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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 12h 16m 43s
Overall Rank = 608/2066
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 152/426
Pre-race routine:

Carey and I left Austin on Friday and drove to Carlsbad, New Mexico. On Saturday, we went to Carlsbad Caverns. Very cool place. We entered via the natural entrance which has you walk nearly 800 feet down to the Big Room. There were times when there was no one any where near us and it was so dead quiet. On Sunday, we drove the rest of the way to Phoenix. Carey's parents were there and her sister and brother-in-law came in on Tuesday. Thursday we went to the Grand Canyon and got caught in a damn snowstorm that dumped 2 inches on us!

My parents arrived on Thursday as well and we basically hung out the rest of the week. I did some practice rides on Beeline and some practice swims in the lake.

I hit the dinner on Friday and met several of the BTers.
Event warmup:

I got up about 4:15 on Sunday and had a couple of English muffins with peanut butter, some Gatorade, and a couple of chocolate chip cookies. I got all my transition bags set up and we headed to the race site. I tried to get loose and stretch a bit while waiting to get in the water.

Once in the water I swam down to the start line to try to get warm and loose. Waiting around for another 15 minutes definitely sucked. I grabbed a seat on the retaining wall.
  • 1h 18m 48s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

Ugh. This was a lousy swim in so many ways. Like any IM, the start was a washing machine, but this lasted FAR longer than IMLP did. I think it had to do with the fact that the swim start area isn't as wide as LP.

I couldn't find any good feet to draft off of and I was getting knocked around pretty consistently. I don't know what some people were sighting on, but it got pretty damn frustrating when they would swim into me, do it again on the next stroke, and then do it again. Hello?! There's STILL a body here.

I started giving nicknames to some of them. For a little while I was behind a guy I called "Bumper Boy". I swear he was swimming by feel. He'd meander to the right until he bumped in to someone. Then he'd meander to the left until he hit someone else. He just wobbled his way down the course, pinballing off the other swimmers.

Anyway. I was pretty disappointed coming out of the water in almost 1:19. That's 8 minutes slower than LP.
What would you do differently?:

Don't know, honestly. I think one of the biggest factors is that I just couldn't find a good pair of feet to get on.
Transition 1
  • 06m 37s

T1 was marginal. I got stripped coming out of the water and headed through transition. They make you run all the way down the length of bags and then back up, which confused me since I just hopped over the lines of bags to my row. Anyway. I definitely lost some time getting the bag open. They had attached some kind of tag to the string on the bag which wouldn't let it open easily. I never did find out what it was for, but getting a helmet out of a bag that it barely fit in to begin with is challenging.
  • 5h 45m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.45 mile/hr

I started the bike with no nutrition or hydration. I just waited until the first aid station to grab some Gatorade and put it in my cage. At then end of the station, I grabbed another bottle and drank a bunch of it down and pitched it. I only used a single bottle cage for the whole race.

The first lap was pretty good. The wind was relatively light so I moved along pretty well. The second lap, the wind had picked up a LOT. Somehow, though, I managed to go faster on the second lap than the first. I'm not sure how that worked out.

The third lap was tough, because the wind had picked up even more and coming back on the last leg was very mentally taxing. That was my slowest lap, but I still averaged almost 19.5 for the whole race. I imagine I would have been 10-15 minutes faster without so much wind.

I managed to pass nearly 800 people on the bike according to the results. That's an amazing number to me and it really doesn't seem like I caught up to that many bikes.
What would you do differently?:

Just like IMLP last year, I think one of my big limiters was just lack of focus during training. I didn't get in enough long rides building up to the race. I talked myself out of workouts too easily when the weather was bad or it was cold and I didn't make up for it by hitting the trainer.
Transition 2
  • 02m 56s

Good T2. Cruised in to the dismount line and hopped right off. Dumped the bike off to a volunteer, grabbed my bag, and sat right down on the grass to make my transition. I ran through the change tent, dropped the bag, and got some more sunscreen slapped on.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 5h 02m 57s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 34s  min/mile

I was defintely disappointed here. I really felt like I was prepared for the run. I had done a bunch of long 16-20 mile runs at a very nice sub-9 minute pace. I was doing okay for the first several miles.

About 5 or 6 miles in, my ankles really started to bother me and I had to take some breaks to try and get them shaken out. My first lap ended up a little over 10-minute miles.

The second lap started about the same until the first aid station. I was downing either pretzels and water or coke at each station. I grabbed some pretzels and ended up with a little piece tickling my throat and making me cough. With my upper body muscles still completely wiped from the swim, I ended up straining my back muscles coughing! I felt like someone had an iron band strapped around my chest. I couldn't take a deep breath. My second lap pace dropped to over 13-minute miles.

