Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 12h 11m 19s
Overall Rank = 717/2500
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 77/198
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for CdA back sometime in November I believe, thinking it would be a fun destination race and the next step in my goal to compete in all US IM races. A lot of reading and research into the event made me believe that it would be challenging, but doable if I trained properly. So fast forward a year and after training with Dan Arnett (Mavarnett) again, I felt good about where I was fitness wise. I had my doubts with my training, since it did not follow a conventional method like BarryP or the Friel method. Instead, it was a lot of focused, high intensity workouts instead of slow and steady. In other words, make the workouts count, and train hard and recover properly.

We flew into Spokane on Thursday, but did not get to the hotel until about midnight. No worries, I was planning on making this trip as simple and clean as possible. The logistics of a cross-country excursion were a big concern for me, so I make sure to plan accordingly.

Friday morning we drove to the lake for all our expo activities (packet and bike pickup, expo shopping, pro forum, etc). I met up with a bunch of other BTers down at the lake for a practice swim. It was great to finally meet the faces behind the training profiles! The lake was frigid to the point of burning my face (I think 53 that day). I instantly got nervous thinking of diving in with 2500+ others and trying to swim in that. A quick run warmed me up some and I was able to go on part of the race course.

Saturday was pretty much the same, but a lot less low key. Aside from dropping off gear bags and bike check-in, I pretty much slept and watched TV all day. Another practice swim and quick bike (45 minutes total) was all I did.

Carbo loading was non-existent. I do not really believe in it, and just ate like I normally would plus a bit more salt. I did not want to shock my system with a bunch of carbs right before the race. Instead, a large breakfast on Saturday and added salt to meals was all I did.
Event warmup:

I woke up at 3:45 (since the hotel was about 45 minutes away from the race site) and started eating. Oatmeal, a banana, Infinit, coffee and english muffin. My apatite was not really there, and I was nervous. Listened to some pump me up music and thought about the training for this day and how much I have gone through to get here. No time for sentimental stuff now though, wait till after the finish line.

Setting up things in the morning was a breeze. Final check of gear bags, drop off special needs, and place nutrition on the bike and I was ready. I suited up after watching the pros go off and walked down to the beach.
  • 1h 16m 56s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

I always heard that this particular mass start was tough, but I never imagined it to be this brutal. Started front and center, about 5 rows back, thinking it would be less crowded in the middle than the sides (everyone said the sides were pretty bad). After the gun went off, I was not prepared for the thrashing. In the first 250m, I seriously contemplated quitting and pulling out of the race. Panic was approaching fast and I did not know how I could finish the swim. Luckily, water opened up in front of me enough for me to breathe and calm down. At that point I went to work, sighting where I needed to and continuing along. The turn buoys were bad, but that was expected. First lap was done in about 36 minutes. Second lap was pretty much more of the same, just slightly less contact. I was still beat up pretty badly, but I managed through the second lap in a little under 40 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Train more OWS, swim more. Honestly there was no preparing for this.
Transition 1
  • 07m 18s

I took a minute to collect myself and ran into transition. I pointed to the nearest wetsuit strippers and went to work. My wetsuit would not come off! It got stuck on my arms like a suction and would not move. I finally had to remove my watch and stop, try again. It worked and I got the rest of the suit off.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak when something does not go right. Relax with the wetsuit.
  • 6h 16m 21s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.86 mile/hr

I was thrilled to be on the bike and out of the water. I went into the ride knowing to break it down into 2 parts, take it easy for the first lap, then a bit more for the second, and harder for the last 30 miles. Looking at my times though, I basically did the opposite. I am pretty sure I went out too hard, and when the hills hit me I knew I needed to dial it back to make it through the ride more comfortably.

