Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
50sF / 0C
Total Time = 13h 43m 3s
Overall Rank = 1398/2153
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 86/136
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 2:38am happy with 6 hours of sleep and stared at the ceiling for an hour before getting up. I gathered my stuff to go eat breakfast at Coach Gail’s condo at 4am. Waffle with peanut butter, yogurt, banana, coffee and continued to load up on Gatorade that began 3 days ago. We arrived at transition at 5am. I dropped off my special needs bags and aired my tires. It was windy and I didn’t relish my first look at the lake. Sure enough it was choppy much like Thursday had been. Found some benches to sit on with Carmel and tried to relax. No chance of that so I got into my wetsuit and went out to the beach. It took awhile just to make it through the horde of people to the beach. I got a few quick strokes in and took my spot at the back left of the mass of 2200 wetsuit clad athletes. Quite a sight.
Event warmup:

A few strokes in Lake CdA
  • 1h 28m 33s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

Simply stated this was the hardest swim of my life. I had never swam 2.4 miles in open water and only once continuous in the pool. But the distance didn’t concern me. The chop and mass start were the real issues. The cannon sounded and I hung back for about a minute before entering the water. When I did get started there were bodies everywhere and simply no open space to be found. Simultaneously I had to try to find my breathing rhythm, fight for space and make some headway into a heavy chop. I finally made it out about 800 meters to the first turn buoy and things got significantly worse in a hurry. The mass of humanity at the turn buoy was going nowhere fast. People were bobbing like apples in the swells trying to get around the buoy. And when the swimming recommenced I took a couple big time shots to the head. The next turn buoy was 100 meters away and we again came to a standstill. The swim back was a little better; then we were out of the water, across the timing mat and back in for the second loop. The field was thinning but the chop was worsening. In one position fight I started cramping in one of my calves and this became a major concern but fortunately lessened and eventually went away. I was really happy to exit the swim and to be under my time goal of 1:30 given some pretty tough conditions.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing other than become a stronger swimmer. The practice in the lake (esp with the chop) was very helpful.
Transition 1
  • 13m 49s

I had lots to do in T1. Get out of wet suit, get T1 bag, get into change tent, strip, get dressed in bike gear, load up jersey with nutrition and every possible need (including rain wear), get to bike and walk it from the farthest end of transition to the mount line. Although I was in no rush, looking at my time you would have thought I ate breakfast in the change tent.
What would you do differently?:

Speed up.
  • 6h 56m 28s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.14 mile/hr

The weather was cool and overcast for my 7 hours on the bike. Most folks went with arm warmers or jerseys. For me, I was loving the weather in a sleeveless jersey. I think it was upper 50s or low 60s. The bike was key to my strategy. I wanted to average 16 mph which would be 7 hours even. At this pace I should have something left for the run. Too much faster, while doable, might empty the tank for the run. To average 16 mph I would have to ride a bit faster because of the potty stops I planned to take every 30 miles or so. There are, of course, other options that save time but they weren’t for me. The course was a short out and back along Lake CdA with one big climb then a flat run up to Lake Hayden where the hills begin in earnest. We had driven the course and I didn’t think the “hills” were that bad. I was wrong. Several of the climbs had me up out of the saddle. Thankfully three rides on the hills of Muenster in Texas had me well prepared. The bike went real well. I hit all my hydration and nutrition goals, didn’t stop any more than planned and rode in my z2 and z3 heart rate zones (except the climbs). I felt exceptionally good the last 12 miles and judging by my bike computer showing a 16.3 mph average (doesn’t account for stops) I knew I was very close to my target time and in fact came in just under my 7 hour goal.

Fortunately, I was oblivious to the drama playing out by all those tracking me at the race and online. My timing chip failed to register at the first timing mat on the bike course which was at 34 miles. This sent everyone into a panic wondering what happened to me. Carmel even visited the medical tent to see if I was there. When they spotted me at the turnaround, all was well except for those following online who had to wait a long time before a result posted for me at 90 miles. Isn’t technology wonderful?

What would you do differently?:

Not much. Strategy was not to push the bike.
Transition 2
  • 08m 26s

Not quite the disaster of T1 but again I was transitioning at quite the leisurely pace.
What would you do differently?:

speed up.
  • 4h 55m 58s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 18s  min/mile

