Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ironman #9!

Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report
Aug 18, 2013
Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Finally getting around to write up a race report.  Leading up to this, Ironman was very iffy with my hamstring injury.  At one point, it was looking like a swim/bike event for me.  But I stubbornly was not willing to give up and somehow managed to get myself in some sort of IM shape after starting running in June.  I knew I was not in optimal shape going into IM but I also knew I was capable of finishing it and that was my goal - I just wanted a finish!  No PBs, no amazing run times, just a finish!

Swim: 3.8km, 1:09:27

The organizers decided to do a wave start as oppose to a mass start and I was in the very last wave.  Good news for me as I did not have to deal with the craziness of the first half getting clobbered and head up swimming.  Bad news, because I like swimming on my own, I had room to do so and did not draft which probably gave me a slower swim time.  I felt great in the water and really had no contact for the whole 3.8km.  Unlike previous IMs, I did not feel tired at all and felt pretty fresh coming out of the water.  But I  am not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with my swim time.  I was hoping for something a bit faster.

T1: 6:10 Transition was long and I actually decided to skip the wetsuit strippers this time.  I found that I could get out of my wetsuit faster on my own then have the strippers struggle to get it off of me.  T1 was pretty uneventful.

Bike: 180km, 6:36:11

Grabbed Limey and got onto the bike course.  I knew this was not going to be an easy ride but I wanted to put out some good power output.  The first loop I was on target but I was losing some steam in the second loop.  I did not have to deal with much congestion which was nice but I did see some draft packs.  At one point to my surprise an official yelled out at me a warning after I got passed!  What?!  I got passed, did not attempt to grab his wheel in any way, and actually got out of aero during the pass.  Huh?!  Anyway, I tried to keep the power up during the second loop but the wind was pretty demoralizing at times and I guess I just did not have the proper training to lay down a good bike time.  I averaged 140W and my normalized power was 159W.  Not bad but not great.

T2: 2:56.  Transition again was uneventful.  Tried to get some extra nutrition in and onto the run course.

Run: 42.2km, 5:11:12

Oh the run!  Haha!  This was the big question mark???  My long runs consisted of a 15km, 16km, 20km, 22km, and 25km runs...that was it!  So I was banking on my mental strength and experience.  And that got me through to the end.  My poor hammy was not fully cooperating with me and was rebelling but I managed to ignore it for the most part.  I did walk more than I normally would but I was hurting.  At 16km I started to fall apart.  My hamstring started to cramp along with my adductor and my lower back. My muscles were seizing.  I think I was compensating for my hammy that my other muscles were rebelling too.  At that point I almost had a meltdown.  I started to panic a bit wondering how I was going to get through this.  I did a lot of walking at that point until about 23km when I decided to shut my brain and just go.  I was playing cat and mouse with one guy and we were giving each other encouragement when we passed each other.  When I decided to just go for it, I left him behind but when we saw each other in the out and backs we still gave each other encouragement which was nice and it helped.  So from about 26km on I tried to stick to the no walking in between the aid station rule.  I tried!  But at times I had to walk.  This run was a definite struggle and a mental battle but I did it!  One thing that kept my spirits up was knowing that I was faster than everyone behind me on the run since I was in the last wave.  Anything to make me feel better, lol!  In hindsight, I think I did a terrible job with nutrition.  I did not want gels anymore so I was solely running on coke, water, and Ironman Perform.  I really should have forced some gels in me.  This was one of my slower run times but I will take it!  At times I was getting disappointed with myself but I could not have expected more.  I had nothing to prove.

Finish: 13:05:54

Yay!  Ironman #9 done!  I did it!  Crossed the line and there was not a catcher immediately there.  So I ended up on my hands and knees on the ground! Haha!  Then people came running to get me.  My legs were cramping badly and I couldn't stand up.  So I got another trip to the medical tent, another IV but just needed one bag of fluid this time.  And my poor hamstring was in a lot of pain.  I was actually worried as to how much damage I did!  I wasn't feeling all that hot for several hours afterwards either.  Thinking back, I am pretty impressed that I pulled this one off.  I definitely gambled but I got through it.  And after my muscle pain subsiding, my hamstring really was not that much worse.  Probably my lack of training did not allow me to push as hard during the run protecting my hamstring in the end.

But let me tell you, now that I did this IM and got this long run in, and after my pacific coast cycling adventure (I'll blog about that soon), I now feel like I am actually IM ready and it was really hard to tell myself that was it!  No races! No IMs or half IMs this year!  Nothing!  That was my deal and I had to stick to it!  I was eyeing IM Cozumel too! Lol!  But NO!  I need to heal because I am ever so hungry now for next year!