My first Triathlon
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Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Ironman North America
65F / 18C
= 11h 14m 39s
Age Group Rank
Well I guess everything started when I got there on Thursday. Went to registration, met the gang, got the bike from TriBikeTransport, ate, had fun.
Friday I went for my first practice swim. The water was FRIGID! But after about 5 minutes of warming up, I was able to swim for about another 15. I was nervous!! So what did I do? I bought a P2C and decided to race it on Sunday. Inside Out Sports built it for me with my Profile Tri-Stryke saddle, Carbon-X aerobars, and Spinergy Rev-X race wheels. Nothing like overcoming a fear by spending money! Friday night, Jess and I went out dancing and met some cool local people, one of which told me he'd be volunteering in the change tent on Sunday. So I told him to make sure he spots me.
Saturday I did another practice swim. This time the water was a bit warmer and I was able to get over my fear of the swim. I felt much better after that second practice swim. After that was done, I got my gear bags together, had some lunch with the gang, and then headed to pick up my bike. It wasn't done yet, so I waited for it. When it was done, I rode it around for a while, and got ready to drop it off in transition. It fit great, and rode like a dream.
Saturday night we relaxed, ate some good food, and got mentally set for the next day.
Race morning was chilly but nice. The sun had come up around 440am and it was bright as noon at 530am. After walking down to the transition area with Jess, I realized I'd forgotten my chip. Yeah...surprise, right? Well anyway, she called Shannon, who went back to the house for me to get it! She rocks. I got bodymarked and walked into transition to go deal with my bike. It had rained the night before so it was all wet.
I had my tires pumped up, filled my aerobottle with Gatorade Endurance, and then got ready to go. Time was flying by. Soon, the pros were in the water. And then it was time for us to get ready to swim. I put on my usual cooking spray
) and donned my wetsuit. Unfortunately, my numbers all came off as a result of the cooking spray. Oh well.
The time was drawing near. I was nervous about the cold water. I had decided to forego the booties due to drag issues, but I was still using the neoprene cap. I was set to go. I hugged Jess...got a little teary, and I walked down to the beach with Luis. While waiting for the gun to go off, Ovetta found me and we hugged each other good luck. It was time to rock.
1h 15m 39s
01m 47s / 100 yards
Holy hell, this was the worst slap-punch-kick-elbow fest I've ever seen. Arizona's swim start wasn't even half this bad. I got hit so many times that I thought to myself "at some point, someone's gonna hit me so hard I will drown". I've never been so sure I was gonna die in the water before. The water temp wasn't a factor at all. I was so worried about not having my nose broken that I didn't even notice the sub-60 degree water.
The first lap was just insanity. There's no other way to describe it. From the get-go, there were hands, feet, fists, and elbows in my face. It wasn't til about 500 meters in that it started to thin the least bit. I had taken an aggressive line to get thru the swim as quickly as possible. At the first turn buoy it bunched up so much that everyone was actually treading water to get around it. You couldn't swim. The mele continued until I was at the beach. Drafting was easy because there was always someone in front to ride. I was sure I'd been out there at least 40 minutes...maybe 42 minutes. I felt really slow. I looked at my watch upon exiting the water and it said 36:52! Cool! I'd been hit a bunch of times in my right goggle. It wasn't fogging or leaking but it felt like it was cookie-cutting into my face. I couldn't move it for fear my eye would explode!
On the second lap it was a little better, but I still ran into people. I'd swin in clear water and then come up on five or ten people all fighting for position. I couldn't draft off of anyone for the first 1000m of the second lap. They were all fighting and I was just plowing thru them. After the last turn I was able to draft a bit off of a couple guys ahead of me. I let them bring me home. I was sure I was gonna see a 1:20...it felt like I was out there forever. But when I came up on to the beach I heard Mike Reilly saying "a 1:15 swim...these guys are awesome!". So I looked at my watch...yep...1:15!! I smiled big!!! I'm not sure if it was because I had hit my goal swim time, or because I knew I didn't have to swim anymore! Either way, I was happy.
I ran up the beach, made eye contact with a wetsuit stripper and ran over to him. They did a great job. Nice and quick.
What would you do differently?:
Not take such an aggressive line. I might have even been faster if I'd not been stopped in my tracks so many times by being whacked! I think I can get a 1:12.
This was a good T1. It was over 2 minutes better than last year at Arizona. I had my wits about me, I wasn't confused and I knew what I was doing. I got my bag, ran into the change tent. I didn't see Marty, the guy I had talked to on Friday night who said he'd be volunteering, so I just found a clear spot of grass
(there were no chairs left
) and just dumped out my gear bag. I systematically did all the things I needed to do. Socks, shoes, helmet, race belt, sunglasses on. Once I was done, I just put my swim stuff back in the bag and dropped it on my way out. I ran out, grabbed my bike, and headed out to the bike course.
What would you do differently?:
I'm sure I'll get better and faster at T1 as I get more experienced in IM racing, but damn...I'm pretty happy with this...2 minutes off last year, I don't know what else I could have done except do it faster.
6h 11m 37s
Wow...LOTS of hills. Two loops of lots of hills. Very challenging bike course.
