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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 14h 40m 22s
Overall Rank = 2027/2399
Age Group = 18-24
Age Group Rank = 10/15
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 4:15, put on my swimsuit, made a peanut butter sandwich, loaded my special needs bag in the car and headed to the start.
Event warmup:

No real warm up, just got my tired pumped, saw Tim (waterdogg) on my way back to the rack and got to chat with him for a bit, dropped off my special needs bags, prepped my bike, got body marked then got dressed and headed over to the swim start.
  • 1h 20m 48s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

Had a perfect, wonderful swim :). I stayed to the back of the crowd to minimize my time in the water since I knew it would be cold, got in about 3 minutes before the start and had just enough time to swim up to start line and have a couple minutes to collect myself before the gun went off. Positioned myself in the middle towards the back. Got roughed up a bit for the first 10-15 minutes or so, a couple of elbows to the head, lots of grabby people hanging on to my legs but it got better as people spread out. I had to zig zag a bit to keep finding clear spots to swim but before I knew it I was at the first turn in 35 minutes, made my way in and around the next turn buoy and headed back. Paused for a pee break (I pulled off to the side! :) ), then kept going to the end. Overall the swim went really quickly and before I knew it people were helping pull me up the stairs.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 18m 16s

Ok so obviously this transition was a little long, although it did include a fairly long run through the transition area, another stop to pee (I swear I drink half of whatever body of water I swim in), and a stop at sunscreen. Wetsuit stripping was awesome, so cool to have people do that, my feet were ice cubes after the swim so running through transition on cold pavement and grass was really painful. I did full changes between each event because I figured comfort was more important, and I was glad I did, my parents were sunscreen volunteers and they said they saw a lot of chafing. Anyways, it was tough to get the sports bra and bike shorts on while I was still wet, plus make sure I got all my nutrition in my bike jersey, gloves on, chammy cream, etc. Could have been a little faster but oh well.
What would you do differently?:

Next time (I'm already saying next time, that's crazy), I'll train to do more swims in a tri top so that I can wear at least the bra and top for the swim and not have to do a full change between swim and bike. I'm probably never going to qualify for kona so I'm not going to sweat it too much.
  • 7h 09m 34s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.64 mile/hr

I know this is my first ironman and I probably shouldn't be too hard on myself but really was not happy with my bike split. Inauspiciously I lost the end of my aero drink straw on my way out of transition so the entire ride I had to bend down awkwardly to drink. My first loop was perfect, did it in 2:10, which I was hoping to keep up the rest of the time but the wind switched direction mid 2nd loop and I got a headwind both ways which I think mentally just really took the wind out of my sails and I never repeated my 1st loop pace. I also found myself pushing a little hard sometimes and had to slow myself because I really didn't want to burn out on the run. I did luck out in that I had no flats though and I was able to see Dolores at every loop and she always gave me a cheery hello.

Had some nutrition problems as well, I think my hydration was ok, kept a good mix of water, gatorade and salt tabs, no puffy fingers and I still had to pee a couple of times, but I was so paranoid about not taking in enough food that I think I over ate at the beginning and in my last loop I was eating a balance bar and almost wanted to vomit, after that the idea of any food made me nauseous and I didn't eat much for most of the last loop until the very end when I ate my snickers that I had grabbed from bike special needs (I also had wheat thins from bike special needs which I could also stomach, but I had run out of those by the last loop).

Have to mention that I did love the aid stations with the guys in coconut bras and the sports themed one where you got to throw your trash between football goal posts, that was pretty awesome and really livened up the ride. I loved having volunteers who would run with you to give you another water, gatorade or power bar, it was just so cool to have that support.
What would you do differently?:

Overall bike fitness is big, obviously, I've only been riding for less than two years so I have lots of time/room for improvement. Nutrition is something I could work on but I know that's always hard for ironman. I might try the latte flavored perpetuum, I know that would be an easier way to get carbs but the orange cream flavor is just disgusting to me, so maybe with another flavor I could take out some of the guess work I have with the bars.
Transition 2
  • 10m 20s

