Monday, August 18, 2014
Race Report: Ironman Mt Tremblant
Final result was 12:54, just over an hour faster than my 2009 Ironman. Placed 1159 out of 2500 or so - cracked the top 50%. I'm delighted!
I'm not that delighted with the swim, though.
I started at the back of my wave and stuck with the wide line, trying to keep out of traffic. For the most part this worked out OK, didn't get any serious elbows.
The way out seemed to go on forever... I think the current was against us. As we got further out it got quite choppy. It didn't disrupt me too much, I was calm and felt smooth.
The way back felt easy, except the current was now pushing me away from the course. It was a constant struggle to keep near the buoys.
Still, I felt good, so when I got out and saw the time I was disappointed. 1:53! Last ironman I was at 1:35... calmer water but still. So at that point I was in 2217th place.
Transition to bike
Long run to transition, I wasn't that quick changing. Ah well.
The good thing about a bad swim is you get to spend the bike passing lots of people. By the end I had jumped to 1440th, almost 800 places! Fun.
Took me awhile to settle in. The first out and back had a tough headwind on the out, but wow was it fun on the way back! Used the aero bars a lot.
It wasn't that hot so I adjusted my nutrition plan to have more gels than sports drink.
The last 15km out and back of each lap is absolutely brutal. Steep climbs, get out of the saddle kind of stuff. At 75k it was tough, at 165k it hurrrrt.
Managed a 28.7km/h average over the 180km which I was pretty happy with, and felt good and strong right to the end. All those bike miles paid off!
Transition to Run
I was a bit out of it, almost forgot to change my shorts. Haste makes waste!
I felt really good as I started the run, again a tribute to my bike fitness.
But at about 7km I felt some knee pain. It got worse... it was the same pain as I had at the New York marathon that ruined my race... tight hip flexors causing hamstring overuse and tightening that pulls on the knee... bad! I stopped to walk and really worked on getting the glutes firing to give the hamstring a break. It never totally subsided, but didn't get any worse - whew!
The most diabolical part of this course is having to run through the finish area at the end of loop #1, only to pass right by and leave town again. It's gutting.
My second loop started out rough, miles were catching up to me. I walked the hills and aid stations, trying to get back on top of things. My head hurt a bit, I was worried it could be the start of hyponatremia (low salt) so I started grabbing chicken broth at the aid stations. Not sure if it helped but I definitely started to feel better.
I decided not to check my overall time... weird for me as I'm usually a slave to information, but I didn't want to pressure myself into a pacing mistake. I just tried to stay within myself and keep eating as much as my stomach would tolerate.
4:30 (6:24/km) - I'm pretty happy with that! I think it'll stack up well against the field, the ironman marathon is a beast.
The best thing about this race is the finishing area. It's amazing. The crowds are lined up all the way back through the village, the cheering is maniacal! So many people, you really feel like a rock star for those 30 seconds. There's no feeling quite like it in the world.
My last triathlon?
It feels like it. It's no secret I dislike swimming, and this result is about as good as it gets for me. There are other things to keep me interested, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking, adventure racing... I want to stick to things I really enjoy. Who knows, maybe the siren call of ironman will pull me back someday, it's big and special. For now I'm going to ice all that hurts and focus on other things.