IM Coeur D’Alene – Race Report

Well, its been a week and I still can’t string together any coherent thoughts about this race.   So I’m not going to try.  I keep remembering things, my friends remind me of things, I’m continually reflecting on the results, the training, the trip, etc.  A lot happens in 10hrs.  So this is the best collection of thoughts that I can muster…

Results – Total time 10:10:17.  66th overall, 52nd amateur, 14th AG.  2314 started the race.  2139 official finishers.

  • I’m really pleased with my race as a whole.  Its a PR by 11 minutes or so, never complain about that.
  • I needed another 20 minutes to get a Kona spot.  Believe it or not, that wasn’t my primary goal.  First and foremost I wanted to fix my nutrition (relative to IM Canada last year).  Second, set myself up for a good run.  Check and check.  I still think I can do it.  But it won’t be the only measure of my race, now or any time in the future.

Swim – 1:07:39 (1:51/100m)

  • The wind kicked up on the second lap and made things kinda miserable.  Rough water, rough swimmers, directionally challenged, etc.  I was okay with 31:51 for the first lap, but 35:48 for the second was a little disheartening.  I hung my head a bit, but after looking at my peers times, many of us were 3-4 minutes slower the second time around. I’ve since convinced myself the time wasn’t that bad.
  • I may have been the one and only hour-plus swimmer to have a pleasant start to the race.  Somehow I managed to luck into clear water for the first 500 yds or so.  The pictures looked pretty wild afterward and everyone I talked to felt it was some degree of crazy, rough, brutal, and cold…
  • Lots of angst leading up to race about water temperature.  I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t feel that bad to me.  Practice swims Thursday and Friday helped me decide that two caps and ear plugs were all I needed.  Thanks to the guys at BlueSeventy for saving me a thermal cap and booties, but I decided against em.

T1 – 5:30

  • I remembered having my own personal assistant the last two IM T1’s, but nary a helpful hand this time.  It took a few extra minutes sorting through what to take and what to leave behind.  Bagged up my own swim stuff too.  This should have been about 2 minutes faster.
  • Okay, maybe it was a bit cold.  My fingers didn’t quite work like normal.  Took the time to put on my Swiftwick arm warmers, which required a bit of drying and some watch manipulation, but were well worth it!
  • Wetsuit strippers are always a treat!

Bike – 5:44:08 (19.53mph)

  • My Garmin struggles continue… man I’m an idiot!  Tried using ‘auto multisport’ mode this time.  Should be as simple as hitting lap, four times, then stop.  Somehow, (maybe the arm warmers) I hit it a few extra times.  A few minutes into the bike I realized that it thought I was running already.  Which means it won’t show me power, which simply won’t do.  After a few minutes of fiddling, I concluded there was no way out of auto multisport mode without, stop, reset, change mode, start over.  I did NOT ride back to the mount line…
  • There was a fair amount of climbing (6600′ according to women’s champ Meridith Kessler) and a head wind on the way out (more up than down).  It was hard, but apparently harder on me than lots of others.  The bike is definitely where I lost the 20 minutes I would have needed.  I’m still not sure why, but I have a few ideas…
  • I felt my nutrition plan worked really well.  A bento box full of Powebar Energy Blasts, half a dozen Powerbar Gels, a boat load of water, some Nuun tablets and a little bit of on-course nutrition (Bonk Breaker Bars) to keep my stomach full, did the trick.  No need for the special needs bag even though I dropped my one and only Powerbar.
  • One of my big nutrition revelations has been consuming water for calorie absorption rather than just hydration.  The important part, it takes a lot more to absorb the calories than it does to stay hydrated.  Where does the extra water go?  I’m not even gunna make you guess.  I peed on my new Blue and in my new awesome Pearl Izumi tri shoes.  A LOT.  Like 7 times!  It was all I could do to keep it out of my bento box.

T2 – 1:55

  • The first step was a doozy!  I came pretty darn close to face planting 3 feet from my bike.  After that, things came around pretty quick.
  • My time includes a stop at the trough (urinal) in the men’s changing tent.  Now that’s more like it.

Run – 3:11:05 (7:17/mi)

  • This run saved my day!  I couldn’t be happier and it’ll be tough to top.  But I’ve got a few ideas about that too.
  • I couldn’t be happier to be running in Pearl Izumi again this year, but this race gave me a bit of a dilema.  I’ve found the the IsoTransition and the Streak II to be great for 10Ks, but a bit light on cushioning for a marathon.  Conversely, the Synchro Fuel has been great for long training runs, but a bit heavy for racing.  Yes, the Goldilocks problem…  Ultimately, I added a bit of padding to the Streak II and went light.
  • I took 2-3 miles for my right calf to get with the program.  About that time I caught up to Sonja.  She gave me a nice pep talk.  I forget what she said, but I came away with the message ‘you’re not going to injure anything, its just going to hurt’.
  • ‘Well, its just going to hurt…’ became my mantra for the next 3 hours.  By mile 4 both feet had gone completely numb.  At 6.5 the feeling had come back.  By mile 8 I was wishing they would go numb again.
  • My first ever trip to the Med Tent.  I still don’t know what happened, but in the last 2-3 miles my hands and lips started to go numb.  Luckily, I was too out of it to worry much about it.  But it didn’t go away when I stopped so I went to the med tent and drank some coke, some chicken broth, got out of most of my wet clothes, had a nice chat with Sister Madonna Buder.  After an hour or so, things were starting to get better and I was getting HUNGRY, so I left without further incident.
  • Two out and backs on the run is a great set up when you feel like you know a third of the people racing.  We traveled with a great group of friends from CO, our local Rocky Mountain Tri Club brought a couple dozen folks, I saw a bunch of Bike Source and Runner’s Roost kits, Sonja’s athletes, Michelle’s athletes and of course our Rev 3 team was well represented.  I heard there were 140 racers from Colorado.  Of course they all brought great support teams which meant the cheering was almost non stop.  The greatest thing about it, nearly everyone was pleased with their performance.  Congrats all!

Final Thoughts

  • So many people to thank!  Races of this distance don’t just happen alone.
  • Thanks to all the residents of the Coeur D’Alene area for being such gracious hosts and enthusiastic volunteers.  Especially to the lady we ate with on Monday who’s daughter missed volunteering for the race because she was in CO fighting wild fires.
  • Thanks to all our wonderful Team Rev3 sponsors and supporters, BlueSeventy, Powerbar, Pearl Izumi, Swiftwick, and TriSwim/TriSlide.
  • Congratulations to our tri-friends, Keith, John VS, Sonja, Michelle, Peter, and esp our first time Ironmen, Bill, Tyler, Beth, and John M.  Thanks to all of your respective support crews!  Having great travel companions is such an advantage.
  • There’s no way to say it enough but thanks to my wife Michele for all the support, encouragement, patience, tolerance, and understanding.  I certainly couldn’t do it without you.
  • There’s still improvement to be made, now I just have to find the next race.
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About acbeeson

Professional engineer, passionate triathlete, once a runner always a runner, Husker fanatic but CO is the place to be!
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3 Responses to IM Coeur D’Alene – Race Report

  1. Helen says:

    Tony—so glad you had such a great race!!

  2. mhutto says:

    Great job my man! You gotta teach me how to get some of that blazing fast run speed! Your new stealth fighter looking bike is sweet

  3. Tridadoffive says:

    Nice race, Teammate. Your new Blue is pretty sick looking. Perhaps I will see you at the Dells or CP.

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