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Ironman Arizona (Steve-) - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 12h 44m 2s
Overall Rank = 686/1725
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 138/354
Pre-race routine:

Drank 1 ensure before bed (250 cal, 9g protein, 40g carbs) then drank another one at about 12:30am for another 250 cal.

Woke up at 3:00am to eat bkfst. Had 1 bagel with butter and jelly. 16oz of orange juice, 2 more ensure drinks, 2 apple/cinnamon oatmeals, 1 banana. drank water too.

Total calores injested before race start: approx. 1,500
Event warmup:

Went down to the race site but remembered I forgot to bring gatorade to drink right before the swim so I took one from a crate at the finish line...figured I'm paying $450 so I can take a gatorade...ha ha ha.

Got to transition at 4:30am (NOT the first one to arrive by the way). got body marked and waited for transition to open at 5:00am.

No line for the bike pumps so I got that knocked out quickly. Filled up my aerobottle with H20, put one of my 4-hour perpetuem bottle on my bike and put my other bottle filled with my spare tubular, air chuck and cartridges.

Then I went to hang out with my buddy Mark and his parents and hung out with them until it was time to enter the water.
  • 1h 11m 36s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 42s / 100 yards

The swim start was funny because a ton of people didn't want to get in the water...strange for an Ironman race.

My buddy Mark followed my IMWI 05 race plan and went to the pole position for the swim start.

National Anthem and then BOOM! Here we go!!

Tried my best to get to the inside but it took me about 500 yards to do that. Once I did I found some feet and sat on them. Bumped my head on the 2nd and 3rd buoy (ouch) and hit my left hand on the downstroke on the 4th least I knew I wasn't swimming off course. ha ha ha

Got slammed in the mouth (fat lip resulted) rounding the first buoy. Man I LOVE this stuff. Mixing it up in the water is my favorite thing to do!! Most people don't like that aspect of triathlon swimming but I crave it...for some strange reason.

The sun made sighting going out almost completely impossible due to the glare but coming back, sighting was just fine.

When I got to the top of the stairs at the swim exit I did a time check and it said 1:11. I yelled out "HELL YEAH!"

I used the wetsuit strippers since I was using my full suit this Ironman and it wasn't as quick as I expected, but still was a nice assistance.
What would you do differently?:

I only swam at 50% effort so I would probabaly have swam a bit more to my race pace, which is 75%-80% effort for an IM distance swim...oh well...whatever.
Transition 1
  • 09m 20s

Man there were a TON of people in that tent when I got in there. 1:11 seemed like the most popular time to exit the water. I couldn't even fit in the changing tent...good thing I didn't need to change. ha ha ha

  • 6h 21m 36s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.61 mile/hr

I had a gu right out of the gate since I forgot to have it in T1.

I felt GREAT on lap one...who wouldn't? I made a couple phone calls at mile 50, which raised my HR up a bit but it was fun and I never did that before.

Then it was on lap 2 when my lack of training caught up with me. Being on your tri-bike only 5 times before race day is NOT recommended...believe me. My back was killing me and my damn right shoulder too. I hated my bike by mile 75 and the remaining 37 miles were very very difficult for me. I was able to keep my HR up and my nutrition down but my speed dropped dramatically on lap 2 and even more on lap 3.

My neck was KILLING me and at the end of the lap 3 riding into transition I was saying to I really need to take a serious nap right now. No joke!

Hydration was perfect. Went the 1st time at mile 42 then again at mile 73. Nutrition was perfect and I think I might have missed 1 or 2 15-min feedings but if I couldn't remember if I took my last 15-min feeding I just sipped once in between just to make sure.

I started taking one endurolyte at the top of each hour at the 2 hr mark and then bumped it up to 1 every 30 min for the main part of the ride due to the inceasing heat.

Also, I swapped out for a new 4-hour bottle of perpetuem at special needs (Mile 62).

Adjusting for the DNF swimmers, 405 people passed me on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

I would ride more, but it wasn't really possible for me for this Ironman. My last Ironman race I didn't feel like this but then again I rode 100+ miles 8 different times and 120 miles twice before race day.

Oh well...
Transition 2
  • 07m 52s

Changing tent wasn't NEARLY as crowded in T2...probabaly because I was such a damn slow-poke on the bike. ha ha ha
What would you do differently?:

Put more sunscreen on in T1...I was BURNT!
  • 4h 53m 40s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 13s  min/mile

FYI...I've uploaded my excel file below. Adjusting for the DNF runners, I passed 260 people on the run.

I ran off the bike GREAT! I felt perfectly fine for the first 5-6 miles. (by the way, my mile 3 split was a bit slow because I stopped and chatted with my wife for a little bit) and I was able to hold my HR up at 150-155 but I could tell I was beginning to struggle to keep it at 150 so for the next few miles I tried to hold it at 150 but definately above 145 then about mile 10 the wheels began to fall off...this was the beginning of lap 2.

My run nutrition so far I felt was ok. I had some gatorade and water the first couple miles to let my stomach settle from T2 then at mile 3 or 4 I downed a gu then continued with gatorade and water mix after that.

