Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
70F / 21C
Total Time = 16h 31m 56s
Overall Rank = 2043/2264
Age Group = W40-44
Age Group Rank = 104/118
Pre-race routine:

Very long trip to CDA Thursday, connecting flight cancelled, told we couldn't leave until Saturday (Ha!). After discussions with several customer service reps were finally rerouted and arrived in CDA after midnight Friday morning. Spent Friday and Saturday checking in, swimming, and visiting with local family. Exhausting. Note to self: Plan to arrive Wednesday for an Ironman.
Event warmup:

Sun rises early in CDA this time of year. Easy to wake up with the sun. Grabbed a bowl of cereal at the hotel. Loved being in transition in full daylight - less anxiety and easier to manage gear. At check-in I walk the transition routes and did so again here, noting landmarks and placing reflective tape on my bags as identifiers. Long walk/run to drop special needs bags, porta-potty wait, air in tires, don wetsuit, drop off dry gear, and head down to the water.
  • 2h 12m 41s
  • 4224 yards
  • 03m 08s / 100 yards

The water was cold and choppy the day before. I saw someone with booties, heard that he had bought them nearby, and went and grabbed myself a pair. Glad I did, two hours is a long time to be in the cold water. Went for a quick dip and headed to the back near the buoys. Waited for everyone to get in the water (about 30 seconds) and headed out. Water was better than Saturday but still choppy and I had trouble from the start. Connecting leg which is parallel to the current and near the boats was the worst, swam side stroke there. Conditions were worse the second time around. From what I've heard these were relatively good conditions for CDA, but I struggled.
What would you do differently?:

I should spend more time open water swimming, especially beach entries, but I hate it so much I doubt I ever will invest the time. I'll just keep hoping for calm waters.
Transition 1
  • 10m 19s

Was happy for the aqua booties but had put the timing chip on over them so the wetsuit stripper had to remove my chip to get me out of socks and suit. Luckily they're pretty good at this, and I was quickly on my way. A benefit of being a BOPer is that volunteers are abundant. The pains I took beforehand to identify my bag were unnecessary as they had it ready for me as I came through.
Had hemmed and hawed before race about changing fully, packed accordingly so I wouldn't second guess myself in transition. Changed fully with the help of the volunteers who dumped my bag, sprayed me with sunscreen, handed me my items, and threw the wet stuff in the bag. My bike was easy to find as there weren't many left.
What would you do differently?:

Put the timing chip on UNDER everything. Duh!
  • 8h 02m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.91 mile/hr

Weather was perfect. Bike start was warm enough to be comfortable in short sleeves but never got hot. Hydration was standard with these conditions, had two bottles each with four servings of Infinit Ironman Formula. First bottle went pretty quickly so supplemented with a bite of banana at the stations. Terrible tummy ache set in early in the bike, but forced myself to keep taking in nutrition which paid off on the second half of the run when the ache finally subsided.
I've heard the course described as "hilly", but it was comparable to the average Southern California training ride. Luckily I had talked to enough people and read enough race reports to know not to rely on the momentum of a downhill to carry me up the next incline. I imagine powering up the last half of each roller would take a toll. The tummy ache was distracting and took its toll, and I spent the second half of the ride trying to beat the clock. Made the cutoff with just four minutes to spare.
What would you do differently?:

Think I did as well as I could have between my skill level and the tummy ache. Lesson learned from another rider who I noticed was taking her time chatting with some spectators about 90 miles in: I was wondering why she wasn't worried about the clock. She come in just behind me. She had miscalculated the cutoff, and thought she had no chance to make it, until someone corrected her, and she realized that she had just enough time. Lesson to never give up even if you think you're out.
Transition 2
  • 09m 8s

Heard someone from my support group yell "FOUR MINUTES!". "I KNOW!" I yell back. They were more stressed than I was. We were all relieved that I made the cutoff. Volunteer grabbed my bike. I stopped in the port-potty hoping to make the tummy ache go away - but no. In the tent volunteer had to remind me to remove my helmet. Listened to the rider I mentioned tell her story while I changed my shorts, socks, shoes, and hat. Volunteered sprayed on more sunscreen and I was another try in the potty. Arg!
What would you do differently?:

Remember to take off my cycling gloves. Wore them through the run until I came to my special needs bag. Felt a bit dorky. Otherwise happy taking my time and regrouping. Volunteers very helpful keeping us on track.
  • 5h 56m 54s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 37s  min/mile

Tummy hurt more on run. Stopped at every aid station but managed to run in between. Forced myself to eat and drink - water, Gatorade, banana, chips, pretzels at each stop. Aid station at mile seven/twenty was great and playing "San Diego Super Chargers" my first go around. I danced through that station even though I wasn't feeling well.
Halfway through the run the ache went away and I was left with a bunch of pent up energy. The sun was starting to set. Made a quick stop for my special needs bag, donned headlamp and reflective tape. I hesitated to put my sunglasses in the bag since I knew we might not get it back, but the volunteer told me that the run bags would likely be available at the finish so I took a chance.
I negative split the marathon, increasing pace by a minute and a half per mile. Now I was running for my life, passing people left and right. Spectators were commenting since, at this time of night, most competitors were walking. People were also impressed by my headlamp which I was surprised other competitors weren't wearing. It made running in the dark much easier. Most people were simply wearing the glow necklace we had received as twilight grew dark.
About mile 24 I jokingly asked a group of spectators for a beer. Another competitor marveled that I could even think about alcohol at that point. She wanted no part of the margaritas she had waiting for her, but I was looking for a party. I was on a high as I came down Sherman Avenue at 11:30pm and stopped to hug my family yards from the finish. At this point, I have a vague memory of Mike Reilly telling me personally that he is from Poway and that his daughter is named Erin. At the time I was so elated I think I ignored him completely. My family told me about it later. Ooops. As I crossed the line the catchers were there to greet me, but I was too energized to let them help me so as I received my finisher medal, shirt, and hat they followed me over to the photographer where they could help by holding my new gear while I had my picture taken. They congratulated me and pointed me to the food tent while they went back to greet another competitor.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Very glad I forced myself to eat, because that energy the last three hours was great.
Post race
Warm down:

Another benefit of being a BOPer is that they were handing whole pizza pies by the time I finished, which went perfectly with the champagne and beer my peeps had stashed for me back in the hotel room. My gang had already turned in my bike and loaded my gear in the car, so we just went to retrieve my special needs bag and headed out.
I don't know if it was past midnight at this point, but I was so excited and wrapped up in myself I completely forgot to go back and cheer on the last finishers, which left me a little disappointed when I thought about it later. I figured, though, that I had cheered on each of them over those last couple miles, and I know my family was already exhausted. I had put them on quite an emotional roller coaster by cutting it so close on the swim and bike times.
I was so excited we partied in my hotel room with the pizza, champagne, and beer until 3:00 am, discussing what each of us were experiencing throughout the race. It was great having my family there. With the double loops and a couple out and backs this race provides a lot chances to see each athlete from the transition area, and they made sure to be there each time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weak swimming in the choppy water and the tummy ache.

Event comments:

Love TriBike Transport. Great not to have to worry about the bike. Worth the money.
Race was very organized and volunteers are plentiful and very helpful.
Loved the long daylight hours.
Had a great time.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-11-29 12:00 AM
02:12:41 | 4224 yards | 03m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 117/118
Overall: 2254/2264
Performance: Bad
Course: Double triangle loop.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:19
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
08:02:58 | 112 miles | 13.91 mile/hr
Age Group: 105/118
Overall: 2139/2264
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Double loop with an out and back along Lake CDA and then to another lake and back. Rolling hills, tailwind out of town, headwind coming back. Special needs on second loop at Lake CDA turnaround.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 09:08
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:56:54 | 26.2 miles | 13m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 89/118
Overall: 1689/2264
Performance: Good
Course: Double loop along Lake CDA - late sunset.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5