Monday, December 31, 2012

IMSG training Week 1

Well here we go again! It was around six weeks ago that I crossed the finish line at IMAZ and having had some serious downtime it’s now time to start ramping things up. In fairness this should have actually have been Week 2 but I got busy and decided to push things back a week, it’s not too big a deal as the first 3 (was 4) weeks were simply prep, get a sweat on, figure out my plan and the like, they were not dedicated training.

So the goals of the first three weeks were to:

  1. Figure out the plan
  2. Start the strength and flexibility training,
  3. Swim, Bike and Run for 1/2/2 hours respectively

Pretty simple really so let’s talk about them;

I am still researching plans, I seriously would like to get a coach but other financial goals (buying a P5 (or like) and a house…not in that order) preclude that right now so I find myself being an experiment of one. Fortunately while I am new to Triathlon, this will be only my second year, I am not new to endurance sports. I ran my first marathon and ultra-marathon in 2007 and since then I have added a few notches on my belt. Right now I am looking at the Joe Friel book Your Best Triathlon, the other contender for a plan is one by Matt Fitzgerald, both of these guys are steeped in history of Triathlon and training so it’s not like I am leaving myself out in the open, but both present different approaches; I will, no doubt have more to say on that when I have decided.

For the strength and Flexibility training I have worked out a plan that has 3 weight sessions broken down into different body parts each day and 2 yoga session a week

  • Monday; Biceps and Back
  • Tuesday; Core and Yoga
  • Wednesday; Shoulders and Legs
  • Thursday; Core and Yoga
  • Friday; Chest and Triceps

This probably looks overwhelming but the weight sessions last around 25 minutes, the core 18 minutes (P90X Ab Ripper) and the Yoga around 20, although the yoga will increase in time.

The other big event this week was the Tour of Sufferlandria, it’s still going on so I will give you a more detailed write up when it’s finished, but it pretty much took up Saturday and Sunday and obviously boosted my bike mileage into the stratosphere! This gives you idea of the end result, and this was only halfway through the first day…


So back to this week, which actually started on Christmas Eve! It shook out like this;


I missed one weights session on Friday but other than that I hit all my goals, less 3 minutes on the Run, as with IMAZ I will post a graph but for one week only it looks a bit silly!

Onto Week 2…and 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Active Advantage…is it really an advantage?

Earlier this year, well about 6 weeks ago I signed up for the much advertised Active Advantage. There were two driving factors, an additional 25% discount on and the waiving of the “processing fee” that you are charged when registering for races on

In the last 12 months my race sign ups have obviously shifted from ultras to triathlons and with that the shift to using race registration instead of more localized sites such as and Added to which that a triathlon registration is expensive; a “small” Sprint race can cost $100, an IM branded 70.3 is around $275 and a full IM is around $675 so any opportunity to save $10 or $20 here or there soon adds up especially when you are signing up for 5-6 races in a year, it almost become a case of buy 5 get one free.

The initial cost was $1.99 for the first month and another $59.95 for the rest of the year after 30 days “trial”. My trail ended and my Visa was charged. Since paying my $59.95 and signing up to was retired and is now powered by Left Lane Sports under the banner of Left Lane is an online broker of discounted gear. Both outlets had been around for a while and I have actually purchased several things through schwaggle in the last year whereas I have never purchased anything from Left Lane, I even have their app on my iPhone and receive a daily email from them but their selection is too broad for me they cover a lot of outdoor sports including; climbing, skating and surfing and these things are not any interest to me.

The really only left one compelling reason for the membership which was the waived processing fees. With that in mind I signed up for IMSG and had $10 waived. This week I went to sign up for the Desert Tri in March, it’s a work up race for IMSG. It was my first triathlon ever earlier this year…if you remember I had a disastrous swim. I had toyed with doing both the Sprint and International (Olympic) distances, the former as some form of redemption and the latter as training, but given the combined cost of nearly $200 plus travel and accommodation and the fact that 2013 is not a cheap race year already I decided that redemption can wait.

So to I went in search of the race and registration, it was easy to find and it was advertised as “Save on this event”, great I thought another $10 saved. If you click on this link it takes you to the Active Advantage sign up page!


I went through the sign process but the waived processing fee would not show when I went to check out, I tried it several times and I couldn’t get it to work?!!?


