IM Arizona 2017 Race Report

26 Nov

We arrived in Phoenix on Thursday night. I was pumped to get this show on the road!

Friday: was a mix of seeing friends and getting ready. The weather was perfect. It was nice being out of the rain!
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{Sarah (& Sam) who we haven’t seen in 15 years, Ashley, and Abbey}

{Oregano’s (one of my favorites) take out dinner with all of my amazing friends}

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{Getting organized!}

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{Making my own signs!}

Saturday! Big breakfast at Snooze.  It was delicious.  We got there before the crowd and ate a ton!

{This was harder than I thought it would be!}

Checked in and ready to go!!

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The rest of the day was relaxing and playing games. It was super fun to just chill out.  Ashley and Abbey made us an amazing pasta dinner.  I was actually ready to go to bed at 9!!

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Sunday: It was GO time!

4:00am: up, breakfast down, body glide and sunscreen on, I was feeling a little nervous but excited. I knew I just had to get in the water and get going.  We got a killer parking spot, 2 blocks from the park, that we didn’t have to pay for!  What?

I did a few things in transition to get ready.  I got body marked by my friend Zach, who was there volunteering so he could sign up for next year!

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I was ready to go with about 50 minutes to spare! Agh…now I had to wait! I got into my corral early.  I didn’t want to fight my way to the front plus I was ready to go.  I lined myself at the back of the 1:00-1:10.  I wasn’t sure what would happen?! I thought it would be closer to 1:10.  Liz told me it is typically a slower swim.  I took that with a grain of salt.

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{not my coffee! Support crew found me for last-minute hugs}

Swim: 1:10:25 //1:49/m (about a 2 minute course PR)

I had a bit of a freak out at the beginning.  There is no warm up.  You just get in and go!  I calmed myself down and was breathing every other stroke for about 100m and then I got into my groove.  The sun wasn’t up just yet.  I remember that being awful last time, trying to sight with the sun in our eyes!  I sighted pretty good.  There was no one to draft off of.  Everyone was so far off the buoy line. WTF?  I got to the first turn buoy fast.  I thought awesome, here we go.  I got around the 2nd one, and then back to the straight away.

All of a sudden there was a bunch of chop. A boat went by and thought ok it will subside, but it never really did.  Again there was no one on the buoy line.  I would try to catch a draft once in a while but it never lasted very long.  I wouldn’t say I had the swim of my life but it was a rolling start and any day the swim isn’t a mass start, it is a good day!

I looked at my watch and I was a bit disappointed but I was glad Liz had warned me!

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T1: 4:38

Quick!  I had a great volunteer who sprayed me down with sunscreen while I was putting on my shoes and helmet.  I had a great spot in transition! Bike time!!

Bike: 6:26:19//17.4mph

The first loop was all about being patient, eating, and managing my watts.  Absolutely the hardest part of the bike!  #1 highlight seeing Heather Jackson cheering.  She is so awesome!!  Took in all of the cheers and then it was quiet and windy!  I had forgotten the first time I did this course I thought everyone says this is flat but it really isn’t!  I peed on the bike for the first time in my life and it was harder than I thought it would be! (I think there is a technique to be had there)

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I am in from the first loop and spotted my support crew (and my signs) 😉 That is always a nice pick me up!  Eating, drinking, trying not to go to hard…. cruising right along!  I was going up on the Beeline Hwy and there was a gal in the middle of the lane.  In a split second I tried to decide what side to pass her on.. *I think* I decide on the right(that is what I get for doing an illegal pass) and bam I was on the ground.  My aero bar pad was stuck in her chain.

I thought, OMG, this is not happening right now.  What was I doing. What was I thinking. We pulled off to the side and I checked her bike and my bike.  I didn’t look at my wounds.  She didn’t hit the ground.  I said F**K and sorry too many times to count and then we were off again.  I couldn’t believe that had just happened.  One of my biggest nightmares.  I always play it safe and it was a stupid mistake!

Back to the race.  It was so windy going up the Beeline.  I thought just get to the turn around and then you will have a huge tailwind and downhill.  So fun!!

It is like Groundhogs day!  Back to the transition, see the support crew for a boost, back to the wind, into the tailwind, I was getting so close.  I was having a hard time eating. But I was getting all of my fluids in. I thought I had done a good job of eating but probably not good enough.

