ED: We can't say it enough. We're absolutely gushing at John's accomplishments. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth. John's race report!
8/27/17 Ironman Coeur d’Alene Race Report
9:51:40, 7th overall, 2nd in AG.
Early morning race start of 6am had me up at 3 AM for breakfast and coffee. I had my typical breakfast that I have had before every big training day. 3 picky bars, cup of coffee with a little cream, then sipped on 50g of tailwind nutrition in 24oz of water before leaving at 4:14 to the race. Going into this race through the entire week I believe I did an excellent job of hydratingIwas constantly making sure I was getting in at a minimum 5x 24oz bottles of water throughout the day. This set me up for a warm race day.
Swim: 56:24, 1:27/yard, fastest swim in my AG, and 10th overall
This was a slight PR for the swim and could have been much more since I went through half way in 27:39, but the second lap consists of swimming over and past all the people that start in the back. So, it is a lot of direction change and trying to get a good line. But this swim felt easy. For the first out section I had a good draft group for a bit, but after a while I looked up and saw another group just some ways ahead so I decided to go for it and make the jump. So, I pushed the pace and eventually caught them. That was really the only hard section of the swim, just a good push to catch the next draft. I did have one annoying part on the second lap, a guy was just constantly on my feet touching them nonstop. So, I said screw it and made a couple surges but couldn’t drop him. Then I just backed off slightly and let him come to the front and then I just drafted off him all the way to the end. Made the swim feel easier anyways.
Much faster than last year, got changed quickly, and took off after getting extra sunscreen. Ended up breaking the zipper on my race kit too so I had to deal with that flailing while riding my bike. There were no safety pins after asking either. I was worried about a judge getting me in trouble for the new rule of not being allowed to have it open past your sternum. But I went out anyways.
Bike: 5:29:19, 20.41, 37th fastest bike
Going into this, my goal was to be under 5:30 realistically, after all those long training rides, I knew that sounded realistic. Which ended up being exactly what I got, should have told myself sub 5 hahaha. My bike didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, I dropped my chain about 3min into the bike, so I had to jump off and fix that. Then about mile 40, I kept hearing a weird high pitch rubbing sound. I was scared I was going to blow a tire or something, so I jumped off and checked it out. After finding out my rear tire was rubbing against the top of the frame, but only under load. So, I had to jimmy rig it slightly to pull the tire slightly away. These were times I was not happy about losing, but besides those two things really, it went pretty smooth. For a 5k+ climbing course I did a good job. It was fun watching everyone fly by me at the start of the bike, expecting just to pass them all on the run, but ended passing some of them later in the bike. I usually don’t get to pass people back on the bike. That felt pretty good and made me super happy too!!!!! I stuck with my nutrition bottles and drank 6 of the 7 bottles, each with 75g of carbs. I had one picky bar at mile 40 just because I could tell my body would take something solid, I would have had another but it fell out of my bento box around mile 70, I wasn’t worried about it though. Then I just grabbed water at most of the aid stations and used this as extra hydration and rinsing myself off after peeing on the bike. I did pee a lot on this ride compared to last year not peeing at all. This was a good sign that my body was absorbing and at least emptying the stomach well. It was cool seeing my position in the field at the turn around. I was confident in my run and knowing I was in the top 20 made me happy getting to the run. All those long 120+ rides made this ride very manageable and mentally it was solid!
Just cruised through transition. Got extra sunscreen, found a safety pin for my broken zipper. Kissed my fiancé, got my time split of 10min to the guy leading my AG. And headed out relaxed and in a good mood.
Run: 3:19:04, 7:35/mile, 6th fastest run of the day.
I really thought I had ran easy those first two miles, but every time I took my splits they were about 7min miles. I couldn’t comprehend going any slower, but I would do that eventually. I had my handheld bottle with 50g in it for the first 7 miles before finishing it. I just used that and water at the aid stations, until grabbing another handheld at special needs with about 50g of carbs. I kept that with me until mile 20 but I had already gone to coke at mile 13. I was needing it! I made it to a little over mile 13 running through each aid station, but I was starting to not feel too good about then, so I played the aid station game of walking the aid stations getting in nutrition, then running to the next one. It was all that was getting me to run, JUST GET ME TO THE NEXT AID STATION!
At the first turnaround, I counted myself in 14th place and slowly picking people off, and that’s what I tried to focus on. One person at a time, just making sure I was making ground on each person in front of me. And it was working, people were falling apart in front of me and I knew I was so much stronger than they were so I just kept going. I counted myself into the top 10 by the last lap I think, it was hard to tell where I was with everyone else out on the course by then. And by mile 23 I could picture the finish and knew I had a real shot at Kona. Especially when an older guy ran alongside me asking me if I was going to take my slot since his son was in my AG and in 3rd behind me. I just told him “Fuck YES!”
The cramps started slowly, about mile 15 I felt something weird in my feet and right hamstring when I was going up hills. Then the groin started on the hills too. Every time I tried to pick up the pace at all they would cramp up on me until I backed off slightly. But I was just holding it together, that’s all I could do. I took salt from one of the stations to try and help with it (it didn’t, as far as I could tell), I tried a Hotshot (didn’t help). My right arm was even cramping. I was just holding on for that last lap.
That finish was amazing! I didn’t run hard at all, I just jogged and enjoyed the finish… after looking behind me and not seeing anyone of course. And boom! Huge PR and we are going to KONA!
It was a warm day for sure, hit low 90’s out there and honestly, I didn’t feel too bad. All the sauna work seemed to help. Sure, it felt warm but it wasn’t bad in my opinion. Which is weird to say since I normally hate the heat!
I am happy, very happy about this result, but I know I can do better. I probably have the most time to make up for on the bike which I know is my weakness. And I should be able to run faster than that! But for now, I am happy… Lets go faster in Kona!