Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
68F / 20C
Total Time = 15h 49m 54s
Overall Rank = 2014/
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 176/
Pre-race routine:

Came into town on Monday with my wife. We decided to make a nice vacation out of the Ironman. We had rented a condo just outside the village with 3 decks that overlooked the lake which was real nice. Being my first IM, I wanted to soak up everything the week and the event had to offer. The first few nights, we walked around the village, went grocery shopping, etc. Our family came into town Thursday and I went to register, got my backpack and talked to a lot of nice people. After that we went to the expo and Ironman shop but I was superstitious so I did not buy anything. Wife registered herself and her family for Friday's 5K and we all went out to dinner that night. Friday morning I met up with some BTers (FredD, Imsore, LarchmontTri, Lepfan and others) for a warm up swim. Water was about 67 degrees but felt nice in the sleeveless suit after a few minutes warming up. I came back to the condo, showered and the family all walked over to the village for the 5K and then came back later for the athlete briefing, concert and fireworks. Saturday I laid low after dropping off my bikes and bags and went to bed around 9pm.
Event warmup:

I was surprised but I slept pretty well the night before, about 7 hours. I would flip flop between being confident and being nervous all week and the night before I was a nervous wreck. Woke up at 4:30am and tried to have breakfast but I was nauseous and couldn't really stomach anything. I forced down a banana and PB on wheat and got dropped off at transition by the wife. Pumped tires, tried not to puke due to nerves, dropped of SN bags and met up with Brian (Larchmont Tri) in transition. He was really cool about giving me pointers and trying to get me to stay calm and it helped (Thanks Brian!!). Walked over to the swim start and put on my wetsuit and got in about 5 minutes of practice swimming before my wave went off. Water was around 70 and felt great. I watched the pro's start then lined up in my coral on the beach for my first Ironman.
  • 1h 30m 20s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 23s / 100 meters

Coming into this event my goal swim was 1:45:00. I have been swimming with a Masters Team and working on my stroke and breathing and sighting. I felt good about my ability to swim the distance I was just worried about my speed. In June, I did the Challenge Atlantic City full Aqua Bike and I swam a 1:55:00. I knew that I would swim faster since this race would not have a current and was wetsuit legal but I wasn't sure how fast.

I lined up in my coral towards the back and the goal was to stay as close to the buoys as possible. I could see them setting up the course from my condo and man those buoys go out a long way lol. Fireworks went off and I waited about 20 seconds for the rest of the people in my group to go and I found a spot in the back. I got into the water and immediately found open water. I was just concentrating on my technique and had my coaches voice in my head telling me to rotate through the stroke, 1 eye out of the water while breathing, nice long strokes, etc. For the first 1000m I had no contact with anyone and I was sighting and staying in a straight line. As I was getting closer to the turn, other faster swimmers from other waves had caught up and things got a little turbulent and there was a lot of bumping going on in the water. Luckily I did not get hit or injured. On the home stretch, I was not sure if the winds picked up (more on that later) or if I was just in the midst of a lot of people but the water got a little choppy. I kept swimming straight and could hear the finish line and people cheering. I got to the shallow section and kept swimming as people were walking and passed a few more people until it was too shallow to swim and I stood up and walked in. I took off my goggles and cap and looked at my watch and could not believe the time read 1:30:00. This was a 25minute PR swim from a month ago. I know wetsuits make you faster but I didn't think it would make up that much of a difference so I guess the current at CAC was as strong as everyone said it was.

I got out of the water and ran into T1 and saw my wife and father in law cheering for me and telling me how awesome I did on the swim.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I had a flawless swim (IMO) and came out of the water under my goal time.
Transition 1
  • 18m 21s

Longer then I wanted but I wanted to be comfortable. I was not expecting to come out of the water when I did so when I got into T1 it was packed! I guess I was right in the MOP at this time so no where to sit but just as I was about to sit on the floor, someone got up and I got a chair.
What would you do differently?:

Take less time obviously. I needed to towel off, change and warm up a bit because it was a little cold. Next time I would like to be between 10-15minutes
  • 8h 05m 35s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.84 mile/hr

The bike is my weakest leg by far and I knew that coming into this event. I have been training pretty regularly for the past 2 years to prep for this but I knew it was going to be a long day due to the terrain. I biked a 7:17:00 at CAC a few weeks before so my goal for this race was to keep it slow and steady and come in between 7:35-7:45:00. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

