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Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 14h 18m 7s
Overall Rank = 1527/2262
Age Group = Male 40- 44
Age Group Rank = 305/402
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:45 AM, breakfast of 2 packages of instant oatmeal, bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Just normal water intake this morning as I was properly hydrated for the previous 3 or 4 days. Over-hydrating on race morning has been a problem in the past.

Out the door at 4:45 to CDA. Met my Mom and step Dad and headed over to drop off bags, get body marked and set-up bike with 1 bottle GE, aero bottle with water, 4 packs of shot blocks and a gel in bento box.

Got wetsuit on around 6:20 just before the pro start and headed over to timing mat around 6:40. Met my girl friend and got hugs and good lucks from everyone and headed down to the beach.

I really came in under-trained and wanted to finish without a lot of damage to myself. Secretly I kind of thought with some better course management and my changes in nutrition and hydration I could PR.
Event warmup:

None as I had zero intention of going all out on the swim, plenty of time to warm up once the canon goes off.
  • 1h 31m 49s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

Lined up far right toward the back. When the canon went off I just leisurely walked down to the water and waded in to get under way. No matter how much I think I am mentally prepared for these mass starts it still is rude. Even staying back is was a rough go for most of the way out to the first turn. Got hit in the face one time pretty hard and actually though I was bleeding for a bit. Turns out I wasn't so no biggie really.

The first buoy was okay as I took it pretty wide to avoid the mayhem. The second buoy however was not okay. I cut it pretty close and ended up in the mix again. Breast stroke, tread water, breast stoke, tread water. Finally got clear and headed in. The way in was pretty fast as there seemed to be an unusual amount of boat waves pushing us back. Made it in 43 minutes for the first lap. I was okay with this.

Hit the water for the second lap and found it to be pretty clear sailing. Approaching the turn I suddenly ran into something. Startled me pretty bad. Turns out a lifeguard on a rescue board came into the course to pick someone up and didn't get out of my way in time. The sudden stop caused me to tense up and my right hamstring cramped up real bad. This was my fear on the swim. The last several open water swims I had cramped up and I was very afraid of this happening. I kept swimming and just made a conscious effort to relax my lower bode and just concentrate on my pull. Swam basically like I was using a pull buoy. With about 100 yards thing loosened up and I was back on track.

Made the last turn heading for home and with in just a couple of strokes my right calf lock up in a nasty cramp. Again, I just tried to relax and think about my pull. It would go away for a minute or two and then lock up again. It was a pretty rough 900 meters back in but I managed.

Total swim time was 1:31:49... 2008 (my previos Ironman) was 1:32:15. My quest to beat my previous was off to a good, albeit very small start.
What would you do differently?:

I just need to commit to consistent training. Some lessons may be in the future if want to get this swim down to the 1:15 range, which I think is reasonable.

All things considered this was a good swim for me.
Transition 1
  • 07m 15s

This was place for some free time, no training required. Just no lolly gagging.

Strippers got wetsuit off fast and I got my transition bag fast. Into the tent. It was VERY crowded right but I found a seat and got on socks and shoes, helmet, number belt and grabbed my sunglasses. Loaded the swim gear in the bag, got it to a volunteer and out the door. Stopped for a potty break and grabbed my bike and got on the road.
What would you do differently?:

I really don't think there is much more time here for me. With the size of transition I am not sure how to trim any more.

This year: 7:15
2008: 12:14

Nice improvement.
  • 6h 40m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.79 mile/hr

Got out of T1 and into downtown with no problems. A lot of bike traffic heading out of town. Immediately I noticed my HR was high. I slowed down to get my HR down to my goal of 130 but felt like I was going way to easy. I decided to go on RPE for a bit and get kind of a base line and just watch it throughout the bike to make sure I stayed steady based on my RPE. Kind of wanted to ride around RPE of 6 or 7. If my HR was creeping up it may indicate nutrition or hydration was lacking. Kind of settled in around 140 and just went with it. Whatever would happen is whatever would happen, but that's where I seemed most comfortable.

Started nutrition as planned 15 minutes in. Alternating gels and shot blocks every 30 minutes and 1 bottle of Gatorade every 90 minutes, supplementing with water as I felt necessary. Came out to about 330 calories per hour and I had great success in training. Honestly my goal was to straddle the edge of over-hydrating and dehydration. I peed 5 or 6 times in 2008 and felt free time was to be had by managing my intake better.

Somewhere around mile 30, at the bottom of the hill, I shifted to my small chain ring and dropped the chain. I stopped and tried to reach down and fix it quick but it was jammed around the bottom bracket. Thankfully I have a SRAM chain with a quick link and was able to remove the link and get the chain out and reinstalled. I lost probably close to 5 minutes here, but it really could have been worse.

The rest of the ride was pretty much non eventful. Went through the halfway point at just over 3:15, so I was a bit slower on the 2nd half. I think that just came down to lack of fitness and not my nutrition or hydration. I felt good the entire ride other than some back and neck stiffness.

I had my Garmin set to beep every 15 minutes to remind me to eat. Gel/ Shot Blocks at :15 and :45 of each hour along with water and Gatorade, and Gatorade at :00 and :30 of each hour. I nailed my nutrition plan, not missing a single alarm.

I made sure to thank all the volunteers on the way back in and they are absolutely amazing and make our day out there great.

Came in to T2 feeling pretty good and about as happy as I could have been with my ride.

This year: 6:40:16
2008: 6:49:33
What would you do differently?:

Based on my training I don't think anything better could have come out of this ride.
Transition 2
  • 02m 15s

T2 was pretty good. I wanted to get through as fast as I could and grab more free time. I fumbled a bit with helmet and glasses and stopped for sunscreen that took a bit longer than I had hoped.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe skip the sunscreen. By this time of day I don't think it would have been a bad idea.
  • 5h 56m 35s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 37s  min/mile

Off the bike and out of T2 my HR was sky high. Mid 150's when I needed to be more like mid 130 to low 140. I though this had to be from my bike strtegy of straddling the edge of dehydration. Spent a good portion of the first 3 miles walking and getting as much fluid in me as I could. Sponges on the shoulders and ice in my hat and down the front of my top at every aid station. Got my core temp down and started feeling better. Finally got into running and just adopted a run 10 minutes, walk two minutes plan. Occasionally walked a bit longer though and walked every aid station to get fluids. Water, Gatorade and another water at every station through the first half. Heart rate during my run segments was finally down around 140, with walking HR (brisk walk around 14 minute miles) down around 120.

Around mile 14, coming through the park I saw my girlfriend, Mom, Step Dad, Nephew, my daughter and her boyfriend. Was nice to see everyone. Got a kiss and hug from my girlfriend and moved on.

Shortly there after I got extremely nauseous. Really though I was going to throw up. Walked most of the next 2 miles. Started in on coke and chicken broth and kept that up the entire second half.

Heading out on the second loop, some quick math showed it possible to go sub 14 if I just even split the run. By mile 19 I knew that was not going to happen as my body just could not keep up. I made up my mind though that I was PR'ing no matter what it took.

Finally was comfortable stopping the ice and sponges around mile 18 or so but I was hurting. Ankles, feet, hip flexors, right calf, shoulders... I was just hurting.

Finally peed at the mile 20 aid station.

At this point it was just a matter of keeping moving. I was hurting like I had never hurt before. My energy levels were actually pretty good but the aches and pains were taking there toll. I wanted to walk but new I had a PR there to grab if I could just run a bit more than my original 10/2. At one point I did 20 minutes straight. When I stopped to walk it hurt like I have never hurt. I walked to recover a bit but strangely felt better when I started running again.

Hit the 22 mile mark and just started surviving mile to mile. At 1 mile I knew a PR was going to happen pretty much no matter what. I ran as much as I could that last mile. After making the last turn on to Sherman all the aches and pains went away. The crowd was huge and absolutely amazing. These people cheer every single person as if you just won the thing. What a great feeling.

I savored the finish chute a bit more this time. High fives and celebration on the way in. Stopped just short of the finish line a posed for my finish photo.

Almost gave back all my gains on swim, bike and transition but managed to hang tough and my PR by 8 minutes.

This year: 5:56:35
2008: 5:44:48

What would you do differently?:

I just did not put in any miles in training. My longest run in the last 6 months was 2 hours. I had some knee problems last fall and was possibly over cautious in training. More quality running miles would have been a huge difference.
Post race
Warm down:

This Ironman meant so much more than my first one. I got very emotional coming down Sherman this year. Tears and all. I think getting through with a PR, racing smart, nailing my nutrition and just overcoming a lack of training to PR was a lot to take in.

Meeting my Girlfriend, daughters, Mom and Step Dad at the finish was a tear fest. I started it and soon almost everyone was crying. I learned a lot about myself out there today. I learned that my mind is capable of way more than my body is if you let it do it and put the pain out of your mind. In the future, if I can couple this with a good training cycle I think I am capable of way more and I look forward to doing that.

Walked over to the food area. Stopped in to medical to visit Flyboy who had an ice cold Coors Light waiting for me. Ate some pizza, drank a beer and visited for a few minutes. Made my way back over to the finish chute to watch my friend Mike come in. I was stiff and sore and had a tough time with the bleachers. Saw Mike come in and went to meet him but couldn't find him so it was off to collect my gear and get home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of consistent training volume. My new job really hampered my ability to stay consistent.

Event comments:

WTC races are second to none. Every single athlete is treated like a rock star. The volunteers and spectators are amazing. These things are community events. The atmosphere is amazing. Some are shocked at the price but I firmly believe this is a "you get what you pay for" type of deal.

This is not my last Ironman.

Last updated: 2009-06-25 12:00 AM
01:31:49 | 4224 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 325/402
Overall: 1027/2262
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Two lap, counter clockwise rectangular
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:15
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:40:16 | 112 miles | 16.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 301/402
Overall: 1375/2262
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 2 Loops, repeated twice. Some hills, some rollers, some flats.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:15
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:56:35 | 26.2 miles | 13m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 321/402
Overall: 1682/2262
Performance: Average
Course: double out and back, done twice. Mostly flat with a couple of little hills and one short but steep one.
Keeping cool Average 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

2010-06-28 9:58 PM

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Subject: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

2010-06-28 10:07 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Keller Tx
Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Nice payoff for racing smart!  Congrats on a well executed race

2010-06-28 11:12 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Great job!!!
2010-06-28 11:22 PM
in reply to: #2949811

No excuses!
Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Great job on the PR, way to go!
2010-06-29 1:03 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Nice Race!  Great PR goals early on kept you truckin.  Way to push through the pain, IM. 

2010-06-29 5:02 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Awesome. Totally awesome. Congratulations on your PR! I love reading how moving this was for you, even though it wasn't your first!! Having just finished the first and already soul-searching on the second, all I can think is, "How could finishing ever be as sweet?" You just showed me how. Thank you. Can't wait to read about your next victories. And you are so right -- the spectators treat everyone like the race winner and it is amazing. What a thrill!!

2010-06-29 5:23 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Portland, OR
Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Way to go!!!! Wish I could have been there to cheer you on in person! Congrats on a great finish and overcoming a lot to get to the start
2010-07-01 6:25 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Congratulations on a well executed race and PR Dan!!  Glad I'm not the only one who gets emotional when I cross the finish of an IM too!  You did an awesome job this year, especially with all the obstacles you got through to get to the start line.  Congratulations again on #2!

2010-07-01 6:36 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Nice job on your PR! Congratulations
2010-07-01 7:40 PM
in reply to: #2949811

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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Nicely executed race. Congrats on your PR!
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