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Coming from IM Coeur d Alene

Wrap up report on 2010 Ironman CDA Performance

Last Update: 2012-07-04 11:26:44

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. - Walt Disney

One of the things I'll remember always from my 2010 Ironman Coer d'Alene is a childrens' animated movie: "Meet the Robinsons." How odd. But there are two very good reasons. First, the quote above -- it's highlighted segment, "keep moving forward" is the theme of the movie, a motto embodied in every Ironman, I'd say. Second, the closing song reminds us "the hardest part is over." Thank mans, I needed that. The tension of 2500 tedious miles of travel melted away and I relaxed with a sense calm and confidence.

Don't leave your race on the Queen K the week before the event. - Dave Scott

I didn't. I obsessed about the swim, I need to. In 2007 I took 2:18:30 for the swim. It's a big reasong why I'm back. So, I swam an hour Wednesday, 45 minutes Thursday and 30 minutes Friday. That's it. No running. 30 minute bike check ride on Friday, one small adjustment on the rear deraileur tension, out-n-back on the 16 mile short loop over the hill by lake Coeur d'Alene. Done.

CompuTrainer Real Course Video Rocks!

I think I rode the bike course from mile 20 to the turnaround at 34 miles and from the turn around back through the hills into town 15 times. Hard. Those were my 2 weekly ME bike workouts. In the relative comfort of my home office which doulbes as a bike studio now that I have the CompuTrainer. It's humbiling and motivating at the same time to train with on a power meter. It's invaluable to know the course so well. How long and hard some of the climbs are, where the steep walls are, where to cut loose. Also, get reminded twice a week what patience and control is required to manage the bike with an eye towards the marathon to come. Race day -- real time 6:28 ride, 45 minutes improved, with the worst of it being my inability to eat enough.

Train for an Open Water Swim in Open Water!

I had some trouble finding a pool after I hired on with Weyerhaeuser in January. It was good to have a job and that gave me financial comfort leading to Coeur d'Aleme, but it left me in a lurch to find some swim location and fall into a routine during the week. So it was a bit of luck that I settled on swim core exercise and stretching during the week and one long open water swim, every Sunday. The kids liked playing at the lake, so my wife was cool about it. Mostly I did full distance 3,900 meters, some pretty good conditions and some pretty awful ones. Training times were 1:45 to 2:10 depending on water conditions and wetsuit or none. I also took the extra drag of two swim-safe with me on every swim. About 2 months out, I did a couple of long bike bricks and several short ones. I don't think I can really describe how much better-off I was training the open-water-specific stoke and spotting stroke all the time. Wait, yes I can: 1:36 swim time. Did I mention 2007 on the same course was 2:18. 'Nuf said.

I started pretty much in the middle of the shorline, sighting a more-or-less direct approach to the first turn. I moved into the crowd at least a third of the way up on the theory that I'd have people to swim behind at least the first third of the initial 800 and that should get me off to a good start with a bit of time cushion. I risked getting into the chaos for some draft and it really paid off. I fould out the back of the packers aren't too nasty to swim with. I jostled a bit with one or another trying to follow a good pair of feet. Mostly we all just held onto our lines in those situations and so there was some bumping and an occasional stroke on the back, but nothing more.

Not so the first turn! I thought I took it really wide. I thought things would be mostly cleared out by the time I got there. Crap. I was pushed from 15 meters wide of the bouy to right on it before I even knew it. At that point me and 150 of my best friends are all legs down going nowhere in 50 meters of water. A bit tense. Lots of shoulder grabbing (not me), leg kicking and face guarding. I had to do some wierd kicking moves and -- bing -- hamstring cramp, right leg, 18 minutes into the day. Not great. I fought off the cramp by what means I'm not sure and suffered through the turn and go moving. Everything came back into sync and I had a relatively unevenfuly return leg. I make the turn in about 42 minutes. I steped aside and took a minute to eat a gel. I'd prepared fo the impact of going back for the second lap -- it feels awful at first. I'd read about it, and practiced it Wednesday and Thursday. So Sunday, it was what it was, no cause for concern.

Finally I found a great pair of feet on for the last 3 or 400 meters swiming straight and strong and at just that right speed that I had to work at keeping up. Just what I needed for a nice strong finish. In the end, the 2nd or 3rd worst swimer in 2007, someone who learned to swim just to pursue Ironman, became just another back of the packer in 2010. And that was what I wanted.

What else. Lots of cold showers, all of them actually. By race day, 70 degree water was just refreshing. Neoprene cap -- absolutely. Besides a little warmth you get some more boiant material to press into the water, raising your legs. Also, I felt like my head sort of "popped" out of the water a bit on spotting strokes, quite helpful. Oh, speaking of spotting, read the that big quote up there. I remember a dozen times on the swim someone around me swimming off course 30 or 45 degrees, sometimes a friendly pair of feet I was following would just veer off left or right. If you think you can swim straight withou a regular spotting stroke, think again. I didn't realy swim faster or "outswim" anybody nearly so much as, that one day, I swam about the minimum possible distance. And I believe it was the training.


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