Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
52F / 11C
Total Time = 12h 56m 25s
Overall Rank = 1175/2317
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 20/96
Pre-race routine:

The lead up to this race was kind of a challenging one. I’d hit EVERY triathlon goal I had last year…Sub 12 IMAZ, Run the marathon only walking aids, podium at Steelhead 70.3 and a trip to 70.3 Worlds, an most of all, CONFIDENCE in my run. Throw in USAT All American for the first time, WTC All World athlete, and it was a good year! I had a difficult surgery in December, and knew that my OS would not start in January. I had to be smart! I was a bit unmotivated, the course was hilly and I’d had such a great year. Fast forward to Blue Ridge Camp…I had a blast, made more EN friends, and did something fun and different on my bike. Fitness bump showed up in time for the Grand Rapids half where I was really close to a 70.3 pr, and got a tiny one on the run despite my *ahem* slightly larger self. :) Then on to camp in Mont Tremblant. This is where I got excited to race. The course, the peeps, the challenging bike. Yep…Excited! Learned a ton and was ready to nail my last RR, which I did. Two days later, on a TH run I had to walk it home. The Haus had me diagnosed with a posterior tibial strain, and advised me to NOT RUN. Not the easiest thing to do, but I was good and took a full week off and got ART. Then the Sunday before the race more bad news. My sister in law passed away unexpectedly. Stress levels for my hubby were through the roof, as he is the patriarch of his family. He usually doesn’t come to races with me,but was scheduled to come and sherpa (and party with our local Michigan crew of about 25 racers) so it was touch and go if he could come. In the end, we did all we could from Detroit, and I think the race actually helped de-stress him. Once we arrived, it was rain rain and more rain. The niggle of a cold I had in Detroit decided to become a full on chest cold. I did a recon ride in the rain (of course )Thursday, swam about a mile with our group from Detroit Friday and decided not to run. Too hilly and not worth jacking up my ankle. Saturday I had no voice. I was worried I’d have an asthma issue or difficulty breathing. :( On race day I rode with my power goals on my right aerobar, and TJ and GS for Dave’s sister on it on my left. A powerful reminder to make to most of the day, and be grateful for all our bodies do for us!
Event warmup:

Just walking to the swim start, arm swings and hips swings to loosen up. Too cold to get in before the race start.
  • 1h 13m 34s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 56s / 100 meters

Since this was a wave start instead of a mass start, it was a much calmer experience. I don’t mind the mass start (I enjoy the large draft, and think its worth the beat down), so this was a little different IM swim experience for me. I stayed true to my plan and swam to my abilities. It got a bit congested around the buoy’s, and then more so as I was passing a lot of slower swimmers from prior waves. The lake had some chop out on the back half of the swim, but nothing worse than our weekly 2 mile swims in Lake Erie. Overall, I’m happy with the swim. I didn’t lose focus since there were lot of people to navigate around in the second half, I stayed on a pretty straight line f(for me) with sighting the buoys, never got out of my normal breathing pattern, and for the first time in an IM swim, did NOT get a kick to my face that made me lift up my head and say F*CK!. Win.
What would you do differently?:

Starting the race holding sister's hand is important to me, so nothing. If she wasn't racing, I'd have seeded my self more aggressively. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my swim performance.
Transition 1
  • 09m 50s

This was a long Ti, and I knew that. BUT…I was told they’d have red carpet on the street all the way to transition, and they didn’t. Boooo! After getting stripped (love the wetsuit strippers at big races!!!) I hustled all the way to T1. I was hoping for an 8’ or better time, but I really didn’t haul butt cause of the street and my HR. I grabbed my bag, ran into the tent and got going. Because it was cold, I had a jersey, arm sleeves, gloves to put on. I dried off as well as I could knowing it was cold, got the arm sleeves on (unlike IMAZ, it was too hilly in this race to be rolling the sleeves up on the fly) and jersey on. Unfortunately I forgot my gloves on the seat next to me. :( Then I ran to Fiona in my shoes, grabbed her and hustled out to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Run harder! Get my stuff on quickly and keep track of those gloves.
  • 6h 44m 20s
  • 180 kms
  • 26.71 km/hr

