Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
95F / 35C
Total Time = 15h 32m 55s
Overall Rank = 1665/2227
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 160/203
Pre-race routine:

Got to sleep in my own bed, which was really nice. I didn't sleep very well though, which I half expected. I had hydrated a ton on Friday and Saturday, and was having to pee a LOT. And of course that kept up all night while I was trying to sleep. More about this later.
Woke up at 0400, showered, and started drinking again. It was going to be a hot day (that was the understatement of the year!). Ate 2 pieces of whole wheat bread with PB, drank a glass of skim milk, and started working on a 32oz bottle of GU2O. Threw my transition and SN bags in the car and off to CDA.
The 1/2 hour drive to CDA was traffic and quiet, but as I crossed the river at state line, I started to notice the trees bowing in the wind. And of course it was an E/NE wind that would be right in our faces on the most unsheltered portion of the course. Those of you who've read my training logs know how much I love riding in the wind so my day was already off to a good start! Got into CDA, found a pretty decent parking spot, and headed for race central!
Event warmup:

The first thing I did was stash my T1 and T2 bags, then I walked down to the SN bag drop and got rid of those. Walked back over to the bike racks and pumped up my tires, loaded my Bento Box with Endurolytes and Reeces Pieces, and put my first bottles of Perpetuem and GU2O on the bike. Made sure my computer was zeroed and the bike was in the easiest gear.
By the time that was all done, I had to visit the porta potty again so stood in line for a few minutes, chatting with out-of-town athletes. Every single one of them were so complimentary of the town and all the people. It's nice to hear because we're all hoping CDA gets to renew the 5 year contract with IMNA and keep the race here. Everyone is so awestruck by the natural beauty here too and a lot of people make the statement that they'd love to live here...until they ask about the winters!
OK...back to warmup. Found JamesReeves from BT and we exchanged no-sleep stories for a few minutes then I went to get into my wetsuit. Got that done then met a friend of mine who I train with sometimes. He was there to watch and jockstrap for me and a few other of our training partners. Then I got in the sloooooowly moving line of athletes moving toward the timing mat entrance to the beach. I couldn't believe I was really going to do this!
  • 1h 23m 46s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

The swim actually went about as well as I could have expected. I started about as far to the right as I could, which I think gave the advantage of a little shorter distance to the first buoy, assuming you swam a straight line. It was also a little less crowded. When the cannon went off, I just walke slowly into the water and took off. The first 200-300 yards were pretty crowded but really nothing more than I had anticipated. After that it kind of smoothed out and I was able to keep a good rhythm. When I got close to the first buoy, I discovered a disadvantage to starting far right...I was having to swim kind of across the people who had swam straight along the buoy line to get around the corner. Getting around the first turn buoy was a WAY worse crowd that it was at the start. And to make matters more interesting, a large boat had gone by and there were pretty good sized swells throwing everyone around. But once I got past the first turn it was pretty smooth sailing. It was kind of cool getting closer back to the beach because you could hear the announcer and the crowd cheering for everyone. It was incredible to me how many people were already there cheering at 0700 in the morning. I know I'll mention it again, but I want to say that those of you who go to races to jockstrap and cheer for your friends and family, have no idea how much it means to the athletes to have you there. Absolutely the greatest thing we have all day is your support.
OK...back to the swim. Ran across the timing mat, felt good, no dizziness, and back in for the second loop. When I went around the first turn buoy after the beach I had my only navigation mess up of the day. Just didn't make a hard enough left and swam a little extra but not much. About 3/4 of the way to the next turn buoy, I got hit in the face and had my goggles knocked off. Great! It actually wasn't bad. Just took a minute to stop and get them back on. Rounded both turn buoys without much trouble and headed back for the beach. I was feeling pretty good by this time so I picked up the pace and started passing quite a few people. I got a few drafts but usually I would end up slowly passing those people after a few minutes. Had one little problem in here somewhere...a guy was climbing up my back so I kicked real hard with my right leg to get away from him and my hamstring cramped up! I was thinking "great...I'm going to DNF after the swim because my leg won't work." But it was only a few seconds and then it was fine. My second lap was a little faster than the first one according to my watch so I was happy with that. Got out of the water feeling good!
What would you do differently?:

Not much. The swim went pretty well for me considering I had only done 2 OWS this year.
Transition 1
  • 07m 54s

As I was climbing up past the seawall, the owner of my LBS was there screaming at me. It was great to hear her and the thousands of other spectators! Ran into the wetsuit stripping area and looked around for G8RSAX, Trixie, and G8RLA94. Found them, or more accurately, they found me and were screaming at me at an ear splitting decibel level!! Ran over and Wendi stripped my wetsuit for me. Her and Mike and Trixie then slapped me on the back, yelled some more encouragement, and I was off to get my bag. A big thank you to you guys for all the support!!!
Ran to the T1 tent and found a HUGE crowd in there. Geez! It was hard to find an open chair. Dried my feet off, got the grass of them, and into socks and shoes pretty easily. Helmet on, glasses in hand and out to the sunscreen applicators. Got sprayed down with that, stopped to pee and headed for the bike. Saw another friend of mine who was voluteering and he was all jacked up and yelling lots of encouragement. No problems getting the bike unracked and away I went.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. T1 was good.
  • 7h 08m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.70 mile/hr

The first loop of the bike went exactly as planned, even with the wind and starting to get hot. I felt really good and strong. Kept my HR in the upper 130's to low 140's, and even on the hills I didn't let it get above 152. I was able to get plenty to drink with the aid stations spaced like they were. I drank my first bottle of GU2O by the first aid station and traded it for a bottle of Gatorade. Then I kept this up for the rest of the bike. One bottle of Gatorade between each aid station. As the day got hotter, I added a bottle of water along with that. Some of the water went over my head but I was drining most of it.
Started out the second loop of the bike still feeling really good. Got my SN bag at about mile 60 and changed out my empty Perpetuem bottle for a full one and got my second GU2O bottle. I drank that whole bottle by the next aid station, just a couple miles later. Then I started back in on the new-Gatorade-every-aidstation pattern again. I had been eating Reeces Pieces all along and taking 2 Endurolytes every 45 minutes so things were looking good!
When I started the first long climb on the second loop was when I started to really feel the heat. I was just a little slower going up and kept my HR at about 150, but the heat was pretty oppressive. We haven't had any hot weather to train in up here so that really affected how the day went I think. And then, as I got nearly to the top of the first climb, was when the first of several weird things started to happen.
First off, while I was climbing the hill, I started to feel like I just wanted to go to sleep! I think that if I had closed my eyes, I could have just fallen asleep right there on my bike. Then, as I was nearing the crest of the hill, I saw a guy stop right at the top. He put his foot down like he was going to dismount and then he just toppled over! Flat on his face in the ditch, out cold. I'm thinking to myself..."ok, you're an ER nurse, and you HAVE to stop to see if he's ok." The devil on my other shoulder is saying "to hell with that, you've got a race to ride!" The good side of me won out and I stopped. By the time I got off my bike, he was waking up and semi-coherent. And fortunately, there was a volunteer right there with a radio who said help was going to be there in only a couple minutes so after making sure the guy was fairly ok, I got going again. But, probably lost 3-4 minutes there. Started to feel a little crampy in my legs after this and realized that I had passed my time for taking Endurolytes. So I ate 3 of them and withing 10 minutes was feeling good again. I also started eating bananas from each aid station which helped I'm sure.
By now it was really starting to heat up. It wasn't too bad though except for, of all things, my feet! My feet were absolutely burning up for some reason. So at the state line aid station, I had to stop and soak them in ice water. I'm not sure if anything has ever felt so good! There were 6 other riders there under the tent who were in way worse shape than I was it seemed like. I was feeling fine, just my feet were charcoal. So after about 8 or 9 minutes of cooling my feet off, I took off again. When I turned around at Liberty Lake and headed back into the wind, I started to get mentally worn out. I hate riding in the wind. I'm a pretty big guy and my wide chest is just a huge airbrake in a headwind. I did see Mike (Stake) along here though so that was a boost to ride with him for a bit. Then he took off and left me in his dust! Can't wait to read his RR as he had a really interesting day too!
Somewhere along in here I was feeling really defeated. The heat and wind, and my burning up feet were getting to my head and I just couldn't fathom getting off the bike and doing the marathon. It just seemed like an impossibility. I had to stop again on Poleline road to cool off my feet for a bit. Sat down under a tree and took off my shoes, and a spectator came over and asked if I wanted a drink. Since I was out of Gatorade, and it was another 3 or so miles to the next aid station, the man was an angel! He got me a big glass of ice water from his house and it tasted SO good! Thank you whoever you were! That glass of water did something for me because I started to feel good again and was realizing that the bike was almost done and I probabl COULD do the marathon! I really did get a second wind after that. Hit the last aid station, got another Gatorade and banana, and then was on the home stretch!
Now...more weirdness. I was only about a mile and 1/2 from the bike finish when I saw a car coming toward me. Then the car drifted off the right side of the road and ran over a big construction zone Orange barrel. I'm thinking "dude, are you watching the riders and not paying attention, or what?" About that time the car goes by me and there's an old man slumped over the steering wheel, out cold. And then he slammed into a concrete barrier at about 20mph. So here we go again...the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I had to stop though. So...turned around and rode back. By the time I got there, he was awake and sort of making sense. Someone got his key out and people were stopped in their cars calling 911. I stayed there for a few minutes until I could hear sirens on the way and then got going again. But I probably lost another 5 minutes or more there. Got the T2 actually feeling ok and ready to run!
What would you do differently?:

