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Subaru Ironman Canada - Triathlon


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Whistler, British Columbia
Canada
27C / 81F
Sunny
Total Time = 15h 23m 7s
Overall Rank = 949/1404
Age Group = Male 50-54
Age Group Rank = 79/138
Pre-race routine:

Ironman Canada 2017 Race Report

Prep – I drove up to Whistler with my friend and cycling pal, C, twice in the month prior to the race to get a feel for the bike course, as it is well-known as a very challenging one. And I am so glad that I did.

I had done what I thought was a fairly well-thought out preparation for my first full-distance event, but was uncertain as to just how much of a challenge the Whistler bike course would be, and whether or not the cassette on my old, 2003 Cervelo P3 would offer the required gearing. After our first trip up, where I rode pretty much all of the first 50 or so km of the course (starting at Alta Lake, out to Callahan and up the Callahan climb, then back to Whistler) , I decided that more gears would be a wise choice :)

I had the LBS (thanks to Velocity !) replace the RD with a new Sora long-cage RD, and an 11-32 9spd-cassette. On the second pre-race trip to Whistler I rode from Alta Lake out towards Pemberton, and then back up the looooong climbs to Whistler that I would have to face at the end of the 180-km bike portion of IM Canada.

As it turned out on race day, I learned that one can never really do too much bike training in prep for ones first IM :) Additionally, about a month before IM Canada, I began to get a bulging in the posterior of my left knee, which I have had several times over the past 30 years as a result of meniscus damage. This limited my run training to zero over the last few weeks of my build, as I hoped that taking time off from running would permit enough time to heal sufficiently to be able to get through Whistler pain-free. This also meant that I was going into my first full-distance tri with only a few long runs of 20 km, but a fairly consistent low volume build following the rather well-known BarryP run plan.

I basically used the free BT RPE-based IM plan for ideas on volume etc, followed the BarryP idea for run consistency, and tried to get my arse to the pool as much as I could over the 6 months leading up to the race.

We arrived in Whistler on Friday afternoon, got keys to the condo, went to package pickup, then settled in the condo. The condo was RIGHT in the middle of everything, about 100m from the IM plaza, and within a stones-throw of the supermarket and liquor store – very convenient. We had dinner with members of C's tri group, and it was fun to meet them all, and to make some friends. A quick trip to the lake after dinner to see the T1 area was nice, as several members of the tri club gave me some tips about what to expect on Sunday, and we got to see a black bear strolling along the RR tracks just outside of T1!
Saturday was all about getting gear ready, getting the bikes and Bike Gear bags to T1, which is at Alta Lake, several km away from T2 and the finish zone in the heart of Whistler. We did have to wait about 20-30 minutes for the shuttle bus to take us back from the lake to the village on Saturday afternoon, but it was better to be in an air-conditioned bus than walking back. Dinner at the BG Urban Grill was good and reasonably-priced, and then a last minute check of gear and logistics before heading to bed early.
Event warmup:

I was up at 4:30 and had a light breaky of toast with jam, a banana, and a bottle of water/redbull/malto for carbs and caffeine:) After dropping off Run Special Needs bag to T2 area and getting body-marked, I caught the shuttle bus to the lake, where I put my nutrition bottles and flat kit on my bike, checked to make sure the tires were good, and then I got into my wet suit. I opted not to get into the water for a warmup.
Swim
  • 1h 12m 53s
  • 3900 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters
Comments:

The swim start at Whistler is a self-seeded rolling start, so I seeded myself in the 1:15-1:30 group, as I believed that I would be comfortable and able to swim at or under 1:30, and hoped to complete the swim in 1:20. The gun went off for the Pro-Women, and after several minutes it was announced that the AG wave was about to start. I had already put my earplugs in, so was unsure as to what was being said over the PA, but figured I would know when it was time to start :) I had my goggles up on my forehead after making sure they were clean (I had previously applied anti-fog coating) and was ready to go. I had my trusty Timex watch to time the swim, and planned to start it just as I hit the water,,but as I waded into the water, and carefully placed my goggles on, they were ALL FOGGED UP. WTF... SO I quickly wiped with my finger and without losing a step, I glided headlong into my first evvvver IM.
The swim was a joy, and I was easily swimming, and confident, and took my first glance to sight, and caught a mouthful of water. Cough, cough, and from there onward, I had no issues, other than a bit of drifting off of my intended line. I was passing people, and feeling at ease, and HOPED that I was not over-swimming my ability due to nervous energy, but as we rounded the first of the large red turn buoys, and I touched it just...because... and continued swimming at ease and passing people... I really hoped I was having a good swim. I realized that with the goggle issue at the very start, I had not started my stopwatch,,, Soon, I was onto lap 2 and it was not until the last 1/2 of the second lap that I caught up to swimmers who I felt were going at my pace. I found some feet and stayed with them, until... the swim was over. Just like that. (I ought to mention that during the last 15 min or so of the swim I began to feel the need to ...pee. I tried, as I had read so many times of people dealing with this prior to hitting T1, but I just could not..)
What would you do differently?:

not allow goggles to get fogged while on head waiting to start,
seed a little higher up the line
Transition 1
  • 07m 23s
Comments:

I hit the beach, got the suit down to past my shoulders, and volunteers then helped me strip off the suit while I held my shorts at the top to prevent any embarrassing and disqualifying situations, and then got my gear bag from the neatly-arranged rows, headed to the change tent, found a chair, and quickly got my helmet, tri-shoes without socks, sunglasses, and sunscreen. I screwed up the sunscreen, as I missed the spot on my lower lats/just below my armpit/shoulders at the back, and got burned. I hit the porta-potty for a pee, then off to get my bike and go. No issues with T1.
Bike
  • 7h 42m 4s
  • 178 kms
  • 23.11 km/hr
Comments:

Having ridden at least part of the course previously, and being a newb, and being ...old, I knew that conservatism would be key to my survival. And that is how the bike ride went. Lots of people passed me, and then I passed some of them back as we got to a hill, and after the climb they took off again, and then I caught up … and so went the day . I made sure to drink, eat, and enjoy the experience, thanking volunteers along the way. I had used Gatorade, maltodextrin, and sometimes cola, in my bike training, so went with that at Whistler. I had planned to make up a concentrated bottle of G'ade and malto, and had that on the downtube, and water in the Profile Designs aero bottle on the aerobars. The problem with this was that it was just tooooo thick to drink, and I ended up getting really sick of having to suck on the bottle to get the carbs, and then drink from the aero bottle, so, I wound up ditching that part of my plan, and just went with Gatorade in the aerobottle, and grabbed a water bottle when I wanted it, which I gulped down, or added to the G'ade. This, with the banana pieces, and clif blocks, kept me in good shape. Next time, I would ensure that the bottle was a much easier-to-squeeze one...

I stopped at a porta-potty once on the ride, about the 90-km stn, as there was NO way I was going to pee on myself :)
I did stop very briefly to let a support-car driver know that a rider a few km back needed a tubular tire, and was saddened during the climb up Callahan to see a female rider down, with medical support, on the opposite side of the road. I hope that she was not seriously injured.

The ride was very hard, and if I do this race again, I will put in more miles in training. I would like to break 7:00.
At the pre-race briefing on Saturday morning, the announcer explained the #DSDQDGU at the bottom of the powerpoint shown on the big screen – It meant Don't Stop, Don't Quit, Don't Give Up... and I verbally repeated that throughout the day :) During the last 30-40 km of the bike, there are some tough hills coming back toward Whistler from Pemberton, and riders in places were getting off their bikes and walking. I said to myself, Don't Stop, Don't Quit, Don't Give Up...
What would you do differently?:

more training :) Actually practice the super-concentrated fuel plan - but I did have the back-up plan already in mind.
Ensure full coverage with sunscreen
Transition 2
  • 07m 17s
Comments:

