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Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Penticton, British Columbia
Ironman North America
Total Time = 13h 43m 13s
Overall Rank = 1632/2588
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 75/127
Pre-race routine:

Felt very relaxed the day before. Almost too calm...wound down at about 6pm and then got into bed at 7pm. Slept well for about 2 hours, but then woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. Calmly laid in bed playing games on Chris's blackberry and reading Archie comics (lol). At about 10:30, I started to get anxious about not sleeping and laid awake til about 12am. Finally managed to doze off...I was so excited I felt like a kid at Disneyland on Christmas Eve.

3:30am – woke up and went for a light jog around the hotel to loosen up my stomach. Started eating at 3:45am. Ate: 2 applesauce, Vector cereal with yogurt and blueberries, english muffin, banana. Packed up, got dressed and then we were out the door at 5am.

Got body marked, set up gear, etc and felt relatively calm throughout the whole process.

When the opened the beach, I went out and found Chris and my dad (who had driven 8 hours to surprise me!). I felt a bit anxious, but not too bad. Did a small warm up swim, got my position for the swim (which was left-ish and near the front – right in front of one of the big buoys - PERFECT) and hung out in the water til the cannon fired. Beautiful Day by U2 blared as we started.
  • 1h 09m 12s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

I had a perfect swim. I felt great, I sighted almost perfectly, managed to draft a good bit, swam at what felt like an easy pace, breathed every 3rd stroke (which I only do when I am very relaxed), and really focused on getting distance per stroke. I remember thinking, “I might look back and think I could have swam harder, but just stay in your zone”. I bumped into a tiny bit of traffic, got clocked in the face once with a closed fist (?) but it didn't even phase me. As I exited the water and saw 1:08:something on my watch, I laughed out loud! Waaaay faster than I anticipated and I felt fantastic. Now no matter what the day gave me, I had a fantastic swim.

What would you do differently?:

Not a thing. Or maybe swam a tiny bit harder.
Transition 1
  • 03m 16s

Transition was fast and smooth, except for the fact that I got sent out of the change tent the wrong way and had to run back. Just put on helmet, and number and carried my shoes to the bike.
  • 7h 34m 37s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.78 mile/hr

Bike start was great! Lots of fans! I was in fast company though...all the aero-helmet guys were whizzing past me...just as I thought to myself, “Wow, I'm never on the bike course with guys this fast!” someone road past me and complimented me on my swim time. Had a really hard time getting my heart rate down. Kept telling myself its cuz I was excited and really spun easy, but couldn't get it to the planned zone. I was about 10 bpm higher, but RPE was quite low, so I just went with it. I got passed by about a million people (actually it turned out to be about 1300) but just kept telling myself to stay in the zone. Was right on track with nutrition and at this point, did nothing I hadn't done in training (except took a salt tab at the start of the bike, instead of after the first hour, since I'd been swimming for over an hour). After about 1.5 hours, I heard the dreaded “pop” and calmly did the whole rear-tire flat change that I am now a professional at. Had to stop a few times after to check since I was paranoid it wasn't holding air. Stopped at bike support, had them top it up. They gave me another tube and sent me on my way. Stayed calm throughout the process (or so I thought...though my HR spiked every time I stopped). For the first four hours, I pee'd every hour (which seemed like a lot) and I couldn't get myself to do it while riding (after all the practice in training, I got stage fright!). So, I had to stop and stand over my bike. Not a huge delay, but annoying. At about hour 3 though, is when it started to get ugly. Halfway up Richter pass, I got the most sudden, and intense abdominal cramps...something I have never experienced before. I knew it was not a good sign. I ignored it for about 30 minutes, but then knew I needed to do something, or it was only going to get worse. I racked my brain trying to think about possible causes. The only thing I could come up with, was the fact that I'd just started drinking the G-ade off the course (which I've done a thousand times before), or that I was washing down solid food with dilute g-ade (which I have also done a thousand times before) or that I took my first salttab at the start of my bike. I spent the remainder of the bike focusing on one to fix my cramps. They came in was like my kidneys were ceasing up or something. I thought for sure I was having something internal organ related go really wrong. So I'd change one thing every half hour and see how my body responded. Nothing seemed to help and eating made it worse. I reached about a 6/10 for thinking I might not be able to finish if I didn't fix it. I knew I needed to get calories in if I was going to survive the marathon, but my stomach wanted no part of it. I avoided the G-ade completely, and tried to take in food whenever I thought I could manage it. I was in such a zone, that when people were talking after the race about how hard the wind was, I literally had no recollection of any of it. My main goal was just to finish the bike and be able to run the marathon without walking. I had pepcid and other stuff in my special needs, but didn't want to take it, since I'd never done it in training (or EVER, for that matter) and didn't want to make things worse. I finished the bike still in good spirits considering my split was significantly slower than I'd hoped for. Lots of crowds and funny signs...
“Smile if you pee'd on your bike”.

