Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 10h 27m 35s
Overall Rank = 177/2771
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 13/147
Pre-race routine:

I went to get ART treatment @ the IM expo all three days prior to the race. I was having problems with minor tightness in my quads all week. I'm sure it was just in my mind, but I wanted to feel 100% on race day. After this past week, I'm now a believer in this treatment and I think I'm going to start making it a routine to get a session in once a week.

I met up with Nick, my coach, on Thursday and we went over race strategy and discussed nutrition. I had a race goal of sub 10:30 with plans to go closer to 10 on an ideal day. My goal this year wasn't just to finish, but to finish as fast as possible. I wanted to leave it "all out on the line" and I can truthfully say I did just that on Sunday.

Race morning: Got up at 4:15, ate 4 eggs (two with yoke, two without), 1 Slimfast, and oatmeal. Packed my special needs and left the house at 5. Checked the weather forecast really quick and it didn't look pretty... wind gusts picking up throughout the day and a 50% chance of rain. Got to transition at 5:15, double checked bike/run bags, dropped off special needs backs, filled bike bento box, set up Garmin, pumped up tires, ate a Clif bar, and went potty. Bobby was there to grab all my morning clothes, pump, etc. He was my #1 sherpa for the day.
Event warmup:

Body glided the hell out of my body. I decided to wear the Zoot CompressRX tri shorts and I tend to chafe a little on more on long rides or runs when I wear these. Went potty again, put on my wetsuit, and I was ready to go. I hung out with Bobby, Dean, and Chad... and just tried to calm the nerves. Ran into Dirk and we jumped in the water together.
  • 1h 12m 59s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

I knew I'd be around this time but was hoping to be a few minutes faster. I started to the far left about 3 rows back... A lot of people started there because I got kicked and punched way more than last year. Even though the course is straight forward I seemed to have trouble sighting. I was way off course coming back west. I kept missing the sighting buoys.
What would you do differently?:

Master swim instruction. I need to get my swim at least 10 minutes faster if I ever want to contend in my age group.
Transition 1
  • 03m 47s

Swim was 42 seconds slower than last year but T1 was 2:43 faster. I tried to limit the stuff I had to do in T1 in this year and I was a lot faster.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster so there's less clutter in transition.

  • 5h 30m 4s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.36 mile/hr

1st lap: There was a strong head wind heading from the south all day. It made for a fast split up the Beeline, but the headwind coming down was brutal. As you can see on my HR graph, my heart rate was almost constant throughout the whole ride (usually it drops 4-5 beats heading back south). The cross winds as I headed back to Tempe were also scary at times. It was the first time racing a disc and it made me nervous a few times. Winds = 15-20 mph

2nd lap: Winds = 25 mph... and then it started raining and hailing. I've become a whimp training in AZ. I rarely have to deal with rain. I train almost every day of the year and there is probably only a couple days of the year the year it will effect my training. Of course, Sunday had to be one of those days. It was actually sort of fun in a weird way. I could hear people whining and everyones style of riding seemed to change. Everyone slowed way down and I made many passes on the 2nd loop. Saw Bryan (bryancd) on the turnaround at Shea screaming my name. :)

3rd lap: Windiest out of the three laps. ~35+ mph. On all my long rides, I was used to having a coke or redbull around mile 100. It was my "treat" to myself. I decided to tape a redbull in between my aerobars and drank it at mile 101. This always gave me a kick start to my brick runs.

I have become MUCH stronger on the bike compared to last year. Both my speeds and power have increased significantly. However, my bike splits were IDENTICAL to last year.... to the second!! I really wanted to go 5:10-5:15, but the conditions just weren't right on this day.

This year: I made 466 passes on the bike, 29 passes in my age group.
2009: 224 passes on the bike, 6 passes in my age group.


142 AVG HR

Goal was to be 140-150 on the bike.

HR Graph:

NUTRITION: Gel every 35-40 minutes, 2 electrolytes every 45 minutes, 1 PB&J sandwich every 1.5 hours, and a Redbull at mile 101.

