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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
77F / 25C
Sunny
Total Time = 15h 21m 32s
Overall Rank = 2097/
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 110/
Pre-race routine:

This is going to be a LOOOOOOOOONG race report... probably not as long or as involved as one of Yanti's, but still long. If you're bored or can't sleep, maybe this will help!

We flew into Vegas on the Wednesday before the race and spent the night having dinner and some drinks with Kido which worked out very well as we also were able to book the restaurant and after bar for the wedding ceremony that Tony and I had booked for the weekend after IMAZ. Nothing like cramming absolutely a whole bunch of important life experiences into 10 days! Thursday morning we get up, drive to Tempe and get into town with an hour to spare in terms of getting checked in, picking up our very cool back-packs and giving WTC a lot of money for t-shirts etc that we were superstitious enough to not want to wear before the race. Trying stuff on was okay, but no wearing anything until after the race!

Thursday night Mav (Marianne) and her husband were having a bit of a meet and greet at the place they were staying at so I got to meet a fair number of BTers there and we all shared a laugh, some nerves, and tips for getting through the day. I probably should have listened more to the tips... Friday was wandering around, meeting up with Kido for the athletes dinner where he got a shout out for the most interesting thing about him being that he's married to Vegas show girlS and a model. I wonder if his wife knows about the others... ;)

Saturday morning was the practice swim (holy crap... that water IS cold) where we kind of lollygagged around in the water just to get a feel for the temperature and then got out saying... I can TOTALLY handle that! Positive talk here people, positive talk. The rest of the day was spent doing as little as possible and then dinner at the hotel before *trying* to get some sleep. I'm pretty sure that sleep thing never really happened. Oh well... all I have to do is keep moving forward for up to 17 hours, how hard can that be?
Event warmup:

Woke up at 4:30 to have a bagel and peanut butter, freak out about last minute things, get everything into the car and then head to the parking garage... until I look at Tony and ask "did you remember to get both of our wetsuits?" His eyes then went HUGE, he flipped a U-Turn right where he was even though we were about 3 cars from being able to get into the parking garage and then he sped back to the hotel where I ran inside, opened up our hotel room door and low and behold... there are our wetsuits. Sigh. Run back out to the car (I could still run at this point), jump back into the car and go screaming back to the parking garage.

Then need to find some nice person to help pump up tires... done. Put on wetsuit... done. Put bodyglide on... done. Find Tony, hug, kiss, hold hands for dear life as I'm really freaking out... And then we're getting yelled at to jump in the water - oh.my.GOD... I'm really about to do this!
Swim
  • 1h 18m 4s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 03s / 100 meters
Comments:

This was a mosh pit. A never ending mosh pit of elbows, feet, hands, bodies, all trying to get to the same place. I don't know that I ever really had clear water to swim and it seemed like there was just constant contact. I got kicked in the left goggle at one point so that it created this massive vacuum effect and I couldn't close my left eyelid anymore, but I figured as long as my goggles were still on my face and weren't leaking, I was just going to leave everything.

I didn't start to really get cold until about 3/4ths of the way through the swim, and then my hands started to tingle and I couldn't really feel my feet. Thank little baby swaddling Jebus for the volunteers that were helping to pull people out of the water at the end of the swim!

The end of the swim was interesting for me as I also got really emotional for some reason. I think it was the realization that I was actually DOING an Ironman, and this was the culmination of a dream that I'd had for a long time. :)
What would you do differently?:

I have NO idea. Try to move further out to the sides to try and get some open water? Swim more to get faster and then I can just beat everyone and not have to worry about it? Meh, I didn't really care, I was done!
Transition 1
  • 13m 22s
Comments:

I know, I know... what the HELL was I doing in there??? Well, I was helping other people. The lady to my left had a volunteer helping her with everything, and the lady to my right and I were trying to fend for ourselves so I helped her put on her sports bra and then tried to fight my way into mine, put on my bike shorts, get on the compression socks, arm warmers totally sucked to try and get on, and my super, mega awesome Canadian bike jersey!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, someone else needed help, so I helped them and I'd do it again. I'm not going to win and I'm not even in it to place in my AG - so why not take an extra minute to assist someone who needs it.
Bike
  • 6h 53m 40s
  • 180 kms
  • 26.11 km/hr
Comments:

Yayyyy! I'm on my bike! I love my bike! Don't I? The first loop was absolutely AWESOME! I had such a great time out there! It felt like I was FLYING, and had a big smile on my face - trying to take in water, Infinit and Gu... I caught up to Kido and said hello as I went by him then towards the end of the 1st loop I saw Tony going the other way (YAY!) but by then my back started to act up. I knew it would, but I was feeling so great before that so I decided to ignore the pain until the start of the 2nd loop when I figured I would pull into the first aid station to stretch.

