The next stop on the KD 70.3 road show was Couer d’Alene where back in 2013 I attempted (and finished) my first full Ironman. The details of that interesting day can be found here: Ironman Time but for the time being, let’s share a fun picture of that event and move on to 2016!
Where were we…oh yeah, #IM703CDA. We (my bride Julie and I) made it into Spokane a bit later than we anticipated complements of a storm over Denver, a visit to the tarmac of Cheyenne’s airport, and only 1/2 of the checked bags arriving to our destination. This did allow us to mingle with the United Luggage Assistance personnel and observe a nervous dog urinate in the terminal, but we can save that for a later chronicle.
Once our time in Spokane was over, we loaded up the gear and made the drive east to Coeur d’Alene. Um…what is going on? It’s freezing and raining and the wind is like something out of the Wizard of Oz. Not the ideal conditions for race day, but it is check in day, so we roll with it, get the infamous orange wrist band and explore the city a bit recalling many of the places we visited back in 2013.
The day before the race I met up with some of the #TeamZoot folks that were either local or racing. Such a nice group of people and we had the chance to take a dip in the lake which by this time was just being blown to smithereens by some fairly aggressive southerly winds. Sergio (@triserg) from our SoCal team was also there and his instagram fame hardly needs an introduction.
It is the usual early wake up and traditional morning routine. I nibble on a half bagel with almond butter and a tasty @SkratchLabs hyper hydration pack combined with some @Vega perform in the early am and then we roll out in the rental to the start. I distribute the goods in my transition spot, top off the wheels to 110 psi and go for a jog. The legs feel good and essentially it is all systems go!
It is a rolling start so I slot into the 30:00-35:00 group and wait for the start in my @Huubdesign wetsuit and @rokasport goggles. The fasties take off and eventually, it is my turn so over the timing mat I go!!!! Despite the buoys being on the left, I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to breath on the right. I don’t think that was a big issue but I felt it should be documented. I plow through the swim at my pedestrian pace (1:36/100yd) and exit the water just a bit under 34 minutes. Joy! Now I get to play catch up!
I arrive to my bike and it is essentially the only one left in the racks. While being a AWA athlete is nice, it does sometimes make you realize that there are some really solid swimmers out there…but, two minutes on the swim can be easily made up for on the bike! So, @oakley glasses, @smithoptics helmet, socks and @rideshimano shoes and me and the BMC TM01 make our way to the mount line. It is the exact same course as the full, with the exception that it is half as long. That means, a short ~14 mile out and back (flatish) stretch, followed by the longer and hillier 42 mile loop. I settle in and start the process of passing people who I respect their swimming abilities.
The nutrition plan is to down two 20 oz bottles of @skratchlabs Matcha Green Tea over the course of the ride and supplement that with , an @bonk_breaker bar, and a few @boomnutrition gels. That rounds off to about 240 calories per hour with the assumption that I can pull of the ride in 2:30.
I am excited to be on a new bike this year. I moved over from the Cannondale Slice which was light and nibble to the @ride_bmc TM01. This ride is a speed machine that loves to go straight and I love it. It has taken a while to adjust to the position but I think I have finally nailed the balance between comfort and speed. To help with the high end speed I am running dual @Zippspeed 808s but with the windy conditions I decided to drop the front to a 404. In addition to it being my first year on the BMC` it is my first year on sew-ups!
So for 56 miles I just pedal (I actually pedalled for 97.62% of the ride), drink, eat, look around, and play leap frog with some other athletes. For the most part we do a good job of trying to keep 6 bike lengths but as noted in the picture above, somebody was not very good at keeping that distance. My Zoot Suit (I love saying that) was fitting great and generated some crisp tan lines per Rule #7 (http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/).
The bike sadly doesn’t last forever, so it comes to an end at T2. Flying dismount and a long run to the rack. Based on the number of bikes, I moved up quite a bit on the bike! I’m now sitting in 15th and have all the dreams of a great run. But to be honest, the run fitness was “meh” at best. Work travel and some niggly hamstring issues have put a damper on the run volume. But that happened last year before Victoria where I had my best run off the bike in a half IM. So I’m positive and thinking it is time to rock and roll!!
Those sensations lasted about 200m as my left quadricep decided it was time to cramp up. It didn’t really cramp up, but it was on the borderline of cramping so I eased off the pace a bit. I was going a little below 7:00/mile pace and things felt in control. And then, the hamstring decided it needed to mess things up. I was 1/4 the way through the run and my body was not happy. So, I decided to ease off the pace and finish. It was a hard call mentally as I wanted to do well, but with Canada in less than a month away, I was not going to do anything stupid.
So #267 kept moving. Keeping cool at the aide stations, topping off the hydration and enjoying coke and the fans of CDA. If you ever have a chance to do this race, do it!!! The community support is amazing and I love all the people that come and volunteer!
The finish is there! I make it across the line, see my bride in the the VIP tent. Next up is a medal and hat, lots of water and a pseudo shower in the shoot. #IM703CDA is done. 21st in the AG which is a bit of a bummer but I think I represented the team ok. Let’s see if we can do better in Whistler!