Ironman Arizona 2013 recap

Woke up at 4, had 1 more serving of rice, a PB&J sandwich, a cup of mild coffee and a banana. Got to the park at 5:15am and ate a Clif Bar. Dropped of my SN bags and changed. Listened to death metal and was getting pumped. The pros went off at 6:45am and I lined up for the entrance.  Before the start had a GU and 4-5 oz of water. Jogged/jumped up and down for about 4-5 minutes. Got into the water, it felt about 64-65 degrees.

Lined up in the middle about 4-5 rows down. With about 2 mins to go, a woman next to me starts having a panic attack. She is bobbing up and down and trying to swim on her back. I grab her and some dude holds her other arm and we call a kayaker. He finally hears us and starts making his way to us. The woman is getting wigged out and I am trying to tell her that she is not done for the day. It is chaotic as the kayaker is trying to pull her up and people are swimming all around us. Finally she is secured and the gun goes off a few 5 seconds later. By now, I am probably 15 rows down and it is a wild stampede. I go through about 5 mins of fighting for space. Finally, I get some open water and swim without too much contact until the turnaround. The turnaround is a mess again, with people trying to cut it as close to the markers as possible. Once we turn around, I take my straight shot back to the museum building that I sighted before. Again, tons of open water as people are wondering off in all directions. I am starting to feel like I am getting a little too worked and I slow the pace down a bit. Before I know it, we come to the last turnaround and a bit of fighting ensues again. I swim up to the steps and get pulled in. The clock reads 1:19.

T1 - pull my wetsuit off right away and run having to dodge people being stripped by the volunteers. Run into the bag holding area and find my stuff quickly. Hands are a bit cold so it takes time to take my gear out of the bag and put my top on and shove food into the back pockets and then pack the wetsuit. I run towards the exit and grab my bike from the volunteer. Shove a Clif bar into my mouth before jumping on and wash it down with Diet Coke to hopefully kill off any fauna I might have swallowed in the water. The clock reads 1:30. 10 mins down the drain. I guess that I need to figure out how to do a better T1 in the IM format.

The goal was about 150 NP, and at least 500 calories intake from non-fluids. I get on the bike and I am shivering. Freezing almost. Takes me a good 15 mins to defrost. Of course, I barely put out any power in this condition. We get to Beeline and the wind is in our face. Ride to the top pretty slowly, and then get to bomb down back to McDowell. Awesome! Not a ton of drafting. The second loop feels much easier for some reason – that’s because the wind had shifted. Ride to the top is now super fast. The stomach starts to get a little tight, and the sun is in my back heating up my saddle and my rear. I eat my GU packets and my Clif Bloks 3 cubes at time but I am not a happy camper digestion wise. The ride down is painfully slow as it is again against the wind. I have to stop at the special needs area and grab 2 banana halves and refill my aero bottle. 2 mins go by and the cramps are gone. Back to Rio Salado and off to the 3rd loop. I try to drink as much as possible (I am using G2 grape flavor with about 20% water added on top) and I have to stop again to fill up the aero bottle and grab 2 more banana halves. Take away - need to work on my tempo rides. I can get faster, I know it. Bike time was 5:47:39.

Got to T2. I hand over my bike, get my run gear bag and try to change on the grass. I get accosted by a volunteer and get told to go to the tent and change. Whaaaat? It is hot and musty in the tent and quite dark too. Find a seat and put on my shoes and hat and my running belt with the number on it. Turn on my Garmin, and pack the bike helmet and some leftover food stuff into the bag. I keep 2 GU packets and a packet of salt tabs. I am out of the tent and the time reads 7:25. Another 5 mins spent.

It is mid-day and then sun is still quite warm, probably in the mid 70s. I start my run and the whole herd of us is moving towards the east end of the park. It is confusing since I have no idea whether someone is running their second loop or not. My heart rate monitor starts glitching again, and is showing a 190 bpm HR. I know that I am not quite having a heart attack, and in fact my breathing is smooth. I get angry and pitch the heart strap at the next trash can. Feeling liberated. Some rollers in the first mile. I come to the first drink station and get some water. Take it in and the stomach is unhappy again. The pace is still good – about 7:55 min/mile. At the next aid station I take some cola and a wet sponge. It feels much better. We turn around and are now running back to the Priest bridge. I alternate between Cola and bananas, followed by tiny sips of water, between drink stations. The stomach is not super happy about it, but I feel like I will fight through this. Cross over to the other of the lake and run a little slower but still within the 8:10 min/mile pace. The voices inside my head are beginning to talk about how cool it’d be to go sub 11. The next 6 miles are a blur… I get back to the T1 area and feel like going number one. I am tired of peeing myself and jump into a porta potty. The pee looks dark. Crap! I take a salt tab and it makes my stomach churn. I switch to almost 100% cola for the next 4 miles. Eventually I make it back to the T1 area and I am feeling pretty spry now for whatever reason. I notice a 7:55 min/mile pace at one point. Cross the Priest bridge and am now seeing the sub 11 mile goal fading. Garmin is projecting a 3:39 finish time for the run… and my heart just goes. I try to pick up the pace but it makes my quads cramp. I make it back to the turnaround under the freeway, grab water at the next station and a banana… water makes me throw up. Gross. I have to slow down to keep going. My mind starts to wander a little and the next 2 miles are a blur again until I make it the hill on Curry road. I know I need to walk that hill or else I may be forced to walk the last 3 miles altogether. I also walk the last incline to the Priest bridge and I am elated to know that I only have 1.5 miles to go. I forgo taking fluids or food at this point and just concentrate on moving forward as fast as I can. I come to the split between the loops and I can hear the noise from the finish line. Going about 7:20 min/mile at that point, not even sure why. I come to the finish line and am overwhelmed by the crowd. Crossing the line, it reads 11:10:05. A 3:46 run, nothing to write home about under the normal circumstances.

I get seated by the volunteer and drink my chocolate milk, and grab some chips and pizza and water. I am almost delirious. My kids find me and call me. I am now realizing that I am done. Suddenly I feel much better. I find my clothes, change, grab the bike and my gear bags and we head out. Wife parked about a mile from the finish line, and is joking that I can always ride my bike back. I seem to be walking ok though. We get back to the rental, I shower and we all go to Grimaldi’s in downtown Scottsdale for pizza and beers. I am feeling great. We get home and I black out into the darkest sleep where no dreams dwell.
All in all... this being my first IM, I think that I could have done better transitions and probably more tempo bike rides.

No comments:

Post a Comment