Training for IM Coeur d’Alene
Haven’t been doing much lately as I’ve been sick with a cold/flue but went out this Sunday and did the upper part of the IM CDA course and here’s my report:
Well guys, this was my second ride in the northern CDA route hills and I’m beginning to really love it. The hills don’t seem quite so intimidating as they 1st did.
I parked my car at the corner of 4th and E. Prairie in Hayden where there are baseball diamonds, bathrooms, people and security. This works well as a restocking location after the hills so I highly recommend this as a starting point.
The 1st loop I started about 10:40 and it was a little cool. I wore my HP jersey, added sleeves and my yellow riding jacket, had riding shorts and my long under amour leggings. After the 1st hill I stopped and took off my sleeves and rode the rest of the way like that and was comfortable. There were times when I was cool but not cold, and I never got hot.
I took my time the 1st loop, stopped a number of times to verify my directions and two pee stops (woods).
The mileage was about 30 miles. I’m not 100% sure because I didn’t bring my Garmin and my bike computer isn’t setup right but it’s probably close.
The course had lots of shadows so on some corners I had to slow down as I couldn’t tell if there was anything in the road. There are a lot of small pine cones all over the place so I was nervous about hitting one of those and going down. (Ann Immer went down a couple of weekends ago and had stitches in her elbow)
The gravel section is short, about 12 seconds, but it comes on a downhill so you’re picking up speed and there’s a small lip getting back onto the pavement. I know where to position myself on the road so I hit the smallest part of the lip. Right after that there is a VERY sharp right hand turn and it heads up hill. So on one hand you have to be careful on the turn (the road is not very good here as well) on the other hand you want to keep your speed up to help get up the hill. It’s not a big hill so I found you can just power up it.
There is one hill in particular that is very tough. After you go by the lake you start heading north on E. English Point Rd and it’s a big climb straight up with a false summit. Just when you ‘think’ you see the top another summit comes into view further up the road. The good thing is once you top the 1st summit the 2nd part of the climb is less steep and you can actually gain a little speed.
I’m very happy that I have a 3rd (Granny) gear. I was able to pull all the hills and not make my heart jump out of my chest. I know stronger riders probably won’t need the 3rd gear but with me still recovering from this cold/flue it came in very handy.
After that hill there are plenty more but none as tough as that one. When you get out to the turn around, Ohio Match Rd, you can really fly once you get to the top of a small hill there. But don’t be too crazy as you have to turn around and come back up the hill.
One rider I met a couple of weekends ago said, “You’re going to learn to hate the Garwood Rd to Hudlow Rd section”. Mainly because you feel like you should just be flying down Rimrock Rd and to the finish and all of a sudden you have to jam on your brakes and hang a right onto Garwood. So it takes you out of your rhythm and on the 2nd lap, keeps you from getting to the finish as quick as you’d like.
So, I am turning it around and saying I LOVE the Garwood Rd to Hudlow Rd section. (Always stay positive, right?) And I do love it. Garwood is mostly downhill and kind of pretty, and Hudlow is all up hill and VERY pretty. There are side streets that I would love to take: “Grand Tour” and “Pinewood Way” both look inviting, and even though it’s all up hill there are woods and houses to look at and I LOVE it!
Once back on Rimrock Rd you hang a right onto Lancaster going east. This is a busy street but there is a bike lane for some of it. Yes, it’s up hill too. Once you get to the top there is a rather sharp left then right blind corner and it’s down hill with a very rough and bad section of road. There are cracks in the road that are parallel to the direction you’re travelling so you have to be sure to avoid those sections. But it’s a little tricky because you’re going so fast. And this section has the worst most back jarring ruts of all the course that I’ve been on. So this section is not my favorite.
Then it’s a nice easy cruise to Government way and back to Honeysuckle Ave and 4th were the car is parked. Since there is a lot of traffic on Government way you have to be VERY careful. I was riding along about 20 mph and had the right of way and two cars were at this small intersection and the one on my left never saw me. Here I am dressed in my bright yellow jacket and he just starts pulling out in front of me. I start to brake and yell at the same time and he stops just in time. Jerk (I only thought it, didn’t say it…oh wait, maybe I did). So yeah, be careful through town. (It is downtown Hayden)
I used one bottle of Infinit and my front bottle of water and one gel.
I restocked my water but not my Infinit as I had two when I started. I took off my long leggings and only wore my HP jersey and bike shorts but brought my yellow jacket tied around my waist. I wanted to be ready in case the weather changed.
I was a little cool at 1st but then it started to warm up a bit and I was fine the rest of the ride.
When I got back to the car I had only gone 60 miles for the day but I was wiped. I had run out of water and Infinit about 8 or 9 miles from the end and was starving. Part of the reason was, I mixed my Infinit a little light as I was trying to save money. Bad idea. Part of the reason is I’m still sick and trying to recover. I had planned a short run but was too beat to do it. Gosh….I need a LOT more work!
So, there you have it. I really like doing these hills and it’s my desire to do this section of the course as many times as I can and to do four loops so I get the distance on the bike too. I don’t see any advantage in doing the entire IM course as there are traffic issues and most of the other sections are flat. http://www.ironmancda.com/bike.html
Even training days are good to capture and put on paper.
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