Couer d'Alene is a beautiful place and the people there love us. We're the best thing that happens in that town all year. The whole community turns out. We were treated like celebs everywhere we went. The locals were telling us that they have a countdown to Ironman day.....they can't wait to volunteer.
When we got there everything was well organized. The weather was pretty hot (90s) but finally cooled down on race day (60-80+), water temp 68°. We bought new long sleeve wetsuits in a trade-in program from InsideOut sports. They kept us cozy and helped out swim times.
As we were approaching the start Sister Madonna Bruder, our hero, stopped us and gave us big hugs and whispered calming, spiritual words in our ears. It was truly a spiritual moment and a wonderful send-off.
The gun went off, we went into the water only to be bottlenecked which seemed like forever. I found an opening on the other side of the buoy and began to get in a groove.
Out of the water on the 1st loop feeling fine, taking my time and 2nd loop was the same. Went to changing area and there was "Sister" again helping to peel the suits. I took forever in transition but finally made it out with Barbara close behind and then in front of me on the bike. It was hot on the bike course but again I just took my time stopped to refuel at aid stations, slowly went up hills then quick downhills and steady flats. I was so excited to make the 1st loop with an hour to spare. 2nd loop more of the same but a bit slower.
Changed and went out on marathon course right along the lake. It was beautiful and the volunteers kept you pumped. After a little bit my body went into marathon mode as if I hadn't even done a swim or bike. I was so relaxed enjoying every minute, no aches, no pains. I guess I was doing the right hydration and nutrition. There were moments of so! me cramping and yukky feeling in my stomach but they went away. I stopped at most of the aid stations except the last 3. I felt so good I increased my pace the last 3 miles because I saw I could do under 15 hours.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic at the finish line with my sister Karen waiting for me. She had a blast volunteering. Barbara was so happy about her swim and bike, the heat got to her a bit on the run but she still took 1 hour off her Lake Placid time. I recommend this race to 1st timers. The bike course is not as hilly as Placid and there's only 1 little hill on the run.
Yup! I think I just may do another one. Thanks for all your support.