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Ironman Arizona - Triathlon

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
56F / 13C
Total Time = 14h 28m 57s
Overall Rank = 1534/2332
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 263/368
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:00am, brushed my teeth, put contacts on, and made 2 eggie sandwiches (1 wheat toast each eggie). Ate one and drank water. Before this I took in a dose of Kion Flex and Aminos to prime my body for the race. Lubed myself and got dressed and ate one sandwich.

Rechecked my special needs bags and started eating my other sandwich and drank more water as I was about to leave. Filled bike water bottles with personal Infinit bike formula, big water bottle with hot water, and another small water bottle with bike formula for sipping.

It was now around 4:45am. Put timing chip on and shoes and did a final check on my special needs bags. Put sweats on, sweater on, and jacket with hoodie since it was 52°F outside. Headed out at 4:55am.
Event warmup:

Got to transition at about 5:10am and it was busy but not super busy. Was able to walk into transition area and drop off my bags at my bike quite quickly. I immediately went to get body marked and poop. Got body marked but the porta potties in transition already had long lines so I went to the entrance to chance it that I can exit that way but nope. I had to go to the back exit where the change tents were.

Went to poop at the porta potties I planned on the day before as backup and it worked. Only 5-10 athletes were there in line. I was able to poop shortly after and I immediately made my way to my bike.

This year we were to bring our special needs bags with us as we made our way to the swim start since it was near the run special needs area. Put my water bottles on my bike and put on my wetsuit. It was about 6:10am now as I did that. I decided to leave my Oakleys on my bike to save time putting into my bike gear bag. Put 1 swim cap on, goggles on, and race cap on. Poured the now room temperature water into my wetsuit to help loosen it up. At 6:25am I gave my morning clothes bag to Elisa and made my way to the swim start with my special needs bags.

When I got to the swim start, I found a spot where I could warm up by doing dynamic movements and freestyle above water.
  • 1h 25m 28s
  • 4482 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

I decided to seed myself with the 1:20 group and go from there since I was feeling a slight headache come on along with some soreness on my right jaw. No idea why this started happening 20 minutes before my swim start but I found out it was because of the goggles adjuster for my right eye. It was perpendicular to my temple and with the swim cap over it, there was pressure applied. 10 seconds after fixing that I felt much better. It was too crowded to move up to the 1:15 group now so I just stayed there.

Getting into the water took a few minutes longer than the 2 prior swim starts I had here but then we started moving into the starting area slowly. Then it was my turn to run in and jump into the water and off I went. Within 10 seconds, I started to hyperventilate due to how shockingly cold the water felt. It got worse as I tried to swim through it so I pulled over to a kayaker.

I regained composure and continued only to feel water seeping into my left goggle and more hyperventilating forcing me to pull over again and hold onto the next nearby kayaker. Regained composure and fixed goggle, or so I thought. I now turned the buoy and pull over again holding onto the next kayaker to fix my goggles and somewhat less hyperventilating. As I'm trying to fix my goggles and regain my normal breathing, I am now facing all the swimmers going down the ramp into the water. >.<

Right there I felt my stress levels increasing so I immediately shifted my focus away from them and onto the buildings just beyond. I calmed down, fixed goggles, and regained my normal breathing. I guessed I was now with the 1:30ish swimmers and decided to be the aggressor! I swam until I got into a groove and as soon as I got that I applied my new swimming technique and made my way to the buoy lines.

As I felt I was swimming at around 30spm, cutting through the water felt easy. The chop was no problem and I ended up smacking swimmers as I made my way up the field. I felt so confident I even wedged myself between 2 or 3 swimmers who swam close to each other. The only time I veered away was when I saw someone doing breaststroke. There were a few times where I zigzagged out of the buoy line putting me on the outside though. This added about 250 more yards but whatever, I was swimming well and never felt out of breath.

As I got pulled out of the water I noticed my swim split was 1:25 which was great because I thought I was gonna finish in 1:30! Yay!

2015 time: 1:22:09
2017 time: 1:26:42
2017 time: 1:25:28
What would you do differently?:

Try splashing cold water in my face before the swim start a few times? Try neoprene swim cap? I swam 2 open water swims in similar water temps and I have experience swimming in this lake. Perhaps I should have done the swim practice and simulate the entry the day before.
Transition 1
  • 18m 24s

Transition was almost half a mile away from the change tent. After my wetsuit peeler helped me out of my wetsuit, I jogged on the nicely laid carpet all the way to my bike gear bag near the mens change tent. Even the jogging did not prevent me from shivering my ass off so it took a couple minutes after finding a seat to collect myself and be able to hold onto stuff.

