This is it. My A Race for 2015! IRONMAN St. George UT 70.3. May 2, 2015.
[My friend Luis is at 14:16, finishing with a big smile!]
For all you who can’t wait, here’s the results. Overall, I’m super happy with my swim and my bike. The run was hot hot hot and hilly hilly HILLY. It was great to see all my friends while on course. The whole road trip with my friends was so memorable and fun, this was a one-of-a-kind day. This is what is great about triathlon and about our club.
And here’s the nitty gritty from waking up to finishing…
I woke up at 3:45am. I can never sleep before a race anyway. Not too many pictures in this post, since cameras and phones are illegal on course for IRONMAN events. But, you can see alot of pictures in the preview post here.
First thing, I put my timing chip on my left ankle, and suited up in my Pasadena Tri Club Tri Kit. I like the look of the black, but it’s always hot at races. I might buy a white one next time around. The pockets are tiny on this tri top, they barely fit a chapstick in there. And the shorts, oh my word, they ride kinda low. Halfway through the bike a was worried about crack-age, and yanked up again. I had to sunscreen that spot on my lower back that’s exposed when I’m down in aero position.
Next, nutrition for the race. I filled my bottles with Hammer Perpetuem and orange juice. I loaded my rice cakes for the bike and run. Packed goos and stinger waffles for bike. Packed Hammer Endurolytes and Anti-fatigue pills for bike and run.
Next gear, I packed my wetsuit and goggles and swim cap.
The Hampton Inn served full hot breakfast at 3.30am. That rocked. Eggs, OJ. and a set of Endurolytes and Anti-fatigue pills. It was dry all week long. So, I reminded myself to drink more and more on course.
Six of us met at the car at 4:45am to drive to Town Center. It was not cold at 4:45am. There were no clouds in the sky. It was going to be a hot one.
Last pic, as I tucked my phone in T2 bag. It’s illegal to have your phone and camera on course. Actually, it was good because I wasn’t tempted to do something stupid and try to take a picture.
I went to T2 (Run) in the IRONMAN Village, and dropped off my nutrition. I had an insulated lunch box stuffed with an ice pack. I had a cooling towel for my neck, a running belt with 2 water bottles, pocket on belt had 2 Powebar goos and a pack of pills (Endurolytes and Anti-fatigues).
We hopped on the bus for a ride to the Swim start. No cars allowed out at Sand Hallow State Park. Although it was stressful to drop off the bike and shoes the day before, it paid off by being really straightforward transitions. There were tons of buses and it took off right away. Maybe a 20 minutes ride. It was still dark out. The sun rose while I was setting up in T1. Body marking on the upper arm and calf.
The Swim: 41:38
I was wave 9 of 20, starting at 7:27am. The start is a floating start. All the wave age groupers swim out about 100 yds to an imaginary line between two yellow buoys. The announcer counts down and pulls an airhorn. The water was cold, but not brain-freeze cold; the announcer said it was 64°F. The swim went straight out and then a left and a left. The back stretch seemed to go forever. The water was clear. I could see other swimmers underwater. This is always helpful as a sighting technique, to swim along other folks. I was really happy with my swim. I didn’t freak out at all, and I only veered off course a little bit. The buoys were easy to see. I only got head slapped once really hard, the rest were glancing blows. I actually passed some folks, which you can tell by their colored caps. The wave starts mixed up the ages and genders. My wave was Men 45-49 (N-Z). So, my age group was split at different start times. So, if I read someone’s age off their calf, I still didn’t know if they started at the same time or 3 minutes early. No big deal really. At the major corner turns, I stopped to see the time and distance just to put in in my head, that I could calm down and just swim. My wetsuit was a new-to-me TYR Freak of Nature. It was great. Body and leg sections are thick and buoyant. The chest and arms are super flexible. There’s fin things on the forearms, probably just gimmicky, but I was going with it. By the looks of my Garmin, I was fairly straight.
