Here is the continuation of my Ironman Coeur d'Alene blog. Please look at HTFU blog for the swim portion.
T1: Sure was nice to get out of the water as my hands were starting to cramp due to the cold. The CDA transition is pretty fast unless you put arm warmers on a wet body. Wetsuit stripping. Check. Grabbed my bag. Check. Ran into the tent. Arm warmers + wet body = long transition. I was freezing. Shaking. Saw my friend, Mandy heading out to grab my bike and she told me she would see me at the finish. #inspiring.
112 mile Bike: Two loops. Windy, with gusts up to 25 mph. Hilly. #gamon
First 15 miles: Along the lake, which was beautiful. I saw Chris at this time, which is always inspiring. At this time you see tons of people flying either:
- They are excited and it's their first Ironman and the crowds were AMAZING during this section.
- They don't know how to pace themselves and went out WAY to fast.
- It is a bit flat, some downhills with a couple of uphill but a VERY EASY portion of the bike.
In the long run, you really need to pull back on this portion of the ride...it's a long day.
Next 20 miles: The wind was right in our face on the way out. First climb was a 6% grade for about 2 miles, into the wind. In an Ironman, you just worry about your own racing especially on the bike. I kept going back-and-forth with this guy and he was going hard. As we were heading out of town, I did what I was supposed to do:
- High Cadence.
- Stay in aero position.
- Stay in Zone 3 in my power going up the hills.
I would pass the guy going uphill. He would pass me down. At one point, he asked me where I was from because I was a good climber (HA!). I said San Antonio and he states he was from Fort Worth. I told him, "I was just doing what I need to do for my power zones." He said, "I am already at my FTP." If you know anything about power, being at your FTP at mile 20 in an Ironman race is not a good thing.
A piece of advice: Drive the race course before the race. Then you have an idea of where the turn around is.
Another piece of advice: Learned to pee on your bike. I know gross. Yuck. Why would you do that? I saw a lot of people stopping at water stops to go to the bathroom. There were lines and lines of people. That could be 5 minutes of qualifying or 5 minutes of not making a cut off! Pee on the bike. Grab an extra water bottle, relaxed, put your butt to the side and there you go. Dump the extra water on yourself to rinse yourself off. I did this one more time on the bike...I thought I was getting enough water in me. This will come up again...
Next 20 miles back to town: Coming back was fun. Wind behind you. Heading down the hills. Clocking up to 39 mph heading down the hills. You can spin anymore. Pretty AWESOME!
Half Way Point: 3:07. Pretty happy with that considering how windy it was.
Second loop was tough, no need to break it down for you but hot dang, at this point the winds got worse and heading back out...you really have to dig deep. Heading back out of town, I swore I heard "Fat Bottom Girls" was playing. If you have read my blogs and post, I am #obsessed with Queen. I thought... "No way!" As I got closer, a guy on his motorcycle blaring his music and YES, Queen was playing! I screamed at him and said Thank You! For the next 20 miles, I kept seeing him as he was playing different songs: Motley Crue, Queen, Aerosmith, AC/DC...Classic Rock...until he got pulled over by the cops. It's seriously helped me out!
Nutrition: A scoop of plain Generation UCAN with Nuun tablets and 2 bottles of X2 Performance every hour. Also took in 2 BCAA, 1 electrolyte and 1 Anti-Fatigue from Hammer Nutrition, every hour as well. I had 2 bottles of the UCAN mix with 3 scoops each and water bottles as hand ups along the way. BTW, VOLUNTEERS ROCK! I felt pretty darn AWESOME with my UCAN. I can't thank these guys enough!!! #UCANROCKS
Coming back home, wind behind you, downhills again but OH MY WORD...I wanted to get off of this bike. I was sick of the wind, of my seat, etc. I saw mile 100 and just said a little prayer to get me to 112 miles. During the end of my bike, I knew I wasn't going to make the time that I wanted on my bike due to the winds. So I told myself just get in safe and it will be time to push it on the run.
Bike time: 6:28:59. Average 17.28 mph.
Here are my thoughts about this course and my bike ride:
- It was windy. What can you do? NADA...stay aero!
- It was hilly. I was prepared for them. I road the last 7 weeks for my long ride outside with hills and flats.
- Yes, I do think you need to ride hills every week in San Antonio to prepare for Ironman Coeur d'Alene BUT it is extremely helpful if you have a power meter.
- Power meters keep you accountable on your bike. It teaches you how much you should dig going up the hill and how much you shouldn't. Can't wait for my athlete to do IM-Tahoe...it will be tough BUT with the power meter, they will know how to maintain their average power without blowing up.
- I averaged 93 rpm on my cadence on the bike. My average power was 132, which is considered Ironman pace or Zone 2. For IM-FL in 2013, I averaged 99 rpm cadence (too high) and 127 for Ironman pace, which I feel was on the low side for me.
- Overall, I was disappointed with the bike BUT I realize that there was nothing I could do about the conditions that were given to us that day. Pro athletes usually can do an Ironman bike under five hours. That day there were only 7 people that manage to do that.
- Looking at the positive: I felt strong on the bike. That is what made me happy AND I stayed within my cadence and power. I didn't blow up like my friend from Fort Worth.
Got off the bike. My legs and my back were Jell-O. I said "Ouch, Eeek, EECH, UGH" but ran to get my bag as a volunteer handed to me and off I went into the tent for T2....