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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Sunny
Total Time = 12h 02m 22s
Overall Rank = 906/2500
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 186/454
Pre-race routine:

Relevant background: As this is my first Ironman, I can't help but reflect back six years ago. I set off then to change my ways. As simple as that. I was 60 to 70 pounds overweight and wanted to be a better example for my children. I wasn't very happy. Being competitive and athletic as a ski racer/swimmer wasn't happy with myself. I was challenged at work, had a good life ... but I am a competitive athlete, and that area wasn't being fulfilled. It could have started back in 1999 when I tore my ACL in a ski race. These things defined me going into this.
Flash to pre-race routine/present: Woke up 2:30 a.m., anxious and nervous. Dialog in head: Can I do this? Can I finish this? If I had to crawl, I was going to make it. I woke up prior to my alarm going off at about 3 a.m. Had power bar and bagel for breakfast. Took warm shower and stretched to loosen my impinged shoulder (injured two weeks prior lifting weights; dumb move). I looked at my boys and wife still sleeping in bed and found my inspiration.
Next step: Everyone woke up and we all drove down to event parking. I drove. Nervous. Excited. I had studied the route the days before. Knew where to park. Thinking mainly about my shoulder: Would it hold out? I hadn't really tested it in two weeks. I kept thinking, if this thing fails on me, I won't quit. No matter what. That's what was on my mind the whole race.
Event warmup:

Wasn't much of one (event warm up). Started by loosening my shoulder. Hugged my wife and kids and thanked them for the support for the whole year. Told them they were my inspiration. So this was more of a mental and spiritual warm up than anything else. I stretched a bit, not a lot. Static stretching is actually bad before such events. Instead: warming muscles. Did dynamic stretching.
Swim
  • 1h 07m 16s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 44s / 100 meters
Comments:

It's cold and dark. I had my winter ski jacket on before we got there, and after that pulled on my wetsuit. Waiting by the water. As soon as they said we could jump in, I did. I jumped in. My goal was to get to the front. Didn't want to be in the back, didn't want to swim over or past anybody. That was my plan. I was in the front middle. Hung on a kayak for a while. I looked around and looked at all the red and white swim caps bobbing around. The energy. It can't be described. It was warm, though the water was cold. The race director kept reminding everyone to get behind the yellow buoy. There was this, let's get this thing going feeling. And then ... without warning, the cannon fired. And we were off. Started off with my head above water for the first 50 yards. I've never been more abused and beat up before in my life. It was a constant battle to keep my position. One guy kept hitting me on the back of my head over and over. Almost like it was on purpose. I had thoughts I was going to take this guy under to teach him a lesson. Eventually he moved on. His fists got tired.

Note: I didn't want to ruin anyone Else's day. So when people would touch or come close to my feet, I'd make sure not to kick. I found being up front, most people were considerate, but there were a few who didn't care about the rest of the field and were only concerned with getting to the front any way they could. I know it's a race, but ...

Was able to draft successfully, made it to halfway point in 28.5 minutes.
I wasn't able to draft as well on the back half and seemed to have more trouble sighting.
What would you do differently?:

Not injure my shoulder 2 weeks prior to race.
Transition 1
  • 08m 42s
Comments:

SLOW! Not sure what happened here. I was a little disoriented due to the cold. So, some logistical scene setting: You come out of the water onto these stairs. I tried to swim to the third stair, but couldn't get my footing. A great volunteer helped me out, and I was directed to run through this narrow pathway of wetsuit strippers on both sides. A couple of big guys at the end instructed me to lay down and pulled my suit off. I decided this would be a good place to take a nap. That's why my transition was slow. I must have taken a nap ... only reason I can think of.
What would you do differently?:

Being new to a full Ironman, I never had experience of transition bags, etc. I might have practiced that before. So used to having had done sprints, etc. I also had all this grass on my feet from the transition, and tried to clean it off before putting on my socks. I also spent some time reviewing what was in my bag. Better to have only put in what I needed so I'd have made faster decisions later when I didn't have all my faculties about me.
Bike
  • 5h 46m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.41 mile/hr
Comments:

