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July 1, 2013 / snowvols

Ironman Coeur d’Alene Part 2 – Bike

While coming out of the swim I was ecstatic.  Did I really swim a 1:20?  Haha you bet I did.  Coming out of the water all I could think about was keep running.  Pass these suckers.  I then swathe wet suit strippers and since I lost my shorts in St. George, I opted to strip myself to prevent anyone from throwing dollar bills at me.  I ran and found my bike bag which was pretty easy to find, but the transition area is rather large.  I then found a towel inside transition, SCORE! I wasn’t thinking and didn’t pack a towel so this helped my feet to not blister.


After changing I then ran out of transition in a time of 5:01.  I used to think Ironman transitions were slow, but now I know why everyone has such a slow transition.  It is a lot more difficult than I would have imagined.  The bike course for Coeur d’Alene is a two loop out and back course.  Below is a map of the course.



Elevation Chart

I jumped on the smurf and knew it was time to start picking the ‘fast swimmers’ off.  I found a nice group to talk to and we just continued passing one another and passed tons of people.  It was nice having a group of guys with jawing back and forth with as it let me take my mind off of the mundane bike ride.  At mile 18 or so there is a nice hill that is climbed.  It doesn’t look like much on the elevation chart but boy was she bad.

Using the 30 in the saddle 30 out of the saddle technique I was untouchable going up the hill.  So many people were already struggling going up the hill, I made significant time gains going up the hill.  It is always so nice passing tons of people especially on the uphill.  Looking at people’s bikes as I pass them and they have $8,000+ setups always will put a smile on my face.  Going down the hill I quickly ran out of gears as well and hit a speed of 42 mph.  So of course no one touched me on the downhill.


Thinking I’m fast. Yes, real men wear pink.

At this point I feel amazing.  Nothing can stop me and I am going to crush everything.  I am taking in food every chance I can and it is all going to plan.  Wait, what? An Ironman can go to plan? And then mile 34 happened.  I heard the ole, PSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  I let out a few choice words as I watch my front tire go from 95 PSI to 0.  Son of a….. Really a flat?  I just changed my tube yesterday.

As I was getting over, I looked up and saw a support motorcycle.  Perfect place to get a flat I was thinking.  I run up to him and ask him if he has a tube and CO2 as I didn’t want to use my own in case I got another flat.  Of course the guy doesn’t and says he probably should carry something to help people.  Really?  Ugh, but he was nice enough and held my bike for me.  It took me 8 minutes to change the tube.  I gave the tube a shot of CO2 and she was ready to get thrown back on the bike.

Since I had lost 8 miles or so to the people I was riding with, it made total sense in my mind to really hammer down on the bike and try to catch the people.  I now look back at my mental thoughts and laugh.  How was I going to make up 8 miles with guys that are averaging 21 mph?  I keep hammering even though the only thing on my mind is how bad I had to pee.  I kept saying at the next porta potty I would go, but there was always a line. Aint no one got time for that nonsense.  I am not going to stand in line to use the restroom.

So I keep hammering down and I get back to the bike finish course, mile 56, and decided I was about 9 miles from the turn around so I might as well just hold it until then and I could get my special needs bag at the same time.  There was only 1 6% grade hill between me and there.  I really messed up though.  I bought a burrito the previous day with intentions of putting it in my special needs bag.  Of course at 4:30AM that did not sound good so I left it out of my bag.  At 11 AM when I rolled into special needs, all I wanted was the burrito.  That would have been such easy calories I completely regret it.  I scarfed down a candy bar, used the restroom and was gone within 5 minutes of pulling into the turnaround at mile 65.


I was completely out of fluids and had been for a few miles.  I was kind of pissed at myself, but there was an aid station just a few miles away.  I quickly rode to the aid station, but it was up another hill and I could sense dehydration setting in.  Pretty frustrating.  I got off of my bike since I was pretty tired, but I was still trying to race smart, to fill up my bottles.  I had 3 bottles to fill with various powders and tablets.  I was trying to avoid straight water as there are not any calories or electrolytes in it.  That worked pretty well until later in the race.


Gotta continue passing people

After another 5 minute break, I was back off to head into town and then to face the hills.  I was hammered. I was dreading the hills, most of all though I was just wanting to be off of the bike already.  Thinking I had 40 miles still to go I was starting to combine the race.  The distances for each leg are too far to combine it so for the bike course I broke it up into 8ths as there are 4 places you have to turn around at.  So I had to keep telling myself I was 75% of the way finished once I rolled through town.

Having the crowd support really helped me forget about everything else and reminded me to smile.  I got through town okay and headed south on the highway.  It was starting to warm-up, but thankfully it was still beautiful weather.  Seeing people coming into town finishing their second loops was annoying to me.  Why am I not that fast?  So I tried to mix up my thoughts and think about the mountains.

The mountains got old real fast, and the only thing I wanted to do then was get over these hills.  I climbed the hills slower this time, but I was still fortunate enough to continue passing people who were not having as much fun as I was.  I guess training does pay off?

Once I got to the top I was glad to have that climb behind me, but I was dreading climbing it again on the backside.  I only got up to 40 mph on the downhill, clearly I was getting tired.  After another climb I knew it would be pretty flat.  Or at least it seemed pretty flat on the previous loop. I swear after the second large hill it was 8 miles of pure hill at a 10% grade.  I didn’t seem nearly that bad the previous loop, but my back was feeling it that is for sure.

I got to the turnaround point and was 7/8th’s of the way finish on the bike.  I got passed a lot on this middle section.  I was out of aero and my back kept tightening up.  I have never been more excited to run a marathon in my life.  I knew I still had a big downhill and then the last large climb.  Geeze I was over the bike.

I flew down that down hill hitting about 38 mph compared to the 40 I got on the previous lap.  The uphill was much worse than I imagined.  I was doing 30 sitting and 30 standing.  It was not going by faster and I kept trying to shift to an easier gear.  Nothing would happen of course so I just continued to suffer.  Looking around though I was passing people that passed me earlier and they were suffering too.  I don’t mind suffering I learned if other are suffering the same or worse than I am.  What can I say I am a bit of a jerk.  I finally crested the hill upshifted like a madman and took off.  Yelling Left to everyone I was passing as the downhill was on the shoulder and a concrete barricade was to the far right.  I got up to 41 mph and wanted to just use that to help me cost the last 6 miles into town.  There were a few rolling hills left but I got over them without any issues.

I finally saw the city and of course tried my best to look happy and to feel as if I wasn’t feeling it.  Surprisingly, my legs still had a little bit of a bounce to them so I quickly dismounted from the bike and ran into transition.  I quickly looked at my garmin though and it told me I did just under 5800 feet of climbing.  I thought there was supposed to only be 4600?  Whoops oh well nothing I could have done about it now.  I quickly changed my mindset to focus on walking/running in cycling shoes as it would be pretty embarrassing to fall over from running in those pesky shoes.


Coming into transition

Run Post Coming Soon……..



Leave a Comment
  1. Steena / Jul 2 2013 12:21 pm

    What’s the 30/30 rule?
    Awesome riding, and keeping mostly calm during the flat.
    And what kind of burrito? I’m curious about the odd things.

    • snowvols / Jul 2 2013 12:31 pm

      Count to 30 strokes on the left foot while standing then count 30 strokes on the left foot while sitting in the saddle. It really breaks up tough hills which I know WI has several.

      A Chipotle burrito. I love burritos so my next race I am going to pack one.


  1. Ironman Coeur d’Alene Pre-Race and Swim | ironmaninthesnow
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