Ironman Arizona 2016 Race Report – Gear List

Race reports can get very long so I like to break out some of the details into separate posts. This post will serve as a list of all the gear I used for the race this year.

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Photo by Mariel Calloway

For the swim I used:

Everything worked great! It is super important to test out all the kit together before the race to avoid any possible chaffing issues. It is also key to wear your wetsuit a few times right before the race especially if you don’t wear it often! Also, using Tri Slide liberally on my arms and legs really helped with my movement in my wetsuit. Thanks Mariel for the awesome picture!

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For the bike I used:

  • 2014 Argon 18 E-118 bike with full Dura Ace Di2. 52 X 36 on the front and 11 X 28 on the back
  • Dura Ace C50 wheels
  • Giro Air Attack helmet
  • Coeur one piece speed suit

I found that I ran out of gears on the downhill and spent most of my day in the big ring. Getting stronger on the bike! The bike was amazing!! This bike is so stable and solid. It performed perfectly all day. The best thing about this bike is how it rides in the wind. It was quite windy on course but this bike cuts through the wind perfectly. I just hunkered down in aero and pedaled. It was perfect!

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On the run I used:

My kit worked perfect for me all day long. Many people were skeptical of how doing a full Ironman in a one piece kit would go. It was perfect. The kit was amazing! One thing I did different in this race was I peed on myself during the run. That may be a bit TMI for you but it is important to understand I didn’t need to take off the suit during the whole race. As a result I did smell like a potty-training toddler by the end of the day and I did throw my shoes away after the race. Other than that, it was great! I didn’t want to sit down anyway!

One other new thing I have worked into my running lately is I have been lubing my toes before I run with Rocket Pure Friction Therapy Anti Chafe Balm. It has worked really well for keeping me from getting blisters between my toes. I am just sorry I didn’t start this practice earlier!

Ironman Arizona 2016 Race Report

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I woke up in the middle of the night before race morning as usual but other than that everything was great leading up to the race. I did all the training that was given to me and for once I really enjoyed every single week. Sure there were a few weeks that I was a bit overwhelmed with everything on my plate, but I knew that if I wanted to meet my goal I had to find a way to make it work. That was my mind set for my training, and it worked.

The goal for the race was to go under 11 hours, place top 10, and preferably place top 5. I only had control over the first one so that was the most important. For those of you that only want the numbers you can find the Garmin data here or see the times below:

Swim 1:07:47

T1 5:29

Bike 5:59:15

T2 2:46

Run 3:42:05

Total : 10:57:22

The swim was excellent! It was a super slow rolling start because they were only letting us into the lake in two single file lines. This meant it was NOT crowded at all. Besides whacking somebody’s elbow with my forearm, there was very little contact. I felt like I didn’t pick the best lines but when I compare my swim distance to others that use Strava I did pretty well.

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Out of the swim and on to the bike. I heard a bunch of people yell my name as I ran to transition. It is so great to do a race where you have a lot of people that know your face! It makes a huge difference! Pretty simple transition as I like to keep it simple. I even had a friend in T1 that helped me so that is a bonus as well.

On the bike the goal was to push 150 watts all day long. I knew I could do that and I wanted to do it so bad. Along with that power goal was the goal of breaking 6 hours on the bike. The course was very windy on the way out but had a decent tail wind on the way back. Each lap was really close to 2 hours so I knew it was going to be really close to break 6. Except for some guys riding in packs and making passing tough it was a very quiet ride. I usually stop during the ride to get water but I knew if I was going to go under 6 I had to keep pedaling, there was no time to stop. This was truly becoming a mind of matter race! I didn’t make the power goal but I did make the time one.

