Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 12h 44m 15s
Overall Rank = 151/2153
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 151/238
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:50 and and had my standard breakfast of waffles.

Double checked bags. I dressed warmer then I thought I should have because I'd rather be hot then cold before the race. Grabbed all my gear then my wife and I headed to the boat to take us to Coeur d'Alene.

At the event I dropped off my bags, checked the air in my tires, filled my water bottles then just sat next to the gatorade bottle and took in the sights. One minor emergency, I forgot my hammer gel I was going to take before departing so I went and got a bagel from the cafe and ate about half of it about a half hour before the start. This is something I hadn't done before, but I considered it a low risk change.

We watched the pro's depart from the gatorade bottle hill. That is an amazing site.
Event warmup:

None. I'll use the first .4 miles of the swim to get warm for the remaining 140.2.

I hung out with Stacy(wife) and Andrea (one of my training partners) on the hill until the very last minute. Then, wetsuits one and a quick jog to the start line. It took us forever to get through, then I found a nice quiet place on the beach to relax before the race.

I didn't get to relax as long as I wanted to. The gun goes off with almost no warning... its also possible I just wasn't listening.
  • 1h 07m 10s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

What is the first indication that you are going out too fast? Probably when you PR your half IM swim split in the first half of your IM swim. For CDA you do 1 loop then get out of the water to cross a timing mat then start your second loop. My best HIM swim is 32 minutes and some change, my watch said 31:15 when i crossed the mat. I'm sure the first loop was short of a full HIM swim, but I freaked out a little and decided to slow down.

There's really nothing that can prepare you for the utter brutality of an Ironman swim. The entire first half of the first lap, or at least until we turned at the second red buoy, was full close quarters combat.

I did manage to check my heart rate a few times though and I was in the low 150's every time. That was my target so I was happy with the effort.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go a little slower, but I was really happy with this time. I travel Mon-Thurs for work so I don't get the time in the pool that I would like.
Transition 1
  • 07m 35s

This T was a awful. Not that I was concerned about it. If I had forgotten anything it would have been a disaster for the rest of the race so I figured a few extra minutes was worth it. I just want to finish with a smile.

I had trouble getting my cap off on the run up to the stippers. I grabbed my bag and headed into the tent. I put my helmet on, grabbed my race number, gel, salt and sunglasses out of my shoes. I put on my rolled up arm warmers, but I had trouble finding them in the bag. I decided to go with the arm warmers because I figured I could take them off if I got hot. It turned out to be a really good decision. I also left the toe warmers on my shoes.

I carried my shoes to the bike because I wanted to avoid running in them as much as possible. Shoes on, grab the bike, out the back of T1.
What would you do differently?:

I need to be better at getting out of the wetsuit. I also need to organize my T1 bag better. No worries though, what's 2 minutes in a 12+ hour race.
  • 6h 25m 57s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.41 mile/hr

Given all the things that went wrong here in addition to my training problems leading up to the event, I'm pretty happy with this ride. It might have been a little too hard, but I had fun and felt pretty good.

RECAP: The weekend before the race I bonked on a 42 mile ride. I went a little hard and it was in the mid-90's, but not hard enough to make myself light headed.

My heart rate was too high going out so I did some light spinning to get it down. My HR always spikes out of the water so I wasn't really concerned about it yet. My goal was to keep it in the high 130's/low 140's. I was in the high 150's on the way out of town. It probably took about 10-12 miles to get it back to the high 140's.

My first problem was the toe warmer on my right foot was rubbing pretty hard on the top of my toe and starting to hurt. This is actually the first time I've worn toe warmers and I never wear sock in my bike shoes so this was causing a problem. Once again... nothing new on race day. I get it. I found and easy flat and unclipped, took my toe warmer off and put it in my back pocket.

We then headed north to Hayden. When I drove the hills the day before I was actually pretty intimidated by the size and length of them. But on the way out, you honestly couldn't tell you were climbing. We had a decent tail wind so I was cruising along at 20-21 mph. Then the hills start. I wasn't checking my distance or my avg speed... or even my speed really. Just my heart rate to make sure I wasn't going too hard.

Hayden and Eagle Point were really fun. The hills where tough, but the long winding downhills were a blast. I powered up one of the early hills then told myself how dumb that was and vowed not to do it again. I didn't.

Coming off of Hayden lake I over shifted and dropped my chain. Rookie mistake I guess. That cost me some time.

Cruising back into town was a great experience. Nice downhill, if it wasn't for the headwind it would have been an incredible ride. The town people are great. I saw my wife at the turn for the second time. She's so good about finding me at every race. She's got this down.

I started the 2nd loop at a better pace then the first loop because I wasn't trying to get my HR down. HR was in the low 140's as planned and I was feeling pretty good.

