Ironman Arizona Week 1: Let’s Get This Party Started

And just like that, a new Ironman cycle began. I will be competing in Ironman Arizona, on November 16th as part of Team Refuel by Got Chocolate Milk. They also sponsored me for Ironman Florida in 2013 so I’m thrilled to represent them again as I do drink my chocolate milk after each workout. I checked in with my faithful sponsor Ultrabikex and they said they’d support me this time around as well. SCORE!

Last year was the first time I attempted the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 run. My goal was to make it before the cut off time, which seemed like a lofty enough goal. I also didn’t want to be obsessive about the race, and I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted that day to be the celebration of a journey begun months before; one that certainly changed me, and was chronicled here.

Yet whenever I see someone done out in Ironman clothing I feel intimated. When I see someone wearing an Ironman t-shirt, with an Ironman visor, with an Ironman tattoo, drinking from an Ironman water bottle I think “wow, that person must really be an Ironman.” As if I weren’t one.

But I am one. I earned that title in 13 hours and 42 minutes. So for mother’s day, I asked Joe for a pink Ironman backpack. It’s the only Ironman branded item I purchased and I LOVE it. Call me crazy, but when I am on my commuter bike, riding around with my kids, wearing my Ironman backpack, people see me differently. Maybe it’s all in my head, maybe it’s just that I feel differently letting people know that “hey, I am an Ironman.”



I know in the big scheme of things being an Ironman is the equivalent of being an ant in this universe. Thousands of people compete every single weekend, and we are not solving some critical global issue. But Ironman Florida meant more than an accomplishment to me; it meant that my fitness lifestyle, the efforts I put into changing my habits, and even changing my career were solidified. They were here to stay.

Therefore when I received news from Got Chocolate Milk that I got into Ironman Arizona I was elated.   Yet I was told I was no longer doing an Ironman to finish by my two triathlon mentors: Joey from the Wolfpack and Andreas from Ultrabikex Studio. They both suggested I set a goal, and race for it.

I hesitated, a lot. I shy away from anything that elevates my heartbeat past my comfort level. I detest speed workouts where my heart is going to jump out of my mouth or my lungs feel on fire. I am confident in my ability to handle the distance, I am just not confident at the speed in which I can do it. I finally gave in and said I want to beat last year’s time of 13 hours 42 minutes, but to make it interesting I am putting down a time goal: 12 hours and 59 minutes.

Ugh. I really don’t like to put that out there because especially on an Ironman anything can happen. I had a perfect race in Florida, so if I have a perfect race in Arizona I would still have to shave off 43 minutes, and there are so many variables that can help or hinder that effort.

But a goal is a goal, and it gives me something to focus on and get me through the grueling training. And together with this goal I am working on giving my Ironman some meaning with a cause, though I still don’t have that figured out just yet.

This is where I will struggle the most, and like to work on the least: the run.

This is where I will struggle the most, and like to work on the least: the run.

Given the way my training was this week … there is plenty to focus on as the starting bar is set pretty low. My kids are now in summer vacation and my husband is travelling more than before therefore my long runs/rides happen whenever they can happen and so my weekly updates will be out of whack but here was Week One:

Friday: Time based long run – 1h40

Saturday: Long bike – 56 miles with the Wolfpack girls. I clung to the back of the pack for dear life.

Sunday: My boys were racing, and so I had a rest day

Monday: 1h30 of progressive hill repeats at the Ultrabikex Computrainer Studio

Tuesday: 1h run speed workout

Wednesday: 2,700m swim

Thursday: Time based long run – 1h50

I chased these girls the whole way. Phew.

I chased these girls the whole way. Phew.

You will notice the lack of swim … I hope to get back to that bandwagon soon. And at the speed I was running, the “under 13” goal seems daunting if not unreachable. Thankfully, right now time is on my side. But it wont be there for long.

So a chocolate milk cheers to all, here’s to the start of a new adventure, and as I leave you I am heading off to the ocean to get that swimming thing going.


6 thoughts on “Ironman Arizona Week 1: Let’s Get This Party Started

  1. Cristina, you are an ironman all the way. Your training schedule looked quite daunting and you’ve only just started. But I’m sure you’ll take no prisoners and kick some serious tail. GOOD LUCK!

  2. oooh, this is so exciting! Next month I will be signing up for the Ironman 70.3 in Florida next April. Terrified, but I am reading so many others’ journeys, it’s making it look possible. I cannot wait to follow yours.

    1. How exciting Irene … if you would’ve told me a couple of years ago I would be doing an Ironman I would’ve laughed, and a second one? I would’ve called you insane. With hard work, it’s all possible. Good luck on your journey to 70.3 Florida!

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