Dried myself a bit. Put my bike jersey on and relubed myself. Inserted plastic insert on to help keep me warm. Bike gloves on and full gloves on top of them. Watch on. Headband on, plastic for head heat protection on, helmet on. Extra tube and small lube container pocketed and I exited the tent. Paused for some sunscreen and hugged the volunteers there.

Got to my bike and put my glasses on and mounted my watch to monitor my heart rate and power between my aero bars. Wow, I'm indeed a slow transitioner but bah, it's MY race day, no one else's! =P
What would you do differently?:

Maybe jog a bit faster and just do things faster in the change tent.
  • 6h 46m 46s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.52 mile/hr

Bike ride went pretty smooth but damn, I had to pee like 10 times! That cost me almost 30 minutes. I think I peed 4 times first lap, 3 times 2nd, and twice 3rd. Peeing on the bike never worked for me in practice but sheesh! This amount of peeing concerned me so I drank more water at some stops while maintaining my intake of Infinit.

Instead of getting pissed off I decided to shift my focus on even splitting each of the 3 laps as evenly as possible and I accomplished that. (IMAZ has a 3 lap bike course). Stayed in my planned zone and made sure I didn't blow up anytime during bike split.

Another shitty condition btw, was the Beeline climb to Shea where there was headwind all day! Argh! I embraced it and kept my power, RPE, and HR in my planned zone ranges and executed that well.

There was also one instance where I nearly had a bad, I mean really bad, accident going down Beeline. I was making a pass and called out, "On your left! Passing!" But the athlete to the right of me did not heed that call and failed to yield. He started veering into my line to pass another cyclist. The bastard was now forcing me close to the lane divider and in those few seconds, I notice ahead of me is either a bike escort or support motorcycle and cyclists going over the lane divider heading north. There was no room for them to move to their right because there were many slow climbers bunched up at that point. I felt my heart rate jump and I had a couple seconds to decide what to do. With the tailwind behind me, getting out of aero felt like a bad call because I could be pushed to my left into them. I decided to stay in aero and SLOWLY move close to the punk who cut me off and hope he doesn't move left and cause a really bad crash. And......... IT WORKED! Whew! Dodged the bullet there!

Instead of wasting energy yelling at how much of a dickhead this athlete was, I let it go and passed him.

I periodically got out of aero position to stretch out my hamstrings, back, and shoulders. Took off gloves after about 90 minutes in (3rd pee stop). Took off arm warmers and plastic insulators at around 2:40 into the bike.

As I neared the end of the bike segment (last 3-4 minutes) I changed into an easy gear and started spinning easy and got out of aero position to stretch things out.

2015 time: 8:01:56
2017 time: 7:18:34
2019 time: 6:46:46
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. My coach said peeing more is commonly a physiological response when the weather is too cold for too long.
Transition 2
  • 16m 57s

Legs felt pretty good as I got my run gear bag. I was feeling elated about how well I executed the bike segment. I was having a good day! :)

Got to an open seat and changed out of my bike kit and into my run kit. My crotch stung a bit as I relubed myself down there. Bike gloves off. Pocketed arm warmers. Helment off, visor on.

It was now time to apply protection on my feet where I have hotspots that could become blisters and burst on the course. This is what took a while because I decided to apply 2 layers of NewSkin and SportSlick on top of that.
What would you do differently?:

Stay in my bike kit and screw NewSkin and SportSlick? Nah! I want to be as comfortable as possible for a marathon. =P
  • 5h 41m 23s
  • 26.33 miles
  • 12m 58s  min/mile

I got my running legs in less than a mile despite small hills early on, yay!

My day was going well! Kept my HR and effort aerobic. First couple hours was good but then I got a side stitch after eating a couple Clif Shot Bloks at mile 10. No idea how that happened because it never happened in training. That finally went away about about 15 minutes later and I got my groove back.

