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Ironman Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 9h 56m 11s
Overall Rank = 71/2306
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 12/269
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:45 and breakfast of cereal, bagel & some coffee and OJ. Shower after breakfast and sunscreen on. Headed down to transition, only 3 min walk from hotel, to get bike set and inflate tires. Back to hotel to drop off pump, give Katie and baby Jackson a kiss, then off the the swim start.
Event warmup:

Got in 5-6 min of swimming before getting ready for the start.
  • 1h 06m 45s
  • 4200 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

This swim was about what I was shooting for. I felt pretty solid throughout the whole swim, catching some swimmers from the wave in front and getting a little draft off a few guys that came by from the wave behind us. I came out of the water feeling fresh and ready for the rest of the day.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much - this was pretty solid based on my training and non-swimming background.
Transition 1
  • 05m 37s

There was around a 400+ yard run from the swim-out to the changing tent, and I put on my sunglasses and helmet, grabbed my shoes and was out.
What would you do differently?:

A little faster - seconds would come to haunt me by the end of the day.
  • 5h 06m 43s
  • 112 miles
  • 21.95 mile/hr

Like the swim, I felt the bike was about what I expected. I was hoping to be a little closer to 5:00, but it didn't happen.

As the bike began, tons of people were flying by me. I consider myself a pretty strong biker and knew most of these guys would pay for these efforts latter. I let them go, sticking to my goal wattage of around 240. On the uphills I was pushing a bit over 240, with some spikes over 300 and a few close to 400. On many of the downhills I ran out of gearing and coasted for most sections over 33-34 mph.

The course is pretty hilly and there were a few sections where I could have done with more gearing. I went with a 12-27 cassette and was pushing 400 watts at near 50 rpms on a few short sections. Not exactly what I wanted, but those sections didn't last that long.

The first loop ended with a 2:33 split and I stopped briefly at special needs to pick up my 2nd concentrated bottle of Infinit. On lap two the wind picked up a bit, but I stayed very consistent and was able to split another 2:33 on the back half, coming into T2 right around 5:06 on the bike and a 6:19 overall time.

I saw Colin a bunch of times out on the bike, always a few minutes ahead of me at the turnarounds - he was looking great, and we often exchanged a shout. I came off the bike feeling fresh and pretty confident that a solid run was ahead of me.
What would you do differently?:

Slightly bigger gearing would have helped on the steeps.
Transition 2
  • 01m 43s

Decent transition - again seconds counted here, and I'm sure I could have been a bit quicker.
  • 3h 35m 23s
  • 26.22 miles
  • 08m 13s  min/mile

This was far from the run I was hoping for, but things started out right on plan. I took the first two miles at an 'easy' pace, right around 7:40, then settled in around a 7:30 pace for the next five miles. It was around the 5-6 mile mark that I began seeing guys coming back from the turnaround, and I realized I was around 12th in my AG at that point.

Once I reached the turnaround the grade was slightly uphill back towards the finish area, and my pace dropped to around 8:00 for the remainder of the first loop. I crossed the half-marathon point at 1:41, and hoped I could maintain that pace. On the run course I saw a few teammates, including Colin who was scorching the run. He was looking super strong, and I wish I could have borrowed some of that strength for the last half of my run.

Looking back now, I feel that my mental fortitude is what let me down. I simply wasn't able to click off the miles and deal with the hurt that was settling over me. Yes, I was hurting, but I don't have enough long-course experience to just suck it up and push on through. That is an area that I think develops with time and more base miles of training. I need to become a better runner at the same time to have a more solid run off the bike.

The second loop didn't turn into a death march, but the pace dropped to the mid 8's for the rest of the race. I passed a few guys in my AG, but needed to make a porta-pottie stop around mile 19. Up until this point I had peed 6 times on the run, but decided I didn't want to be 'that guy' who went #2 on himself. Inevitably, this added more precious seconds to the race, seconds which I would have loved to have back.

As I neared the end of the race I really didn't know how I stood AG wise. In the last 1/4 mile two guys from my AG passed me. I tried to hang with them, but they pulled away and crossed 6 and 7 seconds ahead of me, taking those last two slots for Kona. In hindsight, I obviously feel I could have gone faster and made up that microscopic amount of time virtually anywhere on the course or in transitions. However, the fact is those two guys wanted it more than me at the end of the race, and I salute them. Maybe I'll get another shot at Kona in the future.
What would you do differently?:

Be 7 seconds faster!
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line dejected. I had envisioned a jubilant crossing, but I somehow knew I had just lost out on my goal, and didn't feel at all happy. I sat down in the finisher area and began to cry. I saw Katie holding 4-month old Jackson and I went over - Jackson gave me a huge grin, which made me smile even though I felt like crap. We ended up going over the get my gear bags and then get my bike from transition before heading back to our hotel.

At this point I was still holding out hope that I could grab a Kona slot at roll-down the next day, but it wasn't meant to me. All four guys ahead of me grabbed the four spots that rolled down - I just didn't have that desire at the end.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mental strength was lacking - hopefully I'll develop that for future races.

Event comments:

As disappointed as I was with my overall time and placing, I have to applaud the volunteers, the town, and the whole staff that put the race on. It was a great event and I felt very supported throughout the whole weekend. Even though I didn't get a slot to Kona I was glad to see those who did at roll-down and elation that they showed was almost contagious.

Katie and I have decided that IM racing will not be in the cards for the foreseeable future as I want to be with Jackson and Katie on weekends and after work. Maybe one day I'll get one of those Kona slots, but it probably won't be for quite a while.

