I Am IronFatty, Part II: The Bike

05.4.2010 | 12:20 pm

A “Let’s Answer a Couple of Questions” Note from Fatty: I always love reading the comments in my blog. Honestly, I read every single one. Probably multiple times. And some of the questions / comments from yesterday’s post deserve more than a comment-level response, because they reminded me of stuff I should have talked about in the first place. So before I start today’s installment, I’m going to answer a couple questions.

Q. HOW COULD YOU SWIM SO STRAIGHT TO HIT A BUOY!!! You must have done lots of sighting drills in the pool! - Ian Thompson
A. Actually, I never did sighting drills. Not even once. And hitting the buoy is only good if you mean to hit the buoy. I actually always intended to swim to the right of the buoys. I’m lucky they’re just big, soft, inflatable things or my head would still be ringing.

Q. My favorite part of that whole story was you saying someone unzipped you…I too would like to know if you expected this, if it’s customary, etc. Seems like such a kindness to extend to the “competition” in a race. - Jenni
A. I should have made it clear that it was one of the volunteers who unzipped me. You can see them in the green t-shirts
in this photo. I don’t think racers were unzipping each other; we were too busy trying to stay upright — it’s amazing how unsteady I felt for the first 20-30 yards or so!

Q. So, drafting behind someone isn’t okay, but clawing your way over their back is? IronPerson is a weird sport. – Gomez
A. I’m certain that whoever crawled over me did it on accident, and there’s a >50% chance that it was my fault — I could have been angling the wrong way and got into his/her path. You just can’t see people until you’re — sometimes literally — on top of them. In any case, thanks to the slippery wetsuit effect, s/he just slid right over me anyway. It felt curious and funny, not dangerous or scary.

Q. For those people that were hypothermic and barely able to function, did the volunteers try and warm them up or just put them on their bikes and point them in the proper direction? – Cardiac Kid
A. I’m not sure what steps volunteers took, beyond helping cold racers get dried and dressed. I do know that the volunteers were eager to help in any way that was allowed. For example, after I was suited up, I started gathering my wetsuit and other junk to stuff into a bag, and a volunteer hurried over, saying he’d take care of it and that I should go get racing. I cannot say enough nice things about the volunteers at this race (and I will definitely say more nice things about them in the next couple of posts). It makes me think: I need to do some karma balancing by volunteering at a couple races myself soon.

Q. You are a lot of work, what with the pooping and the forgetting, the runner must have patience! - George Not Hincapie
A. I’m pretty sure that can be said about any woman with regards to her man.

Moving Up

Here’s me, getting ready to come out of the transition. It’s the only photo I have of me during the ride:


Looks like I’m eating. Which is pretty likely.

Anyways, generally, if I’m going to ride 100+ miles, that’s pretty much all I’m going to do for the day. So it felt kind of strange to start a 112-mile ride — with about 6500 feet of climbing, according to my GPS — thinking of it as the easy part of the day.

OK, maybe I wasn’t thinking of it as being easy per se, but I was happy to be doing the only part of the race in which I can claim any experience or expertise at all.

The course for the bike part of this race starts from the reservoir, goes 20+ miles, and then does two 45-mile loops before dropping into the city center for the final stage of the race.

And in that first twenty miles, there’s definitely a sorting process: the climbers from the non-climbers.

And even at my early-spring weight (i.e., I’m about 13 pounds heavier than I’d like to be right now), I’m a fair climber.

So, without really knocking myself out, I passed literally hundreds of people within the first twenty miles as we rode up two or three longish climbs.

I know it sounds like boasting when I put it that way, but the truth is, that’s entirely intentional.

Hey, I went from 979th place coming out of the water, to 544th place by the time I finished the ride. That’s 400+ people I passed.

So let me boast a bit here, while I can. Tomorrow’s post will contain little if any boasting, I promise.

As I climbed, I inspected bikes, and came to a few conclusions:

  • Cervelo is the bike manufacturer of choice for Ironfolk. And not by a small margin. I would be hard pressed to pick the second-most common bike company represented (maybe Trek?), but Cervelo seems to have that market tied up.
  • There was an instant affinity among those of us on straight-up road bikes. When I saw someone with drop bars and no aero clips, I’d smile and nod. And I got a lot of the same thing from others. Kind of like the way I used to get a smile and “me too” nod from people who were also driving a Honda CRX.
  • Everyone who talked to me was outrageously nice. Coming into this race, I had a stereotype in my head of the triathlete: all business, no fun. And for sure there were a bunch of people who were pure game face, and those people and I didn’t have a lot to say to each other, mostly because those people do not acknowledge that other people exist when they are on their bikes. However, tons of riders said “Hi,” and a lot of people asked about what I thought of the swim (I was very happy with it), whether I could feel my hands and feet yet (I could), what I knew about the course (I knew it pretty well and was happy to describe it). So, amazing news flash: a lot of triathletes are totally normal, friendly people.

