Although it might be poor form, I did not have any expectations or hard and fast time goals for this race. Yet, make no mistake, I methodically and dutiful put in all my workouts for this race. However, this was a first time Ironman event (i.e., no prior times to compare), and I wouldn’t describe my training in preparation for this Ironman as enjoyable. This is rare for me.
Arriving at the venue was spectacular. I immediately felt a sense of comfort, possibly because it was a ski village. I spend a lot of time in ski villages . . . just usually not in the summer.
I was up at 4AM the morning of the race for my standard breakfast. I made my way to transition in the cool morning high 40F mountain air. I was excited. There was a lot of positive energy in the air.
Lake Tremblant was calm, yet very foggy as the water was much warmer than the air. I found it strange the no one was allowed in the water to warm up. I was impressed that the start area was very wide.
Canadian military jets overhead accompanied both the pro and amateur starts. Very cool! I lined up on the buoy line and before I knew we were running into the water. I swam on the far left/inside of the course and had mostly clean water. I did get kicked in the eye once, but other than who I nicknamed the “100 Man,” the swim was uneventful.
100 Man swam kayak to kayak or any other object he could find in the water, taking long rest stops. While swimming 100 Man could not hold a line, swam over everyone in sight and was quite fast, if you didn’t figure in his rest stops. I have *fond* memories of 100 Man’s black and red wetsuit as he only ran over me like 10 times.
I am always happy to exit the water, and felt like a put in a good effort. 1:13
The transition area was about ½ mile away, but the entire area was carpeted. Nice.
Due to the cool weather I elected to not wear a shirt under my wetsuit and but on a dry bike jersey (as opposed to my tri-top). The pockets of my jersey were pre-stuffed with my nutrition. And the choice of the jersey and arm warmers proved to be a good decision for me. I started the bike warn and happy.
The bike course was immediately tough. I spinned up all the hills of the first lap. But it was difficult to gauge my effort as the course was so up and down. Regardless, my plan was to go easy on the first lap of the two lap course and figure it out. I did not pre-ride or drive the course. I let a lot of people go on this first lap of the bike. And had prepared myself for this.
The first leg of the course was on a closed highway (1/2 of a divided highway was closed for the race) and it was fresh asphalt. In fact, almost the entire course was closed to cars AND was fresh asphalt.
The second leg of the course was through the town of Mont Trembant.
The third leg of the course starts with transition in sight and is kind of cruel in the fact that you are tricked into thinking you are about to turn around for your second lap or finish. This third leg is an up and down trip in the up the mountain. If you burn your matches here, you’re done. I again continued to spin up the hills and conserve. At this juncture I found myself riding back in forth with a late 50s woman on a pink and black bike. She was killing it. She had an IM tattoo and looked like a veteran.
At the start of the second loop, I got a quick peak at my family. That was cool. But it was now time to let it out a little bit. And speaking of letting it out a little bit, I peed about 4 or 5 times on the bike. I made a pre-race decision not to pee on the bike and instead stop. This was a first for me, but did not seem to be a problem (especially for my shoes).
I grabbed my special needs bag and pocketed a coke and a Snickers bar. This has become a stapled for me and the combo of the caffeine and sugar is a big pick-me-up.
I started with plans to build my pace. By the middle of the lap I was beginning to pass a lot of people. That was all part of the plan . . . and I think I even dropped the 50 year old chick.
The third leg of the bike course in the mountains gave me a lot of confidence as I was passing everyone in sight. I was spinning the uphills and hammering the down. After the race my speedometer read my max speed as 46 mph.
I came into T2, did a flying dismount and didn’t have any back or other pains as I made my way to the tent. I had a quick transition and slipped into my tri-top which was pre-stuffed with my nutrition.
I saw my family right outside of the tent and kissed my dog and wife, in that order, simply because that is the way they were lined up. 6:00
I really had to hold back at the beginning of the marathon as I felt pretty good. I got carried away a few times with dudes who wanted to run faster, but almost everyone who passed me at the beginning of the run, I retook them later.
I drank at every station and divvy up my nutrition into quarters. I started Coke just before the half as my stomach was a little upset. My gels of choice were (as always) Honey Stinger Gold; I love the little rush I get from the sugar.
At the half, because it was a two lap run course, I saw my family again. I knew the finish was going to be sweet in the center of the village.
It rained a little bit during the second lap, but it felt great. It was a long day in the sun and some clouds and light rain were just what the doctor ordered.
Miles 18 to 22 were tough, as they always are. My pace slowed quite a bit, but I otherwise felt strong. At mile 23 I started to feel better again and my pace picked up a bit.
The finish was awesome and I felt better than at the finish than any other Ironman. 3:50. 11:20 Total
After a shower and some dinner I fell asleep, fully intending to go down to the finish line just before midnight. Something that I really like to do; but I woke up at a tad before midnight and did not make it down in time. That was upsetting.
All in all I was happy with the result. I would have preferred to break 11 hours, but given that this is a tough bike course, and I think I managed it well. I was happy.
However, right now I am completely Iron-ed out. I will not do an Ironman next year, although I will likely do some HIMs and Xterras. I also need to finish a 100 mile MTB race.