I was prepared for a cold ride. It was still early in the morning. I was wet. Had cut off ski socks that I was using as arm warmers. Got on the bike and felt surprisingly well. The first lap averaged over 20.3 miles an hour. A little bit of wind on the way up, but was able to take advantage of the return. Drank one bottle of concentrated Infinite, which is about 900 calories. Saw my friend, Shawn, at the turnaround. He asked me how I felt and said that I was "flying". Doing good. I started to think that if I could keep this pace, I'd break 6 hours.
Started the second loop and the wind seemed to grow stronger. Took a lot of effort ... more to get to the top of the turnaround again. Kept thinking just get to the top and you'll have a fast downhill again. But when I got to top, wind seemed to have shifted and I was in a headwind the whole way down. Not to mention, I had to go to bathroom on start of second loop. I figured I'd wait to the turn around and try to piss myself on the way down. This was actually very hard to do (Not something I've practiced before). I was able to go a little but not enough to make it count.
Third lap: I felt achy. My knees were hurting from fighting the wind on the last lap, and still had to go to bathroom. Finally decided to pull over at aid station with empty port-a-potty. When done, I dumped a bottle of cold water over my head and cleaned salt from my face. This invigorated me and I found myself averaging 21 to 22 MPH on the way up to the halfway point on the third loop. I found that if I drank from my Aero bottle and spit it on my arms and legs, I could keep myself cool. Hit the turnaround and was excited to know that I only had just over 19 miles to go. Got to the end and was excited not to have to do another loop. Did anyone else notice all the drafting going on in the race?
What would you do differently?:

Not wait so long to go to the bathroom, or practice not pissing my pants more often (I used to do this in college quite a bit!)
Transition 2
  • 08m 22s
Comments:

Handed off the bike. Grabbed my transition bag and put on my running shoes. Glad to be off the bike. Headed out onto the course and began my run.
What would you do differently?:

Pack less stuff in my transition bag.
Run
  • 4h 51m 48s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 08s  min/mile
Comments:

Felt really good. Never felt too hot or too tired. Lots of support here; my plan was to go five hours, take it easy and respect the distance. I did that. I broke 5 hours. The support from all the spectators and volunteers was amazing. I've never seen anything like it. Encouragement is amazing and incredible. I felt good enough to sprint the last quarter mile. Rounded the corner and heard something like, "You are now an Ironman."
What would you do differently?:

Now that I've finished an Ironman, I would have pushed it harder. My heart rate was on the very low end of my Zone 1, and think I could have run this in my Zone 2. I wouldn't have eaten too much on the bike. My stomach seemed to hurt and was upset on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

I felt really good after the race. It was dark. Wasn't hungry right away. Found my family. No stretching. At that point, didn't care. Happy. Taking in all the energy of the people all around. Hugged my wife and kids and said that, "We did it!" My wife said, "You did it." But I said, "I couldn't have done this without the support of you and the kids." We walked around. Grabbed my gear. Went home. I wasn't very tired. In fact, didn't get to sleep until much later that night.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutrition (eating to much?). Not knowing what pace I should be at to finish.

Event comments:

If it wasn't for my Chiropractor, Dr. Tyler C. Fowler (www.chirodimensions.com) I would not have been able to participate. I had absolutely no pain in my shoulder during the swim.




Last updated: 2008-11-24 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:07:16 | 3862 meters | 01m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 97/454
Overall: 443/2500
Performance: Average
Suit: full wet suit
Course:
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 08:42
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
Biking
05:46:16 | 112 miles | 19.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 188/454
Overall: 826/2500
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course:
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 08:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
04:51:48 | 26.2 miles | 11m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 241/454
Overall: 1178/2500
Performance: Average
Course:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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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2009-11-26 12:46 AM

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Veteran
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1002525
Parker, CO
Subject: Ironman Arizona


2009-11-26 6:19 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Master
2411
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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great race report! You have come along way in 6 years and should be very proud!

Congratulations Ironman!

2009-11-26 9:35 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Expert
1028
100025
Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Ironman!

You posted some very solid race splits. You have come a long way.
2009-11-26 9:37 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Expert
1224
1000100100
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job for your first IM! It was my first as well Congrats Ironman!!
2009-11-26 9:41 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Elite
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2000500100100100100252525
Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Isn't it great to defy your past!! Congratulations Ironman, I know what you mean by this adventure being something quite different than how we were before.  It is a sweet thing.  You had a great race and great times! Well done!
2009-11-26 10:59 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Pro
4277
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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job on your first IM!  I can't get the peeing on the bike thing either...I think I stopped 3x on my IM.  Anyway, glad your shoulder held up for you.  Congratulations Ironman!



2009-11-30 11:01 AM
in reply to: #2532095

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Official BT Coach
2210
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Englewood, CO
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Well Joe, You did it!  Nice report, so did you wear the neoprene cap?  ANyway, glad it was a great experience and you are now an IRONMAN!

2009-11-30 7:33 PM
in reply to: #2535826

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Pro
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Evanston,
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations IRONMAN!  What a great first Ironman!  Way to go.

Okay, I find it humorous that your RR includes a note about the benefits of spitting on yourself, and the hope that you can be more successful at peeing on yourself in the future.  Only triathletes. 
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