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Muskoka Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Huntsville, Ontario
World Triathlon Corporation / Trisport North
Total Time = 7h 38m 30s
Overall Rank = 1126/1299
Age Group = W45-49
Age Group Rank = 54/80
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to Huntsville on Thursday and got settled in at our room in Hillside. Registered on Friday, went to Athlete's banquet on Friday night where I met BTers Nats and morgan8271. Bike checkin on Saturday and walked around race site to get an idea of where things were.
Got up early on Sunday morning, around 5:30 and looked outside... didn't look too bad but by the time we left a little after 6 it was raining lightly. Hubby dropped me off at race site.
I got my transition set up with bike stuff in one plastic bag and run stuff in another... I wanted my shoes to at least be dry when I put them on. Got body marked.
I found Nats, chatted for a few minutes and wished her luck. Went inside to use the bathroom. On my way back to double check my stuff I met Leanne at her bike (I'd looked up her race number so knew where her bike was), met Scott also. Talked with them for a few minutes. I was in the last swim wave... headed down to the water about 7:40. Got halfway down the hill and remembered I hadn't used my puffer so walked back up the hill and back to my bike, used the puffer and went back to the swim start to wait. As we were waiting for our wave to head down to the water we could see the leaders heading in to the swim finish with the crowd cheering them on.
Event warmup:

None other then walking around a bit, hitting the bathroom a couple times and listening to some music to try to stay calm.
  • 47m 40s
  • 2187 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

Swim start was a few yards out in the water so you could start from the beach or wade in a bit. I got into the water, got my face wet and just floated for the few minutes until my wave started (the waves were 6 minutes apart). After the horn blew I waited a few seconds to let any faster people get in there first. Then I just started swimming. The water was just a bit choppy but I had no problem with it. ( No panic or freakout like at ktown). I'm not good at drafting... every time I would get behind someone they would slow down and I'd have to go around. I think drafting works better if you are a faster swimmer as you are more likely to find someone who maintains a constant speed so you can stay behind them). After the second turn there was a long straight swim. I was just in the zone and it felt easy. I started passing people with yellow caps, and then some with white caps. Got to the finish and they had wetsuit strippers so the suit was off in seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was worried about completing this swim. I'm happy with my time.
Transition 1
  • 07m 38s

This was slow. After the swim we went up a big hill to get to transition. I walked up some of it. Once I got to my bike I grab my race number belt. They gave us two race numbers, one with our first name and one with our last name. For some reason I now thought I should wear the one with my first name so I pull it out of my run bag (not even sure why I brought both numbers with me to the race) and fumble with my race belt to change to the one with my first name. I'm sure that took at least a minute, probably more. I also had forgotten to remove the plastic bag off my seat that I'd TAPED on for overnight (like it would matter if my seat got wet ??????????) so I struggled with that to rip off the wet masking tape.
Finally got my shoes on and walk/runned my bike out to the start line.
What would you do differently?:

Double check things before the race to make sure I don't waste time in transtion.
  • 3h 59m 12s
  • 58 miles
  • 14.55 mile/hr

It was hilly. I tried to keep my cadence in the 90s on the flats but there wasn't much flat. I spent almost the whole time on my small ring and often in my lowest 2 gears to get up these hills.... there was no spinning up these hills for me. For miles and miles I kept seeing the same people... I'd pass them going up the hills, they'd pass me on the flats. I did fine with most of the hills. There were a couple long steep ones that I did stand for a few pedal strokes but I tried to stay seated.
Oh yes, there was also the rain. It rained pretty much the whole time I was on the bike. At times it rained so hard that it stung my face.. I'd try to get right down low on the downhills in the pouring rain.
Our ride was 58 miles long. For about the last 8 miles I was starting to struggle. On the uphills my quads above my knees were cramping. I was talking to myself, out loud, saying things like "you can do this, just 3 more (2 more, 1 more) hills, just pedal, don't cramp". The other riders must have thought I was crazy if they were listening. On the last really big hill about halfway up the cramps started and I could barely push down on the pedals.... about 20 feet from the top I had to stop and walk to the top. I felt really bad for doing that but I just couldn't pedal. At the top I leaned my bike against a mailbox and stretched my quads for a minute. I had no more cramps this day. The last 5 minutes of my ride it rained hard. I was glad to get off the bike.
What would you do differently?:

I think the cramping was just a lack of bike fitness. I don't think I could have done anything different this day. I don't think I started too fast or pushed too hard. I just need to do more bike miles for better endurance and more long hilly rides.
Transition 2
  • 04m 22s

It poured rain while I was in T2. I was trying to figure out how to put my socks on my wet feet and keep the socks dry... whatever, they were wet within minutes of running in pouring rain anyway. Then removing the Garmin from the bike and putting in on my arm and pushing the buttons...not sure why I even had it on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Don't try to think about things.. just do it without thinking about it.
Leave the Garmin with my running shoes and just put it on for the run.

