Ironman Coeur d' Alene

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Ironman Coeur d' Alene

Post  rundmd on Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:16 am

Hello Everyone,
I finally have a minute to sit down and post some stuff on our blog. Coming fresh off Ironman CDA I thought I would share some of my experiences with you. Ironman is such an awesome experience not just for the fact you are doing an Ironman but being surrounded by 2000 other people and their families that understand and support you. It is a strange experience to be part of that energy for an entire week and then come home into utter obscurity. Not like I was expecting a ticker tate parade or anything!! Anyway we arrived on Wednesday morning to absolutely beautiful weather – we actually had to wear our jackets. The water temperature was 54 degree’s – yuck! We threw on our wetsuits and in we went!! It was absolutely frigid, or fingers were curled into a claw position and we were only able to stay in the water about 20mins. This didn’t make us too excited about Sunday but we knew the days ahead were supposed to be warmer so we prayed the water would warm up. Each day it did warm up and by race day it was around 60 degrees. Still not warm but it was warmer and with our wetsuit, booties and neoprene cap it was manageable.

Back to Ironweek – Thursday we were able to pick our bikes up from tri bike transport. By the way if you are ever traveling to an Ironman and have the option to use tri bike transport I highly recommend it. You only need to take off your pedals and tribike transport will take your bike without disassembly and a gear bag for around $250! The only downside is you have to turn your bike in about a week before you leave for the race so you need to have a backup bike for your last week or so of training. Typically your last long ride isn’t going to be over 40 -50 miles so you can get away with a bike that isn’t an exact fit. So, Thursday we woke up jumped in the lake for a swim – it was still cold but we were slowly getting used to it. Went back to our hotel changed and headed out for a short ride and run. The ride was only about 10 miles and it was just to run through our gears and make sure everything was functioning. A short 20 minute run followed and then relaxation!! We used the day to sight see a bit get registered and enjoy the ironman experience. It was one of the girls first time doing an ironman so she wanted to see it all.

Friday we got up and swam – AGAIN this time the water was a bit warmer and we thought “ok this is doable”. Not like we really had a choice because none of us were going to quit either way. Friday is the day they have the rules meeting and dinner for the athletes. We went and then came home to get our gear ready. Friday night is always the most important night to get a full night sleep and thank goodness I did because Saturday night is usually a short sleep night with an early wake up.

Saturday you drop off your T1, T2, special needs bag and bike at the race site. So everything has to be ready to go on Saturday – bags need to have your number, extra salt, long sleeve shirts, running shoes, bike shoes…anything you are going to need or possibly need on Sunday during the race needs to be packed up in the bag and delivered to the race site. On top of all that it was going to rain that night so everything was double bagged and our bike covered in trash bags in transition to keep everything from getting saturated.

Sunday morning – race morning. I was not that nervous which is typical I usually get the nerves out the week before. Race morning I have a calm over me and then that all goes away and I pee myself when the cannon goes off 

If you have never experienced a mass start there really is nothing nice to say about it. 2000 people all trying to find open water and not get their faces broken. The problem is if you are a good swimmer you can find open water and swim in a straight line. The bad news is most people are not good swimmers. So you pretty much just opt for survival no amount of pool swimming will ever prepare you except to give you the endurance to make it through the entire 2.4miles. The more races you do short or long you can develop your own strategy on where to start i.e. back, middle or front. I started IM CDA in the front far right. I am not a badass swimmer but I am an airhead  after my warm up swim I got a bit nervous and just stood right by the water line. Ignoring the 500 people behind me that were about to destroy me with then cannon went off. So the first 100 years – not fun at all but I found open water, and swam there the whole time not getting kicked or punched!! The turn was much of the same but I am pretty sure the course got longer. Total time in the water 1:11 I am satisfied with this - good start to the day!

T1 – ok if you have ever watched Worlds you have heard of Sister Madonna Buder. She is a nun that has done 38 Ironman traithlons and is 78 years old. I got to talk to her that week but she also was working the changing tent and helped me get all geared up. I consider this good luck since I grew up catholic.

Bike – beautiful course!! I trained for 6 months in Clermont and cursed my coach and Sugarloaf mountain for the first two months but this training served me well. There weren’t any hills as steep as skyridge (or devil hill as I call it) or sugarloaf but the hills were relentless and they just didn’t stop. I held back on the first loop fearful that I would burn out but by the time the second loop rolled around I felt great so I just stayed where I was and finished in 6hrs 21 minutes. I was hoping for 6 hours but I will take this.

