Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
78F / 26C
Total Time = 14h 51m 2s
Overall Rank = 1485/2066
Age Group = W25-29
Age Group Rank = 29/45
Pre-race routine:

I counted down for this race 25 days.

Race week. All easy workouts. Weds I went out for a 45 min easy ride, just as a big wind had picked up, and came back with a cold/allergies. My sister Shannon flew in that evening from Sacramento. We made a delicious pesto sauce that night, that would serve for several pre-race dinners. MMMMm.

Over the next few days we met up with the BT crew a couple times - dinner Thursday night, and dinner Saturday night. Shan and I picked up my packet Friday, went to the official race banquet and athlete meeting, and dropped my bike off Saturday. Meanwhile, my condition had not improved. I was coughing more. Saturday night, I coughed all night long, which made sleeping impossible. I got up at 3am for a breakfast of bagel, banana and gatorade, and returned to bed. At 4:20am, the wake-up alarm sounded, and I felt a sense of dread. Shannon had heard me coughing all night.

"What do you think?" I asked. "Do you think I should race?" My heart rate was also through the roof - I could feel this, even without a HRM. I didn't know if it was from coughing, or from nerves.

"I don't know," she replied. "I think you should do what you think is best."

"I need to at least try," I decided. "I need to get as far as I can."

We arrived at transition around 5:15am. My VIP parking in the Hayden Ferry Lakeside building proved to be very convenient. It put us right next to the Special Run Needs drop-off. I left Shannon to prepare my stuff in the transition area. And as I walked about dropping off my bike nutrition, pumping up tires, standing in line for the porto-john, and getting body marked, I felt detached and robotic. I wasn't sure that I'd actually be able to finish the race, and I felt like this was more of a duty - to go as far as I could.

I met with Shan by the Bike Out and rested. Soon enough I was putting my wetsuit on, and making my way to the staging corral.
Event warmup:

On cue, I jumped into the water - nearly lost my goggles - and stroked slowly 150 meters or so over to the swim start. Or as close to the swim start as I dared to get. With a mass swim start of 2000 people, I did not want to find myself over run by mongrels.

The National Anthem was sung on shore, and then the cannon sounded. We were off!
  • 1h 27m 42s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 05s / 100 yards

Right off the bat, it felt like one big draft. For the entire swim, it seemed like I was never more than 10 feet from someone else. I couldn't see the bouys going out because we were swimming into the sun. So I was surprised when I found myself passing within 5 feet of the first bouy. The draft seemed to direct me on a perfect line to hit almost all the bouys in such a way. It seemed like a lot of people, on the other hand, were swimming very wide. But I guess when there are that many people, that will be the case...

On the return trip, the bouys were very visible, and again I hit them all pretty close. I was able to draft off a couple people for a bit.

A couple of times I had to stop and cough - or hack up - a bit. I found I could generally ignore the dryness in my throat, but some times it'd all collect in my throat and would force me to coughing. Some coughing I can do while swimming, so only a few times did I actually have to stop to cough.

Towards the end, my arms were getting a bit tired. I guess this really was the longest swim I had done. But I was pretty pleased with my time: 1:27. Considering that I learned to swim 2.5 years ago, I've really come a long ways!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe do a little more distance before hand.
Transition 1
  • 09m

In T1 i ran into slowone - Heather. It was cool seeing her. A volunteer was quite useful in sorting out my gear for me. I used the speedy sunscreen volunteers for my sunscreen application, and ultimately this ended me up with some very odd looking deep red sunburn streaks on my legs and arms.
What would you do differently?:

Apply my own sunscreen.
  • 7h 49m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.32 mile/hr

The first lap I had designated as a warmup lap. I didn't realize that on my way out, the wind was really at my back. So a slow trek out, and then I turn around at the end of the Beeline, and BAM! The wind hits me in my face. Great! Just when I was expecting to get a speed boost from the downhill, I instead got a bucket load of working against the wind. So my average for the first loop was pretty awful.

