to appease the IM gods.
Event warmup:

We were all standing in the corral in the 55 degree air, dreading getting in the water. I saw livestrong there, we had a few words, I decided to get in about 6:45. Mainly because I had to pee. Jump in the water, and what do you know, 63 degree water feels damn warm in 55 degree air. Started swimming to the front, felt great.

Made a game time decision to start about 50 feet from the right wall this time, then hopefully apex off the right curve and go straight to the bridge.

Here's a tip: When you are wearing a wetsuit, you do NOT need to thrash your legs around like Fred Flinstone driving a car. You'll float, trust me. And then the guy that could apparently only tread water horizontally, on his stomach, taking up the space of 3 grown men.

Suffice to say, by the time the gun goes off, you may have started at the front but rotate to a spot 3 or 4 rows back. Whatever.
  • 59m 29s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

BOOM goes the cannon. I start off with a water polo stroke, head up, and I am having a great time. I am near the wall so I can hear the roar of the crowd on the wall. I have a shit eating grin on my face. I can see clear water about 3 people up but can't quite get to it. Overall, it's much better than the scrum that was April along the left buoy line.

My strategy worked pretty well, we hit the right curve pretty quickly and the water opened up to my left. I was angling closer to the buoy line, but never got onto it all morning long, so never got a decent draft. Even though I was in clear water, there was a guy to my right... and a guy to my left... and we were all going the same speed, and no one was giving an inch. We'd bump and grind now and then, but nothing too bad. It was just annoying. Of course, I could have slowed down as well, but... Eventually I did slow a bit, swim over the guy on my right's legs, and get to the outside.

I ended up just off the buoy line, and finally made it to the Scottsdale Rd bridge. I was constantly monitoring myself. The technique is to find something stable on shore - a building, a pier, whatever - and see if it was spinning. No spinning, that's good. At one point, just past the pier, I took a breath to the right and see my old friends Southwest Ambulance and the EMTs. I knew I wasn't through the swim yet, but I gave them a one finger salute as my right arm came over. Nothing personal boys, I just won't be needing your help this time around.

Hit the far buoy, rounded it to the outside. I had no idea where I was, hard to tell who's up and who's back, and I had taped over the chron portion of my watch. All I had was heart rate.... up oh. Looked at it for the first time, 155. oh, crap.

It should be 145.... The entire back side I used to bring my HR back down and settle down. Got it down to 150, was as low as i could get it. Nothing I could do about wasted heart beats now. The Mill Ave bridge looked so far away, but I was used to this. Swimming pier to pier, the far pier always looks a lot closer than it is, but never seems to actually get closer. On those days, I pick out something on shore, a palm tree, a street, and swim to that. Pick out the next one, swim to that. Next... next.... Breaks it up into bite sized chunks.

As with the swim out, I was right of the buoys, but when we crossed under the Mill bridge, suddenly I was on the buoy line, and no one was to my left. I glanced over left to see the swim exit. The scene I had been envisioning for the last 7 months. The "first" finish of my IM. Other things may go wrong, but at least the monkey was no longer on my back.

I exited at the far left stairs, the great volunteer helped me up the stairs, and I was elated. I hit the lap button on my Polar, and could see a "5" peeking out from the back of the tape. Excellent.

I had planned on going to the biggest, beefiest wetsuit stripper I could find. But as I was running up, a woman about 5'5" pointed at me and said "get on the ground!" Uhhh, OK, I was down, legs up, woosh, wetsuit off. ha!

Ran through the crowd, saw Wendy and Cat... said something, I am told something like "I did it!" Who knows.

182d overall out of the water
25th AG
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 07m 48s

What the hell. 7:48? Ran through the bag section, stuttered out my number, and got my bag.

Transition tent was relatively empty, plenty of room to dump the bike stuff out. Changed into bike shorts, threw on jersey, stuffed pockets with salt pills (that I never took) and a tube, and headed out.

It was actually here where I had my only rude experience. As I was finishing up, guy came next to me and said something like "move out buddy." First of all, there's plenty of chairs asshole. Second, I'll move out when I fucking well feel like it. I just stared at him. I was leaving anyway, but damn.