T1: Bike Transition. 5:44
I hopped out of the water and ran up the boat dock. I unzipped and peeled down the top of the wetsuit. I took off my Garmin 910 from my wrist, and held it in my teeth, while I pulled my arms out. They had wetsuit strippers in the transition area, but I just ran to the side and stomped / pulled it off myself. I thought that I would have trouble getting up and down in my woozy, post-swim state. I jogged lightly to my bike. My feet were tender and sore by the time I got there, cuz my bike was at the very end near the bike out. I could feel the bottom of my feet during the bike section. They were ripped up and sore. At the transition, I got everything off and then everything on and took off. I stopped at the bike out, and asked the sunscreen dude to lather on my shoulders. I thought I’d get burned on my shoulders for sure, but it must have worked cuz I didn’t burn.
The Bike: 3:18:35
It was nice and flat on the initial exit, which allowed me to settled down and mentally shift into biking. I saw Glenn during all of the bike portion. The climb out of the reservoir area was a steady climb and then it got deceptively steep, meaning it didn’t look that steep, but it got up to 8-9% grade. The farm land section was really fast. There may have been tailwinds because I as going 24+mph. Alvin zoomed past me here. The rollers were fast, 35+mph at sections.
There were some long steady climbs in the middle section. At the first aid station, I jumped off and pee’d in the port-o-potty. At the second aid station, I filled up my bottles with water. I saw Steve there. I continued to sip and eat my rice cakes. It was a dry environment, I wasn’t sweating much. It wasn’t that hot yet either. 70F in the first third. As we rolled through town it warmed up. In the Training Peaks image below you can see the temperature rise from mid 70s to 95F at the top of Snow Canyon. The approach to Snow Canyon was spectacular. It was amazing to ride through there. The climb was serious in the there, but I was prepared.
At the very top, you turn right and then just fly down the hill. I was still riding by Glenn most of that time. Top speed on the descent 42.3mph. Ben flew by me at that point. Hilarious. There was another guy, super fatty, he was working that on the downhill and zoomed by at 50+mph. The last 2 miles on Diagonal Rd was chip seal without much of the seal; super bumpy. I felt great on the bike. I finished 3 bottles of fluid and 2 rice cakes. I kept eating my pills. Everything was going well. Tummy in check. Then, the bike was over.
Video clips of Snow Canyon. Taken on the preview day.
T2: Run Transition. 3:38
I got my stuff and it was quick and simple transition. I peed at the port-a-potty and got another spray of sunscreen on my shoulder.
The Run: 3:03:15
I kept the cooling towel around my neck and filled with ice. I kept my hat filled with ice too. I sauntered out onto the run and felt like I had zero energy. I don’t know where it went. It was hung up there on the bike rack. The hills started immediately up Main Street. Scott recognized me and called me out for walking, I jumped and swore a bit and then took off up the hill. As soon as I turned the corner I took a breather. I saw everybody while I was on the run. I saw Lynda as she finished up her bike. I saw the fast guys coming down the mountain, as I was climbing up, including Bryan, Rich, Jeff, Gregg. Then along the top, I ran with Eugene, Glenn. During all the out and backs, I saw Luis, Brent, Gail, Neil, Shane, and Lynda. It was just too hot. I couldn’t keep my feet moving. I wasn’t sure if it was my tummy or my breathing, either way, I was walking / running. It was going to be a long day. I finished okay, with minimal dark moments. I was enjoying my time. I didn’t have too much pain, because the ice was effectively freezing my pain off at my neck. I knew I had blisters, but I didn’t feel them that much. Later, when I saw them they were scary big ones on both big toes.
[Pictures from preview day while on bike, but it’s the run course.]
The End: 7:12:50
I finished with my friends. Although we all started at different times, Luis, Brent, Bill, Lynda all came in around the same time. We took some pictures together. I sat and chatted with my friends.
[I’ll buy the hi-res pics later, cuz this is a keeper.]
Then, we gathered up and rolled over to Alvin’s house, where we parked a car. I dove in the pool with my tri kit on. That felt great. We drove back to the hotel and cleaned up for the Post-Race Party. Continued in next post.
UPDATE: It took a couple days to pull together these blog posts, and in that time, I’ve had time to reflect on the race. I was actually really happy with my race. It was a tough course and hot conditions. But, I felt prepared and strong on the swim and bike. The run will always be tough for me. Keeping the breathing / asthma in check. Keeping the heat and tummy in check. Those things take time and experience to really dial in.
UPDATE 2: My friends also posted their race reports:
Rob’s Race Report:
Alvin’s Race Report: