Sunday, April 29, 2007

Personal Race Report: Ironman Arizona (April 15, 2007)

My results:
Bib Number: 1437
Overall Place: 1686 (2066 starters, 1860 finishers)
Overall Time: 15:44:16
Division: M40-44
Division Place: 292 (330 starters, 307 finishers)

Swim Time: 1:27:07
Swim Overall Place: 1618
Swim Division Place: 283
T1: 13:31
Bike Time: 7:28:55
Bike Overall Place: 1660
Bike Division Place: 293
T2: 12:48
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.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Training Begins Tomorrow (tm)

On Monday the 16th I re-set my countdown clock and events list, and that's about all I've done about Florida 70.3 or IMMoo 2007. The poor little blue Cannondale is still stoically waiting inside the bike box.

I thought about Masters swimming last night, but instead opted for a pizza, 2 episodes of Rome on DVD, and 10 hours of sleep. I'm going to choose a beach bar over an informal sea swim after work. All part of achieving the state of tanned, rested, and ready.

'Cause my training begins tomorrow.

No, really!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I returned from IMAZ on April 17th. On April 18th I collected a guest from the airport; he departs today (returning to Toronto; I just had him on loan from his wife, four kids, job, and Toronto weather). Our big deal was scuba diving this past weekend.

Being Type-A sorts, we decided to do the PADI Advanced Open Water course through Divers Down. We were quite happy with them, although they did make one slip up - we made special side arrangements for a night dive off the shore (no divemaster), but the staff forgot to leave lights for us (they did leave us the tanks and weightbelts). We'll go night diving another time! Anyhow, overall they were professional and friendly. Their boats go out early in the morning, and their party sizes are small. Thus, they get to pick good sites before other boats claim them, and the divers don't have to wait around through big loading and unloading procedures.

Here's my visiting friend, Doug from high school days:

Note the Spare Air canister on his front. The Instapundit also uses one - he refers to it as a "wife comforting device". BTW, that last link has a good video of the Instapundit diving off the East End of Grand Cayman (no, I don't know Insty personally).

Here's me (this and all remaining photos snapped by Doug):

Yes, upside down diving is best, but we did stage a mock trampoline shot too:

I began with a refresher dive on Saturday morning with Doug in tow. It was a shore dive at George Town harbour. We beat the cruise ships, so the fish had not yet been disturbed; the staff hadn't seen so many at that site this year:

We saw a fair number of other critters on that dive, including a barracuda (no pic).

A few other shots from other dives, just to give a sense that the reefs are out there and colourful (bring your own light to bring out the colour):

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Eyes Have It

OK, picture from previous post is now profile pic. It amuses me and nobody who owns a blog where I comment registered an pre-emptive objection.

I see that my sister has finished the pre-IMAZ part of our travelogue. I'll do something about a race report this week.

As a mollifier, before Thursday I'll post a couple of pics from the weekend scuba dives.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hans Up - We Are All Franz Here!

It seems that I paused at IMAZ to do a Saturday Night Live imitation for the camera:

Trying to resist temptation to make this my profile pic.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Quick One While I'm Away*

Thank you all for your words of encouragement and congratulation. Big shout-out to my big sister Wendy for being my IronSherpa at IMAZ!

My IMAZ 2007 race report may be a long time coming, what with travels and then a visiting guest. In the meanwhile, I'll say that I was happy to simply complete (and without major distress). Rich Strauss tells us to bear in mind our One Thing. For me for IMAZ 2007 it was simply to log the official IM completion. An element underlying that was my feeling that by me registering, someone else was shut-out; by commiting to a (admitedly non-stretch) goal and executing, the slot would not be "wasted".

* click for not-particularly germane title reference

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Once More Onto The Beach

We happy few.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We All Have Baggage...

...perhaps triathletes moreso than average.

That's prompted in part by Duane, with his known love of such logistics. And yes, my sister packed much more lightly!

BTW, the bike case is a Sci-Con Aerotech that I was fortunate to buy used. It is a great piece of gear - very easy to manoeuver.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blog-gone ('til April 18)

Blogging will be sporadic at best until April 18 due to IMAZ-related travels.

The Web As Horoscope

I can read something general as specifically applicable. Today at I find the following quote:
"Feeling of happiness, satisfaction and wellbeing having just stocked up with 5 Brother P-Touch label cartridges. I can't wait to label things."

Yeah, I'm busy with packing and labeling various gear for IMAZ.

Anyway, I'm sure you all recognized someone in that bit.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My IMAZ Bib Number

My IMAZ bib number is:

Race day tracking available at

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

(Un)seize The Day!

I called upon another local mechanic, Sheldon.

I don't have a long-handled pedal wrench. That and a bit of penetrating oil was all it took to free up my pedals. Hmmm. Now questioning Alberto's toolkit.

Also, now hesitant to risk re-attaching pedals before getting on the plane!

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Week That Was

Mon.: 1hr. Masters swim session
Thu.: 1hr. run, zone 3
Additional: 1 hot yoga session (a.k.a. trying on new wetsuit)

Not so much a taper as a collapse.

Also, pedals are seized. May have to remove crank arms for shipping.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Monday.