Friends, I hope this email finds everyone doing well; for those in the States: Happy Thanksgiving.

I traveled down to Tempe, Arizona this past weekend to race the final North American Ironman of the season (IM Arizona). I felt good about my preparations going into the race and I had hoped to improve upon my recent finish at Ironman Canada in August.

The swim started out nicely and I found myself near the front of a large pack of swimmers. Near the halfway point I hit a bit of a wall and found myself with some calf cramps, but I soon recovered and tried to hop back onto the pack. I never regained contact, but I was only 20-30 seconds off pace so I planned to hurry through T1 to make up some ground.

I headed out on the bike course feeling as though I had put myself in a decent position and I started to plug away at the second leg of the race. The first lap (of three) went by pretty nicely, but the second lap began to feel like a bit of a struggle. I tried to preserve all the energy I could on the fast sections of the course, but by the time the third lap came around I really just felt off. I knew I was starting to slow down, but I started to focus more on the upcoming run instead of burying myself to get an extra minute or two on the bike.

Unfortunately, I could tell at the start of the run that things weren't quite right. I really felt quite awful to be honest, but I decided to just get through one loop of the run and take it from there. I eventually started to feel a bit better, but I knew that my goals at the start of the day were simply not going to happen. I told Brooke "no more splits" and just plugged away doing the best I could. I actually managed to move up 4-5 spots in the last hour and finished up the race in 11th place with a time of 8:40.

I missed out on a few goals I set for myself this past weekend, but I still got a lot satisfaction from the day. There is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes from sticking things out even when the day is not what you hoped for. It makes it easier to push yourself on the days that are going your way.

I have one more race before putting my feet up for an offseason. I will be traveling down to New Zealand to race Challenge Wanaka on January 17th.

I'd like to personally thank John Fell with Advantage Packaging for stepping in as a title sponsor for IMAZ. I'd also like to congratulate him on his 12:22 finish on Sunday.

Happy Holidays,

Justin Daerr