Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ironman Arizona 2013 Race Report

Ironman Arizona Race Report
November 17, 2013
By Iron Eric
Not sure even where to begin with my epic journey to Ironman Arizona.  It started more than a year ago when I committed to participating in the race.  It has been since June 2008 since I finished Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  Something got stuck in my head to see how I could do 5 years later.  My run has been so much stronger and I felt I could put in a top notch performance.
The drive to Arizona was pretty easy.  It was a 12-13 hour drive or 850 miles so we decided to drive in 2 days.  Halfway point was Albuquerque, NM.  Nicole, Ariel and I packed our bags and off we went.
The day before the race was pretty low-key.  I spent some time near the expo at the practice swim.  This was pretty intense in itself.  I have been having troubles putting on my wetsuit.  It is extra difficult to get it around wrists and ankles.  That's where a plastic bag comes in handy.  Guess what I left in the car.  I went on a hunt to find my plastic bag...I ended up at the expo merchandise mart.  I was finally successful and got my wetsuit on with ease.  I swam for about 20 minutes at an easy pace.  After the swim, I went back to my car and got my bike.  I rode it for about 30 minutes and took it to transition area so it could be checked in.  I got a sneak peak of the run course.  I ran/walked a little back to my car.
My in-laws came to watch so we all went to eat at a fancy Italian Restaurant.  My meal was pretty delicious.  I had a salad and a pasta dinner.  Nothing fancy.
Race morning was pretty simple.  I woke up at 4:00am.  I ate my cranberry oatmeal shortly after I woke up.  I put on sunscreen, my race clothes and got my stuff ready to go.  I was out the door at 5:10am.  I went alone to the race site, with the anticipation of meeting my crew at the race.  That was a mistake because I never saw them that morning.  We would all go together if we were to do it again. 
Once I was in the transition area, there was no leaving it.  I put my GU gels, GU Chomps, Bonk Breaker Bars and GU Roctane Electrolyte beverage on my bike.  I borrowed a bike pump from another athlete.  Next I went to wait in the restroom line.  I didn't have to go until I got in the port-o-potties.  While waiting, I realized I still had my Bike and Run Special Needs Bags.  The athlete in front of me offered to go and put our bags where they needed to be.  In return, I held his spot which worked out for both of us.  I started putting my wetsuit on while in line.  Shortly after I got out, put my race day clothes bag away and it was time to line up for the swim start.

The swim start happened so fast.  I got in the water and swam past the two bridges.  I was moving up towards the middle of the group and "bang" there goes the start of the race.  Mad chaos began with swimmers every which direction.  It seemed like it was mad chaos for the entire swim.  I got kicked in the nose pretty hard at some point.  This seemed to be the worst of it until I kicked someone (accidently) behind me and a heard a low scream calling me a big jerk.  I got out of the swim pretty easily and waited for someone to lift me up.
Swim: 1:15:17 (1:56/100m or 1:47/100y)
I ran to one of the volunteers that helped me strip my wetsuit.  He had troubles getting the suit of my wrists.  Not a big surprise.  I rounded the corner keeping a close eye for my family.  The crowds were amazing and it felt so special to be participating in this event.  I was shouting my number as I passed the gear bags and got it with ease.  I sat on the grass just before I put on my heart rate monitor, GPS, socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, bike gloves and off I went.  It was a pretty simple transition.  I wasn't cold and frozen like previous experiences.  I ran for a quick potty break, grabbed my bike and off I went.  Some other cyclists were having troubles getting on their bikes and I was screaming for them to get out of the way and hurry up.  My family heard me screaming as I found out later.
The bike course is a 3 loop course.  Each loop is about 37 miles.  I previewed the course ahead of time which made a big difference.  I knew where the turns were and what to expect.  The first loop was madness.  There were so many cyclists next to me.  I was afraid that someone was going to get a drafting penalty.  As soon as I would pass one, the same one would come back and pass me.  Loop two cleared up and it made riding easier, yet slower. 
I had to get off the bike once to pee on the second loop.  I found an open port-o-potty and stopped.  I wasted one minute, but it was better than going while still riding on the bike.  A volunteer held my bike right away as I made the quick stop.  Just couldn't pee on the bike. My hamstring started cramping which made me worry just a little.  The cramp went away by the third loop.
I thought my nutrition was pretty dialed in.  I had 6-7 GU gels, GU Chomps (2 serv.), two 21 oz bottles of GU Roctane, tons of Ironman Perform, and two big Bonk Breaker Bars.
Bike 5:29:35 (20.39 mph)
  Calories: 3,935
  Min HR: 106  |  Avg HR: 145  |  Max HR: 166
  Z1: 20:37  |  Z2: 3:33:18  |  Z3: 1:38:37  |  Z4: 0:00:36
Loop 1: 1:43:28
  Avg HR: 145  |  Max HR: 160 
Loop 2: 1:50:11
  Avg HR: 147  |  Max HR: 166
Loop 3: 1:59:27
  Avg HR: 144  |  Max HR: 159
Towards the end of the ride, I purposely took it easy.  I tried to relax and get my legs ready for the run.  I was searching for my family throughout the big crowds.
The run is where I specialize.  I am a great runner and have been working hard for the last couple of years.  I have improved my marathon times greatly and was ready to rock this marathon.  I had my Heart Rate Monitor on so my plan was to stay within a certain range.  My HR started pretty high and I was a little concerned.  The problem I encountered was that I felt great.  I was running smooth, but I felt my pace was a little too fast.
Let's just say I hit a wall pretty early during the marathon.  I was feeling sick around mile 6-7.  Not sure how to describe how I felt.  I found a tree and vomited a few miles later.  This helped some, but my pace slowed and it was now challenging. 
I ran most of the marathon.  I started to walk at the aid stations when I got coke.  The weather was great so at least I wasn't cold.  I had a pretty bad gas bubble in my stomach which never seemed to improve.  I was great one minute, the next I was in agony.  This was on and off for the remainder of the run. 
Despite being worn out, I was still passing other runners.  I was still looking for my family every time I passed Ironman expo area.  I did not see them so I kept on going.  The pickle juice I carried with me was gone, but I chose not to refill it as the Special Needs run.  It really didn't help me this time.
The hills seemed massive, but I managed to get past them.  Mile 23 seemed like bliss.  I was headed towards the finish and I knew that the suffer fest was almost over.  I managed to pull off a great last mile as I came in to the finish area.  The sun was down as I finished, but it was an amazing feeling coming through the finish line.
Run 3:49:04 (8:44/mile)
  Calories: 2,676
  Min HR: 114  |  Avg HR: 145  |  Max HR: 171
  Z1: 39:01  |  Z2: 2:07:45  |  Z3: 25:39  |  Z4: 34:09
Mile 1-5: 33:22+2:00
  Avg HR: 166  |  Max HR: 171 
Mile 5-10: 44:20
  Avg HR: 150  |  Max HR: 164
Mile 10-15: 44:44
  Avg HR: 142  |  Max HR: 153
Mile 15-20: 46:45
  Avg HR: 137  |  Max HR: 146
Mile 20-25: 47:21
  Avg HR: 143  |  Max HR: 158
Mile 25-26.25: 10:34
  Avg HR: 143  |  Max HR: 158
Garmin Watch (8:43/mile)
Run: 3:49:06
Run Distance: 26.14
Avg Pace: 8:43/mile
Best Pace: 5:44/mile
Calories: 3,327

