My first Triathlon
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Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
55F / 13C
= 11h 06m 3s
Age Group Rank
Pete, Janelle, Jon, and I arrived in CdA on Thursday. After settling in, we made sure to go shopping and get the supplies we needed to get thru the weekend.
On Friday morning, we met up with some BTers to do a practice swim. I met a few new people, including T in Liberty Lake and KTPitbull. Saw some old CdA buds like crazypop, and met up with my other Team Q athlete Robin
). After the swim we registered and got our numbers and gear bags. Janelle, Jon, Pete, and I went for a short bike ride to test out the equipment.
Saturday was mostly a day of relaxing and eating/drinking. More shopping to acquire food to cook, and a short run down to transition to get some stuff, and then a short run back. We dropped of our bikes and gear bags a little later. Everyone was feeling good and ready to race. We stayed off our feet, except to cook, for the rest of the night and went to bed early.
I got up at 0200, as I usually do, to eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After eating it I went back to bed til 0430, when I got up and immediately got dressed and ready. We were set to go around 0500 and we walked down to the transition area to fix everything up. Bike tires pumped and special needs bags dropped off, we headed back to the house to get our wetsuits on and have a final snack before going back to the start area to get goin.
There was ALOT of "traffic" trying to get onto the beach...everyone was bunched up. Finally though, we got onto the beach, stepped over the timing mat, and took our positions. A quick "good luck" to Janelle and Jon as Pete and I went further up the beach. After another quick good luck to Pete, I headed up front and to the left so I could get a good swim position. No sooner did I have my goggles on and Garmin set did the cannon go off and we were running into the water!
1h 12m 19s
01m 38s / 100 yards
My most confident IM swim to date. Also my fastest by a few seconds. There was ALOT of violence, as is usual for CdA. I ran in and immediately started swimming fast. I didn't want to get flustered so I went out with the fast people and figured I'd just fall behind the front of the pack instead of trying to start in the back and have to swim over 1500 people. This worked well. I was in clear water by the middle of the first 1000m. There was still some kicking but not nearly as bad as in 2008 when I started further back.
Rounding the buoys wasn't as bad either. Sure there was some congestion, but it was alot easier to get thru it since there weren't as many people. On the way back in, a rogue kick knocked my right goggle off, but I quickly resecured it and kept going. My first loop was done in 36 minutes...I was on track for a 1:12 swim if I could just even split the second loop. I figured I could if I just kept my energy up. I took the gel I had put in my wetsuit sleeve before the race and then got back in the water.
Lap 2 was easier, effortwise, but it was a little more difficult navigationwise, because the wind had picked up, there were waves now, and I didn't have a draft to follow. There were alot less people to deal with. I wound up veering off course a bit about halfway out, and this cost me about 180yards, as reflected in my distance above. I quickly returned to the course and swam the rest of the way in. It was much easier on the second lap. I did wind up even-splitting the course, but I would have NEGATIVE split it if I hadn't swum an extra 2 minutes or so. Oh well, next time I know I can hit a 1:10 if I navigate better.
Still, a 3 minute CdA swim PR for me...and a few seconds under my IMFL swim split, so a new IM swim PR.
What would you do differently?:
Watch my navigation a bit more closely, and start even further to the left and up front. I'm a fast enough swimmer now that I can do this.
This was a picture perfect IM T1. I got out of the water, ran up the beach, and tore down my wetsuit top. I left my cap and goggles on. I made eye contact with a couple of wetsuit strippers, pulled it down past my butt and sat down. They had it off in a second. After tossing it at me, they helped me up, and I ran to get my gear bag. I ran into the change tent, emptied the bag and took off my cap and goggles. They went into the bag with my wetsuit. I put on my socks, helmet, and sunglasses. Then my shoes, and finally the arm warmers
(which I probably really didn't need
). I put some nutrition in my back pocket and got up. After tossing my gear bag in the pile at the exit and ran to get my bike. A quick unrack and I was headed out of the transition area. Ready to ride 112.
What would you do differently?:
Not use arm warmers...would probably have been in the 5 minute range, it took a good 40 seconds to get them on.
