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IMAZ - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, AZ
United States
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 12h 30m 14s
Overall Rank = 669/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 157/
Pre-race routine:

A little background...I moved to Colorado Springs in Oct when I took a new job. My wife and 3 yr old son are still in Texas waiting for our house to sell and it had been about 3 months since I'd seen them last. So, Thursday at the airport was quite emotional when they arrived with my parents. I think that actually helped me this week since the IM really became secondary at this point. I felt relaxed with no real nervousness. Friday night we ate dinner with Phil and the other guys from our group...this was just after my son 'raced' in the kid's event. Very cool! Unlike Phil at dinner, I stayed away from the Rattlesnake Pasta and had pizza instead. Off to the hotel and into bed at 8:30. I laid in bed for about 15 minutes and started the usual pre-race worry thing. Then I thought to myself, "You're either ready or your not so there's no use worrying about it tonight." I fell asleep before 9:00 and woke up just before my alarm went off at 4:00. Showered, shaved (so I'd look good in my pictures throughout the day) ate a bagel and some oatmeal and was out the door with my dad to the race at about 5:00.
Event warmup:

As you've already read, the music choice was clever. Very mellow and calming. Clearly, these guys have put on a race or two prior to this one. I checked my transition bags, filled my bike bottles and hit the port-o-johns. All systems go! The rest of my family arrived at about 6:30. I got some last minute photos and then kisses for my wife and son and off to the swim start.
Swim
  • 1h 05m 5s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 41s / 100 meters
Comments:

Okay...a mass swim start is just without comparison. Unlike Phil and Tom, I started about 25-30 feet back from the starting line and about a third or the way out from the bouy line. NUTS is all I can say. I couldn't move my arms without hitting someone. People were nice about it, but it was nothing short of chaos.

I got some clear water and just put my head down. I didn't bother sighting until I was pretty much near the turn. I could see the ASU stadium when I breathed to the right so that kept me in a good line. I ended up on the bouy line about 100 meters from the turn, where it bottled up again. This time, I got smacked in the face and it caused the seal on my goggles to loosen..so water starts creeping in the right eye. Not bad, but noticeable. By the time I hit the mid-way point (you knew this b/c the bouys changed from red to yellow), the goggle was full of water, so I decided to swim to the side and clear it. As I sat up, I took a big breath just as a wave rolled over my head. So now I'm choking and the kayaker is on me in a split second asking if I'm alright. "Fine, thanks. Just embarrased that I'm choking." Fix the goggle and back on my way. The trip home was definitely a little tougher going against the chop, but it went by quickly.

I hit the stairs, stood up, nearly passed out (so that's what they meant at the pre-race meeting) and looked at my watch. WHOA! Are you kidding me? My plan was 1:15 and I was looking at 1:05. There was some trouble getting my wetsuit off, but I still hit the timing mats well ahead of schedule. Of all the legs, this is my strongest, but it was still a surprise to be out that quick.

On to T1.
What would you do differently?:

I probably could have gone a little harder than I did, but it's tough to find anything I'd do differently. How do you prepare for that kind of start?
Transition 1
  • 09m 40s
Comments:

The towel thing must've been contagious. I actually had a towel for T2, but not T1. Nice! I traded some GU's for the use of the towel that belonged to the guy next to me. I purposely wanted to take about 10 minutes in transitions, just so that I wouldn't be rushing myself. It's a long day out there, ya know?
What would you do differently?:

Pack a towel in BOTH transition bags.
Bike
  • 6h 01m 29s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.59 mile/hr
Comments:

I jog to get my bike and see my lovely bride and my dad. Since I had told them to give me about 1:15 on the swim + T1 time, they had the same "HOLY CRAP" look on their faces that I did that I was already there. A quick high five to the person getting my bike and I'm on my way.

Ok, on the bike, and time to start the feeding process. A Gu every 20 minutes and drinks of Gatorade as needed. My plan on the bike was to stay in my small chainring for the first loop so I wouldn't push too hard and then start opening it up on the second and third loops. I know Tom and Phil already talked about the wind, so I won't repeat it. The only thing I will say is that I actually saw a woman get blown over. A couple of us stopped, but she said she was alright and for us to keep going. I never saw if she finished, but she did get back on the bike. The first loop flew by. I paid attention to where the "city loop" would start so that I wouldn't miss it - plenty of folks did... I started the second loop and had to pee. Stop at the first aid station, hit the bathroom, grab some Gu's and Gatorade and back on my way. The second and third loops were pretty much the same except that I got into my big chainring in the downwind sections and places where the wind wasn't directly in my face. I noticed a ton of people with flats and I suddenly realized that on my last training ride, before I packed my bike for the race, I had a flat and instead of replacing the tube, I just patched it, and that was the tube that I was riding on. GREAT! Amazingly it held the whole ride.

