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Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report - The Run

The run course, like the bike course, consisted of two laps around several loops: first, a small 0.9-mile out-and-back loop, and then a larger 6-mile-ish loop. The first thing I noticed was that my legs felt great. The second thing I noticed was that my fuel belt was fucking heavy and I remember thinking there's no way I'm going to carry this thing for the whole marathon. I was thinking about how to go about losing it when on the way out the small loop, I passed by the special needs station for the run and I figured I could just throw it in there on the way back, which I did. After losing the 2+ lb weight belt, I started moving. My pace for the first mile was 7:41 and I was like, "whoa adam, slow down there" so I backed off a bit and just ran. My pace was good and I was passing tons of people. At mile 6, I had to go again and this time I made damn sure I got everything out before leaving the port-a-potty so I'd not have to go again. After another 5-minute stop, I was on my way again, feeling great, and knowing full well that my entire nutrition plan went out the window. I ran through aid stations taking sips of water and cola and trying to get down some Cliff Bloks, but at that point, I couldn't eat anything. The hill on the large loop at the turn-around sucked not because it was steep, but because it banked severely to the right going up. Almost at the top, I saw Glenn coming down for his finishing stretch and gave him some props. He said hi and honestly looked like he was just out for a Sunday stroll he was so relaxed. He wound up doing a 9:45 or so and placing 2nd in his age group. The run back into town kind of sucked because most of it was this gradual up hill. About a mile or two from town, it started raining, nothing hard, just a light sprinkle - but the temperature started dropping. I came back through the expo area on lap two heading towards the short loop turn-around and passed my sister coming the other direction. She gave me props and I don't recall if I said anything. I hope I did.

A couple miles out I ran into Kerrie coming in for the finish. She looked like shit. I mean, she looked absolutely miserable and like she was trying to pass a watermelon but still run the 7:07/mi pace she averaged for her marathon leg. I moved to my left and we gave each other a waist-high five as we passed. I told her "way to gut it out." She won her age group running up from 7th place after the bike.

My run out on my second lap just plain sucked. When I passed under the bridge by the Coeur d'Alene Resort's golf club about 3-4 miles out I grabbed a thermal parka from a volunteer passing them out. It was raining and 50 degrees and I could see my breath at times. I walked/ran to the turn around and continued a walk/jog combination for a little while longer. At some point on the way back, I just started running and didn't stop. With the thermal parka on, my clothes were getting dry and the rain had finally let up but it was still cold so I kept the parka until I had about 3 miles left and not wanting to finish with it ditched it with a volunteer who seemed rather surprised that I was giving it up. I was motivated at this point and I was flying - or at least it felt like it. I kept passing people saying "come one guys, only 2 miles left!" One response I got from a guy from either Spain or Central/South America: "yes, but I am so tired." I came up on the split where finishers go left and runners heading to lap 2 stay right and I remember feeling so good to stay left and seeing the "to finish" painted on the ground. A left turn, a slight downhill, a right turn, a slight uphill and a left turn had me seeing the finish line a scant half mile away. Sherman Ave. was still rocking despite the weather and it was still very much daylight so I could see everyone in front of me seeming to simply just jog towards the finish but I wasn't having any of that I picked up my pace even more and rocked it to the finish. Gritting my teeth and giving a fist pump ensured two things: 1) that my finishing photo looks really funny, and 2) that I completely missed Mike Reilly announcing my name (if he did) or what he was even saying. Run time 4:52:34 for an average pace of 11:10/mi.


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