I did my first Ironman this past weekend at Ironman Arizona. A short race report: it took a long time. It rained in the desert. I ate a lot of sugary snacks. 8 hours and 16 minutes later I was being led to the athlete food tent to eat my weight in french fries. I ran my longest run ever, even longer than that time I got lost in the woods back in college. It actually wasn’t so bad. Overall I would even say I had some fun.
If you’ve seen a Matt Dixon/purplepatch athlete IM race report of late (such as Sarah Piampiano in Kona or Jesse Thomas at IM Wales) you’ll notice a common theme: “train all day”. My guidelines for Arizona were no different. After all, isn’t a race the exact same thing you do in training except with a bunch of new training partners? The goal was to have a positive race experience, not a “walking at mile 20″ race experience, so the conservative race plan was the only way to go.
Keeping with the train all day mentality, in the days leading up to the race I tried not to sit around and think about the marathon I had to race. Instead I tried to stay busy – getting some admin done, watching the Kona broadcast, or running errands:
With the NYAC All Sports Banquet coming up, and since Lindsey had donated my dress shoes to charity because they “look like a 10 year old’s shoes,” I ended up in a mythical land known as “Marshall’s” buying new ones. No help from Lindsey here.
Anyways, onto the race.
The swim was uneventful other than that it just took a long time. I missed the front group of Marko Albert and Brent McMahon, which is where I should have been, but I tucked myself into the second group and kept my HR relatively low for the majority of the swim.
T1. Why the gloves? Because of the weather forecast:
The bike is where the “train all day” mentality really came into play. There weren’t many options: either I try to go with one of the many talented cyclists in the field (Starky, Twelsiek, Rapp, Sanders, etc.,) and blow my race to bits, or I ride my own race. Obviously I chose the latter.
Thanks to Pedro Gomes for the excellent camera work.
I started the run with massive time gaps to the mega cyclists. For example, Starky was at MILE FOUR when I started running. I was in ninth place and it was time to see what I could do on a marathon. My first lap was pretty good, coming through in 1:23 and change. I suffered a lot from miles 13-20, before getting a second wind and moving past David Plese at mile 25 to take 7th place in 8:16. A solid result, and I know it was a positive experience because I already want to get into another one and race a bit less conservatively next time.
Guy on phone: “Yeah, he’s like 20 minutes behind. I need to cancel the order for that “congrats on your debut IM win” cake.”
A good looking crew at the NYAC banquet. Loving my new shoes.