Thursday, June 28, 2007

IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene Race Report

IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene
June 24, 2007

I got an ok night of sleep, got up about 4 am to eat and load up the car while the kids slept. Jacob woke up and got dressed and I carried Alex out to the car in his pajamas and we were off about 4:35 or so.

I dropped off my special needs bags, put my nutrition mix and gels on my bike and found someone to pump up my tires, and then finally got body marked. I met up with Debbie and the kids and we went to check out the swim start area and walked towards the Coeur d’Alene Resort. After many hugs, kisses and good wishes I went back towards transition and sat down to relax a bit.

About 6:20 or so I started to get my wetsuit on and dropped my dry clothes bag off and was on the beach with about 15 – 20 minutes to go. I moved to the far right got my cap and goggles on and then heard the national anthem and was ready to go.

SWIM 2.4 Miles – 1:29:12 – 2:21 per 100 meters
Before I knew it I heard the cannon and I slowly walked down behind the runners. It took me about 15 seconds before I was in and deep enough to start swimming.

The oncoming whitecaps and rollers from the wind were tough to get a good stroke going, the waves had no regularity so you could not get a rhythm as to know when to breathe and when to sight. I was pretty much following the swimmers in front of me.

The real mess was at the first turn buoy. I planned to swim a bit wide but didn’t go wide enough and was caught in the mess. The swim section parallel to the beach was extra tough as the whitecaps kept pushing everyone in and that made the second turn buoy tougher than the first as not many were able to swim wide. I made it around and the waves kind of pushed us towards the shore but it didn’t help too much as I found it harder to know when to breathe and when to sight.

I was amazed when I saw the timing clock at 41 minutes as I got out of the water. The wind and associated whitecaps were just as bad on the second lap and I did not have nearly as many people in front to block and use for sighting. Not nearly as many people at the turn, but was still a tight turn with lots of people.

My calf cramped up tight once around the buoy, so I had to stop swimming and rolled over onto my back for almost half a minute while I tried to stretch and not get hit or swam over. I worked through it and got back into the beach with a total of 1:29:12 and boy was I happy. Under my goal of 1:30!

T1 - 6:47
I walked up the beach past over a 1000 people lining the barriers, awesome! I picked an open pair of wetsuit peelers and they pulled and tugged and within a couple seconds my wetsuit was off.

I found an empty chair in the changing tent. Once dry and bike gear on, I was out the door to the next set of volunteers and had two nice lades slather my arms and neck with sunscreen before I jogged off to grab my bike. I saw Debbie and the kids at the fence near my bicycle and they cheered for me and it felt great to be sent off like that.

BIKE 112 Miles – 6:38:58 – 16.8 mph
I exited the bike transition and the town streets were packed full of people cheering you on. I tried to settle into a nice and easy rhythm to keep my heart rate down. Coming back through town after first out and back in about 45 minutes I Debbie and the kids and got a little misty eyed as I made my way up and onto the middle 40 mile loop that had most all the hills.

I hardly noticed the first hill and before I knew it I was up and over the steepest hill section and ready for the rolling hills and again before I knew it was out at the furthest north turn around, about 35 miles into the course in under two hours, man I thought I was going too fast.

Back into town over the few more rollers and the final 10 miles or so is generally downhill and then you do get to ride through the barriers and tons of people cheering for you, it was awesome!

First loop done in 3:08 and change and I was off for the second loop, repeating the exact same route out and along the lake. I stopped at one of the vault toilets along the lake and at the bike special needs drop bags to reload my nutrition mix. I walked a bit to stretch my legs and toes.

The section through town was once again awesome and then up into the hill loop. Even the outer sections of the hilly area had lots of people, each aid station was like a party zone, people had parties in their driveways, some major intersections, and at the furthest turnaround was a large group all dressed in red cheering everyone on, I saw someone dressed up as Elmo way out here too, man it was great.

I got off the bike at the start of the aid station at mile 96 and walked through as if it was a run course aid station to stretch, get off the bike and use the facilities.

The short two mile out and back was great as I knew I was so close to being done and hammered out and back to make the second loop in about 3:30.

T2 - 4:53
I went straight to one of the porta potties then got my bag from the volunteer and back into the changing tent. This was quicker as I just had to take the bike shoes off and put the running shoes on.

It felt great to get the bike shoes off and the running shoes on. I stopped at the sun screeners again and got slathered, they got my ears and face this time in addition to my arms and shoulders, it was like a great mid race massage.

RUN 26.2 Miles - 4:56:22 – 11:19 per mile
I was now on my strongest portion of the triathlon and I was off and running towards the first short out and back section along the river. After the turn around, I checked my watch at the 1 mile marker and saw 8:30, not a bad pace at all maybe a bit fast but I was feeling ok and shortly after, just before getting back near the transition area, I saw Debbie and kids and they saw me and started to cheer and boy oh boy was it great. What a lift, each time I saw them my pace quickened a bit and I’m sure my smile got bigger.

The tunnel of people on each side of the barriers as you run past the transition area was like what you see when you watch the Tour de France, it was packed full of people on each side and lots and lots of them are calling out your name and man it was awesome. Just past this, you run through downtown Coeur d’Alene and the streets are closed and each side of the street is packed. You get this feeling for about 5 or 6 blocks before the turn towards the residential section before you get to the lake area.

I was able to run pretty much the first 10 miles, but after that I settled into a run/walk and made it back into town and the crowd helped me run, how could you walk when thousands of people are cheering for you and calling your name. I made it past the transition area in about 2:08 for the first half marathon.

Once past the river dike section and downtown and the residential section and back along the lake I was starting to turn into a walk/run. I had plenty of energy to run, but was too sore all over my legs and feet so wanted to walk so I did. I did run the hill up the turnaround because I knew I would walk back down so I ran up, felt great!

The way back was more walk than run and back through the residential section I tried to run and was starting to turn back into a run/walker and once past the last aid station about mile 25 I ran the final mile plus all the way home.

Coming down the final 5 blocks is all downhill and packed with 2000-3000 people all cheering for me and lots would read my name and call out “Go Glenn!” or “Way to go Glenn”, man it was awesome. About two blocks from the finish chute I started to slow as I was looking for Debbie and the kids as I wanted to finish with Jacob and Alex. Some people said don’t slow down now, you can do it, but I finally found the kids, or Jacob found me and ran out of the kids corral area and I asked if Alex was coming. Debbie got him out of the stroller and we all ran down the finish chute and I even heard Mike Reilly call my name (correctly too) and where I was from and most importantly that “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!”

SWIM: 2.4 Miles – 1:29:12
T1: 6:47
BIKE: 112 Miles – 6:38:58
T2: 4:53
RUN: 26.2 Miles – 4:56:12
FINAL: 13:16:11
PLACE: 217/344
AGPLACE: 1108/2085 OA

1 comment:

Bryan said...

What an awesome story! It almost made me want to try a triahtlon. Well, no, but it does inspire me to do an STP like bike ride!