I began to get an upset stomach and dizzy/light headed. I knew from experience that this meant 2 things, I needed more fuel but also was getting low on electrolytes. So I popped an endurolyte and downed a gu at the next aid station, which was maybe mile 11 (can't remember) and hoped for the best.

My military training came into play...IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME.

Then the crink in my neck from the damn bike reared it's ugly head. It started at the back left neck muscle, then the left side PLUS back neck muscles stiffened up, then to add insult to injury the muscle along the left side of my throat and left portion of the bottom part of my mouth stiffened up and now I couldn't swallow with out some significant pain....OOOUUCCHH! I knew that if I couldn't swallow at mile 11 the race might as well be over because there was no way I could finish 15 miles without ANY nutrition...I began to worry.

So "Break Glass in Case of Emergency" came into play. While I never like to take any pain medication during a long race like this, I felt this was the time..if ever..that it would be needed. so I downed 200mg of naproxen and hoped it would relax my throat enough so I could swallow soon.


After a mile or so (the miles began to meld together now) my throat was relaxing and my upset stomach was better so I began to graze slice here, a banana slice there, a few pretzels here, and a 1 more gu once my stomach felt ok for about 30 consecutive minutes.

Needless to say after mile 11 I joined in the infamous "Ironman Shuffle" and it was a tough one. I shuffled to the next aid station just to have an excuse to walk, then after each subsequent aid station I walked longer and longer after the station wasn't pretty at all.

Thanks to all the volunteers for their support, but honestly they had NO IDEA...I was getting my ass handed to me and it didn't feel real nice. However, I did realize that I wasn't completely bonking because I still had my sense of humor and I know VERY well that no matter how bad I feel if I can still joke around I have not officially "bonked" yet. It's only when my sense of humor leaves me competely that I know I have to really start worrying about that was a nice thought to remember during this time of the race. (Adventure racing experience does come into play in triathlons...ha ha ha)

So I figured since I'm walking so damn much and I had a cell phone, might as well call someone right? So at about mile 16 or so I called my IMWI 05 coach Brett and chatted a bit. He laughed and asked me what I was doing....I was like "DUH!" I told him I was walking up a hill looking at the setting Tempe sun at mile 16-17 of the marathon. I told him about my damn HR and how I couldn't keep it up anymore and how my damn crink in my neck made it hard to swallow and that I'm now shooting for a sub 15 finish based on my ave pace the past 4 miles of my Ironman Shuffle.

He said, don't worry about HR, just go by RPE and run 13-15 on the Borg scale and keep the nutrition coming in. So after about 5-10 min on the phone I hung up and jogged a bit to try to get back up to 13-15 RPE.

Then the next aid station came, I grazed a bit, and continued to jog and began to feel better...looked down at my watch and noticed my HR was at 135, the highest it's been for like 4 miles. That gave me an indication I was coming back around.

About 5 min later I ran a little faster, then 5 min later, a little faster, then I noticed DAMN STEVE YOU'RE RUNNING AGAIN!!! So I checked my HR and it was 148 and I felt good...RPE of about 14. So I continued to run at RPE 13-15 and my HR just keep coming up and up at the same RPE so I took advantage of it.

I clocked my next mile and it was back up to "par" at just over a 10:00 min/mile. I did some quick math and realized I could break 13hrs if I held this pace with about 5 min to spare. Then I continued to feel better and better and even passed up an aid station COMPLETELY w/o anything since there was just a few miles left...there was like a 5k left or something.

I was flying and loving it!! A few other Ironman Shufflers tried to jump on the sub 13 train I was leading but I guess it wasn't their time yet so I kept on trucking. One of my splits was 9:11min/mile!!! I was on top of the world.

Mile 25 came and I knew I would make it without walking. I ran up the last hill, went across the bridge and had just a few hundred yards left, did a time check and was at about 12hr 35min into the race and my eyes began to tear up as I realized what I was about to do. I was on track to having an IM PR day as well as an incredible comeback.

I turned the last corner with 200 yards left and BAM the finish crowd hits you like a ton of bricks. It sends tingles up your spine like you can't even imagine. There was no one in front of me and no one in back of me for at least 300 yards so this ENTIRE CROWD was cheering for ME. It was an incredible feeling. I motioned to the crowd to cheer louder and holy crap the decibles went up at least was truely an amazing experience.

I looked at the finish clock at it read 12:44 and I had the biggest grin on my face that I've had in years. (1) I went Sub 13hrs, (2) I had a PR, and (3) I WAS AN IRONMAN! I came back from a terribly painful bike and back from the Ironman shuffle to have a PR day...what an incredible experience!

I was truely the happiest person alive (not really but you know what I mean).
What would you do differently?:

Who knows. Probabaly get off my road bike sooner and get on my tri-bike to get used to it.
Post race
Warm down:

Took the photo, got the medal, got the bag and kissed my wife who I found very easily because she heard them announce my name (of course).