The open window is what pops up when you click on the “?” by Processing Fee

I opened a help ticket with them and got an email back asking me to call them, which I did. After some discussion I was advised that the race did not participate in the processing fee waiver and I had to pay it. I questioned that they were advertising it as such? The Customer Service Rep told me that nearly all events are advertised with it but not every event participates! It wasn’t her fault but I was upset as this is really a case of double dipping, I pay for the “Advantage” but I don’t get it.

It was at that point that I cancelled my membership and today I was refunded my $59.99…the whole experience has been rather tasteless and in the end I saved $8.00 which I probably spent in time writing to them and being on the phone!

Don’t get me wrong, I get it that these companies are in business to make money…what I disagree with is their methods; falsely representing the discount is just plain wrong.

I’ll save any more rants and raves on this issue and leave you with own wordsIn 2011, 205 million people attended 1.8 million meetings at a total cost of $263 billion in direct spending in the United States alone” all I can say is that’s a lot of $10 processing fees!

As for the Desert Tri, my processing fee was the price of a quick look at the race website and a stamp!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Twenty thirteen…

This is tentative (unless noted "Registered") for 2013.

A focus on shorter races for 2013 after 2012's goal of Ironman Arizona, This is very much a year of two halves. The first 6 months are focused on a good really good St George which is new but is based on the old Ironman course that notoriously hard. I am "hopeful" for a roll down slot to 70.3 Worlds in Las Vegas in September. The second half is focused on a Boston Qualifier time, which for my age group is a 3:25!

As for my sherpaing and head cheerleading duties I am sherpaing for my Partner in Tri' TribeccaTO who is adding another notch to her Ironman belt!

Along the way I am sure there will be a few 5kms, 10kms and some other fun and madness!

03/03 Desert Tri Olympic

04/15 Boston Marathon - Sherpa!

05/04 St George 70.3 - Registered 

07/27 Barbs Race 70.3 - Sherpa!

08/19 Challenge Pentiction - Sherpa!

11/03 Santa Clarita Marathon

11/10 Malibu Marathon*

12/01 California International Marathon+

* Depends on Santa Clarita result

+ Depends on Santa Clarita and Malibu

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vegan; no, yes, no, yes…

Back in the summer, when I came back from a most awesome vacation in Canada I made a major switch in my diet, put simply I went vegan. This is fairly easy to define;

  • No meat
  • No fish
  • No eggs
  • No diary
  • And if possible Gluten free

The only two concessions to this were a splash of half-n-half in my coffee and milk in my tea; I am British…this is how the Empire was made!

I trained for Ironman Arizona as a vegan. I wasn’t worried about the “not enough protein” argument, as my meat consumption was pretty low anyway. I added some new things to my diet, primarily tofu and tempeh, both soy based products that contain protein. I refueled using a Vega post workout shake and that worked fine! The biggest loss was cheese but I found some alternatives that worked ok in cooking but let’s be honest it’s hard to beat a good cheddar or soft brie.

Overall my weight went down I bottomed out at around 164lbs down from around 180lbs, this is probably too light for me. I was around 168lb at race day for IMAZ. Of course this is not just due to diet; 12-15 hour training weeks played a big part too. That’s clearly evident as I have floated back up and this week hit 175lb one month post-race, I expect that to start dropping as I get back into training in the coming weeks.

In addition the weight loss my metabolism felt cleaner, I stopped getting the 3pm post lunch coma, I slept better, I wasn’t constantly snacking, I didn’t spike and crash… the list goes on. Now these are all physical effects, the biggest one was mental; boundaries! I had a set of rules; I could eat this and I couldn’t eat that…it was actually very simple. Black and white if you like. This works well for me as despite having the ability to drag myself out of bed at 4am five days in a row to train I have trouble resisting something that I shouldn’t. And at this time of year Christmas, is of course, the force multiplier of this.

Post IMAZ I made the conscious decision to reverse the vegan choice, that’s not to say that I went out and ordered a 20oz steak but things crept back into my diet that previously were eliminated. It was also an economic decision to try and get through some of the stuff that stared at me every time I opened the freezer door. Making more of an appearance was beer which while not eliminated during training was certainly reduced. Now I am not confessing to being a closet alcoholic but they are empty calories, albeit very nice ones!

Overall it’s been an interesting experiment both in the physical and mental aspects of it. Living within a clear set of rules makes things like I say very black and white and very easy to follow.