As of the start of the second loop... The pain would just not.go.away. An absolute angel at the aid station came up to me and told me that she was a massage therapist by trade and would I like her help... YES! She did what she could for a few minutes, I grabbed some more water, some chomps and went on my way.

The second loop was BRUTAL. The wind had shifted so we had a tail wind on the way up to the turn around which meant that there would be a headwind for the way back into town. Drat! I got to the turn around and not only is my back in agony, but I've stopped being able to take in Infinit. I could still take in water, but my stomach absolutely rebelled and there was no way I was taking in another mouthful of that awful stuff. Okay, I need to have something with calories and such, so I'll try that Perform stuff... EWWWWWW! Um... no. That stuff is terrible! So, I tried to make do with water, chomps and some of a Cliffbuilder bar, but I knew that this was just the beginning of the end. And it was.

Loop three comes along and I'm so grateful for all of the spectators that line the streets in town... and my parents were there!!! Yayyy! I got to see a glimpse of them as I rolled (slowly) by - and they were cheering like mad, wearing the special t-shirts that Tony had made for them with my bib number, a Canadian maple leaf, and all in red. It was so great to see them as I could momentarily forget about the agonizing pain I was in. Again, I decided to stop at the first aid station out of town and try to get some relief in the way of stretching. Not a whole lot of relief, but at least I got to smear some more Icy/Hot on my back and stand up for a few... then... back to the bike! Things are starting to cramp. My stomach, quads, hamstrings, calves... everything. I tried to take in more water, I had some more perform, tried to just tell my muscles NO! You are NOT going to do this to me! And this actually worked until about 3/4ths of a mile from the turn-around at Shea Avenue. And then everything seized up. I had to pull off to the side of the road and stand there straddling my bike because I couldn't actually lift one leg to get it over my bike so I could stretch. All I could do was try to stand up until my legs might work again. It took about 10 minutes for me to feel like I could even clip into a pedal again... and I figured that enough was enough - I needed to get going. If I could just get to the turn around, I could stop with people and stretch. Which I did. I got there and got off my bike to just stand there for a bit. It was horrible, but eventually I had to get back onto my bike and finish this damn thing, so back onto the bike I got.

I saw Tony one last time on the bike and he had made up a LOT of ground on me - and it was a fantastic lift to see his face and hear him cheer me on. My hubby ROCKS! It seemed like ages before I saw the 100 mile mark and by that time I couldn't be in aero anymore, so it was just a matter of gutting it out until I could get off the bike.

Slowly, ever so slowly... I started to see more and more people on the side of the roads which meant... I was getting back to town! YAYYY! Big smile back on my face, loving the crowd, people saying "GO CANADA!" and then... there it was. The dismount line. My girl bits have never been so happy! I think they were singing their own song of happiness as was my back! I handed my bike over to the lovely volunteer and told him to take good care of my bike as he had gotten me this far, and he (she? I don't even know what gender person I was talking to I was so delirious) took George off to go hang with the other bikes. I was laughing I was so giddy! I was going to do this! I could take 9 hours on the marathon and still finish. For the second time of the day I got really, really emotional as I knew I was going to be an Ironman.
What would you do differently?:

Not be so undertrained for a race, get my nutrition figured out BEFORE race day, and see if there's a doctor anywhere in the world that will do a back transplant.
Transition 2
  • 08m 7s
Comments:

I got into the tent and immediately laid on the floor asking if someone could please stretch me... another angel of a volunteer came right over and started to help me out. The actual changing of my bike shorts to run shorts and into my running shoes didn't take any time at all - what took the most time was the 5 or more minutes of help that I needed to try and make my back work again.
What would you do differently?:

Nada other than that back transplant thing that I mentioned earlier.
Run
  • 6h 48m 19s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 09m 41s  min/km
Comments:

Yeah.... I knew the 'run' was going to be bad, and it was. Running and I have a mutual hate, and it seriously kicked my AZZ! It didn't help that my stomach was extremely nauseated and I could barely take in any calories. Water, chicken broth, Gu, chips, pretzels, grapes... nada. Maybe a mouthful here and there, but that was IT. My body hates me.

