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Ironman CDA countdown questions
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I'm doing my first Ironman at IM CDA in a few weeks and I have a few questions for those of you Ironman CDA verterans out there.

Can someone fill me in on the various bags and when we drop them off? There is T1, T2, Bike Special Needs, Run Special Needs. Are there more than that? Do ALL of these bags have to be dropped off the night before the race so that they can be sorted or do you bring some of them on race morning? Any tips and tricks people know about these bags that a newbie should be aware of. I have a plan of what's going in them but any suggestions would be great.

Any suggestions on things that each athlete MUST see or do prior to the race. I'm planning on driving the bike and run courses and riding and running on them a bit. I'm planning on doing a swim or two in the lake. Anything else that someone has found helpful in the days preceding the race?

Any suggestions for spectators that people have found helpful. My wife and daughters (6 and 8) along with my Mom and step Dad will be there and if there was a good place for them to plan on hanging out that has worked well for others that would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any input/information. Training has gone well and I feel like I'm as ready as I can be. One or two more long bikes and runs and all of the hay will be in the barn. Then it's time to enjoy the taper and the race.

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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You'll drop of T1 and T2 bags on Saturday before the race. Special needs and dry clothes you bring with you to the transition area on Sunday morning. The drop off zones last year were down the lakeshore path a bit from the tents. Easy to find, everyone is doing the same routine.

Things you MUST do before the race: relax and have fun in CdA - it's an awesome venue and the town is really supportive of the race. Walk Sherman Ave, check out the shops, hang out at the beach, hang out at the resort. The pre-race dinner on Friday night is helpful and you should go. Just don't spend your all of your days before the race fretting about what you need to do and so forth. For me this is often the hardest part - just waiting for race day. Driving the bike course is a good idea. If it fits your taper plans and you want to ride a little bit, I suggest just the upper part of the course (past Hayden golf course) to get a feel for the rollers. The out and back to Higgins Point is pretty simple and the up and back between CdA and Hayden is easy. I wouldn't sweat the run course too much - it's pretty simple.

For spectators, there is ample chance to watch right by the resort. Easy to watch the swim from the shore. The bike course will go by a few times, and then the run course goes by transition/expo area 4 times (twice on each lap).

Good luck in the final push! Enjoy it!
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [IronFisch] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks IronFisch, that is really helpful to know. Since all of the races I've done except Vineman just have standard transition zones, it's unnerving to think about just dropping stuff off but I'm sure it will be fine.

Looks like you did Wildflower and IronmanCA 70.3 and you had some good results, congrats. I did those Tris as well in preparation for CDA and had some good PR results. It's amazing what IM training can do for your HIM times. I just hope some of that traning translates to Ironman.

Speaking of which.... not that there is any direct correlation, but how would you compare doing something like the Wildflower half to Ironman CDA? Is it a completely different league or are there some comparisons with the toughness of the last 15 miles on the bike and the tough run at Wildflower. I'm not thinking so much in terms of the terrain of the course as much as how it "feels" to your body.

See you in Couer d'Alene.

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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I'm doing CdA and it will be my third IM. I found that being highly organized is hugely helpful in reducing stress. I get super OCD so that I know exactly where everything is at all times. When I pack for the trip I start about a week before and end up unpacking and repacking about 4 times until I get everything I need in the bag and it is all neatly folded and organized. When I get to where I'm staying, I unpack immediately so I don't have to rifle through my suitcases trying to find something simple. Anything to avoid frustration in the days leading up to the race. I am usually fairly unorganized and flighty so this is unusual for me but I find it calming.

I walk through the T1 and T2 entrances/exits and plot my path for when I come through. I make mental notes of where everything is within transition so that I can find it race morning. Example: where will the bike mechanics be in case I need something race morning. The more I know the better I feel. Go to the pre-race meeting. It is worth it for helping you get through the "unknown jitters".

For my first IM I made notes for myself in each of my bags. In T1 I had stuff like "Don't go out too hard the first loop. Drink nutrition every 15 minutes. Helmet first, then sunglasses." Combination of instructions and motivational stuff. It was helpful to have some reminders along the way when I got frustrated or so inside my head I forget my plan. I didn't do it for my second but I will do it again this year.

