Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 12h 15m 9s
Overall Rank = 741/2450
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 151/500
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:45AM, at a couple Erin Baker's cookies, showered, packed the car and headed down to transition. Stopped at the Mobil and grabbed a large coffee. Once at swim start, suited up, shot a 5 hr Energy and waited for the announcement to line up on the beach.
Event warmup:

No warmup swimming this year (not that I was really wanting to with the water temps where they were), so just waded in to the hips and defogged the goggles, then seeded myself around dead mid-pack, maybe slightly right of center, pretty much the same as last year.
  • 1h 30m 26s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

Felt fine on the first loop and was only slightly off my average pace for an IM swim at the end of the first loop (41 mins). Didn't find navigating the first turn buoy as bad as last year, but the sun in the eyes getting to the second turn on the course was hellacious on the first loop. Started the second loop feeling good, but around 300M in something just didn't feel "right". The water was starting to feel like acid in my sinuses and it seemed like I was slowing down. Kept plugging away, making good progress, but by the time I was on the inbound leg of the last loop, it seemed like I was slowing considerably and I was feeling a little sluggish. Last 500M, I had a sneaking suspicion that my core was cooling and I noticed that my forearms/hands were awfully stiff. Exited the water and I was about 13 mins off of my average IM swim time, so yes indeed, the second loop had not gone well. Oh well, that's IM - didn't let it get me down, since I knew all too well that there were 138.2 miles left to whittle away at the deficit. Got peeled, and headed into transition.
What would you do differently?:

Swim is where I put the least amount of training time, and accordingly, I paid the price. Not much to say, given that fact. The cold water certainly didn't help, but I've done training swims in much cooler water mid-winter in SoCal, so there's no excuse other than my own poor prep.
Transition 1
  • 13m 35s

Very long T1. Once I got into the T1 tent and started changing, I was shaking so bad that I just decided to take a few minutes and let my core temp come back up before heading out onto the bike, especially since I knew that the bike was where I was going to be gaining back a lot of my lost time. After about 5 mins of warming up (and looking around, amazed at how much some of the other folks were shaking/pre-hypothermic from the swim), I got my bike gear on and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Move faster, but given that I knew I was pre-hypothermic heading into T1 and would suffer even more if I started the bike wet and with tremors, I'm not sure I'd change anything about this transition. My goal was sub-12 and given that I knew I'd have no trouble making up the deficit on the bike/run, I'm not beating myself up over this. Each race is a learning experience, and I'd learned plenty even up to this early point.
  • 5h 48m 31s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.28 mile/hr

An average IM bike for me. I intentionally held back a little on the bike because I wanted to see if I could crack 4 hours for the first time on an IM marathon. I gained back a lot of lost ground on the bike, passing almost 1000 other participants, spun the hills at a decent pace and dropped the hammer on the descents and flat sections, which is where my strength is on the bike. Had the usual "dark" period around mile 52 where I was not looking forward to the rest of the day. but had my little silent "talk" with the little demon in my head and pretty quickly realized that this was something that a lot of other folks would give anything to even attempt, let alone make it this far into and didn't let myself get caught up in the negativity.
What would you do differently?:

Probably should have ridden at a little higher RPE, given that my legs felt remarkably "fresh" coming off the bike/onto the run.
Transition 2
  • 07m 7s

Average T2 for me. Still wasted a lot of time here. Got out of my bike kit and into fresh run threads, shot another 5hr energy. Stopped to get coated in sunscreen since I've neglected this in every other race and gotten my back/shoulders fried as a result.
What would you do differently?:

Go faster.....much faster.
  • 4h 35m 30s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 31s  min/mile