As soon as I got out onto the bike, I was having GI issues. Actually, I was having them during the swim where I was constantly burping and feeling like I was going to throw up. I came out of T1 and had a fig newton and some water and was pedaling slowly at a 14mph pace. I was a little cold so I had my jacket on which proved to be a good thing. Biking down Montee Ryan was not bad and I got a lot of speed on the decents and the hills were nothing different from what I trained on at home, just spun up them. I made the right onto RT 117 and hit a nice headwind that lasted pretty much the entire 15 miles out. I think I was only maintaining a 13-14mph pace into this headwind but got a nice tailwind going back. Some of the bigger decents on the way back I got up to 36mph which was nice and I was hitting the flats at about 19mph without my HR going up. Biking into St. Jovite was nice and then hit another headwind going back up the Montee Ryan. Made the turn to the Duplessis section and saw my family which was nice. The 8km up Duplessis hurt but I made it by spinning up. I saw people walking their bikes but from pre riding the course on wednesdday, I knew what to expect. Hit the turn around and all the free speed that came with it and I was done loop 1, right around 3:48 so right where I wanted to be. Made a run to SN where I had some salty chips and a slice of pizza waiting for me (I needed salty and solids and it helped) and then back out for round 2.

During this 2nd lap, I felt like I didn't get a break at all from the winds. I caught headwinds out on Montee Ryan, both ways on 117 and back up the Montee Ryan. I had encountered strong headwinds before at CAC so I just took my time and pedaled but going down a hill, pedaling and only going 14mph made me mad, especially since that same hill I went down at 36mph on the first loop. 3 Bathrooms breaks later, I was going back into the duplessis section when it started to rain. I was bummed but I had ridden it in the rain on Wednesday so mentally, no big deal. I know I was near the end of the bike but I was tired and those little steep hills became harder and harder. Since it was raining, my feet started to burn and blister a bit which did not help. I kept telling myself to enjoy the view because I was biking in beautiful area and people were walking their bikes again. I made it to the turn around and knew the bike was over!! cruised back into T2 and gave my legs a rest and looked at my watch and was disappointed that my time was over 8hrs but excited because all I needed to do was run a marathon and I would be an IRONMAN!
What would you do differently?:

More bike training, more hill training. Biking has always been my biggest limiter since its the thing I like to do the least. I thought I trained well for this race (to my ability) but the course had a different opinion. I honestly felt that my HR and RPE I would easily go 7:35-7:45:00 on this course but that did not happen. Maybe it was the rain or the wind but it did not happen. Next time I will have a better split.
Transition 2
  • 10m 16s

Right where I wanted to be (10minutes). Tent was empty as I predicted. Took my time drying off, doing a full change, body gliding and getting myself prepared mentally to run my first marathon.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Maybe go a bit faster but I was happy with it.
  • 5h 45m 22s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 11s  min/mile

Before the race, a friend sent me a helpful email from Endurance Nation that said the run course is littered with people walking and talking about their awesome bike splits. Funny how true some things can be sometime. As soon as I came out of T2, my legs felt pretty good. My goal was to Run 4minutes/Walk 1 minute like I had been doing in training for the last 6 months. I felt this was a good strategy for me and worked well in training to keep me fresh. My run pace goal was between 10-1030mm and my time goal was 5:30. I started running and I never looked back. I was a determined man and kind of felt like I was on auto pilot just slowly shuffling away. During the run, I was getting compliments from people who were walking telling me "Good Pace" and "Good form, keep it up" and that helped motivate me. From a training standpoint, running has been my favorite thing to do. When I go for runs, its like all my problems disappear and it can be very peaceful for me. This run was pretty and had a lot to look at which I liked.

I continued to pass people and before I knew it, I was approaching the 10K mark and saw my wife and family who were volunteering at a run aid station. I caught them by surprise because they did not think I would get to them as quick as I did and I honestly didn't think so either. At this time, it was raining (softly) which felt nice and the temps were perfect for a run (overcast and 68). Hit the 10K mark and made my way back up the trail and to the town and before I knew it, I was running back towards the village and SN. While I was running to SN, you pass a lot of people watching and I hear this girls voice say "Hey, I know You" and it turns out to be a girl I went to High School with who was there cheering. I said hello and thought to myself what a small world it is and continued up to SN. My first half split was right around 2:35 and I was very happy. I spent a few minutes in SN where I changed shirts and socks and re applied body glide. I knew I was going to be running in the dark so I put on a long sleeve shirt underneath my Tri Club shirt.

