Marie, forgot to comment on the injury...SO SORRY you're hurting. Alexis and I can both sympathize with you as we were injured before last year's. I know this isn't the main part of this discussion but is there anything you can do as an alternative that doesn't cause pain? Only you can determine that. I had plantar fasciitis and trained in the pool with water running last year (and this year until May). A calf injury is a whole other story though. Hope you are able to see someone for it.
Don't sweat the details of the run; you'll be able to do what you can do. It's a wait-and-see thing.
I've been doing PT and now I've added acupuncture. I was dumb about doing too much trying to keep my fitness level up and that didn't help. Then I ran out of PT visits for awhile. Basically, I think I'm screwed for the run. There isn't enough time to build up the mileage. But I finished the Aquabike with plenty of time so I can walk the whole run, if I had to.
Anyway, one of the things I learned at Vineman is that my nutrition plan on the bike doesn't work for 112. It was perfect for Wildflower Long, but for Vineman, I had leg cramps and melted energy bites. So I'm going to try other things. But I really love those Powerbar Energy Bites! :)
I came across the email we Community Fund IMAZ athletes received shortly before race week back in 2008. Thought some of the advice might come in handy for some of you. Enjoy.
Ford Ironman Arizona Community Fund Athletes
Here are some last minute words of wisdom for you all. Congratulations on making it this far! Many times the most challenging aspect of Ironman racing is merely making it through the training and arriving on the starting line in one piece. If you've made it this far, the battle is more than half over. As we watch athletes go through the usual waves of confidence and terror that precede an Ironman, we want to remind you of a few things which may or may not help you:
1. Nothing you do in the last week is going to make you fitter. Before each "workout" you have planned you should ask yourself, "Is this workout going to make me more fatigued or will it allow me to stay loose, mentally sane, and continue to recover?" If there's any doubt, shorten the session, make it easier, or skip it altogether! ...yes, even if it's on your program schedule.
2. Don't change anything! There is a lot of energy and are a lot of ideas floating around Ironman races in the final week and too many athletes blow all of their preparation by changing some aspect of their training, nutrition, equipment, or clothing. You know what has worked for you over the past 4-5 months - stick with it. This doesn't mean you should be inflexible but rather that you should be confident in YOUR plan.
3. Have a plan! The 24-hours before the start at 7a.m. on Sunday, April 13th should be planned out. That means knowing when you're going to eat the day before, what time you're going to wake up, put on sunscreen, eat, have time for the bathroom, get to the start, get numbered, turn in special needs bags, put bottles & food on your bike, pump your tires, have time to chill out, put your wetsuit on, get to the swim start area by 6:40am, etc.
4. Pacing, Nutrition, and Hydration! While it's important to have some goals in your head, it's even more important that you NOT have any expectations with regard to finishing time, place, or worrying about getting one of those coveted Hawaii Ironman qualifying spots! That doesn't mean you don't want to do well but rather that your focus should be on having your best possible race in the given conditions. If you do that, those tangible results will take care of themselves. Focus on simply finishing - everything else (time, place, qualifying, etc.) is gravy.
We've said it before but it's worth mentioning again, THE RACE BEGINS AT THE 80 TO 90 MILE MARK ON THE BIKE!!! If you've paid attention to your pacing, nutrition, and hydration up to this point, you'll have a great day. Yes, this means when you start the third loop of the bike leg this is where the race BEGINS! The wind picks up over the course of the day and the final stretch up and down the Bee Line Highway will be tough if you have pushed to hard too hard or overgeared in the early part of the ride - this is the crux of the race.
The Ford Ironman Arizona course consists of a one loop swim, three loop bike and a three loop run. Use the first half of each leg of the swim, bike and run as a warm up for the second half. On the first half of each segment (especially the first half of the bike), keep your effort one to two notches below what you know you're capable of. On the first half of the bike (again, for the first 80-90 miles), ride in one gear easier than you're capable of. As the day wears on, it WILL get warmer and windier. Ironman races are about maintaining a realistic average effort/speed and minimizing low points. If you're conservative early on, you'll increase your chances for doing exactly that! You almost have to make it feel easy early on to pace the bike optimally.
