Ironman Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
65F / 18C
Total Time = 9h 54m 19s
Overall Rank = 58/2400
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 10/280
Pre-race routine:

Set the alarm for 3:45 and had the usual breakfast of oatmeal. Got my bottles ready and collected the last few things I needed for the day. Headed down to transition about 4:45. I got my bike ready and turned in the special needs bags. Had a few more items to add to the bike and run gear bags. After that I went back up to my room in the Westin to relax a bit and wake up Sue. It was nice to be able to use the hotel bathroom instead of waiting the porta potty lines.

Sue and headed out around 6 and walked to the swim start. It was rather amusing watching the hoards of people walking to the swim start. Everybody was so serious looking. I guess I was one of them. Got to the swim start and suited up. Time to roll.
Event warmup:

Swam for about 5 minutes. That's it. Not much warming up to do for an Ironman.
  • 1h 06m 45s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 46s / 100 meters

There really isn't much to talk about in the swim. I started 3 rows back and put myself right in the middle during the start. There was some contact in the first 500 yards but it was minimal compared to some other races I've done. Settled into an easy pace early and just kept swimming. I'm not a great swimmer and my goal was around 1:05 without feeling tired.
After the first turn buoy and swam off course a bit. Might have cost me 30 seconds. The second half was fine. Swam straight and just kept moving. Nothing special. Wasn't thrilled with 1:06 but good enough.
What would you do differently?:

Just didn't put in the time swimming I should have. Focused on running way more than swimming. I should probably have tried to squeeze in a few more longer swims. That probably would have helped.
Transition 1
  • 05m 15s

Used the wetsuit strippers. They were great. Long run to T1. Passed a few people and had a relatively quick T1. I wore the same suit for the entire race so there was no changing. I did put on socks for the bike though.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 14m 28s
  • 112 miles
  • 21.37 mile/hr

I always enjoy the start of the bike. Getting the swim out of the way is such a relief to me. Not sure why but I'm just much more comfortable on land than in the water.

I didn't use power or heart rate this time around. Everything is by RPE. I rarely even look at my current speed. The plan was to bike just a bit easier than I would during my training rides. I kept telling myself over and over again...."don't get caught up in the 1st lap rush....don't be a 1st lap hero". I let a ton of people go in the first 40 miles. There was even a group of 10-12 clearly drafting that went past. It was so incredibly tempting to jump in that group. Would have made my day much easier. but I had I feeling I'd see them again before the end of the bike...and that's what ended up happening.

The first loop was rather uneventful really. That's exactly what the first half of an ironman bike should be I think. Just cruising along at a comfortably hard pace. My back did start to tighten up a bit toward the end. I was actually happy to see the Duplessis section because it gave me a chance to sit up a bit, get out of the saddle and stretch my back. Started passing lots of guys on this section that blew by me on 117. Crowds were great at the turn around. Really gave me motivation. I knew the second loop was going to be tough but I was ready.

I did stop at special needs and refill my bottle with Infinit. It took longer than I wanted and I probably should have had a premixed bottle in there. Took about a minute at special needs and moved on.

About a mile after special needs on Montee Ryan, some dude in a green Zoot outfil goes flying by. I passed him back going uphill and noticed it was Fred. We exchanged some words and moved on. But before the end of Montee Ryan we passed and re-passed several times. We both realized that we had the same goals in mind for the second loop. Fred and I leap-frogged pretty much the entire second half of the bike. We were both flying too. I don't think we were passed at all that second half (or by very few). We did some major damage to that field blowing by people who passed me in the first lap. I don't even think most of them could have drafted us with the speed we were going by. I can honestly say it was clean riding too. I give both of us a ton of credit because it's hard to ride clean in a WTC event.

I went through a rough patch somewhere on 117. Fred is a strong mofo on a bike and I was fading. I told him to move on because I was hurting. I dangled back for a while and somehow made it back up to him by the time we started going through the old village. Started feeling MUCH better by that point and wanted to push the pace a bit.

