Sunday, July 01, 2012

My IM CDA 2012 race report

Ironman CDA 2012 was my number 20 Ironman distance. I took a 3 year break from racing this distance and challenged myself with other Endurance events. Last July the idea came up to do it again. At work we teamed up and Lori D., Sam A. and I tried to get a race sponsor. We where lucky at Fighting Creek gas station on HWY 95. Nick said yes and got us the entry for the 2012 Ironman CDA! My training with a fulltime job was hard. Many early 3am runs to get the 2-3 training in. Overall I enjoyed the training prep time. Important to me was that I balanced family, wife, work, training and recovery. I sure hope it worked most of the times. As speed work I chose to do shorter races earlier the year. Until Ironman day, I did 11 races in the area and the Hamburg Marathon in April in a new personal best (2:40,52h). Other highlights where the Windemere Marathon victory in May and my second place in St. Maries. Race week went OK. Clearly not the recovery and down time I hoped for and needed. But this Ironman was my first with a full time job. My biggest concern was the water temp! I went in the lake near my work in Plummer ID and it was painfully cold. That was Tuesday. Thursday in CDA was allot better, but still cold and I could not really imagine to be in there for one hour plus. I thought we would see on race day. The night before the race was very restless and I was up before my alarm at 4am. Honestly not a big deal anymore, because I got up at 3 am quite often to go for a run before work. Breakfast was a fight, but the first coffee in a week helped. Slowly my family woke up. I was very happy that my mom (Frauke) and my sister (Sinje) could join me for this Ironman. A little after 5 am we drove down to the race start. I was very nervous, what is needed, but does not feel to good at that moment. Everyone tried to help me and calm me down. Deborah, my mother in law called Blake (my wife) and it always helps to talk to her. She had to leave about a week before Ironman to work in Rapid City. Her work (for Birds of Prey Northwest) as a wildlife biologist is clearly controlled by the birds. At home she takes care of injured Birds of Prey in the area and educates us humans about those fantastic animals. I got my bike ready, double checked my transition bags and I was set. Only thing left to do, put on my wetsuit and eating my Biestmilch Booster. This powerful food is part of my daily nutrition and on race morning the Booster helps me to be alert and ready for the swim and the rest. Ready …? I stepped in the mid 50’s water and it was cold. But I did not have a choice, so deal with it. After the gun went of it was a washing machine. I have not experienced this for years. Some athletes are fighting their way through the water. I never understood that, you waste energy and there is no really gain from it. The first loop was cold and I could feel the temperature creeping in my body. My hands where close to numb, what I expected in the first place. Off for the second lap, it was still very cold, so I warmed myself with a little homemade load of warm. It felt better for about 5 minutes, but from there it went downhill. My joints started to hurt and I could not feel anything in my hands. The waves on the second loop where annoying, but not to big of a deal. Coming out I was happy and disappointed at the same time. It took me 32 minutes for the first lap and 39 for the second, due to the cold. That was frustrating. Luckily I had help from the “peelers” to get out of my wetsuit, because I had no idea how to get out of it without their help. No feeling in your hands is bad, if you need them. And I needed them in the tent to put on my socks, shoes, arm warmers and to put on my helmet. Most of it, I could not do. I had to wait to get help in the very busy tent. That took time, way to much. A transition time of 8 minutes is not acceptable for me. But it was what it was and I got on my bike and started pushing. The weather was not yet on my side. Overcast no sight of the sun. I tried to warm up with riding a bit harder and I made time. The legs felt OK. I made sure my nutrition was where it needed to be. My solids where great, but I did the mistake drinking to much perform with the solids. I did not notice my mistake until later. The two Biestmilch Booster on my bike stabilized my GI track and make it easier to eat. I rode the first lap in about 2:35h. I was very happy to see my family in downtown CDA and by now I was OK with the temperatures. Still wish for more sun, but the sky looked promising. Leaving CDA for the second time, we had headwinds at the worth part of the race possible. Those miles are hard anyway and now working hard for about 20 miles was no fun. The big thing that kept me up was the sun coming out and knowing, I have tailwinds on my way back. Approaching the Transition area, I felt tired but OK. So I was excited to see how my legs where getting of the bike. And they where right there. But something else as well, some grumble in my stomach. I took of with an 6:17 per mile, way to fast! I slowed down to a 6:52 per mile and it felt OK for a few miles. But then my times dropped and my stomach grumble turned into diarrhea. There was no way to suck it up, I had to go to the porter paddies. Between about mile 6 and 11, I had to go 5 times until my solution kicked it. I drank lots of coca cola and had some pretzels. It finally worked and my legs where still there. I tried to push through my low points and it worked well. All the moments where I wanted to slow down and quit went away and brought it home. It was an amazing feeling, so I decided to fly in like a Bird. Not my best performance of the day, but the inspiration of those birds is amazing. My wife work, Birds of Prey Northwest, researches-educates-rescues our local birds of prey. I came in 102 overall, in 10:21,57! I was 21st in my age group and I learned allot in my 20th Ironman distance.
--- Kjell

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