Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ironman Coeur d'Alene (aka: why wasn't Drew with Leslie for RAW)

Alrighty, I don't think I have as gripping a story as Leslie has but it definitely started off like I could.

So to kick things off I had a 7:05 am flight on Thursday before IM CDA. I had be rolling down the road by 4:30 am in order to insure I could carry everything to the check in counter and not stress out some obscure muscle (done that before). About 4:45 am BAM!!! THUMPPP!!!!

Yup, you guessed it Bambi, Bambi's BFF and their boyfriend all decided to jump out in front of me at the same time. The long story shortened for time constraints is the car still worked and I drove it to the airport since I couldn't get a cab for cheap and the bus would have been a nightmare with all the transfers to get out to the airport. I parked it, checked in, and made the 8:40 am flight, only 4 hours behind schedule getting to Coeur d'Alene when all was said and done.

Oh yeah, couldn't get a tow, left a message with the insurance folks since they don't open til 10, out of the service area for a taxi and where is Conifer anyway. Normally I print off directions to the hotel, race sight, flight itinerary and rental car stuff. For some reason it occurred to me that I hadn't printed off rental car information. So at the at the airport I'm leaving info for the insurance folks and hunting for a rental car online since I was borrowing a friends laptop so I could keep track of Leslie through our blogspot. Somehow I managed to reserve a rental car before I took off and everything was peachy. Landed in Salt Lake for a little layover before heading to Spokane and insurance called, got that all squared away or at least ready to be when I got back to work on Tuesday after the race.

So, now I'm in Coeur d'Alene where the original plan was to get my bike together and get in a little ride and run and maybe a swim since I was supposed to be in at 10 am. Instead I road on a back street for about 10 minutes making sure everything still worked then ran about 4 or 5 minutes. Chatted with Tony from Canada, who was suppose to be my roommate for the weekend and had made the reservation for the room but was leaving in the morning because of a work commitment that came up, for a little bit then it was time for dinner where we were meeting up with Andrew from around Boulder (Erie I think) and his family. Tony and Andrew are from Leslie's Trideads online group. I brought the laptop to dinner so we could stop at a place that had wifi on the way back since the hotel room wifi was miserable.

So it's been raining and kind of cool almost the whole spring and summer so far in Denver. Making rather difficult to get aclimated to heat. Lucky for me it wasn't supposed to be hot this weekend and in fact was predicting rain for at least part of the day on race day and 60's for a high. I'm a little sick of rain at this point to say the least. Friday I packed up everything in the car and went down to the lake to swim and then I was going to check out the bike course. Oh man, talk about a little chop on the water. The temperature wasn't too bad 65 or so. Got out of there and went to drive the bike course. It was quiet overcast and I was hoping it would hold out until I got in a ride before it rained. Nope. So I hit a coffee shop to check up Leslie's race and wait for the rain. Ultimately only got in 12 miles before it started to rain hard. After wasting a few more hours on a bunch of little things and nothing productive I ended up driving out to the hill on the run course and got in around 3 miles. Ended up having a late dinner.

I wasn't thrilled with the miles I got in but I guess less is better this close to race day. Same thing happened to me in Boston and ended up taking the day completely off before that and had a good race.

Well, race morning came it and it actually was sunny but had those real thick but puffy clouds around the lake, okay maybe they were a little grey. I debated for awhile where to put my arm warmers and gloves. Coming out of the water or coming off the bike. It was only in the 50's at the start so there was potential to be cold on the bike. I opted for coming off the bike and got in the lake to warm-up a touch. The lake was still choppy. The gun went off and I had a fairly good start and didn't too beat up until the start of the second loop, no clue why, but my right eye socket was sore because of it. My 1st lap was 34 minutes or so and I thought perfect especially with the chop. Well apparently it got worse the second lap and that's why I got beat up so much. So I ended up at 1:13, not what I was planning for but I figured everyone had to be off as well.

The bike started out real nice and was partly sunny. Went through the hills comfortably and was actually passing alot of people on the hills with not much perceived effort on my part. Rolling into downtown I was averaging 21 mph give or take and thought that was about perfect, if I ride even I'll have a great bike split and if I fade a little because it's the second lap I'll still have a decent split for me. Out on the second lap it ended up being very grey and over cast and all I was thinking was don't rain. It was a bit chilly and if it had started to rain I think I would have froze. I came back into town again and saw 5:33 and kind of got excited because I felt really good.

I have to say that in the couple weeks leading up to the race I kept getting this weird feeling where I get a chilly up my back when I thought about running a race and running it fast. It's hard to describe. When I was doing duathlons it happened a few times where I would come off the bike for the second run and I would get this chill and all I could do was just hammer the run. Like you'd go out a pace that normally would be way to fast but it was comfortable and easy and you'd just keep running faster. I would win those races with really fast runs.

Anyway, I handed off my bike and ran into the tent to put on shoes and start running. Took the arm warmers and gloves and put those on while I was running. Out on the course I did the evaluation of everything and basically I felt really good. I settled into a good pace by 3 miles and just tried to stay consistent. I really wanted to go faster but in the back of my head I had that thought of knowing things always change around 20 miles. I probably could have gone faster for the 1st half but I don't know if it would have caught up to me worse or soon. Up until 22 miles I hadn't look at my watch all day. I started thinking if I'm at 9:45 or better I have a shot at 10:15. Which I kind of thought might get me close to a shot at a roll down spot to Kona. I hit 22 in 9:44 and got another chill, and really contiously tried to pick it up. Apparently I slowed down and while I was finish the last 4 miles I made the realization that I had forgot the 365 yards at the end. I ended up running 3:28. That gave me a 10:19:33 and 25th in my age group. At roll down, my age group had 9 slots and 3 rolled. They went to 10th, 11th, and 12th places where 12th was 10:02. As usual, a good day for me is a good day for everyone. I'm a little discouraged by that but it was a 22 minute PR for me, and if I get that same feeling again I think I'm going to let it all hang out and hope I can hold it to the end.

I think I'm getting closer to my potential and maybe I have the nutrition figured out. Okay, maybe I have the nutrition figured out for cool, rainy weather. Next Ironman is St. George May 1st next year.

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