Ironman Arizona: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Bill Biehl
by on November 25, 2009 in Ironman Race Reports Triathlon

Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Bill Biehl on a well-deserved Ironman PR in Arizona. It’s about time that all that training start paying pack dividends. Nice work. Congrats also to Mike Roberts, Scott & Suzy Kinner, Rich and Steve Muller, and everyone else who fought hard for their finishes in Tempe this year!

Ironman Arizona: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Bill Biehl

Short Version:

Had a great day. Nothing went wrong. Never went to that dark place between demons and tragedy. Had some gas in the tank when I finished.

Long Version:

The Bad:

– Hotel Bed was so bad I had to sleep on the sofa the night before the race.
– Had to drink sh!t load of Neuns and water the night before the race to get my fluid levels up from 59% body water.
– The string on my morning clothes bag broke and I had to fix it in transition
– After fixing the string on my morning clothes bag, the top tore, so I had to tie it like a trash bag.
– Whew good thing all those bad things happened before the race.

The Good:

– I know I can now swim inside a washing machine. The swim was brutal. People were still running into me after 2 miles
– I finished 37 seconds behind Roberts on the swim even though I didn’t see him on the course.
– After reading the benefits of Disc Wheels over 800 mm Wheels, I purchased and used a rear disc wheel that easily adds 0.5 mph to a bike average. Seriously discs and wet suits are cheating. I don’t know why I can’t have roller blades on the run.
– Watching people cheat on the bike by drafting pissed me off and made me ride even harder.
– Mike Roberts is not exaggerating about the 15-20 MPH wind on lap one and especially lap two in the desert, but it was the same wind for the down hill side pushing us back to town. I saw 37 mph riding with the wind spinning out my 53/12 wondering why I didn’t put on the 11/23 Dura-Ace rear cassette that I own only to remember, “Oh yea, I can’t push an 11 tooth”.
– I had perfect equipment function. perfect nutrition, perfect pace on the bike leg.
– Barry told me to be confident in my bike and not hold back this time and because of him I pushed lap one and lap two. I eased up for lap three and in total probably only left 10 minutes on the bike course saving it for the run.
– Ran very well and based on my Garmin thought I had a sub four hour marathon by 60 seconds only to find out I was 37 seconds over the 4 hour mark.
– My Wife told my daughter, I must be hurting on the run since I didn’t come over and give her a kiss. Now if that isn’t commitment to a race I don’t know what is.
– Finished in the shoot by myself smiling and giving the crowd high fives. Now there is a memory!
– On Scott’s third lap and Suzy’s second lap they got to run together for about a mile. That had to be cool.

The Ugly:

– Kinner’s bike was still in T1 when I left. I was truly disappointed to see it.
– The cheaters drafting both up and down the course. I personally saw an age group woman receive a fifth place award after drafting men for four hours.

Special Congratulations

To Peter Paulin from the Masters Swim Class. He finished the race after having shoulder surgery before the race. He was in the cold water for 1 hour and 45 minutes; his core temp had to be low. He finished the bike course after two flats and still made it through the marathon to hear those words…. You are an Ironman.

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