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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
80F / 27C
Sunny
Total Time = 13h 16m 58s
Overall Rank = 1009/2100
Age Group = M18-24
Age Group Rank = 42/90
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4 to numerous alarms - definitely didn't want to oversleep. I didn't really freak out about my 5 bags as I thought, especially considering what I've heard about everybody's pre-IM state of being. Breakfast was 2 cans Chocolate Ensure, 1 banana, 2 100 cal breakfast cookies (they were giving them away like you wouldn't believe) and 16 oz. Gatorade, for a total of 800 calories or so. Packed the rest of the SN stuff, made sure I had warm clothes for the morning, donned the onesie and we were out the door at 4h40 or so. Arrived at Transition a little before 5.

There was a lot to be done - wait in line for the good folks at Landis Cyclery to pump my tires, double check the tightness of all the bolts on the bike, tape gels to the top tube, cram Clif Bars into my too-small Bento Box, and arrange my flat kit. Then it was off to get body marked. The woman marking me looked a little bit fazed by my tattoo (left delt), which apparently interfered with the placement of my number (161!). After waiting on line, I headed out on a futile search to locate bottles of GE for my cages; I just assumed they would be available by the truckload. How wrong I was - so I started the bike leg with no liquid hydration until the first aid station. With things starting to shape up, I dropped off my SN bags and hit the line for the bathrooms. By this time it was a few minutes after 6h00a, and Mike Reilly was informing us to make our way to transition to activate our timing chips. One last kiss from Nina and I crossed the point of no return. Across the mat, then it was time to get into the wetsuit. Suit on, cap and goggles straightened, I did a few arm circles next to the giant speaker blasting Aerosmith. I got in the water at about 6h40 or so, with plenty of time to warm up in the water and starting freaking out.
Swim
  • 1h 03m 24s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 30s / 100 yards
Comments:

With the sun rising in the east, sighting on the first half of the course was nearly impossible. I caught up with Chris Bost a few minutes before the start, and we traded nervous pleasantries for a bit. I had somehow managed to seed myself in the very front row, which was a bit aggressive considering my time goal (1:15). Floated around for a few minutes, then I was hearing the 10 second countdown. BOOM! The cannon sounded and I was thrust into the washing machine. I got banged around pretty good for the first 5 minutes or so, then I fell into a group of 15-20 guys who gave me good feet on which to draft. My arms got sore pretty early, but I felt decent. The open water sighting went okay, although I apparently have a tendency to drift to the right, at one point ending up on the far edge with only 2 or 3 people outside of me. We hit the turn in what felt like 10 minutes, but was probably closer to 30. The return loop felt much better; I hooked up with one guy's wake and drafted on him for the majority of the second half. Before I knew it I was nearing the 2 Mill Ave. bridges, which then gave way to the final turn and the stairs up to T1. I think managed to swallow less than 1L of the lake, which was definitely a good thing. Although the water tasted surprisingly good despite it's clarity.
What would you do differently?:

Draft a bit better, work more on bilateral breathing so that I'm not constantly inhaling someone else's recovery spray. On the whole, though, an excellent swim.
Transition 1
  • 05m 43s
Comments:

I got right to the wetsuit strippers when I exited the water. They unzipped me and I immediately sat down for some reason. So they had to finagle the suit off of me while I was laying on the ground. They seemed a little confused by me sitting down; I'm not entirely sure why I did it. Wetsuit in hand I hoofed it to my gear bag and into the change tent. Bike shoes and helmet on, sunglasses on, I hit the sunscreen ladies. Once I was slathered up (not the forearms, though. Bad choice on my part not to say anything) I went out to the bike racks. Despite yelling my number I had to go in search of my bike, which was okay. Jogged with the bike up to the mount line, then got clipped in while avoiding catastrophic mass collision.
What would you do differently?:

Not sit down before my wetsuit was past my butt, get sunscreen on my forearms.
Bike
  • 6h 28m 40s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.29 mile/hr
Comments:

The first half of each loop was unbelievable. The wind was a crossing tailwind, which allowed me to push a big gear in the big chainring, probably averaging 21 or 22 mph. Pavement was pretty rough, and a lot of people took to riding on the very wide shoulder with much smoother concrete. The first 1/2 of the entire ride I kept getting dropped by the aero helmet/P3C crowd, which was fine by me. On the out portion I was able to maintain a good cadence in a big gear, which felt great. I had to make sure I wasn't going out too hard too early, which thankfully wasn't the case. I hit the first aid station and was able to stock up, despite almost being knocked over by a volunteer who held a water bottle a bit too tightly. My nutrition plan was GE every 15 mins (and according to thirst, if needed) alternating 1 Hammer Gel/.5 Clif Bar every 45 minutes w/H20. Nutrition was spot on, and I never even felt the first twinges of a bonk.