The third lap, my back started to loosen up and I was able to pick the pace back up. The pace for it ended up being around 10:30 for that lap.

Coming over the bridge for the finish of course got the adrenaline going and I ran in to the finish pretty strong.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know what I could have done differently. The bike training I mentioned may have been a factor, but I was still bummed that I wasn't able to hold a better pace after some very solid run training.
Post race
Warm down:

After getting across the line, I got signed up for a massage. My parents went and got all of my transition stuff and my bike for me while I waited. After a quick massage, I was ready for some food and I had been dreaming about the In-N-Out burger every one talks about over the last part of the run, so we drove around a bit trying to find one. Before anyone asks, we couldn't easily get to the one on Scottsdale Rd (I think it was). We finally found one and it hit the spot. It wasn't out of this world or anything, but it was definitely tasty.

The next morning, I was actually feeling pretty good. We got up and got all of our stuff together, got the car loaded, and then hit the road about 11. I ended up driving the whole damn way. We got in to Austin at about 4 a.m., if I remember right.

Recovery has gone well. I was moving around really well by Tuesday afternoon. I even ran down 5 flights of stairs when we had a fire alarm go off in the building.

Now that I've finally gotten this race report done, it's time to get back on the stick and start building some speed for the shorter races coming up. I was really planning on running last night, but we had a series of very cool thunderstorms roll in.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

In a word: training. I was doing well early on, but work, weather, and insufficient drive caused me to miss way too many workouts in the heart of the training. The one place where I thought I was best trained is where I ended up doing the worst. Of course, that was probably payment for the lousy training in the other 2 areas.

If I do another one (IMFL in '08, if anything), the biggest factor will be maintaining a good base all along. After IMLP last year, I didn't do anything for almost 5 months and had to start from way behind. If I keep from doing that, I should be much better off.

Event comments:

Any official IM race is going to be an event and typically well-run. My biggest gripe is the post-race area. Once through the finish chute, they direct you back into the Ironman village. They send you through a small gap in a chain link fence. The massage table is right in that narrow crowded area. That's great because you don't have to go far, it sucks because it become a huge bottleneck. They need to reorganize that area so it's not so narrow and crowded. It was nuts in there.

Last updated: 2006-12-02 12:00 AM
01:18:48 | 4224 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 273/426
Overall: 1223/2066
Performance: Below average
Suit: Promotion sleeveless
Course: Single lap
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:37
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:45:27 | 112 miles | 19.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 83/426
Overall: 342/2066
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Three loop out and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:02:57 | 26.2 miles | 11m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 218/426
Overall: 967/2066
Performance: Bad
Course: Three laps
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2007-05-03 10:21 AM

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Austin, TX
Gold member
Subject: Ironman Arizona

2007-05-03 10:30 AM
in reply to: #786982

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Austin, TX
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
It only took me 2 1/2 weeks, but the RR is done!
2007-05-03 10:41 AM
in reply to: #786982

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congrats on getting through a tough race that didn't go quite to plan--what IM does I guess?

How was your power on the bike?  That looks like a very solid ride given the wind everyone talked about.  I'd guess that could have had a big impact on your run.

Still, great job overall!

P.S.  I tried a pretzel at Timberman last year and had a similar experience.  Think I'll avoid them from now on.

2007-05-03 10:41 AM
in reply to: #786982

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Extreme Veteran
Round Rock, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Incredible job again!   Way to hang in there and gut out a tough day.
2007-05-03 10:45 AM
in reply to: #786982

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Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Way to stick with it and completing your 2nd IM.... Great job
2007-05-03 10:59 AM
in reply to: #787022

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Austin, TX
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Average power was about 179, about 10 watts lower than my long training rides..

2007-05-03 11:04 AM
in reply to: #786982

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great job, Dennis. It was all that running on the concrete paths that probably zapped your ankles, I hate running on concrete.
2007-05-03 11:33 AM
in reply to: #786982

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2007-05-03 11:39 AM
in reply to: #786982

Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Way to perservere on a tough day.  Congratulations on finishing your 2nd IM.  One IM in a lifetime is a great accomplishment.  More than one is .... (can't think of the right adjective).


2007-05-03 12:54 PM
in reply to: #787001

Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job, man.  Dude, all of those problems, lack of training and you STILL did 12+ hours?  Awesome.


2007-05-03 2:28 PM
in reply to: #787305

Austin, TX
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
It's all relative, isn't it?

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