So starting in the New Year, the rules are back in play.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gold no more!

It was a little over three years ago that I posted about joining Gold’s Gym. To be honest in those three years the first two were not that productive, an occasional spin class and time on the treadmill were mostly it, ironically in the beginning I used the pool a bit as I was recovering from a torn vastus medialis that’s the inner (closer to the other leg) muscle that is part of the quadriceps sustained at 100 in the Hood the September prior. That all changed once I was ok’d to run and then I stayed away from the pool and that’s pretty much what I did from then to November of last year. Then I started on the crazy triathlon plan!

From that point I went to the pool a lot; 3-4 times a week every week…yes EVERY WEEK, one week I swam 16,000 yards! But all Gold err good things must come to an end and so this is my last month at Gold’s. To be honest that’s the good news, the better news is the $40 a month I will be spending 40 times over elsewhere, well actually mostly adding to the P5 fund!. The really great news is that I can swim here at my local Parks and Recs pool for $2 a pop!

Open air, salt water and full shall we say full of swimmers rather than splashies!


And yes you can swim out side in December in the dark and in the rain!

Oh and if you’re thinking hang on didn’t he just say he was starting to do weights at the gym, the complex I live in has a free residents gym!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seeing the Year out with a bang!

Yeah you might want to rephrase that to a whimper…

Concocted in the warped twisted mind of err well me! This is what I have planned for the last weekend of the year!

Why you ask…why the eff not I reply!

fest ride

tour map

Of course I reserve the right to change my response…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

28 days later…

It’s been a little over 4 weeks since Ironman Arizona. I have done a bit of this and a bit of that, to be honest I did a bit too soon so I backed off; the mental break took a bit more time to adjust to but now it’s time to get back in the saddle…literally and metaphorically!

I have spent the last week or so planning the next adventure which is St George 70.3 in Utah in May. This time I am trying something different. I usually don’t go for long training cycles, the mental aspect of it I find overwhelming. I get bored around the 16-17 week mark, beyond that I switch off and then the last month become a glorified balls-up of a taper which doesn’t do me any good at all. Yeah but you say! Yeah but I have done this several times so trust me I really know this happens! That being said the training for St George will be 20 weeks.

Huh…yeah huh!

I have spent some time looking through several books and the 20 weeks will be the Meso Cycle; that is the entire life-cycle of the plan. The actual plan will be comprise of several cycles and the actually Triathlon plan will only last 16 weeks with you typical build, recover and specificity training. Because I am sticking to shorter distances I am expecting there to be more emphasis on speed work too…which I actually really like! The first 4 weeks will be spent in the gym, not the pool but actually lifting weights combined with some Yoga/Stretching. I am horribly inflexible...and seeing as how I am not going to wake up suddenly one morning and be able to touch my toes…trust me I have tried, doing some Yoga will help. So that’s all I have to say on that.

As for the weights, in addition to strengthening my core (which I will not bother to tell you that we should all be doing) I do feel that I have some serious gains to be made by adding some outright muscle mass. I really think this will help with my swimming. I have the typically body form of a runner; all legs and arms that look a little bit more than bits of string with knots in. This will be something that I will continue through the entire 20 weeks with a review and a change of exercises every 6 weeks the Micro Cycles with the last two weeks tapering off towards race day. In addition to this each week for the first 4 will have roughly 5 hours of Swim Bike Run on a rough 1/2/2 split spread across the week to basically get the heart rate up and the waistband down.

This is what happens when you go from 15+ hours a week of training to nada…


This is the first 6 weeks of workouts…’cos I know you were dying to see it and marvel at my mad excel skills…although there has to be a quicker way then printing out, cutting up and gluing on the sideways words!!


That’s it for now! One week to the end of the year and six more posts needed to hit 120…it’s on!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

IMAZ; Time and Money!

One of the benefits of keeping all your training plan in Excel is this…


Total Training; S/B/R/Time


Weekly mileage


Sport Specific Analysis


Percentage of time across each discipline


The bottom line…and yes totally worth it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review; The Sufferfest, The Wretched

I was fortunate enough to get an early hook up for the new Sufferfest “The Wretched” and I took it for a spin last night…or should I say, I was ingested partially digested and regurgitated as a wincing, quivering, sweating blob of Sufferlandrian pride after 50 minutes on the Trainer.


