IronMan Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, ID
United States
IronMan USA
Total Time = 14h 44m 54s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 2:30 for my 3am feeding. I knew there was no way I would get back to sleep. Got dressed, loaded my stuff into the car, and headed out for the transition area. Got there early, which is good, because I'm type A like that ;-) Was one of the first through body marking, put my nutrition on the bike, checked tire pressure, and let the waiting begin.
Event warmup:

About 6:30 I took one last leak and tried to get through the crowd, across the timing mat, and onto the beach, but it took a good 20 minutes to get through the line. While I was waiting I zipped up my wetsuit and had a gel. Then I could feel a breeze across my back and realize my zipper had come undone. Fantasy- (to self) "No bigee, I'll just find Liz on the beach and have her re-zip." Reality- "Holy $h!t. My zipper broke?! It's f-in 6:58 f-in am. F. Quick, I've got tape in my special needs bag. Wait! you- special needs guy with the packing tape. Tape me up!" This was followed by a dash down to the water to get wet before the cannon went off. Splashed around a bit, amid the stares. Walked out of the water, and "BOOM"!
  • 1h 24m 27s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m / 100 yards

Once I got in the water I was fully expecting the tape to come undone. Fortunately, it held. Although it did leak like a sieve (sp). I lined up waaay to the outside trying to avoid the crush. It seemed to work pretty well. I sighted off a sailboat by the turn bouy which brought me in a bit closer than I wanted to be, so I did some "excess contact" around the first bouy. Lesson learned. Once we made the first turn we were directly into the sun, and despite tinted goggles, I couldn't see anything so I just followed the crowd. As I was nearing the shore on lap 1, I put my face back in the water and saw this HUGE shark looking monster blowing bubbles right below me. It was a diver waving at me. As my HR climbed down from the stratasphere I almost laughed, which almost unseated my goggles. That would have sucked. Out of the water, across the mat, back in the water, out for loop 2 (which was fairly benign), and out with a time of 1:24. 6 minutes faster than my target and amid "imperfect conditions". So far, so good.
What would you do differently?:

Not break my wetsuit.
Transition 1
  • 09m 54s

I got out of the water and ran up to the strippers. Imagine their surprise when I show up looking like a fedex package. It took them a good 5 minutes to find something to cut the tape with. Whoda thunk they'd need a boxcutter?
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 55m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.19 mile/hr

Started out the bike nice'n easy. My strategy was to ride the first loop one gear lower than I felt I could go, and then take it from there. My nutrition was a combination of Accelerade (for the first 4 hours), e-Gels, clif blocks, enduralytes, and water. I ate and drank exactly on cue, and was feeling pretty good. For the hills, I sat up, slid my butt back, dropped my heels, and spun my easiest gear. I remember on the first real climb, about 25 miles in to the ride, some guy passes me while standing, dripping sweat, and huffing an puffing. No idea what this guy was thinking, but I passed him back about 20 miles later- he was spent. I executed my bike plan perfectly- the only issue that I can't figure out (I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the 100 deg heat) was that I was constantly taking "comfort breaks". I have a baby bladder to begin with, but it has never been like this before. My official time was 6:55. My actual riding time... 6:34- exactly what I wanted to ride. I spent 21 minutes either on line for, or in the "you know what". Gonna have to figure this one out.
What would you do differently?:

Not pee so damned much.
Transition 2
  • 06m 46s

Off the bike, into the tent, cycling stuff off, change socks and shoes, grab some water and more sunscreen, and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 08m 45s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 04s  min/mile

All was progressing according to plan...until I hit mile 4 of the run. As an aside, as I came out of the neigborhoods onto the long straight next to the lake all I saw were hundreds of people walking. Hardly anyone running. Strange (insert ominous foreshadowing music here). I went to take my next gel (according to the plan), and the second it touched my tongue my throat closed, I began to gag, and my stomach turned. To self- "Self, this isn't good". I have no idea what happened, but over the course of 2 or 3 minutes my stomach just shut down. The only thing I could get in was a bit of chicken broth and water. I tried the coke- couldn't get it down. Cookies- nope. Pretzels- nah. It went on like this for miles. Running made me nauseus so I just kind of walked/shuffled until I felt like I coud run a bit, then ran util I though I was going to throw up, then went back to the walk shuffle. Strange things started going through my head. I never doubted my will to keep going, but for a while I wondered if I was going to get pulled from the course for any reason. I stopped at my run special needs and started digging through the bag. I couldn't find anything I wanted (I don't even know what I was looking for?) so I just decided to change my socks. I have no idea why I did this. I stopped at every aid station to drink, grab sponges, put ice in my hat/down my shorts (it was mid-upper 90's) and once again, I was peeing like a banshee. I lost another 20 minutes on the run alone. It went on like this until mile 19 or so. The sun started to go down, the temp was cooling off, and I was finally able to get the coke down. By mile 20 I was feeling better. By 21 I was able to run again. I ran the last 5 miles stopping only to grab more coke at the aid stations. Around mile 24 I could hear Mike Reilly and the finish line. I was being careful not to let it get to my head. I came back from one bonk, which I hear is pretty rare, and I didn't want to have to deal with it again. I turned down the main street and I could see the lights of the finish. I took all of the gels/tabs/whatever out of my pockets and threw them in the trash. I couldn't slow my legs down. The crowd was nearly deafening. I ran the last mile in 8 minutes. Quite a change from the previous 25. Somehow my daughter popped out of the crowd with about 200yds to go and ran across the finish with me. It was AWESOME. I can't remember ever feeling that totally spent and elated at the same time.
What would you do differently?:

Not bonk.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a bit and ate pizza.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat and my nutrition issues. I think the heat caused my nutrition issues.

Event comments:

I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, so check back often for updates :-) The people and volunteers of Coeur d'Alene were incredible. I honestly can't say enough about them- they made the race for me. Every time I would thank someone for doing something for me, they would say something like "No, thank you for doing this/coming here/inspiring/etc us". It was truly a pleasure to do my first IM surrounded by such wonderful people.

That being said, the heat was a huge factor for me. I had a mental goal of somewhere between 12:30 and 13:00. I could not have prepared any better and I honestly think if the temp was down and I didn't spend 45 minutes in the restroom/getting wetsuit stripped I would have made it. I couldn't be happier with my performance. I made the best of the hand I was dealt and finished strong. They don't call it the "IronMan" for nothing, and if it wasn't this tough it wouldn't be worth what it is.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-04-17 12:00 AM
01:24:27 | 4224 yards | 01m / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Full, with packing tape :-)
Course: 2 loop counter clockwise rectangle.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:54
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:55:02 | 112 miles | 16.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: 2 loops, 4 climbs per loop, 2 of those "significant"
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 06:46
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:08:45 | 26.2 miles | 14m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loops out along the lake. They had a sick sense of humor, putting the turn around halfway up a rediculous hill :-)
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5]
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