What would you do differently?:

Avoided having stomach issues and a flat tire. :)
Or taken the pepcid....which I learned on the run.
Transition 2
  • 03m 50s

Transition – another quick transition and I even stopped to use the potty.
  • 4h 52m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 10s  min/mile

Run – first mile or two were ok, there was a lull in the pain so I thought maybe things were turning around. Saw friends, family and my name in the chalk on the road! Chris happened to videotaping me when I glanced down and turned around to look at the road where some of the Bters had written our names! Anyway, about mile 3 or 4 of the run, the cramps were BAD. So, I took the pepcid, knowing if I didn't do something, I wasn't going to make it. It was like magic. Thank you HEIDI! My cramps essentially disappeared and for the first time in many hours, I could think about something other than pain. My first half of the run was right on track for HR and pace. I was sooo happy that I was back on track! I tried to eat as much as I could, knowing that my half full bento box meant that I was pretty far behind the nutrition 8 ball, but didn't want to over do it. I took at least one thing at every aid station, hoping I could take in enough to get me through the last half. I felt pretty good until the turnaround. If someone gave me the choice between one full year of training OR running miles 14-23 again, without a doubt, I'd rather endure a year of training. Omg. It took every thing I had to keep running. My pace slowed alot, but I was dead set on not walking. Those 9 miles were indescribable. Gruelling...digging deep....wanting to quit. The lack of nutrition was catching up to me. My legs hurt, I couldn't focus, no one was talking, there were no crowds, you couldn't even SEE the city you had to run back to. It feels like a drunken haze when I look back at it. I took anything at the aid stations. Coke was my new best friend. My stomach didn't love it, but it kept me going. I kept hearing Jorge's race plan for me, “this could be the hardest part of the race” and something else I'd read, “no matter how you feel at this point in the race, good or bad, it's probably going to change soon” and that's what kept me going. Mile 23 we were at least back in the city...the crowds started to grow, though still pretty spread out. There were 2 different guys, with their medals and their families at the outskirts of town, where it still felt like you had a long way to go, cheering people on. They inspired me. So did the one old guy who said to me and another racer...”There are 15,000 people right down there on Lakeshore Drive waiting to cheer for YOU. And you deserve every second of it. They are just at the end of this WILL make it. Go and savour the moment!!!” He made me cry.
As we got closer and could hear the crowds and announcer, the adrenaline masked the pain. The last few miles definitely did not fly by, they still seemed looooong and hard, but the crowd helped so much. Right before the out and back on Lakeshore, I fixed my hair (as per Jorge's race plan,lol) but knew I had to do it while running, cuz if I stopped, I might not be able to start again. Down the last stretch, I spread myself out so there was no one with in 20 seconds on either side and then coasted through the chute. Indescribable.

What would you do differently?:

Taken the pepcid on the bike. :)
Post race
Warm down:

Did the whole "finisher photo, recovery drink, foil blanket, hang out with a catcher" thing and then called Chris. It all feels like a drunken blur. As I stumbled to the car, got calls from in-laws that had been watching on-line. Got back to the room, sat in a cold bath and drank a diet coke (I'd given up soda pop while training). Had no appetite, but ordered room service just in case...which I devoured when I woke up at 3am.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stomach issues hindered me.
Flat tire hindered me.

Event comments:

I'm pleased with how close I was to my goal time considering the issues I had and how much worse the day could have been.
Fantastic race, the IronCrew were AMAZING and the crowds rocked! Definitely worth the camp-out in line fiasco!