I tried not to think of the enormity of the task still at hand. I had not gone beyond 16 miles in training and last ran a marathon in 1992. And the day was already 9 hours old. But the good news is the weather was staying cool and I had hopes that I could keep my heart rate in check and run according to plan at least for awhile. And in the back of my mind I knew if necessary I could walk most of the marathon and finish within the 17 hour time limit. So out I went and ran about a 10 minute pace walking a full minute at all the aid stations (approx every mile) and the miles begin clicking off. At mile 5 or so the rain began but it was light. Runners began wearing long sleeves and jackets and Mylar blankets and I really didn’t know why. These were perfect running conditions in my book. At about mile 8 we hit the huge ascent of about a half mile to the turnaround. I ran it but made a mental note that I would walk this on lap 2, just not much to gain by running. The only problem I was having was a seriously aching Achilles tendon. I dealt with it by downing 4 Tylenol and that helped. Then it was back into town, the beginning of lap 2 and getting to the special needs station. I changed into dry socks and shoes I had in my special needs bag and that felt great. The rain remained persistent but light. I stuffed a long sleeved shirt in my jersey but never but it on although everyone else appeared to be freezing out there (into the 40s now). Back out to the lake and I just kept with the run/walk strategy. It began paying huge dividends as more and more people were reduced to a walk. I passed a lot of people on the run. At mile 23, Jenny Hogan ran up to me and told me how good I was doing and it finally sank in that I was going to be an Ironman. I began to picture the finish line. When I made the final turn and could see the finish, euphoria wiped out all pain. I went into my “kick” for the final several hundred yards and then heard Mike Riley say “Peter Dewey, you are an Ironman!” Wow.

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Coach Gail found me as I crossed the line which was appropriate because she is responsible for preparing me over the past year to become an Ironman. We both relished the moment that comes when a once nearly inconceivable goal is achieved. Next I found Carmel who was there with me not only all day but has supported me for 3 years of multi-sport training that include a broken collarbone from a bike crash last August. I was so happy she could share this pinnacle moment with me. After finishers pictures we tried to find our friends but it was difficult in the crowds. We brought a bunch of my gear to the car and returned. Unfortunately the rain returned too and my ability to move around was diminishing quickly. So we reluctantly called it a night at 10pm but only after we were told all our friends had also succeeded in their Ironman quest.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I exceeded my expectations.

Event comments:

IMCdA is the best, most organized race I have ever done. Course was scenic and challenging, weather was cool (and for me about perfect). Volunteers and spectators were awesome.

Last updated: 2008-12-15 12:00 AM
01:28:33 | 4224 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 94/136
Overall: 1523/2153
Performance: Average
Suit: Full wetsuit
Course: 2 loops of 1.2 mile rectangle going counter-clockwise
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 13:49
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
06:56:28 | 112 miles | 16.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 102/136
Overall: 1588/2153
Performance: Good
from Garmin: 111.85 mi 6:51:15 avg mph 16.3 max mph 38.8 avg hr 137 max hr 172 ascent 6288' 5.00 mi 00:17:38 146 163 17.0 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:21 148 168 17.3 mph 5.00 mi 00:16:59 143 161 17.7 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:08 136 149 17.5 mph 5.00 mi 00:19:03 140 166 15.7 mph 5.00 mi 00:20:33 150 172 14.6 mph 5.00 mi 00:16:30 137 169 18.2 mph 5.00 mi 00:19:51 139 162 15.1 mph 5.00 mi 00:18:15 139 162 16.4 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:34 131 147 17.1 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:40 129 145 17.0 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:49 131 144 16.8 mph 5.00 mi 00:19:17 136 160 15.6 mph 5.00 mi 00:16:36 135 159 18.1 mph 5.00 mi 00:18:00 132 154 16.7 mph 5.00 mi 00:19:54 136 161 15.1 mph 5.00 mi 00:21:24 144 170 14.0 mph 5.00 mi 00:16:52 134 163 17.8 mph 5.00 mi 00:20:42 137 161 14.5 mph 5.00 mi 00:20:12 137 161 14.9 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:18 131 150 17.3 mph 5.00 mi 00:17:05 131 147 17.6 mph 1.85 mi 00:07:26 132 146 14.9 mph
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loops. 1/3 of course very hilly. The rest mostly flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:26
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:55:58 | 26.2 miles | 11m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 63/136
Overall: 1183/2153
Performance: Good
from Garmin: 26.33 mi 4:49:25 10:59 min/mi avg HR 137 max HR 160 ascent 3311' 1.00 mi 00:09:29 140 150 09:29/mi 1.00 mi 00:09:57 142 151 09:57/mi 1.00 mi 00:09:48 145 151 09:48/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:36 142 149 10:36/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:06 141 148 10:06/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:32 140 144 10:32/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:50 136 143 10:50/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:13 137 154 11:13/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:50 138 142 10:50/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:51 139 146 10:51/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:30 138 146 10:30/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:09 137 143 11:09/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:51 140 147 10:51/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:14 138 145 11:14/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:22 137 142 11:22/mi 1.00 mi 00:10:59 135 145 10:59/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:21 133 144 11:21/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:32 135 141 11:32/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:46 133 139 11:46/mi 1.00 mi 00:12:15 129 138 12:15/mi 1.00 mi 00:12:21 134 142 12:21/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:16 131 136 11:16/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:31 134 138 11:31/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:29 135 142 11:29/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:02 136 143 11:02/mi 1.00 mi 00:11:29 137 144 11:29/mi 0.33 mi 00:02:54 149 160 08:45/mi
Course: 2 loops through town and along lakefront with one half mile long hill at turnaround.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5