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Ironman Coeur d'Alene - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
United States
Ironman North America
66F / 19C
Total Time = 14h 47m 36s
Overall Rank = 1653/
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 101/142
Pre-race routine:

Where to start? For me, the event started when hubby and I did the drive from Denver to Coeur d'Alene on WEDNESDAY before the race. I was amazed to see how much more developed Montana was than Wyoming. Ocky did all the driving (even dodging the antelope in the road!), and we pulled into the condo 16:45 after we left home--just within the IM cut-off ;). The condo was about 20-25 minutes outside of town, and right on the water. Mom had arrived about an hour ahead of us, and we walked down to the restaurant on-site for dinner. Then straight to bed--I had a big few days ahead of me!

THURSDAY I slept in a little--I wanted to make sure I was getting my rest! Got to the race swim area at 8:00. Gatorade was sponsoring morning swims, so their booth was set up, and Blue Seventy was letting people test swim wetsuits. The scene wasn't too chaotic, yet, but there were plenty of people. The wind was blowing at a good clip, and the water looked kinda rough--this would become a theme. I pulled on my wetsuit, layed out a transition area for my brick into a run, and walked down to the water. There seemed to be about 3-foot swells, lots of chop and white caps. Swam about 1000 meters, pausing for a minute to talk to one of the safety kayakers who gave me a tip on sighting on the way in. Towards the end of the swim, I began to get the feel for swimming and breathing in the rough water. Then in for a short run--start fast, jog 2 miles, end fast. This is where I could definitely feel there is an altitude advantage going from Colorado to CdA. I was able to run the "fast" 1/2 miles at 7:35 pace without feeling like I was killing myself!
After breakfast with Mom and Ocky, I went to registration. Outside the registration tent, there were 2 lines, one short, and one really long. Turns out the short line was for those who had their USAT cards, which I did! :) Then on through the various stages of registration, including lodging info, weigh-in, buying banquet tickets, getting number packet and getting the wrist band on--I was official! ;) Checked out the Ironman Village, window shopped at the IM gear tent, and hit the ART tent to work out some of the kinks from the drive. Then, on to driving the course!
The bike course has about 15-20 miles of good solid hills on each loop, starting about 20 miles in. There are several power climbs early, then a bunch of big rollers, rolling one right into the next. Last year, I would have freaked at the sight of these hills. This year, I had full confidence that I would handle the course without issue. Some of that confidence probably came from having done the Napa Valley HIM in May.

FRIDAY morning, Ocky and I headed to the swim site to meet some of the other BTers. Coach had me taking the day off, so I was just there to put faces with BT names and check out a few more things at the expo. I met ADollar79 (Andrew), Captantony (Doug), Leopard8996 (Bonnie), T from Liberty Lake (Tobin), Boglecda (Bryan), nighthawk (Chad), and a bunch more. It was awesome! Bonnie/Leopard was planning to swim a bit later, so we got to chat for a bit. What a fantastic athlete!!

At the Athlete's Dinner that night, we met up with the BT crew again, and this time got to meet another Shannon--thegoddess! Have I mentioned how awesome BTers are? It seemed like I had known Shannon my whole life. At the dinner, Bonnie was recognized as the Biggest Loser of IMCda--the woman lost 170 pounds!! She rocks!

SATURDAY, Ocky and I did a short ride on the course, then dropped off my bike and transition bags. My bike space was at the end of a rack, right under a tree--very easy to find! Ocky went to the volunteer meeting (he was assigned security duty), and then we went back to the condo, where I finished fixing my bottles and special needs bags, then got off my feet. My brother (Heath) and niece (Kendall) arrived in the afternoon, and we watched videos in the evening--Barn Yard and Cars. Mom cooked up a batch of baked ziti, then to bed for me! Before I went to sleep, I thought through my best race in each event. Surprisingly, I didn't have much trouble falling asleep.

RACE DAY I started to wake up around 3:00, but got up for real at 3:30. Ate my bagel with peanut butter and honey, a banana, and a cup of tea. Got dressed, then pulled my bottles out of the fridge, and headed down to the dock with Ocky.
Event warmup:

The condo was running a shuttle on race morning, and we were on the 4:50 shuttle. Turned out to be a beautiful woody, and we were the only passengers for the earliest shuttle! The captain commented about how calm the water was that morning--I had been holding my tongue to this point. At 4:55, we pulled into the dock at the transition area, and the chop had kicked up.

Went to the first open bodymarker, and hoped she had good handwriting! ;) Dropped my mini fig newtons off in my transition bags, put my bottle of perpetuem on my bike, poured water in my aero bottle, topped off my tires (thanks to Bonnie for use of her pump!), and dropped my special needs bags off, while eating a Tigers Milk bar. Then hubby and I walked in a bit from the water to get out of the wind. Hung out for a bit, sipping accelerade and just taking in the scene before putting on the bodyglide and beginning the wetsuit dance. Changed into my $1 Target special flip flops for the walk to the beach, dropped off my dry clothes bag, and started shuffling down towards the water.

I somehow ran into Bonnie in the crush towards the timing mat. It was so nice to have her there with me! As we were about 10 people from the mat, Mike Reilly called for quiet, and announced that, given the conditions, any athlete who was not comfortable swimming could opt to do a duathlon. Bonnie and I looked at each other and said "I came to do an Ironman!" Moments later, we crossed the timing mat arm-in-arm! There was no turning back.

I positioned myself about 2/3 of the way to the right, and smack in the middle row. I really couldn't hear a darn thing Mike Reilly was saying, and just barely made out the National Anthem. The shot went off, and the insanity commenced!
Swim
  • 1h 19m 58s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards
Comments:

Between the crush of people and the 3' chop, this start was crazy. I got hit over the head a few times, my goggles flooded a couple of times--it was like a wild cage fight/grab ass session. I started to think someone had passed the word I had the best butt in the race, and everyone decided to take a feel! But I don't have these shoulders for nothing, and I probably gave as good as I got.;) For the first 5 minutes, I kept asking myself "what the hell am I doing?" But then my nerves settled, and a sort of rhythm set in.

I didn't do much citing--with all the people and the chop, I really couldn't see anything anyways. By the time I finally popped up to see where I was, I found myself inside of the bouy line--I had crossed 2/3 of the field!

The entire way out on the first lap, I had to breathe every stroke. It was just too rough for my normal every-third-stroke pattern. On the way out, I drafted off of a ton of people--really, there was no choice! We hit the turn bouy, and the chaos kicked up another notch. People breaststroking everywhere! The pack seemed to stretch out a bit on the short distance between the turn bouys, then WHAM, we got to the next bouy and gridlock set in. The return trip was a bit better, with people a bit more spread out. I was able to stake my claim on one pair of feet, so I got a nice ride and I had fun riding the waves in.

I ran up on shore, through the arch, across the timing mat, then back into the water. My left foot felt a little funny during this run, but it was probably just because it was darn cold! The second lap was a lot less hectic. I was able to get into my normal swim pattern, and found a beautiful pair of feet. Those feet took me all the way to the first turn bouy--lovely! We all bunched up again at the bouy, and I had someone repeatedly push down on my legs. I had no choice but to kick hard to get my legs free.

Followed another pair of feet to the next turn bouy, and this time it was smooth sailing! I freestyled right around that sucker! I found another pair of feet to give me a ride the rest of the way in, and let the waves do some of the work.

I started kicking about 200 meters out to try to avoid dizziness. Coming into the shore, I couldn't believe how many people stood up as soon as thier feet could touch. With that kind of "surf", it seemed better to swim as far in as possible. I swam until my hands were in the sand, then stood up. HOORAY! No dizziness! I ran up the beach feeling great! I looked at the clock, and I had come in within my "darned good day" goal! :) Ocky was in the shoot (as "Security"), right in front of Heath and Kendall. I collected my high fives, and kept on trucking!
What would you do differently?:

Start to the inside. Having crossed most of the pack early on, I don't think it really matters where you start, you are going to have some of the melee, and it really isn't all that bad.

On another note, I found out later that, during the first lap, the race organizers called the "Security" crew down to the shore, and were preparing to pull all of the non-pros out of the water after the first lap. Evidently, they were that concerned about the conditions. Not sure what made them change their minds--there may have been enough AGers who kept on going that they gave up. Whatever it was, I'm glad they let us finish!
Transition 1
  • 07m 37s
Comments:

I ran into transition, found the first open pair of wetsuit strippers, and flopped down. Those ladies rocked! They had that suit off in no time!

Then I jogged up the line of bags, found mine, and ran into the changing tent. A volunteer asked if I would like help, and of course I said YES PLEASE!! She found me a chair, and started pulling stuff out of my bag. I had worn my sports bra and jersey along with my swim suit bottoms under my wetsuit, so I just pulled off the swim bottoms, toweled dry, and put on my bike shorts. The volunteer laid out my socks and shoes, clipped my number belt on, handed me my GPS, helmet, sunglasses, endurolytes and chapstick, and squeezed chamois butter out for me. I pushed the button to turn on the GPS, and nothing happened. I waiting a second, and pushed it again. Nothing. Didn't want to stand around waiting too long, so I kept going. I took a quick sip from the water bottle I had in my transition bag, and ran outside. Here, the volunteers were waiting with sunscreen. The girl did a great job on my legs, shoulders, and upper arms. Seems she completely missed my forearms, which would come back to haunt me. I fiddled with my GPS while being sunscreened to no avail.

All dressed and ready, I ran up the racks towards my bike. That great rack space came in very handy here! Then out of transition, mount the bike, and go, Go, GO!
What would you do differently?:

Apply sunscreen after being body marked in the morning. The second degree burns on my forearms sucked!!
Bike
  • 7h 34m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.79 mile/hr
Comments:

Without the GPS, I had no speed or distance info. I looked at my watch, did some math, and figured out at what intervals I would need to hit each aid station to make my goal, then put the GPS issue out of my mind. I kept the pace very easy. It was so tempting to power up the slight hills on the first out and back from town to Higgins Point and back, but I was trying to stick to the plan--very easy on the first lap, push it a bit more on lap 2. I knew the hills would be very managable on the first lap, and I needed to make sure they were still managable on the second.

The first aid station was on the way back from Higgins point. I grabbed a water bottle, topped off my aerobottle, and pitched the bottle.

It was on the first out and back that I first saw Coleen. Coleen and I would stay in close proximity for most of the race, trading off taking the lead.

Coming back through town, I heard thegoddess cheer for me. Then I see Heath, Kendall, and Mom on the sidewalk, all with their backs to the road. I yelled "Hey Heath!" as I was passing by, and hear this "Oh $&*#!, Go Shannon!" from behind.

I turned a corner, and was now heading North. On the North leg of the course, you have a long, very gradual uphill (maybe 1%) before you hit the climbing. At this point, the wind that had be causing the choppy water was providing a bit of a tailwind, and that was most welcome! :) I make a turn, come around a turn-about, and am coming past a church that had a band and was hosting a BBQ for spectators to hang out and cheer us on! This community is amazing! In this area, we hit the second aid station. Keep on going, and I see ELMO! No, I'm not hallucinating, there was a guy in a full Elmo costume out there waving at the athletes! Then there's a group of people wearing "More Cowbell" shirts and clanging away. Talk about great for the spirits!

The next landmark is the golf course, and here I start getting ready. Just past the golf course is the first true climb of the day--a nice little power climb. I could have popped up out of the saddle and crested that sucker quickly, but I needed to stay smart, so I kept my butt on the leather. Even so, to my utter amazement, I was passing people. You read that right. I WAS PASSING PEOPLE ON A CLIMB!!! (Thank you to Stacie and Julia for teaching me to climb!!)

A bit more winding and power climbing, past the third aid station, and then the rollers set in. Again, I topped of the aerobottle with water. I was doing a good job of sipping some perpetuem every 10 minutes (chased with water), and taking a shot of gel on the half hour and hour. When I needed something a bit more solid, I would pop a couple of mini newtons with the gel.

I got to the rollers, and quickly found that I wasn't carrying as much momentum from the downhills onto the uphills as I would have liked. It seemed the wind was now slowing me down a bit. No biggie, everyone was dealing with the same wind. Finally, I see the turn around. This is where they have a timing mat, so everyone unclipped the foot they were wearing their timing chip on right before the turn. As I'm coming through, some guy on a motorcycle is anxious to get on the course, and is sitting at the end of the "U-turn", making it an even tighter turn than normal. With my bike, my front wheel rubs on my right foot when I make tight turns, so I ended up having to unclip, and carefully inch my way through the turn. THEN the motorcycle backed up. Grr.

Anyway, as I'm leaving the turn around area, I see a woman up ahead wearing the same bike shoes as I have. They are hot Barbie pink and silver--rather rare and hard to miss. Naturally, I complimented her on her choice of footwear. ;)

Now I'm back out on rollers through countryside. At one point, I was passing a farm, and this cow let out a very loud "Mmmmmooooo!!" I decided it was her way of cheering me on. All along this section of the course, people were sitting at the end of their driveways cheering for the athletes. So awesome! I thought I saw Bonnie on an out and back section, buy we passed each other too quickly to know for sure. I did see Scott Riggins (the double amputee) out there though--he was rather hard to mistake. He looked strong at this point.

I finish up the hilly section still feeling strong. Just before passing the church, I make a pit stop. No line, and I figured I might as well stay comfortable.

Passing the redshirts, I yelled "More Cowbell!", and that got a huge reaction! Gave Elmo a high five and I cruised on by.

Time to head back down that nice long gradual downhill, right? Um, yeah, except that tailwind was now a headwind. Humph. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning!

Back into town, and I see signs "First Lap Left, Second Lap Right." Halfway there! WooHoo!!

I start heading back out through town, and see my family--Mom, Heath, Kendall, and Ocky. Ocky asks how I'm doing, and I tell him "Well the hills are going to suck, but I'm fine!"

Off I go, headed out to Higgins Point again. Along the way, there was a cheer squad doing cheers and holding signs. One of the girls was holding a sign that read "Marry Me!" I told her sorry, she wasn't my type.

Stopped off at another portapotty on the way out.

They had the special needs bags laid out at Higgins Point, about mile 63 they said. As each athlete came into the turn around area, a guy with a megaphone would call out our number, then we were instructed to yell our number while riding past the volunteers stationed in front of the bags, and they would direct us to the section with our bag. I pulled in, and the volunteer handed me my bag. I switched out perpetuem bottles, grabbed more mini newtons, and was off. Thankfully, I hadn't flatted during the first loop, so I didn't need any of the extra tubes or CO2 I had in the bag. Tied up the top of the bag, handed it to the volunteer, and I was gone.

Coming back through town, I see the first pro heading out on this marathon. YES!! I had not been lapped!! :) Minor point of personal satisfaction.

Next, there was thegoddess, cheering again. This time I yelled back "Yeah Shannon!" It just seemed appropriate, and probably confused the heck out of the other spectators right there!

Back past my family, who was cheering along with a big group of people wearing yellow shirt that read "GO MIKE!," and out onto that gradual uphill again, still feeling good. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning. Past the round about and the awesome people at the church. Waving at Elmo. On to the golf course.

This time, when I hit the power climb, I came out the saddle to power over the top. Smile. Last year, I wouldn't get out of the saddle. Back in the saddle. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning. A couple more power climbs, and I see folks pushing their bikes up the hills. Out of the saddle to power over the top. A guy named Bob tells me "You sure can climb these hills!" Smile. "I'm from Colorado," I say. :)

At some point, I lost track of which aid station I was at, and where I was supposed to be time wise to meet my goal. I come past an aid station, and hear one of the volunteers telling another "the last rider is at the first aid station." I start to get worried, since I couldn't remember how many aid stations I had passed on that loop. I look at my watch, and remember I have ten hours, thirty minutes to complete both the swim and bike, and realize I have plenty of time to make that cut. Besides, I had already passed the sign for mile 81. :) They tell you the race starts at mile 80, so I was "in the race." Whew. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning.

Made the turn around, and headed through the fields. Saw Scott Riggins again, still looking pretty good. Going past that farm, and that cow Mmmmoooo-ed for me again! Oh, Yeah! Then I passed a blue grass group out playing at the end of a drive way. They finish a song as I'm going by, and I yell "Encore, encore!" The say "Next time around!" Me: "NO!!!"

By now, I've settled in with a bunch of people who are all going about the same pace. I would pass some on the uphill, they would pass me on the down, or vice versa. Eventually, a guy says "a local told me we only have 4 climbs left. Looks like we're starting the first of those." Hmmm. Spin, spin, spin, a bit more power at the top. Number one done. Next! I ticked off the next 3 the same way. Whooweee!

I come to a corner, and there's my family!! Mom and Kendall waving signs and shaking pom-poms, Ocky telling me I look good, Heath saying "I'm Wrudy the Wrabbit!" (Yes, Meatballs was an end-of-year tradition in my family) I tell them "Just 11 miles left!" (There was a mileage sign just before this corner).

Now I'm back on a section with 2-way bike traffic, and I see they are starting to tear down the "out" aid station. Hmm. The crowds have thinned a bit, but those who are there are still amazing. Elmo is STILL there giving out high fives as athletes pass, and folks are still ringing those cowbells!

Coming back down the gradual downhill, I'm hit by the headwind again. Can't it just ease up a bit? My longest training ride was about 88 miles, so this is brand new territory for me. And while I'm happy to have completed my first century, at this point, my saddle is no longer comfy, and I am ready to be done.

Back into town, past those arrows, and straight into the hands of the bike catchers. I told them "I have never been so happy to see anyone." They said they were mighty happy to see me, too. I hop off the bike, and WHOA do I feel funny! It was like I had sea legs trying to run to transition in my bike shoes!
What would you do differently?:

Check to make sure my GPS is working before putting it in my transition bag! DUH! I had changed the battery, but didn't turn the unit on. I had the battery in right, but it somehow didn't seat properly. I may have been able to push the pace a bit more had I had speed/distance info.

Also, towards the end of my ride, I stopped paying close attention to my nutrition, and I still had about 20% of my perpetuem left in the bottle. I also don't know when the last time was I took any endurolytes on the bike. This is where I probably should have had a timer set to remind me.
Transition 2
  • 04m 47s
Comments:

The volunteers in transition had my bag ready for me to grab (these volunteers are WONDERFUL!). Into the change tent, and again a volunteer asks if I want help. She guides me to an open chair, and pulls out my things for me. Shoes and socks off, bike shorts and helmet off (GOODBYE!), running skirt on (aaahhhh! :)), fresh socks on, running shoes on, more endurolytes, gel flask in the back, number belt turned around, running hat on, and out to the sunscreeners.

This time I asked them to make sure they got my forearms really good. Too late!

Out onto the course! I had been thinking somewhere between 7 and 10 minutes for each transition--I can't believe I did this one in under 5!
What would you do differently?:

Hit the potty!
Run
  • 5h 40m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 01s  min/mile
Comments:

Alright! I'm running!! Oh, wait, coach's instructions: be VERY conservative on the first lap. Slow down Shannon!!

The first leg of the course follows the beach, and is where I did my brick run on Thursday. I'm cruising along to the first aid station, and see the blessed portapotties. Unfortunately they are both full, and there is a bit of a line. One of the volunteers points out the potties at the end of the aid station, so I start moving that direction. Then I remember coach's other instructions for the run: take in as much fluids as I can stand. Water please!! I sip my water while moving to the potty, get there, and DOH! They're both full! Now I REALLY have to go! Pee-pee dance! Dang it, I didn't pee myself at all on the bike, am I going to have to pee myself on the run?? Thank the Lord, someone came out! Whew, that was close!

Slow jog down to the timing mat and turn around, and hmm, my tummy starts feeling funny. Crud. Jog REAL slow and let it settle. Back to the aid station, drink more water and take in a Gu. Tummy still feels funny. CRUD! More slow jogging.

I start heading through town, and there's my family! High-fives from everyone! I handed off my GPS to Ocky at this point, and tell him it never turned on. Then, off I plod! Left, right, left, right, all day long! Just keep it up!

I get to the next aid station, and decide to try eating a banana section, along with popping some endurolytes and drinking water. Jog easy. I briefly felt like hurling, but then it settled, and I was able to jog a bit faster.

Next aid station, I tried the chicken broth, but it just didn't taste good to me, so I pitched it, took in a few pretzels, some gu, and more water. Slosh, slosh, easy jog. OK, I guess I'll just stick to banana for a bit.

I hit the aid station at mile 5, grab a water and a huge banana section. I try to eat the banana as quickly as I can, and wash it down with some water. I'm just past the aid station when I just can't keep it in anymore. Yep, I'm puking. I threw up what must have been all of the fluids I drank from the beginning of the run. I threw up banana, and spit out the chunks I had still been in the process of chewing. I threw up endurolyte tablets--still almost whole. I threw up gu. I threw up pretzels. A couple of volunteers who were standing there ask if they can get me anything--water, chicken broth. I tell them thanks, but I already have water, and the broth isn't tasting good yet.

I popped a couple more endurlytes, and start walking. I figure I'll give myself until the next aid station to walk and get everything settled. I sip my water, and walk at a decent pace. At the next aid station, I give the broth another try. This time, it tastes OK, so I drink the whole thing, grab some water, and down that, too. Then I start running. No, really running. I'm doing my ~10 miles, and feeling good. The tummy is now happy. Apparently, I have provided the necessary sacrifice to the Ironman gods.

The rest of lap 1 would be at a steady run, drinking water and broth at every aid station. I would periodically add in some gu, for good measure. The turn around for the second leg of each lap was part way up the only steep hill of the course, and I chugged away up that sucker!

Heading back into town, I see Bonnie looking great! I was so dang proud to know her! I also saw Megan, I woman I work with who was also racing, and she was in great shape.

Around mile 10, I hit the portapotty, and was pretty darned happy about it! If I had to pee, that meant I was processing the fluids I was taking in! Yeehaw!!

As I'm almost back into town, I see Scott Riggins, and am so glad to see him out on the run! On the edge of town, there's thegoddess! A quick Hi and a hug, and keep on cruising. Then I see my brother, and he jogs along with me for a bit, asking how I'm doing, etc. I tell him about getting sick, but that I'm feeling much better. I ask how Kendall is holding up, and he tells me I'm a nut, and to just worry about myself! I'm a nut?? He's the one yelling "I'm Wrudy the Wrabbitt!!" Anyway, he cuts up a street, and pops up again about 2 blocks later, acting like he hadn't just seen me. Again, who's the nut?

It's not long before I'm back passing the transition area. Again, I hit the portapotties at the first aid station, then head on down to the turn around. I tell the folks at the timing mat "sorry, I won't be this way again!" When I get back to the aid station, I decide it's time to pull out the magic potion. Yep, I take my first hit of coke. Tasted pretty darned good, too! Washed it down with some water, and away I went.

Special needs was just west of the transition area. There was a guy holding a sign asking "Transition Bag, Yes or No?" I tell him yes, and the volunteer next to him shouts my number over a megaphone Another guy with a megaphone relays my number to the volunteers, and someone gets my bag and is holding it out for me when I arrive. I looked in the bag, popped the 2 advil I had in there, stuffed the reflective tape and armband in my back pocket, and hand the bag back.

I come to Mom and Kendall right in front of the transition area, and get a quick kiss from Kendall. A woman who is going about my pace, Suzanne, offers me some of her salt & vinegar Pringles, which were tempting, but I decided to decline. Suzanne and I ran together for a bit, but she would eventually ease off the pace.

From this point on, I'm taking in water and coke at every aid station, and broth about every third. I also have to pee at about every third aid station. I even ducked behind a tree once ;) But I'm able to keep a good solid pace at about ~10:00/mile.

I was running along CdA Lake Blvd with another woman and I ask her if she thinks we will break 15 hours at the current pace. She says she hopes so, since that's her goal! We're at mile 18, 13:30ish, and I start to do the math. Doable, even with potty stops. She and I start basically matching pace, and keep together until the hill just before the turn around. Everyone is walking it, but I just keep running. I love that altitude advantage!

Now I'm passing a lot of people. I could not believe it. I don't pass people on the run! This is crazy! And I feel good! Really good!

About mile 24, I see Heath, Kendall and Mom. Heath and Kendall start running with me, and tell me they saw Bonnie going the other direction a little bit ago. I tell them I have one more potty stop, but they better get going or they're going to miss my finish! They peel off, grab Mom, and hightail it to the car, just as I get to my last potty stop of the race. :) I take more water and coke at the aid station, and get back to running.

Just before mile 25 I get to the volunteers handing out the glow necklaces. One guy comes running towards me, arms outstretched, glow necklace ready to be attached. Really, there should have been mood music! ;) Now I have this thing flopping around my neck--not a ton of fun, but that's OK, I only have about a mile left! I decided to skip the last aid station, and figured adrenaline alone could carry me across the finish at this point.

Finally, I'm running down Sherman towards the finish line. You can see the line for several blocks as you make your way down the road. I pick up the pace ever so slightly and pull off the necklace. I'm smiling at the crowd, throwing fists in the air, and trying to figure out who to give the necklace to. Eventually, I just threw it over the heads of the spectators.

Suddenly, there's Ocky to my right and Kendall running out from my left! I grabbed their hands, and heard Mike Reilly announcing ME! He even said my last name almost right! I come across the finish line just thrilled. Ocky stops to give me a kiss (apparently a kiss seen round the world, as my SIL and Mother and Father-in-law all commented about it), and then a volunteer is pulling me away.
What would you do differently?:

Throw up earlier. :)
Post race
Warm down:

I tried to give Ocky Kendall's hand before we all got lost in the crush, and I guess I was successful! The volunteer asked if I needed a space blanket (I didn't), gave me my finisher's medal, and collected my finisher's shirt and hat. Then she guided me towards the photo stand, and held my things while I had my pic taken. She was a bit pushy, though, and kept saying, "Athlete coming through!" It was pretty funny--and embarrassing! She asked if I had seen my family or knew where to meet them. I looked to my left and said "They're right there." Heath and Mom were waiting. "Athlete coming through! Do you know where the Food and Massage tents are? I'll show you." She guides me and Mom to the tents, hands my goodies to Mom, and disappears in the crowd.

Mom starts pushing food on me almost immediately. I decide to put my name on the massage list before grabbing food, since I have a feeling there will be a little wait. Yep--20 minutes. Perfect. Now Mom goes into action. Bagel with cream cheese, banana, do you want pizza? I manage half of the bagel and the banana (amazing, come to think of it). We find a table near the fencing, and Ocky, Heath and Kendall come to talk to us. Ocky had been holding my rings all day, so he reached over to put them back on my fingers, but there was a new ring! A beautiful diamond band that is going to be joined to my wedding ring! He is in such trouble (OK, maybe not ;))!

Time for my massage, and my knees and ankles have gotten tight. Well, that didn't take long! That's OK though. I AM AN IRONMAN! :)


What limited your ability to perform faster:

No speed/distance info on the bike, stomach issues on the run.

Event comments:

What an absolutely amazing experience! NA Sports puts on one heck of an event--first class from Thursday though Monday. The community support is fantastic. Everyone I met, even those not involved in any way with the event, was so welcoming and enthusiastic. I cannot say enough about IMCdA!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2006-09-06 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:19:58 | 4224 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 45/142
Overall: 897/
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction Full
Course: 2 laps around a counterclockwise rectangle, running up on shore to cross a timing mat after the 1st lap.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 07:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
07:34:27 | 112 miles | 14.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 112/142
Overall: 1720/
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: 2 Laps on an "L" shaped course, with a loop at the top of the L. The loop is pretty steady hills, with a few power climbs at the start of the hills, giving way to big, constant, rollers that flow one right into the next.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 04:47
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
05:40:47 | 26.2 miles | 13m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 103/142
Overall: 1653/
Performance: Average
Course: 2 laps, out and back to the west along the beach, then out and back to the east, towards Higgins Point, following a portion of the bike course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2007-07-02 3:35 PM

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Subject: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Sorry for the novel, but I always want more detail when I read these things! :)

Edited by swgtri 2007-07-02 3:37 PM


2007-07-02 3:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
What a fabulous race report--like a good book, I couldn't stop reading. You are an amazing woman! You've inspired me and I'll be thinking about your experience when I do the Chicago Marathon.
2007-07-02 4:19 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Woohoo!!! I've been waiting to read about your race all week

It sounds like you really enjoyed yourself out there, and also kicked butt at the same time!  Your race report is one of those rare IM race reports that actually make me think an IM sounds like something *fun* to do.  Anyhow, congrats on being an IM!!! I'm so impressed that you were doing your first tri a couple years ago and here you are rocking an ironman.

Oh, and I must be PMSing or something today because my eyes totally got all misty when I read the part about Ocky slipping you the new diamond ring at the finish - that's like the sweetest thing I've ever heard



Edited by Stacers 2007-07-02 4:21 PM
2007-07-02 4:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

"I got hit over the head a few times, my goggles flooded a couple of times--it was like a wild cage fight/grab session."

Yahoo! Now who wouldn't love that??? Wink

Congratulations on a race well done! Yay for you! Awesome accomplishment!

2007-07-02 4:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Congrats on a great race.  Sounds like you had so much fun out there.  Reading your race report really gets me excited about next year.

 

2007-07-02 4:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
encore!!! I plan on signing up for my first Ironman this month (either IMLP or Wisconsin). This is a very inspiring story, I can only hope to have a day as successful as yours. Great job.

if you have any training suggestions/secrets and feel like passing them along, at all means I would love to hear them.

congrats


2007-07-02 4:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Went to the first open bodymarker, and hoped she had good handwriting!

I've often wanted to start interviewing the bodymarkers; "Who are your major influences?"  "Where did you study calligraphy?"  "What font are youusing today?".... 

Congrats on becoming an Ironman.  It is a tough day and you did great!  Say hi to Mom.

2007-07-02 5:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

OMG Shannon!  Awesome race report...I totally felt like I was right there with you!  You did so great, and I'm proud to say I know you!

Ha, I saw that kiss too....that was a long one   LOL! 

Sounds like you had a perfect day, minus the puking.....Congratulations!

2007-07-02 6:09 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Congrats, sounds pretty incredible! I like that your secret weapon was 'a hit of coke'. Hope you are still willing to come out and train with us short-coursers once in a while.
2007-07-02 6:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Shannon!!!!!

I've been waiting for your report too and OMG it was awesome. It was an absolute pleasure to hang with you, Ocky and your mom in the days before the race and to walk arm and arm across the mat was a great way to start the day.

I had no idea you'd lost your bananas because you looked so good and determined each time I saw you

And Ocky gets huge props for pulling off that surprise. WOO HOO OCKY!!!!!

What's up next for you? Will you do an IM next year?
2007-07-02 9:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Great RR Shannon.  I never thought of the swim as a game of grab, lol.  Hilarious.

You had a tremendous race. Congrats!!!



2007-07-02 10:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
So proud of you Shannon!!!  You ARE an Ironwoman   Proud to have you as a friend, proud to have you as a training buddie.  Great Race Report and what more can I say but CONGRATS and I am jealous   I hope to be that strong one day.  YOU ARE A HERO!!!  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! 
2007-07-02 11:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Awesome!  Absolutely amazing!  Great story....I loved reading every word of it.  You are an inspiration!
2007-07-03 8:27 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Great Race Shannon!! I loved your Race Report!!! It was also great to meet you. Congrats Ironman!!! You did awesome!!
2007-07-03 9:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Great report.  One of the best I've read read.  Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment!
2007-07-03 10:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

This race report was SO worth the wait. This is probably one of the best I've ever read - not just cuz you're my friend and you mentioned *me* in there Seriously, I felt like I was right there with you. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us!

What an amazing day you had. I'm so proud of you, so happy for you, and so in awe at how great you felt at the end. You have made me even MORE excited about signing up for next year's race!! You are an inspiration.

P.S. Your husband is awesome. Between the support he's given you all year leading up to the race, then all he did AT the race, then the whole ring thing. Makes me wanna cry! And your family rocks too. You have quite a fan base!



2007-07-03 10:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Shannon,

Great race report and great race Ironman!  I loved all of the detail.  

It was nice meeting you and Ocky.  I can't believe they almost pulled all of us from the water after the first loop.  That would not have been good! 

By the way - can you teach me how to climb.

Enjoy your rest.

2007-07-03 12:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Congratulations (again) on such a great day and achievement! The RR was great to read too. Of course, you realize that when Adam and I saw you at the pond the other day, that was just the beginning of our picking your brain for next year, right? And no offense to your brother, but I'd agree that he may be the crazy one (still a great movie though).
2007-07-03 12:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Congratulations, Ironwoman.  You did a superb job and made me bum out that I wasn't in that swim with you!
2007-07-03 1:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

YOU kick A$$!  You had a great race and always a HUGE smile and an attitude that will propel you to the front in whatever you try.  Very nice meeting you and I really wish we didn't live so far apart. 

 

Ps...I love cows that moo at cool people.  

2007-07-04 2:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
You rock Shannon.  Way to go.


2007-07-05 10:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Shannon....You are indeed an Ironman! Fantastic Race.

And a great read....felt like I was actually on the course at times. Thanks for all the details (even the puking).

I loved the cow Mooing for you, the bands, the people cheering, your family & the ring at the end. But, I especially liked the thoughts inside your head throughout the day!

Congrats.

what a perfect DAY
2007-07-05 11:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Great job Shannon.  Glad you enjoyed your first IM and CDA.  Come back and race again. 
2007-07-05 4:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene
WOO-HOO! What a wonderful race report! Felt like I was right there with you!

I love reading RR's like yours... because your times are about what I'll have at my first IM.

You did a great job! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new ring and becoming and IRONMAN!
2007-07-12 8:35 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Shannon,

I know it's been almost a month and I'm just getting to your RR but that was AWESOME!!!

I signed up for CDA 08 and it will be my first.  Your an inspiration.  I hope I do as well.  Great job keeping your pace and patience on the bike.  Now if I could just find some altitude to train in. lol....

 Congrats Ironman!!!  You rocked it!

  K

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