Had to go down the racks to grab my bike.
What would you do differently?:

move faster. 2 or 3 minutes in an IM transition doesn't mean much to me right now. I'm not K qualifying or anything.
  • 5h 56m 11s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.87 mile/hr

One major benefit of coming out of the water quick is a relatively uncrowded change tent and bike course. There weren't a whole lot of people ahead of me, but there were a LOT of folks behind me, and I saw them go by.

IMAZ is three loops of about 37 miles. My goal was to go sub 6, but I had never gone sub 3 in a HIM, and my training rides always included stops and traffic lights and other obstacles, so I really had no idea.

Plan was to carry two 3 hour bottles of Infinit, plus one water bottle to be replaced at each station. Watch on bike set to beep every twelve minutes. Sip infinit, follow with water. Water as needed. Gel from flask every hour or so. King sized payday broken into thirds for variety. That has always gotten me thru all my long rides, hopefully it would work today. I had one extra 3 hour bottle of Infinit in special needs as my just-in-case-the-day-goes-to-shit bottle

This course is ideal for me as I can break it into chunks. Out of town, Beeline up, Beeline down, back to town, repeat 2X. Pacing wise, it was perfect. I was in the big gear through town, then about half way up the first trip up the Beeline, we had a bit of headwind, so I just moved down to my little ring. Most people passing me were in the big ring. I had to race my own race. I was having a hard time keeping my HR below where I wanted it to be, and added on top of the swim, I was still worried.

The day before, after dropping off my bike, I spoke to my friend Chris who had been here in April. He's been with me training and knows how much I obsess. His words, which came back to me all day, were "no pressure, just go out and have fun." Every time I felt like I was going backward as I was being passed, I just heard his words, looked around, and enjoyed it.

Saw the first pro going the other way sometime after Shea, so I was doing OK. Hit the turnaround, saw bryancd and his wife and dogs there. That turned out to be perfect. One hour out, get support from bryan, one hour back, get support from Wendy, Cat and Jeff. After the turn, the ride back into town was sweet. The Beeline uphill had gotten a little tiring, the trip back to town was mostly free. Lots of speed and recovery in the big ring. Had 1/3 payday on the downhill. The outbound leg looked REALLY crowded from this perspective, I was glad to have gotten out of the water ahead of all of those cyclists, catch me or not.

At the end of the first loop, no idea of the time, but going through the Hot Corner was such a boost!!

Second loop, more of the same. Wind was a little lighter going up the Beeline, but it started to shift to a headwind coming down. At the second turnaround, about 58 miles, I made my one stop for the bathroom. I thought about going on the bike, but decided a quick stop might be nice. Second 1/3 Payday on the downhill. Passing special needs on this loop I assessed my Infinit and figured my nutrition was fine, so I passed it by. Weird, I always just assumed I'd stop.

Soon after, at the McDowell aid station, I finished the first Infinit bottle, tossed it and grabbed a gatorade to get a different flavor. I think I drank maybe half a bottle of gatorade during the bike.

Coming back into town, one more loop. Bryan wasn't at the third turnaround, but that was all right, I just had to get back into town. the wind had nearly fully turned and it was work getting down the Beeline. By this time, actually in the middle of the second loop, my lower back started aching, and I had to stand up often to stretch it out. By the third loop, I could only be in aero for a minute or so before having to get up. I spent a lot of the third loop on the bullhorns and up on the pads. Came through Hot Corner, and loved the attention :). It was comfortable, so I was out of the saddle, but there is a danger to hot corner, looking down my HR had gone up to 161. Damn...

Last loop, nothing much to report. Same as the last two :). I though I was slowing way down but turns out I wasn't. My HR was under much better control for laps two and three. Other than my back, I was fairly comfortable. I never felt this ride in my legs. The Beeline did look substantially steeper the third loop, and I heard Paula Newby Fraser's description of "significant hills" on the course and thought, "well, OK, i'll give you this one but only on the third loop"

In addition to my back, the bottom of my feet started to get hot on the third loop. It was getting slightly warm, but not bad. I did wet my arm coolers and head 2 or 3 times on the return trip. Thanks DeSoto!

Drafting - I saw a couple big packs go by on the first outbound leg. One guy was clearly accelerating to try to get on the back of one of them. "Nice pack" I said as one came by. Whatever. Race my race. Another woman grabbed my wheel, when I got pissed and slowed down, she passed and said "i was using you to get rid of a cramp." uh huh. passed her again, she came by later sucking someone else's wheel.