I took the first loop kinda easy. I started with some stomach cramps, probably from swallowing so much of Lake Coeur d'Alene. I didn't risk throwing up by eating right away. So I just took it easy. On the flats I had no problem doing 20, but I wanted to save my energy for the hills. The first 20 miles went by in under an hour, even with the couple of climbs around Lake CdA at Miles 4 and 8. I wound up having to pee around Mile 15...so I stood up on a downhill section where there were no specators. A guy passed me and said "isn't that the best feeling in the world??" All I could do was grunt! This was the first time I'd been able to do this in a race. Yay me! OK...back on track. Then at Mile 22, came the first big hill. It was steep but short. As we progressed, the hills got larger, longer, and sometimes steeper. There were a few long gradual climbs. For a while, it seemed like they'd never end. One of the downhill portions was nice and long, but it was up on a rim and if you looked to your right, all you saw was water, about 300 feet below you. It was quite chilling. Speaking of chilling, the temperature on the bike was perfect. I didn't even use the arm warmers that Luis and I had made out of socks the night before. Anyway, I worked thru all the hills up to the turnaround point. There was one that I was afraid I might run out of energy on, on lap 2. I was out of my saddle, in my small ring, and in the next to largest cog in the rear. Wow...it was hard!! After the turnaround, there were still some hills but not nearly as bad. The wind started to kick up and it made me a bit nervous, but I thought to myself, "This is NOTHING compared to Arizona". Soon I found myself on my way back into town. My back had started to cramp here though. Climbing was great...being in aero on the flats started to hurt. Especially because I was fighting wind on the flats. A little more effort than I would normally put out on flats. So I told myself I'd get off my bike and stretch at special needs. I came into town and saw the girls cheering for me on Northwest Blvd. Big boost!
After starting the second lap, I counted down the miles to special needs. I was going a bit slower than I wanted to. I heard a WHOOP WHOOP on my way out toward the lake...it was Wendi! When we got to the long, slow, first climb at Mile 69 I was able to get out of the saddle and stretch my back out while I climbed the hill. When I got to special needs, I grabbed my bag, pulled over, and got off the bike to stretch, eat, and take my supplements. It felt great to stretch. I was off the bike for no more than 2 minutes, but those 2 minutes absolutely recharged me. I think if I hadn't spent those 2 minutes off the bike, I might have lost way more than that by slowing down due to back pain. Once I was stretched, the pain was gone, and wouldn't return for the rest of the ride. I had to pee again, and I did in the same spot as in lap 1. As a matter of fact, I was able to do it 4 times on the bike. My poor bike shoes.
On the big hills on lap 2, people were getting off their bikes to walk them up on the second loop. I did not do this. I put my fears away and just cranked up the hills. Of course, I only went about 6mph up the two hardest ones on lap 2, but I never let any of them destroy me. I felt better on lap 2 than I did on lap 1. My nutrition plan was working perfectly. Gatorade in my aero bottle, gel/water at aid stations. I had some Oreo cakesters for extra sugar if I needed it. Right around mile 90, I ate the cakesters. YUM!! I guess they gave me a nice amount of energy, cuz after that, we were on our way back towards the flats and I felt a sudden urge to go fast. So I put the hammer down. In fact, I hammered it all the way home for the last 12 miles. I had lost probably 100 positions thru the ride, but gained most of them back in the last 10 miles. I just blew by people. I knew my quads were fried, there was no sense in holding back anymore. Besides, I knew that I'd still have a great run, I don't use my quads when I run. After passing a whole lot of bikes, I only wound up 6 positions down from my swim position. I was happy. Upon entering the park, I unclipped and got ready to do my second ever flying dismount. NAILED IT!!! Hopped off the bike, tossed the bike to a catcher, and ran into transition. I felt awesome!!
I grabbed my bag and ran into the change tent.
What would you do differently?:
Well if I could keep the back pain down, I'd go a little more agressive on the first loop. I'm very close to a sub 6 bike split.
This transition kicked ass!!! As I ran into the change tent I spotted Marty. I grabbed him and asked him to help. I threw off my bike stuff as he emptied my T2 bag. As I took stuff off, he stuffed it into the bag for me. He helped me with my compression socks. He even slipped my shoes on for me after I put my socks on. He stuck my visor on my head as I reset my Garmin. DONE! He took my bag and I ran off to start the marathon. I'd be interested to see what my rank was in the race for my T2.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing!! Marty's hired!
3h 38m 38s
08m 20s min/mile
Well, what can I say...I'm a runner. I tore out of transition and I just ran people down the entire way. I saw Desiree drop out as I passed Mile 1. I ran as fast as I could handle. My first 10 miles were under 8 minute pace. I figured I'd be slowing down later anyway, so why not try to get as much speed as I could. There were so many people cheering, ti was a really awesome feeling to be there. There were just so many people kinda jogging and moving along. My right foot had a little bit of a hotspot from the bike shoe, but other than that, I felt great. The miles were just clicking off. When I got out to Lake Coeur d'Alene Blvd, there was a slight climb. People were walking. I flew by at 7:30 pace. I kept up this pace for a while. I heard a guy on a bike behind me saying "runner behind, thank you...runner behind, thank you". When he got to me he said "runner behind...wow, you're moving fast, please hold your position". The runner was Heather Gollnick, who passed me around Mile 7 but she would be the only person to pass me on the entire loop.
