Ironman Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 13h 08m 20s
Overall Rank = 1243/
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 51/
Pre-race routine:

This was the second IM of the year, which wasn't necessarily the plan (but things work out in the end). After getting into CdA for free in June, we always had Mont Tremblant on our race calendar. CdA didn't necessarily go as planned for me so it was nice to have another race in 2013 where I can give it another shot. I also started working with Kim in July after being self coached for a few years.
Brad and I drove to Marna and Earl's on Wednesday after work (arriving super late around 1:30 am on Thursday). We left the Redding's around 9:30 am en route to Mont Tremblant arriving at the FeXY house around 2:30 pm. When I woke up Thursday morning, I felt off, but told myself it was all of the time in the car and being slightly dehydrated. Had a relaxing evening at the house, including the team dinner.

Friday morning I woke up and felt worse. My throat still hurt, I felt really tired and I had pressure in my head. We drove the course, which felt a tad easier than CdA. I did a short swim with Cortina and relaxed at the house before Brad and I were able to check into our condo.

We registered with the Johnson's (rode bikes down which was convenient, but meant we had to climb back up to the house) and then went to the athlete's dinner. It was very long with a lot of random performances and people speaking.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling like I had some energy back, but was still sick. I did a short 20 minute ride solo (out and back on Montee Ryan) to make sure things on the bike were working. And did a 10 minute brick run with Cortina. I finished getting my bags together (was nice to pretty much pack the bags when I was packing in Virginia) and we rode down to the transition area to rack our bikes and drop off our T1 and T2 bags. Saturday evening was spent continually pounding Emergen-C. Sissy and Mitch cooked our condo dinner which was a great time spent with friends and family. I took some PM cold meds and fell asleep somewhere after 9pm.

The alarm was off at 4:00 am and I was up to start the force feeding process. I was able to get down a cup of coffee and most of a bagel with peanut butter. Having our crew around is always a good distraction for race morning. We all sunscreened, loaded the car and were ready to be dropped off near the transition area by Sissy shortly after 5. We shared the pump, I dropped off my SN bike and run, put bottles and my garmin on the bike and hit the port-o-potty before meeting at the FeXY tent for a team picture. Some from our crew made their way down to the water. Since my wave wasn't until 7:00 am, I stayed back at the tent where things were a little calmer and less crowded. I continued to sip on my Roctane bottle and took a GU about 45 minutes before my wave. I said by good bye with a kiss and a hug to Brad. Cortina and I (along with a few others) slowly made our way to the beach. It was a little confusing not knowing the layout and I had to figure out where to drop the morning clothes bag. It was so great having so many teammates in FeXY jackets (and holding signs) as they were easy to spot. Laura and I made our way to the beach where we found random people (Leah, Amy, Heidi, Baldwin). We all gave our good lucks for a great race as the waves were going off. It was neat to have the planes fly overhead and have fireworks go off to start each wave. I found Kim and we both commented how cold and nervous we were. The air temps were crisp and I was happy to have throw away flip flops on. I told her I needed to move up towards the front of the crowd as I wanted to be seeded on the front line. I made my way to the waters edge and noticed how warm it was. I looked left and immediately saw Jeff and yelled for him. Pretty cool to pick someone you know out of a crowd of thousands.
Event warmup:

No warm up besides peeing in my wetsuit.
  • 1h 04m 46s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

I was really unhappy with my CdA swim and identified some of the issues in hopes of having a better performance at MMT. The gun went off and I told myself to not be afraid to go for it. I made a conscious effort to swim hard to get out in front of people. I remember thinking how nice the water felt (and not at all cold even though in the transition area that morning, Mike said it was 66*). All in all, it was a fairly uneventful swim. I mentally prefer one loop swims and seem to have my best IM swims on a one loop course. It was nice the buoys were numbered so you could know how many more you had. On the way out, it seemed a tad choppy and I tried to find some feet to draft off of, all while conscious of my effort level. I made it to the first buoy feeling good and made the turn into the sun. I immediately couldn't see, but just followed the pack hoping I was going in the right direction. I found the next turn buoy and told myself I had less than half the swim left.
The return trip was more of the same - counting buoys and catching people in earlier waves. It was kind of fun to see what colored caps I was coming up on. It turns out I caught swimmers from the first AG wave. The end of the swim got pretty crowded as the water became more shallow. People were walking, but I kept swimming until my hands hit the bottom. I stood up and jogged to the swim finish arch.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. My goal was 1:02 and I was pretty close to this. After CdA, I made more of an effort at masters practice to push my effort and work. So maybe more of that next year.
Transition 1
  • 08m 30s