Run - Have I mentioned the course support! The people there are incredible and totally get behind this race. It is a hard race because of the hills but if you train properly it will probably be the most rewarding because you have an entire town out there cheering you to the finish line. Ok, the run! I ran the entire marathon and was hoping for a 4hr finish but my sodium go low the last 3-4 miles and I had to try and play catch up. My body did not want to play catch up so I had to slow way down and walk the last 4 water stops – which I hate to do. This is probably what cost me the 26mins but since I couldn’t even see straight I have no idea what my watch said. Honestly I don’t even remember the last 4 miles except for coming into town and going down the street to the finish line. Good lesson with this is to always remember to take your sodium even if you aren’t sweating like a pig  I am an extremely salty sweater and I know I need sodium but I totally forgot because it was so mild out. By the time I realized I got behind taking my salt pills it was too late.

The finish line area is amazing everyone is screaming your name (not because I am a big deal and people know me but because your name is on your race number )
I crossed the line at 12hrs 10mins and proceeded to eat an entire pizza drink a liter of coke and get a 45min massage. It was great and so euphoric! My friends finished a few hours later and we all celebrated by cheering people in until midnight! It was great and such an awesome experience to see people who you know put all their heart into that moment cross the finish line.

On a side note one of the people I trained with is a good friend that raced but did it as a guide for a blind athlete. The C different foundation is an amazing organization that pairs sighted athletes with athletes that are blind and they race together one leading the other. It was truly inspiring! My friend Chris trained all those months for another person to live their dream. Chris wasn’t technically even a participant he was considered a piece of equipment for his blind athlete (Dave) to guide him to the finish. I attached the link to an article a local paper and news channel did on them.

http://www.kxly.com/Global/story.asp?S=8544198


Happy and Safe Training to everyone
Dawn
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rundmd
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Congrats!

Post  TriGuy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:50 am

Great report, thanks for posting it. I am looking forward to Ironman AZ in November. I imagine the water will be a little warmer there, I just hope it will be wetsuit legal! Glad to hear the bike transport company worked so well. Did they have the bikes available at the race area or did you have to go to a bike shop? Congrats again on a great race.
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tri bike transport

Post  rundmd on Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:34 am

Thanks and congrats on training for AZ! I am sure the race will be much better now they have moved it to November. I have that on my list of races to do so you will have to give a full report as well! Tri Bike Transport is great, i dropped my bike off on the 10th of June (race was the 22nd) at Loco Motion in Winter Park. There was another bike shop in Tampa you could go to but i opted for Winter Park. We got to the race on Wednesday and they had the bikes at 10am Thursday morning at the race site. During Ironman they are set up right in Ironman village on bike racks and you just hand them your reciept with your bike shop name that you dropped it off at. They found my bike quickly and put my pedals on for me (double check the tightness yourself afterwards) My bag was in a pile and required some searching but it was still more convenient than the airline option. After the race (they are only open till midnight on race day) i went back to transition, grabbed my bike and walked it right over to tri bike transport again. They gave me a reciept, took off my pedals and gave them back to me. I did have to wait till the next morning to drop off my gear bag because i wanted to put my wetsuit in it but they were there from 9am -12n so no problem. **make sure you have ID tags with all your info on your bike...i have a p2c just like 5000 other people in the country so it is important to make sure yours stands out a bit. Also make sure you take off your hydration rack in the back and your computer.

One other note....I raced IM Florida a few years ago and right after the race i went back to my condo and crashed. This year i was determined to stay up till midnight at the finish line. I HIGHLY recommend doing this! I finished, went home, showered and came back with ice cream, McDonalds and coffee and stayed till midnight. Of course i stayed intially to watch my friends but it is so awesome to watch till the last person crosses the line. The coolest thing about Ironman isnt how fast you did the race it is that you crossed the finish line. It doesnt matter if you crossed at 7p or 12a you are still an Ironman. I love that mutual respect! You won't find too many people that want to compare times, they would rather talk about their race experience. No matter how fast or slow everybody sacrificed to get there....
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Re: Ironman Coeur d' Alene

Post  Snooze on Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:34 pm

Nice report! Glad you had a good race! I can't even imagine swimming in that cold of waters.

Now I just need to go get signed up for IMFL09...

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Re: Ironman Coeur d' Alene

Post  Toe jam on crusty feet on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:02 pm

Yay!!!!!! I'm so proud of you!! cheers
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Re: Ironman Coeur d' Alene

Post  monkey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:13 pm

Great report! Congrats on the finish, that water had to be brutal. The coldest I've been in has been 68 and that sent a shock threw your whole body when you jumped in. I couldn't imagine throwing 2000 people swimming over the top of me on top of it.
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