The 2nd loop I picked up the pace on the way out. On the way back in I caught up with Stephanie W., who is a faster swimmer than me, and we yoyo'ed a few times. It was cool to sorta ride close to someone I knew. We stayed in the same proximity for almost a full lap.

A strange thing happened on the second loop. I had been coughing my way along, but this time, when I coughed, something hard fell out of my mouth. Wha!? I thought, maybe a bug hit my lip. Later, I coughed again, and a little crusty bit of mucus the size of a raisin landed in my hand. UGH! From here on out, my coughing sounded like a walrus barking, as I was essentially digging up clams from the back of my throat.

My nutrition was pretty good. Every 10 minutes I alternated between Gatorade Endurance and clif blok + water. A banana per loop also tasted wonderfully sweet.

Last lap was just painful. By then the wind had shifted from the SW to the W, and increased even more in intensity!, so there was more crosswind on the Beeline (which provided a little bit of relief on the downhill, but not a lot), but going West on McDowell & McKellips was just the definition of misery. It really seemed to take forever to roll into the transition area - and my final time for the loop was 4mins slower than my slowest time estimate I gave my sister. ("7hrs to 7:45 at the slowest", I said.)
What would you do differently?:

Gosh, I'm just such a weak cyclist anyway. I really should have spent more time on my bike. I should have a better bike! And important lesson: need to train on something harder than what I knew the bike course was. Only some heavy duty hill training could have helped prepare me for that kind of wind. But I spent most of my time training on the Beeline - so I was under prepared!

I also probably should have ingested more fluid overall.
Transition 2
  • 07m 53s

I was feeling pretty discouraged at this point. Luckily I ran into slowone (Heather) in the changing tent. This made all the difference in the rest of my race! I told her how I was coughing, and she asked how much I had been eating/drinking. I told her, and she told me that my fluid and sodium requirements were higher than usual right now, due to my sickness. She recommended I spend some time "catching up" on these. She also used her jedi mind tricks to instill in me the determination to run the whole marathon. "You will make it. You will go slow, but you will run from aid station to aid station." (Or something like that.) And with a hug, she sent me off. Simply amazing!
What would you do differently?:

All the changing was secondary to this encounter. I wouldn't change anything.
  • 5h 17m 6s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 06s  min/mile

My plan for the course was as follows:
Loop 1a - Recovery
1b - Warmup
2a - Steady freddy
2b - beginning of the "hard part". New territory for me, mileage wise. Just get through it so I can start 3a.
3a - hardest part. Break into parts to keep the carrot dangling in front of me.
3b - The End is Near. You can do it!

This pretty much worked out. The first 7 miles, I took Heather's advice and drank a full cup of water at each station. I alternated between Carbboom (which although gels get old, I knew the importance of keeping the calories coming), and chicken broth, which tasted wonderously good! I ultimately didn't need my endurolytes, because I figured the broth took care of my sodium intake. After 7 miles I got the signal from my stomach "filling up". So I cut my fluid intake at each station as to not overfill.

The first lap felt easy. It was great to see my sister Shannon standing under Mill Ave bridge cheering her head off! What a boost. Also, my friend Stacey had driven up from Tucson to spectate, and he was taking pictures.

Things felt pretty good til about mile 12. I started getting tired a bit. But I had my hooks set on making it to 2b. I recalled a pointer from crucible fitness taht said, in between miles 13 and 18 is when you must pull out all your stored emotions about the day, and run off of heart.

In a stop at the porto-john, I was careful not to linger too long, or else lose my stride. I also stopped at special needs on this lap, because the wind was making me cold. I put on my long-sleeved SRC t-shirt, which proved good when I was running against the wind, but I was almost overly warm when the wind was at my back.

