[pictures coming later, drafting this out on a tablet]
Sunday, June 26 was my first attempt at Ironman Coeur d’Alene (CdA) and it started as a good day. Details to follow, but here’s the tl;dr version: Met my goal on the [stupidly cold] swim. Beat my goal on the bike by over 10 minutes. And, sadly, had to take the DNF about 7 miles into the run (refer back to my recent post about the knee).
On the social side of things, it was a super fun event. Mrs. AdultOnset did the swim leg of a relay that included teammate Wes on bike and our nephew Jake on the run. Jake’s husband, Jacob (yep, really), did the run leg of another relay with teammate Sam who swam and biked. We had a ton of other friends and teammates in the race as well, some also in relays and many going solo like myself. Much fun was had from the time we rolled into town on Friday until Sunday night after the race.
Also, CdA is a super fun town to spend time in! Would love to visit there again and do more exploring. Certainly we had a lot of fun on Sherman and the surrounding downtown streets. We did our part to help the local economy. 😉
OK, so here is how the race went down:
The Swim (Strava): 38:48 — I seeded myself in the 37 – 40 minute group. Was hoping for 37 and ended up closer to 39, but I’ll take it. The water was stupidly cold at a claimed temperature of 59 degrees. Personally, I think it was colder than that and it definitely caused people some challenges. Thankfully, I had no major issues aside from a ferocious wetsuit burn mark on my neck from a new place it was rubbing.
I stood in the queue with friend Leslie and went in the water 3 seconds behind her. Her swim time was 2 seconds faster than mine, yet we never saw each other in the water! For some reason, I find this amusing — I must have been pretty close to her ankles at some points when we were working our way through the same clumps of people to pass.
Transition 1: 8:47 — I’m legendary for long transition times and this one helps me keep that reputation 🙄. I was walking a little sideways/wobbly when I came out of that cold water and took me a bit to get my groove back. Stopped for the hot chicken broth to put something warm internally, then suddenly had to make a quick bathroom stop too. My GPS map of transition looks like a Family Circus cartoon. Anyways, I finally got geared up and made the long run out to the bike mount zone to get going.
Bike (Strava): 2:56 — Coach had me estimated for 3:08 on the bike, but I really wanted to beat the 3 hour mark. We knew my run was going to be problematic and talked about just having me go nuts on the bike, but I made the race-time decision to hold back on the bike and save some matches to burn on the run. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t… but oh well, it was still a great ride.
Ironman claimed this ride would be over 3400 feet of elevation, and there are certainly some great hills to climb. However, it came in pretty short. I’m not complaining… but am surprised at how far off that was. I measured under 2600 feet.
It is a very scenic course and I enjoyed almost every minute on it. Traffic control was handled very well as well and it was nice not brushing elbows with any cars and trucks along the way.
Transition 2: 4:57 — I have no idea what took so long. I truly can’t explain it. One minute is probably the really long run from the dismount line into transition and my bike rack spot. Maybe 30 seconds for a sock change. 15 seconds for suntan spray. The rest? I have no clue. Something to work on though, that’s pretty horrible.
Run (Strava): DNF — I knew the knee might be a problem, and my run fitness was crap, but I wanted to go for it. My plan was to try and alternate a minute and 30 second runs with a minute fast walks. I figured that was something I could do all day long and still hold down around a 11:30 pace.
And it was pretty much working.
And then around mile 5 I realized my knee was swelling and I couldn’t really ignore the pain so easily. And then I couldn’t decide if it hurt more to run or walk. At which point I figured I was probably just not doing myself any favors and — with much regret — opted to drop out after one loop.
Got in almost 7 miles (my longest of the year) but I was hurting. Even today, 2 days later, I’m still very swollen and sore. So that sucks.
No more running this season and will very likely get it ‘scoped this Fall or Winter to get put back together.
I really struggled with the decision to bail out and had to have a few alone moments to pull myself together before facing friends and family afterwards. I don’t consider myself a quitter and that was a struggle to get past. However, I do feel I made the right decision. I mean hell, I was racing for a medal. One of 2500 identical medals… so… Yeah.
I am mostly OK with it, now.