Ironman Arizona Training Weekend


There is the dining room.  Eight triathletes training for Ironman Arizona and that’s the dining room of the condo we rented for the weekend.  Excel & Beyond Coaching put on a supported ride on Sunday Oct 26th on the IMAZ bike course.  So a group of us being coached by the same coach got told that we should head out there and do it.   At first I was against it, I had a race I wanted to do in Oceanside.   However my coach threw some facts at me and it’s hard to argue with that so off I went.   Now going into this weekend my confidence of finishing   So I wondered what I would really gain from going out there. 

So before this group ride had been brought to my attention I wanted to race in the Lifetime Tri Oceanside.  Lifetime Tri puts on amazing races with cool swag and it’s always a fun time.   I had done their Minneapolis and New York City triathlons so I’d done 2/3’s of the their Triple Crown.  It was a bit of a mental battle to tell myself I had to sacrifice the B race for training for the A race.  I’m glad I did.   With all the TCSD people and local triathlete’s who have done IMAZ they all said the same thing about the course… Flat and windy but it’s really a false flat like the 56 bike path.   Everyone had their own mix and based on riding ability they all had their own version of if it’s easy or hard.   One thing I did learn though through the years is that if you have the chance to train on the course you shouldn’t pass it up.

Everyone arrived Friday at some point and the girls ran Friday evening after 10PM in order to beat the heat and get a feel for what it will be like for them since they will most likely still be on the run course at that time.   I thought they were nutz, and I decided I was going to run in the morning as planned, early morning.   As we got to the run course in the morning there was a Cancer Walk going on as well which was really cool to see everyone in pink supporting a cause.  The air was cool and the sun was just coming up.  As we set off on a run/walk of 8:30/2:30 the course is for the most part., flat.  There is a hill at mile 9 but it really wasn’t bad at all and it’s short.  We ran 2:30:00 minutes on the course and I have to say that I was having fun.  I was enjoying the course and god forbid I say it… I was enjoying running.  Now will I be saying that after a 112 mile bike ride, I don’t know.  So what was it about the run that was so enjoyable?  Maybe it was the company, maybe it was flat, or maybe it was a new place I hadn’t run before.   After some rest and recovery we all went swimming later that day to get our swimming in.  I did about 1500 yards and called it a day and went to coach some of the girls with some quick tips.

Sunday was the ride and an early morning.  Everything was great up until it was time to ride and for some reason I had a flat and a hole in my tire.  Not sure how or why it happened but thankfully I had 2 spare tubes and a spare tire.  So already through the ride that is known to produce flats I hadn’t even started and gone through them.  Riding out to the BeeLine it was pretty uneventful but I did notice not a whole lot of space for a bike or bike lanes.   So it was at that time where I told myself that once I get to the BeeLine I’m just going to do laps and not head back to Tempe Town Lake.  Plus since it was an unofficial ride no roads were closed off so I really just didn’t want to deal with the traffic either.   The ride was nice the wind wasn’t that bad (yet) and I just kept plucking off the miles while keeping a solid 19-20MPH average.  No flats all day, nutrition was messed up as I lost 2 bonk breakers and didn’t have 2 of my APX bottles.  I resorted to the on course perform with ice water since it was starting to heat up and I really wasn’t sweating much that I felt which really concerned me.  Vitals looked good though my HR wasn’t out of my Z2/Z3 and my power output was still in Z2 with some Z3.  I was popping salt sticks every 30-45 minutes.  Finished up 103 miles in 5:15 which is a solid bike ride with a few stop lights that kept the clock going.

So what did I walk away with from the training session?  Confidence!  I know I’m going to finish, I know the run is going to not be soo bad, and I know that I’m going to make it off the bike and not bonk.   I know the course and mentally I feel prepared.

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