Slowed down a bit at special needs to get my extra gels, headlamp, and 910xt backup watch just in case my 920xt ran outta battery (which it did, hehe). I was at around mile 14 at this point and looked at my time and I was feeling great! If I maintained my pace or a tiny bit slower, I could finish in sub-14 hours! :)

At mile 19 I swapped to using my old 910xt to monitor my HR and splits. As I approached mile 20, something started happening in my legs I did not expect. My quads started to cramp a little... whattttttttttttttttt... They got worse and worse, run/walking, until mile 22.

Running hurt too much so I had to walk. I also twisted my left angle a bit at mile 9 due to uneven pavement where an athlete cut me off, grrrr. The pain from this started creeping up at around mile 17 but dealt with it until it got so bad that I thought I had some sorta micro stress fracture. As it turned out, it may have been bad chafing from the timing chip because I wore it underneath my socks, hehehe!

And so it was a brisk walk with some pathetic attempts to run the last 4 miles to the finish. After walking past the tiny incline into the finish chute about a quarter mile away I started to run again with a big smile on my face because I was so close! I felt so elated I was blowing kisses to everyone there cheering all the finishers in. :)

2015 time: 6:42:11
2017 time: 6:24:53
2019 time: 5:41:23
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. As it got cold after sundown, the cold made me start peeing more than desired again as well as tapped my energy systems to keep me warm possibly causing my quads to seize up.
Post race
Warm down:

Took finisher pic. Walked around and stretched a bit with the mylar over my shoulders. Saw Elisa and asked her to hold some stuff while I went to pee AGAIN. I returned to the athlete area to get a massage and some food.

After a few minutes into the massage, my body started shivering from the cold. The masseuse helped me relax a bit but I was just too cold. After that I got a chicken burrito, grapes, pretzels, 2 bags of Lays potato chips, and water.

Got to hotel and found big red/black blister on my left big toe the size of a nickel. Looks like NewSkin and SportSlicked worked by way of nullifying the pain, hehe.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Cold ambient temperatures, headwinds, severe left ankle pain.

Event comments:

Best Ironman triathlon to date! I credit my success to Elisa who has been invaluable supporting me as I trained for this race, Mark Allen with Mark Allen Coaching who helped me prepare my mind and body to have my best race ever, and all the friends who joined me in training and in spirit knowing how important this race was to me. :)

2015 time: 16:48:53
2017 time: 15:42:33
2019 time: 14:28:57

Last updated: 2019-03-25 12:00 AM
01:25:28 | 4482 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 193/368
Overall: 1129/2332
Performance: Average
Aerobic RPE and HR. 29spm avg. 1.63m/stroke.
Suit: Maverick Pro Fullsuit
Course: 1 loop. Right turn at buoy 100yards out to the east then another right 50 yards out north, then right east. 2 lefts after about a 3/4ths mile out back then left into the the finish.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 18:24
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:46:46 | 112 miles | 16.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 272/368
Overall: 1554/2332
Performance: Good
Aerobic zone HR, power, and RPE. 120-130bpm, 125-135watts, RPE6-7.
Wind: Headwind
Course: 3 laps. Tempe roads out to Beeline and turnaround at Shea back to town.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 89
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 16:57
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:41:23 | 26.33 miles | 12m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 250/368
Overall: 1453/2332
Performance: Average
Plan was to stay in aerobic zone until mile 20 then go for strong finish. 125-130bpm until mile 20 build to Z4 plus if body says, "Go for it!" 182-184spm cadence.
Course: 2 laps around town, kinda rectangular.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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

2019-11-28 4:36 PM

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: Ironman Arizona

2019-11-30 8:55 AM
in reply to: #5264395

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats on your day, Ironman! Improvement across the board; after a long year of training, that has got be very satisfying...

2019-11-30 10:21 PM
in reply to: alltom1

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Thanks! And now I need to figure out a way around the peeing issue, hehehe.
2019-12-04 6:25 PM
in reply to: kloofyroland

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Good Report. You have had some terrific gains in your races.
2019-12-08 10:27 PM
in reply to: #5264395

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job pushing through Roland!   Thanks for the report.

2020-02-10 6:38 PM
in reply to: JBacarella

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Originally posted by JBacarella

Good Report. You have had some terrific gains in your races.

Thanks James!

2020-02-10 6:38 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Originally posted by ChrisM

Great job pushing through Roland!   Thanks for the report.

Thanks Chris!
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