So, it’s Fiona time…I was smart on the first section, eating and drinking to plan even though it was COLD…54 at the start. And I’d forgotten my gloves!!! Doh! Cold reddish hands for about an hour. I Stayed as low power wise as I could during the climbs out on the Montee Ryan, then on 117. Time seemed to be flying here… I used every aid to reload my fluids, and since I was having some gut cramping in the first hour I grabbed a water and a chocolate waffle to have options if I needed it. After an hour or so, the gut settled and was not an issue the rest of the race. Since I’ve been plagued with gut issues in my long course racing for about 4 years, this was glorious to me! I rode the 117 well, keeping my hr and watts in check, I was shooting for 140 AVG P on my 5 mile laps. I use the 500 as my whip, and usually I underperform in IM races. I seemed to be doing a bit better here, though still soft. I was ok with it though,as I knew what was coming!!! Riding into St. Joviet was cool, and a little bumpy.(I REALLY noticed the bumps on lap two with the finger!) I’d ridden it once at camp, but it was too busy and I didn’t notice road conditions. I did well and the legs felt as good as can be expected on those hills in the last 10k. I was spot on with my nutrition…drink every 10’, half a power bar every hour starting on the :30, salt stick at the top of the hour. Coming into the turn around I was fine…or so I thought. I took the turn wide…just lost my focus for a MOMENT! And boom…and not a good EN BOOM either…this boom was me hitting the *&^%&* fencing, jacking up my Di2 shifter cover on my right horn, bruising my right thigh, shoulder and dislocating my ring finger on my right hand. I tried to see if my shifters worked..I couldn’t hear over the noise of the spectators cheering riders, but I looked back and saw them shift. The volunteer wanted me to go to medical, but I said “ I don’t need fingers to run…I’m fine!” and I mounted the banged up Fiona and took off, pissed as all hell at myself. God, it was UGLY!!! I’d stopped once already at 46 to pee, then the crash. I knew I needed tylenol in SN, so I stopped there as well. Great volunteer helped me get it, and off I went. Then after the turn on 117 (all my MI buddies were griping about the headwind on lap 2 on the 117…I barely noticed…I was too into my stupid finger issue to notice!) my finger was kind of throbbing, so I stopped to speak to medical(there were medical peeps at all aids!). No splints or medicine. Only tape. I didn’t want to limit my shifting by immobilizing my middle finger, so I went on. I should have peed, because I ended up stopping AGAIN on Lac Superior at about mile 92. I needed the tylenol I had in my salt container, hit the potty then off again, only to see one of my bestest buddies in the world, Handsome John on the side of the road, straddling his bike with his head on his aerobars. I stopped for my 6th and final time on the bike. He was toast…lack of nutrition bit him in the butt hard. I was out of my regular nutrition, but had the chocolate waffle in my jersey. He told me to go, I insisted he eat. He said he was about to get mean, and I went all Mom mode on him. I told him if he wanted me to go, EAT. He did eat most of the waffle and in a bit teenager defiance, dropped about a third on the ground. :) He promised to stay a bit longer so the caffeine and sugar could work, and I left him to finish out the ride. (he acknowledged he did not eat all he planned on Monday to me..and apologized for being so sassy…love that guy!)
What would you do differently?:

Not crash like a dope! I think if I'd not crashed I would have had a fair ride here. I had my best NP of any IM I've raced which is good. I think with out the SIX stops I could have gotten closer to a 6:25 split, which would have been very solid ride for me. BUT...I still can't pee on the bike, and yeah...I crashed. :) So lots to improve for next IM. No crashing, pee on the bike, ride the higher watts and lower my VI, which was understandably horrible!
Transition 2
  • 06m 4s

I felt good enough to do my usual flying dismount, so I did. I saw my hubby and screamed that I’d broken my finger. I trotted into the tent got, my bag and went to the med girls. They took their time looking at my finger, asked me 3 times if I wanted to continue “Yes…I don’t need it to run!” , and began to buddy tape it up, as I was dragging on my socks and shoes with a little help from another volunteer. She switched my gel pouch to the left so I could get in it with my good hand, and I headed out, with my face wipes and extra gel in my hand. I had a 2’ T2 in IMAZ and was hoping for 3’ here, but yeah, not today!
What would you do differently?:

I think I could have gotten out of there in three minutes if not injured. So, yeah...don't crash!!! ;)
  • 4h 42m 37s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 06m 42s  min/km