Also, accept that not everything will go as planned. Know things come up that you can't predict so when they happen you don't panic. IM is a very long day and anything can happen so go with the flow. Do think through the possibilities though. What will you do if you drop your nutrition? How fast can you change a flat? You can't control everything but control what you can.

I'm rambling on a bit at this point. You caught me in the middle of my mental prep and so I'm going through the same thought processes you are.

I hope this helped.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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Looks like you two run into each other on more than one race.

The Athelete guide will help a lot when that comes out. It is on the race site, and should be coming out in a few weeks or so.
Last edited by: Tell3131: May 20, 08 12:34
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [jenhs] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks jenhs, the description of your process is helpful. I like to be prepared and know exactly what I'm going to be doing before a race too.

I really like the idea of putting a few notes in the various bags as reminders.

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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Hilsbros:

I love this race. It will be my 5th year in a row to do it. Couple things:

1. Swim in the lake as much as possible before the race so you are familiar with the water, the potential choppy waves and the temperature.
2. Have your wits about you when you are riding thru town mainstreet on your various laps. There can be spectators and kids walking across the street or darting across the street as you are motoring through.
3. Recognize that given the long daylight hours that the run course is still very hot at 4 or 5pm next to the lake. Plan accordingly.

have fun.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [jenhs] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Hilsbros,

I've done Wildflower long twice (07 and 08), and IM CdA twice (05 amd 07). Personally, I consider Wildflower to be the tougher race. Partly because it's shorter, and I push harder on a half pace than a full IM pace. But also the hills at WF are waaaaay harder. The CdA bike is roughly flat for the first third, rolling hills for the second third, and roughly flat for the last third of each lap. The CdA run is basically flat with just a few very minor hills.

The crowds and volunteers at CdA are incredible. You will be amazed.

For me, I arrived at CdA on Thursday morning. I rode one lap of the bike course Thursday afternoon, and went nice and slow so as not to kill myself and to pay attention to hills, pavement, etc. On friday and saturday I did some swimming (They'll have the course swim course set up every morning, and Gatorade will watch your bag). On friday I biked the run course.

As mentioned, have everything ready. I keep a list so I can actually check everything off. After that, just enjoy everything there, and enjoy the race. At the finish there will be crowds, packed bleachers, and the announcer will say "Hilsbros, you are an Ironman!"

-----

Blazeman Warrior - so others may live
Live more than your neighbors.... Bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are.... And by all means, whatever you do, get it on film.

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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [Rokko] [ In reply to ]
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Rokko - You made me shiver with the "You are an Ironman" thing. It's been 8 months of hard work and to get to hear those words will make it all worth it.

Also, thanks for the comparison to Wildflower. I agree, the run at Wildflower is absolutely brutal and relentless. I was hoping you would say what you did about it being somewhat comparable. I don't mean that to disrespect 140.6 at all, it's got to be something else altogether going that far. But to know that Wildflower is sort of in the same league helps.

Thanks for all of the input folks. These are things they don't tell you on the Ironman web site and they are really valuable.

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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Looks like you have got some great intel from this thread. I'd agree that WF course is tougher, particularly the run at WF. The run at CdA is pretty flat and simple. I actually think that CA 70.3 is a pretty comparable bike course to 1 loop of the CdA course - some flat and fast, some rollers, and just 1 or 2 true climbs. Just imagine double the bike course at CA and you have a decent approximation of CdA.

My key when stretching from 70.3 to 140.6 is just remembering to practice acceptance and patience. Acceptance = accept that it is a long, long day and you will feel crappy at times. It's part of the race. Patience = when you feel crappy, be patient and keep moving forward. The crappy feeling will pass if you are patient and stick to your plan. Just keep moving forward, be patient, and you will feel better.

Looks like we are on the same race schedule - great times by you! Wait around for me at the finish at CdA, ok? We'll have some pizza in the finsher's food area.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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Good luck with the race! It was my first last year and I loved it. One thing to watch out for on the run course, if you're still running when the sun sets, the run course gets pretty dark - so watch your footing.

Lots of great places for spectators, best spot is on the street one down from the main street (where you finish), it's the street where the brewery and the post office is. You'll run and bike this a total of 4 times so your family will have plenty of places to see you.