I knew if I could see the very back tip of the wheel of the person in front of me just under my helmet line, I was safe. There was once or twice when I lost focus and found myself closer than I should have been. I gladly sat up and coasted to drop back. Truth is, when you get 2200 cyclists on a 3 loop course there is going to be some inadvertant drafting, but it's easy to fix that. And the refs give plenty of time to get right. I watched a moto come up on a guy ahead of me, followed for a good 30-45 seconds before he handed out a red card.

I think I did my fastest 100 ever, hitting the 99 mile mark at about 5:00 (I could figure out time if I had to, multiplying 12:00 times the number of reps showing on my watch - hey, it's a long day, you need somethign to think about). One of the bad things about a loop course are the "shared" mile markers. On the bike, the sign says 27 Miles/63 Miles/99 Miles (as an example). Sucks on the first loop. Rocks on the third loop :)

Came in from the bike with about 1/3 bottle of Infinit left. Probably too much. Coming through the expo, knowing the bike was done, and thinking I had done pretty well, I felt great. I've heard stories of people handing off their bikes saying "I never want to see it again!" Not me, I dismounted, heard "Hey Chris," looked up, and there was Tim/Waterdog. I knew he was a bike handler, but what are the odds???

Ran to transition. Yeah, legs are tired. But I didn't have that "how the hell am I going to run a marathon" thought. Not then, nor ever in the run

Overall, very happy with my bike pacing and my overall average
Bike split, 939 overall; 212 AG
now down to 710th overall. Gave away LOTs of spots. But I wasn't finished :)

FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi. (3:02:23) 19.28 mph
SECOND BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi. (5:01:23) 18.66 mph
FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 38 mi. (7:03:27) 18.68 mph
TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (5:56:11) 18.87 mph

What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 06m 44s

yeah, 6:44. sucks, but so what.

Ran in, tent was a little more crowded, but still plenty of seats. Changed into tri shorts for the run (actually, had one shoe on when I realized I wanted to change... ever try to take off cycling shorts, put on tri shorts, on a tired sweaty body, wearing one shoe? In a room full of triathletes?? Smooth).

Volunteers were great. Brought me water. told me to leave my crap all over, they'd take care of it

What would you do differently?:

move faster. dress better
  • 5h 35m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 48s  min/mile

Ran right out of T2 into the portapotty, and my friend Jeff just happened to have his zoom lens on. great

I started the run feeling great. The pics of me are all smiles. I reached the first aid station and started with Gatorade. I was going to alternate between gatorade, gels/water and Infinit I had in my waist pack. That didn't work out so well. Saw Rob/Omega at the first station, he ran with me a bit, said my overall time was great. All I knew it was about 7 hours.

7 hours off the bike. That was right in line with my "secret" goal of a 58 swim (went 59) and a 5:55 bike (went 5:56) I didn't even have to run my "best case scenario" 4:30 marathon to break 12 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!

That excitement lasted exactly.... 3 aid stations. By mile 4 it was clear that 4:30 wasn't happening. The first 3 miles felt great. met a guy whose goal it was to run all but the aid stations, as was mine. The pace we were holding didn't seem unreasonable, but he was a bit faster. Miles 2-3, good stuff, all of a sudden, it just started to hurt bad. Still running, but slower. I had taken the tape off my watch so I could see the mile splits and not go too fast, but ultimately it stopped mattering.

Came thru the run hot corner under the mill bridge and headed out for the 5 mile part of loop 1. This was a gut check. mile 4. Felt like crap, still had 22 miles to go. Longer than any training run. This loop introduced me to Curry Hill. Not much of a hill, but I walked it all three times. And the top is where they place the photographer. Great.

Finishing loop 1, I was actually walking through hot corner, by Wendy, Cat and Jeff. Every time I came by, looking good or like shit, they would go crazy. I was walking through hot corner, and felt like crap about it, but it's what I wanted to do. I told jeff "this is going to be one LONG marathon." He told me "one mile at a time." Between what Chris told me and that, these are the things that got me through the race when I was at the far reaches.