First loop was pretty uneventful - fought hard through the 30mph headwind on the return portion.
Second loop was decent - got caught by PKKC heading out to the Beeline, and he reminded me to eat my french fries after the race. The kind/funny were much appreciated, and kept a smile on my face. Headwind on the way back was rough, very demotivating. I hit the SN bags to restock on gels/bars, which I wasn't sure I would needed (but didn't want to risk running out). At one point I had to pull off on the side of the road to take in GE, since I didn't want to risk a hand off the bars in the wind.
3rd lap I slowed down a bit, especially on the way back. I rode for a while with #272, and found out on the downhill part we were going 13.2mph. Yowch. Coming back off the Beeline and seeing the "Mile 104" sign wasn't cool...I knew the last 8 miles meant probably another 28-30 minutes.
At the very end of the bike I saw Nina on the last bridge, and gave a wave with a big smile. Seeing her was a definite plus. I hammered down the bridge, through a tunnel of spectators at the "Hot Corner" and barreled my way into T2. It felt bloody fantastic to get off the bike, and I was ready to run/slog.
What would you do differently?:

I stopped to pee 3 times - would have liked to only stop once or twice, especially as the onesie doesn't lend itself to an easy removal.

Possibly wear something other than the Orca onesie. My sunburned back tells the tale of how the mesh portion covering my back apparently doesn't pretect against UV rays. Hooray.
Transition 2
  • 04m 44s
Comments:

Got off the bike, took exactly two steps and nearly fell over. Stood a second, said something along the lines of "whoa," and then jogged to my gear bag. Jogging apparently pleased the crowd, especially seeing as I was the only one not walking to the change tent. I was drawing on my baseball experience where we always had to "hustle out there." Into the tent with the bags to switch it up to my run clothes.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. T2 was smooth like butter. Solid gold dancers, even.

I guess I didn't need my Fuel Belt - in it I had 2 gels and a Clif Bar (no bottles) which I never ended up touching. Oh well.
Run
  • 5h 24m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 22s  min/mile
Comments:

I didn't really have a nutrition plan per se for the run, which ended up working out for me. I figured I should take something in at every aid station, lest I dehydrate and start to bonk. I started out doing GE/H20 then H20/banana for the first 6 stations or so. Then I just did it by whatever I felt like. I tried the cola and chicken broth, which never really did much for me. In fact, I very nearly puked up the first chicken broth I tried. It just wasn't doing it for me at all.

The first loop felt okay, as evidenced by how it was considerably faster than the second two. I jogged for the first 4 miles or so, then adopted a strategy of run 5 minutes / walk 1 minute. That worked for a while, as it was interspersed with walking the aid stations. I walked all the steep downhills too, since I had some latent calf pain from early on in the bike that never really went away. The last .5 mile or so of the run course was great - you come off the bridge through a chute of roaring spectators, which was great motivation for bypassing the "to the finish" signs.
The second loop felt okay but not great. My 5/1 became 5/2, and occasionally 5/3 while still walking all of the aid stations. The stations felt a little too close together, and occasionally I would hit them and not really want to take in anything. That's when the cookies came into play - I have never tasted trans fat so tasty in all my life. I altered the nutrition plan to GE/H20 then H20/cookies, which worked for a while. I took in coke a few times, grapes a few times, and still stayed away from the broth. At about the halfway point of loop 2 I got my SN bag, and just took a handful of Mike and Ikes from the giant box that I put in. Best decision of my life. I commented on how they were the "Greatest Things Ever" which got a big laugh from the crowd. Stole a quick kiss from Nina, then I was back on my merry way. The sun was dipping behind the horizon at this point, and knowing that I only had one more lap to go felt pretty damn good.
The third loop saw me walking more than on the other two laps, despite the fact that it was faster than loop 2. I was leap-frogging with a woman who was a lap behind me and trying to break 15h30. We kept encouraging each other to continue pushing, and to smile. The winds were still howling, but I knew that with each step I was one closer to the line.
On the last crossing up over the Priest Ave. bride I hooked up with 2 people (the guy was named Eric...don't remember the girl's) and we ran the last length up to the final bridge together. One more aid station, when I finally kept down some chicken broth. We came up that last brutally steep hill, past the motivational scoreboard dealy (#161 T. VanWormer - "Run Tyler Run!" Infinite thanks to my awesome wife Nina!)and then I was crossing the Mill Ave. bridge for the final time before the line. There were fewer spectators as the hour was getting late (8h15p or so) but I got a lot of high-fives. One guy said something to me that will stay with me for a while. After we shook/slapped hands, he said "there goes an Ironman everybody." The feeling was indescribable. Pure exhiliration and joy - the most positive non-crying catharsis you can imagine. Down the last hill, hard right and turn and into the chute. I made the turn and saw I was right behind a guy crossing with his wife and little son, so I slowed way down so as not to ruin their picture. Some guy zoomed past me for some reason, but I figured I'd stop and give him his photo op to. I wasn't gunning for Kona, so another 10 seconds wouldn't change much. I came across the line, fist pumping for the photo. 13:16:58!

