Ironman Coeur d'Alene - Triathlon

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
66F / 19C
Total Time = 15h 16m 11s
Overall Rank = 1555/2466
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 209/307
Pre-race routine:

This was my 2nd Ironman and 2nd time doing CDA. I did it previously in 2012 and suffered through the race with Pneumonia barely finishing with 11 minutes to spare. This time I was healthy and tried to remain calm and collected. I was ready for whatever CDA was going to throw at me. A few issues with my bike cropped up during race week. I had to replace my Aero bars as they broke on Monday. My Local Bike Shop was kind enough to squeeze me in, order parts and get the bike repaired just in time for me to leave on Wednesday. Stayed at a local house on the lake near Worley, just off of the bike course, 30 minutes from the start line. Had my family and extended family staying with me (22 people total) all coming to cheer me on. Attended the Ironkids race and the Welcome Celebration (always inspirational).

The day of the race I woke up at 4 am. Had pancakes, bacon and Powerade for breakfast. Headed to town and arrived at body marking at 5:15. Took my time loading up my bike with nutrition, using the port-a-potty, getting the wetsuit on and making my way to the beach. It was great to see my cheering section on the beach near the warm up area.

Event warmup:

Made my way to the warm up area at 6:10. Took a couple quick plunges in the lake to acclimate to the cold water (much warmer this time compared to 2012) and swam out to the swim bouys and back. It was nice to warm up this time. They didn't allow it in 2012 which caused some problems for people. I was a little worried to see the wind blowing and the lake so choppy before we started.
  • 1h 31m 50s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

Lined up with the 1:15-1:30 section for the swim start. Looked again at the chop and tried to wipe that from my mind. Slowly made it to the starting gate at 6:51 and off I went. The new rolling start was much less stressful then the traditional cannon start. Found some open space immediately and started the long swim through the wind and chop. It was tough at times to get into a good breathing rythym as I would suck in water every breath. I realized my sighting approach had to change. I am used to sighting like a gator with eyes barely out of the water. I started lifting my head much higher out of the water to insure I was on track. Had contact a few times through the first lap but nothing too serious. Even at the turn bouys it was pretty smooth, not a lot of back up like in 2012. Coming back in was nicer as I rode the waves and wind in. The 2nd lap was similar to the first except I started to feel "sea sick" from all of the waves. A few times I thought I was going to "chum" the water. I began to site off of the red turn buoy and was amazed at how fast I was approaching the turn. Turns out the bouy had broken loose in the wind and was being blown back into shore. I thought I was near the turn, but instead I was barely half way to it. A boat grabbed the bouy and started pulling it back in place. Kayakers showed up to keep the swimmers on course and acted as the turn bouy. I was happy to turn back to shore and ride the final stretch of wave and winds back. Got out of the water a little dizzy but warm. Saw the family and gave them a smile and wave. Even with the wind I was only 1 minute over my expected 1:30 pace.
What would you do differently?:

Training in a bigger choppier lake may have helped. Sighting is an issue with waves and it would have been nice to practice that.
Transition 1
  • 11m 11s

Not much to say here. I am slow in transition. But I made sure I left nothing behind. Contemplated wearing my cycling jacket but decided to leave it behind. A good call. Glad I remembered my towel. Loaned it out to 2 people while I changed.
What would you do differently?:

Run from the lake to the wetsuit strippers and then to the tent. I walked that entire distance.
  • 7h 39m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.64 mile/hr

