Ironman 70.3 Muskoka - Triathlon

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Muskoka, Ontario
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 8h 06m 59s
Overall Rank = 906/1122
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 65/83
Pre-race routine:

Woke up earlier than planned, packed up, and left the campsite we were borrowing (thanks again, guys!) around 5:00 am. My bike was already checked into transition per requirements, so all I had to do was calm myself down and get everything just right. I laid out my gear, tucked it under my bike and got changed into my tri suit. Note: I should have applied more anti chafe...
Event warmup:

I didn't do anything to warm up as A) I haven't really gotten a rhythm for warming up yet B) I was too nervous C) I was somehow feeling ready. After I got changed, our group walked down to the water start area and performed last minute prep. Last minute hugs and when my group was called, I swam to the deep water start. Met a cool guy from Calgary and chatted during the seemingly forever 8 minute wait.
  • 47m 20s
  • 2288 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

It was my first deep water start and I was very excited, less jittery. The water was very dark, I assume due to the rich lake bed and very warm compared to the chilly ~45 F morning air. When the horn blew, I made sure to take right off. The starting group was spread out perpendicular to the course and I didn't want to get stuck in a slow, choppy group. I made it out among some excellent swimmers but I knew that wouldn't last. My pace was around 2 min/100m and with a broken toe it only gets slower over time. About 1/3 the way through, I got stuck in a pack of weaker swimmers who were consistently switching from crawl to break stroke. One of the swimmers must have been pacing off of me because he would never let me get by, pass me in freestyle, but continue to breast stroke next to or right in front of me kicking me every so often. I decided to take the rough route and move outside away from everyone until I could catch some of the next groups' swimmers. At the last turn, the lake became extremely shallow, murky, and seaweedy(?) causing me to distress a bit. No one stood up, so I could only assume the lake bed was mushy. Everyone slowed down with the last quarter mile and grouped up, so I took care with not kicking/getting kicked and got out 2 minutes later than planned. Luckily, there were (excellent) volunteers pulling swimmers out and caught me from falling over the railing. Wetsuit strippers got me out of my suit very quickly and I was on my way up the hilly quarter mile to transition.
What would you do differently?:

I need to continue working on siting. In my defense, the sun was beaming right at us (which I will note for next year's 2.4 mile swim). I came into the buoys way to close, and I need to becoming better at pulling away from weaker swimmers. The breast-strokers (heh) really need to get the hell away from the crawlers. It's very dangerous. I also really need to work on my form to gain speed and efficiently use my energy in the water.
Transition 1
  • 06m 12s

Relative to the size of the race, I'd say this was a good transition. I had a hard time cramming some food into my gel pockets, and a bit of trouble putting a sock on my foot with the broken toe. I knew the bike leg was going to be tough, so I got out of there as soon as my foot allowed.
What would you do differently?:

I need to work on figuring out my nutrition and how to pack it. I didn't have quite enough breakfast due to stomach issues, not enough training my stomach for the food I had, and didn't bring nearly enough food for the bike.
  • 3h 59m 48s
  • 58 miles
  • 14.51 mile/hr

I had exited the water and gotten out of transition in a decent mood. I jumped on my bike at the start line and started spinning way too fast. The immediate start was severely downhill giving me a fairly false sense of confidence. I had done the first third of the leg on a previous visit, so I knew the vertical help was only temporary. I got to the first climb and went to work with continued confidence. Immediately saw 3 people with flats which was very unsettling. When I got to Dorset, we were met with the first of two aid stations. I didn't grab anything as I had plenty of water, gatorade/water mix, and my little bit of food. Out of Dorset was the first HUGE climb but immediately "flattened" out into what I consider the "rolling hills" part of the course (see the race details on rolling?!). I kept a solid average speed at around 20-22 mph and still felt amazing. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous here with trees on our left and glimpses of the Lake of Bays on the right. I was maintaining the average speed and cadence I had hoped for right up until the final 10-15 miles of the leg. The climbs were absolutely excruciating. I thought back to a hill I had struggled with at Keuka, and immediately knew it was belittled by these climbs. My speed dropped considerably and I pulled out of aero for about 90% of the rest of the way. I could feel the bumps ringing right through my arms and the little support from the Tri shorts was practically NULL. Sitting up, I had to focus on pushing with my left leg because I was starting to feel every spin in my broken toe. After suffering through the last 8 miles or so of hill climbs, I was ecstatic to be back at transition.
What would you do differently?:

BRICK...HILLS...BRICK...MORE BRICKS AND HILLS. I definitely need to brick way more and work on eating while doing so. Also, all of my races in Western New York were relatively flat in comparison. I felt confident that I could bike going into this race, but with each climb I knew I wasn't as ready as I should have been.
Transition 2
  • 03m 27s

Despite my miserable experience with the bike course, I was still very energetic and looking to be in and out of transition as quickly as possible. I had a great spot right near the Run exit. I trotted my bike into transition, high fiving the Support crew along the way, and quickly changed into my run gear. I didn't do anything fancy with getting out of my shoes on the bike as I wasn't overly concerned with spending 10 extra seconds.
What would you do differently?:

For this type of race, nothing much. I would maybe bring more nutrition that I'm used to, and also try to work on getting off the bike with the shoes clipped in, but for purposes of finishing, I thought I did OK.
  • 3h 10m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 31s  min/mile

Deep down I knew this was going to be one of the toughest things I've ever done on an injury. Leaving the transition area, my group explained (warned) that my girlfriend's father had checked into transition a few minutes behind and was catching up. I managed to run down the first hill, the same one from the bike course, and immediately found my right leg seizing up. The soreness in my right foot couldn't be ignored, so with less than 5 minutes into the run, I was already walking. GFs father passed by, we wished each other luck, and I found myself trying to pace with anyone I could running by. I continued trading places with a girl for about 10 K at a solid pace, but soon had to quit for another session of walking. Every aid station I crammed as many gummies and pretzels as I could. It was heartbreaking watching the time tick by and with every look at my watch I was doing the math to see whether or not I could run this in 2.5 hours...2.75 hours...under 3 hours. I walked/ran as best as I could right up until about 2K left, when I saw my girlfriend walking towards me. She gave me a few words of encouragement, left to go meet me at the finish line, and I picked up the pace best I could. I rounded transition, crossed the line, grabbed my medal, and found the nearest place to sit.
What would you do differently?:

Not break my toe. I honestly thought I had a shot at 6.5 hours with all my training...
Post race
Warm down:

I mostly sat down with a few minimal stretch breaks. I was hurting pretty badly and I knew that stretching wasn't going to help much. We elected to skip the buffet and grab HARVEY'S!! (We don't have it in the States) then headed home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

With about a month to go my training slowed to a crawl with the injuries. I will definitely reconsider trail racing in anything less than 1/4" steel toed boots (JK...but definitely need better trail shoes).

Event comments:

The volunteers were absolutely incredible and every water/food stop was like a dance party. The course is much less friendly, but for a first HIM I couldn't be happier. I will say this, and I've bugged friends and family enough with this, Ironman Muskoka will be my first full next August but I wouldn't have signed up if I had done the Half beforehand.

All race data was pulled from the Ironman website, however I have included conflicting watch data as well. I'm still working on Multisport mode and remembering to shut the darn thing off.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-07-15 12:00 AM
00:47:20 | 2288 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/83
Overall: 851/1122
Performance: Average
Suit: Vortex Sleeveless
Course: Backwards P-shape out into open water and turns back into a bay. Open water is clean and dark. Landing area very shallow and mucky with seaweed and algae all around.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:59:48 | 58 miles | 14.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 62/83
Overall: 865/1122
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Out and back portion with a loop around the Lake of Bays. Many stretches of road were filled with loose gravel and potholes. Over 70 challenging hills along the entire course with a very challenging climb during the last 10 miles.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:27
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:10:12 | 13.1 miles | 14m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 65/83
Overall: 906/1122
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back along highways, through residential areas, along a trail, and through hilly downtown Huntsville. Very scenic, somewhat boring and quiet in the middle.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %-2%
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4