Ironman Coeur d'Alene

                                                               

Hello and greetings from beautiful Ironman Coeur d'Alene! After competing at Ironman Lake Placid for the past three years I decided to turn my sights West and take on the similarly beautiful and challenging Ironman course

              

Swim 1hr 00min
-2400 athletes line up on shore of 58 degree water to start the race!
-I line up to the far left hoping to swim away from traffic and starting inside the buoys.
-Hopefully this more clear swim line would get me started on the right foot.  I would still need to tangle with the large group rounding the first buoy at the end of the rectangular course.
-Bang from the cannon! Mass chaos!!
-make the first turn without much trouble or drownding.
-Difficulty finding a good draft out here and seems to be a bit choppy.
-Loop #1 29min 30sec... a little slow but in the right time frame.
-Loop #2 getting clearer still not good feet to draft.  Is this guy in front of me swimming drunk? He is all over the place!
-Decide that the swim is not the place to "make my move" and hold back to wait for the long day of biking and running ahead of me.

T1
-Nice n quick transition onto the bike, give a quick heal kick to the crowd and onto the bike.

                                                                            Bike 5hr 18min
                        

-Wooosh.  The disc and bike feel great.  Sailing along with a nice tail wind on the way out on a two loop course
-Start to work on my powerbars.. eventually eating four of them.
-Miles 0-20 lots of tail wind and relatively flat sections.
-Nice n easy on some of the harder hills.  Watch out for the AM wet roads and narrow hairpin turns!
-Riding alone...   very alone.
-Chain falls off the bike first time...  ~45 seconds stop time
-Keeping watts <315 on any steady climbs while standing up on the pedals for hills I could roll over
-On the out and back I can see some folks but still a good gap. Riding too fast? 
-Sun is shinning.. roll it on.  Boost the power!
-mile 56 still fun but starting to get grounded in the fact that the day is young and I am starting to feel my legs.
-Chain falls off the bike for the second time... ~30 seconds stop time.
-Ease up a bit as the guy in front of me jerks his wheel left then right to avoid a curious but unleashed dog!
-mile 80-95.  Oh yea, this reminds me of Lake Placid second loop.  Hills seem steeper, legs feel way more tired... and Im going to run after this?!
-Still moving at a good clip and my speed is there. Finish my bars and one gel flask moving on to Gatorade at each aid station. 
-Chain falls off the bike for the third time! Aaahhhhhhh!!  1min 30sec of stop time.  Grrrrr.
-mile 90-112.  Serious headwind directly in my grill.  Not little baby wind but big daddy wind.
-Pull into T2 with that not so fresh feeling but 5th off the bike in my age with the 39th fastest split of the day. 

T2
-Not many bikes in transition, this is great!  I get excited to run.
-In and out onto the run no problems here...

                                                                                  Run 4hr 3min
     

-miles 0-5 just relax and find a comfortable pace. Check heart rate and fuel.
-Quiet on the run as there are still not many runners on the course
-Stop at the bathroom #2.....  thats odd havent had that one before.
-miles 6-13 sputter sputter... cant get the heart rate up. Legs dont want to run. 
-run for a mile, walk for a bit, run a mile walk a bit. 
-Can see the pefect day slipping but I am still digging in to pull something out.
-Drink a cup of gatorade at each aid station and continue sipping three small shots of 2X strength gatorade from my camel back.
-Say hi to my #1 fans mom and dad.  Give them a hug and kiss and continue back onto the course for miles 19-26.2
-Really low blood sugar. Walk for ~20min
-As my HR drops so does the temperature, woah im getting cold walking here. KEEP MOVING! 
-Three miles to go and as I look at the time I can still finish under 10:30 but I have to keep running without stopping.
-Make the last turn into town and towards the beautiful main street with great fans and music.. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

As I close out my 8th Ironman I realize again and again just what an adventure and show it is each time I do this thing.  Such a coaster of emotions and experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything.  It may be tough but it sure is great when you are riding the edge of what you are capable of!  Till next time. Swim-Bike-Run-FUN!

~Coach Cliff

 
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