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IronMan Cozumel - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Cozumel, Quintana Roo
Mexico
Overcast
Total Time = 13h 55m 38s
Overall Rank = 888/1928
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 27/53
Pre-race routine:

I have to admit, watching a lot of my BT friends participate in IMAZ is perhaps what originally inspired me to really give this race everything I had. Elliot and Sally made Ironman look so easy. Dean finished well despite his shoulder (of course with no little effort, but hey)! Surely I could take an hour or so off of my time.

But after arriving in Cozumel, I changed my mind about that. The first two days were extremely hot and humid, and the next day it downpoured and the streets flooded. Then the wind whipped up on the swim-side of the island, turning the ocean into every triathlete's worse nightmare.

Race morning the ocean couldn't have been calmer, and the weather was nice and cool.
Swim
  • 1h 20m 26s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards
Comments:

This was the most amazing swim course.

First: the swim start. The swim was at Chankanaab Park, a dolphin discovery center that had ocean enclosures for dolphins and their customers.

Try filing 2000 athletes, past the dolphins, off the end of a pier in 15 minutes or less. It was truly surreal, being pushed down onto the gangplanks near the dolphins, having a couple dolphins flip out of the water as I walked by, and then jumping into the ocean to start an ironman.

The race director really did us a favor by shortening the up-current length of the course, and maximizing the down-current.

I really wish I could have taken credit for my extra speed in the water, but I am sure that the drift swim was 80% responsible. The high proliferation of highly-draftable rhino swimmers also helped though. Perhaps about half of my swim was within the frothy white bubbles of the swimmer in front of me. The rest of the swim, I had a perfect view of the ocean floor - the scuba divers filming the swim, a couple sting rays, some fishies... Not to mention the swimmers around me. I really like being able to see those frog-kickin' legs, as well as the race numbers on the legs of the jerk who's trying to swim over me.

Small note: there were plenty of mini-jelly fish in the water. Especially in the chaotic swim start, seemed to get a few stings, but it wasn't terrible. Just a prick.

I really enjoyed the swim. I would have done it twice.
What would you do differently?:

Remember to carry water all the way to the jump-off point, to defog my goggles a tad better.
Transition 1
  • 07m 33s
Comments:

I was so happy about my swim time, I high-fived all the spectators running down the chute to the change tent. The girl in the change tent was efficient in helping me with my gear. But she thought my chamois buttr was sunscreen. I didn't know how to tell her in Spanish, so i hid the chamois buttr from her and then secretly squeezed some out.

Ran to my bike (we had to get our bikes from the rack) and out the bike exit.
What would you do differently?:

Bring sunscreen.
Bike
  • 7h 09m 51s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.63 mile/hr
Comments:

This was a tough course. I was hoping after all the 100'er rides I'd put in, I'd average a little better than 15.6 mph. But wind screws with your speed, right?

The course was like this: loop the island about 3 times on the island's only road around. From Chankanaab, we rode along jungle and resort-lined roads that were generally protected from the wind for 10 or so miles. Then: the dreaded east side. I mean, this area was gorgeous with aquamarine waves crashing on white sand beaches; rugged, wild seascapes with blowholes. But the wind was a completely unfiltered, strong coastal head-/cross-wind-- it stopped you in your tracks. And that road was about 12 miles long. I think the only way i could have really prepared for that was maybe 9-mile-hill repeats.

From the coast, we cut across the island, with an adulterated tail-wind. As you approached town, you'd see the locals hanging out near their homesteads. Some looked like they'd just finished hoe-ing, or sleeping in some hay. Toothless grandma was out their with her custom rocks-in-bottle maracas. "Vamos vamos!" I loved it. Those people really made me happy.

In town the crowds were amazing, and I was so thrilled to have all the local support.

From town you head back along the coast towards Chankanaab. This seemed to be the fastest portion. Unfortunately, we actually did this entire loop only 2.75 times, so we got the 12 mile windy stretch 3x, and the fast portion 2x.

I really tried to hold back on the ride, but all those people needed passing. It was an internal warfare of pass and be-passed. It would have been alright if I had done one thing differently with my nutrition. I had planned on Nuun tablets for my salt intake. The water bottles that they were handing out were really hard to drink from - you had to squeeze and suck at it. So I ended up not getting enough nuun-age. Likewise, they were only handing out regular Gatorade instead of Endurance Gatorade. So in short, I was running up a salt deficit by teh end of the ride. My legs were feeling a bit shot too.

Started to mist on the last few miles of the ride. The locals had generally lost interest by the time I passed through town the 3rd time.
What would you do differently?:

Have a plan B on that salt.

Sunglasses were fogging up the whole time. De-fog for sunglasses?

Might check my bike reassemble better and use better wheels too. Not convinced I had everything exactly aligned.
Transition 2
  • 04m 52s
Comments:

Changed clothes, no toilet paper in the porto-john. I used someone's dirty sock they had already used in there (It looked ok.). I can't believe I did that... I realized after words i could have used water (poor man's toilet paper). Desperate times I guess.
What would you do differently?:

Don't forget the bodyglide... Forgot that.
Run
  • 5h 12m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 56s  min/mile
Comments:

I was thrilled to get to the run course, and was glad to find that I could still run. (I wasn't sure if I had shot my legs already.)

The course was a 4.3 mile out-n-back (8.7 miles total), 3x. You started in town by the finish line, and ran out to the desolate, sad corners of Cozumel, where the mosquitoes roamed and the lights were not so bright. The course was fairly flat, and after the first mile in town, not so spectacular -- a walled? golf course on one side, and lonely resorts on the other side. Returning to town with all the cheering spectators was a real treat.