After running up and then back down the only hard climb on the loop, I was headed back to town. I saw the girls cheering and being wild. Jess had her kissing booth sign and I ran up and gave her a big hug and a kiss. Every 5 seconds, someone was screaming "go Jeff!!". I can't tell you how many times I heard "look how fast that one is going!". I was just running people down by the herd. Aid station visits were quick, simple, and effective. Throw and go. Once I was back into town, I checked my watch. My first half split was 1:46. I kept telling myself if I had a 3:18 marathon I could go sub-11 but not to go for it. So with a 1:46 split I knew that sub 11 wasn't possible, but I knew I'd be achieving my secret goal of taking an hour off my Arizona time. That made me happy.
The second loop was pretty uneventful. Just kept passing people. I saw dumpster at about Mile 2 of the second loop as I passed the half marathon mark. He was doing awesome! We slapped hands and I told him he rocks. I now had a motivator to be fast on the second loop. I saw Luis on this loop too. I really needed to pee at this point, and I thought about just peeing as I ran, but there were so many spectators, I didn't want to make them scream. So I hit a portapotty for 30 seconds. It felt good to stop for a sec. I needed to recharge anyway, I knew I was slowing down...my pace was down in the 8:30's from the 7:30's on lap 1, but I still felt strong. I was sure I'd be walking up the difficult hill at the turnaround point. But as I approached it, I saw Chris running down. I had made up about a mile and a half. We pointed at each other and went on. I was starting to really slow down. My energy was getting low. I really needed some chicken broth and cola. At the next aid station, I took both...and some water. And some sponges. I was hot. As I went across a mat, the inspiration thingy flashed "491 - J. Giles - G8Rs love ya! Run Q!" I thought that was cool! Thanks Wendi, Mike, and kids! At this point, it was just about 5K to go. I decided I needed to step up my pace, I was almost at 9 minute per mile. So I pushed hard. Got my pace down to about 8 flat. I passed Chris around Mile 24 and I told him to come with me. I was hoping we'd be able to run in together. Soon, the only other person to pass me on the run did so. It was a young girl, she had a 23 on her leg. I was in awe of her...she was amazing. I kept going and just blowing by people. I passed by the last two aid stations without stopping, I was on a mission. I kept my pace down to about 8's. Soon, I was at Mile 25 and I saw a buddy of mine from Brandon, Mark, who was walking. He cheered me on and I cheered for him as I ran by! Soon enough, we were back in midtown and a spectator said, "you're gonna see the finish line after you turn this corner!". And so I did. It was about a half mile down the road. My watch said 11:11. If I could make this last half mile at 7 minute pace I could go sub 11:15!! I ran as hard as I could. I almost caught back up to the girl who just passed me. But I didn't want to take her race finish away nor did I want someone else in my picture, so I let her go ahead. She crossed and I finished 10 or so seconds behind her. I ran down the chute with my arms up, and what I thought was the two-finger salute, but it turns out my fingers weren't together so it looks like I was giving the peace sign. I was all pain though. Every part of me hurt from that last big push. I crossed the line at 11:14:39...I had gotten my sub 11:15. I felt like I was the king of the world!
It's pretty cool to say that only two runners passed me! I was 105th overall in the run. Compared to my 760th in the swim and 766th in the bike, I'd definitely say my strength is in running. Could you imagine what I could do if I was better in the swim and bike???
What would you do differently?:
Oh my...nothing of course. This rocked!!!
After I was done, I had my chip taken off, and Laura was there. The catched passed me off to her. She hugged me! She asked if I passed Chris and I said yes, and that he was about a mile behind so he'll be along soon. She brought me back to Jess who just jumped on me and started crying. So of course I started crying too. That was awesome. Chris finished soon after, and we chatted a bit, took some pictures, and then he went to get a massage.
I had some pizza, some soda, water, gatorade, and got a massage. I was really cold so I got a mylar blanket to help keep me warm.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
If I had to say one thing, I'd say the swim. It was insane. I've never felt so out of control in the water before. The course, conditions, weather, everything...all great. Even the cold water wasn't a factor.
It's Ironman...it's always good. The organization, events, volunteers, everyone...all just awesome. And the people of Coeur d'Alene are amazing! They get stoked for the race two weeks before it gets there. Can't ask for a better venue and better specators!
Last updated: 2007-08-16 12:00 AM
01:15:39 | 4224 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Orca Predator 2 fullsuit, Deep Sea neoprene cap
2 loops of 1.2 miles each.
60F / 15C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:11:37 | 112 miles | 18.08 mile/hr
Some with gusts
2 loops...lots of hills. First 20 miles were flat (with one big climb at around Mile 4)...then hills for 23 or so miles...then flat for the last 13.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:38:38 | 26.2 miles | 08m 20s min/mile
2 loops...shares part of bike course. One big hill per loop, a few short ones, and a few long slow climbs.
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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