What would you do differently?:

In retrospect, nothing. I finished well over an hour faster than my estimated time of 14:30 - 15:00, so I was obviously psyched about that. The by the seat of my pants nutrition strategy worked out, in no small part due to the Ironman gods smiling on me. I thanked as many volunteers as I could, ran as much as I was able, and tried to soak in every minute of it.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the line and was met with a space blanket and another photo up. Met up with Nina who had my parents on the phone. I tried to eat a piece of pizza, and got about 1/3 of the way through it before stopping. Nothing could keep that in me. I walked a few minutes, then put my name down on the massage list. My right leg was absolutely wrecking me, and the massage didn't help much. 2 days later it hurts even with crutches.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The wind, not being used to riding an aero front wheel or a disk, and never having run farther than 19 miles. Can't complain, though.

Event comments:

The people at NA Sports do excellent work. The whole thing was exactly what I wanted my Ironman experience to be. Nervous, gut wrenchingly difficult but oh so worth it.

One spectator had a sign that I think sums up the whole day pretty damn well:
"Enjoy the pain."
I enjoyed the hell out of the pain. I can't believe it's over, but in a way I'm thankful it is. Another IM may be on the horizion, but probably not until IMFL 08 at the earliest.




Last updated: 2007-04-17 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:03:24 | 4224 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/90
Overall: 272/2100
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex Full
Course: 2.4 mile one loop swim. Start just east of the Mill Ave. bridges, turn about 300m past Rural Rd. then back.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 05:43
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
06:28:40 | 112 miles | 17.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/90
Overall: 909/2100
Performance: Good
Speed is adjusted to take out transition times listed on the web. My right calf seized up (not a cramp, though) about 20 minutes into the bike. I couldn't massage it away, and electrolytes weren't doing much for the pain. So I just decided to follow the BT mantra and suck it up buttercup.
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: 3 loop course through Tempe and out up the Beeline. Tailwind going out, ridiculously strong headwind coming back. I was riding Zipp 909s, which may not have been the best choice. The disk felt fine in the back, but for me even the 404 front was squirrely in the wind. May have been better off on my old Bontrager Selects. The only real hill was at the tail end of the out portion, going up to Shea Blvd. and the turnaround. U-turn was pretty tight, and at one point I came within inches of missing the timing mat.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 04:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
05:24:00 | 26.2 miles | 12m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/90
Overall: 1009/2100
Performance: Average
Course: 3 loops of out and back madness around the shores of Tempe Town Lake. Headwind on all segments when we ran west, tailwind when running to the east.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %5
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2007-04-17 4:21 PM

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Master
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Subject: Ironman Arizona


2007-04-17 4:26 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Master
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Pulaski TN
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great Job Tyler!!
2007-04-17 4:41 PM
in reply to: #765395

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome job out there!!!!
2007-04-17 5:34 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Pro
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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congradulations on a great race!!!
2007-04-17 6:15 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Pro
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MAC-opolis
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations ironman!!
2007-04-17 7:01 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Master
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Tyler, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Monster swim! 

(Even those ridiculously fast Kenyon College swimmers will be impressed that you're an Ironman!)



2007-04-17 7:03 PM
in reply to: #765519

Champion
6539
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South Jersey
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job, Tyler! You executed an excellent race, and congrats on smashing your goal time! Your wife sounds like the best support & jockstrapper ever. CONGRATULATIONS!
2007-04-17 7:50 PM
in reply to: #765395

Extreme Veteran
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Northern California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job!  Congratulations Ironman!
2007-04-17 8:00 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Official BT Coach
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Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats on a great race!  You crushed your swim time!  Way to go Ironman!
2007-04-17 8:18 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Expert
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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congratulations on a great race and I enjoyed the report.

Ernie 

2007-04-17 8:22 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Extreme Veteran
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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
what an awesome testimate to IM!!! this really gives me encouragmeent for my first full is Nov for IMFL...i will definately come back to your report and find more strength! If you have any nutrional advice..please shoot me some thoughts.

Good work Ironman!


2007-04-18 6:18 AM
in reply to: #765395

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Expert
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San Diego
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job Tyler. I saw you a few times but couldn't get out a "Go Tyler!"
2007-04-19 8:20 AM
in reply to: #765395

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Elite
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Evans, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great work! Nice to meet you at the race. Great job on surpassing your goals.
2007-04-19 1:17 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Expert
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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Man, after all that anticipation! You did great!!!! You included some good details in your RR I had forgotten about. Cool writeup! And congrats!
2007-04-19 1:38 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great report.  Congratulations IronMan!
2007-04-19 3:11 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Got Wahoo?
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San Antonio
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great race!!


2007-04-19 7:48 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Elite
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Hendersonville
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
What a great race report! A huge congrats on beating your time goal! How awesome!!
2007-04-19 10:29 PM
in reply to: #765395

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Master
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New York
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Thought I'd throw up a few photos, since the ASI ones are available now.



(Ironman finish.jpg)



(Ironman bike.jpg)



(Ironman run.jpg)



Attachments
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Ironman finish.jpg (26KB - 36 downloads)
Ironman bike.jpg (31KB - 37 downloads)
Ironman run.jpg (35KB - 38 downloads)
2007-05-29 7:56 AM
in reply to: #765395

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Extreme Veteran
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Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great report Tyler!  I enjoyed going along on the journey with you as you wrote it -- Thanks --
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