The People That You Meet

I know this part of the race is a time trial. And I did not draft, even a little bit. But when people took the time to say hi to me, I wanted to ride with them. Here are a few people that stood out from the ride. I asked each of their names, but due to a peculiar mental deficiency with a common onset around the beginning of middle age, I cannot remember most of them. So these people instead get the mental descriptions I had for them:

  • The Garmin Guy: There was a big guy — looked about 6′1″, maybe 230 pounds, riding in full Garmin-Slipstream kit, who blew by me during the first 20 miles of the ride. I remembered thinking, “Oh, I’ll catch and pass him soon enough,” but I didn’t. He just pulled away and disappeared into the distance. Finally, at around mile 75, I saw and caught him on a climb. For the next 20 miles, I would catch him on every climb, and he would then catch and gap me — and everyone else in sight — on every flat. “I’m a trackie,” he explained, and it was clear that this guy had incredible power, and a lot of mental toughness to battle out the hills the way he did. At the final descent from Veyo into St. George, this guy flew away from me. I hope he did great in the run.
  • The Cervelo Roadie: I mentioned before how many Cervelos were out there, but I saw only one person riding a Cervelo road bike — a guy on a beautiful R3. I passed him on the first climb and commented on what a nice bike he had, and he said “Thanks.” Little did either of us know that he and I would never be more than a couple hundred yards apart for the rest of the ride, trading places (without drafting!) dozens of times. It’s strange to think that over 112 miles, any two people would both start and finish so close together, but he and I shook hands as we dropped off our bikes at the run transition. “Nice riding with you,” he said, and it definitely was.
  • The Peeing Guy: One guy — wearing a green argyle jersey — introduced himself to me and we talked for a moment; he said he reads this blog. Considerably faster than I am, he soon gapped me and I figured I would not see him again. But I did. He was riding downhill on the shoulder of a road, signaling to others not to ride behind him. It quickly became evident why: water began splashing down his leg and onto the road. “Pee break,” he said with a big smile as I went by him. Another rider, moments later, pulled up alongside me and said, “I would never do that, no matter what; I’m happy to add the 30 seconds to my finish time.” Which pretty much echos my thoughts on the matter. Still, I bet the Peeing Guy beat me by more than thirty seconds, so who am I to judge? That said, I’m glad I’m not his bike mechanic.
  • The Arizona Guy: One rider and I swapped places and chatted a number of times. He’s a reader of this blog and says he told me I’d break seven hours (he was right). He also said he had a miserable time in the swim and had even had to hold on to a kayak for a while to recover, meaning he was way off his time of an hour at the Arizona Ironman. I can’t even imagine swimming that fast.
  • Cory: Lynette is one of The Runner’s training partners, and Cory is Lynette’s husband. Cory and I had talked a little bit about the probability that we might wind up doing a lot of the race together. And sure enough, he caught up to me at the beginning of the second lap, and we joked together as we passed each other over and over — once again, me passing on the climbs, him passing me on the flats and downhill. It became a standing joke that each time I passed him, I’d say, “See you in about two minutes,” and I was usually right.

Where is The Runner?

One person I did not see for the entire ride was The Runner. And nobody had any information on how she was doing, which drove me a little bit nuts. Did her swim go well? Badly? I wasn’t worried about her making the cutoff anymore, because she is a stronger swimmer than I. But nobody I passed — or who passed me — had seen her. I hoped she was having a good race.

And also, I was hoping she would not pass me quite yet.

Little did I know that The Runner was having a strong race of her own, moving from 1572nd place at the beginning of the ride, to 638th place by the end of it — rocketing up by more than 900 places. In other words, she passed half the field while on her bike.

And that’s in spite of a long stop she had to make due to a loose cleat on one of her shoes. Two of the screws had come out, making the cleat swivel so she couldn’t clip out, thus earning me several Bad Husband points for not having checked her shoes before the race. Stupid.

Luckily, everything held together, and she did an awesome ride — quite possibly a faster ride than I did, if you subtract out the time she spent off the bike dealing with the cleat emergency.

Here she is, coming down the home stretch, looking very good:


Respect Where Respect is Due

I’ve made a little (ha!) fun of the way tri geeks ride, so I need to come clean here: nobody did anything stupid or ridiculous on their bikes anywhere near me.

Which is, in fact, a little bit disappointing.

Further, while very few people on their TT machines passed me on climbs (and there were a lot of climbs), I got passed dozens of times by these people on the descents.

So props to them for that.

But I’m still not even remotely interested in ever having a bike with aero bars. Maybe it’s just what I’m used to, but to me, those things are big, bulky and ugly. The opposite of what a road bike should be.

So there.

Finishing the Ride

The ride part of the race was remarkable in its unremarkabiltihoodness. I felt fine, I didn’t burn myself out, and the weather — which was my biggest worry going into the race — was cool and only mildly windy.

So after 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of biking (in 6:32 by the way), did I feel like I was ready to run a marathon?

If I had ever thought to pose the question to myself, I would have answered, “No.”

But maybe that’s a teeny little superpower I have: not doubting. I didn’t even think about whether I could do a run like that.

It was simply what’s next.


  1. Comment by Lisa | 05.4.2010 | 12:34 pm

    I was hoping to train for a triathlon in 2011…I am now utterly terrified about swimming with 500 other people and risking drowning and being punched/hit/crawled over!!!

