2011 Ironman Arizona

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2011 Ironman Arizona

Postby kboyett » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:50 am

2011 Ironman Arizona 140.6... A great learning experience
2.4 mile swim
112 mile Bike
26.2 mile run

The race week started great with all systems ready to go. The venue is perfect and we had plenty time to run and ride sections of the course. On Saturday morning the ironman crew allowed everyone to participate in a pre-swim at 9am and experience the 61 degree water. After checking out the course I was very excited about the race. For me this course is a good fit…

The swim venue is awesome and is a 1 loop course down and back in Tempe Town Lake. The race morning started as planned and as we entered the water for the swim and I was positive the day would go well. The start is in deep water so as you swim out about 200meters to start you can really get a great view of the crowds that surround you (supporters as they line the bridge and shore around and over Tempe town lake). As the cannon fired and we (2800 competitors) started and I quickly realized I had made a wise choice by starting on the far left and in front, the combat still existed with other swimmers but I think there was less combat than in the middle. The swim continued without much incident and I just had to pace, be patient, and deal with the continued bumping from other swimmers. I finished with a smooth (1:24:21) and had a fast t1 (6:56) in spite of all the masses.

The bike course is a 3 loop spectator friendly venue. The bike is all about pace and I locked in on my power number and remained focused and consistent the entire ride. The wind became a factor in lap 2/3 and the false flat advertised as you ride to Fountain Hills was not a huge issue since we had trained in hills the majority of the year. The crowd support was great and the three loops really gave you a race feeling. The main issue became nutrition for me and as I ended the bike at (5:57:23) I felt very good but a bit too full and had a slight feeling that I had taken in too much nutrition. As I worked through a fast T2 (3:01) and started the run I just did not feel right.

The run is a 3 loop spectator friendly venue. As I started the run I immediately felt bloated and after 10 miles did not feel like eating or drinking anything… I had held my IM run pace of 8:30-9 per mile. I told myself it would pass… but by mile 14-16 I realized that trouble was here to stay and that I had become dehydrated. Likely the dry climate snuck up on me but truly my stomach cramps felt very bad which caused me to limit intake which was a major mistake. Basically at mile 17, I was cooked and felt dizzy and overall not so great. I just dug deep the remaining miles and finished. I did not worry about the finish time but it was humbling at the end. I ended with a very slow marathon for me at (5:26:24) and an overall time of (12:58:05).

I had planned on a much faster day but you never can tell what will happen in a long race like this.

An endurance friend of mine shared the following statement that was so true for me : The best way to make god laugh is to tell him what your plans are… I got a full dose on 11/20/11 after training for this race a year.. I was prepared and had high expectations to race to my full potential. Things did not work out as planned. There is always another day and I have learned allot for the next Iron man race at Coeur d’Alene, ID in June 2012.

I will return to Arizona in a couple of years for another shot. Nothing beats Ironman racing !!
kboyett
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Ironman Arizona 2011 Race Report

Postby gadugi » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:29 pm

Ironman Arizona 2011 Race Report

I arrived into Tempe on November 18th and headed straight to the race site for athlete check-in, picked up my stuff and headed to the hotel to relax, unpack and start organizing my race stuff. Later that evening the event hosted a welcome dinner and athlete meeting at the race site.

On Saturday morning, they held a practice swim in Tempe Town Lake, the site of the swim. I packed two wetsuits, my sleeveless one designed for triathlon swimming and a full sleeve one that I bought used for my first season of triathlon and is old and not meant for swimming. So, I wore the sleeveless one and the water was very cold and uncomfortable. I tried to warm up but it just wasn’t working.

After the swim, I checked in my bike and gear bags for the bike and run. Then I went for a short run along the river, which was part of the run course. I grabbed some lunch and headed back to the hotel for a nap.

My wife arrived in the early evening so I picked her up at the airport and we went to have a nice pre-race meal (pasta and a couple
of bites of pizza). After returning to the hotel, I set out the rest of the items I would need for the morning. I had been debating all night which wetsuit I would wear and opted for the full sleeve one. I didn’t really want to wear that one but I thought it was best. I spent all evening dreading the swim.

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and ate a PB&J and hydrated (water, Gatorade and of course some Diet Coke). I loaded up my special needs bags and we headed out the door. When we made it down to the race site I realized I left my special needs bags in the hotel room. I had some PB&Js, pop, etc. My wife fought through parking and traffic AGAIN to get them while I got ready, but I just assumed it was a lost cause because it was really crowded and I wouldn’t be able to find her. I went ahead and got everything ready and kept an eye out for her and somehow we found each other. I’m glad we found each other because that PB&J on the bike course really hit the spot. It was time to head to the water.

Swim – Even though people could care less, I kind of felt goofy wearing the wetsuit I had on but it covered my arms. I hopped in the water and even though the temperature was the same as the day before, it felt a lot warmer. At that point I was wishing I wore the sleeveless but I was just excited to be there with 2,800+ others ready to get started. I had to swim about 100 yards to get to the starting area and treaded water during the national anthem. Then the cannon went off and the age group race started (the pros started 10 minutes earlier). My goggles got knocked off early on and I couldn’t them back on correctly throughout the swim and I kept having to stop and try to fix them which was frustrating. Despite that, the swim wasn’t that bad but I was slower than what I expected (1 hour, 32 minutes).

T1 – Transition was crowded but it was well organized. I located my bag and the changing tent was pretty crowded so I grabbed a chair outside and put on my cycling gear and headed out to grab my bike. I guess I could have went faster but I didn’t see much benefit in it.

Bike – It was a bit cool so I wore some arm warmers for the first lap. The bike course consisted of 3 laps that were relatively flat. The weather was near perfect and about 30 minutes into the bike the feeling was starting to return to my feet after the cold swim. The wind was extremely light on the first lap and the course travels out to a slight incline and then back into town. I made it a point to keep my heart rate around 125 bpm average and just enjoy myself because I’m weakest on the bike. On lap two, a wind out of the southwest (around 12-15 mph) started up. It was annoying but at least it provided a tailwind during the incline portion of the race. On laps 2 and 3 I also took advantage of the aid stations to step off the bike for a minute, use the restroom, and grab some hydration/nutrition. On lap 3 I was really anxious to get off of the bike. I finally finished the bike around 6 hours and 57 minutes and if I ever to do a full Iron distance I have a lot of room for improvement on the bike.

T2 – it wasn’t as crowded and the volunteers rack your bike so that’s a nice bonus. I changed socks, grabbed my visor and gels and headed out.

Run – The run also had three loops that weaved around the river. It was flat for the most part (one decent incline) with plenty of support. My plan was to run at a comfortable pace for as long as I could (trying to keep my heart rate at around 130 bpm average) and take in plenty of hydration/nutrition (water, ironman perform, coke, gels, pretzels, cookies, chicken broth were available) along the way, then once I started to get tired I would walk the aid stations and walk inclines. The aid stations were about a mile apart, which was perfect. I also grabbed water soaked sponges at each aid station and put one in the front of my shirt and one in the back. On the last lap I was getting pretty tired so my definition of incline was pretty loose. The support was awesome and really helped. Once I went through the chute to the finish area I could start to hear the crowd and the announcer. It was loud and exciting and I cruised right through the finish line. I was pretty conservative with my approach to the race and while I was exhausted, I wasn’t totally spent. My total time was 14 hours, three minutes.

The volunteers placed a medal around my neck, took my timing chip and put a mylar blanket on me and then I got my finisher picture taken. After they made sure I was doing okay they sent me to the refreshments. I sat down and had 2 pieces of pizza and a pop. It was crowded and I couldn’t find my wife so I headed to our meeting spot, but they had already taken it down and she wasn’t around. So, I went to go get my bike and gear bags but she had already gotten them and loaded them in the car. I wandered back up to the finish line and we found each other. As soon as we got back to the hotel I took an ice bath (they are not very comfortable but they seem to really work wonders) and put on some compression socks.
gadugi
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Postby tdjme » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:16 pm

To both of you... awesome race reports! I got chill bumps just reading them. With luck, I'll post my own IM AZ race report next year!
... not fast but having a lot of fun!..
tdjme
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IMAZ Race

Postby ouwelsh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:41 pm

My group got to Tempe on Thursday before the race and we were able to ride about 10 miles of the course on Thursday. We ran about 3 miles on Friday and then had the swim practice on Saturday. The bike ride was good and flat compared to NE Edmond so I was excited about that. The run was along the Tempe Town Lake and is pretty. The swim was Saturday morning was cold and actually took my breath away but I am self admitted weenie when it comes to cold water. I wore a full suit and a neoprene cap and was warm once I got going. My face and feet were cold but not unbearable.

Sunday Morning/Pre-Race:
I got up at 2:00 and drank a smoothie for caloric intake and then got up at 4:00. I slept surprising well before the race. Got up and took a shower to wake up and then had oatmeal with honey and some coffee. We headed down to transition about 5:15 am. I got there and of course had nature calling 4 times that morning. I chalked it up to nerves but was grateful to be lighter :). Definitely recommend taking a roll of your favorite toilet paper unless you like sandpaper tp. I checked my bike and got my disk aired up with the help of Ken (two man job) and did last minute checks on the bike. I then got into my wetsuit about 6:35 and made my way to the entry to enter the lake. I jumped in and it was still cold actually colder than the day before but I did not really notice as I was really excited. I probably swam about 100-150 yds and waded in the water until the cannon.

SWIM:
The cannon blasted and it was like playing hockey at first getting checked and bumped. It did not really clear up any until after the turn around. Literally as I was getting into a rhythm, a big dude came up next to me and hit me twice in the head and hit my left arm. I swam a couple of strokes and realized he had knocked off my Garmin 310XT. I panicked and looked around to see if it was somehow right around me. It messed with me mentally because I thought how in the world I am going to be able to pace myself on the run. I was swimming very slowly at this point and then kind of snapped out of it and realized I had about 139.6 miles to go so I decided to get after it get going again. I ended up with my worst swim ever of 1:32:20 time wise but know that was my first time to swim that distance with that many swimmers at once. I am not the strongest swimmer but get more confident as my triathlon career gets longer. Just two years prior I could not swim freestyle at all and used to panic in the water. I got to the stairs to get out and the volunteers were awesome helping me out and got my wetsuit off with the strippers and ran to T1.

T1:
I really need to improve my time in transition overall. You run out of the water and strip and then into the changing tent after yelling for your T1 bag. I had my doubts but the volunteers did an awesome job making it flow. I was a little colder than I expected and cramped in my feet while getting compression sleeves on and I chose to wear socks as it was still in 50’s temperature wise. I had bought a cheap black jacket from target to wear while riding and was glad I did. I went out of the tent and ran to grab my bike. Ran through transition and got to the mount line. My transition time was a slow 8:16. Definite room for improvement there.
Bike:
I took off from the transition and rode a little hard for the first few miles to get clear of the crowd since my blistering water time put me towards the back of the group. I then settled in and held my power number I had pre-determined would give me a good bike race and would allow me to run strong. The first lap was faster than my last two but not because I went out to fast but rather as the day wore on, the wind picked up pretty good. Again nothing compared to what we Okies are used to. I had my disk on and my 69er in front (between a 404 and 808) and never felt uncomfortable in the wind. We had the wind at our back going up the false flat of about the last ten miles and went downhill against the wind. I thought that was a good combo. I had to stop a total of 5 times to satisfy nature’s calling and once to get my special needs bag in which I shed my jacket and got some gum to keep my mouth moist. While I was happy I was staying hydrated, I have not learned like some of my buddies to pee on the go. I have a self debate with that philosophy as to whether I want to pee on myself especially since I am not competing for a podium spot . I felt strong on the bike and then at mile 90 (just before the last turn around), my left Achilles started hurting. This is an injury that has been nagging me since late August. I tried to ignore through training and Redman and even did not run train like I wanted to the month before the race. It ached but was not unbearable. I tried my best to compartmentalize the pain and did pretty good. I ended up with a 5:52:19 bike leg. Felt pretty good about that. Hindsight, I think I could have gone a little harder on the bike but you never know. I had hit my nutrition and was well hydrated and felt good going into the run.
T2:
Again slower than I expected at 5:07 in here but I stopped for nature after getting dressed and had my own marathon of time spent in the urinal. Seemed like an eternity but felt much better after doing so. The volunteers were again great as I came in off the bike; I handed my bike to a volunteer and ran to my T2 bag and again into the changing tent. Handed off my bag with my bike gear, the bathroom and then headed out running.
Run:
I caught up to one of my fellow IBMT brethren and ran with him for the first 7-8 miles. I was using him to help me pace myself. He was a stud as he said his knee was hurting and he handed me his watch and said go. I cannot tell you how much these training partners of mine mean to me. They are all great guys. I was stopping about every mile to stretch the Achilles. I was running where I wanted until I got to mile 20 when my Achilles was really starting to ache and that old feeling of somebody taking a baseball bat to my heal was rearing its ugly head. At mile 23, I hit a rock and tweaked my Achilles (burning sensation) and thought wow that really hurts. It never crossed my mind to quit as that is not in my DNA to quit but I did literally walk from mile 23-24 which was devastating to my overall run pace. At 24, I started jogging again and gritted my teeth. At mile 25, I could hear the crowd and decided it was time to finish. I got my pace down to about 7:45 for the last mile and went down the chute and heard the announcer call my name. Overall, a great race and I still PR’d by 25 minutes. My marathon time was 4:34:47 and I know I can go faster and given my difficult year of training due to personal reasons, I was pretty ecstatic. Overall time was 12:12:49.
Next up is Oceanside 70.3 in March and then IMCdA in June. I love this stuff.
2012 Race Schedule

70.3 Oceanside, IMCdA, Redman
ouwelsh
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