I use Ziploc bags to organize my stuff for the Transition bags. I get one of the big ones, mark on the outside which bag it is for (ie T1, T2, special needs-bik, special needs-run) and put my stuff in it. The added advantage is that it's clear so that I can see what's in there.

Enjoy!

J-
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [IronFisch] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, we must have had the same ideas last year when we were putting together our race schedules. You might consider the Santa Barbara Tri if you're looking for a race in August. It's a great race that is a "tweener". Maybe you've done it before so forgive my blathering, but it's a 1 mile swim, 34 mile bike and 10 mile run. It's my hometown course so I love it.

I'd love to share a piece of pizza with you, although your IM experience trumps my slightly faster HIM times so I don't know who's going to be waiting for who in the pizza line.

Regarding the CA 70.3 comparison, it is always reassuring to hear that some of the things that you have already done are in line with what you're planning on doing, if that makes any sense. I remember CA 70.3 bike surprised me a little bit. I didn't think it would be quite as hard in the middle as it was. But the beginning and ending sections were pretty flat and fast.

I really like the accept/patience theme. I think I've been a bit spoiled this year because I have felt really good in both my HIM races. But I have had a few long workouts that I've had to work through some crappy feelings and it will be good to draw on that come race day.

See you at the races.

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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Most have answered your questions about the bags, but I will add a few points -
1. You are doing this race and most likely combining it with a family vacation. My wife and I have done this numerous times as well. You have to make yourself rest and not be touring the area the day before the race etc. Let the family do what they want, and you will join them for fun once you take care of business.
2. Unlike some other races, if you are going to swim the swim course you really should do it during the set practice hours (unless of course you don't mind a sea plane landing on you or a tourist boat running over you). So plan your swim around the practice swim hours. In Florida and other venues, you can pretty much swim when you want although they recommend you do it during the announced times. And the water is cold. And whether it ends up being 52 degrees or 62 degrees it is still cold. But you didn't put you and your family through hell training to let being in cold water for an hour or two stop you so no sense obsessing about it worrying about it. Look at the brightside, you definitely will get to wear a wetsuit.
3. It will be a long day for your kids, spouse, and parents as well. When my wife did this race last year, I had my twin 7 year olds and 9 year old at the time spectating. You will not find a better course for spectators in my opinion. The bike goes out for about approx, 14 miles before it is back through downtown. If I were them, I would watch the swim, see you in the transition area, and then go get a seat on a curb on the bike course only a block or two away and watch you come back through town. When you are biking through town, be careful. It gets kind of crazy. You are on a slight downhill grade, being cheered by spectators, and most are hauling @ss at this point of the bike. Some think nothing of darting in front of you even though they try to keep spectators off of the street. Many near-miss collisions last year. After they see you, I would head over to the resort where they have a great brunch.
4. In the park where the transition area is, there is a pretty good playground for your kids. It could give them something to do to kill the time while you are out in the rolling hill country out by Hayden Lake.
5. There is a different city park that isn't really well marked that is really just a trail that is directly behind the white meeting tent next to the resort. I can't remember the name of the trail but my kids loved it and it was one of the best trails I have ever been on with kids. Not too challenging, but a lot of shade, rocks to climb on, and goes right along the lake. My kids have said multiple times that this is the first thing they want to do this year at CDA.

Last piece of advice. Your first Ironman is very special. Take the time to drink in the experience. The run through downtown for the last few miles in CDA will knock you out. And the community really rallies behind this event. The busy time for the tourists in CDA starts around July 4th, and this is the first big event of summer for the locals it seems like and they all seem very ready for you to be there. We went there planning for it to be a one-time thing and then on to the next Ironman venue and we are heading back because we were so impressed.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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One more piece of advice I got from one of the medical directors of several IM and HIM races. When you finish, don't drink water, only Gatorade or something similiar until you pee. You don't want to overwater yourself and have your kidneys go wacky. If you are dehydrated the sports drink will help with that as well. It is Ok to come in a little dry. Also, pizza is about the worst thing you can do for your body but to each his/her own. I find fresh fruit and soda to be the best thing ever at the end of a long race. I never eat very much at the end, only a few pieces of melon and a cold coke. I let my stomach settle for a couple hours then go for the big meal. Plan to have your big meal 2 -3 hours after the race, gives the stomach time to settle and operating a full capacity again. You will feel shitty so take care of yourself the best way you can.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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I had a conversation with a IM pro (as in professional) leading up to my first IM in 06. She told me, "IM is kind of like losing your virginity. You may do several IMs in your lifetime, but you will never forget your first one."

