Friday, July 1, 2011

Your questions answered!

I have been asked a bunch of questions pertaining to my race and particular aspects of Coeur D'Alene and the course, so I figured I would try to answer some of them here. Clearly, I am not a pro, having done only 2 Ironmans, but if I can provide at least my perspective, perhaps someone out there will benefit from it!

Apparently, dissecting my issues with the Ironman marathon on Sunday is greatly helping a bunch of people on Train-This to learn what not to do during an Ironman! It's only slightly embarrassing to see all of mistakes highlighted and picked apart like I am some kind of idiot. :)

So anyways, here are some questions that I have gotten, along with my answers. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to post them in the comments section and I will try to answer them if I can!

Why did my run go downhill and why did I end up in the medical tent?
This was a nutrition issue. I am supposed to drink 1 bottle of Ironman Perform per hour while on the bike. I was on the bike for 6.5 hours, but I only drank 4 bottles. Totally my fault. Totally resulted from me having a blase attitude towards getting in those calories. All I can say is that I need to stay on top of this in the future, and I DEFINITELY learned my lesson. What's the point in doing the training, paying the money, and taking the time off of work if you're not going to follow through with your nutrition plan?

What was the water temperature at Ironman Coeur D'Alene?
I believe the water temperature was measured at 58. I'm pretty sure it was colder than that, since it was 58 when I swam on Thursday and then the lake temperature continued to drop as race day approached. I am guessing.. 55 or 56 degrees. I saw lots of people with booties and neoprene caps. I did not wear either - just a long-sleeved wetsuit and my swim cap.

Which course is harder: Ironman Lake Placid or Ironman Coeur D'Alene?
The swim at IMCDA was definitely harder than IMLP, hands down. Colder water, rougher start, the course was not set up for any practice swims, and it was just a slower venue in general. I'm pretty sure anyone would agree with this. Both bike courses were challenging - I prefer the IMCDA course and thought it catered more to my "style" of riding (even though I rode it 10 mins slower) and was more enjoyable to me. The run course was a toss-up. Even though I had a worse run, I actually liked the CDA course more (the IMLP section along river road seems to go on forever for me) but there is a really big hill that I think is worse than the 2 hills at IMLP, and if you choose to walk up it, you will lose a LOT of time because of how long it is.

Which venue did I like better?
If you go purely by the course itself - I liked IMCDA better. However, Lake Placid is a much nicer town than Coeur D'Alene, the expo setup in the Olympic oval is cooler, the fans are crazier, there are better places to eat and shops to check out, and the general excitement level is higher. This is all probably because Coeur D'Alene is a LOT bigger of a town than Lake Placid so things are more spread out, while Lake Placid is compact and the activity is all localized. Plus, it hosted the freakin' Olympics TWICE, so it's a classier place.

Would I race Ironman Coeur D'Alene again?
I am in no hurry to repeat any Ironman race over and over again. That being said, I enjoyed this Ironman course a lot. Accessibility was a problem, lodging was expensive, and not renting a car was a HUGE mistake. But the bike course was REALLY fun. I would LOVE a 70.3 in this location!

What would I do differently?
Other than the whole nutrition fiasco, I would have taken more care to apply sunscreen. I had volunteers apply it to my shoulders, but my back is sunburned to the point of blistering and it is KILLING me. I also would have rented a car. Seeded myself differently in the swim. Walked through every other aid station instead of every, and walked through aid stations with a purpose rather than walking to the "last chance" trash bin.


  1. If I were you, next time, I wouldn't talk to Mary afterwards. That way you get avoid getting raked over the coals on her blog :) kidding. It definitely gets chalked up as a learning experience. You are definitely NOT an idiot!

    Nurse that sunburn. This is where you need to find that IM sugar daddy to rub aloe on your back ;)

  2. I think that the layout of the IMCDA course also contributed to the problems with getting calories in. All of the elevation change came over a 25 mile section and there was so much going on with the climbs and technical descents that it was hard to take in calories.

    The 3 of us in my house all agree'd we liked CDA but we all liked IMWI a little better. That might be because its sorta a home town race for us like IMLP is for you...but I'm excited for you do rock that course and see what you think!!!

  3. NOT an idiot...I think it's extremely classy for you to allow yourself to be set as an examble, and shows alot about you as an athlete. Lessons learned, move along, lets rock IMOO!!


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