I'm an Ironman!

Things I learned at IM AZ

  1. Goggles are worn for many reasons. One is for keeping water out
    of eyes. One is for helping block some of the glare of a rising sun as
    you swim into it. Another is to block against fingernails and hands
    entering your eyesockets.
  2. It’s crowded in the water with over
    1800 people all trying to swim in the same place. However, this course
    was great because it was very wide, so people just spread out and it
    wasn’t nearly as bad as some other mass starts I’ve done.
  3. If
    you get kicked, just keep swimming. I wonder how much martial arts has
    helped me make it so that getting kicked and punched in the face just
    doesn’t matter.
  4. Sunscreen on a neck raw from a wetsuit stings! Enough that I could notice it through all the tired muscles.
  5. It
    can be hard to convince your backside to go back on a bike after a
    potty stop. But personally I still prefer that to biking and running
    wet from peeing while biking.
  6. You will have taken the one thing you end up wanting out of your bike special needs bag.
  7. It is possible to peel and eat a banana while biking at a decent speed.
  8. Support
    crews help pull against wind. For miles I just focused on the cheers of
    my family and friends once I got back into town, knowing each pedal
    stroke was bringing me closer to them.
  9. Sometimes a squished
    peanut butter sandwhich made 2 days ago and in a bike jersey pocket
    outside through a warm day and an night, and then against my back for
    80 miles tastes damn good.
  10. It’s all about having a little goal.
    There was a sign for 5/40/75 miles that you passed the first three
    laps, and for the final in town lap to the finish you went right
    instead of left right before it. Each lap, that was my focus point.
    That was where I was trying to get back to.
  11. Wind is worse than
    hills ’cause with hills at least you can kinda see where it will stop,
    and you realy realize when you are benefiting from it.
  12. You will
    be tired and forget things. Despite the note in my shoe about my
    inhaller, I left it in the bike jersey pocket, and the note only made
    me grab the pouch for it saying oh yeah, it’s in here (Luckily the run
    went very smoothly and I was comfortable and relaxed the whole time, so
    didn’t need it).
  13. Unlike a regular marathon, where you start of
    feeling pretty good, feel a bit better, and then feel a bit worse, in
    this one I felt fairly sore, the first few miles were an awesome
    stretch from being on a bike that long, and there were sore muscles the
    whole time.
  14. Chicken soup brooth chased with water, cola, and
    gatorade (orange and lemon-lime) make my legs keep moving aid station
    to aid station. Alternating them works really well for me.
  15. When
    running along a canal in the dark it is hard to see the edge of the
    water — don’t fall in. Sunglasses doesn’t make this any easier.
  16. Time is motivating. Hearing that you are on pace to break 14 hours really helps keep a good pace the last few miles of the run
  17. Making
    yourself smile through the run helps relax… and gets more random
    people cheering for you, pulling you through the miles.
  18. Not
    until you stop will you realize just how shaky your legs are. But you
    will still have the energy to run to the family and friends that helped
    you through the race.

WOW. What do I say? It was an awesome race.

Getting ready for transitions and everything went easy and smooth, no issues to mention.

swim was definitely not my strongest part of the race. I found my
stroke and swam nice and easy, practicing glide and staying on my
sides. I could hear the swim coach telling me to make sure that I
looked straight down and kept my neck relaxed. However, I really had
issues with swimming straight. I should work on that.

was easy… the had wetsuit strippers to help me get it off (after
being in cold water that long hands don’t work so well) and then people
helped you get your gear on and not forget things and then repacked
your swim gear into the bag for you. I must say, the volunteers at this
race rocked!

The bike was WINDY!!! Like so windy
that side winds made me think I was going to fall over. And so windy
that there were 10-15 miles on the back part of the out and back loop
(so we did it 3 times) where it was just like going uphill the whole
time. Yeah, frustrating and tiring. On a completely flat section not
being able to get over 10 MPH just because of wind. Bleck. The winds
have been compared to those of the HI Ironman (known for horrendous
winds). During those miles I just kept focused on how each mile brought
me closer to town and my on-site cheering section.

was also fairly uneventful. Only thing I forgot was my inhaller — I
had a note in my shoe about it and grabbed the little pocket it was
going to go in, but totally forgot it was currently in a bike jersey
pocket and not in the pouch. Again, the helper people were great.

The run was pretty damn sweet.
I felt really good starting out. Like too good. Scary good. So I ran.
Lots of people were walking part, but I just didn’t need to. I think I
felt better for most of it than I did when I did “just” a marathon in
January. I passed like 400 people! I just flew. I was relaxed and
smiling pretty much the whole time. I got told I was gorgeous by
another racer (and older guy) and had many words of motivation from
other runners. I think that is part of why I like the run so much. With
all the bike positioning rules, you get very limited interactions. With
the swim, yeah, not so much interacting outside accidently bumping
punching and kicking. So I PR’ed in the marathon — 4:39:28 (my other
one was 4:56ish). That’s pretty sweet 🙂 And I felt good even at the
end. My legs were kinda jello-y, but I walked from the finish line on
my own and even jogged over to the people there to see me a few times.

Overall: 7/11 in age group, 1123/1830 overall,
and 13:51:26 So if you double my half IM time from last May, you get
14:36. So in some sense, that + some time should have been my
guestimate time. But I must be in better shape now – my swim speed was
the slower, my bike and run faster.

the massage after — that was also good. I’m not nearly as sore as I expected to be. In fact, I feel pretty good. Had a nice swim of about 1900m this morning, and a few hours of karate yesterday. Good times. I can’t wait for the next one!

My Race stats:
Division: W18-24
Overall Time: 13:51:26
Overall Place: 1123/1816
Division Place: 7/11
Time: 1:37:27
Overall Place: 1594/1816
Division Place: 11/11
100m Pace: 2:34
T1: 7:38
Time: 7:17:59
Overall Place: 1499/1816
Division Place: 10/11
Average MPH: 15.3
T2: 8:56
Time: 4:39:28
Overall Place: 638/1816
Division Place: 4/11
Mile Pace: 10:40

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