Not have to stop at casualty sites! Not sure how to fight the hot-foot thing. They were miserable though and I couldn't think of anything else to do but stop and cool them off.
Transition 2
  • 07m 37s

It was nice having the bike catchers there to rack your bike. Took off my shoes immediately and ran into the tent. Sat down and asked if anyone wanted to buy a! Changed from my tri suit into running clothes as my tight tri suit legs were the reason behind my hamstring problems a few weeks ago. Didn't want to cramp up today, especially after the cramp during the swim. Got a ton of sunscreen put on and out the door.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, it was ok.
  • 6h 45m 36s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 29s  min/mile

Here's where the wheels really fell off. I started out from T2 very slowly, just kind of shuffle running to get going. After about 1/2 mile my legs were feeling ok and I picked up the pace a little bit but I couldn't keep my HR down. It was getting up to the 150's without even trying hard. So I'd walk a bit, get it back down to 120 or so, and try to run again. Boom...right back up to the 150's. So I had a little chat with myself and figured I had two options. I could keep doing this little back and forth game and probably blow up by mile 7 or 8 and DNF. Or, I could swallow my pride and walk, and actually finish. I chose the latter option. At about mile 2, or maybe 3, I started power walking. I got in with a couple other people who were doing the same thing and we just kept going. I saw my girlfriend at the hot corner and stopped to get a hug and kiss and that was a great boost! I mentioned before how important family, friends, and all the spectators are and it's really true, especially on the run. It's amazing how much energy you draw from the crowd.
By about mile 10, my feet were starting to get some hot spots and I could feel blisters coming on. By the halfway point, I had full-on blisters on the balls of both feet. I stopped at SN, got a new pair of socks and put vaseline on my feet. It hurt like hell to get started again but once I got going it was ok. We kept walking and by now I was starting to see quite a few BT'ers and other people I knew, coming in on their last lap. JamesReeves was the first person I saw, then BogleCDA, then PGoldberger, WATriChick, and VirginGirl. It was great to see them and they were looking strong!!
My feet were really starting to scream at me and just for something different, I tried running...and they felt better!! So I left my walking group at about mile 17 and started running again. I had recovered enough by this time that I could do the Ironman shuffle and still keep my HR down.
I should mention here that the aid stations were awesome. I never thought lukewarm chicken soup would ever taste so good! I had a little routine at each station. Cup of Gatorade, cup of soup, cup of coke, and cup of ice water to take with me. Eat some grapes and pretzels along with it. The Hawaiian themed station along the lake was the best!
I managed to make the turn-around doing the shuffle and by that point I knew I was going to finish, no matter what. On the way back in I saw Tom (madcow) and Brandt (OldAg92). It was great to see them and know they were going to finish!
Once I got to the top of Sherman street and saw and heard the crowds at the finish line, I got pretty emotional. I didn't feel my feet hurting anymore, and I felt like I could really run instead of shuffle! My girlfriend was about 200 yards up the hill from the finish so I stopped and gave her another hug and kiss and then went on in. The crowds along here are just unbelievable!! I'll say it again, to all of you cheering and supporting the athletes, you have no idea how much you mean to us.
Once I crossed the finish line, I kind of lost it for a minute or two and I'm not ashamed to say I shed some tears.
While I was waiting to get my picture taken, I saw Mike (G8RLA94) and Wendi (G8RSAX) hootin' and hollerin' off to the side! And Harry (hjmii) had finished right in front of me so we got to congratulate each other in the finish chute! Finished the picture taking then sloooooowly walked out to where my girlfriend and Mike and Wendi were waiting.
What would you do differently?:

I could have started "running" earlier than I did, but I was really enjoying the walking pace and actually being able to pay attention to my surroundings and soak up all the atmosphere. It was cool being able to talk to people and find out where they were from and how their day was going too.
In retrospect, I think I was recovered and rehydrated enough by about mile 8 or 9 to have started running again but by that point I was in the "I'm not going to win anything and I'm just here to finish now" mode so I went with it.
That being said, next year I'll do way more long ride/run bricks to get ready.
Post race
Warm down:

I was absolutely famished by this point so we slowly walked over to the pizza tent. I was dying for a big ol' slice of pizza but I took one look at it and nearly puked! Instead, I settled for some grapes and a bottle of water. Sat down on the grass for a few minutes to eat and drink then slowly, painfully walked to transition and picked up my gear and headed for the car. That really good parking place in the morning was now a major hike to get to! The 50 cent sized blisters on the bottom of each foot didn't help matters either

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat, wind, heat, wind, and more heat and wind. We haven't had much of any weather over 75 degrees here this spring until, of course, 3 days before the race. That really made it much more difficult than it would have been if I'd been able to have some hot training days. Other than that, not having to stop for medical emergencies and hot feet on the bike would have made that quite a bit faster too. And run more than walk next time!

Event comments:

This is an excellent race!! Of course I'm biased because of volunteering here the last 3 years and being a local. But if the comments from out of towners are any indication, it's always a huge success and people love it here. I hope CDA can keep the race for a long time to come.
Immediately after the race I wasn't thinking too positively about ever doing another IM. But now, after a couple days to recover, (and I able to walk without too much trouble too!!) I'm probably going to do it again next year. I'll know what to expect, both mentally and physically; I'll know better what more I can do in training; and last but not least, it just CAN'T be as hot next year...can it???

Last updated: 2005-12-04 12:00 AM
01:23:46 | 4224 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 151/203
Overall: 1617/2227
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Speedsuit
Course: 2-loop, rectangular course that is swam counter-clockwise. At the end of lap one, there is a quick water exit across a timing mat and then back into the water for lap 2.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:54
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:08:02 | 112 miles | 15.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 147/203
Overall: 1573/2227
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: 2-loop course that starts out along the lake. Very scenic here. One small hill on the out and back lakeside portion. Back through town and then the hills start. 2 pretty good climbs with lots of rollers in between them. After the last climb it's pretty flat but it was very windy.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 07:37
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:45:36 | 26.2 miles | 15m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 168/203
Overall: 1793/2227
Performance: Bad
Course: Another 2-loop course. Mostly flat with one short hill at the turn-around. Scenic run along the lake.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race?
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