Again, a little slow, but pretty good considering I did another full change and sunscreen and bathroom break. My legs were shaking a bit off the bike but steadied by the time I went out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe train in tri shorts so that I can wear them throughout the race and not have to worry about changing. I hadn't trained on the bike with just tri shorts though so I didn't want to start on race day.
  • 5h 41m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 02s  min/mile

Not a great run, was really hoping to have an awesome marathon since I've had some great long training runs but I also think I really underestimated how hard it was going to be to do a marathon right after the bike. The GI issues I had on the bike carried over the run and my stomach was really hurting between miles 2 and 3, but was able to use the bathroom at the next aid station and things started to get much better. Food still wasn't too appetizing, I think part of it was that I was having a problem staying cool too, but I managed to survive off the occasional gu and banana and mostly eating orange slices and chicken broth at every station. I felt really good between miles 4 and 13, although the first loop did feel really long. Ran into Dave699 at the beginning of the 2nd loop as he was on his 3rd and was able to run with him for a couple of miles, it was nice to have some company right in the middle there.

By the half marathon mark I was already feeling really tired, like I was on mile 20 or more and it was hard knowing I still had half way to go. But I was really proud of myself for running the whole time and only walking between aid stations. I was pretty spaced out for the last half, I just kind of mumbled and pointed at things I wanted at aid stations then said thank you. I remember asking for oranges at one station and the guy went back to the table to get them and said "sure, if you don't mind hands" then we both paused and said "yeah, but really, at this point...?" and kind of laughed and I said "yeah you don't want to know where I've been today". I stayed warm the whole time too, which surprised me since logically I knew it was cold out (I could see all the volunteers in gloves and beanies) but I just couldn't feel it. I even ditched my visor at special needs because it was keeping me too warm. Grabbed another snickers and a mini almond joy there too which gave me a pick me up. I tried the soda once, but it was too fizzy so I stuck with the chicken broth and water and gatorade every couple of stations. By that point I really just wanted to finish and be happy with my effort, time stopped being as important.

Last loop was painful, everything ached but I made myself keep running, even up the one hill. Everyone out there still was really great, encouraging me as I jogged by them, last couple of miles I never wanted anything as much as I wanted to walk but I didn't and managed to get a solid final 10k time. I did walk for about 20 seconds at a time once right before I came through transition the last time and then again a few minutes later after I FINALLY got to the finishers exit instead of the "2nd and 3rd loop" exit. I ditched my water bottle at transition with my family and boyfriend and the glow necklace just before the end. Seeing the gatorade bottle spurred me on and I was able to really finish strong and sprint in and high five all the spectators. Seeing that finish chute was so amazing and all I remember is Mike Reilly mispronouncing my name "feRON" (it's fair-in) and I don't even really remember him saying "you are an ironman" (my parents said he did), but somebody caught me and I was on the verge of tears because I was finally done.
What would you do differently?:

Not underestimate the ironman :), I don't think I ever really let myself comprehend just how much it would hurt, I never thought of it as a marathon I just tried to think of it "the run" because if I really thought about the 26.2 miles I don't know if I could have done it. But besides general fitness I'm not sure what exactly I would do differently, nutrition I think is just something I need to play around with more.
Post race
Warm down:

pizza, fries and a massage :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

General fitness, some nutrition/gi issues.

Event comments:

Despite maybe not performing as well as I would have liked I still loved this race, it was incredibly hard and physically painful but I was proud of my swim and my effort on the run. The volunteers are amazing, as a volunteer last year I felt so unimportant compared to all these people doing an ironman but being on the other side I was so grateful for every single person out there whether they took my bike for me or stripped my wetsuit or where just out there in the middle of nowhere on the bike cheering they all made the race better. Especially on the run it really helped to have somebody out there every mile to just help me get my mind off of the pain and fatigue and ask how I was and just ask if I needed anything, could not have done it without them.

I think it'll be a while before I do another one of these because it really does wreck your body, but typical competitive person that I am I do want to do it again to see how I can improve :).