5h 52m 36s
My legs felt strong at the bike start...no fatigue from the swim, I was ready to go. The first set of hills down by CdA Lake were a good challenge to warm up the legs. I started with a good speed and felt strong. After 20 miles I was averaging about 20.7mph. I was happy with this but knew I wouldn't end up with this speed...the hills were about to start. Still, it was a good omen, since I felt strong. In 2008, it took a lot of effort to even hold a 20.0 average by this time. Much better cyclist now! I took a gel before heading into the hills. I had water in my cage and Gatorade in my aerobottle. I was stocked and ready to attack some climbing.
In the first round of hills, I felt really good. The first big hill is a three stage grinder...it's where they take all the standing up bike pictures. I got thru the first three big ones with no problem. Soon I was at the turnaround at Mile 35. The bike was going by fast! It was an enjoyable ride on lap 1. The second part of the course has some steep hills but not as bad as before the turnaround. I took a gel at the 2 hour mark. Once the last few hills were done, I found myself heading back towards town and into a headwind on the flats. I made sure not to overwork my legs. At Mile 52, an awful thing happened. I realized I hadn't eaten or drank enough, and I was bonking. My legs turned to jelly and my head started spinning. I took a gel at 1 hour and 2 hours, but I probably should have taken another. Here I was at Mile 52 and I was bonking! So I immediately ate 2 Oreo cakesters, 2 gels, and drank almost my entire bottle of Gatorade. I was still averaging 19.9mph so I think I just went a little too hard. My goal was just to average 18.6 so I could have a sub-6-hour bike split.
The nutrition kicked in pretty quickly and in a few minutes I felt strong again. I decided that on lap 2 I would eat MUCH more frequently to keep my energy level up...and so I wouldn't have trouble on the run.
After heading back into town and completing the first lap, I felt fresh again. My average for the first lap was 19.7mph. Only 6 miles to special needs. I popped some beta alanine and Tylenol at Mile 58. I knew there were some semi-challenging hills to get over before special needs so I didn't want to lose time.
I got to special needs and grabbed my bag. The volunteer there helped me get my Coke and chicken broth out of my bag. I downed both and grabbed my second lap nutrition...an uncrustable and some Gu Chomps. I headed off after only 2 minutes of waiting. My average had only come down to 19.5mph, so I was still in good shape. I knew I could only lose another .9mph so I needed to keep myself on schedule.
I decided to try to push the pace a bit for the flat area between special needs and the big hills, so I did. I got my average back up to 19.7 before the hills started.
This time, the hills were way more challenging, my legs were getting tired. I was at the 4 hour mark on the bike now, and was eating and drinking more. My stomach was starting to feel the effects of all the nutrition. Still, I attacked the hills with lots of energy in my pocket.
Of course, I was wishing for a compact crank here, but I still managed to crest every hill without losing too much time. I had gotten thru the turnaround at 19.1mph average. I thought if I could keep it up, I'd be able to average 19 for the ride. On some of the larger hills on the second half of the hills, my average dropped to 18.9. I tried as hard as I could to speed up on the downhills to keep my average up. By the time I got out of the hills, I was back to 19.0. Whew! I just had to make it back to town at a decent speed now and I'd have my 19mph average for the bike. This would be a big PR over 2008.
Not only did I make it back in sub-6-hour time, I averaged almost 19.1 for the ride. I was extremely happy! I knew my run would suffer a bit because of the extra effort, but I was way ahead of my 2008 overall time now, so I was okay.
What would you do differently?:
Not forget to eat. Other than that, good ride!
After giving my bike to a handler
(he must have been 16!
) I ran into the transition area, grabbed my run bag, and headed into the change tent. My bike stuff was off in a flash and I threw my run stuff on almost as fast. I kept my socks on, but added compression sleeves for my calves. I threw on my Newtons and grabbed my visor. After putting my bike stuff in the bag and handing it to a volunteer, I ran out and headed to the run course as I put on my sunglasses and visor. Another great IM transition!
