I was up at 4AM. I drank 2 Boosts. I arrived at the race site by 5. It was more of a maze then I remember to get around. I set up the LYNSKEY (Green Machine). I dropped my special needs bags off then got body marked. I was done with everything by 5:30. I passed off my pump to Elizabeth and Caroline. I relaxed for the next 40 minutes listening to tunes and sipping on NUUN. I started donning the XTERRA VENDETTA. They let us enter the water at 6:45. I jumped into 62 degree water and warmed-up. They started the pros at 6:50 and us 10 minutes later.
SWIM - 59:37
We were packed in like sardines then boom. It was rough for the first 400 meters. I got hit in the throat and head several times. Someone even managed to hit my goggles, which then filled up with water. After 800 meters, I was able to get into open space. I felt good. I felt even better after the turn-around as I started to pass several swimmers dying from starting out too fast. I also saw a couple of eagles flying and a V formation of birds. I exited the water with assistance from a volunteer. I looked at the clock and thought really. I expected to be 3 minutes faster especially since I swam 3000m two weeks ago at 1:27 pace. I finished with 1:34 pace.
T-1 - 3:27
The wetsuit strippers were so close to the swim exit, I didn't have time to peel down the wetsuit. The volunteers ripped off the wetsuit and I was off to grab my bike back. I had to get it myself because the volunteers were too busy. I ran into transition and put on my SPIUK, OAKLEYS, and SHIMANO tri shoes. I ran over to grab the LYNSKEY and headed out.
BIKE - 5:06.58
I was feeling pretty good at the start until around 5 miles. I took a left turn and felt my front tire grabbing the road. As I straightened up, I notice the air pressure was very low. I know I didn't have a flat because it held pressure all night. I stopped and decided to only re-inflate. I used a new inflator and could not figure out how to make it work. Finally after fumbling around for a minute or so, I inflated the tire. I was back on the road and figure I lost a couple of minutes. No big deal the day, there is plenty of time to make it up. Out on the beeline highway we had a head wind going up and a tailwind coming back. The winds switched directions on the second loop. I started cramping in my right quad. I thought this is odd, so I tried to drink more water. The cramping only got worse. The make things harder the winds picked up on the last loop. I really struggled on the 3rd loop. It seemed like an eternity to get back to transition. I knew this was going to be a long day. In 2009, I peed on every loop. This year zero on the bike. I was drinking a lot. Too little too late.
T-2 - 1:17
The volunteers were great, they grabbed my bike and had my run bag ready. I put on my NEWTONS and grabbed my visor & run bottle.
RUN - 3:54.11
The first couple hundred meters were great with all the spectators. I was cramping under my ribs, so started walking for most of the first 2 miles. The cramping started to go away, so I was able to run more than walk for the next few miles. I walked through every aid station grabbing coke. I also had a major hot spot under my the ball of my left foot. I was taking S-CAPS every 2 miles. The hot spots disappeared around mile 8. That's when I could finally feel my feet. I started to get into a nice groove for the next few miles. I finally went to the bathroom around mile 11. My left knee started to hurt too. Then the cramping came back around mile 14. I could not get them to go away. I did a lot of walking for the next 6 miles. I started to play with my breathing and was able to run more than walk. I had to breathe more deeply and it seemed to keep my cramps manageable. I kicked into another gear for last 1.2 miles. I passed several people in the last 400 meters. It was mostly out of frustration for the race that wasn't. My pace at the end was well under 7 minute miles.
10:05.30 - 15th Division and 153rd overall
This was my worst performance in Arizona. 2011 turned out to be my worst season of triathlon. I went into this race with big expectations of myself. Back to the drawing board.
Congrats to Elizabeth Thiel, one of the athletes I coach. She had her fastest bike & run splits and overall time. She placed 2nd in her age group, 5th amateur female, and another trip to the Big Island. Congrats to Caroline, her little sister, for completing her first ironman and getting onto the podium.