The 2nd lap is discouraging because all the people on their 3rd laps are finishing up, and they assume you are with them. It's a bummer to inform them, "No, I have one more lap." So I was glad to start lap 3, where there are only other BOP'ers running. At the start of this loop, I realized that if I held my pace, I could finish in under 15 hours. Someone had mentioned JeepFleeb was catching finsishers who finished between 11 and 15 hours, and I thought, hey, it'd be cool to say hello to him, being a BT icon and all. So I determined to hold my pace of 12 min miles. This really proved to be a big mental boost, because I began passing people left and right. What? Who's not walking on their 3rd lap! I wasn't! I was running - even up the hill at Curry! Because my nutrition was spot on, and I was feeling strong! I introduced Cola into my nutrition rotation now, and that helped. (So I was alternating between broth, carbboom and cola.) Passing under the Mill Ave bridge, on my way to loop 3b, I saw some new friends had come out to support. (Stacey had left already.) John and Cara Patterson were there, as was Bryan. I raised my arms in victory, because I knew I had the race in my pocket. They cheered. Very cool.

So 3b was easily attained. I was pumped, and I spent less time at each aid station. I was passing so many people, but others were starting to pick it up since it was the last stretch. At mile 25, I picked it up a bit more, and running across Mill Ave bridge for the last time, I was picking up the pace, and had a huge smile plastered on my face. Grandpa said he never saw anybody smiling while they were exercising. Well, he was wrong in this case, because I was nothing but a big smiley face. Coming down the finishing shoot, I held up a little to let the guy in front of me get his finisher's photo, and I took the high-fiving route, as I victoriously crossed the line. I was so proud of myself. I had finished in exactly the time I wanted: 14:51.
What would you do differently?:

My run was spot on. The only thing I would change is the long sleeve shirt I decided on. I could have used soemthing lighter.
Post race
Warm down:

I did see JeepFleeb at the finsih, but decided that I didn't need to say hi at this point, as he was busy. 2 volunteers caught me, and they must have thought I was kooky with a big smile on my face. "Yes, I feel great!" I told them. Finishers photo! A medal! A t-shirt! They took me over to the food area, where my friends (with Jennifer now), caught up with me. It was great to have them out there, and they were all quite impressed with my feat.

I drank some recoverite, but found out later I really had not lost any weight. I suppose my nutrition really was right, because I was not dehydrated. I hit up the porto-john, chatted with friends some more, and they escorted me to the car, while my sister picked up my bike + gear.

At home, I took an ice bath - which I'm not sure had enough ice in it - just all the ice from my freezer. But I was shaking with cold regardless. Ate a turkey burger and headed to sleep.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Cycling. This is my weak link.

Event comments:

This was a great race. The plethora of volunteers were just amazing. (Robin in AZ and StandsWithFist - i looked for yall, but didn't see you.) The changing tent aides were splendid. The selection of food on the run was great. The wind did make the course harder, but you can't expect everything, weather included, to go perfectly. It was a good challenge. Overall, I highly recommend.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-10-27 12:00 AM
01:27:42 | 4224 yards | 02m 05s / 100yards
Age Group: 35/45
Overall: 1645/2066
Performance: Good
Suit: Full orca wetsuit
Course: Essentially an out-and back along Tempe Town Lake, that starts at the Mill Ave bridge, passes under the Scottsdale Bridge almost a mile away, goes another few bouys before turning around to the far side of the lake, and returning back underneath the Mill Ave bridge.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
07:49:16 | 112 miles | 14.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 34/45
Overall: 1762/2066
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: An out and back, 3 times. Up hill on the way out, downhill on the way in.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:17:06 | 26.2 miles | 12m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 28/45
Overall: 1145/2066
Performance: Good
Course: 3 loops, with each loop passing by the transition in the middle. The first part of each loop goes east, and is 5.5 miles long. The second part goes west and is a little over 3 miles long. I consider teh east side "harder", and call it "a"; the west side is "easier" and is "b".
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
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