The theme for the day was WIND! The temperature was great. I felt great getting on the bike. I had recently done a custom fitting for my bike and it worked awesome. Much more comfortable and eliminated a lot of back pain I was having while riding. It didn't take long before the wind was noticeable. The wind was coming from the south/southwest and could be felt heading out towards Bennett Bay Hill. Of course it was awesome with a tailwind coming back into town. The worst part of the ride was the long 20 mile ride up the hills into the wind as we rode out towards Worley. The wind was non-stop and unrelenting. It felt like it was about 15-20 mph constant. The first no passing zone crossing the bridge coming out of town was a joke. For some reason the lead rider was only going 9 mph. It caused quite the backup and people were getting a bit frustrated but it cleared soon enough and we were on our way. I changed my gearing this year to a compact crankset which helped tremendously with the hills. I was actually passing people this time going up the hills. Coming back down the Mica Grade my front gear shifter loosened up and would not hold the upper gears unless I held on to the shifter. I fiddled with it for the next 7 miles but I dind't have the proper tool to tighten it (all I needed was a flat head screw driver). I carry a bike tool with me but it didn't have a flat head on it. I remembered that goody bag given to us by Ironman had a bike tool in it that did have the flat head. As I climbed the last big hill on the long stretch out of town I came across my cheering section. A definite welcome sight to behold. I asked my wife to drive to the house we were staying in and grab me the Ironman bike tool and bring it back to the same spot and I would catch her on the way back into town. I made my way to the turn around and caught that sweet tailwind back. A quick stop to pee, followed by a quick stop to grab the tool and fix my bike and I was on my way. I flew back into town. The last big hill didn't seem that bad (at least the first time around). The 2nd lap was much like the first except the wind seemed stronger and the hills seemed longer and steeper. Ate a bunch of bananas, chomps, powerade and water to power me along. I kept a special granola type bar for the last half of the ride to give me something with a bit more substance for the last stretch of the ride. My cheering section kept popping up all over the course. It was a definite morale booster. All in all I felt good about the ride. My goal was to do the ride in 7:30. I missed it by 9 minutes but I was ok with that because of the windy conditions and the gear issue.
What would you do differently?:

Try to find more wind to train in. I did more hills this time and with the new gearing setup up I think it helped.
Transition 2
  • 07m 27s

Getting off of the bike my legs were extremely wobbly. Had trouble getting them moving. All things considered T2 was actually not bad for me as I tend to be slow transitioning.
  • 5h 46m 37s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 14s  min/mile

Starting the run, my legs felt shot. It was a familiar feeling and I knew I just needed to pound through the first mile and I would be ok. I saw my cheering section coming out of transition so I stopped and gave high fives, hugs and kissed my wife. I didn't want to start running but they cheered me on. The crowd in town was great and helped power me through the first couple of miles. The party houses in town had just started getting rev'd up and were a good distraction. I setup up a run/walk strategy to keep me going along the lake shore. Everytime I wanted to stop, my cheering section would pop up out of nowhere and keep me going. I loved the aid stations. I train my body to run like an army can be fueled by anything. The salty chips, flat cola, water and chomps powered me through most of the first half of the run. I walked up the Bennett Bay Hill. Making it back into town was another boost. The crowd support is amazing. My supporters were incredible. The 2nd half wasn't too bad. Fought off a little leg cramping, fought off feelings of stopping...both were cured by water, chomps and the life saving chicken broth. The final push into town was good. I wasn't running fast but I was running. Slowed a little to allow 2 ladies with tutu's on to pass so I could have the finishing chute to myself. Loved the last push down Sherman Avenue. The crowd was amazing. I high fived the crowd and even managed to see my entire cheering section. I loved hearing Mike call out my name and say "You are an Ironman". I missed my run goal by 16 minutes, but considering the wind on the bike took alot out of my legs, I am happy with the outcome.
What would you do differently?:

Work a little harder in my bricks during training for the run transitions. Oh do I hate making the transition to the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Lovely volunteer caught me at the finish line. Walked me to my medal, hat, shirt and photo op. Ate 2 pieces of pizza and drank a delicious chocolate milk. Got a great free massage and then met my family to head back home. They were kind enough to gather my bike and gear bags so all I had to do was get in the car. Wonderful!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The wind and waves may have caused me to perform slower than I expected, but you have to be ready for whatever is thrown your way during an Ironman.

Event comments:

Couer d'Alene is a wonderful town. It feels like the entire town comes out to support this race. Ironman puts on a great race. I highly recommend it to anyone considering signing up. Just be ready for the hills, the cool (and sometimes rough) lake swim, the wind and the incredible volunteers and crowds.

Last updated: 2014-04-23 12:00 AM
01:31:50 | 4224 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 199/307
Overall: 1538/2466
Performance: Good
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 11:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:39:06 | 112 miles | 14.64 mile/hr
Age Group: 208/307
Overall: 1506/2466
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 07:27
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:46:37 | 26.2 miles | 13m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 209/307
Overall: 1555/2466
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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