Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
65F / 18C
Total Time = 11h 53m 18s
Overall Rank = 599/~2500
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 103/399
Pre-race routine:

First off, I should mention that this whole race/trip became considerably harder with the arrival of a NASTY sinus infection that started on Monday the week of the race. It got worse with each passing day, and by the night before the race, I felt like hell. Could not get hydrated, no matter how much H2O I drank, and coupled with the steady intake of DayQuil/NyQuil, I was not overly optimistic about my chances to finish this one with any goal. The night before, I had pretty much lost my voice and could not breathe through my nose.

Up at 4:30AM, downed a 1/4 bottle of DayQuil, showered, inhaled a couple of Erin Baker's cookies + a 5hr energy. Packed up the car and headed down to the race site, with a stop at 7-Eleven for a 24 oz. coffee. Got to transition and put some arm warmers in my T1 bag and dropped off my run special needs (a tech tee, just in case).
Event warmup:

None. No warm-up swims at IMAZ.
  • 1h 19m 35s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

I was a little cold waiting for the start, mostly due to being sick. Seeded myself mid-pack, about 10 deep. Start was OK, about what I expected as far as the aqua-wrestling. Sighting was not so great - by the time we were 2/3 of the way to the turnaround, I realized that myself (and about 600-800 others) had completely missed the dogleg on the course and were now about 50 metres inside the yellow buoys. Straightened out, which involved a little more hand-hand with my fellow competitors and rounded the turnaround (luckily) just before the sun was completely up over the horizon. The return went much smoother, mostly due to the field having spread out. Navigated my way back in mostly by following the kayakers.
What would you do differently?:

Decent swim for me. I think I was a few seconds slower than CdA, but with the condition I was in at the start, I was ecstatic to see my swim time once I was in T1.
Transition 1
  • 10m 42s

I had no intention of rushing T1, since I had a sinus infection and wanted to be damn sure I was comfortable to start the bike. Changed into dry tri shorts and a dry tri top, completely dried myself, then took some more time to don arm warmers, which I despise (but grew to love as a result of this race - more on that later). Popped another decongestant tab and headed out for 112 miles of fun....
What would you do differently?:

If not sick, would like to get my full-IM T1 time down to something more respectable (~ 4 mins). Not gonna lose sleep over it though.
  • 5h 46m 56s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.37 mile/hr

Bike started out well. The decongestants were working and I felt somewhat normal heading out towards the Beeline turnaround. The wind hadn't really picked up yet and I was pulling good speed (24-26 mph), HR was great and my legs felt strong. Started raining about 3 miles from the Beeline turnaround - I'm thinking "no biggie, I did IM Boise 09' and this is kiddie stuff compared to that one". Hit the first turnaround and go@@amnit, what's that hissing sound? Great...flat rear tire. My worst nightmare. Pulled past the aid station and two guys (I don't even think they were official volunteers) were sitting there in a pickup truck and they calmed me down (I was pissed at this point). One held my frame off the ground while I took my 808 off the back. The other one was there to help me take some screws off the disc cover and I hit the flat with my can of Vittoria Pit-Stop. It was looking like it might work, but no cigar - still hissing. Took a peek and something had cut about a 4mm slit right in the center of my Conti Gatorskin. At this point I was down about 7 mins. Took out my razor blade and cut the tubular which then came off no problem. Unwrapped my spare and got it on the rim with very little trouble, centered up, then one of my pit crew was there to pump it back up. Success! I'm back in the game. Total time lost to this whole fiasco was ~15 mins, but I was just happy to be back in the game. Whomever those two guys were, thank-you, big-time!. Cleaned up my garbage and headed off to finish the remaining 95 miles. The remainder of the bike was mostly uneventful.

Yes, the rain sucked. The wind sucked. A lot of people have been complaining in various online forums about the headwinds and gusts on the Beeline. I didn't find them as energy sapping as they could have been, mostly because I did something key....STAY IN AERO POSITION PEOPLE...even though your first inclination is to sit up straight and grind, you just end up burning more energy that way. Just doing this allowed me to continually regain position after all the time I lost due to flatting. By the time I came off the bike I was about where I should have been, based on training and the field (which was very strong).
What would you do differently?:

Nothing that I can think of. Despite the fact that I detest the cosmetics of arm-warmers, I shall never leave home without em' again, when racing in temps below 70F, or a chance of rain. Without that one little piece of equipment, that ride would have been hell for me, when combined with my sinus/respiratory illness. I was never uncomfortable on the bike, with respect to temp (matter of fact, towards the end of the ride, I stripped the arm warmers).
Transition 2
  • 08m 39s

OK T2 for me. Once again, I switched from tri-shorts to K-Swiss run shorts and a singlet, since I find this more comfortable for running distance. When went to strap on my Garmin 310, the pin came out of the strap, so I lost at least 2 minutes here while I did some field medicine on the strap to get it reattached.
What would you do differently?:

Lots. Move faster. I'm a total slowpoke in transition at IMs and need to speed up a lot here - I think I just need to let go of the notion that taking a little extra time is going to make any difference with respect to my comfort level on the next leg (it doesn't, for the most part). I've been giving up a lot of "free" time in my two IM's thus far. At CdA 2011, I'm gonna go for blistering fast transitions and see how it pans out.
  • 4h 27m 27s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile

My goal(s) on on the run were:

1. run the entire time and better my CdA run time
2. arrive at the finish line with the same number of toenails that I started with.

I accomplished both goals. Per usual, I came out of T2 wayyyyy too fast - I was pulling ~7:15 for the first mile. Having learnt a lot of valuable lessons at CdA, I quickly ramped down to ~8:30 and figured I'd see how that worked for me. Around mile 5, I realized that this was probably still going to be beyond the physical limits of my feet, so I racheted to ~9:00 min/mile. Around mile 9 (which is where my feet completely disintegrated at CdA), I felt a little blistering and heat in my right foot, so I made the wise decision to loosen up my right shoe a little and drop my pace a little more. Within a couple miles, I felt the blistering equalize and things felt pretty good. I also decided to walk to the aid stations from this point forward and promised myself to begin running immediately once I hit the last chance trash after each aid station. I kept my promises...:) The only part of the run that I found a little hard (mentally) was the section out around Curry Rd, which is the only real hill on the course - I had to dig on the 2nd and 3rd laps to start running up that sucker, but the second aid station past there (the one I shall refer to as the Burlesque Police Station.... :) ) actually carried me through those dark periods. I'm sure all of the guys (and maybe some of the gals) remember that one, lol.

Coming around on loop three, I knew I was going to go sub-12, despite my illness, so I was in great spirits. Ditched the arm warmers in my race belt as I passed the last aid station along the lake and began seeding myself for a decent gap at the finish line (for the sake of finisher photos, which I have traditionally gotten crappy quality). Nothing like the feeling of coming up to that fork that says "Lap1, Lap 2, Lap3, go right", and "Finish, go left", knowing that you can finally go left. I could hear MIke Riley and the crowd, so I cruised in and enjoyed the run down the chute...which was AWESOME. IM #2 in the can!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I need to run more and do more distance. Training and bad habits/biomechanics are my only limiters here. I've had a lot of problems with my feet this year, so I'm planning on seeing an Ortho/Podiatrist to get the issues worked out and hopefully allow me to put in a sub 4 hr IM marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

Two pieces of cheese pizza and a can of coke. Changed my clothes and headed back to the hotel for a shower, then headed back to the finish line to watch the 14-17 hour finishers come in.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. Sinus/Upper respiratory infection
2. Not enough training volume coming into this race (especially on the run, due to foot problems)

Event comments:

I stuck to my plan (as best I could with having to account for an unforeseen bout of flu/cold) and bettered my time from CdA by 26+ mins (more if not for that effing flat tire!). I have no complaints about this race/my performance. More experience, and more lessons learned, which I will incorporate and put to use at IMCdA and IMAZ 2011.

On the random thoughts side - I love PowerBar Chocolate Gel. Discovered it at the aid stations on the run course and for me, from this point forward, it will be my preferred gel. Not only does it not taste like gel, it actually tastes like liquid fudge, which is a very nice thing when you're 20 miles into an IM marathon!

IMAZ, despite the sh!t weather was a fantastic race. Can't say enough about the volunteers/organization of this race. Despite all the ill-will towards the WTC by some folks, in my opinion, they are the high-bar for large-race logistics and organization. The finish line at a WTC 140.6 is something that every triathlete should experience at least once.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-03-15 12:00 AM
01:19:35 | 4224 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 191/399
Overall: 1209/~2500
Performance: Average
Suit: XTerra Vector Pro X2
Course: 2.4 mile out and back in Tempe Town Lake
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:42
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:46:56 | 112 miles | 19.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 109/399
Overall: 630/~2500
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 3 loop, ~17.3 mile course. Very fast, mostly flat, with some very minor hills and false flats.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:39
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:27:27 | 26.2 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 103/399
Overall: 599/~2500
Course: 3 loops of 8.73 miles around Tempe Town Lake. Mostly flat, on pavement, with a couple short dirt/hard-pack sand sections.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4