Having run the course on tired legs at camp, I knew what was in store, for one lap anyhow. I did NOT plan to have the ankle injury or finger issue however. :) I really had no firm goals for this run other than run by HR as I did in AZ, and RUN FROM AID TO AID if the ankle allowed. Now, I am not a born runner. I had no idea what this day would hold for me, but what I did know was that while I didn’t have a searing run goal in my head like last year, I did KNOW that I could run AID to AID, and that knowing, an unwillingness to settle for less was HUGE. I looked for my friends from MI, my EN teammates and grabbed all the mojo I could from them. I saw Coach P just hammering on the bike trail in complete beast mode, Kori's hubby Eric cheering me on the run, encouraging me to flip him off was a great distraction on loop two, Bob and I going through SN’s together, running with my 26 year old first timer teammate Sara, seeing my “sister” and fellow EN’r Cathleen hammering the first loop and her first timer hubby Brian just having a total blast…and especially great was cheering from the Thompson brothers…both while turning in awesome performances! But best of all was the hug on loop two with Chris Love. We booth really needed that hug!!! :) Nutrition wise, I did as I planned. Perform at every aid, and a gel about every 2 or 3 miles salt tab one and hour. I brought power gels with me as the honey stinger stuff is HORRIBLE…soooo sweet. YUCK. I tried one serving of chews as I had used those in training, but ew. No. So I grabbed a handheld with 4 gels and my tylenol at SN’s. Saved the day I think.
I know as I approached mile 18 (by mile 14 or so, I was using that as my focus point!) my quads were very grumpy. Too bad…not walking! On that return trip into town, about mile 22? I was passed by a chica in my AG. Last year the same thing happened and my head was all “ oh no you didn’t!!!” and I passed her back. This year, my legs were just trashed and I didn’t have it in me to go get her. She earned it. I was running slower, the hills were very painful, and I saw an older guy with the sideways lean…I was almost done, and gave him my biogels. He was grateful. Then I though of Chris Love once again when running down (painfully) through the village…time to put this F*cker to BED! I saw my mechanic and his son and got high fives and took as many lefty high fives as I could get in the last bit of the run. Arms up over head and DONE!!!! I’d done it. Run aid to aid again. I had no idea I was only 10” slower per mile on this course vs IMAZ. I just knew I did what I could to the best of my abilities on the day. I passed 124 people on the run. I gained 2 spots in my ag on the run. So now I know…it wasn’t a fluke. I can run. :) I was VERY happy with this run. VERY HAPPY.

What would you do differently?:

This year I was very lax on a few things that kept me strong and healthy last year on the run. I didn't do my myrtle exercises, squats or hip homework from my ART doc,nor did I roll or do yoga poses as much as I should have. I am convinced I may have prevented the strain if I were more diligent. I will be in the future, and I'm adding lifting back into my program as well. :)
Post race
Warm down:

The Finish: I had two most excellent volunteers who babysat me, opened my drinks, got me to my photo, grabbed some poutine (my saying was I’d run for the poutine, even though I didn’t expect to eat it) and because I’d finally had a happy gut I ATE it, and hung with my local team captain and Pat Ward after he finished. Then I found my better half and he got me info my dry clothes and medical. The staff was great, they numbed me up and popped my finger back into place and put a soft cast on it. I did get weighed and was up 4 pounds from check in. Weird. So, at least I got my monies worth with the medical attention! Next time, I’d prefer to let someone else get their monies worth! :)

I really can’t say it enough, but I just love racing with my teammates and friends. Over 30 people from my local team, and tri community were there, as well as my EN peeps. It was AWESOME. I have learned so much in the HAUS, from our Coaches, to the wicked smart members. Mad props for everyone who shares their experiences so we can all benefit!!!

My hubby, who is NOT a fan of Tri life, and is my “sponsor” made his third race trip with me. I am SOOOO grateful for his being there. He drove the whole way from Detroit, dealt with any and all stressors, and his chill attitude relaxed me. He had plenty of fun zip lining, golfing and hanging with all the other Motor City Sherpas. Fingers crossed he makes the trip next fall with me to IMCHOO. :) We had a GREAT time post race with our buddies the Whites in Montreal, and I think if I ever come back to race here, he will definitely be of the party.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of focus early in the season and lack of detail in my running routine (stretching, rolling, exercises, drills, core work) compared to last year. The strain didn't seem to affect me, but my boneheaded crash sure did!

I plan to work hard on body composition for next season (my weight was up all year) lift for strength and durability. Looking forward to getting older,faster, stronger and racing smarter!

Event comments:

IMMT puts on a great race. The venue is beautiful, challenging. The community is behind IM like no other. Everywhere is welcoming! So nice! The village is great with lots of lodging options. My biggest beef with the race was lack of volunteers in T1/T2. It was pretty much self serve in there, but that's ok I guess. And the carpet...the half and worlds got the carpet, but not the full. It was wet and raining, but feet were not happy about running that distance on concrete! Otherwise, great race and venue!

Last updated: 2014-01-10 12:00 AM
01:13:34 | 3800 meters | 01m 56s / 100meters
Age Group: 12/96
Overall: 704/2317
Performance: Good
Suit: full zoot
Course: rectangle run in start, single loop
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:50
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:44:20 | 180 kms | 26.71 km/hr
Age Group: 22/96
Overall: 1300/2317
Performance: Average
Avg HR 136 Avg Power 127 NPower 139 IF 68 TSS 308 VI 1.09
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loop course with lots of of climbing and 4 distinct "sections" per loop that kept you very engaged during the ride including the most challenging section of climbing in Lac Superior which is gorgeous and very difficult with a fun descent as the reward. Those hills in the last 10k are tough though!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Bad Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:04
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:42:37 | 42.2 kms | 06m 42s  min/km
Age Group: 20/96
Overall: 1176/2317
Performance: Good
AVG HR 144 MAX HR 157
Course: Hilly 5k out of the Villiage, then about 7 miles on a really nice bike path thats shady, and those hills back into the village, run right by the finish and do it all again!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5