Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ironman Cour d'Alene, Race Report..

Iron man Cour d'Alene was an incredible experience... wow... and I PR this race... finished in 12 hours 57 minutes and 01 seconds.. What follows is a standard race report... not very exciting.... sorry it is a little long...
I went to do this race with a really group of people. Lets see... Jeff from Tampa, Laura from Chicago, Ovetta from Atlanta, Kathy from Denver, Drew from Denver, Jessica from Nashville, Chris from Chicago, Shannon from Denver and yours truly from San Mateo... We rented a house and stayed together... it was great...

Pre-race routine:
Got up at 4:30 am to the sound of other BT'ers eating breakfast. Went downstairs and ate a bagel, soymilk, a cliff bar, and a cup of coffee. Went to the bathroom and put in my pretty racing clothes.. I got on my knees and said a little prayer for myself and for all racing that morning..

"if god gives you lemons.... YOU FIND A NEW GOD"
Event warmup:
Walked to the starting line, got in line for body marking, pumped my tires, delivered my special needs bags and put on my wet suit... that is a warm up...
What can you say about a mass start.... it is simply insane and crazy. two things I did that I am completly sure changed the outcome of my swim..
a) Got neoprene booties, just the day before I could not stay in the water for long, cuz my poor feet were in pain
b) Got ear plugs, when you are swimming in such cold water temps, once the cold water hits your ears you start getting dizzy.. Earplugs changed that and completed the swim with no problems

I could not hear anything simply because I had the earplugs... I only remember people dashing into the water and so I followed. I stayed right in the middle and fought for a little while to get a good pace.. Could not draft until I clear the first corner, then I got into a nice rythm. I actually had to stop, however, a couple of times because I got caught in a very, very slow moving group.

when I finished the first lap, I saw my clock and it says 34 minutes, I was happy with it... turn around and went ahead to start the second lap. finish the lap and when i saw my clock it said 1:12... it actually took me a whole other minute to exit the water because it was crowded...

Swim was good

Ha.... a swim a couple of days before the race... man I thought the water was going to kill me... it was sooo fraking cold.... This is Shannon, a friend of mine, she did IMcDA last year...

Look at my face, .. what the hell.. This was after I finish the swim... exactelly 1:13 ... not bad for an old man..
Look at an aerial picture of the swim... It was amazing..


Man Transition on an Ironman Race is incredible. Volunteers from the peelers to the sun-screen people were amazing. I took advantage of them. In my last ironman in Florida I forgot the sunscreen and it was painful for the next 2 weeks... This time, I took my time and did everything slower and it paid off.


I have to confess something... coming into this Ironman I had no nutrition plan. I have been training with gels and a little of the infinit it I had left, but definitly did not have a plan. I was a little nervous about it, but luckily enough I did good. Nutrition consisted of concentrated infinit in two bottles. One bottle for each loop, taking a sip every 15 minutes. I also took some bananas and little pieces of energy bars from the aid stations.
I started well, my firts 20 miles were just shy of 20mph. I knew I was going a little too fast and at that moment I decided to take it easy and cruise. I did so and it worked well. I felt really well throught the bike. The second loop was a confidence builder, cuz I passed like a million people, specially in the hills. I saw a several people walking their bikes on those two hills, glad I did not have to do that.
My goal for this ironman was to make the bike cutoff and finish, well happy to report that I made the bike cutoff with plenty of time to spare.

The highlights of my bike was the scenery, and the HS cheerleaders. They were awesome.

Again, what can I say about transition in an Ironman.... it is simply great. The volunteers are just amazing... took my bike and help me change for the run.

Ok.. I knew before the start of the race that the run was going to be an issue. I had been suffering from Plantar Fasciatis and I was afraid that I would not be able to run at all. The previous week I did not run anything, got cortisone shots on my bad foot and major massages. I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I had with me plenty of pain med and I was ready to walk the whole thing if needed.
coming out of the bike I was feeling good, too good indeed. I did the first two miles at arount 8 minute miles. And felt great, a big booster was when I saw that infamous kissing booth that Jess and Whizz had. I owe them 50 cents since I kissed them both. :) :)...
At around mile 3 or so, I started to feel the pain in my right foot, I decided to slow down considerably and from then on it was a struggle. The pain irradiated to the top of my foot, by mile 5 o 6 I was limping and I had taken pain medication. I did not want to take anymore simply because I did not want my kidneys to shut down. I jogged and the pain started to become a little bit more bearable. Then since my foot was in pain I was compensating putting a lot of pressure on other parts of my legs, so my IT bands started to act up and then my hip. I knew this was going to be an issue and I was prepared to deal with it. I slowed down even further and tried to maintain a proper form... when I got to the my special needs bag, I took my knee strap and wrap it around my right knee which provided some needed relief. I wanted to break 13 hours and I did a mental calculation of how fast I needed to run/walk the rest of the mary in order to do so. I thought, at that time, that it was possible.

So I kept on going, in the way there I talked to a blind triathlete and his guide. They finished in almost 18 hours, not official finisher, but still an Ironman.

As I was making my way out of transition I accidently stopped my watch, so I had no idea how long I had been on the course. I only had the "real time" and I knew I needed to finish before 8pm to make it under 13 hours. as I was struggling to the finish line with less than a mile to go 8pm came and I realized that my dream to finish unde 13 was not going to be possible. I slowed down and started to walk to the finish line, at that moment a guy in the crowd said, "wow you are going to break 13, way to go" I said, no way.... and he said you have plenty of time. At that moment I realized that my watch was 5 minutes ahead, so I took off and I crossed the line in 12:57:01, with 2:59 to spare... Wohooo!!

As I crossed the finish line, my legs did not stop running. I kept on running and I was caught, at that very moment, my legs gave up. I collapsed and was taken to the med-tent, which was full. By the time I got there I was feeling good already, so stopped at the massage table and got a a big pizza slice. It was done.

Post race

Warm down:

Walked to the house showered and came back to the finish line to see the rest of the finishers. Stayed there until midnight, went home and got to bed..

What limited my ability to perform faster?
Plantar fasciatis.... it sucks

Event comments:
This race was incredible to me... It reminded me that of the things I am capable of doing. It reminded me that I walked on legs that can do an Ironman and it feels darn good. I also got to meet a bunch of great Bters, the Couer d'Alene BT house was great. And all of the other BT'ers in Cour d'Alene are an awesome bunch..
next... AZ or KY... Whohoo!!

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