I was still ahead of Tony by about 14 minutes when I got out onto the course and so I was going to try and do a 4min run/1min walk until he caught me. Out of T2 I saw my parents and so stopped to chat with them for a bit which helped my mood immensely. I got a few more feet and there were Chad, Eric and Gina - more people to help my mood! Well, that whole run/walk thing didn't last very long and Tony caught me sometime between miles 2 and 4. I'm not really sure when, but I've never been so happy to see him in my life! The first lap was a fair amount of walking, but then we started a 1min run/1min walk which worked really well for a while! Yay!

Loop 2 we saw my parents again (more YAY!) and kept up with the 1:1 even though my legs were a big ball of hurty cramping. I'm pretty happy with loop 2 and if we had been able to keep that up, I would have been even more happy, but alas... it was not to be.

At the end of loop 2 my quads were hurting with every step, and then my left inner thigh started to cramp up. Uh oh. Not good. I told Tony right from the get go on the last loop that there was no way I was going to be able to run at all and this was going to have to be walked in. Like the champ he is, he said no problem, I'm not going anywhere. Damn he's awesome! I don't remember a whole lot about that last loop other than it was dark, I was in a LOT of pain, my legs were cramping up every chance they got, and I was starting to feel quite light headed and loopy. I DO remember that every so often we'd walk along holding hands and people would "awwww" at us until we told them that we had just met 3 miles ago and were heading off to Vegas to get married! I had one lady look at me and say "you might want to take some time to think about that..." Lol!

I got through the last 6 miles because of Tony. All I wanted to do was stop (just for a minute, I swear!) to sit and rest... and he wouldn't let me which is good because if I had sat down, I would have been done. I can't thank him enough for getting me to that glorious finish line. And it is nothing short of glorious. It was absolutely amazing! We jogged down that finishers chute high fiving people, holding hands and with big, silly grins on our faces. We crossed the line that way and hugged and kissed each other just after crossing. It truly was magical! Then I saw my parents, Chad and Eric and there was more smiles, pictures, and hugs. The pain was almost gone, and I was on top of the world.

Thank you Tony!
What would you do differently?:

Not be so undertrained and maybe running wouldn't hate me so much?
Post race
Warm down:

Yeah... I ended up in the med tent for about an hour and a half because I was so nauseous. Tony sent me off with the med tent people while he got pizza, a massage and our gear. By the time he got back to me, I didn't want to be in the tent anymore and got a couple of people to help me up so I could hobble over to the waiting car.

The next 2 days were spent walking like a combination of the Tin Man and a penguin. Anything which meant having to step either up or down more than about an inch was to be avoided at all costs, and sitting down/standing up were agony. The worst thing ever was having to go to the bathroom after the race. I put my hands on the toilet to brace myself and then just let my legs go and hoped that I had good aim for sitting down. Getting back up wasn't as comical, but it hurt just as much!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The fact that I was completely undertrained for this event, and that I didn't have my nutrition down.

Then again, I don't really care anymore because I accomplished my only 3 goals for the day:

1) don't die
2) cross the finish line eventually
3) cross the finish line in under 17 hours with a smile on my face and Tony by my side. :)

Event comments:

Despite my poor preparation - I truly loved this experience. I loved being a part of the race, the pre-race activities, and especially having Tony with me.

I'll definitely do another IM distance (and already thinking of which one) but I will make SURE that I follow the training plan to the letter.

Congrats to everyone!!!






Last updated: 2012-11-22 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:18:04 | 3800 meters | 02m 03s / 100meters
Age Group: 30/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca full sleeve
Course: Long, thin rectangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 13:22
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
06:53:40 | 180 kms | 26.11 km/hr
Age Group: 75/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Wind:
Course: 3 loops... and whoever calls this course "flat" I want to kick in the shins.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 08:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
Running
06:48:19 | 42.2 kms | 09m 41s  min/km
Age Group: 110/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: A kind of weird figure 8 that I didn't understand from looking at the maps, so it's a good thing all I had to do was either follow the people in front of me or just follow the cones on the course.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? No
Evaluation
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2012-11-22 11:44 AM

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Champion
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Austin, Texas
Subject: Ironman Arizona


2012-11-22 2:19 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations!! you did awesome tracked you guys all day.  Happy recovery
2012-11-22 3:52 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Master
3963
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Toronto
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congrats, Ironman - you showed the true spirit!  Sucks about the back, but like you said, you made it - and if you are with it enough, that finishers chute really is an amazing experience! 

Congrats again! 

2012-11-22 6:01 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Member
16

St Albert Alberta Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats, I found the swim not so bad, about 20m back from the start and in the middle. There was hardly anyone around me and barely got touched.