With IMAZ in the rear view mirror it is starting to become time to turn my attention to the future but it was also nice to crack out Thor; my Cervelo R3. Thor has been in cryogenic suspension aka my ECO travel bag since returning from Canada in August, left unassembled to avoid temptation! Once assembled he was on the trainer and we were good to go after a couple of false starts of lining up sensors etc to ensure my Garmin and TrainerRoad were correctly working and I was off.

As with all the newer Sufferfests there is a storyline that runs through the training, this one is that as a past Champion you have fallen from grace and have been couch surfing for the last year. With a free ride into this year’s Tour, alas all those Cheesy Puffs have taken their toll and instead of keeping the edge nice and sharp, it’s blunt, rusted and chipped! Time to saddle up, shut up and climb up!

The ride itself consist of four climbs, the first is folded into the warm up and is accompanied by a throbbing narrated assault on Box Hill (of 2012 road cycling Olympic fame). I actually found the original online so consider this a teaser…

After this warm up…yes this is the warm up you are presented with the full assault of 7 hours of European climbs to be completed in 35 minutes along with footage from this year’s Tour de France. The second and third climbs are a steadily increase incline ergo effort and end with a sprint finish with all the usual suspect in the mix; Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Voeckler and Cadel Evans.


Oh so pretty, oh so painful…note ski lifts!

The final climb is by far the longest and actually translates into a low cadence high wattage steady effort that lasts just under 10 minutes but had me cranking out just under 300 watts, put into real numbers this equates to something around 21-23mph at a cadence somewhere in the mid 70s and good mix of climbing seated and standing! In between each climb you get to spin off the lactate with some quick 100rpm spindowns and there are a few false flats thrown in for good measure. At the end your treated to easy spin down and a doughnut…ok I was joking about the doughnut!

There is a upbeat music track that accompanies the visual with a good mix of indie rock and dance music to keep you motivated along with the usual on screen prompts; when distilled down these equate to STFU and HTFU. A newer “dashboard” was introduced in There is No Try and this is replicated in The Wretched which give clean and clear instructions on effort (RPE) and cadence.

For illustration purposes I tracked my effort using TrainerRoad and you can see the level or “power” output below.


In Garmin Connect it looks like this;


I am a big fan of the Sufferfest training videos I was an fairly early adopter and starting using them in December of 2009. They represent engaging, intelligent training and for the price are quite possible the biggest bang for your buck, (pound or euro) that you can get.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere with winter looming around the corner along with crappy weather and shorter days it’s time to dust of the trainer…it only makes sense to have some fun with it along the way!

This video was provided free by the evil good folks at The Ministry of Pain of Sufferlandria, for other reviews of Sufferfests check them out under the Reviews tab above. If you would like me to review something drop me a line at

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ironman Arizona; kit list

A couple of people have asked so here it is, I think this is everything;

Dinner the night before;

  • Orecciette pasta from Green’s Vegan Restaurant in Tempe; “Grandmas’ favorite pasta (little earlobes) with your choice of mock meatballs in our homemade tomato sauce with fresh vegetables”

Breakfast the morning of;

  • Bowl of Granola – homemade but see this link for an idea, coconut milk
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sipped on water
  • S!CAP

Race Kit;

Morning Clothes; over my Race Kit;

  • Orca Fleece
  • Adidas run leggings
  • Saucony Kinvara shoes (flip-flops are an accident waiting to happen)
  • Headtorch
  • Took my track pump to top up tires




Tre sexy, no?



  • TT bottle had 20 ounces of water and 4 scoops Gu Roctane (approx. 1000 calories), goal was to drink this all on the bike primarily during the second half
  • Torhans bottle was filled with 30 ounces of water, goal drink one bottle an hour, I probably drank around 4.5 bottles in total
  • S!Caps, kept in a baggie and stuffed up my shorts leg, goal was to take one an hour every hour on the bike and run
  • Gu Roctance Gel/Bonk Bar these were handed out on the bike I grabbed 2-3 each hour and had one every 30 minutes
  • Power Bars I had one in my T1 bag and one in my Special Needs bag, I ate them both, I find them to be easier to chew than more “grainy” bars, but they are a bitch to unwrap!
  • Cliff Shot Bloks two packs of these in my T1 bag, less messy than gels
  • Note, the PowerBars and Shotblocks were pre opened, that is I cut the ends to make the unwrapping easier