What would you do differently?:
3h 51m 38s
08m 49s min/mile
I felt good at the beginning of the run, but immediately knew I was running too fast. My first two miles were at sub-8 pace and I knew since I went so hard on the bike that I wouldn't be able to hold this.
I was shooting for an 8:05 pace but I also knew I wouldn't hit it. At this point, I was sure I'd PR as long as I could keep a decent pace up. I really wanted a sub-11 overall finish but it was in question because I knew I was tired.
Unlike at Gulf Coast Half, I had enough energy to keep running and I wasn't cramping, but I knew my body was nearing the end of its abilities to keep up a fast pace. I didn't want to run a marathon over 4 hours, so I just kept pushing myself to stay with it.
I had been losing 1 second per mile as I ran, so I figured at that pace I'd end up around 8:50 pace or so, at the end of the run, if I'd just stay steady. I took a gel at Mile 5.
I ran down the long easy decline along the lake and came to Mile 7, feeling good. I had a sharp, steep, short hill to climb. I kept telling myself "I will not walk this hill" and I didn't. I trudged up and around the turnaround...and back down. My quads were already on fire from climbing on the bike, so going downhill steeply on the run was a quadkiller...especially since I'd just run slightly downhill for almost a half mile before the steep turnaround hill.
I headed back up the false flat, quicker than I thought I would. But at the top of that slight incline was a steep finish. After making it up that at a slower pace, I headed back towards town, and the course flattened out. I took another gel at Mile 10. The trip thru town yielded a lot of water over my head from people spraying hoses...this was a good thing since I was starting to feel hot. I saw Pete on his first run lap and was really happy to see him! He was off the bike...he was definitely gonna be an IRONMAN today!!
I headed back to town and reached the halfway point at 1:54 elapsed. I was happy with this since I figured I could just stay at a decent pace and get thru the next half.
The second half of the run was pretty much the same as the first. I just kept my pace up as much as I could, I drank lots of water and cola. I took a gel at Mile 15. After that, I didn't want to eat anymore because my stomach was starting to revolt. So I kept up with Gatorade, cola, and water to get me thru the rest of the run.
With a mile to go I was having a hard time keeping my feet under me. My body was really really tired. But I only had a mile to go. I started thinking about my finish pose...I had promised Janelle, Jon, and Pete that I would do our funny pose from the weekend. When I turned onto Sherman Street and I saw the finish line, I started to let a few people pass me so I could have the finish chute to myself. I ran down the street
(downhill...ouch, my quads!!
) and ran across the finish line, jumped into my pose and smiled! Then I ran across and stopped my watch. It was a good day! I was soooooo glad to be done.
What would you do differently?:
Maybe a bit more nutrition? I think I probably needed a few more tempo bricks in training.
Two catchers caught me, and they gave me my medal, hat, and shirt. I went over to the IM backdrop picture area and got my picture taken. After that I headed to get a massage and then picked up my gear bags so I could get my phone and dry clothes. Soon, I was changed, warm, and talking to Brian to let him know how I was feeling. Pete was gonna be done soon so I waited for him at the finish area. Pete came in at 12:35:24!! Janelle and Jon came in soon after that in the low 13's, and then soon Robin was in too! Team Q had an awesome day at IM CdA! I was so proud of my peeps!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Nothin' really. There was the little navigation thing on the swim, some headwinds on the bike, and then a little more heat on the run than I was prepared for, but other than that, I think I executed a pretty damn good race!
It's Ironman! Of course they know how to do this! I think it's one of the better-run IM races in the country. I will definitely be back. I love the town, the people, and the course. CdA rocks!
Last updated: 2009-08-26 12:00 AM
01:12:19 | 4416 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
XTerra Full Wetsuit
2 loops of 1000m out, 100m across, 1000m back.
63F / 17C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:52:36 | 111.87 miles | 19.04 mile/hr
Some with gusts
2 laps...flat for 5 miles, hills for about 5 miles, then flat again for 10 miles, BIG hills for 20 miles, and then mostly downhill and flat for the last 16 or so.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:51:38 | 26.29 miles | 08m 49s min/mile
2 out and backs along CdA Lake and through town.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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