At the end of the third loop, just before heading back across the lake, I look back to see if anyone is behind me so that I can take the inside of the turn that is coming up. There is someone coming, so I move over to the outside to let him have the inside position on the turn and this dude comes SCREAMING by me... turns out it was Faris Al-Sultan. I decided to see just how hard it is to ride at that speed, so I tried to hang with him across the bridge. I wasn't right on his wheel or anything, just tried to keep the pace. Not easy. Those guys are amazing. Needless to say I won't be challenging the pro's or top age-groupers anytime soon.

My "secret" goal for the bike was to be under 6 hours. I saw that I could make it if I pushed, but I decided that it wasn't worth it for just a couple of minutes.

I come into T2, hop off my bike and they take it for me. How sweet is that? I see Robyn (my wife) run over and give her a kiss, high five my dad, and I'm on my way to the changing tent.

What would you do differently?:

I stuck with my plan and felt good throughout the ride. I don't think that I would change anything.
Transition 2
  • 05m 49s
Comments:

Click, click, click to get my geat bag. I sit down and a volunteer is there helping get things out of the bag, putting things back in. Smiling and talking to you. How great are these folks? I changed my shoes, look up and see Phil. COOL! We say good luck and he's off. I make another pit stop and then get some sun screen and out to the run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Run
  • 5h 08m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 46s  min/mile
Comments:

Heading out was awesome. People are screaming, clapping, calling your name. It was just a wall of noise. I kept thinking, just go slow, don't let the emotion get to you. I heard someone say, "You're looking great!" Funny..I'm just out of T2, I hope I'm looking alright.

The run is not my strong area. I was hoping to average somewhere in the 9-10min/mile range and not walk until at least the 2nd loop. My nutrition plan was to hit the first aid station, get some Gu and Gatorade and then walk at every other aid station (1,3,5, etc) getting G&G for as long as possible. The run went into the wind for the first 1+ and it was uphill. I hit the first mile marker and looked at my time: 8:42. WHOA! I'm not Phil, time to back off. At the first aid station I grab a Gu and take the first swallow and then nearly threw it back up. Ok, so no more Gu. I didn't want to try anything else - nothing new, right? - so I decided it would be Gatorade from here on out. I hit the second mile at a little over 9:30, still faster than I wanted to be. I decided to stop at every aid station now to supplement the loss of the Gu with more Gatorade. Third mile - 9:45...finally. I felt like I was settling in, then I turned back into the wind. YIKES. I ended up getting behind a guy that was about 6'5", and pretty big. Nothing like drafting on the run, right? When I got "the hill" I decided that it was time to walk. I wanted to run, but I knew that I'd be here again and I'd rather have something left for the 2nd loop than to blow it on the first.

Once we hit the park, there was one more steep hill. It was short, but it basically looked vertical to me. As I start up the hill, I hear someone call out, "Rider on your left"..and I'm thinking what fool is riding during the race. Turns out it was the biker in front of Desiree Ficker. She comes up beside me and I tell her good luck, get Kate, she smiles says thanks and starts up the hill. So, I decide, I'll pace with her just to the top of the hill. As we get to the top, she jumps off to the side and throws up. Not what I needed at that point for sure. Anyway, like 1 minute later she's cruising by me again.

