Ironman Coeur d’Alene was one of the hardest and definitely the hottest thing I have ever done. And, although not the outcome I trained for – 106F = goal paces out the window – it was a huge deposit in the mental toughness bank and big fuel on the fire. Onward to Ironman Wisconsin!
Because of the record hot forecast, race officials moved the start up an hour to 5:45a, which meant a 3a alarm. Up and at ’em and race morning rituals later, my amazing sherpas Nick and Sonia (seriously, no way I would have made it to the race without them) and I headed to city park.
Pre-IM ritual… wise words from Lynne Cox.
Nothing fancy once we arrived. I checked my bike special needs bag, calibrated my Garmin and loaded my bike with nutrition. And, because I’m not a bike mechanic, I handed my bike over the fence to Nick so he could pump my tires… because presta valves! Good thing, too, because the rear one unscrewed, which would have made me panicky had I done it.
The best sherpas ever!
SWIM // 1:09:49, 1:48/100m, 16th AG
Amid the sea of wetsuit-clad triathletes, I somehow found Monica and we chatted for a bit before a quick warm-up swim. After that, I positioned in the 1:05-1:15 wave and after standing on the right for a bit, decided that wasn’t where I wanted to line up, so ran through the masses to the left side so I’d hit the inside of the buoys easier.
Lake Coeur d’Alene didn’t disappoint… perfect temp (72F!), so clean and clear you could see the bottom for a good portion of the swim. Both loops cruised by and not once did I run into anyone. Maybe I swam a bit too far inside the buoys?! (I’m still learning how to swim harder.) Regardless, it was lovely. I didn’t even mind the quick run on the beach between loops. My only complaint: the swim out arch was black and nearly impossible to see against the backdrop of pine trees.
As I exited the water, I stole quick glance at the clock – 1:26 – and my oh-this-felt-like-a-decent-swim thoughts dissipated. When a volunteer told me it was the AG time, my heart sank. It certainly didn’t feel like that (it wasn’t, obviously, and was instead an IM swim PR!). Brush it off, I told myself… go get ’em on the bike. My swim time didn’t cross my mind again.
Nick managed to find me in the sea of swimmers, all the way to the first red buoy!
Gear: ROKA Sports Maverick Pro wetsuit, ROKA Sports X1 goggles in dark amber mirror, Castelli T1:stealth top, Coeur Sports tri shorts, lululemon flow Y sports bra.
Nutrition (pre-race): two black cherry Clif shot blok chews (forgot to bring a Gu), bottle of Osmo Hydration active, Imodium (lifesaver on the run… no GI upset).