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Ford Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 15h 20m 23s
Overall Rank = 1596/2066
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 159/203
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:30 & wasn't feeling 100%. Caught a cold that started on Friday. Downed 2 bottles of Ensure, a bagel & drank a bottle of water. Took the 5:30 shuttle to the race site & dropped the SN bags and took care of the bike...put on the wetsuit.
Interesting to see 2000 athletes going about their business of preparing, everyone just moves throught the process without much difficulty.
Event warmup:

Yeah, right...
It was an incredible sight treading water for the swim start to look back at the bridge lined with hundreds of spectators...
  • 1h 17m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

First mistake of the day, I have been steadily improving in my swim so I thought I would start at the front in the middle, BAD MOVE. The cannon goes off & I get thrashed by arms & legs. For some reason my wetsuit starts feeling too tight around my chest & I can't breathe. I stopped, looked around & then the thought crossed my mind that I can't finish the swim like this, is my day over? What the hell is going on? That's what I said to myself and it was a sinking, no pun intended, feeling. I decided to head to the river bank & maybe just hold onto something & catch my breath and at about 50 yards from the side, in clear water, all of the sudden this calm comes over me, the wetsuit isn't tight anymore, I turned to the buoys and started swimming.

Swam just fine to the turn where some guy comes from behind and tangles in my legs almost pulling off my timing chip. Now I have to stop again and try to secure the chip around my ankle. This is not easy and as I'm trying to tighten it and stay afloat my legs start cramping. I decide to take the chip & put it around my wrist but after a few strokes it didn't feel like it would stay so I took it off and stuffed it in my wetsuit and continued on to the finish.
Weird thing in a mass start like this, I'm swimming downleg in clear water and a few times, out of nowhere, bodies come knocking into me. I'm swimming a good line & I just don't know where these swimmers are coming from...
What would you do differently?:

I executed poor strategy. My first IM and had I started back further and to the side I think I would have completed this in a much better time.
Transition 1
  • 07m 53s

I get out of the water a little dizzy as normal but had the presence of mind to grab my timing chip as the strippers took of the wetsuit & secured back around my ankle.
Into the changing tent & coming in from the bright AZ sun it's dark and a little disorienting at first, I found an open chair towards the back corner & got the bike gear on.
Walk out to the bike rack, still a little fuzzy from the swim, and I'm searching the rack for my bike that is being held in plain sight by a volunteer! Get this...I then take the bike & try to mount it right there as the volunteer says "sir, you can't mount the bike in here." Oh yeah, I know that...That may have been the my last laugh of a long day but probably not for that volunteer.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, 1st time so next time I'll know what to expect & of course I already know about that "don't mount the bike in T1" rule...
  • 7h 03m 42s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.86 mile/hr

Enough has already been said. One of the toughest rides I've ever done. Worried about dehydration, I started out drinking lots of fluids and had to stop at most of the aid stations to urinate. BTW - I'm not peeing on my bike, I understand why a pro has to & what you do on your bike is your business but I ain't doin that to my bike.
The outbound legs were easy, the return legs were the ride from hell & the wind increased from loop 1 to loop 2 & 3.
I tried to maintain nutrition & I probably consumed too many gels which I think caused my problems on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Maintain a better nutrition plan. With all of the effort and difficulty dealing with the wind, I fell off my nutrition plan & can't really tell you what I consumed other than many gels & several bottles of water and Gatorade.

Transition 2
  • 10m 1s

As I recall, this went pretty smoothly , didn't seem like it took 10 minutes though.
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile

The plan was to run 2 mile segments & take about a 1/10 mile walk break as I had done in training. got through the first 2 & the legs were just not responding yet so, I decided to walk it a bit& try to get the legs back. About mile 5 or so a headache starts to settle in and every time I start to run my heart rate spikes, I thought this was from the cold but it was classic symptoms of dehydration. I was drinking fluids at every aid station & also hitting the port-o-let because it was not being absorbed. Probably the result of too many gels & Gatorade.
I couldn't wait to get to SN at mile 14 and retrive a long sleeve jersey and get some Tylenol. The jersey helped knock off the wind and it took about 3 miles or so for the Tylenol to take effect.
I walked about 90% of this & tried to keep it brisk. Met and chatte with several people at various stages several of whom had been really slammed by the bike segment. Many of thos had done this race last year in 11 or 12 hours and were hoping to do better this year.
Hit the final bridge and of course ran from there down the finishing chute. Pretty cool, I just finished an Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I was really looking forward to a massage but the massage tent closed the minute I came across the line...not happy about that.
My wife & son met me for french fries & pizza.

Event comments:

We enjoyed Phoenix, saw the Bodyworlds exhibit and since my wife is an architect we also took a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West studios.
What a great experience the Ironman is and I think I learned a few things:
1. Follow the advice you give others, advice like "make a plan and stick with it"
2. If your'e going to start with the big dogs, you had better act like one.
3. IM is quite a logistical challenge especially flying across country so make lots of to do lists.
4. I enjoyed the experience and can't wait to do the next one

Last updated: 2006-05-18 12:00 AM
01:17:09 | 4224 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/203
Overall: 0/2066
Performance: Below average
Suit: Orca Sleeveless
Course: 1 long loop
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:53
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:03:42 | 112 miles | 15.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/203
Overall: 0/2066
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: 3 brutal loops into the desert & back to Tempe.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 10:01
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/203
Overall: 0/2066
Performance: Below average
Course: 3 loops
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-04-20 9:22 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: Ford Ironman Arizona

2007-04-20 10:18 AM
in reply to: #769788

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Albuquerque, NM
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona
Great Job!!! Good swim time considering all you went through. It was a long windy day, but you did it. Congrats IRONMAN!!!
2007-04-20 10:50 AM
in reply to: #769788

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona
Congratulations on becoming an Ironman! Thanks for sharing your race with us.
2007-04-20 11:55 AM
in reply to: #769788

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona
I hear ya on the swimmers coming from nowhere!  I had that happen a few times.   great job on your first IM!
2007-04-20 7:00 PM
in reply to: #769788

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona
WOW great job!!!!  I walked most of my IM marathon too   Congratulations!!!
2007-04-21 11:49 AM
in reply to: #769788

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Bay Area, CA
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona

Sounds like the swim was the big surprise for you, way to stay calm and not let it ruin your whole day.

Swimmers swimming into you - these people I call the "zigzag ninjas."  Out of nowhere there they are, then off they go again in a different direction...

Great job!

2007-04-21 11:59 AM
in reply to: #769788

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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Arizona
Nice job!!  Looks like you made it through a really windy day!  Totally stinks that you couldn't get a massage!  Well congrats on becoming an IM!
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