I decided to stop at the bike special needs bag because I had a crustable sandwich in there that sounded pretty good. It was either a huge mistake or very fortunate. I came in a little hot to the bag drop and accidentally locked up my back wheel trying to stop. Of course the tire flats. I've actually never changed a tubular tire. I know the theory and I have everything I need, but I've never done it. I had just talked to Andrea's friend about it the day before. Now I find myself trying to remember how that conversation went. Another competitor came by and handed me an air canister that he said he had just pulled out of his SN bag. I had my own, but that was a nice gesture. I worked the tire off pretty easily. Then found my wheel tape. I worked it all the way around but it was too long. It was going to cover the air hole. I was going to just fold it back over, but one of the volunteers found a knife for me to cut it with. Again, I have no idea if that's what you're supposed to do. (ASIDE: The volunteers are great. None of them where triathletes or cyclist or had any idea of how to help but they where constantly asking if they could hold my bike, hand me something, throw things I was throwing to the side away. Volunteers rock!) I worked the tire around the rim and then got my HR well into Z5 trying to get the last part over the wheel. I then worked around the edges to try to line the tire up right. Finally the moment of truth. I attached the air cartridge and unscrewed it. It inflated perfectly. So I know how to change a tubular tire now.

I had a semi-secret goal of going under 12 hours and I seemed to be on pace to do it. I was doing the math of what I needed to go under 12 right before the tire incident. Another IM lesson I guess.

So I'm off again. I see Andrea of the first time on the way back to town then wave at my wife again as I go by (man she's good!), then North to Hayden again for some hills.

The second look wasn't too bad, I remembered where the big hills and the sneaky uphills where and remembered to rest up for them and gear down before I got there. On the way back to town I tried to spin a little to loosen up the legs.

I came into transition and hopped off the bike and handed it to a volunteer. I don't know where it goes, but at that point I just wanted to be off of it.
What would you do differently?:

Not get a flat, not drop my chain, not stop to use the can 3 times.

I enjoyed the ride. Stayed aero and kept my HR down, so I hit the important things. I think I lost about 15' changing the tire. I'm happy with 6:25 but 6:10 would have been better. That crustable sandwich was great though.
Transition 2
  • 05m 2s

Again, took my time. I didn't do the feet on top of the shoes thing because I honestly didn't know if i could leave my shoes on my bike since I couldn't leave them on there in T1.
What would you do differently?:

Hurry now that I know how this works.
  • 4h 58m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 23s  min/mile

I started out feeling ok of course. I was going to try 10' miles. I did the first 1 in 9:15 so I walked for 45". I did the 2nd in 9:30 so I walked for 30". I continued on this until the stomach problems started around mile 9. It wasn't horrible GI issues that some people have. Just enough to make me really uncomfortable.

I then started doing 8' run/1' walk at about mile 14. I have no idea how or why I came up with those splits. Random. At this point my nutrition plan was completely out the window, but I didn't feel horrible. I grabbed whatever the aid stations had to offer, chicken broth, pretzels, cookies, water. Oddly, I've decided gatorade doesn't sit well with me. But I apparently have no problem grabbing 3 cookies at a time and eating them while I jog. And did I mention I love cola. I don't remember when I stared on that, but it was great.

It was also about mile 14 that it started to drizzle and just be really nasty. Ok, so I officially want to quit. This was my last IM.

Running by the lake was really cold and it had started to rain. I really regretted not grabbing the long sleeve shirt in my special needs bag at mile 1. At about mile 16 I started just looking for a tree or light pole in the distance and running to that. This method worked better then the running for time idea. As I hit the last turn around I started to find my legs. I would run to my target then just pick another one rather then starting a walk break.

Its strange how everything changes at mile 22. I wanted to quite not 5 minutes ago. Now I realize I am going to finish. I'm smiling and high fiving people for the last 4.2 miles. I met 2 guys from Austin (Tom and Scott) and we ran the last 2.2 miles in. It was their first IM as well. I met another guy who was doing his 4th including CDA for the 2nd time. He gave me some advice on how to finish. I gave my gloves to a girl that was on her first loop and told me how cold her hands were. I generally just spent the last few miles talking to people and enjoying the surroundings.
What would you do differently?:

Stick to a nutrition plan. Save some more energy on the bike and swim. In retrospect I couldn't have gone under 12 hours even if I hadn't gotten a flat on the bike. The run is so much harder then I could have ever anticipated.

I'm going to still say this was a good run because I had so much fun.
Post race
Warm down:

It was so damn cold I didn't need to warm down and didn't have the energy too even if I wanted to.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I finished... I performed fine.

Event comments:

I think a race this size can only be described as controlled chaos. But everything is where its supposed to be when its supposed to be there. There are a thousand people telling you where to go. Its incredible.

Last updated: 2008-07-23 12:00 AM
01:07:10 | 4224 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 41/238
Overall: 267/2153
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex2 Full
Course: 2 loop counter clockwise rectangle.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:35
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:25:57 | 112 miles | 17.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 153/238
Overall: 1103/2153
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: 2 loop course. flat through town, hilly on the back part, head wind coming back into town.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:02
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:58:32 | 26.2 miles | 11m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 165/238
Overall: 1216/2153
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops. Pretty flat other then the turn around
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:
Race evaluation [1-5]