Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IMAZ: Grounded!

Arrived here in Arizona mid day.  Drove out to our hotel and the race site purely by memory....and a lot of memories were triggered....a year ago Sparty and I came out here and claimed our XC Kona was a wonderful expereience!

This year I am absent my wingman (Sparty) and my on the ground support (Judy).  I'll miss them both!  the latter is obviously a significant negative from a competitive perspective.

I unpacked and organized.  My bike comes tomorrow so if I'm to have any drama it will be then.  I don't expect any and I am very calm about this, my 11th Ironman.

One of things I wanted to do was to climb the Hayden Butte (aka Oidbag Do'ag), which I didn't get to last year.  It's the iconic adensite butte that sits above Sun Devil stadium.  It's not much of a climb, as climbs go...just a climb from 350 to 456 meters (that's an elevation change of about 350 feet for those of you who are metrically challenged)...but quite steep.  I met a very cool guy at the top who had run up--he was a workplace fitness consultant who worked for Salomon--and we had a great conversation.

Anyways,  I bid goodbye and climbed down and made my way over to the Kiwanis Park Wave Pool.  Most people would not think to swim here if they were in town for IMAZ, but (thank-you Rappstar) it is definitely the place to do your pre-race swim stuff.  I met an older gent in the locker room who was doing his very first IM (he was worried about the midnight cut-off) but I assured him that he would do just fine.  There is truly nothing like your first IM--top of the life resume kinda thing!

I swam a very easy 1000 yard swim (in my wetsuit) in 15:32.  So, what to make of this?  This is about the equivalent of a 65 minute IM Swim.  Of course, you fatigue as the distance piles on, but I was definitely swimming considerably below a true race effort.  I felt this way last year and ended up swimming a 78 minute swim....I have some ideas tactically based on last year's experience that I think will help but who really knows?  Look, I should be able to swim 70 minutes on sunday (or perhaps faster) but my IM history gives no comfort that I can.  Of course, having competed at Kona less than 5 weeks ago,  I haven't really done any real IM training in 6 weeks now so my endurance in each of the three disciplines should definitely be suspect.

Still--I am very happy and content.  Probably more so than before any other IM I have ever done.  I don't expect to qualify for Kona on sunday and I'll certainly be cool if I don't.  I'm just thrilled to be able to do this.  I'm 55 years old and haven't really trained (like an IM) for 6 weeks and yet I know I can do this, and reasonably cool is that?

I talked to my good bud, BP tonight about the two of us doing IM Lake Tahoe next September....I am truly blessed!

More on the race to follow!

thanks for reading!

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