I rolled into T2 and just went under 6 hours!!! YAY!!!! When I got off my bike I could hardly standup straight. I had spent SOOO much of the ride in aero (the best way to manage the headwinds) so my back was super stiff. I trotted off to get my bag, found a volunteer and sat down in the chairs outside the tent. If you don’t need to actually change your clothes you should always opt for this if they have it. It is WAY less chaotic and you can see so much better. I had spent a lot of time before the race planning my transitions and that really paid off. Keep it simple is my motto and it works! I did do a sock change because I have found that lubing my feet a bunch before a run really helps with blisters between my toes. Totally worth it! I ran out of transition with my bag of nutrition and glanced at my watch. The A goal was sub 11 hours. I ran out with 7:15 showing on my watch. That meant I had to run 3:45. While this was a bit faster than I had originally planned I knew it was not impossible. All my training runs were well with in that range.

When I first ran into Stuart and my Coach Jen I was thrilled to see them. I was having trouble seeing out of my right eye (this started on the ride) but Jen reassured me I didn’t need that to run! Thanks Coach! This only was an issue when I had to run on any uneven surfaces. When I saw them a second time (about a mile later) I asked what the pace was to run the 3:45. They did the math and came ran up to tell me it was 8:33/mile. I was really hoping they were going to tell me 8:45! I thought about it for a moment while I was running and knew I had to go for it. I knew that was not an impossible pace for me but I wasn’t totally sure how long I could hang on. I was ready to find out. I kept on top of my nutrition by trying to eat every 4 miles or so and I alternated water with a caffeine drink at every other aid station. I had not used the bathroom since the swim and I knew I would feel a lot better if I peed but there was no way I was going to stop for that! So this was the race I finally crossed over to a person who pees on themselves. Best. Thing. EVER!!! I did smell pretty gross by the end but I did not care at all! Stuart and Jen caught me at a couple of pre-determined spots on course and I had a bunch of friends sprinkled all over the course. Every cheer was heard and helped! I was trying to pass as many ladies in my age group as I could as I was really hoping for a top 10 finish. I kept a careful watch on my time and when I hit 16 miles on the run I knew I had 10 miles left. I had 90 minutes to stay under 11 hours and I knew that meant I only had to hold 9 minute miles to do it! I knew I was going to make it! Just kept running making sure that every mile was still under 9 minutes because everyone that was meant I was going to meet my goal. The last 10 miles were tough but there was nothing that would stop me.

This race was about two things for me. First, respect and take your training seriously. I choose to spend a lot of my time on this so I want to make it count! I am so lucky to have all the tools available to me (an awesome coach, a supportive husband, a supportive team, and excellent equipment) so I better make good use of them! Second, believe in yourself. Because I took my training seriously I really knew what my body was capable of. That, coupled with truly believing in myself, made for a very successful day! I see and hear so many athletes who express doubt in their abilities and make excuses when things go bad. There are many things you can’t control on race day, but you can control all the training you put in and you can absolutely control your mindset! There is nothing special about me except I truly believe I can do this and I can do it well!

Pictures by Stuart and Jen. Having them on course was amazing!!!

Ironman Arizona 2016 – ONE MORE SLEEP!

One more sleep. Hopefully it will be a good one. We drove out to Arizona on Thursday and so far I am sleeping well! One good dream, I went 10:51 and got 5th in my age group. One bad dream, I went to New Zealand for work and wasn’t going to be able to get back to Arizona in time for the race!

People keep asking how I feel and honestly I feel great! I did jam my wrist over a week ago, and it is still a bit sore, but I have decided it will NOT impact my race. Did you hear that wrist? But I keep reminding myself I did all the work; now I get to enjoy all the benefits!

I have been enjoying the last couple days but connecting with my amazing Coeur Teammates and longtime triathlon friends. This sport has really given me some of the most amazing people in my life!

If you want to track me race day my number is 1761. I am shooting for 11 hours and hopefully top 10. The weather looks perfect. Time to burn down all the hay I have piled up in the barn!!!

Ironman Arizona 2012 – Sherpa Report

In case you may be supporting someone this weekend at Ironman Arizona…

See Becca Try to Tri

If you have ever done a big race you understand the importance of having a “Sherpa” with you to assist you.  You need help with a variety of things including  drop offs, pick ups, photo taking, social media updates, etc…  After my Ironman, my Sherpa had to help me get in to the shower because I couldn’t get my kit off!  I have been lucky to have people in my life Sherpa for me over the years so I was thrilled to Sherpa for someone special who was doing their first Ironman.

