Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My 2010 IMAZ Race Report

Hi All.
Race morning at IMAZ 2010
Just a quick race report about my Ironman Arizona experience. 

First, i'd like to thank everyone who shot me texts and emails of encouragement, well wishes and congratulations.  It really means a lot to me. :)

As many of you who read my blog know, this was sort of a 'throw away race' where I didn't have high expectations due to my crash and then surgery in August.  Training has been minimal as I rehabilitated my broken body... and just 8 or so weeks ago my form of exercise was a daily 60 minute brisk walk and it was just 3.5 weeks ago that I could start swimming again.  My expectation of the race was to simply participate, renew my enthusiasm for Ironman and to gain experience at the distance again.  Just being able to toe the line was a blessing and one I didn't take for granted.  Finishing was the goal, with being 'competitive' a distant aspiration.

Truth be told, I knew I had a good fitness base , despite my set-back, due to my training and race results in the first half of the season.  My 4:11 and 7th OA at Racine 70.3 showed me that I had the 'props' to be competitive at a high level again... but as many of you know, when it comes to Ironman racing, all bets are off.

The race started with abnormal weather conditions for Phoenix, cold and windy. The water temps were in the low 60's, making for a very uncomfortable entry into the water. I looked up as I was treading water and freezing my booty off...thinking, "hmm... did I do the right thing by racing today?".  I was concerned about my swim conditioning, but confident that I could soldier through it slow and steady.  The gun went off, and the cold water and realization that the day was finally here made me panic for a moment. What a horrible feeling...panicking in the middle of a mass Ironman start! I treaded water for a moment, collected my wits and then started along... not a great start.

I finally got into a rhythm and felt ok, gliding along at a steady and comfortable pace.  I just wanted to get out of that water! After the turnaround of the 2.4 mile swim, I felt that this was doable and picked it up a little. The arms were getting fatigued, but I was under control.  I exited the water stiff, cold and totally disoriented from the cold water and my feet felt numb, like stumps. I couldn't believe it when I saw my watch and a 1:01.  Nice.

I took my time in T1. No reason to hurry. I headed out on the bike and noticed well wishers and my people there to support me. That was nice.  As I started out, I immediately started taking in some electrolytes and calories. My biggest fear was now cramping... forget the cold and looming storms. 

Out on the first loop of the 3 loop bike course, I took it very easy.  Guys were passing me left and right, but that was ok... I was racing strategically and within myself. With age comes wisdom. :)  The 'outbound' on beeline hwy was fast with a tailwind but the way back was into the headwind. I maintained a comfortable rhythm with my cadence around 85-90 rpms and speeds hovering around 22 mph.  I never let my ego dictate my pace, which is something I used to do in my 20's. 

Lap 2 was faster for me as I was better warmed up.  My speed ticked up a little too, as I continued to hydrate well and eat well. Guys who had passed me within the first 40 miles of the bike were not coming back to me.  You can't fool mother nature... they were burning through their matches early... I was focused on conserving mine for the run.

Lap 3 was more difficult to maintain speed as fatigue was looming in my legs... but I was still very much in control. My 3 laps were pretty even split... a near perfect race so far. I got off the bike with 4:56 split and was very surprised and pleased.

T2 was difficult however. I was very stiff and hobbled into the changing tent. I felt my age, ugh!:)  I again took my time changing, hit the porto-potty for a pee (which seemed like it lasted forever!) and then hobbled onto the run.  My support crew was cheering me on, so that picked me up, along with so many spectators yelling, "Go Coach Troy!".

It took me a solid mile or two to get loose and into my stride, but once I did, it felt great! I started thinking that I could have a very competitive day.  My legs were turning over at a 6:45 min/mile pace and I was holding back so as not to blow up. I was downing huge amounts of electrolytes too... to avoid my nemisis, leg cramps. 

After the first of 3 loops, I had taken the first place in the Masters division and knew I was having a good day and perhaps contending for an overall podium slot for the age groupers.  I was steady and controlled, but knew that the wheels could fall off at any moment.  At the half marathon point, I was just under 1hr 30 minutes and the idea of breaking 3 hrs for the marathon started to become more of a reality... something I'd never done in my 15 previous Ironman races as a younger athlete.