What would you do differently?:

Push a little harder. Nick and I discussed my HR zones on the bike and we looked at all my past long rides. My HR had all been within 138-142. We accounted this low HR to the many traffic light stops that I usually encounter on my long rides, so we added 4-5 beats to this. I also really wanted to put together a strong run so I wanted to be safe and stay on the lower end of my HR zone and feel strong on the run. Lap 1 average HR was 140, lap 2 = 142, lap 3 = 143.

If I had to do this race all over again, I think I would try to stick to 145-147 and be more on the mid-upper part of my zone. He warned me on Thursday, however, that I can't fall into the trap of hammering on the bike and having a sub par marathon. I'm glad I played it safe and put together a good run.
Transition 2
  • 01m 58s

55 Seconds faster than last year.
What would you do differently?:

Run faster to T2. My legs felt really wobbly off the bike but I knew I'd snap out of it.
  • 3h 38m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 21s  min/mile

I read this article by Chrissie Wellington about a month before the race that I kept thinking about on the run. One thing she said was, "don't be afraid to go fast... even in iron distance races." I knew going into the race that I'm still a ways away from qualifying, but I wanted to really test myself on the run. I told myself before the race: No more settling in at 9:00 miles just because I'm "used to it", no more walking, and no more settling for being a mediocre runner. I want running to be my strength.

I had the best run of my life on Sunday. I felt great at the start and I PRed my stand alone marathon time by 7 minutes and my IM mary time by 30 minutes.

Mile 1-2: Linsey lapped me at mile 1.25 and we ran stride-for-stride for a half mile. This was a dream come true and I told her she is my inspiration. I knew I had to back off her pace or I'd destroy my race. I was praying for someone to have a camera, but I guess people will just have to take my word that I really ran with her :)

UPDATE: Here's proof!

Mile 2-5: I passed Brian Folts. I have a lot of respect for this guy. He is my age and he's usually a podium finisher at most of the local races. I also passed Colin (hockeyhands) who is also in my age group. As I ran past the Ford inspirational message board, I saw a message from Sally that said "HTFU!" This made me laugh.

Mile 5-19: Paced with Sonja (3rd OA female amateur and took 1st in W30-34). We didn't say much but I helped her out because everyone was giving me splits on Karleen's time (it was a battle between 1st and 2nd in that age group). We were running stride for stride for 15 miles. I knew we were beginning to slow at the later miles but she helped me keep pushing. I was giving it everything I possibly had. I went through MANY rough patches. Nick told me that I'd have these and I just need to run through them. He was right, I was suffering, but after 1-2 miles the pain went away.

Mile 19-24: This is where I entered the pain cave. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Sonja must have dropped to 8:00 miles because she chicked me fast and actually ended up beating Karleen at the end by a few seconds. I remember seeing Nick on the later stages of the run and he kept telling me that this is where I had to dig deep! I had a grimace on my face for these last miles, and I was trying to pick up the pace. Before the race, I spent hours mentally preparing for this one part of the race. I told myself to remember all the intense track practices, grueling 120+ mile rides, and all the pain, sweat, and suffering I've experienced to get to this one moment. This is where all the hard training would pay off. It's what defines the true athletes to "course clutter." Oh, and I lapped Chad at mile 18 or so. He was looking strong.. and happy. I ignored him.

Mile 25-26: This was the best part of the day... when I crossed the bridge and came back to all the cheering spectators... And most importantly, saw the sign that says, "TO FINISH." It's the point of the race where somehow all the pain magically goes away. I tried to soak in the finish this year... I remember running down the finisher's chute and looking at crowd in the stands. I saw the overall time, 10:27:35, raised my arms in the air (hopefully smiling), and then fell over on the railing towards the right. I had to be carried to the medical tent for an IV. I remember seeing Sally (riorio) and she had a worried look on her face. I didn't get my finisher photo :(

It's funny, I made a race out of something that didn't really matter. I was racing the most competitive women's age group (W30-34).Three out of the top five amateur females belonged in this age group. The ENTIRE day, I was trying to catch Karleen from my mediocre swim. She was up 16 minutes on me out of T1, I trimmed it down to about 8 minutes off the bike, and I got within 1:41 of her on the run. She was my main training partner this year and I knew we'd be close. I just didn't have enough at the end to catch her.

