Last year after hearing how amazing the full Ironman was, I decided that this would be a perfect way to kick off my 2013 race season, so I signed up for the half.
Arriving in Mont Tremblant
was easier than I thought - a very quick flight into Montreal from Chicago and
then a 90-minute drive into Tremblant.
The drive was beautiful, which made the time fly by. The city of Tremblant is really cute, a
little ski resort with shops and gondolas. For this trip, I decided to go alone, but did know two other
people that would be racing. Thank
god, because I had to put my bike together for this one. Checked into my hotel and grabbed some
dinner and basically went to sleep.
Woke up Saturday and headed to the lake. The lake had been very cold up to this point, and if you know me, I am totally cold intolerant, so I was a little worried. The temps did warm up a little, mid 60s on Saturday, so I was happy about that. After my swim, I went out for a little pre-race ride on the bike course. Next, was back to my hotel to chill out. Bike check and getting my gear and nutrition ready for race day was next on my agenda.
Dinner was my typical pre-race dinner - chicken breast, sweet potato and some fruit. Simple and safe. Got to bed by 8:30, but didn’t really fall asleep until about 10 pm. Sleeping before a race has been difficult for me in the past, this was no exception. Waking up almost every hour, looking at the clock.
Alarm finally went off at 4:45 am and my pre-race nutrition started. 2 scoops of PhysioMeal, 1 fruit squeeze and 8 oz of Zico in a blender bottle. Easy and liquid - just perfect for racing.
Walked down to T1 to get my tires pumped and set up my bike and put my 3-hour bottle of Infinit on my bike and filled up my water bottle. Race nutrition is so easy this way, everything in one bottle plus water.
Then it was back to my hotel, thank god my hotel was so close to T1 and the finish. I chilled out some more and ate a Macrobar and then walked to the swim start.
The swim start was very pretty. It reminded me a little of the swim at Ironman Canada, with mountains surrounding the lake. While I was waiting for my wave to go off, I heard the temps in the lake dropped. Yikes, I thought - but then I just brushed it off. Nothing I could do. So, I got in the lake for my warm-up and got out and tried to stay warm on the beach waiting for my wave. Thanks, Elisa for making me get in. Soon enough it was time to line up and before I knew it, I was off. The first part of the swim was actually not bad. I found a good pair of feet to follow. I kept with her around the first turn and the second turn. After the last turn, going back towards the beach, I lost her and realized I drifted off course. UGH!!!! I don’t need to swim more than 1.2 miles. I was trying so hard to swim straight, but managed to swim left. Got back on course and finished the swim. I hit the sand and my watch and was disappointed with my swim time. I knew I would have to make up for this on the bike.
The run up to T1 was very long, about ½ mile, so my transition was super slow and I made one error, left my glasses on the ground so had to go back. Was super excited to start the bike, I really like climbing. This course had 3000 feet of it and it wasn’t super technical. Perfect for me. My goal was to keep my watts up and really hit the downhill portions hard and stay aero. Every 15 minutes I took a few gulps of my Infinit concentrate followed by water to meet my fluid needs. So easy, no thinking needed. I felt super strong and was going to push myself to see what I could do, so kept the pace up. After the last set of climbing, it was basically downhill for the last few miles. I zoomed back into transition and was ready to run. I smashed my bike goal, was super happy with it.
Got my run gear on as quick as I could and I was off. The run course is also on the hillier side. The first mile has a nice climb and then it levels off some. My shin and ankle were actually giving me some issues. It was painful every time my foot hit the ground. I never had this problem before, I was just hoping it would get better. So for the first 20 minutes, I took it a little slower. It finally started to work itself out, and I was able to pick up the pace. Nutrition was simple, my Infinit run formula in a flask, followed by water. The run course had a nice crushed gravel part, so my legs welcomed that. After the turnaround, I told myself to just let it go. I ran as hard as I could, trying to pass girls in my age group. (I never really paid much attention to this before; I guess I am getting more competitive.) Running back into the village was great, seeing all the people cheering, it really got me going. I crossed the finish line in 5:14, was happy with that. I PR’d, and passed my goal of 5:15, but was still thinking I could have done better on the swim and run. I guess that is why I keep going back, to improve myself and challenge my body. Each and every time I race, I learn so much about myself both on and off the race course and enjoy every minute of it. I finished 9th in my age group and won the bike split. I found out later, I had the third fastest bike split of all females, well except pros. Overall, I was pretty happy and know what I need to work on before the big day in August. After the race, I got to experience poutine (yes, I did actually eat a little) for the first time and explore Mont Tremblant and Montreal the next day.
I can’t say enough about this race and the town of Mont Tremblant. It was first class from athlete check-in to post race. Ironman rolled out the red carpet and the town went above and beyond in everyway for the athletes. I know I will be back and really excited that they will be hosting the 70.3 World Championships next September.
Total Time: 5:14
New PR by: 4 mins
Swim Time: 38:58 - ouch!!!!!!!
Bike Time: 2:34:26
Run Time: 1:53 - Need to work on that too!
A special thanks to Infinit, Zico and Ironman Foundation Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team