  • 2h 39m 40s
  • 13.11 miles
  • 12m 11s  min/mile

I started my run in the pouring rain but feeling pretty good. My legs felt fine. I grabbed some Gatorade at the first aid station. About a mile into the run I got a stitch under my ribcage on the right. I tried the forced exhale, pushing on the spot, the exhale with the right footstep. I walked up a big hill. I ran slower, I ran faster. Nothing was helping. Just before mile 5 at an aid station I took pepsi... then I stopped to use the portapotty..when I pulled my shorts down I pulled on my race number and ripped it off on one side. Ever try pulling up soaked shorts when your legs are soaked too... not easy. But I got them up. I come out of the porta potty and there are some volunteers at a corner just ahead. I stopped and one of them had a small jackknife so I made a new hole in my race number, reattached it to the belt and then off I ran. And the stitch was gone. I was feeling good now... running slow but running. We're now on a flat stretch along the highway. We cross the highway and get on the fairy trail which is, theme of the day, hilly. But nice, as it goes through a woods and is away from traffic. Then we cross over the highway again and run along another hilly sideroad. At about 15km we pass in front of the transition area and then run the last 5km on the golf course. And not only is this hilly but we now have to run on these golf trails that are slanted and some of it is gravel, some paved, and some brick. I have pretty much had enough of these hills and I started walking more of them. My pace slowed to 13:xx in the last 5m. But I finished the last km running and saw my hubby as I ran down the finish chute.
On this last 5 km on the golf course I heard a lot of comments from people. A few of my favorites:
"This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life"
"I'm never doing this race again"
"I'm coming back next year"
"This is a f---ing nightmare"
What would you do differently?:

I really slacked off on my running over the summer.
More miles, and train more on hills next year.
Post race
Warm down:

My hubby met me at the finish. Got my medal, my hat and my ugly race tshirt. Walked up to the resort and got a bag of food. The shuttles to the parking lot were taking forever so I got on my bike and biked to the parking lot to get the car, then came back and picked him up.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Despite my slow time I loved the challenge of this race. The venue was beautiful. There were hundreds of volunteers out in the rain all day and the whole area catered to the athletes all weekend.
I'm planning to do this race again next year.

Last updated: 2008-03-09 12:00 AM
00:47:40 | 2187 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 54/80
Overall: 1084/1299
Performance: Good
Suit: Full wetsuit
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:38
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:59:12 | 58 miles | 14.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 58/80
Overall: 1153/1299
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: HILLS, HILLS AND HILLS. AND SOME WIND !! AND LOTS OF RAIN !! Did I mention the hills??
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:22
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:39:40 | 13.11 miles | 12m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 56/80
Overall: 1096/1299
Performance: Below average
Course: HILLS.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-09-15 11:09 PM

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Subject: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

This weekend was awesome. Met some BTers, had lots of fun and really challenged myself.

The city of Huntsville and the whole area really catered to the athetes.  The place where we stayed was full of participants including some from wisconsin, iowa and florida. This would be a great destination race for anyone.

Met and spoke with a few people afterwards who said this race was the hardest course they've ever done, including several Ironman finishers who thought it was tougher than ironman canada.  .

Edited by cathyd 2008-09-15 11:19 PM

2008-09-16 6:44 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

Great report Cathy... I'm so glad to hear that you made it through the day. My thoughts were with all you racers on Sunday. That wasn't the best weather to be racing in.

Congratulations on finishing... and with a smile.

BTW... HSBC's Bracebridge 1/2 Iron distance race is quite hilly too (on the bike) but the run is beautifully flat... only one small hill. I'd recommend that race if you like the beautiful area, but don't want the hilly run afterwards.

2008-09-16 8:11 AM
in reply to: #1676370


Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

Cathy! This is my first post on this site but I couldn't resist replying because I remember you pushing that bike up the hill and I wanted SO badly to do the same! Great report, I think your experience was very similar to mine except that you were passing me up the hills for sure.My quads are still aching.

Anyway awesome job!!

2008-09-16 8:34 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
Great race Cathy. Sorry that I did not get to meet you.
2008-09-16 11:36 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
Great race and report Cathy. You got 'er done and they can't take that away from you. Good job on a tough course.
2008-09-16 6:54 PM
in reply to: #1676370

Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
You did it you did it!! I'm so impressed. Good job, Cathy!

2008-09-17 9:37 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

Thanks everyone.   It was really a great race with fantastic crowds out in the pouring rain cheering us on.   I'm hoping next year the weather will be a bit nicer.   Lots of pics now in my album.

My legs were stiff on Tuesday but feel almost normal today.  I'm heading to the pool for an easy swim, though I don't think I'll run until tomorrow or Friday.

Edited by cathyd 2008-09-17 9:38 AM
2008-09-17 11:05 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
Great race! From the sounds of it, it was a tough one. Way to stick it out to the finish!
2008-09-17 11:29 AM
in reply to: #1676370

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Extreme Veteran
Orangeville, Ontario
Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
Great Race Cathy!

You persevered on a very tough course.

Maybe see you next year?

2008-09-17 2:04 PM
in reply to: #1676370

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Extreme Veteran
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

Great race Cathy, it was indeed a tough course but we did it!  I will post my RR a little later but I can tell you for now that even though my legs were feeling great after the bike and my nutrition was going as planned, I began experiencing sharp pain at the base of the neck at the 10k mark and it was shooting straight to my head at times.  Tylenol didn't help and I ended up walking a good chunk of the last 7k.

It was nice meeting you and your husband this weekend!


2008-09-17 4:50 PM
in reply to: #1680286

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Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3
Nats - 2008-09-17 3:04 PM

Great race Cathy, it was indeed a tough course but we did it!  I will post my RR a little later but I can tell you for now that even though my legs were feeling great after the bike and my nutrition was going as planned, I began experiencing sharp pain at the base of the neck at the 10k mark and it was shooting straight to my head at times.  Tylenol didn't help and I ended up walking a good chunk of the last 7k.

It was nice meeting you and your husband this weekend!


I thought you must have had some issue on the run.   I know when I got off the bike I was pretty stiff in my upper back/neck.  My legs also were fine on the run, I just need to get some mental toughness to keep running when everyone around me is walking.

I think we all did great.  Can't wait to do it again next year !

2008-09-17 4:52 PM
in reply to: #1679779

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Subject: RE: Muskoka Ironman 70.3

I'll be there next year.  

We tried to organize some BT get togethers this time, maybe we'll do a better job next year.

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