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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Ironman North America
95F / 35C
= 12h 49m 26s
Age Group Rank
Alarm was set for a little after 4am. Hit the snooze once or twice before finally getting up. Got dressed, put in contacts, etc. Ate a bagel with peanut butter and jelly, grabbed my dry clothes bag and we headed out.
Got to transition and checked my bike first thing. Borrowed a pump to make sure my tires were up to pressure, filled my AeroDrink with cold water, attached my computer and I was done.
) was a rack over and my buddy Tyler was just a few spots down from me. We all joked around a bit and noted how nice the conditions were. HA!
Didn't fuss over everything again and again like I used to. Set it once and never thought about it again. Found Chippy
) along the fence line and hung out with her and Jess
(Tri Take Me Away
) while Rob
) and Jeff
) were at the volunteer check-in meeting.
Not long after Jacob joined us and we had some time to kill. Went over to our transition bags and walked through my transition plan. Everything was the way I wanted so back to waiting we went.
Stood around and joked for a while before I realized that I didn't get body marked. Had to search around a bit to find the body markers at the far side by the dry clothes drop off area.
Finally it was time to suit up. Slathered both myself and the legs of my wetsuit with body glide. I literally used a full stick. I was not going to waste seconds with my suit stuck on my heels.
The gun went off for the pro field and it was time for us to get in the water. Said good-bye to everyone and headed with Jacob down to the water.
Crossed over the initial timing mat and the first wave of adrenaline hit my body. Waited for the crowds to start moving and we jumped into the water. Immediately swam up to the front row on the center-right.
The water temp felt great. A little chilly while we waited but I knew it would be perfect for a race. Waded during the national anthem while a guy next to me sang along... poorly.
Then things started to get crowded. Moved over and back a bit to find some space, but everyone else had the same idea and that space got crowded. Moved up a bit... crowded. Okay, we're starting with people on top of us. I'm not surprised.
They announced over the PA that we were down to 1min. Looked over a Jacob ... Shake and Bake! Started my watch and waited for the gun.
1h 06m 3s
01m 43s / 100 meters
The canon shot and it was time to go to work. Swam as hard as I could water polo style. No one has proper form at the start of an IM. Just reached out and grabbed whatever water I could.
Things calmed down after about 200 meters. I finally had enough room to put my head in the water so I looked straight down and just churned away. Another 200m and I started looking for my fish.
I could tell that on either side of me the really fast swimmers were pulling ahead. There was a group of 3 or 4 people ahead of me so I pulled up on one guy's hip and settled in.
As we moved along the people on the sides started to close in. I had one guy cut across my path so I'd have to push his legs with one arm and climb over his back and pick out my fish again.
Ended up loosing my mark a time or two. The beauty of Ironman, there's always more people to draft off of. Next was a girl in a 2XU suit with red trim. She was easy to spot, even when someone would try to cut between us.
Eventually I had someone try to force their way between me and her feet. She was my fish and I wasn't giving her up. Siddled up next to the guy and after a few strokes I matched his rhythm. Had my arm directly behind his with each stroke and stole his water each time. As he slowed down I made a quick sprint and stepped ahead of him and back onto 2XU girl's feet.
Coming up to the turn I didn't take the inside line but didn't want to swing too far outside either. Should have gone outside. Just as I rounded the buoy someone's hand caught my face and ripped my goggles off.
Rolled over onto my back and started kicking. Truned my goggles over to get all the water out and pressed them back into place. Rolled back over and put my face down to make sure they had a good seal. Everything seemed good so I just swam easy to let my HR calm back down and after the next turn went back to work.
Obviously my previous fish was gone but I never really expected to hold on to her through the turns. There were two guys jockeying for position so I pulled up behind them and let them both do the work.
Occasionally one would take the lead; occasionally it was the other. All I knew was that this was easy. Kept an eye out for someone faster to come by but no one ever did. We were slowly passing people and I felt like this was an easy warm-up, so there was no reason to fight to drop these guys and swim on my own.
Came back up to the Mill Ave bridge and started to think about T1 and what I needed to do. Let my fish go as we turned for shore and picked up my kicking to get the blood flowing in my lower body.
