I missed Kona by 2 spots and 2.5 minutes last year at Ironman
Louisville. I wasn't too disappointed because I had left it all on the course there, and felt good that that was my best showing possible that day. But I set my sights on a Kona bid as a goal for this year and Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I took time off after Loo and looked to restart training in January--but other Nature had other ideas. I spent a lot of time unable to get quality workouts because of our snowpopcalypse and cold weather. It was very scary to me, as I like to have a good base heading into the big training weeks. That wasn't really going to be an option this year. I spent a lot of the early season working toward the Shamrock marathon, and did moderate/light bike/swim training during that time period. I figured that the fitness carries over, and I could coast on
running with the marathon base while I worked on the others. I would later find out that coasting is never an option with Coach Kelzie. But I did race Shamrock, and had a moderately disappointing result (bad nutrition, I think). The next weekend the bike training kicked off with a 3-day minicamp in which we rode most of the way to Luray, did some riding at Luray and then rode all the way home (130 miles). That put a good hurt in the legs. For the next 12 weeks or so, I did a ton of riding. Multiple camps at The Lost River Barn and out to Deep Creek
Lake, along with regular Saturday rides and some work down at HP. I swam a few days a week at EMP and then out at HP with the masters team once it opened.
I had a very worn body by the time taper came around. Very tired, and right on the verge of overtraining. And Laurel was putting up with a grumpy Phil. So I took a fairly aggressive taper to allow my body to rebuild. By the time the race came around my body had come around, thank god. We arrived in Coeur d'Alene Thursday before the race. It's beautiful and the temps were looking great. I tried the lakewater and realized that it was definitely going to be a full-sleeve suit and neoprene cap. We did the whole packet pick up and got my bike from TriBikeTransport (highly recommended). The atmosphere at M-Dot full races is always something special. It was really exciting and exhilerating. My family showed up on Friday and after I checked my bike in and transition bags in on Saturday, we took a nice drive out into the hillz. We also took a drive around the course and I realized that all the hill training was going to come in VERY HANDY because there is a long section of that course that is VERY HILLY. I was nervous, but I put together a pacing plan based on what I saw.
I woke up at 4:30 and ate a couple hard-boiled eggs, a bagel with pb/j and a banana. Didn't feel too good going down. But I think that was nerves/eating at 4:30 a.m. We headed down to the start and I dropped off my special needs bags and repumped my tires (tubulars rock, btw). I got into my wetsuit and ate another banana/nervously chatted with Laurel/felt sick/felt nervous. I took a quick warm up swim after the pros went off and shortly thereafter...BOOM cannon fire and we were off.
The course is two loops with a beach run in the middle. I had never done a beach run, and in retrospect, it's awful. The first loop was choppy on the way out and actually a little crowded (I have a swimming background so I'm used to swimming out front basically on my own). I should have realized that this was a sign that I needed to pick it up. I was comfortable though and got in my rhythm. Until that damn beach run. My heartrate spiked and I felt totally discombobulated. But soon enough I was back in the water and on my way again. The second loop was about the same as the first after I got back in my rhythm. Came out disoriented again.
56:50 (sllllloooow for me) (6th AG/43rd OA)
This went smoothly except when the wetsuit strippers tried to pull it off as I was sitting on the suit.
Ah, the bike course. What a pain and what a view. It starts with a 10 mile out and back along the lake, with a little hill in the middle. I spun my legs up to speed and tried to really hammer through this part--as I knew that there would be some much slower sections later in the course. There was a tailwind out of town, which is a long series of false flats (uphill). The tailwind helped keep the speed up through
that section. I was getting passed by guys every once in a while, which I am used to as my swim is often faster than the fastest cyclists. I held my pace and hit the hills feeling pretty good. I worked my way through the hills, watching the avg slide back down. I was hoping for a 5:15, so I knew that I needed to go around a 2:35 half in order to be able to slip a little in the second loop and still hit my time goals. After the hills it was all downhill into town, but the wind was now in my face. That was cause for more hammering to keep the speed up. I came through town right on target for 2:35 half (saw the fam twice) and was off on the second loop. I stayed on target on my nutrition, forcing down something every 15 minutes (gels/infinit/bars) along with water. Peed twice -- so I knew I was staying hydrated. The second loop flew by, but I noticed myself drifting mentally during the hills. So at Mile 90, I really bore down and tried to hammer all the way back. I am glad I did that, as I'm sure that I'd have had a lot slower time had I not done this. The headwind sucked but it was what it was.