T2 was slow, but without issue. I walked in my bike shoes, got my Run Gear bag, and went into the tent, where I had no problem finding a chair. I had decided that I would just wear tri shorts and a tri shirt all day, to make things simple. I did put on socks for the run, put on my shoes, grabbed my new Headsweats visor, sunglasses, race belt with bib, and a ziplock with Ibuprofen. The ibuprofen was recommended by my friends, and I am glad I did take some with me. I got some more sunscreen, and shuffled off on the longest run I have ever done.
Run
  • 6h 13m 30s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 08m 51s  min/km
Comments:

The plan was to run easy to each aid stn, and walk for a minute to ensure a rest, and much needed fluid / calories. However, after the first stn, I ended up running 4 min-walking 1 min. Which worked well for the first 10 km or so, and ...then the pain from ITB started...I was thrilled that the knee issue I had dealt with in my training was not a factor during the IM, but I think my hips and glutes were weak and not working enough, leading to the quads doing it all on the grinds up the hills on the bike, and the ITB on both knees began to show their displeasure... I tried to maintain a regular run-walk, but as the kms piled on, the issue became more intense, and I was down to forcing myself to shuffle to the next post, or tree, or catch up to the person ahead of me, and then walk for a break... This was how the run was to be for the remainder of the day. I made myself do what I could, I enjoyed being out there, healthy and alive, and encouraged others. I thanked the volunteers and those who spent the day and night along the course cheering us all on, making even the slowest of us out there feel like rock stars! And, I enjoyed the experience of being outside in a beautiful place, on a beautiful evening, with many other people who were each having their own beautiful and challenging experiences.

Then, after a satisfyingly-long day of ups and downs, highs and lows, I was in the last kms of my first Ironman race, and even this late at night, many people were cheering for all of us, calling out our names, yelling, “You got this”, and the lights and sounds of the finish line were tauntingly-close. I knew that pride and vanity, and all the ibuprofen, would get me through, and I would complete the day running. The finish line was everything that I had been told, and everything that I had read, and more. Someone stuck out a hand to high-five, and others followed, and I was sharing the joy of completing something more than I had ever thought I would be capable of. I heard my name called, and then … You.. Are.. An.. IRONMAN . A young lady wearing a volunteer shirt started toward me, and I realized it was my daughter, in the moment of celebration, giving me not only a finishers medal, but a loving hug and a mile-wide smile. My friend C and her husband were volunteering in the finish area, and so was my daughter. I was tired, but energized, and quickly wrapped in a space blanket, and led off to get food and a pepsi.
Post race
Warm down:

food and drink , then off to condo for a shower and a beer

What limited your ability to perform faster:

More bike training, a few more long rides, and some rehab / strengthening for the glutes and hips. Even though going into this IronMan, I was unsure as to whether it would be a one-'n-done bucket-list event, as I crossed the finish line I was pretty sure that I would be back to Whistler for a rematch :)

Event comments:

More bike training, a few more long rides, and some rehab / strengthening for the glutes and hips. Even though going into this IronMan, I was unsure as to whether it would be a one-'n-done bucket-list event, as I crossed the finish line I was pretty sure that I would be back to Whistler for a rematch :)




Last updated: 2017-08-17 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:12:53 | 3900 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 38/138
Overall: 468/1404
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Helix
Course: 2 - loop rectangle, no exit between laps Self-seeded rolling start
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 07:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:42:04 | 178 kms | 23.11 km/hr
Age Group: 87/138
Overall: 961/1404
Performance:
Wind: Headwind
Course: IM Canada is known to be a challenging course, with some of its toughest hills and headwind on the final 30-40 km
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 07:17
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
06:13:30 | 42.2 kms | 08m 51s  min/km
Age Group: 85/138
Overall: 1005/1404
Performance:
Course: 2-loop course on varied terrain : packed gravel, and pavement / concrete
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2017-08-17 11:41 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Langley, BC, 'Wet Coast' Canada
Subject: Subaru Ironman Canada


2017-08-21 6:37 PM
in reply to: #5226493

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Subaru Ironman Canada

A huge congrats on your first Ironman!  Sounded like you executed your race plan perfectly!  That bike course sounded really tough--but also sounds like you're ready to take it on again a second time!  Congrats Ironman!

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