Somewhere around 10 miles, my legs finally start to feel normal. Tired, but normal. I head back into the transition area, see my wife and sister, hear everyone yelling and get a bit of a second wind. I cruise on until I get back to the hill for the second time. I decide to run, but that only lasts a couple hundred yards and I walk with a group. Into the park for the 2nd time, I see a camera man and he snaps my picture while I'm walking after an aid station. I tell him it's not likely that I'll be buying that pic and he laughs and says that just about everyone he's gotten there has been walking. I hit 20 miles and decide that if I push I can make it under 5 hours. So, it's back to running. My thighs start screaming at me on the downhill section - ignore them, keep running. All of a sudden I'm back at the lake. COOL! But I can tell I've slowed quite a bit. Sub 5 isn't looking good. No worries though, I'll just keep cruising. I see some folks with glow sticks on which makes me run a little harder b/c I really didn't want one of those. On the south side of the lake, the run course goes up and down several small hills, but there are signs all along here which are fun to read. I see one that says go Tiger Phil and Madcow and think, "That's very cool". I also see one that says "Suck it up, buttercup" which makes me laugh. I cross back under the bridge and around the changing tents for the lap home. I see that I can make it in by 12:30 and I pick up the pace a little to be sure. Then, FINALLY, I round the corner coming down the finish stretch. I had purposely avoided running or walking along this stretch during the week b/c I wanted the IM finish to be the first time I was on that piece of road. I hear my wife yelling and I see my son holding his arms out saying, "I want to run with you daddy." I'm just about in tears then and we start running to the finish. A couple of high fives for my parents and sister and Jake and I roll across the line at 12:30:14. SWEET!
What would you do differently?:

I'd like to be a faster runner, but who wouldn't?
Post race
Warm down:

How in the world do those space blankets keep you warm? I'm still amazed by that. My catcher was asking how I felt and I just couldn't stop smiling. I felt great. I walked over to see if I could find Phil, but they wouldn't let me in the med tent. Food didnt' sound too good, but I grabbed a couple of slices of pizza anyway and I just kept moving.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My slow run. Coming into the race, I felt better on my bike to run transition than ever before, but I still didn't put it together this time like I'd hoped. Still, I am NOT complaining about my time at all. I am extremely pleased with 12:30.

Event comments:

All the volunteers were amazing, all day long. They yelled your name, gave you encouragement, it was just great. So a big "Thanks" to everyone out there for making it a great day.




Last updated: 2005-02-23 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:05:05 | 3862 meters | 01m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 54/
Overall: 277/
Performance: Good
Suit: QR SuperFull Wetsuit
Course:
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 09:40
Performance:
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
06:01:29 | 112 miles | 18.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 05:49
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:08:10 | 26.2 miles | 11m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 206/
Overall: 936/
Performance:
Course:
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
Evaluation
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

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2005-04-13 2:53 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Lufkin (East Texas)
Subject: IMAZ


2005-04-13 3:01 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
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Sioux Falls, SD
Subject: RE: IMAZ

All I can say to you guys is WOW and it makes me want to get out there and reach my goals!!!

GREAT JOB!!!

when are we going to see pictures???

Again  WOW

GJ

2005-04-13 3:12 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Subject: RE: IMAZ
Wow, you guys keep this report a day stuff up and you're gonna start making more Ironmen!  I am amazed at how nonchalant you guys can make it sound (and I know it wasn't). 

Chris
2005-04-13 3:17 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Buttercup
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Subject: RE: IMAZ

I had to first wipe away the tears before typing. That is so sweet that you and your son ran in together. I'm sure that is a moment you will never forget and that it made a profound impression on your boy.

What a cool day you had! Elite athletes vomiting, whizzing past you. Sounds like you stayed very cool and level throughout your event. Congratulations on your incredible and impressive feat.

IRON-DAD-MAN!!

2005-04-13 3:17 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Not a Coach
11473
5000500010001001001001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: IMAZ

Once again, congratulations!  What a great day for you!

Each one of these race reports has given me goosebumps and planted a seed in my head that I can do this someday too.

Thanks!

2005-04-13 3:45 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Elite
2553
20005002525
Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Congrats on the great IMAZ finish! And sub-13 too!!! Woohoo!! Great job!


2005-04-13 4:04 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Master
1557
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Maine
Subject: RE: IMAZ

Great race report - anytime someone mentions running to the IM finish with their son/daughter, it brings tears to my eyes, and makes me dream of when I (hopefully) can run across the finish at IMLP with my two little one. Thanks for showing us that those dreams can be real!

2005-04-13 4:07 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Got Wahoo?
5423
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San Antonio
Subject: RE: IMAZ

Awesome!!!!

2005-04-13 4:17 PM
in reply to: #142197

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Elite
3235
2000100010010025
San Diego
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Congrats Chris! Sub 13 is awesome.
That is too funny about the glow sticks. I was thinking the same thing. At mile 23 I started seeing more and more and wanted nothing to do with them.
Great job. Did you get your tat??
Tom
2005-04-13 4:48 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Lethbridge, Alberta
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Congratulations IRONMAN! That's an awe inspiring feat. Quite a range of perspectives there, from brushes with the elites to your son's final run.
2005-04-13 5:42 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
600
500100
Melbourne
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Congratulations. You guys are truely inspiring!