Mile 1: 6:39, Mile 2: 6:47,Mile 3: 7:04,Mile 4: 7:13,Mile 5: 7:38, Mile 6: 8:12, Mile 7: 9:01,
Mile 8: 8:44, Mile 9: 8:41, Mile 10: 8:52, Mile 11: 8:37, Mile 12: 8:55, Mile 13: 9:08,
Mile 14: 9:13, Mile 15: 9:10, Mile 16: 9:16, Mile 17: 9:06, Mile 18: 9:24, Mile 19: 9:39,
Mile 20: 9:30, Mile 21: 9:09, Mile 22: 9:11, Mile 23: 9:19, Mile 24: 9:53, Mile 25: 9:37,
Mile 26: 8:43, Mile 26.2: 0:44

I slowly walked through the finish area.  The volunteer who helped me at the finish was awesome!  She asked if I needed anything, I asked for a coke.  I got my photo taken and started walking to find my family.  I managed to get in some food and liquids for recovery.  Not the greatest food (pizza and chocolate cookie), but I was happy to be eating solid foods.  When I got to the hotel I drank my GU Chocolate Recovery drink.
Final StatsT1: Swim-to-Bike – 8:12
T2: Bike-to-Run – 3:19
Age Group
1.2 Miles
112 Miles
20.39 mph
26.2 Miles
140.6 Miles
Final Thoughts
After time to think about the race I have come up with a list of items of things I need to work on before Ironman Boulder next year:
  • Better Swim (10 seconds per 100y)
  • Don’t sit on grass
  • Improve Marathon Time (20-45 minutes)
  • Better nutrition on the run
  • Work on hydration for extreme heat at IM Boulder
  • Continue to improve on cycling
  • Move up on rankings

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ironman Arizona

Been training hard for Ironman Arizona this year.  It's been quite some time since I have written on the blog.  My bib # is 1523 and I have 2 weeks until race day (11/17/2013).  Another post will be coming soon!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Iron Eric’s Blog Update April / May 2013

Swim Update

I’ve been doing a good job getting to the pool in enough time to complete my swim workout. I have been swimming around 2200 yards on Monday and Wednesdays and around 3500 yards on Fridays.

Getting into the swimming routine is always a plus. I have a certain set I do every morning.

The Trails Recreation Center pool has been extremely crowded some days. Each lane has at least 2 swimmers, and sometimes 3. I usually don’t mind sharing a lane, it just depends on the swimmer.

Run Update

Where to even start with my run? I feel like I have gone back two steps in my running speed. I have been about 15 seconds slower per mile, during races, no matter the distance.

Hippity Hop Easter Trot 10 Finish
Award Photo with Easter Bunny (2nd Place)

Stapleton 5M start

Bradley 5K Leaders

Leading the Bradley 5K

I have averaged around 30-40 miles per week while adding extra swim and cycling workouts.

