This is almost a week after-the-fact because I wrote a RR, clicked Publish Post and my computer lost everything and gave me the "page expired" screen. Awesome.
We flew into Spokane Thursday morning, did the baggage claim/rental car/hotel check-in routine then headed to the race-site. I was shocked at how green Coeur D'Alene is! I almost felt bad walking on the grass at transition. Got checked in, picked up my race-packet and got an easy run in before dinner. Friday morning I did a practice swim to set expectations for the cold, choppy swim but opted against swimming Saturday due to discouragingly cold weather, wind and rain, and did an easy spin on the bike when it cleared up in the afternoon. Both Friday and Saturday consisted of.... nothing. Low activity, alot of snacking, and early to bed.
I got my first pre-race panic at 1am race morning. A pounding headache woke me up and in my groggy-mind this was going to ruin my whole race. It kept me up for about 30 minutes before the NSAID's kicked in and I woke up again as planned at 4am. Ate breakfast, had half a small cup of crappy coffee, grabbed my stuff and got to the race site 5 minutes before it opened. I ran through the setup routine, got my swim stuff, and hung out with some T3'ers before the start.
Apparently my watch is 1:30 slow because the gun went off at 6:58:something. Threw on my goggles and sprinted into the Tsunami to fight through the masses. The water was a perfect temperature but the waves were unbelievable. If you had a strategy in the water it went out the window and you struggled to the turnaround and body-surfed back in. The worst part of my day was either getting lifted up by a wave and thrown into the turnaround buoy or when I got lifted up by a wave, then dropped back into the trough of the wave, took a stroke, a breath, then looked down to be face-to-face with a scuba diver. I shrieked and flailed like a drowning 6 year-old girl. Good thing nobody saw that! In swim was more chaotic than anything I'd ever done and the conditions worsened it, so a quarter through I decided just to get through it but managed to stay in the main pack.
T1 went smoothly, opted against arm-warmers since the sun was out and the wind died. Idaho is a beautifully scenic area with some ridiculous hills. The ride was a fair balance of good steady climbs, rollers, and some flats to the push the pace inbetween. The second (of 2) lap was miserable because I knew what I was in for.
T2 went better than T1. I remembered to take my aero-helmet off, I got to put dry socks on, and I could almost feel my feet at the start.
The first 2 miles were trying to get into a rythm rather than feeling like I was stomping the ground in every stride. Miles 3-7 were on achey legs, miles 8-12 felt fast, 13-21 were steady, and the end was... well you know. It got miserably cold and some light rain on the run so I was fighting to stay warm enough to keep moving. i was good about nutrition on the bike and just felt full on the run so I ditched my gel flask and relied on handups. I grabbed water at the first aid-station, ran through the next 4-5, then grabbed something at every other stop for the rest of the race alternating between water and gatorade, and a cola at every stop from mile 21-25. After a whole day of nothing but powerbars, gels, gatorade, water/nuun, and carbo-pro I was craving real, dry food. Pretzels on the run have never been better. I ended up 10:44:42- which I'm happy with but going faster wouldn't have been bad.
The swim was a UFC-style 1:07, T1-5:02, the bike was a thought-I-went-faster 5:27:08, T2-2:17, and the run was an I-didn't-break-4-hours 4:03:16.
All-in-all I had a great race and spent the whole time looking forward to my next IM, which I can't say about AZ last year...