Friday, November 26, 2021

Ironman Arizona (at last)

While recovering this week after the race on Sunday, November 21, I cleaned out some saved emails, and found I had registered on December 2, 2019 - almost two years ago. The 2020 race was cancelled with 2 weeks to go due to the pandemic surge, so I did all the training in 2020, and then again in 2021. I didn't have the best day, but there's no way I was going to defer and go through this for a third year in a row. And, as they say, I am an Ironman. Again.

I now know how great conditions were in Florida in 2015, with no wind on almost the entire bike leg. We had a 10-15 mph headwind outbound (and uphill!) on the Beeline Highway, so on each of the 3 loops, I averaged 10-11 mph going east and 20-22 mph coming back west, but the push coming back wasn't enough to make up for the slower times heading out. I knew I went too hard on the bike, and still finished 45 minutes behind 2015, but I knew the run would be a walk anyway, and I really, really wanted to be off the bike. The run was a real slog. I tried to run-walk, but my average speed run-walking was less than just power walking, and toward the end, whenever I tried to run, nothing came out.

Definitely fun to do a race in my hometown. The TriScottsdale tent was a highlight each loop through the run course, and it was great to see people I knew, and of course also fun to be cheered on by people I didn't.

Swim 1:20:22 (actually, a great swim for me, but it was wetsuit legal, so that helped)
T1 20:32 (not sure where all the time went)
Bike 7:15:42 (do not do the Beeline with no drafting in a headwind if you have a choice)
T2 13:15 (acceptable)
Run 6:39:09 (a real slog)
Overall 15:49:00 (not great but once I got off the bike and saw where I was and how I felt, my goal was finish under 16 hours, and I did)

Those results were Division 18/20, Gender 1317, Overall 1712 (it looks like 1932 finished under the cutoff). The searchable results page is here. And my (low-res) photos are here.

Around mile 22 of the "run," I decided that I should reevaluate my relationship with pain - just not that night, later after I finished. But I finished! Not bad for a 66-year-old, except who knew there were all these fast 65-year-olds?

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Cactus Man Triathlon!

The Cactus Man tri was cancelled in 2020, and my registration rolled over to 2021, when 4Peaks Racing successfully pulled it off on May 2. Registration was capped, spectators were not allowed (although it's Tempe, people can hang around if they want), you picked up the finisher medal at registration, and when you crossed the finish line, you got 2 water bottles and a mask. There also was no food at the finish, so I got home and then had to decide, which was more important: being ravenously hungry, or needing to wash Tempe Town Lake off me before I touched food (the shower won out).

They also changed the course from 2019. No more wave start, and instead you entered the water 5 seconds apart (after general seeding by expected swim time finish) from a boat ramp west of the Mill Avenue bridges, then exited the water via a different boat ramp east of the bridges, with a half-mile run (or walk, in my case) back to transition.

It was a hot day, and I finished 4th in my age group in the Olympic (no Sprint for me!) by far enough behind #3 that I can't complain. I plugged through the race steadily, kept running (except up one hill on the second lap, at that point I figured the heck with it), and when I finished, I really had nothing left. You can't ask for more than that, the triathlon version of a foamed runway.

Results here: Swim 29:33, T1 5:00, Bike 1:24:34, T2 4:53, Run 1:08.11, Finish 3:12:12. 4/7 age group, 155/201 men, 214/297 overall. Fairly consistent with my 2019 times, given the changes to the course.

One thing I lost in the pandemic was my year being the youngest in my age group. Who were those 3 really fast 65-year-olds?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

ARR Fountain 5-0

First event in 13 months! That's how I celebrated passing two weeks from my second shot.

ARR is Arizona Road Racers, and of course I'm a member, I join everything. ARR was founded in 1970, so this was supposed to be the 50th anniversary race in 2020, but got rolled over to this year instead. I apparently registered for it months ago, and had totally forgotten about it.

The Town of Fountain Hills let ARR go forward this weekend. The race start was staggered, you estimated your finish time and they gave you a specific start time. Of course, there was a line anyway at the start, but single file, no clumps of people, it was outdoors, and almost everyone was masked until crossing the start line. The famous fountain didn't go off during the race, but we ran around it twice.

47:00 official, which was good for second place in my (delightful) age group (2/4 finishers). 26/45 men, 54/93 overall. Very casual race, no pictures, but there were aid stations that had 8 ounce water bottles out for pickup. Full results here.