Enjoy...
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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OMG!!! 33 days away. I am so not trained how I wanted. We were still a young, energetic, and carefree family when I signed up. I write this now with a 2 week old on my lap. June 22 is going to be a long day. I am going to end up doing this race on guts, passion and stubborness. I can't believe that I am in the worst shape of about a decade and I am doing my first IM. I hope to see you all there. If you see me curled up along the side of the road, please send the marshalls back for me.

thanks for all the advice in this thread. Things I should be worried about, but have been too distracted by the little one to think much about it.

I hate being unprepared. . .
t

*******************************************
My Blog:
http://www.staggerforwardrejoicing.com
Ultrarunning & Parenting: There is no finish line.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [prajna101] [ In reply to ]
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I will stop for you.

Training wise, I am with you. This is my first IM and now the thought of 33 days makes me want to puke, panic, and wonder. I was doing really well going into May and completed 100 milers and was doing long training runs of 18 - 20 with no problems and then had some bronchitis issues and totally bombed a 1/2 IM beginning of May . The bronchitis stopped training for three days and slowed training for another 2 weeks. I guess this was my pre taper. Still not sure if the bad 1/2 IM was due to bronchitis or bad nutrition.

Now I have a medial calf injury which makes me paranoid of tendon ruptures since I took Levaqin for 5 days.

My swim is always bad and haven't swam over 3500 meters in several months.

Last week, a 10 mile run made me sore and a 75 mile ride yesterday was only okay. I am still working on the nutrition issues and having discussion with my coach and husband of what I have to do. I want to go for some more solids foods, my coach thinks I need to go more on liquid. She thinks I am too fast and trained enough and should avoid too much solid food. (my 1/2 was over 6:00 and should of been 5:10, so I no fast) So I added Carbo Pro to my drink and will stay with gel bloks and maybe so snack bars on the bike. Got a longer workout this weekend and will see how life goes.

I could whine all day about my training.

Good Luck and be ready for the nice warm swim.

________________________________
Lisa Walser-Anderson, ATC,CSCS
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [fasterthanTIM] [ In reply to ]
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With the right attitude...life is simple...life is easy.

I think the biggest lesson from pre race is the same one you need to take into the race;
Create a good plan and then be flexible enough that you are able to use all the possible back up plans.

There are so many shoulda, coulda, woulda and what ifs, that they can make you crazy.
Organize and plan as much as you can now, realize that greek god body type probably won't magically appear during our tapers, thus we are doing the race with the body's we got, don't try to make up for missed training days and enjoy the rest of the training as hopefully nice weather has arrived.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there.



it turns out that our OP is only "mostly" dead........ ElGordo
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [josherdog] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I had a conversation with a IM pro (as in professional) leading up to my first IM in 06. She told me, "IM is kind of like losing your virginity. You may do several IMs in your lifetime, but you will never forget your first one."

Enjoy...
I totally agree. My first Ironman, I DNF'd about an hour and 45 minutes into the race, because my equipment broke, and everyone kept staring at me and asking if I was OK.

---------------

Kicking butt and writing down people's names since 2001
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [GregZ] [ In reply to ]
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I'm lovin' all the information. Tips on parks to visit, post hydration strategy, mental strategy. Good stuff. The overriding theme seems to be make a plan and then adapt. It never goes exactly as planned.

Since this is my first IM, I'm coming at this trying to just enjoy the experience. Training has gone really well for me and I actually had the feeling last weekend doing a 5 hr ride/1 hr run brick that I was actually "ready" for this thing. Not that you are ever ready to put your body through 12+ hours of aerobic movement, but you know what I'm saying. These last few weeks my main goal is to stay healthy and make it to the starting line. So now every time I shake someone's hand I wash my hands. Everytime I see a kid with a snotty nose (even my own) I run the other direction. It's funny that with all of the training we've all put in, that a tiny germ could derail the experience. But no matter what happens from now on out, I've gone through the experience of training for an Ironman and I've improved my HIM times drastically. That's good stuff.

