Ironman Coeur d'Alene - Triathlon

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 14h 24m 20s
Overall Rank = 1528/
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 71/107
Pre-race routine:

As always, my race reports are long and I use them so I can recall the day.

We got into town Thursday afternoon to rainy weather in the 40s. We hit the grocery store on the way and met Leslie, Scott and Karen at the condo. We put the bikes together and grabbed sushi at Bonsai Bistro (Leslie suggested and was so good!). They had a separate menu with all you can eat/family style.

Friday morning we drove the bike course, grabbed wood pizza and a movie before Brad and I went to the athlete's dinner. Funny enough, we ran into a high school friend there (we had no idea he got into triathlons).

Saturday we were up early again and drove the long out and back of the bike course again to get a good visual. Went for a quick ride and before I went to the organized group run with Newton. We dropped our bikes and bags off and grabbed Pita Pit for lunch before downtime at the condo. Leslie cooked a great dinner and we ate on the patio (the weather finally cleared and was sunny and kinda warm). We were in bed by a little after 8pm.

The alarm was off at 4:00 am on Sunday morning. I had a 1/2 bagel with PB and some coffee as I got dressed (champion sports bra, FeXY bra top and then my tri top w/ HR strap and swim suit bottoms). Transition area opened at 4:30 am (the skies were already bright by then) and we left around then to walk down, pump up tires, put nutrition on the bike and drop off our Special Needs bags. We intentionally left early so we could have time back at the condo. We were walking back to the condo before 5am and we'd have about an hour to relax in the condo (we were right across from the transition area/swim start/finish line). I realized I forgot my Garmin in the condo which would mean I'd have to put it on the bike before 6:15 when transition closed. Not a huge deal, but still annoying to have to do.

Back at the condo, I had a PB Nutella and banana sandwich and some Gatorade while reading a mental toughness article Macca wrote.
We left the condo by 6 and Leslie took off to seed herself for the swim. Brad, Scott and Karen waited for me as I had to put my Garmin on the bike. It was so crowded on the pathway to get to the swim start/TA that I had to jump the fence to get in and out of TA quickly. We all slowly worked our way through the crowds to get to the fenced off area for athletes. GU gave us a VIP bracelet for Karen so she was able to come with us and get into a special area that wasn't crowded for the swim start.

This was the first year for the self seeded rolling swim start. They had signs with sections of the beach based on your estimated swim time. We seeded ourselves in the 1:01-1:15 time frame. We said our goodbyes and good lucks and were in the water soon after the cannon boomed at 6:35 am.
Event warmup:

Peeing in my wetsuit on the beach.
  • 1h 10m 4s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 40s / 100 yards

Not the swim I had hoped for or I had the ability for. Not sure what happened. The rolling start was great with little contact. I was able to draft a bit and while the water was cold, it wasn't nearly as bad as it was in 2007. I did a good job with buoy sighting, but felt like I just had one cruising speed. I had this new and weird neck pain on the left when I would breathe to the right. I made it out to the turn buoy and it was chaos. It was very crowded and pretty physical. I checked my watch and saw it was 14:XX, but I didn't really know how far I was on the course. We made the left turn and were swimming into the sun. I made the mistake in 2007 wearing clear goggles so this time I had tinted goggles which helped. The buoys were hard to see with the glare from the sun. Left turn again and I was headed back to shore. I looked at my watch as I ran under the arch to start lap 2 and saw 34:xx. I was disappointed. It was slower than I expected. Back for lap 2 and I tried to push the pace a little more. By this time, my hands and feet were pretty numb and while I wasn't freezing, I was cold and not comfortable. I made it back to shore and was disappointed with my swim time. I know I have the ability to swim faster. I'm not sure if it was the cold water or just a lack of focus/consciously pushing.
What would you do differently?:

I have a habit of settling into a pace and staying there. I need to work on swimming harder in races.
Transition 1
  • 06m 51s

I came out of the water and felt really out of it. I tried to run up the beach, but was having issues and just walked. I saw the wetsuit strippers, but things just felt weird. It's hard to describe. I was not completely with it and was having a hard time processing what I needed to do and where I needed to go. Thankfully, volunteers are there to usher you through the transition area. I got my wetsuit stripped and continued to walk to get my bag and go into the tent. A volunteer asked if I needed help which I turned down (really so I could pee in transition and not be somewhat distracted). I dumped my bag out and started to get my things in order while shivering. Sister Madonna Buder then walked up and asked if I needed help. I couldn't pass up her offer. I chatted with her about how cold the swim was and we talked about how she stayed with FeXYies at Eagleman. She kept raving how nice everyone was. I had arm coolers in my bag, but left them there and put on my knee socks as arm warmers (same ones from CdA 07). I put on the Desoto 300 mile bike shorts and bike gloves. Stuffed my salt container in my cleavage and put my Ziplock bag of a mini chamois butter and aquafor in my pocket. Nothing like rubbing chamois butter on your crotch in front of Sister Madonna. I thanked her for her help and was on my way.
What would you do differently?:

I think nearly ever race report I say I need to hustle. Coming out of the water, I was out of it and don't think I could have moved faster at that time.
  • 7h 41m 37s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.56 mile/hr

Similar to my swim, I know I have a better bike leg in me. It just didn't happen today. I started out and was involuntarily shivering and had numb feet. The spots with sun were warm, but the shade was freezing. Saw all of the teammates on the short OAB and I knew they had good swims. Came back to town and saw Karen before heading towards the longer OAB. I knew I needed to start drinking, but was freezing and having a hard time convincing myself to drink. I had my aerobottle with water and 3 bottles of Roctane. During training this year, I had used Roctane and Honey Stinger waffles. I had my timer set to beep every 45 minutes for me to eat and planned on taking 2 salt tabs every hour.

Since we drove the course and had the length of the climbs, I knew what to expect. The first climb was the longest and steepest. I settled into my smallest gear and kept telling myself to be patient and not worry about people passing me.

I felt good for the first loop and was motivational to see teammates out on the bike course. I hit the turn around and made my way back to town. The return trip had 2 major climbs with some nice descents. Towards the end of the first loop, I started to have an unsettled stomach. I am not sure if I had too much solid food or wasn't hydrating enough or the right way. I was doing the same nutritional plan I had used in training that had worked. I hit town on my time goal, but started to feel off. As I was navigating through the downtown streets, I felt like I was bonking. I hit the end of the short OAB and grabbed things from my Special Needs bag. The slight uphills on the way back to town felt so much bigger this time. I saw Karen again before heading out for the longer OAB.

The hills were so much tougher on the second lap. I felt like I had no energy in my legs and still had an unsettled stomach. I tried switching to water (instead of Roctane) and bananas figuring it was easier to digest. My watts were very low (the PT wasn't calibrated which could have been the issue) and my HR was very high. I just took things as they came, one hill at a time. I also started to have saddle issues and was having a hard time staying aero (and aero didn't necessarily help with my stomach).

I hit the last big climb and new I had a fairly easy ride back to T2. I was trying to mentally stay with it, but was just ready to be off of the bike. It wasn't hot, but it was sunny and warm at times and I was ready to be done.
What would you do differently?:

I am not sure. I have racked my brain to figure out what went wrong. I was tapered and should have had a better bike split/ride than I did. I struggled initially with being really cold coming out of the water. I think I need to tweak my nutritional plan for Mont Tremblant. I thought more solids would be good so I wouldn't feel hungry, but I don't know how digested they were. The one positive was that I didn't have the sloshy stomach I usually get finishing the bike/starting the run.
I also need to drink more. I finished 3 bottles of Roctane and a bunch of water (unsure of amount since I was dumping it in my aerobottle). I had powder in my SNB bag to make 3 more bottles (drinking a total of 6 on the ride). So I am guessing I was a tad dehydrated and then had to dig myself out of that hole. You live and learn.
Transition 2
  • 07m 52s

I gladly gave the bike to the volunteer and told them to sell it. :)

I was feeling a tad out of it and walked through the TA to get my bag. There were a ton of port-o-potties right there and I figured I'd go now versus waiting for the run. I tried to multitask while in there and took off my bike gloves, HR monitor strap (it was bugging the shit out of me) and my tri top (leaving my FeXY bra top under it for the run).

I made my way into the tent and had a volunteer give me a hand. I put on my FeXY champsys tri shorts and new socks. I went with just sunglasses and left the visor, figuring it would squeeze my head and annoy me. The volunteer filled my small handheld water bottle for me which was helpful. I vaselined my crevices (better to be done in the changing tent vs. the streets like at IMLOO 2012). I got sunscreened on my top half just outside the tent (awesome volunteers) and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I should be faster in transitions, but it's a long day and I want to make sure I do/have what I need.
  • 5h 17m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 07s  min/mile

First off, I think this might be the first Ironman where I actually passed people in my AG on the run! Only 4, but still! Small victories!

So the IM run....I looked at my watch as I was finishing the bike and was calculating what kind of marathon I'd have to run to finish in the daylight. I was trying to not be overwhelmed with this task, thinking I'd have to pull a solid mary out of my ass to meet my daylight goal. At this point, I told myself the swim and bike were behind me. I have no control over what happened any longer. I can only control what's going to happen. So with some positive thinking, I was off.

I started out feeling ok. I walked the hill right out of T2, but ran when I got to the top. I kept an eye on my average pace per mile knowing to not go out too hard. I soon saw Karen who updated me where everyone was on the course and how they were doing. It was great to see a familiar face and to hear Brad and our friends were doing great and heading back to the finish line. Within a few miles, I found myself doing a random mix of running and walking. I kept telling myself I had no reason to walk and would will myself to run. That would only last so long before I'd be back to walking.

I soon saw Scott (around my mile 3) who was within just a few miles of the finish. And not long after, saw Brad. We stopped just for a second to exchange some words and I said I was hot and tired and I didn't want to be out there so long.