Races Completed:
• Hippity Hop Easter Trot: 37:02
• RMRR City Park 4 mi: 23:58
• Bradley International 5K Fun Run: 17:45
• Stapleton Central Park 5mi: 30:05
• Mission Viejo 5K: 18:01

Track Workouts

I missed a couple weeks running with the Phidippides Track Club due to the bad weather. It snowed more than usual in April. I did one track workout on the treadmill at work. Hill repeats have been a success.

Bike Update

A few changes have been made this year to change things up and to get me faster. I have purchased new shoes, cleats, pedals, bike seat, bike bag and a customized bike fitting.

I learned a few things during my customized bike fitting.

1) My bike is outdated
2) I have tight hamstrings
3) Speed is not all about the bike

I have had some good rides and a few long ones. I have been exploring new areas and rode into the mountains with a cycling friend. I have now more than three 65+ mile rides. Each different skill level with one leaving me completely fried.

I need to concentrate more during my rides. I had a minor crash which gave me some bad road rash and a hurt ego. I was able to ride to Bicycle Village and get me bike fixed. It needed some adjustments.

Nutrition Update

Nothing new as far as nutrition updates. Some days are better than others when it comes to eating well. Cookies, cakes and beer have been my weakness.

Weights Update

My Wednesday weight session has been non-existent. I am not sure why I stopped? I should start this back up.

Workout History Data

2013 1-Jan 1-Feb 1-Mar 1-Apr 1-May YTD

Run: 148.39 147.26 141.76 148.03 60.42 645.86 miles
Bike: 278.33 268.61 282.24 354.59 167 1350.77 miles
Swim: 26000 5000 30750 23000 6600 91350 yards

Friday, March 15, 2013

Iron Eric’s Blog Update March 2013

Swim Update
Adding swim sessions back into my weekly routine has been challenging. I started swimming again in December 2012. I started off slow with short workouts. I watched a few swim videos and checked out some swim books from the library. I have incorporated swim drills into my workouts. I have been working hard to perfect my form.
Me at California International Marathon

                           in Dec 2012

I started swimming at the local recreation center that is within 1 mile from my house. I chose to swim there because it opens early, close to home and few swimmers are there at 5am. Shortly after I signed up for a monthly membership, the pool closed for repairs. The pool was meant to be closed for only a few days, but some needed repairs were required. I did not swim much in February due to the closure. The closure put a damper on my swim workouts which forced me to swim at another pool.

Run Update
Running is my strong point. I have logged over 10,000 miles since 2007. I hit an all time high with mileage in 2012 with 2493.57 miles. 2013 has different challenges because my “A” race is Ironman Arizona. This means I need to run less and start swimming and cycling more. This has been a hard task because I don’t want to give up my running speed.
RMRR Trophy Series in Jan 2012

I have averaged around 30-40 miles per week while adding extra swim and cycling workouts.

Races Completed:
• Snowman Stampede
• RMRR Platte River Bar and Grill – 7mi
• RMRR Crown Hill Park – 3mi

Track Workouts
March means early track workouts. I will continue to run with the Phidippides Track Club. I am not certain how many workouts I will be able to attend. I am usually one of the top runners in the group and may want to scale things back a little so I can conserve my energy for the other disciplines of triathlon.

Bike Update
A majority of my workouts have been indoors. Colorado is hit or miss when it comes to the weather and I need to make sure the roads are in safe conditions. I have had a few long sessions outdoors and anticipate learning new road and paths to travel. My mileage is 600+ which is close to last year’s totals.

I hope to do more century rides in 2013. I want to build the endurance and strength to ride long.

I will be making a few big purchases this year to enhance my cycling performance. Shoes, pedals, seat and a customized bike fitting will improve my cycling.

Nutrition Update
I have changed my nutrition and eating habits. Starting in the 2nd week of February I went on a Fodmaps Diet plan which consists of No Gluten, No Diary, No artificial sweeteners, No High Fructose and limits certain fruits and vegetables. I have been trying to relieve some stomach issues: cramps, bloating and gas. I have had these issues for several months now. This new diet has helped improve some of the symptoms, but not all. I have been slowly consuming dairy, wheat and other products. This has not made my symptoms worse, but not better.
Snowman Stampede in Feb 2013

My goal is to eat as healthy as possible.

Weights Update
I lift weights every Wednesday afternoon. I have 8 straight weeks of workouts now. My goal is to strengthen my muscles to improve my triathlon disciplines.

Workout History Data
Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 YTD
Run: 148.39 147.26 24.93 320.58 miles
Bike: 278.33 268.61 57.73 604.67 miles
Swim: 26000 5000 7450 38450 yards

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Challenges

It's a new year.  2013 has come and I am ready for some new challenges.  I will be swimming and cycling more and hopefully take some private lessons.

What will this year bring?

More Volunteering
Active on my Blog
Ironman Arizona
Recover from my nagging groin/stomach

California International Marathon: 2:48:57
Denver Marathon - 2:49:46
Another Bolder Boulder
Great track workouts
Super fast 5K's
...and a nagging groin/stomach issue