5. Stay in the moment. Don't dwell on what's behind you or give too much energy to what's 5-hours ahead. Pay attention to what you're doing right NOW! If you're having a low spot (and you'll have many), ask yourself, "What do I need? What do I want? What can I do to feel better?" Sometimes the answer is as simple as slowing down (pacing). Other times, the answer may be nutritional - "I need to eat something." or even "I need to stop eating so much."
6. Expect nothing but be prepared for anything. We covered expectations in #4 above but consider what you need to be ready for. In general, you can count on nothing at Ford Ironman Arizona - it's been VERY windy the past couple of years. So, don't assume conditions will be like...anything.
Conditions are an unknown until race day. Watch the weather forecasts for the local area, and make sure you have race clothing appropriate for ANY conditions. What should you wear on race day? Ask yourself what you would wear if it was a long training day back home in similar conditions. That's what you should wear.
Check out: for more weather information. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/USAZ02... When you're feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of it all, remember that what you're really going to do on Sunday, April 13th is have a long training day. This time, however, you'll actually be rested, you'll have 2200 of your closest friends as company . . . and it's catered!
We'll see you soon!
Final Check List - The Basics
**Print and bring the Ford Ironman Arizona Athlete Guide - you can get it at: http://www.ironmanarizona.com/2008AZAI.pdf - read it, know it, live it. Don't be one of those people who comes up whining that they didn't know when so-and-so started or where it was supposed to be - it's in the guide!
• Goggles (extra pair?) - maybe even get a new pair. Your old favorites might just be a lot more scratched than you think - treat yourself. It's important to be able to see where you're going with no leaks during the swim! Also, maybe it would be worth having a pair with smoked lenses, clear lenses, and the bright orange lenses for sunny, cloudy, and/or foggy conditions.
• Towel (for post race) - not necessary for transition but you might put a small one in your bag for post-race.
• Lubricant (BodyGlide, SportSlick, Petroleum Jelly Extra energy bar and/or bottle of fluid replacement drink to sip on before the race start - think we're kidding? Check out what happened at Ironman Korea in '05 - Typhoon, cancelled swim, an extra hour and a half of waiting for the race to start...time to bonk. Don't get caught without some extra food/drink to nibble on just in case!
• Bike (duh)
• Race Wheels
• Cycling shoes
• Spare tubes and/or tires (two!)
• Patch kit
• Frame pump and/or quick fill CO2 cartridges (buy them in the expo, because you can't travel with them) Floor pump (not absolutely necessary - there will be pumps in transition on race morning but it's nice to not have to wait to borrow one) Water bottles or drinking system Sun Glasses Cold weather gear (vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves, etc.) - just in case Nutritional needs - special drink mixes, salt tablets, (what are you putting in your special needs bags?), etc.
• Running shoes
• Polypro top to put in special needs bag for the evening - just in case. Remember, you can wear your race outfit under your wetsuit (yes, even the race #) and wear it for all three events. If comfort is important, you might want to change but some will be comfortable doing the entire race in a pair of tri-shorts and a top and this can save some time and hassle in the transition area - all you'll have to worry about is shoes/socks and, perhaps sunglasses and a hat.
• Nutritional needs - special drink mixes, salt tablets, (what are you putting in your special needs bags?), etc.
Finally, trim your finger and toe nails. Finger nails need to be trimmed for the swim (nothing like coming out of the water with a nice long scratch down your side) and toes need to be trimmed for the run - you'll understand this if you do the marathon with toe nails that are even just a little too long. Also, consider lubing your toes (and any other potential hot spots) before putting them into socks and shoes for the run. This can help prevent blisters. If you've never done an Ironman marathon, consider running shoes that are a half size too large - as long as the shoe fits through your heel and arch, the extra room in the toe box can go a long way to saving your toes from the incessant race (and post-race) pain of blisters.
Wow, David, thanks! As you said this was for the race when it was in April and weather could be a bit harsh. I like everything in there. Only thing I'd change on first glance is the last paragraph. It may be silly but I don't cut my nails the week before. I use an emory board/nail file instead. That way I don't accidently trim too short and regret it.