Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
72F / 22C
Total Time = 13h 18m 12s
Overall Rank = 1209/2351
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 39/141
Pre-race routine:

Slept awesome. Up at 3:30am for two bowls of granola, a banana, and coffee. Dad drove me to the race start. Arrived at 5am for body marking and transition setup. Did all the usual -- bike nutrition and air tires, potty, special needs, potty, tweak transition bags, potty, wonder what I'm forgetting, potty. Finally sat down to relax with a girlfriend and quickly befriended two other amazing women, one of whom really impacted my day. Great pre-race. Awesome music playing. Journey's Don't Stop Believin', and U2's Beautiful Day just before the canon went off.
Event warmup:

Splash in the water, pee, hang out and shoot the breeze with the guys around me strategizing about how to swim the course, complaining about body contact from last year, etc.
  • 1h 05m 34s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 33s / 100 yards

I was dreading the swim this year, as last year it was so physical the entire way. I don't know what was different this year, but after total mayhem for about the first 400 yards, I found myself with open water. Whee!!! I think I swam wide, as when I'd breathe to my right I didn't see people. But I wasn't super-duper wide, I don't think. Anyway, it was nice not to be mauled for an hour. Just swam a nice, steady pace. Up and out of the first loop, no clue as to my time. Music was blaring Livin' On a Prayer (Ohhhhhh, we're half-way there, ohhh ohhh, livin' on a prayer...)! Tried really hard to pee the second lap but was unsuccessful, rats! Totally bit it coming out of the water -- fell into the sand right around the timing mat, and as I was pulling myself up I fell again. Felt a tiny hamstring twinge and was not happy about that. Nothing to be done but get on with the day.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, maybe swim faster/harder? Definitely not bite it when I exit the water. But it was so cold the coordination wasn't really there.
Transition 1
  • 05m 43s

Got the wetsuit stripped, started to run into the men's changing tent -- oops! Made it into the women's tent and had an awesome volunteer help get me going. Was freezing and could barely talk and couldn't move my hands at all. (Funny aside -- my T1 time is the same as last year, to the second!)
What would you do differently?:

Skip the detour into the men's tent. Ha!!
  • 7h 01m 13s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.95 mile/hr

Clipped in one foot, on the bike and I was off. Tried clipping in the second foot. Not working. Kept trying. Not working. Kept moving, kept trying. Not working. Arrrrgh! Decided my toe cover must have been shifted in my bag and was blocking my cleat. Pulled over and tried to adjust. Started up again and FINALLY got my foot in. I don't think it was the cover -- I think it was that I couldn't feel my foot at all and the position of the shoe was off. With water temp at 55 and air not much warmer by that time, I was cold. Anxious for some sunshine to thaw me out for sure!

Just tried to take it easy. Had to pee 4 times, which pissed me off (ha ha, pun intended). Watched for my family as I was leaving town but they weren't where I thought I might see them. No harm, no foul, they hadn't made firm plans yet. My first stop was at mile 20 aid station, where I ran into a friend and fellow teammate who had bad bike luck last year at IMC mile 20 -- here she was again, just flatted. After I peed I gave her a little pep talk and a quick hug -- she needed it. Onward.

Had to pee again but the next aid station (around mile 40-ish?) had a line about 4-5 people deep, so I bailed. Rather, I found a field and stopped on the side of the road and squatted. Funny to squat and watch the cyclists riding by, ha! On Honeysuckle heading back into town, I switched into my big ring in front and dropped my chain -- shit! Stopped and fixed it, no big deal, but made a mental note to be aware of my shifting and not do any cross-chaining (didn't think I was, so was surprised when the chain dropped).

Looked for my fam as I came back into town but didn't see them, oh well. LOVE riding back into town -- awesome crowd support makes you feel like you are riding in the TDF! Back out to Higgins Point, skipped Special Needs, and headed out of town, keeping things steady and easy. Riding along up Government I was drinking from my aero bottle when I heard my name and simultaneously saw my family -- not where I had thought they'd be. Yay!!! Shouted hellos and blew kisses.

Going down a hill out in the Hayden area I dropped my chain again. Shit!! I knew I was not cross-chaining so now was a little worried. I also was skipping some gears from time to time -- they weren't critical gears and usually on flatter sections, so it wasn't stressing me out, but now I was nervous about shifting into my big ring up front. As a result, I coasted a bit more than planned on many of the downhills, and stayed in the small ring. Riding up English Point I befriended a woman who is also a strong swimmer who was easing on the hills. We talked about getting passed endlessly on the bike by guys with their fancy bikes and wheels -- and how we'd see them on the run after they smashed themselves. Ha! Eventually I passed her, and found her again after I stopped to pee (yes, again).

I really didn't want to stay in the small ring the whole rest of the ride, and I found that if I was in the smallest ring in the back I could shift to the big ring in front w/o dropping the chain. So, I wasn't quite shifting as much as I'd like but it was working out. Finally realized chain-dropping could count toward my 4 things that go wrong. I'll take it, as it was pretty minor!

Felt pretty good the whole ride. It took me 2.5 hours -- literally -- to feel my toes. It did get warm out there but wasn't awful.