Loop 2, that's when you see the mileage signs that SUCK. yeah, you don't have to worry about Mile 1... but you see Mile 11 and then.. Mile 22. christ. mile by mile. At each aid station, a sponge or two, water, gatorade. I didn't want to start Coke yet. Why? who knows, I heard once you are on it, you have to stay on it. So what? They hand it to you every mile.

Loop 2 was the dark loop. I never, not once,thought about or even wanted to quit, or thought I wouldn't make it. I knew I could walk and finish before midnight. Or thought I could, I even asked one aid station what time it was. "don't even worry about it," was the response. It was about 6, and I had about 10 or so miles to go.

I stopped at special needs on this loop, just shy of 13.1, and grabbed my bag. I sat down, pulled off my shoes, put new socks on. Didn't feel as heavenly as I thought or expected it would. Didn't change shoes as my shoes were dry and I had been good about not soaking them with the sponges. I walked much of the bike path up to the dirt berm. Ran a little, walked up the short hill to the bridge, and then just walked the bridge. I felt a little insolent. Yeah, I should run, but fuck you, I ain't going to. I'll run when I want. Which doesn't look like anytime soon, thank you very much.

That 5 mile section of loop 2 was the worst of the day. All of loop 2, frankly, had the memorable miles. Miles 11-12 were the Nausea Miles. All I could do was choke down a little gatorade and water. I had been eating a pretzel or two, but I took a gel, walked with it, opened it, looked at it, my stomach turned a bit, and I tossed it. I thought of Annie in her IMAZ 2007, and saying how she felt better after throwing up around mile 14. Oh, how I wanted to throw up. By mile 13-14, however, I didn't want to throw up anymore, I just wanted the tingling in my hands and scalp to go away. Never felt faint, just a bit off.

But somewhere in there, maybe starting mile 15 or a little after, things started to turn. I've read these reports, "I felt like crap but then at 17 I started to get a second wind," and never related. Now I did. Maybe it was the chicken broth I was taking, or the coke, or both, or hitting the Mile 17 marker and realizing I was SINGLE DIGITS FROM AN IRONMAN FINISH!!!!!!. Just after this I recognized BTer sportyj at an aid station. I was going to run out of the aid station, but she walked with me, seemed like a fine idea, so I walked a bit and we talked. She said that she had been tracking BTers for the thread that morning, and people were stoked at my swim finish. that lifted my spirits, and just having a normal conversation with someone lifted my spirits even more.

I passed by hot corner for the last loop, and yelled "Single digits baby!!" Wendy, Jeff and Cat yelled with me, but later Jeff confessed "what were you talking about.. single digits???" They were going nuts with cowbells and rhythmic chants ("Go Chris.. Go Chris"). Found out later they were doing this for everyone, whether they knew them or not, or could read their name....

As I started loop 3, my friend Kevin came by (for the second time that day), heading left for a 10:40 finish. "Is that Kevin?" fist pump "Finish strong!!"

But this loop was all for me. Those high mileage signs? mine baby! I held off saying "man that sucked passing those on the second loop, huh?" cuz you really don't know where people are. In fact, I talked to a least 4 or 5 people, much fitter than me, who were on their second loop as I was on the third. You just never know.

But third loop is good medicine. Met a guy also on his third loop, shuffling the same speed, walking the stations. He was finishing too, we both wanted sub 13, so we had to run a bit. 1:30 or so to do a 10K (I think). We ran together a bit, talked about races, IMAZ, the kind of stuff you talk to strangers about while running a marathon in the dark :^

One final pass by Wendy, Jeff and Cat. As I ran by, Jeff said "5 miles and you get your Ben & Jerry's!!" Just after, passed special needs again and took the opportunity to ditch my waist pack, from which I had maybe taken 5 sips. Dropped salt tabs I had not taken at the next trashcan. time to finish. This loop I started running more of the little hills I had been walking. Ran over the bridge. Still walked up Curry :)

Passing under the Mill Bridge,north side, I could see the lights across the river. I could hear Mike Reilly's voice. I could hear the crowd screaming. That is going to be mine. All I have to do is run back to the Scottsdale Road Bridge, over it, and back to the Mill bridge for the finish. the pain was starting to go away. I hit Scottsdale Bridge. Last April, we drove back that night to get my bike, and we passed by people running here. I so wanted to be one of them, and here I was, getting ready to finish.