I felt pretty rad for the whole first loop. I had specifically not pre-checked this run course ahead of time, to keep the novelty factor high. High novelty is essential in loopy courses. It increases adrenaline and interest.

It took me the whole first loop to figure out my walk-to-run ratio, and eventually decided on walking 1 minute after the first aid station that followed each mile marker. I fed up on oranges, bananas, but was disappointed with lack of salty foods. Sucked on some peanuts, and tried some crackers.

I had a pretty good, moderated groove going right up to 13 miles, which I finished in about 2:23. Shortly after, I started the cramp-aholic method of running (not intentionally). One calf, then the other, then an inner thigh would threaten, then seize up, forcing me to walk through it.

Even from the beginning of the run, though, I had a time goal in mind. In my training runs, and at the IMAZ, I've maintained 12 min miles. I wanted to keep this as my baseline pace, in order to finish in sub-14 hours. Ultimately, this is what motivated me to run through cramping legs, and shorten my walks.

I decided to run the whole last mile, and to leave all my remaining energy out on the course. By the time, I reached the spectator shoot, my calves were so spastastic, I ended up doing one of those hippity-hoppity skipperoo's all the way down the finisher's shoot.
What would you do differently?:

I guess I should have tried the sodium-dense powergels sooner, sense taht was really the only salty thing they had at the aid stations.
Post race
Warm down:

It really is great my Mom decided to come meet in Mexico, because if she hadn't, I probably would have slept in that Mexican parking lot, right next to the pee stain on the road. Mom chased down my bags, bike, lost her camera, and got a taxi for me. Guess she cleaned up the situation pretty good.

I didn't know what to do to warm down. I was already cramping, so didn't know if ice would help.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutrition. Lack of salty foods.

Event comments:

I would be surprised if the organizers of the event didn't improve the water bottle situation, and lack of salty foods. Otherwise, I thought the volunteer and local city support was awesome. (They had 2 nights of folkloric dancing for IRONMAN in the town hall. There were signs out in front of a lot of the businesses welcoming us. Pretty much the whole island went on pause during the event, so I thought it was really special to be there for that.)

In short, this race was pretty wild. The course has vast potential for speed, adventure, glory, fame, and fortune. With its proximity to IMAZ, I was able to train for Coz at the same time as everyone else. Overall, I think it's a great alternative to IMAZ, and would recommend it to others.




Last updated: 2009-08-03 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:20:26 | 4156 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 43/53
Overall: 1222/1928
Performance: Good
Suit: swim suit
Course:
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 07:33
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:09:51 | 112 miles | 15.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 29/53
Overall: 1062/1928
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course:
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 04:52
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:12:56 | 26.2 miles | 11m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/53
Overall: 888/1928
Performance: Good
Course:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2009-12-01 9:34 PM

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Expert
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Chandler, AZ
Subject: IronMan Cozumel


2009-12-01 10:10 PM
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Regular
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Tempe
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Outstanding performance Robin and fascinating race report.  Congratulations on your PR and making your goal even with the cramping.   Be honest you missed Tempe Town Lake
2009-12-01 10:32 PM
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Master
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Wilmington
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Great job out there  cute computer chickLaughing
2009-12-02 12:17 AM
in reply to: #2538815

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
I loved your race report!  "all those people needed passing" such a bad azz! and I like it!  I think I've done a rendition of those hippity hoppity skipperoos too - hilarious!   Congratulations on a great race!
2009-12-02 12:28 AM
in reply to: #2538815

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Expert
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Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Wow!! Great race report! I really wanna do this race now! The jelly fish on the swim would freak me out though! This course seems a whole heck of a lot more fun than IMAZ. There are just so many more elements to take account for. I'm glad you overcame your cramping issues as well; Dean introduced me to salt stick tabs and I haven't cramped since. I'm really proud of you Robin and I'm so impressed with your time. CONGRATS IRONMAN!
2009-12-02 8:47 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Congrats on a great race Robin! I don't think I could survive an ocean swim.


2009-12-02 8:55 AM
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Expert
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The Woodlands, TX
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Congratulations on a great race!
2009-12-02 2:14 PM
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Expert
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Tempe
Silver member
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Great race, and a riveting race report! Sounds like you had a great time, although I can imagine how nervous you must have been on the days prior to the race when the weather looked brutal. Sub-14 is fantastic especially under the windy conditions. You and your mom should be very proud! Ms. Ironman x2!
2009-12-02 3:27 PM
in reply to: #2538815

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Really nice race report... enjoyed reading it! Congrats!
2009-12-02 7:07 PM
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Expert
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Somewhere over there in Az
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel

"I used someone's dirty sock they had already used in there (It looked ok.)." I was wondering where that sock got off to.

Any who...  Great job on the Race.  You did more then I would even want to do...  PR and a nice little vacation, does wonders for the soul...

2009-12-02 9:41 PM
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Extreme Veteran
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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel

Awesome race Robin! Sounds like a super cool course also, I love the ocean swims! Congrats on a solid PR also!!



2009-12-02 11:42 PM
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Extreme Veteran
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Huntington Beach, CA
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Wow, great race report.  Nicely done!!

Cozumel is a great place.
2009-12-03 6:12 AM
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Veteran
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Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Great race report!   Awesome perseverance on the last few legs of the race....You trully inspire newbies like me!
2009-12-03 6:50 AM
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Master
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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel

Awesome race report!

Solid race all around. The ocean swim sounds fun and so glad the weather cooperated on race day! I love your description of the finish chute- the spectators probably thought you were doing a cool dance, LOL!

Well done Ironman!

2009-12-04 9:37 AM
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Pro
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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Congratulations on going the distance ... the swim sounds awesome.
2009-12-05 12:38 PM
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Champion
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: IronMan Cozumel
Congratulations on becoming an Ironman!!!!



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