  2. Comment by Josh | 05.4.2010 | 12:34 pm


  3. Comment by Jason | 05.4.2010 | 12:37 pm

    You will definitely get kicked at least once if you do a triathlon.. Ive never been ’swam over’ but I think that would be terrifying.

  4. Comment by Doug | 05.4.2010 | 12:39 pm

    As a former road racer and a present triathlete I can tell you that your experience is the same across the board. 95%+ of triathletes are extremely friendly. I have volunteered at the Duke 1/2 (since folded) and worked the finish chute for the winners. Of the top 50 finishers only one was a bit of an A-hole. Your Garmin guy reminds me (phyiscally) of me.

    Can’t wait to find out why you are one and done.

    P.S. The aerobar looks grows on you with time.

  5. Comment by centurion | 05.4.2010 | 12:39 pm

    I know it’s a bit late, but Loctite EVERY screw, nut and bolt. I’ve had the loose cleat, it’s annoying at best.

  6. Comment by bahama mama | 05.4.2010 | 12:39 pm

    Follwoing your progress on Sat, I was very impressed with your swim and 1st leg of the ride. Then nothing. nothing. nothing…. I thought you flatted. Or worse. Finally, the results of the 2nd & 3rd leg showed up at the same time. Yeah! You were still in the hunt! My bad, I shouldn’t have doubted you.

    P.S. Congrats on the NBA sponsorship.

    P.S.S. Peeing while riding is soooooo disgusting!

  7. Comment by Dave | 05.4.2010 | 12:43 pm

    I am holding my breath waiting for tomorrow’s post. Does Fatty finish (well we know the answer to that)? When did the Runner Catch up? Tune in tomorrow, same Fat time, same Fat channel.

  8. Comment by WDame | 05.4.2010 | 12:44 pm

    Hi Fatty, Great recaps. If you check you email I sent some pictures from Sat. Bike/Run transition pic(yes, you are eating) and 3 from the Run, heading out for 2nd lap. Hope you find them.

  9. Comment by Kovas Palubinskas | 05.4.2010 | 12:44 pm

    Good to hear you coming around to the discovery that we triathletes are normal people. The only thing I haven’t discovered is a triathlete who writes a blog as humorously as you and some other cyclists do. Better/different sense of humor? Don’t know. Congratulations on a great race, hopefully the one and done is, in fact, incorrect.

  10. Comment by Susannah | 05.4.2010 | 12:48 pm

    Nice going! You make it sound so easy, 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of biking! I can’t wait for the run post, the anticipation is killing me! My first Tri was on Sun, I was feeling good after the swim and bike, unfortunately the run brutalized every muscle in my body. I can’t wait to hear about your last leg.

  11. Comment by Wes | 05.4.2010 | 12:50 pm

    Ya, there are folks amongst us that are a-holes, but that is true of every group. Over all, we are a very inclusive bunch, and while some of us focus on the pain during the race, there are others that really enjoy the camaraderie… of pain… :-)

  12. Comment by Gunther (from Germany) | 05.4.2010 | 12:57 pm

    Great 2nd part – and thanks for the Q&A section, very good idea. I’m looking forward to the rest to come. Congrats to the miraculous swim split in that pretty cold water (14°C for non-Americans). I hope that also some of Lisa’s experience during the triathlon will be revealed. Best regards, Gunther

  13. Comment by Derek | 05.4.2010 | 12:58 pm

    Congrats again Fatty! I have been watiting all day to ready part II of the Iron Fatty installment! I followed you for much of Saturday as I was in route to the site of my first every triathlon. Unlike you I didn’t do an Ironman to start with I went with a sprint and it felt great to finish. I’ve been wanting to finish a triathlon for the past 3 years, ever since I reached my top weight and decided to make a change. This year is the year I got serious and got some instruction on swimming. I hope to write my race report tonight, but I’m sure it won’t be as humours as yours.
    Thanks for the great reading!

  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.4.2010 | 12:58 pm

    Was the peeing guy doing it with aero bars? If, so impressive, in a messy sort of way.

    This seems like an important detail to leave out.

  15. Comment by Mandy | 05.4.2010 | 12:59 pm

    Hey I am a triathlete and I am friendly! Really, really I am (arm waving, big smile!) It isn’t like I am going to win, I just like to have fun. And I have a road bike cause, well, it is just what I have. As always, great post – looking forward to hearing about the 26.2 – I love how you said you didn’t wonder if you could do it, it was just what was next.

  16. Comment by Weaky6 | 05.4.2010 | 1:00 pm

    Fatty, I got to admit, it sounds like the Runner is going to come to your rescue in some way. I’m guessing around mile 22 when those last four miles look like 1 mile, but it is NOT. Love your post and stories. Thank you. (where are the kids during the tri? Waiting at the finish line or along the course?)

  17. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 05.4.2010 | 1:01 pm

    It’s so cool to hear that even an Ironman race can be laid back, fun and friendly. Congrats, IronFatty!

