Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
56F / 13C
Total Time = 13h 06m
Overall Rank = 1117/2400
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 169/279
Pre-race routine:

We came in from MN, the five of us, Jason, Gretchen, Tyler, Adam and Edison. We left Tuesday evening around 9pm to drive through the night and planned to get into the Shilo Inn in CDA about 3pm on Weds afternoon. Drove through the night and about 45 mins east of billings at around 8am, the car made a rattling noise the oil light came on and I thought we now own the world’s largest paper weight. Sat on the side of the road for about an hour, and got another hour tow into Billings. We pulled into the only Toyota shop in Billings and they confirm my nightmare. They have ONE used Sienna minivan. Just let me say having to get to my first Ironman, having your car on the wrecker, no sleep for 24 hrs and having only one car to choose from doesn’t create a lot of leverage for yours truly. After what seemed to be days at the dealership we left with the used Sienna. (Not a terrible deal but not great either, the last sienna lasted 220k) Actually we were really lucky it didn’t happen further away from civilization, and it didn't happen in the middle of the night. We got into CDA at midnight Weds night.
Event warmup:

I had my family of 5 with me and we were also meeting my training buddy AZ who was flying in from MN on Thursday afternoon, his wife was flying in on Friday they were both staying in Spokane. Once he showed up Thursday afternoon we drove the run and bike course. Let me tell you I was not happy. I was really taken aback about how big the hill was on the run. I mean really not happy, I had looked at the run profile but I just wasn't expecting the size and length of the hill. After driving the run course we drove the bike course, although the hills were also long and big they didn't mentally bother me as much.
Thursday evening before the kids mile run (Tyler took 4th and Adam was featured in a youtube video), we swam about a half mile, the water was COLD and choppy.
Friday AZ and I biked the Run course and then we met Robyn, AZ wife, and toured the expo. We then drove the courses again to show Robyn. Friday night my wife’s family came up from Utah. Saturday we kind of just hung out drove the bike course again. Every time we drove the bike course the hills got mentally easier for me. Saturday night the Loers came in from MN and all of us went to dinner and we were in bed by 9pm.

  • 1h 15m 53s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

Sunday morning AZ and Robyn picked me up at 5:15am from the Shilo Inn. (The kids stayed with Gretchen parents Saturday night so that we could just relax. She went to pick them up after I was picked up) AZ and I were down at transition area by 5:30am. Body marked by 5:32. We dropped off our Special needs bags and went to get on our wetsuit it was then AZ realized that he left his goggles at his hotel in Spokane. We immediately tracked down Robyn who called Gretchen to get my spare goggles but she had already left the hotel in CDA, but she was good enough to turn around and get my spare goggles. At this point it was about 6:30 and we made our way to the beach, still without goggles for AZ. Once AZ and I got to the beach we found a spectator on the sea wall and asked to borrow their phone to call Gretchen to see where she was at. (Btw there is a great tip, if you can't find your support crew, just ask to borrow somebody’s phone)Unfortunately at the same time AZ used the cell phone the national anthem started playing and you should have seen the people giving AZ the evil eye for talking on the phone, Sorry everyone it was an emergency. Gretchen got the goggles to AZ with about 5 mins to spare.

As for the race, I was planning on swimming a 1:20-1:25. I wasn't afraid of contact so I setup just outside the markers a little back. The gun went off and everything you hear about the mass swim start is true, what a freak show, 2400 bodies all over the place. I can't say I enjoyed but it made me swim a little harder for space. I found a few clear pockets here and there but for most of the time I was touching somebody else. The corners were a cage match. I was surprised that the buoys weren't bigger; it was difficult to sight the markers through the arms and legs of other swimmers. My first lap was 37 mins, really happy with that. The second lap was about the same as the first, sick of touching people and getting touched. About 1/4 through the second lap my left calf cramped up and I had to stop and punch on it for a second, it didn't help, I flexed it as hard as I could and slapped it against the water, it started to loosen but every time I went to kick harder it started to wince so I just dragged it in. I finished in 1:15 much better than I thought and felt really good. I staggered up on the beach but didn't fall. Saw Gretchen’s Brother, Kirk, it’s nice to bring tall people to support you; they are much easier to see.

Transition 1
  • 07m 32s

I don't know if I missed it but I didn't see tubs to rinse my feet off so it took me an extra couple of mins to scrape the sand off. In my defense I didn’t go into the changing tent because people were putting their stuff on outside. I went to the bathroom and I was off, cleaning off my feet really took me took long. T1 7:32.
  • 6h 28m
  • 112 miles
  • 17.32 mile/hr

I got onto the bike at the line, with my gloves in my mouth, I turned the first corner and my bento box came open and all my gels, crustables and back meds came shooting out. I stopped, put my bike down and ran back in between bikers to grab my stuff. At this point my stomach started feeling really bloated. Didn't know why (I actually think I do, I had those power bites, crustables and mojo bar for breakfast…..too much fiber) went for another 10 miles and it still hurt. It wasn't until I got some food in again that it started feeling a little better at mile 12.
I have two herniated disks in my back and it usually bothers me on the ride. To overcome the pain I do a few things, first I bought a Road bike (Trek 2.1 H3) instead of a tri bike. The road bike helps me sit up a little higher and I can stay on the hoods. I also concentrate on staying out of the aero bars for the first hour or so. This coupled with using a generic form of Capsaicin seems to help. By the 2nd or 3rd hour I can ride pretty comfortably in the aerobars.
I am not a terrible biker but certainly better at swimming than biking so I was prepared for the parade of bikers that started going past. Fortunately I had done other halfs where this happened before so mentally I was prepared to get passed a lot, just kept reminding myself I wasn’t competing against them. I had written ENJOY in big letter on my aero bottle as a reminder as well as ELS (easy light strong)((also the miles of the big hills on the bike)). The bike went really well the hills although difficult make the ironman a better story. I was hoping to average 16.5 and ended up doing 17.3. I think I would have done a lot better I mean a lot better if I didn't have to go to the bathroom practically every aid station, must have gone at least 5 times on the ride, very annoying. Dumb water and Perform probably lost at least 8 mins in the porta johns. Speaking of Perform, actually liked it quite a bit didn’t leave the heavy taste like Gatorade.

