Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My 1st IM -- CDA Race Report

First off I have a few "Thank You" shout outs to the following people: Bree & Maggs, your advice and encouragement was awesome; Mike, your help, hooks, and advice were HUGE, Beers on me in Kona; D, your positive reassurance leading up to and throughout the weekend was rad. I'm not sure you realize how much it helps, but it does. Charisa, your advice, tips and calming reassurance was BIG. Quite simply I would not have had the race I did if it were not for your help. The training we did together was a huge confidence booster (& ass kicker) and I thank you and Kevin for it. Your and Steven's hospitality and friendship has been awesome!; Brothers Pearson and the Minnow, your enthusiasm and passion for the sport have only fueled my own. The training we did together, and the sacrifices you guys made to accommodate my schedule was a huge help in my prep. I can't wait to be there alongside you guys in AZ!

T3 and Trish, Sean, Marcel & Bill: I am positive you guys have NO idea how much you all helped me. Too much to say here, THANKS is grossly understating it, but words simply fall short.

Alright onto the race:

Swim -- 56:33
Race day forecast was ominous at best & called for cold, rain, wind & thunderstorms, but the morning greeted us with just cold and wind. The water was CHOPPY but it was warmer than the air so it felt kinda good. The start was less eventful than I thought it would be. I lined up a little off to the right (all left turns on the swim) but in the front row. I think in an IM people tend not to go out quite as hard as in the shorter distances, but I knew I had the stamina, so I planned to go out as hard as I could for the first 2-300yds. About 100yds out, I was pinned between 2 others and took a good clocking to my right eye, but the goggles stayed on and I swam over his legs and to his right and found myself in clear water. So about 150yds in I just tried to settle into a rhythm and go. The wind chop is much different than ocean waves and is highly unpredictable so it made the swim pretty rough (as the swim times reflect). I looked at my watch on the X-Terra style run after the first loop and it was a 27 and change. I was not happy about this. The 2nd loop was rather unremarkable. Coming out I checked my watch late and saw 57 & change. Again not happy about this. I was hoping to swim sub 55. But after looking at results and seeing I was 4th in my age and #1 went 55:30, and that I was 22nd including pros, I chalked up the 3mins to the wind and chop.

T1-- 4:27
Hahahahahaha... Oceanside repeat plus 1. With the forecast in mind I had a h20 proof jacket, a beanie, armies & and gloves in my bag. But given the amount of time it took just to get my arm warmers and gloves on, and seeing countless people pass me in the tent, I opted to leave the vest and beanie and I was off.

Bike -- 5:05:16
I knew I had to take it easy on the bike to try and save legs for the marathon. I had my nutrition planned out with 1 gel flask (5Powergels) on my mount and another in my T1 bag; 1 Powerbar cut in half stuck to my top tube & my aero drink and downtube bottle of Gatorade. However, in my haste, I put the other gel flask in my special needs bag, and thus was forced to grab some gels at aide stations before I got to special needs. I got caught by some riders including my buddy B.J. about 20-25miles in and thought it was the beginning of a whole slew of dudes that would overtake me. But my legs kicked in a bit later and I was able to pull away from them. At about mile 40 I passed a friend of mine, Jason May who is a RIDICULOUS swimmer and was first AGer out of the water in 51mins. He told me I was then in 3rd overall. I passed 2 other guys on the road, but was then passed by another guy just before the end of the first loop. So going into special needs I knew I was in 2nd overall. given my nutrition folly, I knew I needed to stop at special needs. So stop I did. I had a mini picnic in fact for probably about 3.5 mins. I ate half a PB & Banana sanny, some PB pretzels, a fig newton or 2, drank a pedialyte, took some Tums, Gas-x and salts and was off. During my little picnic however, a bunch of guys had flown right past me. I was able to retake several of them pretty quick but two could not be reeled in. The second loop was pretty uneventful and I just tried to walk that fine line between going hard enough, but not too hard. In the end I came off the bike in 4th overall and 2nd in my AG. I was surprised to see I had the 2nd fastest bike in my AG.