This ride was perfect: great roads, a mix of hard and fast stuff, and amazing vistas. It truly is a beautiful country up there. I had 2 bottles with me, 1 water and 1 3hr of infinit. I had plans to stop at special needs and swap out for a fresh nutrition bottle and add more chamois cream/sunscreen. Surprisingly, my back handled the ride pretty well, and I was never too uncomfortable in aero. Around mile 75 I was feeling really bloated, so I ditched the infinit (since I did not think it was working, especially if I continued on that route) and picked up some Perform. That helped some, even though it tasted like piss. Harvey passed me at mile 85 or so, and even though I wanted to keep up with him, I knew I needed to do my own race and let it come to me.
What would you do differently?:

I wanted to break 6 hours, so I am disappointed. However, the ride went really well, no mechanical issues, very low nutrition issues that were quickly resolved, and most importantly I enjoyed myself. It was a fun ride, and I accomplished what I needed: had fun.
Transition 2
  • 02m 52s

I rocked this transition. Bike catchers are a life saver. I took my time with sunscreen and a bathroom break, but it was well worth the extra 45 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I like keeping it simple.
  • 4h 27m 52s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile

I started out fine, albeit a bit heavy. It felt difficult to move fast, especially going up that hill directly out of transition and into downtown. No worries, as the miles were quickly ticking away. Mile 1 took a gel and some salt tabs with water. I was hungry, as in stomach pains, which rarely happens. I immediately began to munch at each aid station. I dont think I went the entire marathon without stopping at each aid station for at least something. Bananas, oranges, perform, water, gels, coke towards the end. I was terrified of bonking and luckily did not allow it to happen.

I quickly caught Harvey between miles 2 and 3. He was clearly having a rough day with cramps, so I paced with him until about mile 12. Its nice running with someone else, as it makes time go by quicker. Plus, it slowed me down some which might be considered a good thing: I did not want to cook it out too quickly. I was getting worried though, I was getting tired at around mile 10, way too early in the run. Negative thoughts began to creep in as I thought of how much I regret not training for long distances. Coming into town helped things a bit and gave me a boost, plus knowing the race was only 2 hours from being over helped. I continued along passing people and being passed myself until about mile 20. I knew I needed to get to work, so I began to run a bit faster. I must have passed 150+ people in the last 6 miles, which was my intentions the whole time. The miles clicked away and before I knew it I was back on the stretch of Sherman Ave, about 4 blocks from the finish. It was a bit surreal running down the road with no one in front of me or behind me (I think I had a good 45 sec gap between competitors). I tried to enjoy the energy of the crowds and picked it up as I got into the finisher chute. Fist pump as I crossed the finish line of my second IM.
What would you do differently?:

Train more long distances. A max run of 16 miles really made a difference today, and not in a good way.
Post race
Warm down:

No medical was needed this time, all I wanted was pizza. I grabbed some food and a solar blanket and walked down to the lake. Who needs an ice bath when you can stand in 50 degrees water?

This race definitely did not have the magic of Louisville. I did not expect it to either. Louisville was my first, and the finish line is electric, so the finish here was not the same just running down the road. I think my expectations were different this year going into it, and the training was much less intense, so that probably had something to do with it. I didn't mind though, since I accomplished what I wanted to today: have fun and celebrate this sport.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I wanted to break 12, and Dan had me at a 11:24 goal time. So obviously something did not go right today. However, I am not bothered in the least by it. I went to CdA to have fun and enjoy the day, and that is exactly what I did. Of course I could pick apart everything I did to find something negative, but what good would that do? I am content in my finish and being a part of this great sport. Clearly, with my goal times, I have the potential to be really great at this sport, I just have to find a way to tap into it.

Event comments:

Seriously, Coeur d'Alene is breathtaking. I have never been to a race more pristine than this one. Is it challenging? Absolutely, but you will never have a more perfect race experience. Amazing swim, beautiful skylines and mountains on the bike and a super supportive town cheering you on the run. You just cant beat the experience.

Last updated: 2010-08-17 12:00 AM
01:16:56 | 3862 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 83/198
Overall: 0/2500
Performance: Below average
Suit: BlueSeventy Synergy
Course: Counter clock loop, two times
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:18
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:16:21 | 112 miles | 17.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 93/198
Overall: 0/2500
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loops through CdA and Hayden. Flat, hilly, then flat again each lap.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:52
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:27:52 | 26.2 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 77/198
Overall: 0/2500
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back along the lake, one massive hill but otherwise pretty flat.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5