2005-04-13 6:16 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
367
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Lufkin (East Texas)
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Thanks to everyone! I can truly say that the whole thing was a blast. Hard work, but definitely a fun day.

Tom,

I haven't gotten the tattoo yet, but it's on the list. On the way home (which was another story with the blizzard that hit Colorado) I saw an RV that was a mobile tattoo studio and then when I get home, there's a new tattoo place that just opened at the front of my neighborhood. I'm taking them some art this week to see what they can do.
2005-04-13 9:51 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Master
2233
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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Congratulations on a great race Chris! Way to go!!!!

-Frank
2005-04-13 10:45 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Official BT Coach
2210
2000100100
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Great race IRONMAN!  I feels so good to cross that line!  Nice race report too. it brings back memories.  Thanks!
2005-04-13 11:47 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Expert
1535
100050025
Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Chris, you ROCK! Congratulations on becoming an IRONMAN!!! I have to say that you guys have certainly inspired me to push to new goals, including an Ironman, so thank you. Take some time to bask in the glow of your incredible accomplishment. You deserve it!
2005-04-14 1:44 AM
in reply to: #142169

Extreme Veteran
332
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PohangSi
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Excellent job! Congrats!. and thanks for the great race report, very inspiring.


2005-04-14 9:29 AM
in reply to: #142169

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Master
2381
2000100100100252525
Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: IMAZ

Chris,

Great race and congratulations on becoming an IRONMAN!

I was following the race on Ironmanlive.  When I saw your swim time and pace, I thought "Holy crap, that's fast for 2.4 miles". 

It's really cool you had all of your family there with you.

TJ 

2005-04-14 9:44 AM
in reply to: #142169

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Expert
751
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Texarkana, TX
Subject: RE: IMAZ

What Chris didn't tell you was that I inadvertantly spilled the beans regarding the tattoos with his sister...  She has a couple tattoos, and I asked him at the restaurant if he had told her of his plans when she was within earshot...  she said "WHAAAT!!!"  That was funny.

Seriously, congrats again, dude.  Let's work on getting stronger on the run together.  Of course, you have to be stronger on the bike first to be stronger on the run.

2005-04-14 11:57 AM
in reply to: #142169

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Pro
5153
50001002525
Helena, MT
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Wow, Devo, great job!!!! Now I know that I definitely want to stay out of the thick of the swim start.... scary.... I hope your house sells quickly and your wife and son get to move to CO soon!!!!
2005-04-14 1:32 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
367
1001001002525
Lufkin (East Texas)
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Phil asking about the tatttoo was pretty funny. It should be noted also that I hadn't told anyone in my family, including my wife. It had, to that point, pretty much stayed on this board...oh well...there were shocked reactions. Actually, I think my wife was pretty nonchalant about it. I guess at this point, I don't really shock her anymore.

Kim, On the swim, I wanted to point out that while there were bodies everywhere, people were pretty nice. No one crawled over me, or tried to push me under..it was just wild swimming with people, literally, all around you.
2005-04-14 1:54 PM
in reply to: #142572

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Elite
3235
2000100010010025
San Diego
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Phil, Chris I got my tat last night. I tried to photograph it but it was too shiny. I will photograph it tonight


2005-04-14 2:48 PM
in reply to: #142584

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Buttercup
14322
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Subject: RE: IMAZ
HAHAHA!! I like your new avatar, MadIronCow!!  PICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICSPICS!!!!
2005-04-14 3:15 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
367
1001001002525
Lufkin (East Texas)
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Tom, I can't wait to see the pic of your tat.

As soon as I get pictures from my mom and sister, I'll get them up.
2005-04-14 3:44 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Master
2447
200010010010010025
Marietta, Ga
Subject: RE: IMAZ
These IM race reports are great.  Congratulations, Chris.  That is simply awesome.  How does it feel to be an IRONMAN?
2005-04-14 6:07 PM
in reply to: #142169

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Extreme Veteran
367
1001001002525
Lufkin (East Texas)
Subject: RE: IMAZ
Thanks for the kind words.

Honestly, I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face for a few days. And now, still, I'll talk people's ear off at work if they ask about it. I'm sure folks are starting to avoid me now...

Edited by devo27 2005-04-14 6:08 PM
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