Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
85F / 29C
Total Time = 11h 10m 46s
Overall Rank = 320/2806
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 53/271
Pre-race routine:

Not much as usual. Got up at 4;30, had some breakfast - bagel and my favorite pre-race rice pudding - and headed off from Spokane Valley to CDA.
Event warmup:

I took it easy, checked my bike, pumped up the tires, filled the aero bottle with Gatorade and a spare bottle with water, checked my bags two three times, put on the sunblock, the wet suit. Simply very easy warm-up for the race. About 20 minutes to the gun, i started walking towards the beach. I got there about 10 minutes to the gun and landed in the 2nd or 3rd raw pretty ready to race.
  • 1h 12m 5s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters

A few strokes into the lake and i got overwhelmed by the coldness of the water. My muscles pretty much shut down and i had to dread water. I got rolled over by the sheer mass of the crowd and I felt like i was drowning. At this moment, i seriously considered quitting. I tried a few times to get started but i could not get in the rhythm. I had to swim breaststroke just to move. Finally, i think my muscles warmed up and also the crown opened up a bit I could get in a few crawl strokes. It was alright from that moment on.
As in any IM race, the swim was really crowded which prevented me from swimming my best. I constantly kept bumping into people and people were bumping into me. On the way back from the 2nd lap, my body started getting cold again. the water crept into the wetsuit and i started freezing again. I finished though without a hick-up though.
What would you do differently?:

Without any excuse, try the water a day before the race.
Stay on the outside to avoid the biggest crowd. I can swim alright if i can actually swim.
Transition 1
  • 08m 4s

I was so cold i could not get dressed. My hands were solid frozen and it took me perhaps 3 minutes just to put my gloves on. Socks were an issue too.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. How could I unless there is a technology that could unfrost me in the transition.
  • 5h 53m 43s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.00 mile/hr

I had seriously bad technical problems in the first 25 miles. I had to stop 3 times to put the chain back on (once more at around mile 70), twice to center the front wheel that was dragging the break, and once to take a leak. This was a start i did not expect. I am not sure whether it was the new tune-up of my bike that i did not really get a chance to test much except for one 40 mile bike ride or my incompetence in changing gears. Given i dropped the chain once in IMWI, i think it's the latter. I spend the rest of the ride changing gear very slowly fearing the chain will fall off again.

I felt pretty strong otherwise. I was riding 23-25 on the flats. Once i got into the hills i did what i could given the lack of outside training and pretty much no hills training.

I really struggled with the descents though. i kept up with the good bikers on the climbs but come descent, they went flying by me. I am too scared letting go, i have to break in the turns... I saw a guy who did not make a turn and ended in a ditch which did not really add to my confidence. I tried to gain some momentum and time on the flats but I could never really regain.
What would you do differently?:

3 things:
1. I have to train changing gears. It's ridiculous i have to stop to put the chain back on 4 times.
2. test the bike better before the race. I did not really ride it after i assembled it in my hotel (it was shipped to my hotel with Fedex). how stupid was that?

between 1 and 2 i lost, i believe, 6-7 minutes.

3. train to be more technical rider.

Transition 2
  • 02m 6s

Very good transition. I am happy with it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
  • 3h 54m 48s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 58s  min/mile

It was a solid run, something i hoped for. I started off a bit faster than expected but it felt OK so i let go. i ran up the hill in the first loop without more problems but it probably took away a lot of strength. i still tried to run it in the 2nd lap but i would not classify that as a run.

the whole time i was waiting for a bonk but it never arrived. i was really surprised. i was walking the aid stations and the walks became longer and longer but i was sort of expecting that. i kept on going at my pace and i felt OK. the tiredness really hit me only perhaps in the last 2-3 miles when i was really hurt but i finished fairly strong.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. The run was the highlight of my race. I did what i could.
Post race
Warm down:

I pretty much collapsed in the finish line. I think it was due to the change in speed rather that exhaustion. i was taken to the med tent where i took an aspirin against headache and off i went for food. The food was nothing special so i soon left to join my wife and and about 2 hours later, i was already fixing my taste buds with the spiciest thai curry i could buy.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. cold water. i am not sure what to do about that though
2. biking skills and training. This year, i pretty much had no chance to bike outdoors due to horrible weather here in MN (12 out of 14 weekends leading to the race it was raining and cold). I only did 2 80-mile rides and one 70-mile ride.

Event comments:

I am reasonably happy. I wanted to finish below 11 hours but i lost 5 minutes in the water (I don't think i can do anything about that) and another 7 minutes due to my incompetence on the bike (which is something i must seriously address) which explains the difference. Also, pretty much did zero outside training leading to the race and all my training was on a treadmill and turbo-trainer.

I improved my PR from IMWI by 36 minutes so I guess that is good. Next time, i will go below 10:30 :O)

Last updated: 2010-10-07 12:00 AM
01:12:05 | 3862 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 76/271
Overall: 536/2806
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full body
Course: Freezing cold. I don't think i have ever been in water this cold. I tried it out 2 days before the race just to find out my short-sleeved wet suit would not cut it. I desperately started looking for a new wet suit and fortunately enough found a rental for 45 bucks. it was like lifting a weight off my chest. i tried to get in the water but got out to buy a cap as well. Finally i got in the water but only stayed for a minute how cold it was. I decided to leave it for the race. Mistake.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 56F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 08:04
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
05:53:43 | 112 miles | 19.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 82/271
Overall: 522/2806
Performance: Below average
BIKE SPLIT 1: 34.2 mi 34.2 mi (1:50:07) 18.63 mi/h BIKE SPLIT 2: 90.2 mi 56 mi (2:55:41) 19.13 mi/h BIKE SPLIT 3: 112 mi 21.8 mi (1:07:55) 19.26 mi/h
Wind: Little
Course: flat with a small hill - the same hill that we will run twice on the marathon - in the first out of town segment. After a return from this short out and back, there is about a 10 mile flat segment before we hit the hills. The hills were very steep for what i train for. And there was quite a bit of them. Above all, they were very technical requiring quick changes of gears, fast descents with a lot of turns.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 188
Turns: Bad Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:54:48 | 26.2 miles | 08m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 54/271
Overall: 320/2806
Performance: Good
RUN SPLIT 1: 6.6 mi 6.6 mi (56:33) 8:34/mi RUN SPLIT 2: 13.4 mi 6.8 mi (58:35) 8:36/mi RUN SPLIT 3: 19.5 mi 6.1 mi (1:00:34) 9:55/mi RUN SPLIT 4: 26.2 mi 6.7 mi (59:06) 8:49/mi Mile splits: 1. 7:53 2. 9:10 (i had to stop to straighten up my sock) 3. 8:08 4. 8:10 5. 8:14 6. 9:29 (hill climb) 7. 8:41 8-9. 17:37 10-11: 16:53 12. 8:44 13-14. 17:29 15. 9:12 16. 9:19 17. 8:52 18. 8:56 19. 10:10 20. 8:11 21. 11:11 22. 9:05 23. 9:12 24-25. 18:17 26. ?
Course: Flat and sunny, no shade, about one mile climb (twice) at at around mile 6 and 18.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5