Once the stomach issue went away I felt good, I went into the IM with mantra to evaluate everything after the race, I was going to stay positive and it was working. I could tell when I started feeling sour I wasn't eating enough and I quickly downed a gel. Probably had about 6 gels, two packages of cliff bites, one crustable in the special needs and a couple of some mini snicker bars. Also went through a bottle of Perform every 10 miles.

About mile 40 I felt like something wasn't right with my peddling I looked down and my left peddle was actually sliding off the pedal spindle. I immediately went to freaking out mode, thought my IM was about over. I stopped and unclipped as easy as I could, the pedal was just simply sliding off the spindle, I have the LOOK style pedals the actual pedal was intact it was just sliding off. So from there on out I just concentrated on keeping my left foot tight against the crank. I thought about flagging down an aid scooter but I figured I might as well just keep going until something tragic happened. Don't know if that was the good play but I got through the ride and only had to stop a couple of times to slide the pedal closer.

Transition 2
  • 03m 35s

Coming into T2, the transition went pretty well. The only thing was I had to go to the bathroom again. Sersiouly like 6 times at this point. The other thing I noticed it started getting warm. Right before I went to T2, I took a couple of the Hammer Salt pills, don't know if they worked but I figured it couldn't hurt.
  • 5h 10m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 50s  min/mile

If you would have asked me at mile one if I would have been running at mile 2 I would have told you, you were out of your mind. It seemed like it got a lot hotter once I started the run, the sun was bright no cloud cover. The crowd support was really great in town. I was targeting a sub 5 hour marathon. So I was trying to keep my splits around 10:30s, figuring I was going to need some slack towards the end. The first trip out to the TA went uneventful, Mount Suck A Lot (SAL) wasn’t completely sucky but pretty close, and the nice part was that it offered shade. I stuck to eating gels, cliff bites and chewing on ice between aid stations. I grabbed my special needs bags which had crustable and mini candy bars, all of which were way too hot to eat but I tried. Outside of the special needs bag my nutrition planned seemed to work until mile 17ish, the split started to slide to 11:30s, Mount SAL loomed in the horizon, the weather started getting hot and one aid station didn't have ice. Just about that time I ran into AZ, we talked for a little while and decided to get in the best we could. Walked up Mount SAL, and only lost like 2 mins as compared to the previous time. From there pretty much ran to trees, telephone poles and aid stations. Probably could have had a sub 13 if I really wanted it but at that point the difference between a sub 13 and a little over didn't really bother me at all. I could have pushed it to the finish line but I decided that I might as well hold it back and just have a little more fun, really glad I did.

Talked with AZ and a few other Bibs on the way in, but really kept to myself for the most part but made sure to say thank you to everyone who cheered for me. I was wearing sunglasses until about mile 25 (didn't want those in the finisher photo) took them off and hung them on my back. Coming down Sherman AZ and I decided to finish together. Glad we did, we spent a lot of time training together and it was fitting that we finished together. Half way down Sherman, I twisted my race belt forward and my sunglasses came off, wasn't about to turn around and pick them back up, Sunglasses I barely knew ye. Coming into Sherman my arms were waving and I was pretty stoked, in recollection I don't really remember the crowd or the cheering, I just remember going through the Finishing shoot and stopping and thinking it is really over? What a great experience! I met my 1st goal of having fun and finishing with a smile on my face. My quads really burned but not enough to think that I'm not going to do it again.

Post race
Warm down:

Saw the family after I finished, Gretchen was really emotional. We shared hugs through the fence, I went to get a massage but I had a brand new student and it wasn't much, but it was nice just to lie down. There was little Caesars pizza but I didn't feel like eating. The family had collected our bikes along with our bags. We took some pics and we headed to the car. It would have been nice to stick around to Midnight to watch the last finishers and had it just been Gretchen and I think we would have but my kids were troopers and they had already been there 13 hours, so we headed to the hotel and ordered pizza at midnight.
I was very blessed to have so much support there, between my family, I had Gretchen’s sister, brother, his finance, her parents and our neighbors. I wasn’t ever alone on the course and it helped. To all of you my heartfelt thank you and for those of you who followed me on line thanks for your well wishes.

I am sure I will do another one, whose going to join me?

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat and Hills

Event comments:

I was pretty happy overall. The Ironman website IMO is pretty weak, the race needs to pay spend a little more time focusing on specators and where to view atheltes. The merchandise tent needed more cash registers. I can't complain to much. Pretty happy.

Last updated: 2011-06-30 12:00 AM
01:15:53 | 4224 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 109/279
Overall: 0/2400
Performance: Good
Suit: full length QR
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 56F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:32
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:28:00 | 112 miles | 17.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/279
Overall: 0/2400
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:35
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:10:00 | 26.2 miles | 11m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/279
Overall: 0/2400
Course: The course is two laps out and back, the course is fairly flat until mount SAL towards the turn around.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4