Special Needs;

  • Bike; Power Bar, Single Serving of DZ Nuts, very welcome at mile 65, I should have put this in my T1 bag and applied earlier
  • Run; Long sleeve running shirt, gloves, spare Headsweats/Hammer Visor. I wasn’t sure how cold I would get and how annoying a sweaty visor would be

Not used;

  • My T2 bag also had a FuelBelt R20, this was not taken on the run

Should have packed;

  • BodyGlide, I “Glided” myself pre swim, (ankles, wrists, neck) could have done with some in T2 for the run
  • DZ Nuts into T1 bag for the start of the ride; prevention is better than a cure
  • There should have been a carton of coconut juice in each bag and spare S!Caps , these were forgotten and left in the hotel fridge in the morning…oops!

Looks like a lot right! Well it is kinda and I prided myself in keeping it simple! Pretty much everything was well used and practiced, the only exceptions to this were;

  • My helmet, it only arrived the week before and I had only ridden 30 minutes in it 2 days before the race
  • The Hutchinson Fast Air; never needed in training so never used!

Finally here is the race day video from, the swim looks way worse that it was or maybe I just got off lightly?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ironman Arizona

I will try to keep this to the point but inevitably this might get a bit long in parts!

Before getting into the nitty gritty, let me state that I did have some goals…beyond finishing that is, put simply there were:

  • Swim; <2:00 hours
  • Bike; 6 hours
  • Run; 4 hours
  • Transitions; 30 mins

Realistic, ambitious, crazy…well, yes, no and maybe! Either way if met they would give me a 12:30(ish) finish.

So with them stated let’s moved on. Per my last post the whole Ironman thing takes several days in advance of race day to get ready for; the drive out, the race check in, expo, practice race swim,bike and bag drop off, athlete dinner and briefing.

Check in (4) Check in (5) Check in (10)

By the time race morning comes you’re feeling pretty intimate with the race, that being said the morning of race is still pretty nerve racking. After double checking the bike and topping up the tires, lining up for the porta-johns, dropping off my Special Needs bags it was time to put on my wetsuit.

As many of you know the swim was (and is) my weakness, so I spent much of the night tossing and turning about not making the swim cut off of 2:20 so a sub 2:00 was a realistic time based on the two full distance swims in the pool which were around the 2:00-2:10 mark. After donning the suit it was time to line up with the other 2500 athletes and get into Tempe Town Lake. This was to be my first “mass” “deep water start”, that is everyone at once from treading water to “GO” and I knew I needed to get in, get wet and get comfortable before the canon went off. The previous days practice swim had us descending down a  ladder into the water, for this entry we were required to climb over the railing and jump in and swim away asap to avoid being jumped on…stress levels were climbing. Oh and did I mention the water was 64 degrees…trust me that’s a bit chilly.

Anyway as I Inched forward it was time to jump in and with only a small hesitation, the next thing I knew I was floating back up to the surface and swimming away to the start line area a couple of hundred yards away. With over 900 first timers there was a lot of nerves in the air and I was surprised to see many of the swimmers inching along the side of the lake outside of the water. I was happy with my decision as I became acclimatized to the water I bobbed along a bit as the gaps around my filled up and finally found a kayak to hang off of until the one minute warning.

With a minute left I swam away and found some space…and then were off. I had heard about the washing machine and was expecting some of it but it actually wasn’t too bad, I was kicked in the face a couple of times and caught an elbow to the ear which dislodged my goggles which I had to stop and right but other than that it was an ok start. Here are some aerial shots to give you an idea of the size of it.

image image

I settled into a comfortable pace and was surprised to see that I was passing people and of course I was being passed. The joy of this swim is that you can be followed along the side of the lake and I was incredibly lucky to to have TriBeccaTO sherpaing for me and she managed to get some great photos.


image You can see how snug it gets!

Basically I just kept plugging away, my sighting wasn’t great and found myself overshooting the first turn and had to be corrected by a kayaker. According to my Garmin I actually swam 2.73 miles so basically I added an extra 600 yards!