On Montee Ryan we continued moving through the field. I think Fred hit a rough patch somewhere around here as well because he disappeared off the back for a while. Again, I was glad to get to the Duplessis section. My back was killing me and sitting up and spinning felt much better. I took the Duplessis section fairly easy on the second loop. I started thinking about the marathon and this is where my race was going to be decided. I wanted a 3:20 and knew I'd hit my sub-10 goal if I could pull that off. Once on Duplessis, Fred showed up again and we had a quick chat. He was struggling a bit on Montee Ryan but seemed to have recovered. He pushed on a bit on Duplessis and I happy to let him go. My mind was on running now

Funny that 4 years earlier at Lake Placid, both of our races played out exactly the same. We swam similar times, hooked up on the second loop of the bike and he pulled away in the last 10K of the bike. I was just hoping we both could manage better marathons.
What would you do differently?:

Not much really. I think my hydration was iffy. Too little early and too much later. Weather was cool so tough to realize how much you should be drinking. I could have probably pushed things a bit more late in the race but my back was really hurting for some reason. I also don't see the point in biking 3 minutes faster if it impacts your marathon. Running is a strength of mine and I wanted to use it.

To be honest, I probably biked harder than I really wanted to. Having Fred on course with me was a huge motivating factor and got me through the second half of the bike. I pretty much even split the bike 2:36/2:38. It helped immensely to have him out there and that really put me in a good place mentally for the marathon.
Transition 2
  • 02m 32s

Jumped off the bike and handed it to the volunteers. I love that!!!! Ran into tent and grabbed my bag. Sat right next to Fred in the changing room and exchanged a few words. I did change into dry socks. Other than that I just threw on a hat, grabbed some gels and my belt and took off. Fred was changing his shirt so we wished each other luck and moved on.

Second time I've gone into T2 behind Fred and started the run before him in an IM.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 25m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 49s  min/mile

First of all, I will say that I worked my ass of this winter and spring running. I was consistently over 200 miles a month for a while. Spring races were great with some major PRs. This was all done for IMMT. I wanted to build a huge base of running so I could hammer the bike once the weather got better and not worry as much about running. I would recommend to just about anybody to run a ton the winter before an IM. It's so hard to keep up your running mileage when your biking 10-12 hours a week. Do it early.

I started the running feeling pretty bloated and uncomfortable....and I had to pee really bad. I knew that wasn't a good sign but nothing I could do. Started out at any easy pace and ran a 7:30 first mile. I knew that was too fast so I back way off. I've been talking all year about my run. EASY, EASY, EASY the first 10K. I ran so easy the first 10K that it bothered me. I was passed by a couple guys and was tempted to chase them down.

Despite my stomach issues, I decided to stick with the plan. Gel every 4 miles and alternate water/coke or perform at aid stations. The first 10K went by rather easily and I started to feel a bit better. My stomach was still rough and I really though it was going to be a real problem at some point. Still....I stuck with my plan and figured I'd keep jamming gels down my through until I puked.

The first loop was rather lonely. I didn't pass many and didn't get passed all that much either. I stayed 14th in my age group through 13 miles. I saw Fred on the turnarounds and he was having a great run. I think he was only 2 minutes back at 10 miles.

I ran back through town and grabbed a red bull and gels at special needs. Saw Sue in the village and that gave me a huge rush. I honestly didn't feel much different at 13 miles then I did at the start. I thought that was a pretty good sign.

The second loop is so much more crowded. It's hard to know where you stand in the race because the course is so littered with people. The first 10K of the second loop I felt great. Picked the pace up a bit and started passing people in my age group. I think I went from 14th to 8th in only a few miles around this point. Felt good at mile 16. Still felt good at mile 18. Felt OK at mile 20. I kept assessing how I felt every couple miles. Around mile 20 I definitely started feeling fatigued. The legs were feeling heaving and hurting pretty bad.

With 10K to go I knew I still had a shot at sub-10. I was on pace for 3:20-3:25 marathon. A lot can happen the last 10K so I really concentrated on keeping the same pace. I took one last gel at mile 20 and it was all coke after that. Miles 21 and 22 were fine. 4 miles to go. I looked at my watch and did the math. 40 minutes to go 4.2 miles. I can do that. Mile 23 passed by and I was still holding things together. Mile 24 passed by and I really started to hurt. I was off the railroad bed now and on to some hills and the sun. Legs and stomach really hurt. Mile 25 was definitely slower and I was passed by somebody in my age group. SHIT! He was flying so now way I could keep up with him. With less then a mile, another guy in my age group passed by. I didn't care at this point. I could smell the finish line and sub-10.