Drank 1.5 bottles of Infinit (900 cals), ate 2.5 or 3.5 fig newtons, ate some honey stinger waffle, switched to PB Perform around mile 80. Drank about 1.5 bottles of that. Eased up on anything the last part of the ride to keep tummy in check. Munched Tums a time or two out on the bike for good measure -- if tummy didn't feel 100% I'd eat Tums.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I would have liked to have been under 7 hours and wondered where I could find a minute. Obviously, the gear/chain thing was annoying but it is what it is (bike had been adjusted just a few days prior, I had a new chain, maybe it's still settling in). I could have skipped the chat and hug with my friend, but that's more important than a minute. It's all good.
Transition 2
  • 04m 19s

Was so happy to get to T2!! On the bike I was dreaming of a foot massage and wondered if my volunteer would be grossed out if I asked for one. Decided not to. Volunteer got my shoes off and out of the blue said, "I do foot massages, you know..." and she started rubbing my foot. Oh HEAVEN!!! I could have stayed there for ever. I asked her not to start as I'd never leave. But then she insisted on rubbing the second foot to make it even. Nice. Totally had to pee, and there was a short line, but I needed sunscreen so I had a woman lube me up while I waited. Peed (AGAIN) and I was off!!
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 01m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 30s  min/mile

I tore my hamstring on April 8 and lost some training time and volume, obviously. As a result, I had scaled back my run expectations. I planned to aime for 10-11:00 miles, and to walk the aid stations. I tried to start slowly, kept trying to pull back. Everything felt fine. Thought I might have been light on bike nutrition so wanted to make sure I kept up with some calories. Ate a couple of chomps after about 1.5 miles, got some water and some ice chips. First lap I stuck to the plan and walked about 1 minute at each aid station. I took in PB Perform or water and carried ice with me to suck on in between. I could do this: Just run to the next aid station. Came to The Hill and decided I'd take it easy. Walked a bit of it, ran a bit of it. Made it over and wondered how far to the turn-around. It was MUCH farther than I planned!! And since it was all downhill I knew we'd be coming back up again. Yikes!! It is less steep on the back side, so I ran most of it.

Back into town on Lakeside drive my family was at the VO2 Inspiration Station. Yay!!! Bestowed hugs and kisses and was happy to see them. Had to take the very sad turn that people who need to run the 2nd lap need to take -- hard to run by the noise and mayhem of the finish and know it's still 2-3 hours away. Felt like the run through town was long, and that was sort-of demoralizing. But once I was back on the 2nd loop I knew exactly what needed to be done.

Saw my fam again at the VO2 tent, and the kiddos ran with me while my son interviewed me on video. So sweet!!

My definition of "aid staion walking" grew a bit, not surprisingly. Legs were feeling pretty spent. Came to The Hill again (mile 19?) and could not muster any running. Had to walk it. And mostly walk back up the other side -- ran a little. Knew at the top I had a 10K left. Seems so short, but oh-so-long...!!

It was getting tough out there, but I knew I had to do my best to stick with it. I checked my time and was trying to do some mental math to see if I'd break 5:00. Anyone who has done an IM knows how your brain doesn't function so well late in the day... I was trying to figure out the pace I'd need to hold, and it seemed doable, so I made that my goal. But oh, things were hurting. I started letting myself walk a little, but tried to stick to the plan of run to the aid stations. Then I decided I could have one additional walk break between aid stations. And there were some small slopes and such -- well, it was tough, but I really tried not to give in to the walk. I didn't -- I kept running as much as I could. Math was showing the 5:00 would be tough to hit. Oh well, it's just a number.

The last 5 miles were hard. My stomach wasn't feeling great and I wasn't sure what it needed. As a result I was trying a little of everything -- some coke, some chicken broth, just water, nothing, ice, PB Perform... Ate Tums, hung on. Get 'er done. Get 'er done. Forward progress.

Like last year, I was thrilled to take the finisher's turn. But I didn't have my giddyup in my step. I knew I wanted to savor the chute. As I was in the shoot, I saw my parents and gave them quick high-fives and kisses. High-fived everyone on my left side as I ran in. Crossed and was oh-so-happy!!!! DONE at last!!!
What would you do differently?:

Not tear a hamstring, but I did it on a fun run with my dog and my son, and if you don't have fun once in awhile, then why bother?!
Post race
Warm down:

Got my new hat. Got my shirt. Saw Spudone, exchanged some pleasantries. Signed up for a massage. Saw hub and kids. Wanted to sit down but knew I wouldn't get up. Got my massage (ahhhh). Then I just sort-of broke down and kept weeping. Cried with my fam. Sat in a medical chair (not in the tent) and had an awesome chat with a volunteer while I cried and he pumped me up larger than life. He did the race last year. He knew how I felt. He was awesome. Got some chips and pizza, met up with the fam, and headed back to the hotel for a hot tub, some food, and some restless sleep. DONE.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The hamstring tear didn't help, but it is what it is and I still did what I aimed to do, which was not puke on the run and go faster than last year. I PR'ed by 20 minutes and the run course changes made the run much more difficult.

Event comments:

I love this race. I won't be doing it again for a long time, if ever, but it is truly amazing. It's so incredibly beautiful and the crowd support is truly amazing.

Last updated: 2010-09-04 12:00 AM
01:05:34 | 4224 yards | 01m 33s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/141
Overall: 0/2351
Performance: Good
Suit: Full sleeves
Course: Mass beach start. Two loops, exit the water to run over timing mat and back in for the second loop.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 55F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:43
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Below average
07:01:13 | 112 miles | 15.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 39/141
Overall: 0/2351
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Two loops -- flat out and back with one hill (.5 miles @ 6%), then out to Hayden lake for some hills and some rollers, then back into town, repeat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:19
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:01:23 | 26.2 miles | 11m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/141
Overall: 0/2351
Performance: Good
Course: Mostly flat with one hill, up and over and down the other side, then turn around and come up and then go down. Out-and-back twice (meaning do the hills twice!) and through town.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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