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Ironman Arizona - Triathlon

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 16h 03m 19s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Mike and I spent the night in a hotel near the race. I slept better than I expected and felt pretty rested when we got up at 4 am. We ate our usual breakfast of greek yogurt/fruit/ and honey. Since most of our gear was already at transition, we got dressed relatively quickly and headed to the venue!
Event warmup:

There were so many people, racers and spectators it was very packed and hard to find my way to special needs to drop bags, and I lost Mike in the crowd. Got in line to use the portajohn and ended up putting my wet suit on with only 5 to 10 minutes to race start!
  • 1h 53m 46s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 57s / 100 meters

This was only my 4th open water swim in a competition setting. During several practice swims I experienced anxiety, and I only learned to swim about a year ago, so for me this was a great swim. No panic attack, and I was able to bi-lateral breath and just do my own swim! This was also the first time I had done the full IM distance in a swim!
What would you do differently?:

On last fourth of the swim I would focus more on form and keep up the pace. I felt like I slowed down a bit and I think I got cold.
Transition 1
  • 14m 4s

There were wetsuit strippers so getting out of the wetsuit was a breeze, but the run into TI tent was .24 miles... and boy was it cold after the wetsuit came off. Once in the tent, things went well. Dried off, and made sure I had everything I needed before heading out.
What would you do differently?:

Try to go a little faster and shorten time in T1.
  • 7h 14m 24s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.47 mile/hr

Bike went well for my first IM distance. While there was a wind that helped push me up the hills, it made coming down slower than I would have liked. I pushed a little harder on loop 2 than I wanted, but overall I am very happy with my bike. I had a Peanut butter sandwich from special needs and ate one Gu and several whole wheat fig bars along with Skratch for my fluid. Stomach and energy were great, no issues.

Since I chose to wear a long sleeve technical shirt I was not cold on the ride and it gave me sun protection as it warmed up. Another plus, it was a bright color so it made me easy to spot on the course for friends who were there to cheer us on!
What would you do differently?:

Trust my training and not worry about time cutoffs so much.
Transition 2
  • 05m 6s

Bike handlers took bike and I went straight to transition. I did not run as I am not good on the cleats and my legs were a bit stiff. I changed into long pants for warmth after the sun went down and kept my long sleeve shirt. It was a quick transition for me and I was out on the run course!
What would you do differently?:

This was a very good transition for me.
  • 6h 35m 59s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 07s  min/mile

This was the longest run I have ever done. Legs were definitely tired when I started, but got them going about 2 miles into the course. HR stayed in check and at the end of the run my muscles were so tired, HR was not an issue. :) While I did not feel anything at the time, after the race I realized my big toes took a beating and I will likely lose both toenails. I tried to keep a steady and conservative pace and I had no cramping issues or pain during the run. Going into race day I had been experiencing knee pain even on short runs, so at the last minute I decided to use a knee brace and put it on in transition. Thankfully, no knee pain on the run or issues with the brace.

I have to say for never having run 26.2 miles before, this was a good run for me. I did not have any stomach issues and ate grapes/cola/chicken broth/ and or cookies or chips at each station to keep my energy up. Once I made it past the halfway point and realized I had time to finish even if something went wrong, I relaxed a bit and enjoyed the entire experience.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing I can think of now. On future runs I hope to be able to increase my speed a bit, but for a first, this was a very good experience for me!
Post race
Warm down:

We had several friends at the finish line to cheer us on and they brought hot chocolate and beer for our celebration toast! :) They had also already picked up our transition bags and bikes, so it made finishing up very easy. Mike waited for me at the finish line and after pictures we had a piece of pizza and a chocolate milk.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

We did not have a base when we started training for IMAZ, so in about 10 months I went from having never done a triathlon to completing IMAZ. I can only hope that now having a base and being able to work on some strength and speed will improve my future race times.

Event comments:

This was IMAZ!! Best and hardest race I have ever done! Having signed up one year earlier having never done a triathlon, I had no idea what to expect, and the year brought some of the best and worst experiences of my life. I am elated I was able to finish this race and do so without any real issues along the way. During the year, I overcame anxiety in open water and learned to swim, and overall greatly improved my physical ability and endurance. However, exactly one month before IM, at the height of training, my step-son Doug passed away unexpectedly. It was a blow we were not expecting, and after learning of his death, Mike and I were not sure we would continue our IM journey. However, Doug supported our effort and his last text told Mike he knew Mike would finish because Mike did not quit. Within the last year and a half, I also lost two friends who were younger than me (40 and 42). Losing so many in your life in such a short time really makes you appreciate the days we are given, and needless to say, we found a way to continue training through the heartbreak.

At the end of the day I followed my training, enjoyed the entire experience, and am so very thankful to all those who supported me along the way. Doug, Vandi, and Shawn, you were with me in spirit and I know you cheered when I crossed the finish line! And being able to train with my husband and share this experience with him was a gift in itself, even when we were dog tired and got grumpy with each other!

Last updated: 2012-11-24 12:00 AM
01:53:46 | 3862 meters | 02m 57s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: TTL
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 14:04
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:14:24 | 112 miles | 15.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Out B-line and back to Tempe- 37 mile loop 3 times!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:35:59 | 26.2 miles | 15m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop route around TTL.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 5

2013-12-14 9:55 PM

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New user

Subject: Ironman Arizona

2013-12-14 10:56 PM
in reply to: #4913382

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
You handled the entire year of training with great focus and determination, yes, even when I was really grumpy and when we learned of Doug's death. You did an incredible race, and I cannot express how incredibly proud I am of you! Thanks for being my training partner.
2013-12-14 11:34 PM
in reply to: #4913382

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Extreme Veteran
Southern California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations! It sounds like you had a great experience, thanks for sharing.
2014-01-08 8:02 PM
in reply to: Mikeylee

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New user

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Thank you sweets! I am very proud of you too, and you were the best training partner I could have had!
2014-01-08 8:05 PM
in reply to: cjhild

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New user

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Thank You Justin! It was a lot of hard work and one of the best experiences of my life. I got into triathlon late but have found the people involved to be absolutely great! If I can help motivate someone else to push themselves and experience what I did, that would be an added bonus!
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