We got out to Tempe Arizona a couple days before the race and were busy doing last minute testing of equipment, checking out the course again, and making sure we had all necessary items for race day.  My necessary items were a little different than his;  while he needed nutrition and chamois cream I need poster board and…

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Week 15 of 16 Ironman Arizona – Road Trip!

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It was a pretty light week as my taper continued. Luckily we had awesome plans over the long holiday weekend so I will just post a bunch of pics for this week! We headed up to San Luis Obispo for a cyclocross weekend and a chance for me to meet up with some of my amazing Coeur Teammates.

Assembling the tent!

Assembling the tent!

Cooking pancakes!

Cooking pancakes!

Heart and Courage on the road!

Heart and Courage on the road!

Beer hand-ups!!!

Beer hand-ups!!!

I love supporting Stuart!

I love supporting Stuart!

More awesome Coeur Teammates

More awesome Coeur Teammates

End of an awesome weekend!

End of an awesome weekend!

Now I am just waiting to pack up and get to Arizona!! I can’t wait to go race!!!

Week 14 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – Course PR!!

As you can see from below the taper has begun! I love the way my coach tapers me in that I still workout pretty much as many days as before, it is just a decrease in volume.

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The highlight of the week was the Santa Clarita Marathon. This Half Marathon was my first ever race when I started running 10 years ago. It was the race that lit the fire that has been burning bright for 10 years now! I was very fortunate to be chosen as an Ambassador for the race.

My goal for the race had been to run a 1:45. I knew it would be a bit of a challenge but I always believe in a little race day magic! I started the morning with my fellow ambassadors and then went out to line up. I met my friend Taryn Spates and we waited for the start together. Taryn wrote a book, 35 by 35, which I can’t wait to start reading. We have done many races together over the years and she is amazingly positive person. Every race I start with her will be a good one!

I ran with the 1:45 pace group just to see how that went. The first mile was really tough because it is crowded and uphill. But once we strung out a bit the run was amazing! I felt great the entire time. I enjoyed chatting with all the people in our group. Everybody had a different story and running past. I had so much fun. By about mile 11 it was time to push a bit more so I started trying to chase down any women in front of me. I reeled in about 3 more women before the dreaded last mile. It is an uphill mile over a few bridges. It stings a lot! I didn’t catch any more women after that and didn’t let ANYBODY else pass me. 1:42 and change!!! (Garmin details here) Not a distance PR, but a course PR for sure. Best part, second place out of 102 women in my age group!!! I was in control of the whole race and considering this pace is a full minute faster that I want to run in Arizona I am feeling more and more confident for IMAZ in two weeks.

Biggest Month Ever!

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I used to keep track of my monthly numbers but I haven’t been doing that much any more. I am usually more focused on weekly totals. I have been playing with the Analysis features in SportTracks recently and I was happy to see that October 2016 has been my biggest month of training ever! Biggest in time and distance. It wasn’t that surprising because this is the most aggressive training I have ever done for a race. What I was surprised by was the fact I ran over 140 miles this month and all at essentially goal marathon pace for my upcoming Ironman.

Sometimes you need to take a step back to see just how you are performing overall. You need to see the forest through the trees!

I have been using SportTracks for a couple of years now. It is really worth the cost because of all the easy to run reports that you don’t get elsewhere. You should check it out!

Week 13 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training -I am ready!

That is it! I have done the hard work and now just to let it all soak in and steep so that on race day I can let it all out!

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Um, I ran 36 miles this week, and at an average pace that is my goal marathon pace! O. M. G!!!

And here is how  the month measured up as well!

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I am so proud of how I have trained for this race. I can honestly say I did my best to do every workout Coach Jen gave me. There were days and workouts I may have tried to make excuses for but I never got far with that; there just weren’t any excuses that were valid! I have found that I just love the challenge that Ironman training brings and I love meeting that challenge every single week! You don’t here this often from Triathletes, but I am ready!