Last updated: 2007-03-11 12:00 AM
01:09:12 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 29/127
Overall: 606/2588
Course: One loop.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:16
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:34:37 | 112 miles | 14.78 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/127
Overall: 2204/2588
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: One loop.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:50
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:52:20 | 26.2 miles | 11m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 62/127
Overall: 1295/2588
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back. Relatively flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-08-28 8:52 PM

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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: Ironman Canada

2007-08-28 10:55 PM
in reply to: #945042

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Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Congrats on a solid IM Canada.  It was a windy day on the bike.  Way to finish strong!
2007-08-29 12:37 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Extreme Veteran
Champaign, Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Great report and excellent race!  Way to stick to it despite all the difficulties! 
2007-08-29 1:03 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Port Moody, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada, what a great RR.  You really got the feeling across for your bike and run, I felt like I was watching you go by on the road.  i think you haveto thank for the chalk outlines on the road, she did a wicked job.  What a great effort you made crossing that finish line.  What a swim by the way!  Are you putting on any clinics?!?!?  Way to go Ironman!!!! (woman)!!
2007-08-29 1:32 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Good job on the race, glad you fought hard til the end, congrats!!!
2007-08-29 7:45 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Awesome race report done by an awesome Ironman Triathlete.  Congratulations Carrie on everything you've achieved this past year.

2007-08-29 9:45 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Chilliwack, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Great Race!

Great Report!

Great job fighting the whole way!

2007-08-29 10:36 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Great job IRONMAN.  I think I saw you at the swim start, by the big black bouy.  Were you talking to another gal.

Ok it wasn't me that hit you on the swim, I was way behind you.  Great job of hanging tough with a flat tire and stomach problems...

  Super Race Report.

2007-08-29 10:44 AM
in reply to: #945042

Sydney Australia
2007-08-29 11:00 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Congratulations Carrie, I am very VERY proud of ya! You stayed focus throughout the day even when things got very tough and that by itself is a great accomplishment. You and I know you could have done a bit better but sometimes you have to make the best out of what the race throws at you (and sometimes it isn't fun ) Plus this was your 1st IM and I am sure it was a great learning experience for you.

We have now a few things to build upon and solidify your goals for IMCDA 08 (right?) Now rest, enjoy and have lots of fun with the hubby!

2007-08-29 11:11 AM
in reply to: #945042

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Pitt Meadows, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Congrats on finishing a very tough race!! You just nailed that swim, way to go! And way to tough the bike/run out and finish it strong!!

2007-08-29 11:35 AM
in reply to: #945042

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2007-08-29 12:26 PM
in reply to: #945042

Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Awesome journey!!!!!
2007-08-29 1:01 PM
in reply to: #945042

Cloverdale, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Awesome report Carrie!!!  I started right beside the big black buoy too (the one farthest from the peach).   I'm so glad you were able to pull it all back together on the run after everything you went through on the bike. 

2007-08-29 1:02 PM
in reply to: #945042

Extreme Veteran
Land of living sighs
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Awesome journey and inspirational Race Report!

I was one of the thousands cheering you on on main street and then on the lakeshore before the chute!

I'm doing this next year, so your experiences are wise words to me!

 Well done!

2007-08-29 1:21 PM
in reply to: #945042

Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Great result - well done. Really admire your grit and determination

2007-08-29 1:37 PM
in reply to: #945042

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Wow!! Inspiring RR!!

It's too bad I couldnt get up to Penticton to sign up for next year, but I'm DEFINITELY there for 2009.

Awesome job, you really pushed yourself and I just hope I can do the same when it comes to that point!

2007-08-29 2:28 PM
in reply to: #945042

Extreme Veteran
Lethbridge, AB
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

whoo hoo.. great race report and race!  Congratulations.

I'll remember the fixing the hair thing for my turn in 2009!

2007-08-29 8:52 PM
in reply to: #945042

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
You rock!!!! That swim time was awesome and can I say you have some of the fastest transitions I have seen for an AGer. And you gutted out the bike and run literally and figuratively

Congratulations and enjoy the glory! Welcome to a great family!
2007-08-29 11:53 PM
in reply to: #945042

Lethbridge, Alberta
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Awesome race Carrie! You've set a very high standard for tenacity and your report will certainly be part of my inspiration for next year. Rest well!
2007-08-30 12:46 AM
in reply to: #945042

Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Way to dig deep and make it through those tough miles on the run.  It must have seemed impossible at the time, but that's what makes you an Ironman! 

Congratulations on a fantastic race, and a great overall time for your first!!

2007-08-31 12:25 PM
in reply to: #945042

Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Congrats on a great race.  Way to stick with it and not give on to temptation.  I will have to remember the pepcid thing for my next IM!! 


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