AVG HR 157

1 00:07:41 1.00 07:41 155bpm
2 00:07:23 1.00 07:23 155
3 00:07:42 1.00 07:42 156
4 00:07:42 1.00 07:42 154
5 00:07:43 1.00 07:43 157
6 00:08:04 1.00 08:04 156
7 00:07:31 1.00 07:31 156
8 00:07:55 1.00 07:55 157
9 00:07:55 1.00 07:55 157
10 00:08:02 1.00 08:02 157
11 00:07:46 1.00 07:46 156
12 00:08:17 1.00 08:17 154
13 00:08:14 1.00 08:14 152
14 00:08:16 1.00 08:16 149
15 00:08:33 1.00 08:33 147
16 00:08:41 1.00 08:41 149
17 00:08:45 1.00 08:45 150
18 00:08:45 1.00 08:45 159
19 00:08:50 1.00 08:50 150
20 00:08:19 1.00 08:19 161
21 00:08:59 1.00 08:59 161
22 00:09:05 1.00 09:05 161
23 00:08:57 1.00 08:57 158
24 00:09:00 1.00 09:00 165
25 00:08:57 1.00 08:57 168
26 00:08:51 1.00 08:51 169
What would you do differently?:

I feel I raced this marathon to the best of my abilities.

NUTRITION: Powerbar Gel every 25 minutes and I was able to eat these for the entire run. Held a mini bottle of water that I kept refilling at aid stations. Two cups of Coke at the end.

2009: Gained 8 AG spots, 5 places overall.
This year: Gained 13 AG spots, I moved up 103 places overall.

... and only chicked by 5 amateur females!

Post race
Warm down:

I felt like crap for the rest of the night but I hung out to see most of my friends finish their races. I put on my Zoot compression tights and hung out with Nicole, Dean, and Bobby. I was also interviewed by an AZ newspaper reporter :)

I saw Karleen at the end and congratulated her on her KQ. We both trained incredibly hard this year and I feel it paid off for both of us. I made significant improvements from last year and I have to remember, I'm not even 2 years into this sport. I will get to Kona some day.

I joined Durapulse this past year and I'm glad I did. If anyone is serious about this sport, I'd strongly encourage you to consider Nick Goodman. I didn't think I could possibly get much stronger than last year, but he has made me into a much stronger athlete. Also, the athletes associated with Durapulse are such great group of people... friendly, but VERY competitive... which is exactly what I need to get myself to the next level. I'd like to thank each of you guys for training with me throughout the year: Bryan (bryancd), Karleen, Joe, Teri, Dirk, Stephen, John and others. It's been a great year!

Durapulse IMAZ athletes:

8:26:15 Jozsef Major 5th Overall Male
10:22:41 Karleen Dirmantas 2nd AG W30-34
10:27:35 Elliot Kawaoka
11:04:59 Joe Zitar
11:05:50 Jeff Westcott
11:20:18 Sam Perry
11:40:01 Dirk Ross
11:54:56 Teri Twarkins
12:36:57 Ryan Landefeld
12:46:09 Diana Heintz
12:51:56 Randy Gerke
13:56:12 Shawn Hardy
14:06:23 Kevin McCann
14:27:23 Kevin Preble

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Strong winds, hail/rain on bike.

Event comments:

Thanks to ALL my friends for spectating and volunteering. It was nice to meet Colin (hockeyhands). We got a ride in together before the race... and his dad and him took me out to breakfast the morning after the race. I'm sure we will meet up again at a future race and he'll be a strong contender in our age group. Special thanks to Dean and Bobby for spectating ALL day long. It was was cool to see Sally (my arch nemesis), Becca, and Tanya at transition... and my coach and other teammates for encouraging me throughout the day. Also, all the BTers yelling my name, holding up signs, and taking pictures... it was a very special day for me. I wish I signed for IMAZ 2011, but I'm out of money :(

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-11-29 12:00 AM
01:12:59 | 4224 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 65/147
Overall: 746/2771
Performance: Average
Suit: TYR Hurricane
Course: Rectangle course from bridge to bridge.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:47
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
05:30:04 | 112 miles | 20.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 26/147
Overall: 280/2771
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: Three loops from Tempe up the Beeline to Shea and back.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 91
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:58
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:38:47 | 26.2 miles | 08m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/147
Overall: 177/2771
Performance: Good
Course: Three figure-8 loops around the lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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