T2-- 1:45 Compression socks are tough to get on wet feet

Run -- 3:12:08
Having never done this before, I was VERY curious to see how my legs would feel on the run. Thankfully, they felt really good... for about 2.5mi. Then... a cramp in my right inner thigh. I don't cramp, even in hot weather, even at Wildflower. But apparently, the full IM is a whole different ball game and even in the cold weather, I need to get more electrolytes. I stopped stretched it out for a minute then just told myself to run through it and hope to find the cure at the next aide station. That cure, was gatorade, a handful of pretzels & a coke at every aide station. Having forgotten my gel flask for the run (sense a trend here) I combined all that with a few gels on the first lap. About 3.5 miles in I caught 3rd place and saw he was in my AG. He said the two ahead were older so I knew I was the first 25-29er and 3rd AGer at that point. Some time later, about mile 13.5 I caught 2nd place, but trouble was a brewin. The nutritional concoction I described above had caught up with me and about mile 14, I felt like I could win a Beer Belly competition. The bloating was painful, but I knew special needs was coming. At special needs I grabbed some more PB pretzels, more Tums, Gas X, Immodium, salts and Advil, all chased down with another pedialyte.
Then I was left to simply suffer shuffle until they took effect. At about mile 15 my buddy B.J. Christensen (mentioned above) caught me. The dude runs like a Gazelle. I knew I had no chance of running with him in my current state so I had to let him go. He went on to run a 2:55, be the only AGer to break 3 and have the 3rd fastest run including pros! Dude's got a wicked run! It was a painful ~5mi that felt like 10, but about mile 19 I began to feel much better. At 20 I felt pretty dam solid, and I was able to really get back on track. Although the race splits don't reflect it (they are screwed up for everybody), I am pretty sure I ran the last 6mi as fast if not faster than the first 6. About mile 23 a female pro named Jessica Jacobs caught me. I had passed her right out of T2 (she is right behind me in pic above) but she had reeled me back in with a strong run. We ran together for a bit but I pulled away and had a little gap (200yrds) on her going into the long straight away to the finish. Running down that straight, the crowd started going NUTS, I didn't realize what was happening until I looked behind and saw her CHARGING. I tried, but there was nothing I could do to match her speed. She was flying! She gave me a quick pat on the back and said "Lets Go!" to which I responded "I can't. This is all I GOT!!" She ran away US Flag in hand. Her kick was so strong that I am not ashamed to say it. I got Chicked! It was an great way to come down the finish and she greeted me with an awesome hug after crossing the line. My parents support for me in this sport is incredible (my mom has been to EVERY race I've done), and my Dad's lieniency with work is the only thing that makes this possible, so it being Father's Day, and seeing them at the finish line... it was pretty awesome.
I was emotional, beat up, exhausted, in pain, dizzy, nauseous... in short, I had never felt better in my life. It was truly an AWESOME experience that words cannot describe.

Final Result: 9:20:07; 1st in 25-29; 3rd Amateur; and 14th overall. STOKED!! As an added bonus, at awards I found out that I set a new course record for the 25-29 age group.

That night the super swimmer mentioned above Jason (9:45 in his first IM), his wife Galen, Scott (10:30 in his first), his girlfriend Hilary, and D came over for a HUGE meal a couple beers and of course some carrot cake and ice cream.
I know I left some time out there on course, but all in all, I would say my first Ironman experience was, in a word, Perfect.


  1. Congratulations again on a superstar race!

  2. Congrats again! Now I just want to spectate in Kona so i can follow your race. Oh, and drink beer.

  3. Soooooo well executed! I think the only place I can offer any further assistance to you now remains in T1 and T2. Seriously, we're going to work on those :) And I think you need to teach me how to hammer the bike like that. Awesome race, I'm so proud of you!

  4. Been waiting for your RR...killer race man, just killer. Way to go!

  5. Wow! All I can say is "simply amazing." When you going pro so I don't have to compete for age group slots with you? Haha. Congrats Brother! Shoot me an email and I'll give you my method for quick use of the compression socks. Great Job!!!!!!!!!

  6. I had no idea that you carry a small pharmacy with you when you race, Tums, Immodium AND Gas-X, yikes! And as for the race, simply amazing man.

  7. Ian, I am not a stalker, do not worry. I am friends with D (and some others on your blog) and was getting updates ALL day from D on Marit and you and others - GREAT job out there! VERY impressive! Congrats!

  8. Ian, Great job! You've been sandbagging on Tue am ride. What the 22mph for 112miles were you thinking? That's crazy fast which included a picnic, some hill climbs and I'm sure a little nature stop or two. I think your Run was so impressive, especially given all the nutritional magivering you had to do. Strong work!

  9. um, I didn't really do anything but thanks for the shout out, I'll take it since you totally smashed that race! SO HAPPY for you...

    NOW Kona will be even more fun, with only a 15 min head start this could be super fun trying to run from you and you hunting me down-

    SO HAPPY for you!! See ya sooooooon!

  10. What a race. Congrats. I am so glad I was there to witness it. I think D tagged you on my FB - I have a photo of you running with both feet of the ground - :))))

  11. I love this post! Read it on my Blackberry, but needed to come back to comment and say "CONGRATS!!" on a friggin' phenomenal time! So when do you turn pro?! LOL