::Ironman Couer D’Alene 2015 #3::

I finally found the energy to sit down and go through what ended up feeling like the longest day ever.  Ironman Couer D’Alene has been the big race of the year for 3 years now.  This year I had the family with me, and we drove down (about 7hrs) with the camper and a 6×10 enclosed trailer for all the baby and triathlon gear.  We got in Wednesday and stayed at the Blackwell Island RV park, which is 2.5 miles away from the Ironman Expo and is also on bike course.  It’s a great spot, but when its hot, it’s tough to find shade.  The camp ground has a nice stretch of beach along the Spokane river.  In past years, we would have never thought about going to the water, but obviously this year was a lot different.

No one was at their RV, everyone was down at this spot.

No one was at their RV, everyone was down at this spot.

Going into this race, I wasn’t too sure about my fitness.  I remember last year having similar thoughts, but once race day came around, things just ended up panning out.  This year, things were a little crazier with work, having Lexi there and high temperatures.  It didn’t have the usual Ironman feel that I’ve had in the past – I felt like the race was secondary to what else was going on.  I was hoping the fire to race would be there once the cannon went off.

The few days leading up to the race were pretty relaxing: did a short run the night I got there and did a ride with Jackson on Thursday (who ended up 2nd OA and smashed it up!)  By Thursday it was already getting hot! I then took the rest of the week to see if I could freshen up.  I felt alright, but not my usual ready to race self.  Race start was moved ahead an hour due to concerns about the heat, so that 3:15am wake up came pretty damn fast on Sunday.

I headed over to transition for about 5:20-30am and met up with the rest of the guys from Team Every Man Jack.   Figured out my food for the day and then got suited up for the swim start at 5:45.

roka

Swim:  Swim was a lot better then last year.  I went and bought a nice big set of Roka googles so I wouldn’t have any issues, and they worked perfectly.  I didn’t get them wet until the start and had a clear view through all 56 minutes.  I did have a frustrating time on the first loop with a drafter that didn’t swim straight and kept shooting off to the side.  Also, getting more smacks to the feet than normal got me pissed off.  I was hoping to get into 53-54 range this year but just didn’t get into a good group at the start and didn’t push.

A late sign up got me racked right at the front door.

A late sign up got me racked right at the front door.

Bike: Going out onto the bike I felt pretty good.  I changed the mount location for my computer, after Oliver’s start and stop button mess.  Of course, I had the same issues but was able to fix it as the ride went on.  I believe I missed about 20-30 minutes of data because I didn’t notice my computer stopped a few times, which in turn, flipped up my time-based nutrition plan.  Riding the Felt IA was fun on those long descents.  I changed out a few thing in the cockpit and it made a world of difference.  Took it pretty easy and stayed in my zones until the last three climbs when the legs decided they would lock up and not turn over.  I ended up stopping on 3 hills and then pedaling with one foot until the muscle released- it had me worried about running.  I tried to keep the calories up along with salt but I clearly wasn’t getting enough.  It was a constant battle:  over-thinking what I should and shouldn’t do as far as intake.  I didn’t want to overdo it in the heat and end up puking, but I didn’t want to under fuel.  I kept thinking about Matt Dixon’s advice about attitude and how it’s always related to calories.  So, I kept trying to do more, but then I couldn’t take on any water.  Overall, I clearly didn’t manage right. Once I got to the run, I had no drive or energy to get out in that heat.

Pretty empty out on the running course.  Once we got into the houses though the People of CDA really took care of us!

Pretty empty out on the running course. Once we got into the houses though the people of CDA really took care of us!

Run: I thought I would throw on a fuel belt with liquid salt and some calories but right away at a half a mile I got tired of wearing it and ditched it.  By the first mile, I was already worried about calories and I thought if I took a Gel it would just come right up.  But I didn’t try! Not sure why… I went right into the coke and water, and that clearly didn’t work.  I would stop at every aid station and load up on water and ice.  The miles just kept getting slower and slower and hotter and hotter.  Every mile was rough.  I tried some GU chomps and could only get a few down. Then tried a few grapes and couldn’t do those either.  I just kept trying to run and would walk and drink at every station, slowly the miles got knocked off and finally I got to the best part of the race.  The finish shoot…where was everyone?!

blue_bags

After the race, my feet were so water logged from the all the garden hose showers I got from the locals. I took my shoes off and the pavement was so hot, I then had to put them back on! Despite the heat, I can say I finished. I’m pretty damn disappointed and wish I could have shown a better result.  I paid the price for not having a good nutrition plan, and making smart adjustments along the way.  Moving forward, it will be my last Ironman for a while; the time and energy just isn’t there.  I will look to Roth a few years down the road to get back on the iron distance. Next up Challenge Penticton to actually use that run fitness and push a little harder.  A lot has to be said for the city of Coeur D’Alene and it’s volunteers, they really took care of everyone out there.  3 more Every Man Jack racers got their Kona spots and all of us finished.

Ended up with a 10:50-  56 swim/5:19 bike/ 4:30ish walk/run

Big thanks goes to my wife and all her help along the way, Team Every Man Jack, Tri Geeks and labicicletta getting my bike ready and for support this season and looking forward to more.
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