  18. Comment by Big Rob in KC | 05.4.2010 | 1:11 pm

    These posts are why I am one of your loyal readers. Simply great and entertaining stuff. Looking forward to Part III. Thanks Fatty.

  19. Comment by skippy | 05.4.2010 | 1:17 pm

    Notice you said that you were 13lbs heavy at the start , question is how much have you shed during the event? Sounds to me like a late season “Ironman event ” will occur as you will want to see how you handle the next challenge when fully fit .
    Still hoping “Iron Runner” will blog her story.

  20. Comment by Hawkeye | 05.4.2010 | 1:21 pm

    I’ve heard about the peeing and riding thing before. Never actually seen it. It blows my mind. Like astrophysics or something. I can barely hit the bowl as it is. With my luck, I’d spend the rest of the ride with dripping shoes. I feel bad for the people behind him on the swim stage. Awesome story, as usual.

  21. Comment by UpNorth | 05.4.2010 | 1:33 pm

    I love the mayhem of open water swims. The kicking/clawing/splashing is half the fun (and yes I’ve been swam over and no I did NOT enjoy it).

    I’ve never thought of tri people as snobs. I’ve had lots of “atta girl” type comments on both the bike & run (the downside of being a fast swimmer is getting passed lots on the bike/run – mostly the run for me). Passing people is way more fun – maybe I should work on swimming slower….

  22. Comment by JRob | 05.4.2010 | 1:34 pm

    I totally agree about the aero bars. And I love reading your posts, every one of them. keep it up!

  23. Comment by Emil | 05.4.2010 | 1:37 pm

    It looks like a certain Patrick Oborn of Cedar Hills, UT, finished in 12:17 — more than an hour faster than you! Isn’t he the guy who was offended by your sense of humor and wanted you to be more respectful of the race and stuff?

    Good race, Patrick!

    Why, I believe you’re right. – FC

  24. Comment by briebecca | 05.4.2010 | 1:37 pm

    The only 2 times I’ve ever peed on my bike (and I’m a woman) is when it’s pouring rain. I figured all that water washes it away and no one can tell. But in dry weather, I usually duck behind a tree or bush and do my business. Lines can be long.

    Anyways, awesome post. You almost make Ironmans sound downright appealing… of course, it could all change during the run/walk/crawl..

  25. Comment by Jannypi | 05.4.2010 | 1:39 pm

    I’m a recent tri recruit, from road racing and I too was pleasantly surprised by how friendly it is. There seems to me to be a mutual understanding between competitors that the whole tri thing is just a bit daft. Mind you, my baptism was with a “sprint distance” (read “short”) not an Iron Man. Hats off for your performance!

  26. Comment by Nick | 05.4.2010 | 1:43 pm

    I did my first (sprint) tri about a month ago, and I never got passed by the “serious” tri folks with their aero bars on an uphill. Once we got to the one downhill portion, all the ground I made up was lost as they came flying by me… Did that piss you off like it did me? haha

  27. Comment by kate C; | 05.4.2010 | 1:47 pm

    My friend (male) got a 10 or 15 min penalty added to his Ironman WI time because of peeing while on his bike. So did he beat you by more than that?

  28. Comment by DavidV | 05.4.2010 | 1:49 pm

    The runner past half the racers on the bike? I think we need to change her name. You’re the fat cyclist, she’s the fast cyclist.

  29. Comment by fult23 | 05.4.2010 | 2:05 pm

    Why did other racers struggle with the biking? (other than your clear superiority) Do you think most triathletes are swimmers or runners that convert, or do TT bikes just put them at that much of a disadvantage on climbs?

  30. Comment by JTPT | 05.4.2010 | 2:09 pm

    You need to do a post on how someone like you managed to snag a woman like that.

  31. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 05.4.2010 | 2:17 pm

    Peeing while riding is a skill (not one that I want to have though). You should let the runner do a guest post with her race report. I’d like to hear her perspective.

  32. Comment by kyle. | 05.4.2010 | 2:18 pm

    the aero bars can add a nice degree of difficulty for anyone still using a bike with down tube shifters. before i bought my bike last summer i rode my dad’s 1990 tri bike. there’s nothing like having to fumble for the shifter when you’re doing 40+ and leaning on the bars.

  33. Comment by Chuck | 05.4.2010 | 2:18 pm

    what else can you say? Bad Ass, is what comes to mind!! Want to join me in Arizona in November??

  34. Comment by judi | 05.4.2010 | 2:22 pm

    you know what? i just added my tt bars to my beautiful road bike (fuji supreme sl) for my 12 hour and i hardly used them at all. same went for IMKY.

    i love your race report. splitting it up into different post like a true m-dot dork. :)

    congrats again .

  35. Comment by Susan | 05.4.2010 | 2:26 pm

    I was a little worried about you, you know, jumping into tri with a full ironman but, having nasty pre-race insomnia Saturday night, I was up to check your safe arrival.

  36. Comment by Arizona Guy | 05.4.2010 | 2:26 pm

    OK – I have a new handle. Thanks Fatty!

    You were looking strong out there on the bike, and was hoping for a little more drama when you shifted the Di2 stuff. Some electrodes with arcing bolts between them would be really awesome to watch when you shift.

