Monday, November 19, 2012

Ironman Arizona 2012. "Surprise - you get to do 12 hours of cardio today."

So how did I go from not doing Ironman Arizona to finishing Ironman Arizona in 11:57?

Well it's a short story really.

We got to packet pick up in Tempe. I kind of looked at Carrie and I was like - well we have already paid the money and we were planning to work out this weekend anyway.

She and I were just going to start together and get as far as we could together. I was looking forward to it.

Then, she woke up at about 2am on Saturday and she was sick as a dog. Sneezing, hacking and fever.

"Just go check your bike in and do it," she said.

I was beside myself. "Really?"

For this I will forever be grateful. Wife - you are a good egg. I love you.

++++++ Brief Race Report +++++++++

With no game plan in place and the longest swim I had done in two months being 3000 meters about a month ago ... I was in my wetsuit standing on the shore of Tempe Town Lake with my friend Scott [sharky] who swam a 1:19 compared to my 1:47.

I had kept my post-SOMA fitness by walking and hiking with Carrie and Baron. I had also been doing some speed work - training down (or up) for the sprint I have on Thanksgiving Day. I knew I could handle the bike and run - if I could swim under a 2:20 to avoid the 2.4 mile cut-off.

This was the biggest mass start on the swim that I've had. It's weird. I was never alone during the entire swim. Constantly getting groped or kicked. The course curves a bit so I had some of my typical sighting issues ... but not bad. I thought for a bit that I might not make the 2:20 cutoff - so I swam with a little more efficiency. Just like always I had moments of decent swimming interrupted by water slapping flailing.

Out of the water at 1:47. I had planned a 1:45. Not too bad on the planning. I wish I could swim faster -- even a 1:30 would be great. Someday. At least I got through it. Finishing is the accomplishment. The time is secondary.

My transitions were much better than at St. George. Why? Because I was racing rather than chatting. I still had fun though. I was cracking wise with the volunteers and they humored me with their cordial chuckles. It is a little weird at Ironman races with the bag system I prefer having my stuff laid out where I can easily just pick it out and take off. It is nice to have your bike fetched from the rack for you. T-1 - 8 minutes.

The first lap of three on the bike was weird. On the climb up the Beeline to Shea - my quads were still jacked from the swim. I was horizontal for too long. Then the first downhill was awesome. I hit and stayed at 30 mph for a long while. Without this first lap - my bike time would have been much slower than it was. The wind picked up a bit on Laps 2 and 3. It's funny how even the slightest wind can have a huge effect on the bike. I wasn't the only participant that noticed the wind. It was just enough to be annoying. I finally closed the 30 minute gap Scott put on me on Lap 2 of the bike. He was having some intestinal issues. I stayed with him for a minute or two - but did not want to have any cramping to set in - so I bolted off. I played chase with a Pro triathlete for a while until I decided that I was being stupid - so I backed off and resettled in my groove. Off the bike in 5:40. For the record - I did go "potty" three times and had a 3 minute ordeal (yes I timed it) with some mud stuck in my cycling cleat that temporarily prevented me from being able to clip into my pedals.

T-2 - Bike to run with sunscreen application 3 minutes. I knew I could really save some time on this transition.

The run felt pretty much the same the entire time. I just ran within myself and avoided straining my calves and quads. I did a good job on nutrition all day (after I found my hidden salt tablets.) I did not eat as much on the bike as I did at St George and that helped me on the run.

Chicken broth. Wow. I love that stuff on marathon courses. It did not hit the shelves until I was on mile 20 ... so I started gulping as much as I could.

I met Sean from California at about mile 23. He and I stuck together until mile 25. He fell back. I was afraid to fall back with him. I knew we could get in under 12 hours if we kept pushing. I was consistently around a 9:30 pace for the entire run. Again - it is not about time. It is about racing smart ... accomplishing the task ... and arriving at the finish line healthy and in one piece.

26.4 mile run - 4:13 ish.

Total time: 11:57:26.

The St. George gorilla is off my back. It is now official. I am Bryonman.

In summary - it was a good day.

Swim Garmin Entry

Bike Garmin Entry

Run Garmin Entry

Thanks to Carrie. Love - B

Thanks to my family. Specifically to mom and dad for giving me this cardio engine.

Thanks to EVERYONE on Team Triple Sports and WannaTri Triathlon Coaching.

Thanks to Scott Leckey.

Thanks to Barry Tait.


  1. BryonIronman!
    not that you weren't before as IMSG counts

    great race
    way to go
    huge big time congrats mister 2X Ironmaner

    this is awesome


  2. Thanks DRog! Keep going brother.

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  4. Proud of you Bry - awesome race mate