Saturday, November 24, 2012

Save The Best For Last - Ironman Arizona Race Report

Let's do this a bit differently:

11th Professional Female

67th out of 2,954 Athletes

Swim:  56:53

I went into this Ironman wanting badly to break the 55 minute mark. Arizona's one loop swim course is perfect for me; smooth, cold water and female professionals were starting 5 minutes back from the males.  Meaning the swim would be slightly less of a late-night all-out brawl variety.   I positioned myself right next to Ironman Champion super swimmer Meredith Kessler and double World Champion Leanda Cave .  Gotta set your sights high, right?! :)  This particular race start is so exciting because of the size of the pro field and the fact that thousands of spectators are whooping and hollering above us on the beautifully lit bridge.

The familiar Ironman Cannon signals the start and I hung on to Cave and Kessler for about.....5 minutes.  Ugh! I really have to work on sprinting off the line.  I also had not-so-conveniently found myself in no man's land.  I refused to swim this Ironman as the lone guppy so I focused hard on catching the few girls ahead and as many male pro's as I could.  At the first turn around buoy I sighted a sliver cap - male pro number one! Go get him and don't let him sit on your feet!   I made the pass and sighted another silver cap - male pro number 2!  The swim would continue like this until I exited the water in 56:53 in 7th place.

Transition: 3:53

Thank you to the 6 (six!) Ironman volunteers for stripping my wet suit. I have the lovely habit of getting stuck in that thing. I'm still a work in progress.

Bike: 5:07:50

WOOHOO!  [Insert me jumping up and down and doing the happy dance].  The bike portion is a huge work in progress but the race proved that things are coming along.  And I have the man below to thank for that.

Kurt Perham of PBM Coaching - My Coach!!
I was super excited for this bike course because in my honest opinion(IMHO) breaking 112 miles into 3 loops is the way to go.  I started the first lap smooth and steady and tried finding speed everywhere I could.  Linsey Corbin passed me about 45 in and yelled GO GIRL!  I am a huge Linsey fan and I secretly hoped she would win. (She did!)  No more Mrs nice girl now. When Corinne Abraham  tried to pass I fought back for 92 miles, saying tiny prayers that my groin didn't cramp like it did in Miami and resisting every urge to lift my head even a centimeter to soak in the beautiful Arizona landscape.  As per usual the wind made a 180 degree shift the second loop.  I rolled into T2 in 5:07! WHOOP WHOOP!  And next year I will get my hands on a Zipp disc so I can go all WHOMP WHOMP on the Bee Line highway.

T2: 1:21

Rolled in, shoes on, rolled out.

Run: 3:24

Ugh. This 26.2 was also known as Amber's Arizona Tour-of-the-Port-a-Potties.  Ooops.  The run PACE left a lot to be desired. For the most part it was a mix of low 7's and then high 7's, potty stops, and then the last 5 miles I am calling upon every little mitochondria to try and run sub 8's. The good news was I saw my twin Angi Axmann  who always makes me laugh-even when I am hurting!

Finish: 9:34:51

A solid race on my favorite course. I will be back next year for sure!

Thank you to all my sponsors: Zoot, GU, Garmin, SPY, PR Bar and MYLES CHASE of MC CYCLES