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?