Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 11h 52m 57s
Overall Rank = 726/2940
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 142/523
Pre-race routine:

After a surprisingly restful night's sleep (was asleep by 8:30, slept right through to 3am), I began my morning by applying my tri-tat race numbers, gathering my morning gear, and having breakfast. Ate my normal race morning breakfast of a Clif Bar, banana and some G2. Double-checked my morning clothes bag 3 or 4 times, then headed out to the car to drive to transition. The drive was quiet and lonely (Kym and the girls were in CA for a national pageant), and it gave me time to try mentally walking through the next 12 - 14 hours. After getting parked, I took my bike pump and gear to transition and waited for it to open, then headed right for my bike. After trying unsuccessfully to get my pump to work (the hose has a leak at the seam I discovered), I abandoned it and took my bike to the techs to air-up my tires. Took out my bike nutrition and loaded it onto my ride, triple-checked my kit bag and brakes, then went over to check on my transition bags. One stop to the porta-potty and it was time to sit back and relax a short bit (listening to my iPod). Watched for and found a buddy from CA and we hung out and took our special needs bags to their drop-off, then visited the ONE Multisport tent for pictures and a group prayer. It was about this time I realized I forgot something I learned the previous year.....take throw-away socks and gloves to wear once the wetsuit is on and morning clothes have been turned in (maybe I will remember for 2013). Took the walk back to transition and lined up for the swim start with the mass of crazies I happily call my fellow Ironmen (and women).
Event warmup:

Worked to stretch out my shoulders and back for the upcoming swim, and walking back and forth from transition to the ONE Multisport tent along the run course helped to stretch my legs and soothe the building adrenaline. At the swim start, waited until the female pro athletes started, then eased into the water and swam the 100m under the bridges to the swim start.
  • 1h 22m 20s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 08s / 100 meters

Although a slight improvement over 2011 (1:23:11), I was surprised this was not a faster time. In 2011 I started on the far right, and in 2012 at the advice of my swim coach I started on the far left, about 4 rows of athletes back. The normal chaos at IM start was present, and I had my fair share of bumps, hits and kicks come my way. My sighting was better this race than other races, and I kept a great line for the first half of the race. About 250m in I was able to find some clear water and got into a rhythm (or so I thought). Before the turn I again found myself in a pack, and worked through it to round the buoys and head back. Taking the advice of an awesome 3 time IM AZer, I rounded the last buoy and swung wide to give myself a clear line and clear water. It worked well and I found myself alone for much of the return swim back to transition. My line was a bit more crooked than the first half, but not as bad as other recent swims. A few calf cramps surfaced, but they did not persist and I was able to work them out without stopping. At the final buoy turn I began to kick harder to get the blood pumping in my legs, and thought I had progressed well for the entire swim. My goal swim time was 1:18:00, so although I was not far off, it was a little disappointing as there was nothing that should have slowed me down to the pace I ended up swimming.
What would you do differently?:

A better, straighter line on the return length, and concentrate more on my pull to ensure my pace is faster.
Transition 1
  • 07m 22s

I had targeted 6:30 for T1, and 7:22 is far better than 2011 (almost 12 minutes). After exiting the water, I gingerly walked up the steps to stretch my calves, then headed down to wetsuit peelers. Peeling took no time at all and I ran down the path to transition. Once in, I quickly found my T1 bag and went to sit in the grass (I do not enter the tent in T1 if I can avoid it). I decided to wear a bike jersey over my tri suit, mostly to keep warm early and to have the extra rear pockets for my nutrition. Getting into my tri shoes was not bad, and I was done in fair time, stopping only to get sunscreen (forgot that last year) before heading to my bike. The volunteer was waiting at the end of my rack with my bike and away I went.
What would you do differently?:

I suppose just move a bit faster to shave off the 60 seconds I need to get to my target transition target.
  • 5h 49m 14s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.24 mile/hr

My goal time for the bike portion was 5:55:00, so this was a good split for me. Contrary to 2011, I did not go easy and put considerable effort into the bike split. After spinning through the first few miles, I kicked into gear and began to press all the way up the first half of loop 1. Had a bit of a head wind going uphill, but it was not near as bad as we have experienced on that ride in training. Loop 1 turnaround showed a 1:52:00 time and this was encouraging as I felt great. Loop 2 was more of the same, but the winds had shifted a bit and were more cross-wind than head or tail wind. Again, not gusty so it was not a big deal. Loop 2 timed out at about 1:55:00, and I was ahead of schedule so I decided to gear down on loop 3 to conserve energy. Even a 2 hour loop would keep me ahead of my planned split time, and I ended up with a 1:53 loop 3 time with less effort, so this was a huge positive. I managed to stay in aero about 75% of the time (was in aero about 90% of the time in 2011), but this was due to still recovering from my bike accident and the soreness in my neck and shoulder. Overall I kept a strong pace going uphill and a consistent pace downhill, which is exactly what I trained to accomplish. Nutrition plan was effective, as I took in about 200 calories per hour between Infinit and Clif Bars/Chomps. I did not take any Perform throughout the bike, but did have a bottle of G2 on my bike at the start.
What would you do differently?:

Stay in aero more (if I can manage it).
Transition 2
  • 04m 55s

I had targeted a T2 time of 3:30, so this was about a minute slower (just like T1). Contrary to T1, I know where I slowed down in this transition, as I walked to the tent once I had my transition bag (should have taken my shoes off upon dismount), and did not seem to be in a rush in the tent to get my running shoes on. I asked the volunteer to fill up my empty bottle with cold water (another piece of advice from an IM AZ vet), and stopped to get sunscreen again. By this time, the chaffing on my left underarm was growing bothersome (it started on the swim and got worse on the run).
What would you do differently?:

Take off my cycling shoes upon dismount and run through transition. No dilly-dallying in the tent, just change my shoes and go Go GO!
  • 4h 29m 6s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 16s  min/mile

Time-wise not as big of an improvement over 2011 (4:45ish), but since I had pushed harder on the bike the fact that I could still outrun last year was great. Going in I had trained to run 36 minutes (4 - 4.5mi) and walk 4 min (.25mi). I was thrilled to follow this to the letter, even after wanting to walk more after the second cycle of run/walk splits. I kept a good 9:15/mi average pace through two loops, then slowed down to 10:30-11 min mile averages. Running through the ONE Multisport aid station at the marina was awesome, and I enjoyed whooping it up with my ONE brethren each time through. Knowing I would break 12 hours at about mile 20 was very motivating (although not enough to speed me up, apparently), and I felt ok through the run. Nutrition was limited to perform and water, with a little coke at a couple of aid stations on loop 3. The sponges are still a personal favorite of mine at Ironman races, and I tried a handful of chips (like last year), and just threw them down after one bite (like last year). I carried a couple of GU packs with me and used them at miles 4 and 8, then picked up more at an aid station and used them at miles 12 and 16. After that I could not take any more Gu so I abandoned that plan, and I do not know if it affected me or not. As I made the left turn towards the finisher's chute, I tried to position myself to be alone at the finish line but a couple of athletes were hard-charging to pass me. One succeeded and the other did not, and I found out later they were both in my AG, so we had about 3-4 seconds separate us.
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps try to keep my Gu plan going later in the race, and try to keep a better pace after the second loop.
Post race
Warm down:

After getting my finisher's medal, hat, shirt and picture, I immediately went and signed up for the 10 minute massage. a 45 minute wait seemed apparent so I went and grabbed some pizza, french fries and a coke. 5 minutes later they called me to get my massage and I threw away the food to relax and be rejuvinated. The massage, as always, was awesome, and I went out and sat down with Johnny Reyes as my buddy from CA (Shawn) came through the finish. Hung out and talked it up with friends for about 30 minutes before gathering my bike and gear and loading up my car. As the temps dropped I donned my sweats and headed over to the ONE aid station, and cheered on the remaining athletes coming through the station until I was tired enough to head home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing specifically held me back, but I do see much more opportunity for improvement with my swim and run, and feel I can build more strength to ride even faster on the bike in 2013.

Event comments:

WTC races are not cheap to participate, but they definitely earn their money with the organization, support, perks and race execution. 2011 was my introduction to full Ironman distance, 2012 was my first effort at true performance, and I am looking forward to 2013 and a return to IM Arizona to try and hit my next set of goals (sub 11 hour finish).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-11-23 12:00 AM
01:22:20 | 3862 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 223/523
Overall: 1239/2940
Performance: Average
My Garmin did not record my HR during the swim (obviously), but after getting used to the water temps, my HR felt low and in control throughout the entire swim.
Suit: Orca Sonar sleeveless
Course: Single counter-clockwise rectangle along the length of Tempe Town lake. Swimming into the sun at day-break, then away from the sun at the turn-around.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:22
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
05:49:14 | 112 miles | 19.24 mile/hr
Age Group: 180/523
Overall: 907/2940
Performance: Good
Low HR - 123 Avg HR - 140 High HR - 156
Wind: Some
Course: 3 loop course up to Beeline Hwy and back from Tempe Town Lake.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:55
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:29:06 | 26.2 miles | 10m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 142/523
Overall: 726/2940
Performance: Good
Low HR - 117 Avg HR - 147 High HR - 185
Course: Three (3) loop figure 8 course around Tempe Town Lake, with one (1) significant hill climb on each loop.
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