Swam up to the stairs and reached for the highest step I could so my knees were already on the bottom step. I was standing before the volunteer could even get to me.
What would you do differently?:
Could have pushed the start harder for longer. A little more and I could have been in a faster group and saved a few minutes. Drafting could have been better the first half but second half was spot on.
Hit the ground running and pulled my goggles onto my forehead. Started pulling my wetsuit down and looked for the biggest/strongest wetsuit stripper I could find.
Found Jeff and Rob near the end of the row. Jeff started to cheer when he saw me but I was already on the ground and Rob had my suit off before Jeff even realized what happened.
Ran along the spectator fence. A girl with a megaphone called out my number. I looked over at a girl standing near my bag and she was just staring off into space! Pointed at her and yelled my number. As I ran up the row she had my bag in her hand for me.
Ran into the change tent and grabbed a volunteer. That's not a figure of speech. I physcially grabbed him, handed him my bag and pulled him over to my chair. He dumped my bike gear out while I pulled off my cap and goggles off.
I told him to take the thing of sunscreen I packed and slather it on my arms and legs while I got my shoes, helmet, etc on. As soon as I had everything I needed I ran out of the tent and thanked him for putting my stuff back in the bag.
Another girl with a megaphone was yelling out numbers and I yelled at her to make sure they got my bike. The volunteer on my rack wasn't paying attention so I beat her to the punch but luckily I was near the end of my row so it didn't make much difference.
Ran across the timing mats and up 5 or 10 yards to get past the fast-swimmer-but-slow-to-mount-their-bike people and hopped on my ride.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. Solid time with no stress. Made sure the volunteers did everything for me they could.
5h 27m 43s
Spun through the IM Village and down the plywood ramp onto the bike course. Kept things in my small ring for the moment while I spun my legs and relaxed.
It's a long day. Wait for the Ox and he will come.
Saw Jacob's brother John and Jess standing on the center median. She let me know I was in 35th place. Damn, a little further down than I would have liked. I really wanted to be out in the top 25.
What I didn't learn until afterwards was that I was 46th out of the water and passed 11 guys in T1! That's nearly 10% of my AG. Never think a great transition won't help you very much and isn't worth the planning and effort.
Had a couple of guys go flying past me, but they weren't the ones to chase. Made the left turn off of Rio Salado and the next guy to pass me became my mark. Guy in his early 30's on a P3C. Okay, you're it. I switched to my big ring as he passed, I got directly behind him and coasted until he was 4 bike lengths ahead and then matched him pedal stroke for pedal stroke.
Made the first right turn as we headed out of town and was hit with a wall of wind. Damn, where did this come from? Oh well. Went back to focusing on my Ox. Kept him the legal distance ahead and focused on his cassette. If he changed gears, I changed gears. If he coasted, I coasted. Why think about those things if he'll do them for me?
Checked my power and I was mid training pace. HR was still in race pace but falling since I got out of the water. I'd let it come down to match my wattage zones and then start my nutrition. Picked up a Gatorade bottle from the first aid station and checked the label to see how much I'd need to drink to hit my calorie targets.
Had to pick out a new Ox after the aid station but there were plenty to choose from. Finally we got out to the Beeline. I couldn't believe the wind! Where did this come from? We were flying at 22mph up this hill a few days ago and now it feels like we're crawling.
Tucked in behind a line of cyclists and slowly leap frogged my way through the crowd. There were two other guys up ahead on the road doing the same thing so they became my new Ox.
It seemed like it took forever to get up that hill. Grabbed water at the 2nd aid station and the wind just got worse. I might have been doing 17mph at this point. HR was still higher than I'd like but I was in my small ring and still mid-training zone wattage so it'll come down to match.
Passed Tyler soon after. This is good. He's a stronger swimmer than me, we're equal cyclists and he's a much better runner. We both want Kona slots so I'll need some time on him if I'm going to hold him off on the run. I didn't think I'd catch him until the last lap
(if at all
) so things are going my way.