I ran through the Phoenix tri club aid station, where a large guy with an apron yelled "do it for the big boys" every time I came through. This time, I gave him a high five, and said "another mile and a half and I am an IRONMAN!"

One last aid station. Yeah, still going to walk it. But from there in... Ran along the river, mostly alone, mostly in the dark. Woman sitting on the edge said "you're flying, relatively speaking compared to other people." It's the thought that counts, I suppose.

As I ran by special needs, and under the Mill Bridge one last time, I was alone, Wendy, Cat and Jeff had moved to the finish. People in the crowd saying "looking good Chris, keep it up." I wanted to say "no, you don['t understand, another 1/2 mile and I am FINISHING!!!!!" It all went by too fast.

I felt like a hero making that left turn instead of going straight. The last BTer I saw before making the turn was trixie. I knew she was out here, but hadn't seen her until now. But that is the weirdest transition. You go from the south shore trail into a dark, mostly deserted parking lot. A few folks standing here and there. "200 yards" "looking good.," "don't let her pass you!" I looked back, a girl back there closing, yeah, I am not sprinting someone to the finish. Let us all have our spotlight, we congratulated eachother as she went by. that's what it's all about.

I looked left and saw tim. He had found my wife, and then come out to recon where I was, then he sprinted to the finish area to let Wendy know I was coming.

From the dark parking lot, you make a sharp left, under a banner, into an explosion of sound, color and light. I wish I could bottle and relive that moment and feeling. All the pain, worry, tears, work, cramps, stress... all just melted away. Beforehand I thought I might be emotional, but i wasn't. Just elated. I recall looking up and seeing 12:45. raised my arms and gave a yell, ran by the crowd and gave some high fives. Looked for Wendy but it was all too much to take in, so I gave up trying and soaked it in (turns out I ran within inches of her) felt the tape go by, and I was done..............

312 AG, 1547 overall.
gave up 436 spots, down to 1146
What would you do differently?:

Listen for my name :)

IM is a long day, a lot of opportunity for shit to hit the fan, or to make mistakes, or... there's just too much that goes into it to say it was X Y or Z on the run

They do say there is no such thing as a good bike and a bad run. I duno, maybe if I gave up 15 minutes on the bike. Who knows?? For this race, for this one time, I don't really care :)

But I am motivated to work on the run for 2010 (no IM plans next year) and go sub 12 :)
Post race
Warm down:

Ate pizza, walked around waiting for a massage, got an anemic massage, and then bought some finisher's gear.

Basked in the glow.

Collected my gear (I was impressed that I did it on my own) as wendy paid for the finisher's stuff. Jeff and Cat were kind enough to make a McDonald's run and bring it back to the hotel. Pretty damn good.

In April we had come out with a group of 10 or so, and Cat had special t shirts made up with the race name, date, our names, and "IMAZing!" on teh front.... I didn't ever feel right wearing it. As we were walking around the finisher's area, she pulled out a "Special Edition" shirt dated 11/23/08, just for me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight and body composition. Pacing?

Event comments:

First, thanks to Wendy for putting up with me training for April, for getting me through April, for dealing with me afterwards, and for putting up with another round of training. I know I am gone a lot, I appreciate being able to do it. And for standing around all day, I think that might have been harder than doing the IM. Can't imagine not having you there to support me. I love you.

Second - thanks to Cat and Jeff - I was nervous about you guys coming out in case I didn't make it again, but I was so glad you guys did. don't think I've ever had friends like you.

Third - BTers, for your thoughts, encouragement and support after April,and for the inspiration of watching all of you race throughout the year. I don't want to name names for fear of leaving someone out, but you know who you are.

Say what you want about NAS (and I know other races do it well too), but they sure know how to put on a good party.

Last updated: 2008-05-07 12:00 AM
00:59:29 | 4224 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 25/399
Overall: 182/2191
Performance: Good
Course: Rectangle, buoys on left
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:48
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:56:11 | 112 miles | 18.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 212/399
Overall: 939/2191
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:44
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:35:31 | 26.2 miles | 12m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 312/399
Overall: 1547/2191
Performance: Below average
Course: 3 funky figure 8 loops around Tempe Town Lake
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
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-11-30 10:34 PM

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Subject: Ironman Arizona

2008-11-30 10:54 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Athens, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Awesome Job on getting your revenge on this course and having a great race.  I learned a ton from your last RR and really appreciate your incites.  Great race report!!!