    Yes you may think the TT bikes look goofy, but the joy of milking every bit of speed out of your legs/downhills is worth it. There is a main drag for cyclists here in Boulder – and I am usually just a speed bump to the team riders who come hammering down the road. But my TT bike provides me super powers…the extra 1-2 MPH changes me from Prey to Predator and I am the guy ‘on your left’.

    Tri it sometime :-)


  37. Comment by MattC | 05.4.2010 | 2:29 pm

    Again another awesome writeup Fatty! I was meaning to ask you how much climbing was involved in the bike portion…6000′ and 112 miles..wow! You BOTH had an extremely fast ride, especially considering you had just finished the swim and knowing what was to come!

    Funny you talk about the few ‘A holes’ you encounter…as a Mt biker who only started road-riding about 5 years ago I can safely say the ratio of A-holes (who don’t even acknowledge my friendly wave and a ‘howdy’) is WAY higher in roadies than Mt. bikers…but as has been said, there are some in every crowd.

    And hey…don’t go knocking aero bars (I’m just talking clip-on’s here, not full-on flat-bars/tri bikes). Surely they’re not for everybody, but if you live in the birthplace of the winds and ride alone very much, they are a necessary evil! Most any long ride I do involves a significant amount of miles (almost always on my return) into a head/crosswind. Aerobars are like giving the finger to Evil Mr. Wind. Shouting at it helps your morale briefly, but doesn’t get you home any faster.

    And as to peeing while ON a moving bike, no thanks. With my luck I’d crash and the ambulance-crew would find me ‘just like that’. Besides…”water splashing down his leg onto the road”…ick! I think those shoes would go right into the trash after that. And also, other riders would inadverntly ride in his pee and spray it all over them and their bikes…that’s just plain NASTY!!!

  38. Comment by Paul | 05.4.2010 | 2:32 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to do an ironman so much.

  39. Comment by DC | 05.4.2010 | 2:58 pm

    D’Awesome, Totally D’awesome!

  40. Comment by AngieG | 05.4.2010 | 3:13 pm

    @MattC- I’m with ya Big Brother regarding the Peeing Guy. Absolutely Foul!!!!! It may be something other Tri participants are used to, but….YUCK!!

    Although you are a talented writer, I can honestly say I never, ever, ever want to do an Ironman. The only way you could possibly get me out there would be to chase the Corona wagon… Maybe. :-)

  41. Comment by Jorge | 05.4.2010 | 3:14 pm

    Just stop it!!! You are giving me painful ideas.

  42. Comment by Alyson | 05.4.2010 | 3:16 pm

    Seriously need to get the Runner’s take on the whole thing….soon!!!:-)

    You didn’t answer my IronCouple Hawaii question….am deeply hurt, but still reading! :-)
    Please post part III tomorrow..it was rough having to check every couple of minutes today for part II!!

    You both are awesome & so inspirational. THANK YOU!!!

  43. Comment by Spiff | 05.4.2010 | 3:19 pm

    I’m enjoying reading your Ironman experience!

    While my wife and I were still dating, I convinced her to go clipless on her mountain bike. I did not, however, help her install her cleats – I should have. Halfway through her first ride with them, a screw fell out, allowing the cleat to pivot and preventing her from clipping out. D’oh! That should of been the end of it, but the same thing happened to the other cleat too! Needless to say, it’s a miracle she kept the pedals and married me.

  44. Comment by Gary Robinson | 05.4.2010 | 3:24 pm

    Not to be a blatant opportunist, but how about paying forward some of that good karma by volunteering at the marathon closest to your house, the Utah Valley Marathon? Round up a team of volunteers, put up the Livestrong or Team Fatty banner (or both) in front of the aid station, and hand out water cups while raising awareness for the fight against cancer? We’re still looking for folks and would love to include you and The Runner. The volunteer button is at the bottom of our home page.

    All proceeds from our race go to the Children With Cancer Christmas Foundation and Deseret International so one great cause benefits two others.

  45. Comment by Michelle | 05.4.2010 | 3:27 pm

    Congratulations!!! What a great description of the swim…that same buoy eluded me, too and took forever to get to. I was stuck in the crowd getting into the water, and the canon shot off when I was only waist deep. I had to spend 5-10 min. pulling myself together.
    Can’t wait to hear about your marathon. Sound like you had a great day, and you and the Runner look terrific–saw your finish pics on asi.com.

    Michelle #256
    (one of those Cervelo owners–LOVE it!)

  46. Comment by the Dread Pirate Rackham | 05.4.2010 | 3:31 pm

    1) a 1:20 swim and a a sub-6:30 ride on THAT course? you are clearly a sandbagger, Mr. “Fatty”, if that is your real name.

    2) I am a triathlete, and I put clip-ons on my roadie for IMSG, and thank goodness I did. There was plenty of climbing and there was plenty of opportunity to duck the wind.

    3) I can’t pee on my bike. I just can’t do that to a friend.

  47. Comment by zeeeter | 05.4.2010 | 3:41 pm

    I cannot imagine peeing while on the bike – takes way more coordination than I think I have.