Went back out on loop 2 and my legs felt good. Unfortunately for me, I needed to pass the finishers area to start loop 2 so all the spectators are congratulating me for finishing but they didn't realize I still had another lap to do. I maintained my run/walk pace steadily until about mile 21 and that's when the wheels fell off. My body seized up and it was hard to muster a run or jog. I tried to take in broth but a lot of stations were out so I tried pretzels but I was already a little dehydrated so they were hard to get down. I just drank as much water and cola as I could and decided to mall walk as fast as possible and jog any downhill sections. I was still maintaining goal pace and walking around a 14:30 pace but by mile 23 It became harder and harder. Being on that run course at night can be pretty lonely and dark, especially the trail section but there were still a lot of people around me so I started talking with other people who were walking and jogging like me which helped to pass the time. Got to the 39KM mark and a guy was wishing us well and told us only 3KM left. I was so out of it I asked the guy to make that distance in miles for the American and he laughed and told me it was like 2 miles or something. I looked at my watch and knew I could still go under 6hrs for the marathon and under 16hrs total. I kept my strategy and walked and ran downhills. I passed SN again, climbed the little hill and then I saw the chute and I just started running!!

I remember what a friend of mine told me about the finish line "Don't look at your watch, don't sprint to get a 30 second better time, just take your time and enjoy it and soak it all in" and that is exactly what I did. I ran down that chute at a nice jogging pace and slapped hands with everyone. People I didn't know where cheering my name and asking for High 5's and I felt like a rockstar. As I was running downhill (awesome way to finish an IM) I could see the lights getting closer and closer, I could hear the crowds getting louder and louder and then it came into view..The Finish Line and Mike Reiley. I was super excited and gave Mike a high 5 as I heard him call my name and tell me I was an Ironman which is something I had been dreaming of for a long time and every time I was out for a run I would envision this very moment. I crossed the line with my hands in the air, and a huge smile on my face. I finally did it, after 4 years of triathlons, weight loss, learning the sport and 6 months of IM training, I was officially an IRONMAN!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing! I was so happy to finish I didn't really care about my time. Since this was my first, I just wanted to make sure I finished and I did.

I was only 15 minutes off my goal time for my first marathon and I think I did pretty well for not only my first, but for running it after biking and swimming as long as I did.
Post race
Warm down:

Volunteer made sure I was ok and gave me a space blanket and my awesome finishers medal. Grabbed my hat and shirt and got my picture taken and walked right over to the Poutine truck and got some poutine (best finish line food ever!)

Wanted chocolate milk but they were out so just had water.

Met up with my family who got my bikes and bags for me and went home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I missed some training due to life and work which happens but overall I am happy.

If I ever do another one, I want to improve the bike and run and go sub 15hrs. I will never be a top AG guy and I am ok with that.

Event comments:

I have never done an IM before but I can honestly say this was the best race I have ever done and I know this is the best IM on the circuit in North America, hands down!

This town really embraces the race and the athletes and it is such a beautiful area. Everything is so organized, everyone is friendly, there are so many volunteers you really do not need to do anything. I love all the activities they have during the week and things to do in town. Wife and I are already talking about just going up there again next year to vacation because we love it so much. If you are on the fence about this race, do not be. Sign up and it will be the best decision you make. This really is a world class race, in a world class venue with world class Race Directors and Volunteers.

Thank you Mont Tremblant for making my Ironman Experience so wonderful.

Also, it was great to meet so many BTers at the race. This website and the people on it helped me get through this race in more ways then they will ever know.

Last updated: 2014-08-20 12:00 AM
01:30:20 | 3800 meters | 02m 23s / 100meters
Age Group: 159/
Overall: 1740/
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex Sleeveless
Course: Rectangle shaped course. Out 13 buoys, right turn, right turn then back 14 buoys. Pretty straightforward and easy to sight with buoys every 125m or so.
Start type: Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 18:21
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
08:05:35 | 112 miles | 13.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 179/
Overall: 2103/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: 3 out and back sections
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 10:16
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:45:22 | 26.2 miles | 13m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 176/
Overall: 2014/
Performance: Good
Course: 5K out through the town, 5K down the railway trail and then back plus a little extra. Nice 2 loop run with good water and town views. Finish line was down hill through the Village with TONS and I mean TONS of screaming people watching and cheering.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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