2008-11-30 10:58 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Dood. You caught me weeping for the second time this year. Nice work.

Super job on killing the swim. Hey, you know your IM T times were faster than my Oceanside T times? I didn't even have a transition tent to lollygag in! And what was the number of that dude who told you to move along ... 'cause I got friends, you know ...

Glad you had a great time on the bike and the 3-loops felt like manageable chunks. And way to hang tough in loop 2 of the run when you felt like blowing chunks. You are one tuffie, badazz, and yet totally lovey softy guy. The very, very, very best kind around.

You're my hero. You're one of the people who not only helped me stay alive but whose kindness and personal fortitude shows me how to LIVE every day.

Doggone it, there go the tears again.

Congratulations, IRONMAN!!!!!

Edited by TriAya 2008-11-30 10:59 PM
2008-11-30 11:04 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice job taking this course on again! I hope you're looking forward to next November's race.
2008-11-30 11:18 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Unfinished business?
Amazing race report? Check.
IRON-freakin'-MAN? Check and double-check!

Great to see you have such a positive experience after the disappointment in the spring, Chris. Congratulations on a well-earned accomplishment!
2008-11-30 11:45 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

I read your last IMAZ race report, and was rooting for you from afar. It takes incredible courage to come back and overcome, but you did it!

No one likes a story where the hero finishes unscathed. They like him to be dirty, bloody, limping......and victorious. What a story! Congratulations Ironman

2008-12-01 8:10 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
One of the best reports I have ever read, awesome job, Chris.
2008-12-01 9:17 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Surprise, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations, Chris!!  Sometimes delayed gratification is the most satistfying.  I'm so glad that you had the IM race you deserve, albeit 7 months later than expected.  Way to come back and slay the dragon!!!
2008-12-01 12:22 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Chris!
2008-12-01 12:56 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Very proud of you.  Seems like April was just yesterday.
2008-12-01 1:44 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to go Chris.  I have been waiting to read this report since last Sunday.  Brings back so many memories of my experiances at IM.  You overcame a lot of mental stuff to kick the hell out of the swim and then just did what you had been taining to do.  Congratulations Ironman!!!

2008-12-01 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Chris you're the man! Freaking 59 minutes is awesome on the swim. I'm glad you got your rematch and kicked some . It was great meeting you for the pre-ride.
2008-12-02 9:25 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Chris, you definitely earned this one! It was a long wait, but no doubt worth every moment. Congrats, Ironman!!
2008-12-02 9:44 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Las Vegas, NV
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Awesome report Chris and congrats to you again. Keep it up, and you doing awesome. Weight and body composition is something that takes time. Trust me, know all about that one.

Great job, enjoy the shorter races for next year, I know I will.

Enjoy the rest, and Congratulations.

2008-12-02 11:24 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

I'm with had me in tears a second time, but for a different reason. What a beautiful race report. I can't even imagine what an amazing experience that must of been. I know that what happened in April was awful...horrible...but it may have made this finish even sweeter. After April I had hoped you'd return and kick this race's azz, and you most certainly did.

Congratulations IRONMAN! Thanks for always being so inspiring!

2008-12-02 1:01 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
What an epic race, and race report! Congrats x1,000,000

2008-12-02 1:20 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great story. Made my day and now can't wait to train after work.
2008-12-02 1:58 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
What a great race report and congrats on going back and taking care of unfinished business. You ARE an IRONMAN!!!
2008-12-02 2:51 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job! Awesome race report!
2008-12-02 3:36 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Amazing report for an amazing race. Maybe you didn't get emotional, but I totally did (several times). HUGE congrats!
2008-12-02 5:45 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great race Chris. Way to finish your business.

I completely agree that the whole parking lot before the end is an odd experience but its the end so who cares.

2008-12-02 6:27 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Superb effort.
2008-12-02 10:02 PM
in reply to: #1831612

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome job Chris!! Way to take back the race.
2008-12-03 7:24 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Valencia, Califonia
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
I finally got a chance to sit down and read this. Great report and congrats again!! What an awesome day.


p.s. I didnt hear my name either :-)
2008-12-03 11:27 AM
in reply to: #1831612

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Mesa, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Very inspirational story.  Way to go IRONMAN!!!
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