My wetsuit sleeves were caught on my wrists and I had a hard time getting them off. I finally got them off, had my wetsuit stripped and started running, following the red carpet. I immediately saw Sissy who said what a great swim I had. As I was running, I had no perception of where I was on the road. I ran under the pedestrian walkway and thought how I thought I had run further. Kept running, passing people as they were walking. I found my bag no problem and it was really crowded to get to the women's tent. The women's bags were the lower numbers and the men had higher numbers. The lower numbered bags were in front of the men's tent and higher numbers in front of the women's, which meant the genders had to cross traffic to get to their respective tents.

As soon as I grabbed my bag, I immediately started to try to untie it. I sat on the chair and a volunteer was with me. I still couldn't get the bag. I was trying to untie it with my hands and teeth and I just couldn't get it. Time felt like it was flying by. The volunteer told me they had no extra bags so I couldn't just tear it. I managed to get a bigger hole in the bag string, but couldn't get my aero helmet out. At one point, I thought to myself, "Who tied this effing bag?" knowing it was my fault. I finally ripped the bag and told the volunteer she'd have to figure something out. I swam in my tri top and swim bikini bottoms and changed into bike shorts. Put all of my goodies (nutrition, chamois butter, etc) in my pockets, applied chamois butter and I was off. Once I got my bag open, I was really efficient. I put my arm coolers and gloves on as I made my way to my bike. I found my bike no problem and I was off for a little 112 mile ride.
What would you do differently?:

Not tie my bag. The transition area was under a tent so really, I had no reason to tie the bag the way I did (to keep water out).
  • 7h 02m 50s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.89 mile/hr

Nearly immediately, I saw a bunch of FeXYies which was a huge pick me up! Made my way out Montee Ryan feeling really good. Since CdA, my rides had really been more focused on power based, structured rides. I was feeling confident in my riding and my nutrition plan. I set my watch to beep every 30 minutes. The plan was to eat a GU or 4 Chomps every feeding while sipping on GU Roctane drink.

My cold seemed to be kind of behaving itself. As the ride went on, my throat and chest became more sore and tight and I would have some coughing fits as my chest became tight on some of the hills as my breathing was labored.

I hit 117 and was still feeling good. I kept trying to be conscious of my power and to make sure I was riding my target watts. The hills felt pretty easy and I kept on plugging. It was great to see so many familiar faces out on the course. FeXY had 19 people racing and we had 7 total in our crew. I hit the first turn around and felt more of a headwind. I was able to see a bunch of people I knew behind me and was kind of fun to wait for them to catch me. I stopped to pee around mile 30 when it just wasn't comfortable any longer. The remainder of 117 was uneventful, besides some people that were obviously cheating by drafting.

The sun still out full force with no clouds or shade. I kept wetting my helmet and arm coolers at each aid station. Going through old Mont Tremblant was fun with the crowds and was a nice surprise to see Tom there. Kim passed me as we got back onto Montee Ryan and it was nice to exchange words on the race course. Made my way back into town to see teammates and family cheering before heading out to the short, steep out and back section. I told myself to ride my ride here. The hills were definitely challenging, but doable. Hit the turn around and was excited for the net downhill trip to end lap 1.

I saw Sissy as I started lap 2 and immediately asked about Amy since she's the only one I hadn't yet seen. She confirmed all of our group was out riding, which was great to hear. I stopped at SN bike where I picked up my extra nutrition (Gus and Chomps) and what should have been 2 bottles of Roctane I froze from the night before. Turns out they weren't in my bag. I knew there was a very small chance they were taken out (as Scott's were in CdA), but knew there was a greater chance I screwed up and I'd see them at mile 13.1 of the run in my Run SN bag. Not much I could do so off I went. I grabbed Perform at the next aid station to sip that (although so much sweeter than Roctane).

117 the second time around was so much harder. As I was starting that road, I saw the fasties ending their out and back on 117 (Tim, Henry, John, Brad, Scott). It was great to see them doing so well. The wind felt like it had picked up and the sun wasn't letting up. The scenery was pretty and I tried to just be in the moment. On top of that, the road surface for nearly the entire ride (all except the section in old Mont Tremblant) was perfect. Nearing the turn around, I saw Craig and knew I wasn't far behind him. I hit the turn around and realized we had more wind. I was starting to struggle and fade here and wasn't able to maintain my power goals. On top of that, I started to feel a headache coming on. I popped an Excedrine Migrane once and then about 2 hours later took another. I also kept with the 2 salt tabs per hour during the ride. I saw Tom again in the little town and what a welcome sight. It was great he stayed there the entire day as it was a huge pick me up.