Saw Jacob on the other side of the road. He couldn't have had more than a few minutes lead on me. Saw the turn-around aid station up ahead and couldn't wait to get out of this headwind. Passed up my first pro just before the timing mat.
) cheering for me as I spun a bit to get what I needed from the aid station. HR was still high but the downhill/tailwind should let me relax a good bit. Time for the outbound portion of one lap: 1 hour.
Avoided the dropped bottles on the road and got back into my big ring and started pushing. Then started spinning. Then realized I was spinning out of my hardest gear. HOLY CRAP! I'm doing just over 32mph with almost no effort! I think this was the first time that I've ever actually needed an 11 tooth cog.
Flew down the road and picked off some people here and there. Didn't worry about my Ox for this section and knew I'd pick up new ones to start the 2nd lap. It was great to see the MOP clawing their way up the hill and feel like I'm really at the front of the race.
Felt the crosswinds a bit on the race wheels coming back into town but nothing worth worrying about. Total AG competitors picked off the first lap: ~12. I'm down the 23rd or so. Time for the inbound portion of one lap: 40min.
Hit the timing mat on the other side of the bridge and started to keep an eye out for Jess. Heard some cheers for me but never saw her. I was hoping for an exact count of my AG but oh well.
Started the 2nd lap and almost immediately went into my small ring. It wasn't worth pushing into these winds. Did the math on my last lap and realized that I was on pace for a 5hr bike split. WAY ahead of what I predicted. HR was still low RP so I made the conscious decision to take my wattage to the bottom of training pace.
Picked out my new Ox and he was one of the guys I had been working off of earlier. Settled in 4 bike lengths behind him and started to dream about coming back down the Beeline. Heard a motorcycle behind me and backed off to four and a half bike lengths just to be safe. Ref went right on past and I pulled back up that half bike length to get whatever draft I could.
The heat was starting to creep up and I knew it was going to be a killer marathon. Now I was topping off my Aerodrink with cold water at each aid station and pouring all the reat on my back, shoulders and legs. Anything to keep me cool.
Fought the same fight going up the Beeline for a 2nd time, but this time it was definitely worse. I couldn't believe what they were throwing at us. This may not have been as dangerous as last year, but it was just as tough.
Kept looking for Jacob coming down the other side of the road but never saw him. I could see the turn-around ahead so I assumed I had missed him. Passed two more pros this half-lap and knew the conditions were bad if pros were dropping back this far this early.
Then I spotted Jacob up ahead. He was at the front of the line of cyclists I was in. Put in a bit of extra work and caught up just as we were coming over the timing mats. We each passed Steve
) in sucession and it was time to fly.
As we approached 32-34mph territory I pulled up beside Jacob and let him know that, "This is what we do in heaven." It's a Coach Z line but damn was it ever appropriate for this section. We traded positions a few times and I flew through special needs without batting an eye.
Similar boring story of flying back into town. Picked off another half dozen AG competitors and I was almost in business. What I hadn't been paying enough attention to was my HR. It still wasn't dropping on the way back to town and now I was feeling it. Every time I'd take in calories my stomach would start to fight with me a minute or two later. Power was on target so I just pedaled away.
As we wound around Sun Devil Stadium I suggested to Jacob that we hit the timing mat at the exact same time. It would give the BTers following the watching thread something out of the ordinary to talk about.
Hit the mat with Jacob on my left and we were one lap away from starting our Kona qualifying marathons! 2nd lap was 1:50ish. On target, but in general I'm still ahead of schedule.
This time on the way out I started getting really erratic readings from my power meter. It would be normal in the 180-200 range and then suddenly shoot up to 2,500 watts! It would do this off and on for a minute or two before I had to give up on it and use my HRM as my guide. Not too long after that the 'battery low' light came on and it was dead soon after that. I guess the charger wasn't plugged in very well last night.
HR it is.... still in low RP! DAMN IT! This time around my stomach didn't even like the idea of taking in calories. I'd take a sip of Gatorade and start to feel sick. Shit. This isn't good.
I'm sure my power was in my warm-up/cool-down range now and finally I got my HR into my training zone. Why the hell hasn't it synced up with my power all day?!?
