Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Ironman Arizona Race Report

It feels great to be writing a positive Ironman race report instead of the post mortem that usually follows, so I’m going to take a slightly different approach to this race report.  I’ll attempt to say less and post more pictures.  If you want all the details, just send me a message or ask a question and I’m glad to share.

Ironman is not an individual sport and without the support of many people I could never do this.  I owe a huge thank you to Theresa, Abigail, Zoot Sports, Spy Optics, Garmin, Gu, PR Bar, Zipp, Dr. Phil Skiba at Physfarm, Bartlett Gators Masters Swim Team, Tony, and so many more people I didn't mention..

This ironman was a bit different for me.  It was number 5 and I did not have a goal time in mind.  I also did not have a super complicated race plan with a ton of goals.  Instead my goal was simply to have a good run.  My race plan was also simple, swim and bike slow enough to have a good run.  I honestly did not care what my final time was as long as I finally ran well in an ironman.

I'm one of the ones to the far left away from the mess

Somehow Theresa managed to actually spot me on the swim.
I’m very proud to stay I stuck to my plan exactly.  I ignored everyone else and just did my thing.  When I didn’t feel good, I slowed down.  When I felt great, I made sure not to go over my target power/pace.  I never felt great, but I also never felt bad.  I literally went for 9 hours without a dark period.

Heading out on the bike

The numbers are:
Swim – 1:00:39
T1 – 3:39
Bike – 4:46:03
T2 – 1:05
Run – 3:17:24
Total – 9:08:50
1st M30-34 AG, 5th Amateur, 33rd Overall

But more importantly, I was never forced to slowdown or walk on the marathon and I never cramped.

Feeling great and holding back around mile 3

Working a bit harder now at mile 26

Instead of give the long boring play by play, here are the main things I did differently this time around:
·         I trained less and easier than ever before.  My longest rides were 4 hours and I only ran over 90 minutes a few times.
·         In training, if I didn’t feel good, I backed down instead of digging deep just to hit a target
·         I listened to Phil, who helped me listen to my body and when I didn’t feel great we backed down before it was an issue.  This ment I cut more workouts short and skipped more workouts than ever before.  But I got to the race feeling great and not on the end of being overtrained/under recovered like I have done many times before.
·         I took in about 100 calories more per hour during this race than previous ironman races
·         I trained with my race nutrition exactly for the 6 weeks up to the race to really dial it in
·         My race plan was simple…slow down if I didn’t feel like I could run the marathon of my life
·         I swam to the outside and didn’t worry about finding feet.  Instead I just did my thing and relaxed.  I swam hard for the first 5’ to get away from the crowd and then settled in and relaxed
·         I coasted a lot more than usual on the bike, but if I didn’t feel good, I just relaxed and let my body reset.
·         On the run, I ignored everyone and just did my thing the entire race.  I also brought my own bottle and ignored the aid stations completely for the first 6 miles or so.
·         Overall, it comes down to I didn’t force anything or push through anything.  I listened to my body and just went with it.  It sounds easy, but it took my 5 Ironman races to actually get it right.

Hmmm...I wonder what this says

"I want the trophy"

I definitely have some things I still need to work and some areas that I need to improve but it feels great to end the season on a good note, after a bumpy start.  I've replied the race many times in my head and there are things I could have done differently, but for once I'm just going to be content with the day I did have for a while.

Thank you for reading and feel free to ask questions.