Here's a link to my blog post on those precious 7 seconds:

Last updated: 2012-10-12 12:00 AM
01:06:45 | 4200 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 57/269
Overall: 383/2306
Performance: Good
Suit: B70 Helix
Course: Rectangle - 13 buoys out to the turn around, a few to the right, then 13 back in.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:37
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
05:06:43 | 112 miles | 21.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/269
Overall: 0/2306
Performance: Average
Avg HR 142 Avg Power 232 Norm Power 242
Wind: Some
Course: Double loop with three out and backs per loop. Just a wee bit of climbing - around 6500 ft in all!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:43
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:35:23 | 26.22 miles | 08m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/269
Overall: 0/2306
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 148
Course: Two loops with a few out and backs - hilly on the first and second half of each loop.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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] 4

2013-08-20 8:17 PM

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Bedford, MA
Subject: Ironman Mont-Tremblant

2013-08-20 9:10 PM
in reply to: #4834874

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Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Wow man. That's a tough pill to swallow. Regardless I'll say it was a solid race and you seem like the kind of athlete and person who will move on and learn from this and do what you need to do I order to achieve your goals.
2013-08-20 9:22 PM
in reply to: #4834874

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Amazing performance Nate!

I'm in awe of your stats. great job!
2013-08-21 5:51 AM
in reply to: metafizx

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Great job Nate. Discouraging to miss Kona by seconds but an awesome result.
2013-08-21 8:21 AM
in reply to: #4834874

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Well done Nate! Things didn't go quite as you wanted, but you still had a very good race.
2013-08-21 8:56 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Awesome race Nate! I volunteered this year in the Athlete Food tent and saw a ton of emotion coming through that day. I am very confident that Kona will be in the cards for you someday, no doubt about it.

2013-08-21 8:59 AM
in reply to: 0

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
A great athletic achievement followed by a great race report. That must be frustratiing to be so close you can taste it and have it slip away. Do they give KQ slots to really fast 70.3 guys? Just saying maybe you can keep up the super speed on halfs and make it that way. Less hours training anyway.

I'm still tryinig to grasp how one can run a 3:35 marathon after all that swimming and biking, and not lolligagging the bike ride either.

Edited by reecealan 2013-08-21 9:00 AM
2013-08-21 9:45 AM
in reply to: #4834874

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
I'm sure you're still kicking yourself over those few seconds, but you put in a really solid performance out there, Nate. Although the final time is close to what you did at B2B a couple of years ago, this was on a much more challenging course (hills, no current). Hopefully when the dust has settled you'll be able to feel really good about the fact that you've come so far that you can rightfully feel gutted about coming so close to a KQ.

And if you're not going to be focusing on IM, think of all the other cool races that you can now turn your talents to.
2013-08-21 11:40 AM
in reply to: colinphillips

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Extreme Veteran
Acton, Ontario
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Hey Nate,
What an outstanding set of splits for the IM!
A good friend of mine (1st AG in M20-24) went 9:57, roughly the same as you. He has been dropping 20+ hour training weeks all summer and was hoping for closer to 9:30. It was dehydration that got the better of him in the last half of the IM marathon (lost 8 lbs and had to be checked out by the medics after the race)
I think your fitness dictates that all else being equal, you definitely are in 9:30 IM Tremblant shape. Execution on the run may not be entirely mental either. Just looking at your training logs over the last several months I would say you are one tough dude! Nutritional issues may have played a role in the run and simply made it physically difficult to run those 7:30 miles you were hoping for.
You have gained a massive amount of fitness from training for this IM, and it will stick around for a while. All the best, and I hope you jump back into the IM game soon!
2013-08-21 1:04 PM
in reply to: crmorton

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant

While the result with regard to Kona wasn't what you wanted, this looks by all other measures to have been an excellent race.  Clearly well planned, and you raced that plan - I can't even imagine how hard that is, so I think that is terribly impressive!

Your splits are terrific, as is the result - congrats on a great race!

Kona will be there waiting for you, and from your performance in this race, I'm sure you'll get there.  This was one DANG FAST race!


2013-08-21 2:12 PM
in reply to: #4834874

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Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant

Awesome race Nate.  Maybe not quite what you wanted, but your training has been extremely amazing this year.  Everytime I think I'm training a lot...I always think of your monthly totals...LOL.

I always say that everything happens for a reason.  I'm sure backing off between now and October and spending more time with your wife and son will be every much as rewarding as Kona.  There's no doubt you'll get there one day, and probably many more times.  It's just not in the cards right now...and probably for a reason.   

Look back at how far you've come over the past year or two...especially your swimming .  Be proud of this race, but at the same time use it as a learning tool.  Your best triathlon years are still ahead of you.

2013-08-22 12:00 AM
in reply to: #4834874

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Nate- That was a great race. Crazy fast!

Sorry to hear about the Kona slots. It looks like that AG was stacked pretty deep, and you never know who's going to show up.

You're a WC caliber athlete, but it just wasn't your day. .. whenever you race another IM, i'm sure it will be.
2013-08-23 1:06 PM
in reply to: #4834874

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Nate, Still a very stout effort.

You are too good of an athlete and have too good a work ethic to not have another crack at Kona in your future.

Take from the race the positives and leave the negatives in the trash, you will come back faster and better.

Maybe ill see ya at Patriot in 2014, all the best to you!!
2013-08-29 6:40 AM
in reply to: Rudedog55

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2013-08-29 8:50 PM
in reply to: #4834874

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Congrats on an amazing race.
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