Highlight of the week was doing the Death Valley Century. I had never been to Death Valley and I was totally blown away with it. The ride was a bit more challenging that I was expecting mostly because the first 25 miles was essentially into a headwind. But after that it got a bit easier and we were rewarded with some amazing views for our hard work. Pictures don’t do it justice but here are a few from the trip. Click here for the Garmin data.

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Mile 28. Notice the sideways braids.

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Of course I had to run off the bike, thanks Coach!

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Back out to Badwater for a pic before we drive home

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My best friend and partner in everything!

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This little lady was holding up traffic!

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Sunset on the drive home

I ended the week with a 3 hour, 20 mile run on Sunday. For once, we had rain. It was a fabulous!

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Soaked to the skin but happy to be done!

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Must braid hair next time

I have a the Santa Clarita Half Marathon next weekend. I will be shooting for sub 1:50 (I really want 1:45). But other than that I will just be letting the work soak in so I can have the Ironman race I know  I am capable of!

 

Week 12 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – Inspired

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Wow! That may have not been my biggest week in miles but it quite possibly was in time! I am in the final push for Arizona and loving (almost) every minute of it!

I am still dialing everything in and figuring out race day plans. This week I found my racing kit!!! Coeur Sports released their one-piece speed suit! It is amazing!!! It has the same seam-free chamois that the tri shorts do so it is super comfy. I have really fallen in love with the sleeved tops as well. It keep the sun off your shoulder which I honestly thinks makes a huge difference. I know you might be thinking that how could you race in a suit for such a long race? What about bathroom breaks? The last two Ironman I have done I have only needed one potty break and that is in T2. This kit zips down far enough that getting it off and back on is not a problem. Even when it is sweaty! For me, the added comfort the kit gives me over traditional two piece triathlon kit is totally worth it! It is completely dreamy! I did a 5 hour ride in it this weekend followed up with a 1 hour run. No issues! None! There is one small thing to note about the kit. In order for it to be so aero the pocket are a little tight on the back. They might be a little tough to access on the bike. Not an issue for me because I can carry all my bike nutrition in my bento box.

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After my 6 hour brick on Saturday I had a 2.5 hour run on my schedule. Happy to report that I had no trouble doing the run in essentially my goal race pace! I know what I can do and I just need to do it on race day!

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Lastly, I have been finding a lot of things to help keep me inspired to work towards this crazy dream of one day qualifying for Kona. The picture below is a huge inspiration to me. Those ladies work their butts off and are gracious and beautiful inside and out! The Coeur team has inspired me beyond words. This picture is a huge inspiration to me. One day I will be in this picture! One day I will be racing with these ladies on that island! This picture helps light my fire!

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The 2016 Ironman World Championship Couer team, photo by Jay Prasuhn

Surfacing by Siri Lindley – Book Review

IMG_2584.JPGMy Husband Stuart has a relationship with VeloPress so when he saw that Siri Lindley had a book out with them he made a call and got me a copy!

Last summer I met Sir Lindley at Ironman Boulder when she spoke at the welcome party. The most I knew about Siri before I met her was she is an amazing couch to some pretty incredible triathletes! I had been following her on social media and was impressed by her voice and outlook on triathlon training. I was a total fan girl after she spoke and waited to say hello and thank you and all the things you say to someone who is a positive presence in your world.

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Siri Lindley is amazing!!!

Surfacing, her book is a biography of how she got to where she is today. I love reading and learning about people’s journeys and pasts. This book was an excellent look into the things in Siri’s life that shaped her to be the person she is today. She did not hold back anything! I did not know any of the back story into her life before I read this and there were a lot of things that surprised me!

What touched me most about the book was it was totally written in Siri’s voice. I know she wrote it so of course it should sound like her. But that doesn’t always happen when people write their autobiographies. I found her book to be genuine and honest and inspiring! It is not a long book and it moves at such a good pace that you will have trouble putting it down! I never read books anymore and I read this one in a week (that is pretty quick for me since I am usually asleep by 9:00 PM). The book is well written, interesting, and inspiring! Absolutely worth the read!

No if only I could find away to move to Boulder and train with her!