    Now peeing in your Wetsuit – that’s a whole different animal – the sudden burst of warmth around your nether regions would (I hastily add I imagine at this point) be quite enjoyable. As pee is normally one of the most sterile of liquids when first “out” as it were – comprised of 95% water with various salts and proteins – it’s relatively harmless. Not saying you shouldn’t rinse your suit out carefully afterwrads and also warn the volunteers of the imminent danger of helping you out of it! Looking forward to the next instalment!

  48. Comment by Chris | 05.4.2010 | 3:51 pm

    Great post [again], but I’m REALLY interested in your marathon experience after completing the swim and the bike. You had to be cooked… can’t wait to read!
    -Chris [the other one]
    PS: I’ve been in triathlons where they offer “strippers” on the beach to help you out of your wetsuit. They’re event volunteers [like your green shirt peeps], but they not only unzip, they’ll pull the entire suit off if you sit down. Kinda nice sometimes…

  49. Comment by jen | 05.4.2010 | 3:56 pm

    I hope you guys enjoyed getting to pass huge chunks of the field on the bike because let me tell you, when the discrepancy between swim speed and bike speed goes the other way, it sucks!!

    My first Ironman I swam an hour flat on the swim and averaged 15 mph on the bike. I came out of the water in 189th place and got off the bike in 1598th place. I was passed by 1400 people on the bike. FOURTEEN HUNDRED PEOPLE. Talk about demoralizing!!!

    Can’t wait for the next installment of the story. Congrats to you both!

  50. Comment by Jennifer | 05.4.2010 | 4:00 pm

    I have to say, the last few sentences are really food for thought. Don’t doubt. Yup…kinda like yoda in a way, don’t try, just do what is next.

    I road in my first race in november, sporty my fat cyclist gear btw and all I wanted to do was not to crash and to finish. At mile 50 I got leg cramps bad (low calcium we figured out after race) but I made it to the finish line at mile 67. I didn’t know if I could do it but I know I could do it if I just did it. I didn’t doubt.

    Thanks Fatty!

  51. Comment by LesleyG | 05.4.2010 | 4:57 pm

    I’d forgotten to mention this on your swim post, but watching the mass start of an Ironman is probably in the top ten most incredible things I’ve ever seen. Truly amazing.

    I was always nervous that the tri community wouldn’t be as friendly as the running community. They were always more elite in my mind. Well, obviously, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

    Awesome bike!

  52. Comment by Al | 05.4.2010 | 6:23 pm

    “thus earning me several Bad Husband points for not having checked her shoes before the race.”

    What the heck! In your past posts, The Runner comes across as an independant woman who is both accomplished and capable in athletic endeavours. The fact that you feel you should have checked her shoes makes me question that image. What gives?

    I think, on a subconscious level, you knew she was going to kick your butt on the run and loosened those cleats during a sleepwalking episode the night before :)

  53. Comment by Lindsay | 05.4.2010 | 6:42 pm

    Congrats on an amazing accomplishment!! As a non-athlete, I have a couple of questions.

    What the heck did you and the runner wear under your wetsuits, bike/running outfits?

    And can you explain a little about your road bike? I’m confused about the aero bar controversy. And did you ride your fixed gear bike?

  54. Comment by roan | 05.4.2010 | 7:32 pm

    Lindsey, if I may (Fatty is still recovering…I’m sure).
    First, What DO YOU think they wear under their wetsuits ?
    Second, Fatty’s road bike/vs use of aero bars. A lot of bikes using aero bars put the rider in a more aerodynamic (reduced drag) position. Only more relaxed cycling position would be on a couch (recumbent) cycle.
    And enough of this “one and done” phase, I’m sure Fatty is thinking about his next Tri, on his fixed gear bike, just for moxie (not the soft drink either).
    AND Fatty I NOW believe you could do it !

  55. Comment by Midge | 05.4.2010 | 7:45 pm

    So has nobody else noticed how AWESOME IronRunner’s quads are? Impressive!

  56. Comment by Betsy | 05.4.2010 | 9:22 pm

    Hey Fatty, loving the blow by blow. In 2006 I did my first Sprint Tri. I was never active growing up, let alone done any kind of raceing for God’s sake. I was excited to do this Tri, but kind of worried about being around all the fit “Pros”! The bike I had was a $250.00 Schwinn mountian bike that I put road tires on. I think it was 45lbs. As I was coming back to the park almost finished with the bike, huffing and puffing, and I noticed the “Pro’s” with their medals making their way home. Then one of those guys looked at me and started yelling “Looking good. You’re almost there. Strong work. Keep going.” (I’m getting teary just telling you this) That guy will never know how great that made me feel and how it encouraged me to keep going.
    Since then I have done 7 Sprint Tri’s, 2 half Marathons, and I have always tried to pay it forward and encourage and cheer for my fellow athletes. It’s a great feeling.
    Strong work IronFatty, IronRunner!!!!

