Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
72F / 22C
Total Time = 13h 35m 42s
Overall Rank = 1656/2516
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 296/386
Pre-race routine:

My standard race breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter, waffles and Gatorade.
Event warmup:

After the 6 hour drive on Thursday, I went for an easy 2 mile jog.
Swam in the lake on Friday and decided to use a neoprene hood.
Skipped my bike ride on Saturday which was a mistake- I could of addressed problems with my Garmin 405.
  • 1h 39m 15s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 21s / 100 yards

The swim is what keeps me up at night and I am slower than slow.
I started under the Mill Street bridge toward the middle, making sure there weren't too many people around me.
After the gun went off I started my Ironman journey and waved to the people on the bridge. My heart rate and emotions did rise and I had to take two short breaks within the first 5 minutes just to relax.
This was probably the straightest I've ever swam in an OWS. Sighting was easy using the wall when I breathed to the right and there were swimmers nearby to make sure I was going in the right direction. There was minimal contact during the whole swim and there was always a lifeguard close by.
When I turned that final buoy I was so happy. My biggest fear had been conquered. I was going to survive the Ironman swim!
What would you do differently?:

Of course improve my swim.

The week before I realized that my 2.4 mile swim might take longer than my half marathon PR of 1:38... and it came true!
Transition 1
  • 12m 10s

I wanted to be as comfortable as possible during the swim, so I only wore speedos under my wetsuit. I had to put on the heart rate monitor and bike jersey (thanks for the volunteer for helping) in T1.
DeSoto 400 mile bike shorts are great, but are a b!@#h to put on when wet.

Volunteers applying sunscreen is a nice perk.
What would you do differently?:

HRM and tri top/shorts already under the wetsuit.
  • 7h 00m 42s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.97 mile/hr

Right away there were problems with my Garmin and I had to do damage control. This is where I needed to be mentally strong and not make things worse.

First, the cadence sensor did not work at all so I just had to go by feel. All through training I aimed at a cadence of around 90 so I chose to go with one gear easier to keep my RPMs high.

Second, the screen display was totally different than what I had been using. So I was riding down Rio Salado with one eye on the road and one eye on the Garmin while I was reprogramming it.

Third, as soon as I hit the windy sections of the bike, my heart rate monitor would shoot up to over 200 bpm. Since I was using heart rate to pace myself , I had to go with perceived exertion rate instead. I would later realize that when I rode in windy conditions, the flapping of my bike jersey would cause my HRM to read too high. It wasn't until about 40 miles into the race did I discover if I tucked my jersey under the HR strap, the HRM finally worked correctly. I ended up taking the first loop way too easy, 90 minutes just to the first turn around.

I felt great on the third loop, passing everyone still left on the course. I used the port a john at the SN station on the 3rd loop, but when I jumped on my bike some thing was wrong. Something felt weird with the bike. I looked at the back tire but it wasn't flat. I stopped and realized the back rim had bent so badly it was rubbing on the brakes. I tried opening the brake quick release, but it was still rubbing badly. I took out the multi tool and opened the rear brake totally but the wheel was now rubbing against the frame; not badly, but enough. Since I was using a wheel cover, I couldn't tell if it was a broken spoke, (it was) so I rode very cautiously the rest of the bike leg worrying if my rear wheel might catastrophically fail.

What would you do differently?:

If I had rode my bike on Saturday, I would of seen the problems with my cadence sensor and computer display. I could of fixed those before the race instead of during. I wish I could of figured out the "flapping jersey" effect on my HRM earlier. I ended up riding much slower than I was capable of doing.
Transition 2
  • 05m 53s

Complete wardrobe change into tri top/shorts an fresh socks.
What would you do differently?:

Go with the same tri top/shorts for the whole race
  • 4h 37m 44s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 36s  min/mile

The plan was to run conservatively and make it to mile 18 as strong as possible. I planned on taking 1 minute walk breaks at every aid station. I also took a 30 second walk break at 5 minutes into each of the first six miles, as I found it was very easy to run too fast if I wasn't careful. I made sure to drink two cups of Gatorade per aid station to keep my calories high.

On the second loop, I was still feeling good so I only took 30 second walk breaks at the aid stations. I either took gatorade at each aid station or the chicken broth to keep my salts up. I did have to pee twice, but I felt it was much better to be a little over hydrated than to cramp.

On the third loop I actually felt fantastic, I didn't walk at all the whole way to the finish. I never hit the wall, never felt a cramp coming. I was flying by everybody! My first two loops were in the high 10 minute/mile. My third loop was in the low 9 min/mile! Made the turn off to the finish and I was a little sad that the race was about to be over. But I saw my wife screaming in the bleachers, and I heard Mike Reily say "Hey Joe, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!" and it was all perfect!
What would you do differently?:

Everything I had planned for the run worked out perfectly. I had run 5 stand alone marathons and I felt the freshest after this one!
Post race
Warm down:

All my training buddies were in the finishers corral so we took a lot of pictures. Then I got a nice massage. I ate a slice of pizza and french fries but my stomach didn't want anymore. Cool shower back at the hotel.

Event comments:

I had a specific plan going into this race and despite all my problems on the bike, I felt I executed it well. I negative split the bike and the run! I didn't let the things going wrong affect my mental state or ability to make good decisions. Physically, I felt great during the whole race.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-11-25 12:00 AM
01:39:15 | 4224 yards | 02m 21s / 100yards
Age Group: 351/386
Overall: 2215/2516
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:10
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:00:42 | 112 miles | 15.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 356/386
Overall: 2153/2516
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:53
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:37:44 | 26.2 miles | 10m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 185/386
Overall: 949/2516
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]