Grabbed water from the next aid station....it was warm. Damn. They must really be going through a lot of water if they've already run out of cold bottles. Poured the majority of it on my back and shivered as it ran down my spine. Warm water felt freezing...that's how hot it was.
Started to run through the scenarios in my head. Something wasn't working and I can't take in calories. Wattage wasn't even close to too high so something else must be wrong.
I've got my HR down finally... don't worry about calories and just take in all the water and salt you can. Stay hydrated and keep up the salt, hopefully I'll feel better on the run and can start eating then.
Spun my way up the Beeline for the last time. I am not going to miss this headwind when it's all over. No particular Ox this time headed up. Just played leap frog from one competitor to the next. We were well into lapping the back of the pack now, but you could see the amateur leaders flying down the Beeline back to transition now. The cream of the crop was really starting to stand out.
Made the turn around for the last time and spotted Jacob a few cyclists behind me. Now I knew I was in trouble. My stomach was in full revolt and I felt awful. I was drained and just didn't have anything left. Jacob went flying past me... he was fine. I wasn't going to chase him, but I could tell that I didn't have nearly the same power going downhill this time around.
I looked at my arms and I was white with salt. That actually freaked me out a bit. I'm a heavy sweater so I'm used to having salt on my arms/legs/face but I've never seen anything like this. Grabbed a bottle of water and washed off what I could.
Tried to drink Gatorade... nope. This just isn't going to work. Threw out the bottle. There was no reason to carry the weight if can't drink it.
There were a lot of people stopping at aid stations now. The bike rack next to the porta-potties was full and there were volunteers holding even more bikes.
My HR was down but the damage had already been done. For the first time I wasn't even sure if I was going to finish. But I had to try and see if I'd feel better on the run.
Made my way back to town and two of the guys I caught the last lap slowly passed me. I had nothing to respond with. I just wanted off my bike.
Spun easy through the Ironman Village and dismounted at full speed.
Who wants to run a marathon?
What would you do differently?:
What killed me was my HR. Power was perfect but for whatever reason my HR and power zones just didn't match up like they normally would.
I shouldn't have waited at my target power for HR to come down and match. I should have gone WAY below my taget and forced my HR down. Don't asusme they'll fall into line like normal. Force it.
If I'd of done that then I probably could have pushed the last lap a bit more when the winds were calmer and actually turned in a 5:15ish split like I expected.
After the dismount line I ran for all of 3 steps before a volunteer, off to my side where I never even saw him, ripped my bike out of my hands. They did a really good job with this. Instead of standing their waiting to have bikes flung into them they ran along with us, grabbed the bikes from our hands and lifted them off the ground so shoes wouldn't get caught and unclip. Awesome job on their part.
Yelled out my number and ran down the left row of bags. Got to my spot and no bag. A volunteer was turning bags around and at the 2nd or 3rd on finally found it. Ran into the changing tent and knew things weren't good.
My stomach felt even worse know and I was a little light headed. Grabbed a volunteer and had him get medical to come look at me. I didn't trust my own judgement. They talked to me for a minute or two and just said to stay on top of my salt and get liquid calories in whenever I could, but I was fine to go.
Okay, let's run.
What would you do differently?:
Would have been in and out in under 2min had I felt good. But it is what it is.
6h 08m 2s
14m 03s min/mile
Ran out of the tent and hung a left along the shore of the lake. It was blazing hot and I immediately felt dizzy. Shit. The first aid station was a quarter mile and under the shade of a bridge.
Rob let me know I was 14th in my AG and 25min down. Shit. I'm not going to make up 9 places and a half hour on the marathon when I feel like this. Patti
(Steve and Marcy's coach
) walked beside me at the aid station and yelled out everything I needed from the volunteers.
Took in all the fluids I could, but calories weren't an option. This just wasn't my day and now I knew it. Chippy was beside me and I told her to call Coach Z. We weren't going to get a slot today. If he wanted me to drop and save the impact on my body, I would. But if he'd let me finish, even if it was just as walk, then I was going to finish.
Decision was made to walk for at least 15min and as much as 30min before trying to run. That's an hour down from 5th in my AG. My day was over.