Finally the end was in sight and I reached the steps where I was basically pulled out of the water as the steps out were at the water’s edge. From here I pulled my wetsuit top down and was then assisted by the wetsuit strippers who had it off me in less than 10 seconds! Swim done it was off to T1…

IMAZ (40) image

A fairly uneventful, but not too speedy (10:05), transition I was on the bike. The bike course is three 38 mile out and backs with the majority of it on the Beeline Highway. The course has a false flat with much of the Beeline having the climb outbound which of course translates into a downhill coming back. The only unknown factor is the wind. I had had the opportunity to visit Tempe twice earlier in the year and have ridden the Beeline three times with wind blowing me from every side, today was going to be a mix.

Based on the Lactate Threshold tests I had the week prior my plan was to keep my HR under control and within the range of 125-136 and under a max of 155. The three loops were to be ridden “easy”, “solid” and “cruise”. Once out on the Beeline I was faced with a headwind going uphill, no doubt this sucked, my splits and speed were well down on my goal of 19mph average. Of course the upside was that there was a tailwind coming back! To put that into some perspective the first 20 miles took 1:13:19 (average speed 16.2mph) on the uphill with headwind and 58:17 on the downhill with tailwind (average speed 20.95mph). For the next two loops the wind was reversed and basically this balanced out the climb with the tailwind.

In terms of nutrition my plan was a gel or something every 30 minutes, basically aiming for 200-250 calories per hour along with a S!Cap and 30 ounces of water. I had thrown some DZ Nuts into my Special Needs Bag which I grabbed on my second loop around mile 65 which necessitated a quick stop to apply it…much less risky than crash with my hand down my shorts!

While Becca aced the swim photos she was not so lucky on the bike;


She was however out on the course doing a “Wonder-womanful” job and had been busy was a box of chalk!

image IMAZ (76)

The official bike photos are pretty good!

image image

I am waiting for the download link?!

Here are the bike splits over the 112 miles…officially I was off the bike in 6:15:59, 16 minutes slower than hoped but only 5 minutes slower than planned overall. I had moved up 53 places in my Age Group from the Swim; from 259 to 206 and 579 places overall from 2353 to 1774. It seems crazy to think that I passed nearly 600 people on the bike but the reality was that for 6 hours it was only the Pros and the best AGers that passed me…by my math if the bike was 350 miles long I stand a good chance of being on the Podium?!?


My bike was caught and I was off to T2 which, while faster than T1 was not fast (9:05), I was a bit wobblier than expected and it took some time to get on the CEP sleeves and get my socks comfortable, I ride without socks. Out of T2 I was a minute under schedule.

image image

Shoes on and I was out on the run. Time to play to my strength. Ha ha ha! Lie the bike I was planning to run by HR with it pretty conservative for the first 13 miles and then “hanging on” for the second half to the finish. This would dictate my pace and seemed like an easy plan to follow, while I had a goal of four hours I was really trying to complete it under the heading of; “there is no such thing as a good bike and a bad run”, that is if I overdo it on the bike I am going to pay for it later, if you have read Chris McCormack’s book these are what he calls “matches” burn too many of them too soon and you have none left for later.

The run is three 8.4 miles loops around Tempe Town Lake. My pace for the first 10 miles was in the 10’s (average 10:16) slower than planned but god enough for a 4:30 marathon, which is respectable, I had fallen into a nice rhythm of walking the Aid Stations for a little break. It was warm on the run but the sun was setting and in the desert in the winter it doesn’t take long for it to cool down although I was making good use of the hand out sponges along the course.

image IMAZ (87) IMAZ (89)

With all of that said what I hadn’t planned for was the GI issues that hit me as I started the second loop, put bluntly I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up or crap my pants or a combination of the two. I was struggling to keep any decent pace up, felt weak and nauseous. Becca found me at an Aid Station and said I was looking pale and felt cold!

IMAZ (92) IMAZ (93)

I spent a little time in here and then moved on…

The next seven miles were the worst, I was moving but there was a lot of walking. It had gotten dark and cooler which helped and while the support of the crowds was nice it was actually nicer being away from the raucous cheering and noise etc. I fell into a run walk pattern that kept me moving along basically running and walking between light poles. Over time I would extend the running portion from 1:1 to 2:1 to 3:1 beyond that though was hard and so for no the 3:1 seemed to work. As I got to the Aid Stations I also developed a pattern of drinking 1/2 cup Perform with 1/2 cup water…I actually only sipped this, then a cup of warm chicken broth and a sip of coke. Sounds like a terrible concoction but the quantities were small, they basically contained everything I needed and it worked and let’s face it you do anything that works! Over time I stared to feel better and extended the running, counting my paces; run 50 walk 30, run 75 walk 30, run 100 walk 25. I stuck with the last ratio almost to the end and by the end I was feeling 1000% better so much so that I ran the entire last mile at 8:21 picking off as many people as I could but yet trying to leave a big gap either side of me for the finishers photos! Here are the run splits;


Despite such a shitty run I had gained ground moving up from 206 to 184 in my AG and from 1774 to 1594 a total of 754 places since getting out of the water overall and 75 places in my AG  where I finished 184 out of 263. Having carved out some space in the finish all that was left was to cross the line and be thankful…mission accomplished!