  57. Comment by Zed | 05.4.2010 | 9:26 pm

    Yeah, it’s funny how big the tubes are on “aero” bikes with the moulded teardrop shape. I just saw a Trek TTX in the store the other day and noticed how blocky the top tube was. It’s all Cervelo’s fault though, you know. They started that revolution.

    I always think of that picture I saw of Steve Larsen riding a stock road bike frame in the Wildflower triathlon. The frame had these tiny round tubes, but Steve rode it to a bike course record that wasn’t broken for seven years, as I recall. Come to think of it, it’s the first picture in this gallery:


    Can’t wait to hear about the marathon. That’s the part of the Ironman that I always use to talk myself out of doing one.

  58. Comment by Celeste | 05.4.2010 | 9:31 pm

    Great stuff. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post. Some IronFriends say that the run is when the race begins…

  59. Comment by Thomas | 05.4.2010 | 9:56 pm

    As a roadie, I can say that aero bars are not all bad. I tried a set of the clip-on (clamp-on really) type in desperation when I had tendonitis in one arm. At that point, I could not ride more than a couple of hours because of the pain in both arms (one injured and one doing all of the work) as well as neck and shoulders from the strain of mostly riding with one arm.

    The aero bars give you a third major position, and on flats or descents, they are pretty comfortable; I could almost take a nap in that position.

    I could get by without them now, and they have not lost any weight since installation, but I have kept them both for comfort (extra position) on longer rides as well as to be able to ‘get out of the wind’.

  60. Comment by Kyle | 05.4.2010 | 11:02 pm

    Great post. i too checked on you when I got home from work. I’m just curious how you can do an Ironman triathalon and be 13 lbs. overweight. Just doesn’t seem possible.

  61. Comment by Jenn | 05.4.2010 | 11:09 pm

    Fatty – you are such a positive embodiment of the adage “attitude is everything”. I’m very proud of you and the runner and so glad to ‘know’ you through this blog and resultant community.

  62. Comment by eclecticdeb | 05.5.2010 | 12:12 am

    @Lindsay — For OLY triathlons, we wear “tri-shorts” (kinda like bike shorts, but with just a tiny bit of padding), and a quick-dry singlet. coming out of the water, you pull off the wetsuit, try to remember to put on the right shoes (i’ve made that mistake before), helmet, gloves, etc, and hop on the bike. (Believe me, you dry off). Coming back from the bike, it’s a quick shoe change, and you’re off again.

    Usually for the shorter races, people aren’t allowed to help, but with IM it’s a little different (i.e. “strippers”). They have whole changing tents, so I think it’s up to the racer if they want to spend more time in transition with a full clothing change. Given the splits, I think they do. (My T1 splits are usually around 2-3 minutes, compared to Fatty’s which was around 10 minutes).

    Man, all this talk about triathlons has me seriously craving a race.

  63. Comment by AK Chick | 05.5.2010 | 12:22 am

    So cool to read about your adventure. I’d love to hear from the Fast Cyclist aka the Runner too… :) Can you twist her arm for a post?

    I have to say, I’m not at all interested in doing a “spring” triathlon much less an Ironman, no matter how easy you make it sound. I’m def NOT a hill person and I bike in a land of hills. Yuck. So I’d be the person huffing and puffing up the hill and then passing you on the descent. I’m not very fast on flats though, so you’d catch and pass me there for sure. :)

    I am going to def try aero bars for that extra position and am glad to hear they help with headwinds since my big ride this year is on one of the windiest roads we have! I swear we almost always have wind of some sort.

    Thanks so much for sharing and taking the time to write this for your fans!

    I had my second real road ride yesterday rockin’ my Fatty jersey and arm warmers and my new riding skort (not Fatty wear, but I’d love a Fatty skort, hint hint). Was a little too cold so I need to wait a couple more weeks when it will hopefully warm up.

    Thanks again for the post!

  64. Comment by Dave | 05.5.2010 | 12:56 am

    I have just done the South African ironman on the 25th and triathlon bike of choice here is Felt. Maybe that was just my impression but it certainly appeared that way.

    Don’t knock aero bars, on a flat course like we have in SA, even clip-on aero bars can add up 1mph faster with no extra effort.

    Stoked to read that you had an awesome race!

  65. Comment by Joe Dixon | 05.5.2010 | 2:52 am

    Hey, I’m a long time lurker, first time reader, first time commenter. I’m always impressed when people do things that I want to bu haven’t had the guts to yet.

    But your final comments: “But maybe that’s a teeny little superpower I have: not doubting. I didn’t even think about whether I could do a run like that.

    It was simply what’s next.”

    Have really inspired me. One of my lifetime goals is to have an IronMan tattoo. To do that I need to do an Ironman, but, as I mentioned, not yet had the guts for it.

    One day. “It’s simply what’s next.”

  66. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 05.5.2010 | 6:11 am

    Did peeing guy have water bottles on the back of his saddle? Sure the chances would be slim but would you want to take a chance on putting those in your mouth?

  67. Comment by Gordon from Melbourne | 05.5.2010 | 6:35 am

    I noticed the quads…and I promise to prepare her bike (and equipment ) with care…..so will she leave an Iron Fatty and move to Aus.

