Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
72F / 22C
Total Time = 10h 59m 51s
Overall Rank = 276/2806
Age Group = Male 25-29
Age Group Rank = 39/197
Pre-race routine:

Wake up at 4am. Drink 3 ensure, 1 big PB&J sand., banana. Drove to North Idaho College to park. Sip on petpeturum for the next couple hours. Add a couple things to transition bags, drop of special needs, restroom, get into wetsuit, eat sport beans, head down to the beach about 25 minutes before the start.
Event warmup:

Arm circles, hop around in place, get into water for just a minute so the cold is not a shock at the start. No real warmup warmup, save the calories for later.
  • 1h 00m 38s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

After reading all the race reports I could find, I was very worried about the swim start. This was my first ironman and first mass start. I expected lots of contact and a crazy start. Accordingly, I lined up way to the outside on the right. I figured the small amount of extra distance is a small price to pay for getting settled into my stroke sooner. There was a TYR barrier that I was right next to. But people could be on either side of it. I also planned to really get out fast for the first 500 yards. I was in the second line of people when the cannon went off. I took some fast strokes and before I knew it I was all alone. I could see lots of people to my left, but looked around a bit extra to make sure I was swimming in the correct general direction. After a while I found some other folks coming from the outside and began drafting. I rounded each buoy pretty wide. I drafted on and off on the way back towards the beach. At the halfway point I was around 29 or 30 minutes and very happy. I took my gel out of the ankle of my wetsuit. A great volunteer even took my trash right before I dove back in.
I continued drafting on lap 2 until the lady in front of me started kicking violently. I took it as her way to tell me she doesn’t play well with others. I just moved on. I got out in just over an hour which I was very happy with. The chop was low and I avoided big packs. Those two factors really helped me out.
I recommend learning to pee and swim (at least pulling only) at the same time. Also, recommend tinted goggles since the sun is low in the sky at this time. It is in your eyes if you breathe to the left on the way out, or on the way back if you breathe to the right, and in everyone’s eyes as you try to sight to buoy to turn back toward the beach each time. If you are fast line up wide right and get out quick, if you are slow wait a minute after the cannon, let others clear out, and enjoy a much more relaxed swim.

What would you do differently?:

Buy my neoprene cap more than 4 days before the race. Those are awesome. Then I could have been more used to it.
Transition 1
  • 05m 35s

I jogged out of the water, got my wetsuit halfway off, wetsuit strippers are the best thing ever, I grabbed my transition bag and did a full change into cycling shorts and jersey, got sunscreen, grabbed my bike and jogged with it out to the mount line. Running with cycling shoes on is not fun but I have little skill with getting in and out of my shoes while riding. Things went as smoothly as I could expect. It is always a challenge to calm down and get dry clothes onto wet skin.
What would you do differently?:

I am glad I did the full change but this will be the last time. I think I will finally get a tri suit. For 112 miles I wanted all the padding I could get.
  • 5h 58m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.77 mile/hr

This is my weakest part. I wanted to average 17mph. The conditions were great. It was cool at the beginning but not cold. Since I am a better swimmer than cyclists, I get passed lots on the bike portion. I didn’t really push the bike. I heard of folks getting excited about a fast average speed early and burning up their legs in the hills. I didn’t even look at my average speed until late in the second lap.
I took the corners slow and gingerly. Yeah it’s a race but I know my strengths. Cornering on a bike is not one of them. I also drank lots which meant potta potty breaks at mile 40 and every 20 miles thereafter. The volunteers are so great they hold your bike.
On the way back into town on the first lap was the most challenging part mentally. The toughness of the hills is gone, I was still getting passed often, there is a headwind (not bad compared to what I have heard of years past and experienced on practice rides in CDA), and I know I will have another lap and a marathon ahead of me.
On the second lap I knew I was going to hit my bike goal and starting making all my decisions not in terms of the best bike split but what I could do to have a solid run. Accordingly, I kept drinking lots even though it meant I would have to pee more because I didn’t want to get dehydrated for the start of the run. I backed off on the effort and coasted into parts where I knew I would have to brake.
My speedometer stopped working at mile 80 or so and I think it was a blessing. I could still see my cadence and HR but didn’t have to bother thinking about how fast I was going.
The road surfaces are pretty good for the vast majority of the course. Even the bad spots are manageable, short, and look like they are being fixed.
For my bike nutrition I started out with an aero bottle of 2x strength perpetuem (much easier to process than regular strength EFS), and another 2x strength bottle on my frame. I drank one bottle per hour and diluted it a bit with water. After that I finished one 20oz (170 calorie) bottle of Ironman Perform each hour. For more calories I alternated between chif blocks and gels every hour on the half hour. Finally, I took 2 electrolyte tablets an hour. I used water if I was ahead on my Perform or when I was thirsty. Also, I tried to keep water around to wash down everything.
What would you do differently?:

Aero helmet and race wheels if I had more money. Push the second lap after the hills.
Transition 2
  • 03m 5s

The woman ahead of my coming into transition started getting out of her shoes on Northwest Blvd. and almost crashed as she lost balance. I made no such attempts. Again it's a long day.
Another full change. It's about comfort. I carried two things with me on the run my electrolyte pills and aquafor. Both were important.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 52m 27s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 52s  min/mile

The goal was to keep running. To do so I had to plan out my plan for each aid station before I got there. I followed my nutrition plan for the run of taking one cup of perform at each station. The exceptions were I it was every hour on the half hour when I took two electrolyte pills and water or every 50 minutes starting on the half hour when I took a gel and water. Doing the mental math at the half way, I knew I was going under 9 min/miles and I just had to do 9s the rest of the way to get under 11 hours. However, for the next 6-7 mile stretch I didn’t do this. That meant for the last stretch from mile 20 on I had to run faster than I had run for any portion of the marathon. I figured I just had to stretch out my stride a little and put some spring in my step but no so much I cramped up. This was a fine line since my quads were completely shot, feeling like Jello and my hamstrings wanted to seize up and never let go. I figured once I hit the last mile I would feel so close it would take care of itself. That wasn’t the case, it still felt very far away until I saw the Sherman Ave sign. Shortly after someone said I had three minutes to get under 11hours. With the slight downhill and mentally feeling close the end I could really pick it up to make it in.
Unlike every other running event in my life I was not at all motivated by catching other people or passing anyone. I just thought about running my own race and sticking to my race plan.
The aid station volunteers were wonderful. They called out what they had, were organized, cheered, and had sponges which felt great.
I read somewhere that if you pace an ironman correctly you can run within 15-20 minutes of your standalone marathon time. I didn’t believe this at the time but I was right around 20 minutes. However, after this experience I feel I can improve my standalone marathon.
I also have heard of lots of people thinking all they need to do is get to the next aid station and have run a half-iron with this attitude. To me it is easier and faster to break it into bigger blocks. It encourages me to pace myself on the bike and at the beginning of the run when I know that no matter what there will be no rest until it’s all done.

What would you do differently?:

Hit my watch at the mile markers so I knew when I was slowing down. Do the math in my head correctly so I know where I stand that whole time. More leg extensions in the weight room.
Post race
Warm down:

Try not to collapse, tell everyone I am ok, talk to my supporters, pizza, soda, water, massage. Walk into the lake.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

the distance, duh!

Event comments:

I love the course, I love the town, I love the support, I love the weather. Everything about this event was well organized, professional, and felt right.

Last updated: 2011-06-28 12:00 AM
01:00:38 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/197
Overall: 106/2806
Performance: Good
close to even splits
Suit: Zoot Zenith Full Sleeve
Course: 2 loops, hop out at the halfway point, counterclockwise
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:35
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
05:58:06 | 112 miles | 18.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 50/197
Overall: 398/2806
Performance: Average
Kept my heartrate in the 150s for the most part. I couldn't help but spike on the hills especially for the first lap when I had lots of energy. Second lap I let it drop into the 140s since I knew I was going plenty quick for my goals and wanted to make sure my nutrition all processed.
Wind: Some
Course: Double out and back. Hills, climbs, and rollers by Hayden Lake and the rural north part.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Bad Cornering: Bad
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:05
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:52:27 | 26.2 miles | 08m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/197
Overall: 276/2806
Performance: Good
In the 150-160 range (my max is 205) for the majority of the run.
Course: Double out and back along the lake with one hill that you go over and down, then turn around when close to the bottom on the other side, and immediately come back up and back down the other way.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
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