The spoils!

IMAZ (101) IMAZ (105) IMAZ (102)

So several days later I am left to reflect on the race and of course think about what went right and wrong;

The good;

  • My swim, while not fast was solid I cramped a couple of times but shook them off
  • The bike is about as dialed in as it’s going to get, race wheels and and aero helmet were well worth the $1600 (cringe) investment
  • The nutrition and the hydration plan worked on the bike, I was never hungry or thirsty
  • Training in my race kit, while new the Hammer kit was a match for what my training kit has been for months
  • Racing by HR, this was new to me but it allowed me to race “within myself” and not blow up

The bad;

  • My sighting was terrible, this probably added another 10-15 minutes to my swim
  • My Transitions are very slow
  • I probably need more running off of the bike, the problem with this is a 4-6 hour ride followed by a 2 hour run is time prohibitive
  • The GI issue, well this could be lots of things, the only thing I did new on race day was to have a concentrate of Roctane on the bike, I don’t think it was this as if it was it would have manifested itself sooner

Final thoughts. Undertaking an Ironman is no small feat, the commitment to training is huge over 200 hours, covering 2000+ miles across 17 weeks is a lot and I put a few things on the back burner to focus on the training.  The cost is another issue, the entry alone is nearly $700, I need to do some more analysis but during the last 12 months I have probably sunk around $15,000 into this endeavor…I have no regrets but it’s worth pointing out. The weekend of the race I was very fortunate to have an Iron Sherpa, Becca. This took a lot of the stress of things away and allowed me to focus on my things, it goes beyond saying that I am very grateful and in addition to getting some great photos so was my Social Media maven for the day.

Talking of Social Media it only remains to say a huge thankyou to everyone who followed alone on Twitter, Facebook, Daily Mile, my blog and posted message of support and congratulations, they really mean a lot!

The Garmin details are here;






And here are the photos;

I am sure I will have some more to say but this is a good place to stop for now.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Race eve…a bunch of photos, cos that’s what you want right?

I am checked in and processed. The whole process takes several days;

  • Day 1 drive here
  • Day 2 packet pick up, expo (shopping!) quick ride, athletes dinner (skipped in lieu of a really good vegan restaurant) athlete briefing
  • Day 3 Practice swim, drop off bike, pack transition bags wander around a bit and be surprised when it’s 5:00pm that’s about an hour ago now!

Some observations;

  • The water is cold, the practice swim is such a good idea, it took a good 15 minutes to get used to it…now add 2499 other people and let’s see how it is!
  • 2500 is a shitload of bikes! Let’s guestimate $2500 per bike, trust me I have seen both ends of the spectrum today; that’s $6,250,000 worth of bikes down by the river!
  • The Beeline highway has been resurfaced…so smooth!
  • There are 900 Ironman virgins at this race…including me!
Ok I could go on but here are some pictures!
Testing out the new aero helmet on the Beeline Highway
image IMG_7219
Processed…kinda funny to see I am representing Team GB, me and Leanda Cave are here!
image image

Yeah I am a Hybrid!


Bags packed, CW top left, Morning clothes, Run special needs, Bike special needs, T2, T1…doesn’t look much right…
I like it simple

IMG_7238 IMG_7243

Bike drop off…it’s a shit load of bikes!


T1 and T2 bags

All that’s left is to apply the Tri Tats that I picked up…this is how you do it right?


Here’s the race strategy based on my LT testing;


Oh one other thing.

Ok after a couple of walks back and to the a parking lot my race GPS is working here are the links, the pc link is for the actual race, the others are for the App downloads where you look up the race and then me, 'cos I know you all have nothing else to do on Sunday
On a pc

And a massive thank you to everyone...I am really feeling the love here in Tempe!