I was happy to be off the bike and excited for the run.  I thought ok this wasn’t the bike split I thought I would have BUT I had an awful bike ride at IMWI and then an amazing run.  I could turn this around! I could still do good!?!

T2: 3:13

I got in and out of there quick. I had another great volunteer that sprayed the sunscreen while I put my shoes on! Off I went.  Only 5 more hours, here we go!!

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{All smiles starting the run}

Run: 5:43:35//13:06 mile (My worst marathon EVER–open or IM)! Frick!

I didn’t think I could have a worse run than my run at IMCDA in 2010…Until my 2nd go at IMAZ last Sunday!!

This is how it went down.

I was running/jogging very very slow to begin with.  It was hot and not a whole lot of shade.  (It was only 80 degrees but I hadn’t trained in anything warmer than about 60 since August!  I wasn’t going to look at my watch.  I thought I didn’t really want to know.  I was slowly getting to the aid station and then I walked to get my nutrition/salt/Gatorade/water in. I dumped water on my head. Doing anything to keep cool.

I saw the support crew a few times and waved.  At mile 7ish, I saw Dan for a quick kiss and debrief of my crash.

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I thought 4 more hours.  The sun would go down and it would be cooler!! I guess at mile 10 is where it really went to shit.  I was holding back tears when I saw Dan and Ashley again.  It was going to be a long 16 miles.

I was jogging/walking doing everything I thought I could do just to get through it.  More salt, more nutrition, more water, more water over the head.  I didn’t want to start the coke until at least the half way point.  I was in a deep dark place and I couldn’t get myself out.  I saw Michelle and Johan right before the half.  They pumped me up. They gave me special wishes from Sheryl, who wanted to be there.  I wanted to cry again!

I saw Zach.  He was catching, the late shift, at the finish line. I had originally told him that I was hoping NOT to see him or if all went well I wouldn’t see him.;) But when I saw him at about the half way mark, I told him I would probably see him in the chute!! Then I saw my support crew again, I couldn’t even stop or I knew I would cry.  This was a good section of spectators that pumped me up a bit.  That was fun.  I was trying to run 100-200 steps and then walk 100 steps.  Just moving forward that was the name of the game at this point.

I went through the main tailgate, where I got high 5s from Heather Jackson, Wattie, and their whole crew.  Saw my crew and Zach again. There was no walking through there! About 17, I got a second wind, and found myself feeling pretty good.  That only lasted maybe 1-2 miles.  I was back in no-spectator land and finding myself back to the 100 steps intervals.  It was a long sufferfest and I have never wanted to quit so bad in my life.

What a day!! This was supposed to be the race of my life.  Training went really well. I have been heart rate training for 1 year!!! 1 year!!! It didn’t go as planned, obviously but I finished. There was NO way I was leaving there without a medal!  I had not trained this hard to not get a finishing time!! 13:28:10 so pissed!

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Until the next Ironman!! 

8 Responses to “IM Arizona 2017 Race Report”

  1. Liz November 26, 2017 at 2:01 PM #

    Way to pull through Leslie!! I’m sorry about your fall and having a tough time but nothing can take away all the hard work and training you did, you will be better for it in the long run! Congrats on a job well done!

  2. Jonathan94002 November 26, 2017 at 2:12 PM #

    What a great Tri, Leslie! Nice job. Way to work through your deep, dark periods. That’s certainly an area that I struggle with.. Awesome!

  3. Kecia November 27, 2017 at 1:03 PM #

    Congratulations on winning the fight and not letting the struggle win! I’m NOT a fan of the deep, dark periods we enter on an Ironman day, but those moments do make us stronger. I knew you wouldn’t finish with a bad race…onward and upward to the next finish line! Will you do 2 IMs again next year, or just AZ again?

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats November 27, 2017 at 8:36 PM #

      Thanks Kecia! I can usually deal with the ups and downs…it was just extra hard that particular day!! 🙂 I’ve definitely gone back and forth with doing a 2nd one!! After the wind/heat in AZ that I couldn’t handle. I’m not in that big of a hurry to get to Kona. 😦

  4. Kristen L November 27, 2017 at 2:49 PM #

    Ah, sorry about the tough day, but sounds like you won the mental challenge. Glad you didn’t get hurt too bad in the crash either. Congrats on finishing another IM!

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