Personal Race Report: Ironman Arizona (April 15, 2007)
Bib Number: 1437
Overall Place: 1686 (2066 starters, 1860 finishers)
Overall Time: 15:44:16
Division Place: 292 (330 starters, 307 finishers)
Swim Time: 1:27:07
Swim Overall Place: 1618
Swim Division Place: 283
Bike Time: 7:28:55
Bike Overall Place: 1660
Bike Division Place: 293
Run Time: 6:21:55
Run Overall Place: 1674
Run Division Place: 280
The swim (one loop) is freshwater with poor visibility. The temperature was fine in full-sleeve wetsuit, and some folks seemed OK in sleeveless. The combination of buoy line, bend in river, and perhaps current make navigation a little tricky.
Watching the pros during the 15 minutes between their start and the age group start we could see them quite far left of midpoint between the shores on their outgoing swim. I took a bearing from the sun and a crane on the (left) shore. The bearing turned out to be useful, because there was a lot of "spread" amongst the swimmers and I lagged (on the return leg sighting is made simple by bridges).
With the spread the washing machine effects were not horrendous, but with limited visibility I still had my goggles hit a couple of times at the start and once more further along (good thing I had the goggle strap beneath my swim cap).
As I was approaching the midpoint I had quite noticeable negative feelings. I was tired of the occasional contact and low visibility. Moreso, though, I was tired of just not knowing what to do with my stroke in the wetsuit. The extra flotation and pull on the shoulders left me with very little feel for pace or efficiency of any adaptions. Basically, I just plugged along with so little heart in it that the upper body muscles never did signal that they’d had a workout. Rarely have I felt so flat, even in workouts let alone events.
The bike (three loops) is relatively flat. There are some rough-ish road patches – lots of riding on paved shoulders. Enough of it is in open space to provide desert scenery. We did well with the temperature, but the wind came up and was noticeably gusty too. The pros avoided disk wheels, although a few age groupers stuck with them.
first bike segment (37 miles): 2:31:27 (14.66mph)
second bike segment (83.6 miles): 4:57:28 (16.86mph)
average heartrate 143 (Friel zone 2 starts at 145 for me)
Yeah, my type I muscle fibers just don’t do much.
Once I had the poor little blue Cannondale in hand my mood perked up hugely. Not much to say otherwise. It was a lot of fun to see the pros as they lapped me. It was nice to exchange a word with Comm’s out there, and to see one of the Outlaws (Myles' tri club) a couple of times. And I had a tumbleweed blow past in front of me!
The run (three loops) has a couple of minor hills – nothing intense. It’s dull – the loop is close to the ASU campus, going from roads to sidewalks over bridges to pedestrian paths.
first run segment (8.8 miles): 1:43:05 (11:42/mile)
second run segment (8.8 miles): 2:12:38 (15:03/mile)
third run segment (8.6 miles): 2:26:22 (17:01/mile)
I got my legs under me in the first couple of miles, walking some stretches, and just getting going. The first loop went OK (walking hills and aid stations).
Bumping along in the second loop I encountered Myles grinding it out. It wasn’t all that much later that a spectator called out to me (paraphrase): “Way to go Brent – keep drinking!” I wondered: what’s that about? I had just downed water and cola at the aid station a couple of minutes prior. A moment’s assessment told me what that may have been about; I was drinking, but I was no longer sweating. And that was pretty much the end of my jogging. My body was developing issues and I hadn’t immediately noticed, so I decided to take it easy and simply enjoy the evening as best I could. Sure, I had the fatigue effects of pulling an all-nighter, but it was still a nice stroll with friendly fellow stragglers and volunteers along the way.
So, I didn’t PR. I didn't leave it all on the course. I didn’t even Just Keep Running.
What did I get out of it? I “removed the asterisk” by logging an official IM finish, versus my previous one non-Ironman Corp. iron-distance race. I collected a bunch of Ironman moments. And, thanks in part to low intensity not demanding almost all my energy, I enjoyed being out on the bike and run.
My thanks to the organizers, spectators, and volunteers. Special thanks to my sister Wendy for being Ironsherpa.