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Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Penticton, British Columbia
Ironman North America
33C / 91F
Total Time = 14h 40m 26s
Overall Rank = 2019/2832
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 257/313
Pre-race routine:

Drove from Ontario to BC with family. All the usual rigaremole of check-in
Event warmup:

No warm-up needed. The weather prediction was for a HOT day so I'd have the whole day to get warmed up. I did soak my wetsuit in the lake a bit just to get used to the temperature.
  • 1h 25m 29s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 13s / 100 meters

Coming from a non-swimming background this leg of the race is usually my most stressful. Not this time. I was a little nervous before the start - but so were the 2800 other people. Once the gun went off I slowly walked in near in back 20% of the massive crowd and simply started swimming. I felt no nerves, stress or panic attacks. After all these months it was a relief to be finally doing this.

About 1000m into the swim my old nemisis returned - my right hand started going numb. By 1500m I was having to pull on my wetsuit every 60 seconds to get blood to my hand but it wasn't working very well. At 2000m I accidentally tore a huge hole in the armpit area while tugging on the wetsuit. It helped a little but my hand and arm were completly numb by the time I reached shore.
Sighting was easy - actually I did little sighting. There were so many people in the lake that I just followed the crowd. There was some incidental contact but nothing too rough (except for one a-whole who punched me in the head about at 2500m).

I was very happy with my swim performance in general, even though I probably lost two to four minutes on messing with the suit. My predicted time was 1:25, my dream time was 1:20 and my 'I'll still be happy with it' ime was 1:30.

What would you do differently?:

I need to address my wetsuit issue. I like the Desoto suit for shorter distances but the arm numbness can't happen again. I either need a bigger top, I need to cut the arms off my existing one or a new type of suit.

Transition 1
  • 08m 36s

I took it easy in T1. Forgot a towel so getting socks on was a pain.
Got the suncreen (good idea).
What would you do differently?:

maybe move a little faster.
  • 6h 31m 26s
  • 180.25 kms
  • 27.63 km/hr

I followed expert advice and took it easy on the first 65km to Osooyoos. That made climbing Richter's Pass a breaze. The heat started getting pretty bad for me, especially since I've been doing most of my training in the maritimes in 20C weather. I drank more than ever but I think I still got dehydrated becasue even after 8hrs. I barely peed at all. The suffering started just before the climb to Yellow Lake and the ride back into town (last 30km) was torture. I developed sore-spots on the soles of my feet under the pedal cleats and it took a lot of efferot to keep pedaling. The heat and exhaustion on Yellow Lake was the tipping point that caused my stomach issues that plagued the rest of my race.

My predicted time was 6:30, my dream time was 6:00 and my 'I'll still be happy with it' ime was 7:00.

P.S. To the genteleman named MALCOM (male 50-54 AG) who passed / fell behind me several times. I've no problem with guys weating man-kini tops but if you wear speedo bikin bottoms please don't let them wedge up your butt like a thong. The visual may have contributed to my GI problems later on in the run.

What would you do differently?:

Drink even more. I don't know how but I should have forced it in.
I dropped my chain tewice during the race - but never during training. I'm not sure why but I need to figure that out.
I stopped for 3min. at special needs to eat some potatoes and pretzells. That was not necessary.
Transition 2
  • 09m 14s

Slow. I was dizzy with the heat. Moved sluggishly though T1.
  • 6h 25m 43s
  • 42.16 kms
  • 09m 09s  min/km

The first 1km was rough but then I got some sort of rhythm going and was actually running. But after 5km the wheels started to come off the bus. My stomach had shut down. NOTHING was digesting. I could barely take in water. My stomach built up massive ammoutns of gas and I felt like I had to burp but couldn't. It was very uncomfortable and by 8km it stopped me from running. So I walked. I walked a lot. I walked 13km to the turnaround. Then I kept walking back. I was staggering and dizzy at this point. The heat and digestion issues made me worry I would end up a DNF. At the aid station around 24km I had to sit down in the aid tent. This was a good thing. The 10min rest settled my stomach enough for me to continue. I kept walking. The sun set and it started to cool. Around the 34km aid station I rested 10min again and my stomach really recovered. I was able to run again for most of the last 6km.
What would you do differently?:

1. Train in heat
2. Train more BRICs in heat
3. Drink more on bike
4. Jump in Skaha lake at around the 7km point to cool the body off. Then rest for 15min. That would have probably helped my tummy recover faster and I could have shaved an hour of walking off my time.
Post race
Warm down:

Found my wife and kids. Agreed to meet them in the exit area. Lost them. Walked around for 30min. looking for them. Swore I'd never do another IM again (recanted about 2hrs. later).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat and digestion issues. Need to train more to be better prepared for these.

Event comments:

Great race. I want to do this again but the next time I want to be really ready for it.

Last updated: 2011-09-06 12:00 AM
01:25:29 | 3862 meters | 02m 13s / 100meters
Age Group: 2019/313
Overall: 242/2832
Performance: Average
Suit: T1 Desoto
Course: IMC Course. Swim out 1450m, swim right 450m, swim back 1850m.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 20C / 68F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 08:36
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:31:26 | 180.25 kms | 27.63 km/hr
Age Group: 224/313
Overall: 1510/2832
Performance: Average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: This has got to be one of the most beautiful bike courses in the world. It was an absolute joy and I would love to ride it again.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 09:14
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:25:43 | 42.16 kms | 09m 09s  min/km
Age Group: 2312/313
Overall: 272/2832
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back to the south end of Skaha Lake at Okangan Falls.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-09-06 1:11 PM

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Rural Ontario
Subject: Ironman Canada

2011-09-06 2:38 PM
in reply to: #3674840

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Apex, north carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
I love that your avatar is the Campbells soup can.   I was a baby out there that the chicken soup wasn't Campbells.   Sorry you had such a tough go of it.  The heat was brutal.  I too thought about jumping in the lake several times on the marathon.  But hey, we did it.  You crossed the finish line and that is something to be very proud of.  Congratulations.
2011-10-07 2:31 PM
in reply to: #3674840

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-10-07 3:15 PM
in reply to: #3674840

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
way to go!!!!
TOTAL envy!
one of these years i'll get there....!
(& i know that when i do i still won't come ANYWHERE close to your times!)
even sick.
still killer!
& ALL the best to you and your family!
2011-10-29 10:50 PM
in reply to: #3674840

St. Louis
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Hey, great job!  I've been reading IMC race reports (thinking about it as my first IM) and all reports so far mention the heat.  How do you plan to address the nutrition issue?  I have similar issues at 70.3's and need to figure it out before a full.
2011-10-30 7:18 AM
in reply to: #3744001

Rural Ontario
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Hi ransick - IMC is a great 1st IM race. There may be easier IM races to start with but there is no better place for such a beautiful location, enthusiastic support and overall IM experience.

I still haven't figured out how to deal with the heat and nutrition. Getting more training in similar conditions is key. But for most of us that's tough to do if you have a family and career.

Looking back I probably pushed a little too hard on the bike the last 50km.  I had done 200km rides but not in mountains and in such heat. If I took it easier on the bike and made sure I drank more water I might have lost 15min on the bike and saved 1.5 hours on the run.  I also should have walked the first 2km to let me stomach settle after the bike and only then started jogging. I should have jumped into Skaha lake around the 7km mark to get my body temp. under control.

lots of things that could have been done but it all boils down to a good training base which will help you gauge what you are capable of doing on race day, followed by a smart execution of that plan.

Good luck in your first IM.

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