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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
70F / 21C
Total Time = 10h 55m 37s
Overall Rank = 359/2974
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 63/230
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 4am, had some coffee and leftover pizza from the night before (age-old secret!). Arrived at transition around 5:15 to drop off my infinite and fill my aerobottle with water. I dropped off my Bike SN bags, and headed back to the car for some "quiet time". For some reason, being around 2000+ type A, nervous triathletes is not relaxing environment. My friends from out of town arrived around 6am. I linked up with them to grab some photos. Wetsuit went on around 6:30 - dropped off my morning clothes bag and waited to be "herded" through the TYR arches.
Event warmup:

I jumped in the water and performed some short sprints to the starting line of the swim.
  • 1h 07m 52s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

I think am a strong swimmer, so I placed myself in the front row on the far right. I was a little intimidated at the start, but this turned out to be a good plan for me. Once the gun went off, I pushed fairly hard for the first couple of minutes. The contact was minimal and I had clean water for the entire first leg. The swim was rather uneventful. I expected to swim between a 1:05 to 1:15 - so I will take a 1:08.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't do anything different for my current swim fitness. Looking forward - I need to continue to log time in the pool and open water. If I want to see improvements in my overall time, I need to drop 5 minutes or so off of my time.
Transition 1
  • 04m 35s

T1 went smooth. The run from the lake is a long one. I had a great volunteer helping me with everything. I probably thanked him 10 times for everything. I am fairly low maintenance for transition - no changing; helmet/shoes/race belt on; grab the bike and hit the road!
What would you do differently?:

not much
  • 5h 26m 22s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.59 mile/hr

Going into this IMAZ, I felt confident with the training with all 3 disciplines. However, the bike is definitely my strongest. I have put in multiple tough century rides this year. I was excited to start the bike, but very cautious to not overexert myself. After the first 2 laps I was on pace for a 5:15 bike split. The wind direction changed on the 3rd lap, and I was dealing with a strong headwind heading back into Tempe. There was quite a bit of drafting going on, but what can you do!

Overall, I felt that I balanced the bike well. I gave a good effort, but did not go all out. Through the many long rides in training, I knew what effort I could do and still have plenty left for the run.
What would you do differently?:

As with the swim, this is a fair representation of my current cycling fitness - so I would not have done anything differently. Looking forward - I need to start pushing myself harder on shorter efforts. For me this means - group rides with faster cyclists.
Transition 2
  • 03m 23s

I was 2/2 on great transition volunteers!! Again - I keep it simple: running socks/shoes/hat/glasses and out the door!!
  • 4h 13m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 40s  min/mile

Oh the Ironman Run!!!! After my performance on the run at IMAZ 2010, I could not wait to try it again! This was my motivation while training through all of the winter, summer, and fall.

As the end of the bike portion neared, I was licking my chops to start the run. I calculated my time and realized I needed a 4:15 marathon to go sub 11. ME go sub 11 - that still doesn't sound right to me!!! I believed I could do a 4:00 IM run on a perfect day. This gave me a little wiggle room.

I started off at a very easy effort (HR low 140's) and was happy to see my pace was in the low 8's. Mile 1 goes by - feeling great, mile 2 goes by - feeling great, mile 3 goes by - my HR starts creeping up into the high 150's - Uh Oh! I don't panic - I back off of the pace significantly, but this does not help. I realize that I am very hot, sweating quite a bit, and there is a TON of salt on my face and tri-top. I start to think that I am losing/lost quite a bit of electrolytes, so I begin taking in small amounts of chips and banana at an aid station. Not much change, so I take in a Gu - no change. I decide to gut it out and eventually I will break out of my "dark place." While I felt horrible, I was still moving forward. Things got worse around mile 10 or 11 - my right quad started to cramp! I refused to stop, but had a terrible gait! After a couple of minutes the cramping resolved but returned. I went through 4 cramping episodes, but pushed through. I continued to calculate my time and set checkpoints in my head - mile 20 at 10 hours; mile 25 at 10:45. At mile 25, I knew sub 11 was in my grasp! I arrived to the chute and saw the Team RWB cheering crew - they handed my and American Flag. It was an amazing experience running through the chute waving "Old Glory" in front of the crowd. 10:55:37
What would you do differently?:

I did account for the temperature difference from NY to AZ. This almost cost me dearly. My caloric/water intake was spot on, but my electrolyte intake was lacking for this environment. Looking forward - my run is the most improved since last year, but it is still the area where I need to improve the most. More track work and keep my base this off season should pay off next year.
Post race
Warm down:

I was in a lot of pain when I crossed the line, but I still wanted my finishers photo! After the photo, I wen to the medical tent, my quads and abdominal muscles were still cramping badly. It took the "doctor" some time to evaluate me and she was not going to give me IV fluids until I pointed out my BP of 98/52 and my concern for rhabdomyolysis. This caught her attention and she hesitantly ok'd me to receive some fluids. Eventually, my stomach was tolerating chicken broth and my muscles stopped cramping.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I couldn't have asked for a better performance.

Event comments:

IMAZ 2010 - 12:50; IMAZ 2011 - 10:55; Training, Training, Training! I plan to take a break from IM racing next year, but I will continue to train. I need to set some new goals and I know a sub 10 is not in the cards for me until I have many more years of training under my belt. The demons of IMAZ 2010 have been with me since last year - with this race, those demons are no longer with me!

Last updated: 2011-03-30 12:00 AM
01:07:52 | 4224 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 65/230
Overall: 413/2974
Performance: Good
Suit: Desoto T1
Course: Rectangular
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:26:22 | 112 miles | 20.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 57/230
Overall: 342/2974
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 148 bpm Max HR: 173 bpm
Wind: Some
Course: out and back x 3
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 75
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:23
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:13:25 | 26.2 miles | 09m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 63/230
Overall: 359/2974
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 148 bpm Max HR: 165 bpm
Course: 3 loops
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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] 4

2011-11-21 8:41 PM

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United States Military Academy
Subject: Ironman Arizona

2011-11-21 9:23 PM
in reply to: #3910900

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Nice effort Chris...congrats on the sub-11 too!  That was an amazing race, considering how many people I saw coming out of the water, chilled and shivering.  Standing out there taking pictures, I could feel that wind change on the last bike loop.  Wondered if you guys had noticed the same thing as it started blowing from the northwest.

Just barely squeezed you into the picture here!


2011-11-21 10:26 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Redlands, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Outstanding job!  Pretty impressive run despite all the issues,  I'm glad you're ok!
2011-11-21 11:43 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Extreme Veteran
Strong Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice job man!   I remember seeing you on the bike a few times, and that makes sense because we got out of the water at the same time and you beat me on the bike by just a few minutes.   My run went to hell as well with some weird stomach issues, so don't feel too bad.  Way to stick it out!
2011-11-22 8:54 AM
in reply to: #3910900

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
What an incredible improvement over your time in 2010!  Sub-11 in 11 - a memorable experience indeed!  Congrats and way to go!!!
2011-11-22 9:05 AM
in reply to: #3910900

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
excellent performance.  someday, I wanna' do that.

2011-11-22 2:51 PM
in reply to: #3911436

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice job!  Congrats.
2011-11-22 2:54 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats!!!  Nice job out there.  It was nice to meet you Friday at the Tribe Multisport get together.
2011-11-22 3:01 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Chris, man, you destroyed it out there. I am so thrilled for you and the day you had out there.  Congratulations on an awesome day! Really looking forward to getting some training in with you after I get up there this next summer. I'm quite sure I can learn a thing or two from you (and the cadets!).  Great to have you as both a fellow Army officer and Team RWB athlete! Enjoy the off-season--though you may get less sleep than you did during training once your little one arrives! Congratulations, Chris! So happy for you!
2011-11-23 9:44 AM
in reply to: #3910900

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome day, Congrats on such a solid finish !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2011-11-29 2:11 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
great job out there...and to cross that finish line meeting your goals....awesome..

2011-11-29 5:13 PM
in reply to: #3910900

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice work! our splits were almost identical. Great RR and way to improve over 2010.
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