First loop, I felt great - was running pretty much according to plan. Was on pace for just under two hours for the first half. Coming into town to start loop 2, I was feeling a little "bonky", but figured hey, I'll just hit the next aid station as I passed the one around mile 12...unfortunately, I wasn't thinking clearly, because I quickly realized that there was no "next" aid station until you start loop two, so I was going to have to go almost two miles before I'd get any fuel. Tried to keep pace, but I was definitely heading into a bonk (and yes, I had been fueling well/per my usual throughout the bike and the entire first loop, so I still haven't really figured out how/why I ran out of gas so quickly). Anyways, I suffered through the two miles, but by that time I was feeling like a lifeless marshmallow, so I walked aid station 1 of my second loop, and then most of the next 1-1.5 miles, waiting for some of that energy to hit my bloodstream as I slammed a gel and several cups of coke at each aid station. By the time I hit Lake CdA Drive, I was able to start running again, but I also realized at that point that my feet had started to swell as well, so that was taking its toll as well. Kept plugging along, running as much as possible and walking the aid stations, but I was definitely dropping pace, especially out towards Bennett Bay. By the time Iwas out of Bennett Bay and headed back towards town, based on rough calculations I knew that I was looking at around 2:30 for loop 2, which would put me under the finish line around 12:15. Feet held up pretty well, but I knew just based on feel that the toenails were gonna be exiting stage left, same as last year. Made the last turn onto Sherman and made sure to take in every foot of that last 400M down Sherman Ave, since last year I had been so caught up in finishing my first IM that I couldn't remember much. Hit the finish line at 12:15:09, which was off my target, but still 5 mins better than last year.
What would you do differently?:

Have done a lot of analysis of what happened on my run, more with respect to the biomechanics....i.e. why do I keep suffering all of this nail trauma when I go 140.6 vs 70.3? At no point on the run did I feel anywhere near my aerobic capacity/stamina limits. Other than the 2 miles I bonked, my failure to hit my sub-4 hr goal for the marathon was completely realistic and within reach, until the inevitable foot trauma/pain started. Well, it appears that the issue is that I need to be in a 1/2 size larger shoe to account for the foot swelling. IMAZ will be where I'll take care of this problem.
Post race
Warm down:

2 pieces of cold pizza and a coke, then picked up the gear, headed back to the hotel for a shower/change, so I could head down and catch the late finishers.

Event comments:

I love IM CdA. Love the town. Love the volunteers. Love the vibe. Love the course (unfortunately, looks like they've ruined the best part of it for next year - the bike course). I had a sub-12 goal for this race. I missed it by 15 mins, but I still cut 5 mins off of last year's time, even with a ridiculously slow swim and T1, so no complaints, especially considering my lack of winter swim training. As with most things, you get out what you put in, and there's no escaping that. Glad that I think I've figured out what keeps killing my IM runs (shoes a little too tight once the swelling kicks in), so I'm looking forward to hopefully being able to race to my potential at IMAZ in November with a strong finish on the run. I plan to spend the summer putting in some serious volume on my swim to get it back to where it needs to be, and staying consistent with my bike/run training. Given that I pulled off a sub 12 at IMAZ last year, racing in crappy weather, with a full blown sinus infection, I have some pretty high goals for that race this year, especially once I incorporate the things I learned from dealing with the cold swim and knowing that I have some room to push the bike a little harder without impacting my run speed (foot trauma issues aside).

Already registered for IM CdA 2012, but it will be interesting to see how drastically this race changes with the much flatter bike course next year, and draft packs/congestion that will inevitably result.

Last updated: 2010-06-29 12:00 AM
01:30:26 | 4224 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 300/500
Overall: 1646/2450
Performance: Below average
Suit: XTerra Vector Pro X2 (Full)
Course: Two loop, counter-clockwise
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 54F / 12C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 13:35
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:48:31 | 112 miles | 19.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 173/500
Overall: 792/2450
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Two loop, 56 miles, mix of flats, false-flats and hilly/technical sections.
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:35:30 | 26.2 miles | 10m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 151/500
Overall: 741/2450
Performance: Average
Course: Two loop, mostly flat with some elevation at the mid-point of each loop.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5