Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
80F / 27C
Total Time = 11h 08m 39s
Overall Rank = 307/~2200
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 59/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up in the morning had three bowls of oatmeal, peanut butter and honey sandwich, cup of black coffee, and a couple bottles of 1/2 water 1/2 gatorade mix. Got to the transition area at 6:00am. Checked on the bike, inflated the tires, dropped off two bottles on the bike cages. 1) ON downtube: EFS liquid shot 550cc, 1700 calories. Second: 1/2 water, 1/2 gatorade between the aerobars. I taped three GU rocktanes to the top tube for some caffeine boosts.
Event warmup:

Didn't warm up, just some easy stretching.
  • 1h 16m 8s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

After reading a ton of race reports from previous Ironman CDAs, I was expecting the worst. There were a lot of bodies around me, a little kicking, a little punching, and definitely some slowing congestion around the turns, but it was all manageable.

The water was cold, but really within the first minute I didn't even think of temperature. I wore earplugs, because on the practice swim two days earlier, I felt slightly dizzy, and thought if I could keep cold water away from the inner ear, this may be resolved. I had no dizziness on race day.

Things I focused on were 1) don't go out too hard, especially in the first 100m. 2) On the beach turn around take it easy, I knew my HR would spike, and I eased back into the swim for loop 2.
What would you do differently?:

I would work on sticking closer on the feet of a swimmer ahead of me for a little free speed.
Transition 1
  • 06m 31s

Wetsuit strippers are awesome. My wetsuit came off in about 4 seconds. I grabbed my gear bag and ran into the changing tent. I must have come out of the water at peak time, because it was so crowded I didn't even look for a seat. I just sat on the grass and got my shoes on, shirt, helmet and racebelt on.

Running out of the tent, my race bib got caught, and both buttons holding my race number on my belt popped off onto the grass, and were nowhere to be found. I had one spare button, so I reattached my bib by one corner as the sunscreen appliers were doing there work. Ran to my bike, exited transition, mounted and off.
What would you do differently?:

Zip tie my race bib to my belt, don't rely on any other method. I would also consider swimming with my top under the wetsuit, It would have saved me about 30 seconds in transition.
  • 5h 54m 18s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.97 mile/hr

I have a Powertap, so used power to dictate my ride (didn't even use a HR strap). My rules were to ride around 70%FTP, and to try to stay below FTP on all climbs. Did a pretty good job of this, but was on the low end of my acceptable power range all day (~67%).

Course was tough in the middle section. I held to the power strategy, and let people pass me on the uphills, and used the downhills (when most were coasting) to my advantage. I started getting some low back pain at the end, and dropped a chain once on a climb. Other than that no major issues and no flats. I saw one really bad crash in front of me where a guy missed the turn on a roundabout and saw one near miss with a volunteer who was trying to pick up debris off the course.

Nutrition strategy was well established. I described my breakfast above. On the bike, my goal was to take in about 1500-2000 calories. I had 1700 calories of EFS liquid shot in one bottle on my down tube (the cap flipped off in the first attempt and I was a sticky mess for the rest of the day). My only other bottle cage was between my aerobars, and I alternated between gatorade and water. I listened to my body, whenever I started feeling abdominal cramps I would switch to water and lay off the EFS. When I was feeling hungry I would take more EFS and gatorade. For caffeine boosts, I took two roctanes on the bike, one at mile 70 and one at mile 105. I probably undershot calories by about 200 but was feeling great.

What would you do differently?:

In the future:
1) This has been my first year of cycling, so I really need to invest time on the bike and increase my FTP.
2) EFS should go in a bottle that doesn't have a flip top also
3) Continue to work on flexibility, as a means to decrease back pain on the bike
Transition 2
  • 02m 53s

Great transition for me.
1) Bike was handed over to volunteer
2) Bag was handed to me
3) Sat down, volunteer helped me out of tri top and into running top
4) Shoes on and tied (bungee laces gave me blisters)
5) Out!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, very happy with this transition
  • 3h 48m 49s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 44s  min/mile

Felt good to be in my element, but it was sunny and hot. First half went great, was running through aid stations, took 1 rocktane, gatorade and water at almost every aid station. Also grabbed sponges at almost every aid station soaked my hat, and if ice was available, I also put some cubes in my hat and kept running.

Just after halfway point started feeling really hungry and much weaker and decided I should start walking the aid stations. I took 2 powergels, water, gatorade at almost every station, then I discovered cola which went down like butter. Cola became my treat, and what kept me running. (If I make it to the next aid station, then I'd treat myself to another coke).

Legs were starting to minispasm, and whenever I felt one, I'd slow things down a little, and that calmed them down. Wanted to walk so badly in the end (my running pace was almost that of a fast walk by the end), and the last 2.2 miles felt like 10. The chute was amazing, and was so happy to cross the line.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, I think I could take about 20 minutes off this time in the future, but maybe not in 80 degree sun.
Post race
Warm down:

Catchers released me, and I headed immediately towards food. I was hoping for junk and I found pizza and chips. 4 slices later, my family found me and we went to pick up my gear.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think experience was the main thing. I am a runner, with very little triathlon/swimming/cycling background. I trained intensely in all three sports for 9 months, and less intensely for 3 more months. I am looking forward to a two year hiatus from 140.6, and a strong return when I have more cycling/swimming/triathlon experience.

All in all, I couldn't be happier with my performance, and am thankful that my body let me complete this.

Event comments:

The volunteers with the best! What a great race, looking forward to coming back to CDA in the future.

Last updated: 2009-08-10 12:00 AM
01:16:08 | 4224 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/
Overall: 842/~2200
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra vector pro - full
Course: Two rectangular loops, get out on the beach between loops.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:31
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
05:54:18 | 112 miles | 18.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 96/
Overall: 619/~2200
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Two loops, First along lake Coueur D'Alene and back, then to Hayden Lake and back. Middle section with some good rollers.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:48:49 | 26.2 miles | 08m 44s  min/mile
Age Group: 59/
Overall: 307/~2200
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops, along lake Coeur D'Alene. Hill climb at mile 8 and 21 turnaround point.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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