Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
70FF / 0C
Total Time = 12h 19m 57s
Overall Rank = 745/3100
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 117/389
Pre-race routine:

Showered, suited up in pre-race attire, ate a couple of Erin Baker's cookies, some graham crackers with Nutella and nonfat vanilla soymilk. Headed down to the site and suited up, then took a 5-Hour energy ultra before getting on the beach.
Event warmup:

Swam about 200 metres to make sure the goggles were clear and not fogging up, then got ready for the melee to begin.
  • 1h 17m 5s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

I lined up about 2/3 to the right (wide) and about 6-7 from the front. Swim was pretty much what I expected, although I must admit that I was more relaxed than usual because I figured getting freaked out wouldn't help things any. This seemed to work to my advantage. Ignored the pack as much as possible and just focused on smooth, solid swimming. The first turn was a little rough, especially with all the people that got a little hysterical and panicked, but once the first turn was over, it was a pretty enjoyable swim. When I exited on loop one I was stoked, since I was right on my typical training 1.2 mile pace. Second lap was pretty much exactly the same as the first.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Finally a solid swim in a WTC event. I knew the day would come. :)
Transition 1
  • 07m 57s

Didn't rush T1 - I knew I had a long day ahead and since it was 140.6 #1 for me, I wanted to make sure I was ready to go.
What would you do differently?:

Go a little faster - probably could have saved 2-3 mins here if I'd rushed it.
  • 5h 46m 31s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.39 mile/hr

The bike turned out pretty much exactly as I planned. I didn't push my pace too much on the bike because I was coming in with ankle/foot problems that had damaged my running, so I traded some speed on the bike to try and give my legs some extra buffer for the run. Pre-loaded my XLab w/ three bottles of Gatorade Grape (reg formula) and added an electrolyte tablet to each to ensure that I was getting enough salts early on. Once those ran out, I lived off of the course gatorade and water. I alternated a powerbar chased with water once every hour, along with approx. one bottle of Gatorade per hour. I never felt low on fuel. Last 15 miles of the bike, my hamstrings got a little twitchy, but I stood up and stretched them out coming down Govt. Way and they were OK for the beginning of the run. Since the bike course is hillier than I had envisioned, I was worried that my tendency to push the bike would do major damage, but I did really well on capitalizing on the good high-speed downhills after each climb to maintain my avg pace. Climbing went really well. I was spinning nice and steady up most of the grades and didn't spend much time up on the pedals. Gained a lot of places on the bike climbing, which is unusual for me, since I'm primarily a missile on the flats. Overall, I was really happy with the bike segment - once again, everything went pretty much according to plan. Rode the entire race off of perceived effort, since I don't train with power or HR.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Could have probably pushed my pace quite a bit without much impact to my run.
Transition 2
  • 07m 48s

Pretty much the same as T2...I took my time. Shot another bottle of 5-Hour energy and set out for my least favourite part of the race.

I was almost giddy when I entered T2 and realized that I was not far off 7 hours for the swim-bike portion of the race - there was a definite possibility of a mid-to-high 10 hour finish if I could pull off a decent run, but I was doubtful given my lack of training on the run coming into this race due to injuries.
What would you do differently?:

Same as T1 - probably could have shaved 1-3 mins here if I'd pushed it.
  • 5h 00m 38s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 28s  min/mile

Run started out well, and my first loop I was doing well with my plan to run at a considerably slower pace than I train at. Legs felt pretty good until about mile 15, when the calves started getting a little crampy. My big problem arrived at around mile 14. My feet started to hurt. Bad. This, coupled with the cramps started to bring my pace down considerably. I figured the foot pain was due to the PF and achilles tendinosis issues I'd been having. Second loop, the pain was getting pretty considerable and I was started to get spasms in my calves. I started walking aid stations and still tried to maintain running once clear, but at approx mile 16, the walk portions started to get a little longer. Every time I'd try to start running, the calf cramps came on with a vengeance. I started taking coke and pretzels whenever available to see if that would help with the cramps, but it didn't have much effect.

As it turns out, after the race I found out why my feet were hurting so bad. My big toenails were annihilated - black, blue and swollen. They are just about to fall off, three days later. Big lesson learned here - I did the run in my Zoot TT 2.0, which work fine for half-IM, but they were woefully insufficient for a full marathon, even with socks. Oh well, next race I'll make sure I'm wearing something that works a little better for my feet.
What would you do differently?:

Not get injured. Get more run base in, pre-race. Switch shoes (I obviously need something with more cushion in the toe box for full IM).
Post race
Warm down:

Warm down? Ha! Finish line photo, then off to the food tent for two pieces of veggie pizza and a soda.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hmmmmm, I think my two big toenails falling off affected my run pace, ever so slightly, hehehe. Lack of run base also hampered me here, and I have no one other than the man in the mirror to hold responsible for that...;)

Event comments:

Can't say enough good things about Coeur D'Alene. This city really does make the athletes feel welcome, and they support the race 100%. I could not have picked a better place to do my first 140.6. Worth every penny and more. I'm already signed up for next year.

This race was a gigantic learning opportunity and I am absolutely happy with the way things turned out. Lessons learned here will be carried into AZ in Nov, as well as attempt #2 here next year. I LOVE THIS far rates as the best race I've done yet.

Last updated: 2009-06-25 12:00 AM
01:17:05 | 4224 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 144/389
Overall: 901/3100
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro X2
Course: CCW, 1.2 miles, two loops
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:57
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:46:31 | 112 miles | 19.39 mile/hr
Age Group: 86/389
Overall: 487/3100
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 56 miles, two loops out and around Hayden Lake
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:00:38 | 26.2 miles | 11m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 160/389
Overall: 1029/3100
Performance: Below average
Course: Two loops out and back, around Lake CdA.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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