Edited by johnm419 2012-11-22 6:02 PM
2012-11-22 6:34 PM
in reply to: #4507238

Iron Donkey
38641
50005000500050005000500050002000100050010025
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Nice schwimmy-schwim there!! You were too kind to assist the other person during T1 - I'm certain they were very grateful. Bike ride looked good, too, and the timing with the masseur being there when you needed them couldn't have been planned any better. Glad you and Tony hooked up and "rode that storm out" the rest of the race! I would've thought that you would have had a bigger shoutout to your parents, though. But, WHY OH WHY did this have to be in METRICS??!! CONGRATULATIONS, MONICA! YOU. ARE. AN. IRON(WO)MAN!
2012-11-22 6:44 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Master
2642
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Bloomington, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great report, great accomplishment! Good job.


2012-11-22 7:39 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
There's just nothing easy about doing an IM. Great job and way to persevere. I was really hoping so run across tony and you but I guess it wasn't to be.
2012-11-22 8:00 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Pro
4838
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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Monica on a great race but who if this Tony guy you keep giving all the credit to? You're an Ironman, who cool is that?!
2012-11-22 8:02 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Master
1730
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Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome race- and report!  I was laughing about the back transplant. Positively giddy that your husband was awesome enough to run with you.  That man is a keeper!  Congratulations again!
2012-11-23 6:56 AM
in reply to: #4507238

Uxbridge
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

CONGRATS MONICA!!!!!! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

So great to meet you both! Hope you are both enjoying your time in Vegas!

2012-11-23 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4507238

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Pro
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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Monica...you did it! For some reason I just keep visualizing a Stretch Armstrong Doll since reading your request for someone to stretch you in T2. LOL. What a cool experience to finish hand and hand with your husband and for your parents to be there! Great job...you are an Ironman!


2012-11-23 10:17 AM
in reply to: #4507238

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Champion
10550
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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Thanks so much to everyone for the kind words!  Because I'm a big dork, and I've now got the race pics... I'm attaching a few of the ones that I actually like! 

(and Phil - I may live in the US, but I'm still Canadian!!!  :p

 





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Attachments
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0257_59828.jpg (84KB - 17 downloads)
0257_53827.jpg (98KB - 16 downloads)
0257_07044.jpg (85KB - 12 downloads)
2012-11-23 10:32 AM
in reply to: #4507238

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Champion
34263
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to go babydoll. You are one badass chica! I never once doubted that you'd finish. YOu got yourself there, I was just following the sweet sweet pace booty! Love you darlin. Great work out there.
2012-11-23 11:32 AM
in reply to: #4507238

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats!!!! Awesome work
2012-11-23 12:33 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Master
2484
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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Ironman! Really cool you and Tony raced together and finished together. Memory of a lifetime for sure.
2012-11-24 12:30 PM
in reply to: #4507238

Iron Donkey
38641
50005000500050005000500050002000100050010025
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Who's the DB that photo-bombed your pics??


2012-11-24 3:39 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Champion
19812
50005000500020002000500100100100
MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congrats Ironman!

What special way to celebrate your wedding. Tough day with back issues and cramping...happy to see you want to do another one.

2012-11-24 6:20 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Expert
932
50010010010010025
Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Awesome report and an awesome job! Sounds like a great experience...

 

Congrats!

2012-11-26 5:57 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Champion
10550
500050005002525
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Thanks everyone... we then went and had a FANTASTIC time in Vegas - yes, we're still alive... but I HAD to share this pic of the wedding ceremony from this past Saturday as our friends hired an Elvis to come sing once the serious part of the ceremony was over.  Thankfully I'd recovered from the race in just a couple of days so there were no issues with walking down the aisle.   

2012-11-27 10:47 AM
in reply to: #4510854

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats on both accounts!
2012-11-27 4:26 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Extreme Veteran
648
50010025
Scottsdale
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

A true test of endurance is to reach your physical and mental end, and continue to move forward.  You did that, and now you can make that claim forever "I am an Ironman"

Congrats!



2012-11-28 12:33 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Extreme Veteran
694
500100252525
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to persevere through a tough day, Ironman!  And aren't we men awesome?!?
2012-11-29 1:42 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Expert
885
500100100100252525
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats on finishing hand in hand with Tony!  And congrats on the Vegas ceremony.
2012-12-03 5:47 PM
in reply to: #4507238

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Master
4101
20002000100
Denver
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Wow, congrats!  Like a great man once said:

They say it takes hardship, boy, to let you love the rest

sometimes underneath a load is where I show my best

So go, put your work clothes on, go and leave your mark...

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