Soon after I left Brad, I knew I needed to switch to my default Ironman marathon run strategy of running 8 minutes and walking 2 minutes. I set my intervals to repeat and I was off with some new found energy. I would only deviate from the intervals to make my way through the aid stations or for hills.

I continued eating Chomps on the run and drinking water and Gatorade (and grabbing ice). This strategy worked well as I never had a sloshy stomach and still had energy. I saw Leslie heading home as I was starting the climb at the end of the OAB. It's a long steep hill and told myself I would walk it, but run the other side down.

Heading back to town, I continued with the same strategy and felt energetic hitting the neighborhoods and crowds in town. At SNR, I grabbed some Chomps I had in there along with some vaseline in a ziploc bag (just in case). I was really looking forward to seeing Brad and our friends somewhere in town or near the turn around. Unfortunately, I hit the turn around and they weren't there (I think they expected me later). A tad disappointed, I left town, doing some math of what time I expected to be back at the finish.

Lap 2 was the same 8' run/2' walk. Even when walking, I try to move forward with some speed so it's not a stroll. Hitting the turn around at the far OAB was a great feeling knowing I was now headed home. I would occasionally find someone to pace off of which was a nice distraction.

It's funny how short 8 minutes is, yet how long it can feel. I always tell myself I can do anything for 8 minutes, but during the later run intervals, I would glance down at my watch and see I still had 5 minutes of running left. I would then pick a song I knew nearly all of the lyrics to and told myself I couldn't look at my watch until I was done singing it in my head. Whatever works...

The neighborhood streets are great in CdA - filled with spectators and locals out partying and playing music or games (or offering Fireball or free beer). I knew I was close and was walking up the hills and running the downhills and flats, but now ignoring the intervals.

I gladly made the left turn through the library parking lot versus the right turn to finish lap 1. I hit the corner of Sherman Street and turned left to the amazing view of the finish line. The CdA finish line is one of the best. Sherman Street is a slight downhill with bars, shops and restaurants so lots of people were out. You can see the finish line and just enjoy what you just accomplished. You get to soak it all in. I took some glances behind me to make sure I had some open real estate without anyone right behind me. I high 5'd the crowd and heard Brad and our friends screaming for me from the stands.

I crossed the finish line in some daylight, but after official sunset. Ironman #9 was in the books.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe start the run/walk intervals sooner? I'm not sure.

Despite this run not being the fastest Ironman run for me, I felt the best during it. I had no stomach issues (which is usually the case). I was mentally into it and stuck with it and still felt pretty good physically (even at the end).
Post race
Warm down:

I did the usual post IM shenanigans (get t-shirt, hat, medal, pic taken).
I grabbed pizza and 2 bottles of chocolate milk. The wait for the massage was 1 hour+ and I didn't want to wait. Brad and our friends found me and I limped back to the condo for a shower and chocolate milk.

Soon after, we all grabbed mexican for dinner and went to the finish line to cheer on the final finishers.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not pushing the swim like I should.
Being really cold/taking a long time to warm up coming out of the water and on the bike.
Probably too much solid food and not enough liquid on the bike.

Event comments:

CdA is one of the best Ironman venues. The locals really embrace the race and are amazing volunteers.

It wasn't quite the race I had hoped for, but you can only work with the hand you're dealt and adapt accordingly. Overall, I know I have the ability to have a better performance at an Ironman. I've been working a lot on the mental aspect and was happy to see it pay off at certain times on race day.

No matter how many years I do triathlons or how many Ironman races I've done, I always walk away learning something.

Last updated: 2013-01-30 12:00 AM
01:10:04 | 4224 yards | 01m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/107
Overall: 107/
Performance: Below average
1st lap: 34:13 2nd lap: 35:51
Suit: full sleeved
Course: 2 loop rectangular with a short beach run in between laps
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:51
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:41:37 | 112 miles | 14.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 75/107
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
it Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace 1.7 mi 1.7 mi 6:56 1:23:51 14.28 mi/h 7.1 mi 5.4 mi 19:15 1:43:06 16.83 mi/h 12.6 mi 5.5 mi 20:55 2:04:01 15.86 mi/h 14 mi 1.4 mi 4:55 2:08:56 16.72 mi/h 56.2 mi 42.2 mi 2:44:35 4:53:31 15.38 mi/h 57.5 mi 1.4 mi 5:18 4:58:49 15.51 mi/h 62.9 mi 5.4 mi 22:12 5:21:01 14.59 mi/h 68.5 mi 5.5 mi 24:49 5:45:50 13.37 mi/h 69.8 mi 1.4 mi 5:29 5:51:19 14.99 mi/h 112 mi 42.2 mi 3:07:13 8:58:32 13.52 mi/h
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 2 loops. A short OAB along the lake followed by a longer OAB (42 miles total) on Rt 95 with some long steady climbs.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Time: 07:52
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:17:56 | 26.2 miles | 12m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 71/107
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Two long out and backs - starting in downtown CdA, through neighborhood streets and then finally along the paved path on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5