I turned onto Montee Ryan and could see Craig in the distance, but just couldn't catch him with the downhills. Once back near the village, the only thing that was between me and getting off the bike was the hilly out and back. I saw Kevin Wright who was cheering out on this section. In an area where I expected to see no one, it was such a welcome sight. The hills felt so much harder this time around. I was in my smallest ring, just doing what I could to get up the hills. I told myself it's 8k out and 8k back. That's nothing. Matt Leger passed me on this stretch and I told him I'd been waiting 100 miles for him to pass me. Again, I saw Craig, but couldn't catch him (and even jokingly yelled for him to wait for me).

Riding the final stretch back to the transition area was a great feeling. I tackled the final hill and knew it was a cruise back to end the bike. I always find myself getting teary-eyed ending the bike knowing I've made it that far.
I was smiling coming into the chute and gladly handed my bike off to the volunteer.
What would you do differently?:

Be more religious about riding my power numbers for the first lap. I was close, but a tad over and wonder if that hurt me for the second lap.

Not sure what could have been done about it, but I did one century ride between CdA and MMT. I had some recovery, did other long rides and had a HIM in there, but wonder if I lost some of the fitness that would have helped me from struggling a little from miles 70 on.

I also wonder if I should have worn my aero helmet. It wasn't hot out, but it was sunny with no clouds or shade. I historically get hot with it on so wonder if it is worth it for the longer races.

Lastly, I am guessing being sick had some affect on me. I went into the race hydrated, but not feeling 100% and could tell that on race day by how my chest and throat felt.

Overall, I am happy with the ride. I was aiming for 6:45 and came in over that, but still pleased with how things went overall.
Transition 2
  • 05m 40s

I was happy to get off of the bike and couldn't immediately run just from being on the bike for 7 hours. I walked through the transition area taking off my helmet, arm coolers (accidentally ripping them in the process) and gloves and emptied all of the things from my pockets. I had no issues finding my bag and was pretty efficient in the change tent. I changed into my FeXY champsys tri shorts for the run, put my nutrition in my pockets, grabbed my water bottle and was off. My other mishap of the day (besides my bike water bottles) was in T1 when I put my race belt and bib in that bag by accident so I wore it for the bike when it wasn't necessary.

Coming out of the tent, I saw Craig who was waiting for me. I got sunscreen and we set off to run.
What would you do differently?:

I guess I could have run through the transition area, but being that I was multitasking while walking, I'm ok with not running.
  • 4h 46m 34s
  • 26.22 miles
  • 10m 56s  min/mile

My pre-race plan for the run was to run the first 3-5 miles to get time in the bank and then switch to my 8' run/2' walk intervals that have worked for me in the past. Craig and I set out on a very easy paced run. We immediately saw Laura's parents and then Sissy and Mitch. Craig and I made a point to keep our pace in check and not go out too fast. We walked steadily up the hills and ran the flats and downhills. He was having some cramping and we'd take some walk breaks to try to get rid of it. We hit the crushed gravel trail and saw Tom, Shelly and Beaman out there spectating. Soon after, Craig told me to go ahead and while I felt badly for leaving him, I knew it was the right decision.

It was great to see the fasties on their second lap and headed home. Got a boost seeing Henry, Brad, Xavier, John, Scott and Tim all finishing their day. I hit the turn around (between miles 6-7) and started the 8' run/2' walk intervals. I kept that going until I hit the paved part. It didn't make sense to stick to that plan as it was rolling hills. So I walked the ups and ran the flats and downhills.

Somewhere on the gravel section, Laura passed me and was running strong. I knew she was having a good day and was chasing that KQ. We exchanged some words of encouragement and both kept running. Coming back to town was great. I knew I was half way done and in a good mental state. I felt pretty good physically and didn't have the usual feeling of "oh god, I still have 13+ miles to go". I hit run special needs and found my nutrition bottles that should have been in my bike SN bag. Oh well. Lesson learned. I grabbed the Chomps I had in the bag along with a ziploc bag of vaseline (used for arm chaffing). I was sticking to eating every 30 minutes and felt like I had enough energy without the sloshy stomach (about 2 chomps every 30 minutes which isn't a lot, but supplemented with coke, perform and oranges). Right past special needs, I saw Nate, Sara and the kids. I stopped to chat for a few - it was nice to see friendly faces.

