Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Penticton, British Columbia
Ironman North America
Total Time = 11h 11m 21s
Overall Rank = 372/2423
Age Group = W25-29
Age Group Rank = 5/72
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4, ate about 800 calories worth of digestive cookies, peanut butter, and banana. Intended to go back to sleep until 5, but ended up just sitting and meditating for a bit before getting dressed and out the door. Dropped off special needs bags, pumped my tires, switched out my Garmin (the bike watch hadn't been paired to a HR monitor), then headed over to the Lakeside hotel lobby to find my teammates. My coach helped me get everything back in my morning clothes bag, as I was starting to get REALLY nervous.
Event warmup:

Got to the beach about 15 minutes before the start. Swam a few meters out, then back. Found a few teammates and we shared a group hug. It's been such a pleasure training with these people, and I'm sure I've found good friends for life. Nothing quite like enduring IM training together to bring people closer!
  • 1h 16m 2s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

Started near the buoy line, about 4 rows back. Probably should have started a bit closer to the front, as the first 1000 meters were spent trying to pass the people in front of me. Contact was pretty minimal compared to Coeur d'Alene last year. I managed to find space to swim alone, though was constantly trying to find fast feet to follow. Unfortunately this would prove mostly futile. Any time I started to feel claustrophobic or tired or what have you, I just counted strokes to 8. This was very useful.
What would you do differently?:

Start closer to the front by a row or two. My lack of swim endurance started to show towards the end. I felt a lot more comfortable than CdA last year, but another year of swim training will probably work wonders here. I managed to shave 11 minutes off of my IM swim from last year, so if I keep plugging away, hopefully I'll someday be closer to the FOP.
Transition 1
  • 04m 15s

I walked the transition area the day before, and thought I had really managed to memorize where everything was. I used the wetsuit strippers, grabbed my bag, changed quickly, then went out to find my bike. A volunteer looked at me and told me I was running the wrong way, that my bike was at the other end of transition. I was confused so started to follow her instructions, but then remembered the tree I had memorized as my landmark. Turned around to go back and she again tells me, no, you're going the wrong way. I AGAIN turn around to follow her lead, then trust my instinct and run past her to my bike. No idea why she was so insistent that I didn't know where my bike was, but probably cost me a minute or so. Ah well.
What would you do differently?:

Trust your landmarks, not volunteers who are probably only seeing part of your number.
  • 5h 46m 44s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.38 mile/hr

Wow. I had ridden the course in training camp, but it was so much more fun on race day! I had rented race wheels and bought an aero helmet in the meantime, so that likely had an effect, but I felt strong and confident almost the whole way. Even the out and back didn't get me down mentally. Richter felt great... just sit up and spin. The descents were a little wobbly due to my relative inexperience with 808s, but I descended hard and took advantage of free speed (as long as there was no one blocking me... grrrrr). Nutrition was even good... I ate Bonk Breakers and alternated Powerbar Perform with Nuun for about 200-250 calories per hour. Switched from solid food to gels with about an hour to go.

I debated stopping at special needs, but I had felt some pain in my foot (a mild case of Plantar Fasciitis) in T1, so I decided I needed to take some Tylenol just in case it acted up on the run. Glad I did. I used to port-o-potty (no line!) and grabbed the pills before quickly heading back out. Took the Tylenol on the top of Yellow Lake so it had time to begin working.

I loved the specator support on Yellow Lake, I was moved to tears with all the cheering going on. I think the combination of feeling like I was having a perfect day with the fact that this pass marks the end of climbing for the bike was a perfect storm of positive emotion. Really an amazing feeling that I can't possibly put into words.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I may look into getting an actual tri bike soon, as the ol' roadie with clip-ons is not the most aero setup available, but as far as training and execution I think I was spot on. Another year of training under my belt and who knows what will happen!
Transition 2
  • 02m 53s

Nothing too much to report here. Handed my bike to a volunteer, grabbed my bag, headed to change tent where another volunteer helped me get all my stuff situated. I decided not to switch Garmins (I was worried about battery life) because of the HR monitor issue. Turns out a 305 can make it longer than I thought because it never died on me!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe put quick laces on my running shoes? But really, what would that gain me here, 20 seconds?
  • 4h 01m 29s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 13s  min/mile

Started the run in typical Ironman fashion: feeling good, a bit too fast. Watched HR religiously here. Tried to keep it in my comfortable aerobic range (150-160). I took down Powerbar Perform and water at each aid station early on, until I couldn't bear the thought of anymore Perform (maybe around mile 13). Started to take Coke then. I ate one Peanut Butter Gu around mile 9, but other than that it was all liquid calories. My GI tract felt queasy, but never like I was going to vomit or need port-o-potties the whole way.

I faded a bit the last half, dropping maybe 15-20 seconds per mile, but I felt I was really doing the best I could at that moment. My HR never strayed, but my legs just felt tired. I got a boost each time I saw a friend or teammate, and that turn back into town was such an awesome sight. I really fed off the energy of the crowds and when I saw my coach right at the beginning of the out-and-back on Lakeside I tried my best to find another gear. I'd say by the feeling of trying to run a bit faster, I realized that I had really given this race EVERYTHING I had. I usually can kick it in quite well, but there was just nothing left but a slight push when I saw that finish line. I felt steady and strong the whole run, and though I missed my pre-race goal of a sub-4 marathon, I'm totally satisfied with how I did.
What would you do differently?:

I think there's not much here that I can say... Again, another year of training and who knows what I'll be able to do.
Post race
Warm down:

Talked with a catcher for awhile, she joked that women coming across the line look better than men because we're stronger :) Got the photo, hat, medal, shirt, then went to the recovery area. Sat down for a bit, then drank a root beer and ate some chips. Saw my family and walked to where my coach was standing and saw a few more of my teammates come across the line. We then decided to head back to the motorhome so I could shower and found a sports bar that had the finish line on all the TVs. It was pretty cool to watch all the later finishers from my comfy chair with a beer in hand :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

At this point in time, I think I raced to the best of my ability. With more time and training, I think I'll be able to pull off sub-11 next year... I hope!

Event comments:

Loved the course. I'm pretty sure I'll be back even with the change in race management because this is simply a spectacular venue.

Last updated: 2011-08-29 12:00 AM
01:16:02 | 4224 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 34/72
Overall: 1067/2423
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra VectorPro
Course: 1600ish meters out, 400 meters right, then 1800ish meters back to shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:15
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:46:44 | 112 miles | 19.38 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/72
Overall: 545/2423
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:01:29 | 26.2 miles | 09m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/72
Overall: 314/2423
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back to Okanagan Falls
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4