Last updated: 2008-11-24 12:00 AM
01:20:48 | 4224 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/15
Overall: 1346/2399
Performance: Good
Suit: xterra vortex 3
Course: out and back
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 53F / 12C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 18:16
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
07:09:34 | 112 miles | 15.64 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/15
Overall: 2229/2399
Wind: Some
Course: three loop out and back
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 10:20
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:41:26 | 26.2 miles | 13m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/15
Overall: 1838/2399
Performance: Average
Course: three loop figure eight-ish
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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

2009-11-25 12:07 AM

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Subject: Ironman Arizona

2009-11-25 1:13 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome job, Faeron!  Great to see you on Saturday...wish we'd seen your finish (I think we probably saw you heading in to the finish at the turn-in at the end of the third loop and just didn't notice...we were there waiting for Dolores and another friend from LA right when you would have come by that point).

2009-11-25 6:51 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Modesto, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great race Faeron, you should be extremely proud, you earned it Ironman! Way to bring it, go L.A.!!!!!!!!!!!
2009-11-25 8:33 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
First ...

CONGRATULATIONS, IRONMAN!!!!!!!!!! As posted in your blog, was thinking of you all day and am sooooooo proud of you. Man. You bring tears to my eyes.

You've become a very strong swimmer. I can only imagine the beauty, smoothness, fluidity. Excellent work.

Your bike split was great. It's a batch to have aerodrink fail and headwind both ways but you kept right on trucking. Best of all ... you didn't blow yourself up for the run. So really, you did it perfectly.

Walking only between aid stations ... man ... you have come soooooo far in your running. It wasn't long ago you were just as shyty as me. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and mental difficulty that come in the late stages of Ironman, and you effin' HELD YOUR MUD and hung in there, pulling in consistent and PHENOMENAL later splits. I am in awe.

Considering your meteoric rise in endurance sports ... I wouldn't dismiss Kona out of hand.

Now, my random unimportant thoughts ...

1. Don't pull over to pee.
2. Guys in coconut bras? Kind of got stuck on that image ... wait, wasn't there a race report in here somewhere
3. Oomph! brand distance shorts. So awesome. Like bike shorts, but are tri shorts.

2009-11-25 8:59 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations! Funny how dignity goes out the window as the hours roll on...
2009-11-25 12:18 PM
in reply to: #2530479

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San mateo California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome first IM Faeron... wooohooo...    I think you have an incredible potential...    saw it in the smile..   Enjoy and recover...   Boston qualifying is coming up.. right?

Your grandma is such a beautiful lady,  tell her I said HI...

Cheers, enjoy and recover.  

2009-11-25 12:31 PM
in reply to: #2530479

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations IRONMAN! You did a great job!
2009-11-25 2:18 PM
in reply to: #2530479

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
First of all, I loved how you used the words "next time" when discussing what you could have done better! AWESOME! It sounds like you had a graet race. I did get to see you cross the finish line on my computer and you were all smiles. You also had your hands in either rock-n-roll signs or hang-loose signs. Couldn't tell which one, but you looked strong and happy! Recover well and pamper yourself this week!

2009-11-26 9:53 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job out there Ironman! It was a pleasure reading your RR Congrats once again.
2009-11-26 10:52 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Ironman!! Well done out there and sounds like you had fun! It is crazy to think we do these things and despite the pain, the joy makes us plan for another in the future!! Awesome race!
2009-11-26 11:16 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Through all the pain and stress of the race. The one thing that matters is that you are an Ironman. Congrats. It was nice to meet you, hopefully we will get a chance to meet again.

2009-11-29 2:18 AM
in reply to: #2530479

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome race report! Great job out there Faeron...I knew you would do well.  I kind of felt the same way about the marathon - it was "the run" to me too.  Congratulations Ironman!
2009-11-29 5:11 PM
in reply to: #2530479

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Faeron. You had a great race and should be proud. Way to kick butt and gotta love that chicken broth. Well done!
2009-11-29 5:38 PM
in reply to: #2530479

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Well done and FANTASTIC race.  IRONMAN.

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