At mile 16, I started feeling that all-to familiar feeling of Ironman running fatigue and pain in the quads, like a knife being stabbed in them with every step.  I focused so hard to maintain a bounce in my stride, a key to Ironman marathon running success.  My thought was just to maintain my pace and hold things together to the finish line... where was that darn finish line!

At mile 24, I knew I could hold things together and that I'd be just over 9 hours. I remained focused and suffered at my threshold of pain to maintain pace. As I ran down the finish chute area, I saw my little girls, Hope and Chloe, in the grandstand and stopped to give them each a kiss. What a great feeling to have them there to see daddy accomplish an important goal. They are only 7 and 3 yrs of age, but I hope they remember that moment as much as I will.

I crossed the line in just over 9hrs 6 minutes, good for first masters and 2nd Overall in the Amateur race.  Mike Reilly said, "You are an Ironman", it it felt good to hear again.  I was wisked over to do a quick post race interview with Ironmanlive and Greg Welch, and then reunited with my support crew and then my kids for awhile.  I was so happy and surprised with my result, I can't tell you. In particular, I ran a 2:59:55, finally breaking that magical 3 hr barrier at the age of 41...go figure!

 Overall, the race result was totally unexpected! My take home lesson, one that I've preached for a long time with my athletes, is to build your base and go into key events with very fresh legs.  Training is a year round process.

I accepted my slot to Ironman Kona in 2011 and will have that race in the back of my mind all year now. It'll be good, regardless of my end result, to compete against the best in the world again now in 'chapter two' of my life long tri career as a masters athlete. :)

Again, I want to thank everyone who supported me, cheered for me and wished me the best.  I look forward to hearing about your future race successes too. :)

Train smart,
Coach Troy

14 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!
    I was watching Ironmanlive when you crossed the finish line. What an awesome race!

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  2. Thanks for a very honest race report. Reading that you can panic too made me feel just a little bit better because I generally have that open water freak out...it is my main battle in races. Reading what you went through and how you raced mentally through the swim, bike and run was really neat. Congratulations on a superb finish and enjoy the Kona training :)

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  3. We loved it too Troy. You are a great inspiration!

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  4. You rocked it, Coach Troy! Way to go.

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  5. Great race report, and what a great result! Congratulations!

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  6. Well done coach Troy

    And a nice race report

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  7. Great job! Congrats! I teared up as I was reading bec. I know what it means to achieve a goal that you have worked so hard for...especially as part of a rehabbing process! You ROCK!
    Cece

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  8. Wow! You are truly amazing! What a great finish. I did the race too and couldn't believe how cold the water was - Ironman blog says it was 58 on race day! I panicked in the beginning too - such an icky feeling. But once I got going it was ok. Anyway, nice work, Coach Troy. Because of your Spinervals, I had a good race too. Thanks for all that you do!

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  9. خدمات نقل الاثاث متعددة لدينا حيث يوجد لدينا خبرة في كيفية التعامل مع العملاء في تنفيذ اعمال فلدينا مدينة مكة افضل شركة نقل اثاث بمكة التي تتميز بالدقة في تنفيذ اعمال وتوصيل الاثاث من الباب لاننا نمتلك عمال متميزون في شركة نقل عفش بمكة فعليكم التواصل معنا من اجل الاستفادة من الخدمات التي نقدمها كل هذا ايضا تلاقه في مدينة الدمام من خلال التواصل مع شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التي تمتلك فنين متميزين في اعمال الفك والتركيب كما لديها اسطول سيارات مجهز يساعدها علي الوصول الي منزلك الجديد فكل شئ يكون جاهز مع شركة نقل عفش بالدمام التي اثبتت انها نقل شركة لديها خبرة كبيرة في مجال نقل الاثاث
    كما يوجد لدينا خبرة في خدمات نقل الاثاث بجدة من خلال
    شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة

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  10. كما تقدم الشركة شركة القائد عميلى العزيز اتصل بنا على شركة القائد وسوف نصلك اينما كنت نحن نهتم بالعميل جدا افضل شركة تنظيف بيوت بالدمام تنظيف منازل كبير يتم العامل بتنظيف الشقق باحدث المنظفات ويقوم بتنظيف الحوائط والارضيات على اكمل وجة لان  الشقه الكبيرة تحتاج الى عمال ممتازون وعمال جيدون فى مجال التنظيف ولزم الشقه الكبيرة تحتاج عمال كتير جدا لان الشقة الكبيرة تحتاج الى شركة القائد لان شركة القائد لديها عمال كتير جدا وهم يعملون فى شركتنا منذ سنوات كثيره جدا ويقوم بتنظيف المطابخ على اكمل وجه وتنظيف الشقق الصغيره عن طريق التنظيف بالمطهرات ويوجد لدين فى الشركة كل عامل لهو جوند يتم التنظيف بهاذا الجوند لاداعى للقلق شركة تنظيف بالدمام ويقوم المنظف بتنظيف الحمامات على اكمل وجة حيث ان عمالنا لديهم الخبرة فى تنظيف الحمامات الكبيرة ام الصغيرة ونحن افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام التنظيف هو عبارة عن تنظيف البيت كامل ويشمل جميع التنظيف شركتنا هى تعمل على تنظيف الفلل والشقق بالدمام عميلى العزيز اذا كنت تريد افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام اتصل بنا على افضل شركة فى الدمام اتصل بنا على افضل شركة تنظيف بالرياض ونحن نعمل داخل وخارج بجازان شركتنا تعمل فى جميغ انحاء المملكة العربية السعودية كما نقدم لكم خدمة التنظيف بجازان على اكمل وجة وفى الفترة الاخيرة تعد شركة القائد من افضل وارخص الشركات الموجودة فى جازان وفى الخبر ونحن نعمل فى الخبر وفى جازان وفى جميع انحاء المنطقة الشرقية شركة تنظيف بجازانعمال شركة القائد فى بالدمام يعملون على المكافحة باحدث الاجهزة الحديثة الموجودة فى شركة القائد نحن فى شركتنا لدينا جميع العمال الذين يعملون فى المكافحة والرش بالدمام هذه الشركة هى الشركة الممتازه فى الدمام اتصل بنا الان على افضل شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام نحن نعمل فى ينبع منذ اكثر من سنوات كثيرة شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام عمال شركة القائد يعملون فى المكافحة منذ اكثر من اعوام كثيرة جدا اتصل الان نصلك عبر الهاتف المحمول عميلى العزيز انت تعلم ان شركة القائد هى الشركة الوحيدة التى تمتلك كبر عدد فى بجازان من الاجهزة الحديثة والمعدات الموجودة فى شركة القائد نحن نعمل فى جازان وفى جميع انحاء المملكة العربية السعودية تقدم شركة القائد افضل وارخص شركة مكافحة الفئران والصراصير بجازان كما تقدم شركة القائد افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان افضل الخدمات فى جازان منها شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان ونحن فى جازان نعمل على مدار 24 ساعة يومين ولا نمل من مكافحة الحشرات لان الحشرات هى الوحيدة التى تسبب للاطفال امراض كثيره وكما تقدم شركة القائد خدمةشركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض نحن افضل شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض اتصل بنا على افضل شركة فى الرياض لان شركة القائد من الشركات التى تمتلك الخبرة والكفائه العالة وهى التى تمتلك اكبر عدد من الاجهزة التى تستخدمها فى مجال تسليك المجارى بالرياض. تقدم الشركة افضل شركة نقل اثاث بجازان شركة القائد هى التى تعمل فى بجازان باحدث الاجهزة الحديثة الموجودة فى جازان اتصل بنا على افضل شركة نقل اثاث بجازان نحن الافضل فى جازان شركتنا من الشركات الموجوده فى جازان هى الشركة الوحيدة التى تمتلك اكبر عدد من السيارات لنقل الاثاث ونقل العفش بجازان اتصل بنا الان على افضل شركة نقل اثاث بجازان نصلك اينما كنت وفى اسرع وقت ممكن.

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