Time to dust off the cobwebs three weeks out from Ironman Coeur d’Alene!
Mosquitoes welcomed us just after sunrise to Lake Rebecca Park Reserve near Rockford. After a quick check-in and packet pick-up, Nick and I racked our bikes near bike in/out and chatted with friends Sarah, Sonia, Kyle, Julia and Jen. A quick shake-out ride to work out the wheel kinks – and a quick visit to the Gear West mechanic tent for a limit screw adjustment (new Zipps! fixed in a jiffy!) – and we were ready to rock.
Swim // 34:42, 1:40/100 yd
I originally lined up on the far left of the swim start, but seconds before the start ran to the right – and, into the thick of all the fast men. Not sure what I was thinking because the gun sounded, and it was mass chaos of men running and dolphin diving. A bit of water in my goggles later, and I was full speed ahead, trying to find a clean line. I felt a bit all over the place the entire 1.2 miles, and at about the half point, stopped to hack up a lung (allergies?) and nearly gagged. After that it was head down, repeating you’re ok and just keep swimming to stay calm. I exited the water, feeling meh about my swim, and as I ran up the steps to T1 saw coach, who said I was fourth female at 33 minutes – much faster than it felt. I’m working at pushing myself to get more uncomfortable in the water… it just doesn’t come as naturally to me as the bike and run! #workinprogress
Gear: Coeur Sports team kit shorts, Castelli T1: stealth top, lululemon all sport bra, ROKA Sports maverick pro wetsuit and ROKA Sports X1 goggles in light vermillion (perfect for overcast conditions).
Nutrition: salted caramel Gu about 20 minutes before go.
T1 // 1:25
Just a quick in and out in T1 (with friend Julia! We exited the swim next to each other in matching ROKAs) to pull off my ROKA (first race in the pro… da bomb!) and throw on my shoes and helmet and stuff my nutrition in my back pocket.
Bike // 57.41 miles, 2:41:39, 21.3 mph, 197w average (Garmin data)
Today was all about the bike since I wasn’t running. From the first pedal stroke, it was all systems GO. The first 15 miles or so were in the rain (it was not supposed to rain!), which was surprisingly fun – and, my legs felt great. I went back and forth with friend Christophe for miles and then somewhere around mile 20(?), passed a woman (who later won) for second place (I think).
Just after mile 28, things got tricky. It was here where the course split – first loop turn right, and second loop go straight. Well, I knew there were two loops and that I’d already done one, so made the obvious choice – to go straight. Right?! Well, apparently I was supposed to turn (I swear I studied the course map the night prior!), which would have cut off about three miles from my total mileage – 57.4 miles with 2,000+ feet of climbing, per Garmin… the course is short – and given me the fastest female bike split of the day around 2:29.
While I like this race, this is incredibly frustrating – and, I wasn’t the only one who messed up at this confusing intersection. Friend Kyle as well as the top four men took a wrong turn as well, which resulted in a shorter bike and ultimately DQs. Not much has changed, either, because when I raced Liberty two years ago, I mentioned in my race report how poorly marked the course was (that same year, coach also took a wrong turn at this intersection and was DQ’d). A simple fix would be to eliminate this right turn and send cyclists straight on the route I took. Sure, it would be slightly long, but it would eliminate any confusion.
Anyway, wrong turn aside, what I’m most pumped about are my average watts. Just three days prior, I did my hardest trainer workout yet – 2 x 45:00 @ 200w. And, even though I made it through that one, I wasn’t positive I could hold 200w outside for 56 miles. But, thanks to a lot of positive self-talk, especially the last 10 miles… done and done. It’s crazy to look back to November and see how far my cycling has come. Never underestimate the power of hard work, consistency and determination! #nevergiveup
The bike course was a little dirty…
Nutrition: one pack caffeinated black cherry Clif Shot Bloks and one sunny uplift GoMacro bar.
The end of the bike marked the end of my race, my first-ever DNF. And, while it was planned – because CdA is right around the corner – it was tough to not run. Nothing like putting your ego aside, right?! I wanted to run so bad, given all my running this build (close to as many miles as all of 2014!), but played it smart to be sure I’m 100 percent for my A race.
I stood around in T2 for a few minutes and cheered for other folks rolling in before meeting Nick, Andy, Sonia, Sarah and Kyle at the finish line, where we refueled, rehashed our races (the bad bike course signage!) and took some photos.
Huge shout-outs to my fantastic team, Coeur Sports (best kit!) and its supporting partners, Osmo Hydration, ROKA Sports and Argon 18 – I couldn’t race without you!; Pure Clean Powder for beet juice power!; Cobb Cycling for the best saddles; and Sound Probiotics for helping keep me healthy. And, thank you to my stellar coach, Andy, for continually pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting me race ready. And, last but not least, my person, Nick, for his unwavering support and for staying up late to prep my bike and then clean off all the grime. #keeper ♥
Go, team Andy!
Two of my favorite ladies and training partners, Sarah and Sonia.