Walked along a hot parking lot before getting back on the road where the previous IMAZ run course went. Tyler passed me just before the 2nd aid station and I let him know where 5th was. He was running strong so I hoped that he had enough left in the tank. If I'm not going to Kona I at least want him to.
The woman at the start of the 2nd aid station could tell I was in really bad shape. She walked with me and squeezed cold sponges on my head. I took ice water with me as well as a hand full of grapes and oranges. Finaly, something with calories that didn't make me sick.
Walked over the bridge and at about 20min finally tried to run again. Made it all of 3min before my body said no more. Checked my HR and an easy jog sent my HR to the top of race pace. Ugh. This is gonna be a long day.
Walked along and started to cry as it sank in that Kona was officially gone. Heard a motorcycle behind me and moved over as I was lapped by Michelle Jones. Told her I loved her as she passed and actually got a smile and a thumbs-up out of her.
Took more water/ice/sponges/fruit from the next aid station. Hiked up a small hill and tried to run again over the bridge. Wound around transition and started the 2nd half of my first loop. The heat was oppressive. My new goal became to jog when I was in the sun and walk the aid stations, uphills and any where there was shade.
The first time I actually ran was going past the stables. I completely forgot about that part of this course. The last thing I wanted right now was to be enveloped in the smell of horses.
Passed through a small park and took everything they were selling at the next aid station. Walked the only real hill on the run course and started running at the top. Okay, if I can't win, I'm at least going to get a workout in. Start focusing on form and drafting. Gotta take home something positive from this run.
Aid station under a bridge and then we turned back the other direction along the shore. How long is this lap? It felt like this was going to take forever. New goal: don't let Jacob lap me.
Just before the next aid station a pair of mountain bikes passed me. The male race leaders were coming up fast. I moved as far over as I could and turned to see who was winning. To my surprise it was TJ Tollakson! We had both done my coach's training camp in Hawaii a few months ago.
Gave him a big cheer as he passed and he looked at me like he had some vague idea of who I was. But he had more important things to do at the moment. Not too far behind was James Bonney, a Texas pro from Austin. Damn, I've got reasons to cheer for everyone in the lead pack!
Started the 2nd loop and saw Patti again. I asked her how Steve and Marcy were doing and she told me they were both out. WHAT! Then I looked up saw both of them walking along beside me and cheering.
Chippy had my phone and this time I took it from her and called Coach Z myself. I didn't care if I was breaking the rules anymore. And I needed to vent. Gave him the quick run down of the day and let him know that I was still going to finish and just work on the fundamentals while I was out here.
2nd lap was much better than the first. By mile 8 I actually started to feel normal. I was drinking and eating again, but popping more salt than I had planned. I was going to run out early at this rate, but there was no escaping the heat so I had to do it.
Got into a nice walk/run groove this lap. Not fast by any means but I was moving. Still, my HR would skyrocket when I jogged. Something was definitely wrong with me today.
As I hiked up to the bridge for a 2nd time I saw a guy sitting in the shade with his head in his hands. He was on his first lap and showing signs of heat exhaustion. My day over so I sat with him and tried to talk him into walking with me to the next aid station.
He still had what, 8 1/2 hours to walk a marathon? He had all the time in the world. But he had already been then for 30min and after 10 more he said he was dropping out. I told him to stay put in case he chaged his mind and I'd tell the next aid station where he was.
Jogged over the bridge and flagged down one of the course marshalls. He got on his radio and one of the medical guys came over. I gave them the his bib # and where I left him and they said they'd get a 4-wheeler over right away.
Kept run walking until the hill. Then I started to think of funny things I could do for the camera man. I was at least going to have fun with this race, damn it. After the next aid station I went back to working on my run form.
Right before I crossed over the bridge to finsih my 2nd lap I saw Jacob! he was in the last 3 or 4 miles now and killing the pace. I gave him a high five and yelled something about Kona. No response from him and none was needed. If he had been able to talk to me at that point, he wasn't working hard enough.
