Jeff Mabray Race Report IM Arizona

Monday, November 25, 2013 by admin
Where oh where to begin….
Got into town on Wednesday and didn’t do a whole lot.  Checked into the hotel, looked around a little, got my bearings.
Got up Thursday and found the local Lifetime and went for a swim.  The water in their pool was cool – so it was a good prep for getting ready.  Went and checked in at registration and got all my stuff.  Picked up my bike.  Went for a little ride and did a little course recon. Rode it out to the B-line highway but didn’t take it up to the top.  turned around and came back.  Just ate and rested the rest of the day.
Friday went down to the expo for a little bit, walked around some, but not too much.  Took care of some errands (picking up socks for arm warmers – good tip!) and other little stuff.  Stayed off my feet and relaxed as much as I could.  Watched movies…
Saturday, got up, ate, and went down to the practice swim.  Did the lap that they had set up.  When I jumped in – it took about 3 or 4 minutes before I could really catch my breath.  Was able to relax a little and get on my way on the swim.  Went pretty well.  Felt good and by the end of it, didn’t have any real qualms about the cold water. Got back up the hotel and went on a real quick bike and run to keep things fresh and loose.  Went and picked up my wife from the airport and didn’t do much the rest of the day.  Dropped off bags.  Went to the last athlete briefing (which, I came to realize, that if i had gone to an earlier one, I would have known more about what to do with all the bags…) Tried watching the Kona broadcast, but just couldn’t.  Was too stressful..   Turned it off and went back to watching movies…
Got up Sunday.  Ate my regular Oatmeal that i do before my long workouts and got stuff together to get down to transition. Got down there, found my stuff, dropped off nutrition and got everything ready to go.  Felt good.  Felt ready.  There were nerves, yes, but there was also a calmness that I hadn’t had in other long events before.  I knew that if i could get through the first 10 minutes in the water, I had this.
Went down to get in line to get in the swim. Got up front and realized that when they said that the dock was a no loitering zone once they called to get in, that I wasn’t quite ready.  Climbed off the dock, towards the starting line, and walked down the little ledge till I got closer.  Was chatting it up with a couple of guys next to me for a bit.  Kept watching my watch.  When it hit 6:55 I jumped right in.  Made my way up towards the front, about 20-30 feet back from the front and closer to the ledge.  Canon went off.  Thought I could work my way slowly into my swim, but quickly realized that if I didn’t get my ass in gear, i was going to get swamped over.  Got my ass in gear.  It did thin out a little bit, but clogged back up again when there was a boat dock off to the side.  Thinned out again and was good.  Got clogged up around the first turn buoy.  And the second.  Got a real good shot in the ribs coming out of the second turn buoy and took in a bit of lake water.  But Was ok and got things back into gear and kept going.  Got into a good relaxing rhythm and was able to breath on both sides.  That really helped with my sighting as I kept going.  Made the last turn and kept it up and made my way right into the steps.  Got out, started making my way down to transition.  Hadn’t looked at my watch, yet, but someone asked me the time – couldn’t believe it was only 1:14.  Woo Hoo!
Made it into transition and changed clothes.  Decided early on in the process that I was going to completely change between each event.  Nothing like a clean set of clothes to make you feel a little fresher.  Changed into Bike rig and went out, grabbed the bike and headed out to ride.   Went out and felt really good.  Was making good time/speed and just kept up with how I felt.  Ate and drank on schedule.  Took salt tabs.  Kept my speed up.  Noticed that on the second loop, my HR went up, but I didn’t feel like i was breathing any heavier than I had been.  Kept going.  Kept eating/drinking/salting.  Just kept riding.  Wind shifted on the second lap, was a lot more in your face on the way back down.  Picked up even more on the third lap.  But kept feeling good.  I think I ended up going through 10-12 gels, 12 salt tabs, 3 bottles of Gatorade, 2-3 bottles of water and 1 bottle of Perform.  (I am convinced that the only reason they have that drink at IM events is cause they can’t sell it due to it’s horrid taste. – They can only give it away at rest stops!)
Made it back to Transition and looked at the time.  I figured, ok – I have about 6 hours and can make a sub 13 hour IM. I’ll be perfectly happy with that – thrilled even – 13-13 1/2 hours was my goal time that I had in my head.  No matter what happens now, I think I can do that – Stomach issues or not.
Went out on the run.  It was tough to be sure.  Started good, but ended up having to walk some pretty soon into it.  But was able to keep running some as well. Actually had to stop to pee and took that as a good sign – I was still hydrated, and while my stomach wasn’t perfect, it was passable.  Kept eating – chips, cola, orange slices.  Kept it up.  Tried to take Gels when I was supposed to (45 minute intervals) and about threw up at the smell/texture of them.  Decided I was done with those. ( I dont know that I EVER want to have another one again!  🙂  )  Made the first loop and was like – hey I got this.  Walked some more, but going back toward the crowd, it was very easy to pick back up on the run.  Kept going.  Started to look at the time and noticed that I could A, come close to matching my PR on the marathon, and B, that I may make Sub 12.  I couldn’t believe either one of those things could happen – but I was going to give it a shot.
About a mile and a half from the finish line – I blew a toenail.  That’s the only way I can put it.  It’s like the toenail just blew off.  The pain stopped me in my tracks.  I couldn’t walk.  I didn’t know if I was going to have to hop the last mile and a half it hurt so bad.  There was no doubt I was finishing it, but I was going to have to limp my way in.  I kept trying to walk it off.  Was able to get back running a little, and walking a little. Then you hear it.  The crowd.  The Finish line.  Mike Reilly. The pain in my toe left.  And I finished.
Wow.  Even now, I still can’t believe it.  It was a long day.  but it was a great day.  Several times throughout the day I found myself smiling as I went around the course.  I was trusting the training and I knew that I had it.  I was going to finish it.  The fact that I finished an hour faster than I even thought possible was just a thick thick icing on the cake!
So that’s it.  Will I do another?  I think so.  It won’t be soon, (the wife wants me around for a while) but give her a few years and I may be able to get her back on board.

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