    Before you answer let me just go chat with my wife to see if this is OK….I won’t be long ….hang on I’ll get back to you

  68. Comment by Erin | 05.5.2010 | 6:58 am

    Fatty, have you addressed the soreness? Are you sore at ALL? I thought you’d be booked in for a kneee replacement or something but you don’t seem to have mentioned this anywhere…

  69. Comment by Frank | 05.5.2010 | 7:22 am

    I have to agree on the friendliness of triathletes. Last Saturday at a charity ride I met James, a very nice triathlete who also invited me to join him on rides in preparation for an ironman next year. It might be the push I need to attempt it as well…

    As for Tri-bikes I generally have the same opinion about the bulkiness of these bikes, with one exception:
    The Aero2 looks fast just sitting there and I can attest to the awesomeness of the Storck road bikes since I own a CD 1.0.

  70. Comment by Donna | 05.5.2010 | 7:23 am

    “I need to do some karma balancing by volunteering at a couple races myself soon.”

    You really should, because IT all does come back to karma :) I recently volunteeered at a 70.3 event, and the racers were so nice and appreciative of our efforts. I thought, well, the majority of them would be A-holes, but nope — I was pleasantly disproved. I was glad to pay it forward.

    Congrats on your Iron finish. I think it quite amazing you essentially just up and decided to do it. Granted you already had fitness, but this is proof how much of it is mental.

    Us triathletes and their ugly aerobars aren’t so bad, really. :)

  71. Comment by Concerned Citizen | 05.5.2010 | 7:40 am

    Way too much focus on pee, people. Stay focused.

  72. Comment by CLB | 05.5.2010 | 7:52 am

    I hereby request that tomorrow’s post not have anything to do with bodily functions.

  73. Comment by NoTrail | 05.5.2010 | 8:07 am

    “I hereby request that tomorrow’s post not have anything to do with bodily functions.”

    Where’s the fun in that?

    Loving the recap of your Tri so far. :)

  74. Comment by SactoDave | 05.5.2010 | 8:28 am


    First, I really feel sorry for the volunteer that assited Peeing Guy during the transition to the run.

    Second, properly prepare your equipment. In this case, your wife’s equipment.

    Remember Fatty, the engine is the fallable link in a otherwise controllable system!

    Speaking of fallable links, I can’t wait to read about the run!

    Congrats to you and The Runner by the way.

  75. Comment by Les | 05.5.2010 | 8:40 am

    Great stuff. The St. George Ironman posts make for great reading. I am a cyclist first , but my wife has me running with her and her “running” group. A group which has a real live running coach. The coach(who is an excellent coach, nice guy and really good runner) also participated in the St. George event. FYI you beat him and his Cervelo TT by over 12 minutes! Nicely done.

    Reading these post makes me almost want to do an Ironman. Is there an easier, perhaps softer metal, I could start with? Like maybe a Copperman?

  76. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.5.2010 | 8:49 am

    Ever since reading your first loose cleat story I have become something of a cleat maintenance obsessive. I suppose some people never learn, eh? ;-)

    @NoTrail, Indeed. I was wondering whether that Fatty’s initial lack of pre-race movement would lead to his own Julie Moss moment in Part 3.

  77. Comment by linteater | 05.5.2010 | 8:55 am

    Congratulations! My cleat did that whole swivel/can’t unclip thing during my first century. The guy I was riding with unhelpfully said, “Maybe you should use your repair kit BEFORE you start riding instead of wasting time on the ride” You are a much nicer riding buddy.

  78. Comment by Decker | 05.5.2010 | 9:58 am

    In the scuba diving world, we say there are two kinds of people:
    -Those who pee in their wetsuits
    Those who lie

    Peace, out!

  79. Comment by alison | 05.5.2010 | 10:14 am

    Speaking of 100+ mile bike rides, guess what I am doing tomorrow? 100 Miles (in the Middle) of Nowhere. My bud Amy and I were undaunted by your closed registration: we ordered our own swag (Twin Six T + Garmin waterbottle), we’ll make our own livestrong donation, then we’ll do a loop around Lk Pickett in Chuluota, FL (hence the middle of nowhere – look it up, you’ll see)…a whole bunch of times. With any luck, we’ll be done before the kids get off the bus!

    Look forward to hearing about your 100 – go Fatty!

  80. Comment by Phil | 05.5.2010 | 10:51 am

    I really really like your write up! Awesome finishing such a beast! I’m envious.

  81. Comment by douglas | 05.5.2010 | 2:58 pm

    great job and great report. classic riding using a road bike on a time trial. you were channeling the pre-lemond greats.

    i did a century last week on zero miles of training in the prior month. i still passed the tt nerds on climbs. it was a great feeling.

  82. Comment by Jenn | 05.5.2010 | 11:46 pm

    I love your little anecdotes about the people you met along the way. Sounds like you had a fantastic race (so far anyway – I haven’t yet read the run!).

  83. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 05.6.2010 | 11:36 pm

    Glad you discovered that triathletes are really nice people :-)

    Sounds like a great bike ride!

    That whole peeing on the bike thing…never.


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