BIKE SPLIT 1: 34 mi 34 mi. (1:34:36) 21.56 mph
BIKE SPLIT 2: 90 mi 56 mi. (2:39:14) 21.10 mph
BIKE SPLIT 3: 112 mi 22 mi. (1:03:00) 20.95 mph
TOTAL BIKE: 112 mi 112 mi. (5:16:50) 21.21 mph
6th AG/45th OVERALL
T2: Felt good and got thru it fast. You gotta credit IM volunteers--they make it real easy. They dump your bag, you grab what you need and they clean up after you. boom boom boom.
I took off knowing that I have a tendency to hammer the first few miles and it costs me later, so I consciously ran smooth and steady. The course winds through town and out along that lakeshore where the first section of the bike was. You go up the hill out there and then turn around. I felt great through mile 13.1. Drank gatorade and water, ate gus, used sponges and generally tried to stay smooth and confident. I saw the fam and Laurel a bunch of times. Leaving for the second loop, I was feeling a little glum, but knew I had to bear down and grind it out. I passed a few people on the first loop and got passed by a couple hard-chargers. I felt that I was doing well but had no idea. I decided not to do splits on the watch and just run. I set a goal of eating my favorite gu at mile 21, which was good to concentrate on as I wore down. Then from there I just concentrated on the miles left which went by pretty well. I was really looking forward to a point where the course split and if you were going to finish you went one way and to second loop another. When I split off, it felt awesome. I was basically alone and there were good crowds. I came around the final corner and it was 4 wide open blocks to the finish. I looked down at my watch--it was just turning from 9:39 to 9:40. Darn, that had been a mental goal. But running down those blocks, with a ton of people cheering, slapping hands with Laurel, and knowing I had really crushed the race -- these all prevented me from feeling bad about that time turnover.
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (3:23:16) 7:45/mile
28th overall 6 AG
28th overall, 13th amateur 6th in M30-34
There were six slots in my AG, so I snagged one outright and didn't have to do roll down. Man, what a tough AG--13th overall and I was still 6th in my AG????
Anyway, I'll be flying the DCTri flag high/proud at Kona in October and thank everyone in the club for their support this year. Can't say I know I'll go any faster there, but I sure will enjoy it!
Thanks for reading.
You are a machine!! Totally amazing race and you totally earned the Kona spot in a tough age group!
Thanks Phil... and congrats!
It's great to hear more of the mental side of your race. Whether you're fast or slow, it's still difficult to keep your head in the game and push through some of the low points to hit goal times. Good job fighting through and not letting up. That may have been the last little nudge you needed for that Kona slot.
Congrats and we'll be cheering you on at Kona
We're very proud of you and can't wait to follow your trail to Kona.
Woohoo! Congrats Phil! And thanks for finding the time to be my NTP mentor while doing all that training. You're an inspiration to this fledgling triathlete!
Congratulations, Phil! I'm so impressed. You've got a great cheerleader in Laurel.
Way to crush CDA! You looked incredible as you passed me on that final u-turn. I could have used your legs on the second lap. Congrats, my man! You worked hard and earned it!
Big Congrats Phil! So well deserved my friend! Cheers, A&M
Wow! Nice job! Congrats!!
Kris thanks for the compliment:) Even if Phil didn't know it out on the course, I think the positive energy from everyone tracking him (and sending me email updates/facebook messages/texts etc) helped a lot (well- that and all the training). Yay for Kona!