Similar cheers for my buddy Ron as he crossed over the bridge in the opposite direction. Wasn't sure how his day was going, but he was definitely further back than I expected. Saw my buddy David who is in my AG and doing his first. He was walking and talking and taking in the experiece a lot like I was at this point. Stopped to talk for a second and see if he knew where Ron was in his AG.
Starting the last lap I was exhausted. I just didn't want to be out here any more. Decided that this lap would be my cool down. Just walk. Just finish. It was all my mind could get my body to do at this point. Couldn't keep my HR down no matter how easy I jogged so I was going to pull a Beke and walk if that's all I could do.
Walked. And walked. And walked. And started to get really tired of walking. Back over the bridge and along transition. Found Shanon and Cletus and asked if I could sit with them for a minute. They gave me the run down of the top age groupers as well as Jacob's AG and mine before I had to move on.
Next aid station was just ahead and my race number had torn. Borrowed a pen from someone there to punch a new hole and reattach it to my race belt. Then I heard that distinct robotic voice Jen
) who was sitting in the shade with Gina
). They said Craig
) should be coming by soon so I waited with them to add to his cheering section.
Started up again and walked with the guy who was racked next to me in transition. This was his first IM and he was only on his 2nd lap. So we BS'd for a while and just before the next aid station Tommy
) caught up to us.
None of us were having quite the day that we planned so we all traded war stories before Tommy took off again. Came through the park and started talking about ideas of what we could do for the camera this time around. It's a lot more interesting when you have a 2nd person for this kind of tom-foolery.
Unfortunately he was already gone by the time we got there. And there was still plenty of daylight left! Oh well. Walking back along the shore Clint
) walked with us for a bit before heading on. You could tell he was exhausted but still thrilled to be out there. I'm glad he was enjoying his first IM.
Hit the next to last aid station and one of the volunteers asked me if I wanted a beer. I stopped and looked at him for a minute. Then walked up closer and said, "Yes." He kind of looked at me and chuckled but I just stood there. After a moment he started to process it, "Are you serious?"
"Hell yeah!" I said. "You offered. I'll take it." He couldn't stop laughing as he went over to the cooler and grabbed a cold Budweiser for me. I thanked him and tucked it in my back pocket. I'll save this for the finish line.
Mary, a teammate of mine, passed me soon after and I believe she was on her way to a PR. Saw Jim, another one of my teammates, going the opposite way on his last lap.
One last cup of water from the final aid station and I was almost home. The sun was down so things had cooled off quite a bit. Walked under the Mill Ave bridge and was amazed at how how it was under there. Not enjoyable.
Finally got the make the left turn to the finish rather than go straight to start a new lap. Walked passed where TriBikeTransport had been setup and could hear the crowds. Turned around and saw David! Welcomed him home as he passed and thought about running with him for a Playtri group finish, but decided to let him have his first finish line all to himself.
The BT gang was just up ahead. I pulled out my beer before the last turn and started jogging down the finsh chute. Weaved side-to-side so I could high-five as many people as possible.
Hurridly pulled out the can and turned it to make sure it was at an angle where I could reach the pull-tab and cracked it open as I crossed the line.
What would you do differently?:
The mistake that killed my marathon was made in the first half of the first loop of the bike.
But I had fun!
Smiled at the spray of foam that went everywhere and got a good laugh out of the photographers. Chippy was right there to catch me and luckily I didn't actually need to be physically caught like we thought I would at the beginning of the day.
) gave me my finisher medal and I gave him the beer. That was the last thing I wanted to drink right now. Found the gang and had them all get in on a group finisher photo.
Headed straight out so I could shower before we all went to In-and-Out Burger. Back to the finish that evening with Jess and we watched some of the last finishers come in before going to get my transition bags and bike.
....and get more food of course.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Hard to say what was effecting my HR. Heat, anxiety, something I ate. Who knows. But the solution to all of them is the same. I'll be ready for the next qualifier.
(17.7% DNF rate
) but a great race.
Last updated: 2007-04-16 12:00 AM
01:06:03 | 3862 meters | 01m 43s / 100meters
Zoot Z1 sleeveless
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:27:43 | 112 miles | 20.51 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:08:02 | 26.2 miles | 14m 03s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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