Passing through the special needs area was such a great feeling. All I had was a short run through the village to the finish. I couldn't believe what I was able to do on that marathon. I held it together the entire run.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know what else I could have done honestly. I suppose I could have buried myself a bit more in the last 5K. Only 2 minutes separated 6th and 10th (me). I suppose my stomach issues may have slowed me down a bit. I think on an absolutely perfect day I could have run a 3:20...but who knows.

I had a great race and I just so happy with the result. paced myself perfectly. Even split the marathon at 1:42/1:43. Just couldn't have asked for much more out of myself.

1 7:32.8 1.00 7:33
2 7:51.0 1.00 7:51
3 7:36.7 1.00 7:37
4 7:59.1 1.00 7:59
5 8:23.5 1.00 8:24
6 7:54.1 1.00 7:54
7 7:38.5 0.86 7:45
8 7:45.6 1.00 7:46
9 7:42.7 1.00 7:43
10 7:36.5 1.00 7:37
11 7:48.5 1.00 7:49
12 7:43.9 1.00 7:44
13 7:57.8 1.00 7:58
14 7:41.6 1.00 7:42
15 7:44.7 1.00 7:45
16 7:29.3 1.00 7:29
17 7:38.9 1.00 7:39
18 7:35.9 1.00 7:36
19 7:47.9 1.00 7:48
20 7:51.0 1.00 7:51
21 7:52.8 1.00 7:53
22 7:58.2 1.00 7:58
23 7:57.2 1.00 7:57
24 8:02.6 1.00 8:03
25 8:15.8 1.00 8:16
26 8:22.9 1.00 8:23
28 1:34.0 0.16 9:44
Post race
Warm down:

Sat in recovery for a couple minutes to regain composure. Fred sat down beside me after about 5 minutes and we exchange congrats. Hung out for a while and had some pasta and beer. Stomach was still killing me so I wasn't sure how much I could eat.

Sue flagged me down and I walked over and gave her a hug. She's a big reason I've been successful at triathlon. she's so supportive and encouraging. I couldn't do it without her.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The stomach issues on the run were annoying but it's hard to say whether they slowed me down that much or not. Maybe I could have run a 3:20....but I don't see running much faster than that.

Event comments:

This is just such a great race. The location and the course are great for me. I really wish I had a chance to spend more time hiking and exploring the area. I can't believe that this race wouldn't sell out in 1 day.

The volunteers were awesome and the local support was amazing.

I'm such a lucky guy to be able to do things like this. My wife, Sue, understands me better than I understand myself. She knew how badly I wanted to do well in this race and supported me unconditionally all summer. She had the kids on board with this and I had a cheering section after most long rides. Unfortunately, Ironman training is not a balanced lifestyle for least not the way I want to train. I'm sure I'll be back at the IM distance in a few years but it's back to HIM and local races for a while. I neglected so many things at home this summer.

I should probably mention that I finished 10th in my age group and there were 8 kona slots. 2 guys passed before me so I had the opportunity to take a trip to Kona this year. Ultimately, I decided months ago that I wasn't going even if I was lucky enough to snag a slot. It just doesn't work out this year and I'm not ready to do this again in October (neither is my family). It kills me to know I passed on a Kona slot and I may never get another chance...but it was the right decision. I didn't even go to roll down. No point. Congrats on whomever finished 11th. I'll be following. :)

Last updated: 2013-08-30 12:00 AM
01:06:45 | 3800 meters | 01m 46s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/280
Overall: 0/2400
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra - Full
Course: Rectangular, one loop course. Start and finish are in 2 different locations. Long run to T1.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:15
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:14:28 | 112 miles | 21.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 13/280
Overall: 0/2400
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:32
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:25:00 | 26.2 miles | 07m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/280
Overall: 0/2400
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]