As for my plan, I'm going with liquid calories from a couple of custom made Infinit formulas. I'm completely sold on this stuff.

So I will hope to see you all out there on race day executing your strategies to perfection and cheering each other on. Then we'll hear those magical words, "You are an Ironman."

______________________________
2008 Race Schedule
Ironman CA 70.3: 5:02:33
Wildflower Long Course: 5:10:48
Ironman CDA: 11:42:22
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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I know the lake is probably to cool for anything to live in :-), but at IMC last year I picked up a nasty ear infection swimming on Wednesday in Lake Okanagan. I have added silicon ear plugs to my race week swim supplies; different water, different bugs and antibiotics don't help on race day.



it turns out that our OP is only "mostly" dead........ ElGordo
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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the name of the park with the hiking trial next to the Resort is Tubbs/Tibbs Island.....and the lake cruise is good to do with family before or after the race......you can stay off your feet and see some very nice homes...plus there's a bar (damn...is Mr. Rove around?) There's a museum within walking distance of tranisition too....Museum of Northern Idaho or something like that.

I love the venue...best of luck!!
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [hilsbros] [ In reply to ]
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I did CDA in 2003 and 2005. It was exceptionally hot in 2003 >90 degrees, we went from worring about how to deal with cold lake temps and cool air to did i bring enough salt tablets to finish. 2005 was warm as well and the day after the race it poured rain and was in the 60's. So I guess what I am trying to say is while you can plan a pack early, make sure for this race you cover all your bases.

Watch your pace early, while the bike course is not challenging from an elevation perspective, the wind on the return leg was stout both years, similar to the onshore flow you most likely deal with in SB.

There is a great water slide and nice movie theater. My kids really enjoyed the park by the swim course. As others have stated the swim start and early out on the bike are easy to catch. My family also made it out to the first hill on the long loop out of town and had a great time working the cow bells for several hours.

The town rocks, the race rocks. Just roll with whatever comes your way and you'll have a great day. In 2003 I went 5:08 at CA 70.3 (early April that year) and finished in the top 100, looking at your 2008 race times you are set up for a great race.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [Biotechblues] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the encouragement BioTechBlues. As for times, did you go into the race with any pacing strategy in mind? How did your HIM pacing compare to your IM pacing?

I'm planning on looking at HR for the bike (I don't have a power meter) and keeping in high Z1 low Z2 for the first lap and Z2 to low Z3 for the 2nd lap (assuming everything goes OK). Then on the run, I'm planning on just keeping the thing moving and not relying so much on heart rate. Conservative early and evaluating throughout to see where I'm at.

My goals at this point are a 1:05 swim, 6 hour bike and a 4:00 run with 5:00 transitions so right around 11:15 but it looks like you probably went faster than this to finish in the top 100. Well done!!

As for weather, I'm concerned more about heat and/or wind. I did Vineman 2 years ago and it was 90+ degrees for the last 6 miles of the run. I fell apart. I'd rather have a bit rain and 60ish degrees than heat but of course there is no choosing this kind of thing.

Thanks for the information.
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Re: Ironman CDA countdown questions [i008496] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:

Quote:
5. There is a different city park that isn't really well marked that is really just a trail that is directly behind the white meeting tent next to the resort. I can't remember the name of the trail but my kids loved it and it was one of the best trails I have ever been on with kids. Not too challenging, but a lot of shade, rocks to climb on, and goes right along the lake. My kids have said multiple times that this is the first thing they want to do this year at CDA.


That would be Tubbs Hill - I walk it often. The lake is cold and this week is starting to flood. Yesterday it was as high as the lifeguard towers on the start beach and is forecast to peak this weekend about 3 feet higher which will put it up to at least to the foot of the seawall.

Water temps are still pretty cold, it was as high as 53 degrees a week ago but has fallen to 48 or so with the snowmelt induced flooding. For those of you with OCD and feel the need to watch the water temps real time try this link http://waterdata.usgs.gov/...amp;site_no=12417610


ronco
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