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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
77F / 25C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 32m 58s
Overall Rank = 1848/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

We flew in Thursday and went right to registration and checked out the venue. The enormity of what I was about to do was now very real. We hung out at the hotel for the few days and I ate as best as I could and drank NUUN 3-4 times per day. 40 minute run Thursday, 1:15 ride on the Beeline on Friday, and a short practice swim on Saturday.
Slept maybe three hours the night before with my mind racing and stomach churning. My stomach had felt awful for the past three days, which I chalked up to nerves until my daughter became sick on Saturday. Now I was just crossing my fingers that I didn't have some stomach bug. Woke up before my alarm at 3:00 am and out of bed at 3:45 am. I ate 2 Bonk bars and a banana and drank a bottle of Cytomax.
We arrived at the race around 5:30 am. Checked my bike, filled the tires, etc. As I was getting into my wetsuit, I realized I had left my neoprene cap at the hotel. This really helps in the cold water with my skinny frame and zero hair and I was pretty concerned. Fortunately as we were walking to the swim start, they were handing out extra caps if you lost yours so I snagged another and was able to double cap it. Headed to the swim entrance and waited until about 6:54 to get in the water.
Event warmup:

Just worked my way up to the middle, about 75 yards from the front and treaded water.
Swim
  • 1h 26m 14s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards
Comments:

Chaos, pandemonium. Any of these will do. The first 750 yards was crazy. Just a sea of churning, flailing bodies. I swam the entire part of this freestyle as there was no way I could breaststroke in this mess. Didn't really get clobbered badly but I did run into a few people hard enough that it stung my nose and rammed my right goggle deeply into my eye socket. But after that it started to spread out a bit and it was easier to get into a rhythm. Before I knew it I was at the red buoy for the turnaround and was happy to head back. My neck collar had opened up sometime in the first 800 yards and had been letting chilly water into my suit, cooling me down. I stopped to fix it but it would keep me chilly for the rest of the swim. I was able to swim probably 80-90% of the race freestyle for some miraculous reason. Reached the exit stairs and a volunteer hoisted me out of the water in a very satisfying 1:26 swim time. My goal was 1:30. I was shivering and my stomach felt queasy but the swim was over.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This went as well as it could.
Transition 1
  • 15m 35s
Comments:

A little hazy coming off the swim and fortunately a wetsuit stripper grabbed me and got me out of my wetsuit. Long jog to the transition area and my bike shorts felt like an adult diaper. The changing tent was thankfully warm and humid and I took my time getting ready for the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Rethink bike shorts for the swim. I was literally wringing water out of them.
Bike
  • 7h 13m 37s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.50 mile/hr
Comments:

Headed out on the bike feeling ok but my stomach was still queasy. I knew this could make or break my day so I started easy with my effort and nutrition to give it a chance to settle. Riding aero seemed to worsen it at first. Drank water for the first ten miles or so to settle my stomach and at about 20, things felt better and I started my nutrition plan of a bottle of Infinit every hour with a gel every 1:15. Unfortunately at about this time my right knee started to twinge a bit. I started on the outside, below the joint. I had this issue during my HIM two months ago but thought I had it under control and certainly didn't expect it to flare up 20 miles into the bike. Knowing that I would now have to ride for 90 miles with increasing knee pain would make my Ironman goal sketchy. Made it through the first loop ok but it really started to bother me by the end of the second. I was stopping twice on each loop to pee and stretch/massage that leg and my left back was tight as well. The third loop was very difficult. I was having a lot of knee pain now, to the point that I would unclip my right foot and just pedal with my left leg. I tried changing my cadence, foot position, etc. to relieve the pain but nothing helped for long. My ups and down were minute to minute and I really doubted whether I could finish. My only saving grace was that sometimes the knee pain doesn't translate to the run so I was just trying to finish the bike and give myself enough time to walk/run a marathon. Doing the logistics of an 8 hour marathon in your head is daunting at best. By the end though my knee was screaming and it had moved into the joint, a la IT band syndrome.
What would you do differently?:

The amount of PT I've done should have had this issue resolved. Had it flared up 70 miles into the bike, I would have been ok. I know I am capable of a much faster bike split than this. My goal was 6:30. I did lose 15 minutes just from pit stops.
Transition 2
  • 10m 1s
Comments:

The volunteers caught my bike and all I had to do was limp through transition. Said hi to my family and kissed my wife. Told her about my knee issues and she said take it easy and you will still be an Ironman. More sunscreen, changed into my tri shorts, popped 2 Tylenol, and off I went.
Run
  • 5h 27m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 30s  min/mile
Comments:

Gingerly started running and my knee felt ok but not great. I took two more Tylenol and crossed my fingers. Right away you hit the break off to the finish and saw some speedy pro woman veer that way. Her run was done and I was just starting! Filled my handheld with Perform and nearly gagged on the mango flavor. Awful! From then on, I started diluting it down with water and was good to go. I constantly sipped from my bottle and took in a gel every 45 minutes.
Following my race advice, I started easy and settled into a 9:30-10:00 mile pace and walked every aid station, whether I need to or not. Kept my nutrition plan on track and felt amazing. The first loop went by quickly and I was getting a little emotional at times, knowing that I would be able to finish this race. By the end of the second loop though my knee was starting to bark again and I didn't have anymore Tylenol. Erica jogged with me for a bit and while my first loops took about 1.5 hours each, I told her the next one could be a lot longer. I hit the breakaway point again and knew that the next time I would be veering left instead of right! At 19 miles I hit the portapotty to pee and my knee really stiffened up. I could barely walk. I knew I still had time to finish but the thought of limping seven miles was awful. About 3/4 of a mile later, a lady chatted me up and I told her about the knee pain. She rubbed some herbal stuff on it that she had been distributing at an aid station and amazingly, my knee felt better about five minutes later. I was able to run the next few miles but at mile 23 my knee said ENOUGH. I knew that was it. I had them rub more of the ointment on at mile 24 but actually made it worse as it stiffened up when I stopped and the cool air on wet skin exacerbated it. The last two miles were absolutely painful. Now my left knee cap and shin was griping and my right upper calf felt like it was going to spasm. But step by step I could see the bright lights of the finish line getting closer like an oasis in the desert. As I hit the breakaway for the last time, the volunteer asked me which way I was going and I grinned and pointed left. I did not want to walk through that finish line but was treading the line with my calf cramping up. Just around the corner, I tested it with a slow jog and it felt better. I came around the corner into the bright lights and there was the finish line. I had a great time high fiving the crowd and getting them to cheer louder. And before I knew it, Mike Reilly was screaming, "Todd Stockford, YOU are an Ironman!"
What would you do differently?:

In light of the knee pain, nothing. My stomach and legs felt great. I was certainly capable of a 4:30 marathon, if not faster. But I'm thankful I didn't have the stomach issues that I saw a lot of other athletes dealing with.
Post race
Warm down:

The volunteers through a Mylar blanket around me, gave me my finisher's medal and schwag and herded me into the recovery area. My legs were hurting badly but it didn't matter now. Grabbed some food, found my family, and put on some warm clothes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Injury. I spent the entire year training with bilateral knee pain that ironically didn't bother me at all on race day. The pains I had today were different. But in training, I really couldn't push myself the way I wanted or it would aggravate my knees. But in the end I did enough volume to get me to the finish line and I felt strong.

Event comments:

The volunteers and the crowds were absolutely amazing! You feel like a rock star out there as your first name is on your bib and everyone cheers for you by name. There just seems to be a collective effort out there to help you through this race, to see everyone finish as an Ironman.

Thank you, thank you, thank you: my wife Erica and kids for patience, support, and understanding. Friends, family and co-workers for the words of encouragement. Brother Kevin and his family for accomodating us in Arizona and then stepping up when plans changed race day.




Last updated: 2011-12-01 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:26:14 | 4224 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Tyr Hurricane 3
Course: Large counterclockwise rectangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 15:35
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:13:37 | 112 miles | 15.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Three out and back loops. Flat with changing winds.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 10:01
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:27:31 | 26.2 miles | 12m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: Three loops of a figure eight course that goes around Tempe Town Lake. Relatively flat with some hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2012-11-20 10:41 AM

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Extreme Veteran
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Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: Ironman Arizona


2012-11-20 1:01 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Master
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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to push through the suffering and turn in a very nice race.

That is some serious mental and physical perserverance.
2012-11-20 1:40 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Expert
1544
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Alexandria, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job out there, way to overcome injury and adversity during the race and finish strong!

How many bottles of Infinit did you end up going through?  I brought 6, 4 on my bike to start and two in my SN bag at mile 60.  After 5 bottles my stomach decided it had enough and I couldn't quite get all 6 bottles in.

2012-11-20 1:57 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Veteran
265
1001002525
Westminster, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Nice race and way to push through it.  Your bike sounds very very familiar.  I too had some leg issues and really questioned whether I would have been able to finish.  

 

Nice job, and congrats...You are an Ironman!!!

2012-11-20 3:32 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Well done!! congratulations!!
2012-11-20 9:38 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Extreme Veteran
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Penticton, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congratulations!  Great Race Report, great run and perseverance.

I was watching the Live Finish line coverage to see another BTer cross the finish line and it was just a fluke but I saw you cross the line.  The other BTer I was watching for was 5 minutes behind you. 



2012-11-21 8:24 AM
in reply to: #4505158

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Extreme Veteran
694
500100252525
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Climbinggonzo - 2012-11-20 12:40 PM

Great job out there, way to overcome injury and adversity during the race and finish strong!

How many bottles of Infinit did you end up going through?  I brought 6, 4 on my bike to start and two in my SN bag at mile 60.  After 5 bottles my stomach decided it had enough and I couldn't quite get all 6 bottles in.

I had six servings of Infinit on the bike.  I started with three bottles on the bike, which had 1.5 servings in each bottle.  I then made another bottle at bike special needs.  I just made sure I drank enough water with the bottles to dilute the concentrate.

2012-11-21 8:42 AM
in reply to: #4504864

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Very nice race. Great to hear you had a great first experience and are ready to go back.
2012-11-21 12:21 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Pro
4277
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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to work through some issues and hang in there Todd! Nice job and congratulations!
2012-11-21 1:37 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Extreme Veteran
435
10010010010025
Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice work fighting through the pain and racing smart, and now you are an Ironman!
2012-11-21 4:47 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Master
1730
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Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Todd,

Awesome race and report!  I'm smiling for you from here.  Congratulations, my friend.  YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!



2012-11-25 8:40 PM
in reply to: #4504864

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Master
1402
1000100100100100
Highlands Ranch
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great race report...congratulations on a great swim, and working through the knee issues!
2012-11-26 11:41 AM
in reply to: #4509597

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats!
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