The run through the village was so neat. There were lots of shops and restaurants and tons of people lining the run course. It was a boost to run through there, even if we had to go so close to the finish. I made the right hand split to head to lap 2 and got to run through the neat igloo. Heading out of town, I again was walking the uphills and running the flats and downhills. I saw Kevin who was spectating and looking to get to Shelly and the others on the gravel path. He joined me as we headed out that way. I hit the path and Shelly asked if I was going to PR. I am awful at math - then add in I've been going since 7am and the distance was in kilometers and I had no idea.

I was feeling really good though and told myself I could run the gravel path to the turn around since it was a slight downhill. I saw Heidi heading back in and was so happy to see Laura Cortina on this stretch. I knew she wasn't having the day she had hoped for, but was able to push through and gut out the run.

I hit the final turn around on the gravel path and could finally start doing math when I hit 10k left. I was able to run nearly this entire section, with the exception of some walking at the aid stations. I passed Sara who was having some stomach troubles and saw Slake then Amy and Craig together on the other side of the path. Part of the thing that made this race so amazing was seeing so many familiar faces out there racing. The out and backs of the course made it perfect! I managed to latch onto some guys and just put my head down and concentrated on my footsteps and their feet in front of me. I got into a zone with my breathing and really, for the first time ever in a marathon, turned off my brain.

I saw Shelly, Tom, Beaman and Kevin at the end of the path (before I went to the short OAB) and I told them I was running for an Ironman marathon PR. I knew it was fairly certain I would PR the IM marathon, but still really hadn't done the math on the IM PR. Back into town was the same strategy of walking the ups and running the flats and downs. With about 3 miles left, it hit me that if things kept going as they had been, I was going to set an Ironman PR and have my coveted daylight finish.

I saw Drew as I made the turn onto the side path off the main street. I took 2 more chomps and ditched my nutrition knowing I was done with it and could make it home. On the way back to town, I saw Laura and Katie heading out and it was motivation to have a strong finish. With about a mile left, I started to well up and get teary, which also means I could barely breathe. I told myself to get my shit together to get to the finish line.

I walked quickly up the last 2 big hills and ran through special needs. The neat part is you could hear the finish line for a little bit here - some extra motivation. I happily bypassed the final aid station and was smiling ear to ear as I hit the stretch where spectators lined the run course. I don't think my smile could get any bigger. I made the left turn to head to the finish and tried to take it all in. The finish line was so packed, I couldn't find any of our family and friends, but remember screaming "Fuck yeah" as I was just so happy with my day.

I crossed the line with a 7 minute Ironman PR, a 21 minute Ironman PR (with a negative split) and a daylight finish. I walked through the finish area and was crying I was so happy. The first people I saw were Steve and Jeff on the side of the fence. I went over to them and was just bawling. I met up with Brad, Sissy and Mitch outside the finish line area and learned Brad also set a PR. What an amazing day!
What would you do differently?:

Not sure I could have done anything better on this run. I started out conservatively and made adjustments to my plan as the run progressed. I was able to overcome previous mental hurdles to push through to finally have a solid IM run. I am guessing I probably ran 20 miles of the marathon which is huge for me.
Post race
Warm down:

For some reason or another, I passed by the massage area and food and only grabbed 2 chocolate milks. I met up with family and friends and found a bench to sit. I was coughing a ton and having some breathing problems.

I changed under the finishers space blanket and joined some family, friends and teammates in the stands to cheer on others as they were finishing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Probably IM CdA 8 weeks prior, but one can't be sure. I was fueled from my marginal performance there to have a redemption race in Mont Tremblant.

Event comments:

This was a great race! I loved the people, the course and the area where the race was held. It was icing on the cake to be able to compete with Brad, friends and teammates. We walked away with our group all crossing the finish line which is enough to celebrate - add in some PRs and Laura's Kona slot and 2nd place in her age group and it's an understatement to say it was a really great day.

Last updated: 2013-01-30 12:00 AM
01:04:46 | 4224 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/
Overall: 277/
Performance: Good
Suit: Full sleeved wetsuit
Course: One loop, clockwise ending on the other side of the peninsula from where you start.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:30
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:02:50 | 112 miles | 15.89 mile/hr
Age Group: 53/
Overall: 1450/
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Two loop course with pretty much 2 out and backs.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:46:34 | 26.22 miles | 10m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 51/
Overall: 1243/
Performance: Good
Course: Two lap course (out and back) with some on a crushed gravel trail.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5