Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ironman Coeur d'Alene - The Bike


Coming out of the swim I headed straight off the beach and up to the wetsuit strippers.  My friend and tri team-mate John was there and he called out to me so I ran over to him and he had my wetsuit off in no time. The water temp had been about 64F which is warm for CDA in June and I was a little worried that when my wetsuit came off I'd freeze because I knew the air temp wasn't much more than 64F by the time I got out of the water.  From the wetsuit strippers I picked up my bike bag from a volunteer ( theme of the day = super efficient and fast volunteers) and headed for the change tent.  I had assumed it would be super busy in the change tent but it was actually not too bad.  I had a great volunteer who emptied everything out of my bag and asked me what I needed.  She put on my socks, my bike shoes, my arm-warmers and gloves.  I was shaking from the cold so I decided to put on a disposable jacket that I could wear until I warmed up and then ditch along the way.  The volunteer zipped up my jacket and threw my helmet on...then pointed me out the door and into bike transition.

When I was running to my bike I was so excited to see Max and Matt along with Ron and Alex in there.  They handed me my bike and gave me a hug and I was on my way out .

I had to make sure that for the first 10 mins or so I kept it easy.  After such a  crappy swim I was tempted to push hard but I kept it under control until my legs warmed up.  Out of transition you head out to Higgins Point first which is also where the run course goes.  Higgins has some gentle rollers and is about 12miles out and back.  I saw lots of my team mates on this stretch which was great and then you ride back through town and hear everyone cheering so its an awesome way to start out on the bike.

Once you pass through town you head up the freeway on-ramp and turn into I-95.  This first part is a "do not pass" zone because there is freeway traffic right next to you on the overpass.  It only lasts for a few hundred yards and then you have 20 miles of I-95 in front of you.  There are some big hills out there - most notably Mica Grade - but I just spun up it without going crazy.  There were plenty of people pushing themselves at this stage but having ridden the course so many times ( home court advantage) I knew it was easy to get carried away on the first loop.  I knew I'd be seeing these people again on the second loop.

 I did a lot of praying riding the downhills. Mica Grade on the way back down is a no pass zone and I may have done some yelling at jerks who didn't think the "do not pass"  applied to them.  There were a couple of accidents and plenty of people fixing flats on the side of the road, ( thank God that wasn't me), but I also saw a whole lot of my teammates out there and cheering for them helped pass the time and before I knew it I was headed back into town.  Passing all the spectators was fun then back out to Higgins to pick up my special needs bag. The second loop went the same as the first.  Although by the time I hit mile 90 my stomach was starting to rebel. Looking back now I am sure that the IM perform that was used on course was to blame.Super sugary and acidic.   By mile 95 I had to pull over and use the port-o-potty.  Some poor guy walked in on me using the bathroom and later caught up to me to apologize for walking in on me.  That kept me laughing all the way back to transition.

IMG_7725When I hit the off ramp from I-95 I was so excited because I knew I'd get to see my family again....and get off my bike.  Yippee.  112 miles in the bag.



  1. OK, that is the best smile as you're coming in to T2!

  2. Ha, so last post my comment showed as being posted by Aaron... and I said Poop. ;) Awesome, Michelle. This one probably says Aaron, too but I'm too lazy to log out and back in and who knows what my password is anyway.

    Anywho, I always dilute those sports drinks with water so drinking it straight I can only imagine what that would feel like after 112 miles. BLECH.

  3. I am having a morning in bed and was happy to find the rest of your story. Sounds like the bike was a piece of cake for you. My stomach got very full at the end of the bike which caused more issues on the run for me....I am hoping the run portion is in the next entry.