Ate half a hamburger for some protein, drank a little gatorade and some water but didn't want to overdo it.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training definately limited my performance. By way of illustration; IMWI 05 avg run pace was 10:52/mile and avg HR was 138 bpm whereas IMAZ 06 avg run pace was 11:13/mile but avg HR was 144 bpm and IMWI run course is much more hilly than IMAZ's course!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-04-11 12:00 AM
01:11:36 | 4224 yards | 01m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 127/354
Overall: 674/1725
Performance: Good
Avg HR during swim was 128 bpm.
Suit: Xterra Vortex (Full)
Course: 1 loop.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:21:36 | 112 miles | 17.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 211/354
Overall: 1020/1725
Avg HR for the bike was 134 bpm.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 3 loops. You climb out of the valley gradually and then turn around to descend back into town. Maximum elevation change was 500 feet so it's not really a "climb" per se.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 94
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:52
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:53:40 | 26.2 miles | 11m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 122/354
Overall: 626/1725
Performance: Good
Avg HR for the bike was 144 bpm.
Course: 3 loops of about 8 miles each.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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]

2006-04-12 12:01 AM

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Subject: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
I attached my marathon HR and pace data.

Edited by Steve- 2006-04-12 12:04 AM

Ironman Arizona 2006.xls (19KB - 93 downloads)

2006-04-12 12:16 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great job Steve!! I think I saw you on the run. There weren't many Javelin people out there on Sunday. What a great race, huh?? I can't wait to do another one.
2006-04-12 1:50 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great race report Steve. Well done getting through everything to finish in a personal best.

2006-04-12 5:32 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great report Steve. Your report, along with the veteran advice you give out on the forums, is very informative and educational, and very much appreciated by those of us looking at our first IM.  Fantastic job adapting and overcoming!
2006-04-12 6:30 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
way to go!  sounds awesome!  from reading your report it sounds like mental preparation is really important, you were able to make lots of decisions on the fly with confidence and you kicked asss!  Way to go!
2006-04-12 6:41 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)

Great job Steve, way to hang tough.  Great report!

2006-04-12 8:14 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Way to hang in there and power through it.  Congratulations on a personal best.
2006-04-12 8:20 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Two IMs inside of a year now!  You, my friend, ARE a rock star!
2006-04-12 8:27 AM
in reply to: #394184

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)

Wow, your picture at the finish looks exactly like your avatar from the last Ironman.  Sort of like "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" except where you get older but your picture never changes!  LOL...congrats on a great Race Steve, we followed all you guys online.  Now you're an Ironman x 2!


Edited by max 2006-04-12 8:28 AM
2006-04-12 8:28 AM
in reply to: #394184

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St Charles, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)

Congrats on the PR!

Adapt and overcome indeed.  Way to hang in there on the run, and then have the mental fortitude to pick the pace back up after you recovered.

Awesome job dude.   

2006-04-12 8:31 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
congrats on a great race and a pr! You swam a great race, hitting your head on the buoys meant staying on course and swimming less then everyone else. You kept a posititve attitude and had fun. that is was ironman is all about. And to top it off you came back and finished strong.

Enjoy the pr!

2006-04-12 8:32 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Sweet! You were tough out there. Awesome comeback. Haley and I saw you come in and you looked so strong -- it was awesome. Good work!
2006-04-12 8:34 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
2006-04-12 8:39 AM
in reply to: #394184

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New City, New York
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME. Mission accomplished. Very well done. Congrats! Great RR too.
2006-04-12 8:44 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Extreme Veteran
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great race, congratulations!
2006-04-12 8:49 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Wow!  You put the tough in mental toughness.  What a comeback!  I hope you are still bursting with pride.  You are amazing.  Congratulations.

2006-04-12 8:57 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Pulaski TN
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great job Steve!!!
2006-04-12 9:01 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Ellsworth, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Congratulations Steve! What a great report!
2006-04-12 9:04 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Way to go with that awesome comeback man!  What a great race report, I can't wait to do one of these...12 months and counting.  You had a great day, and what awesome mental stabilitiy you showed.  Congratulations on the PR, enjoy the feeling!!
2006-04-12 9:10 AM
in reply to: #394398

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Way to go, Steve
I love your race reports.  They are filled with such good information.  The process by which you worked through your  difficulties is facinating.  Thanks for sharing it with such detail.
2006-04-12 9:14 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Oh man, incredible comeback! You aren't kidding when you talk about improvising, adapting and overcoming. I can't wait to see what you do when you're in "really good shape". Congrats on the PR and being so kick-a$$!

2006-04-12 10:02 AM
in reply to: #394184

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DC Metro, slowly working my way to NC
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Awesome job - congrats!!!!!!! 
2006-04-12 10:37 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)

Great Race Steve!

Super at a awesome comeback and finishing strong and setting a PB!

Loved reading your race report...lots of good information and highly motivating...I want do an IM someday.

2006-04-12 10:40 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
COngratulatiosn!! Great race
2006-04-12 11:14 AM
in reply to: #394184

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Oak Lawn, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona (Steve-)
Great job! way to hang in there and kick some butt!!

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