Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Penticton, British Columbia
Ironman North America
15C / 59F
Total Time = 13h 50m 35s
Overall Rank = 1917/2732
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 301/370
Pre-race routine:

This was going to be a very different experience. I was spending the week with Highwaydog who, although not racing, was very much part of my preparation. Pre-race routine included plenty of "Iron naps", some gentle runs every day before the race and some great company.
I was worried about a very tight neck after my short bike ride. I couldn't stay in aero too long, so I went and got a free ART massage at the race village. The Practitioner, was also a Chiro and although was not really allowed to crack my neck, managed to do so "quietly" ;) and that made a tremendous difference. I wasn't so stressed about it, and it never really bothered me during the race.
On race eve, we went to sleep around 10 pm. I had a couple of glasses of wine. Two Russian prostitutes, or perhaps mail order brides in very tight skirts quizzed us why we were still at the motel at that time. Highwaydog said "my buddy is racing ironman tomorrow and explained that it was 14 hours of swim bike run." One of the woman, who we will call Olga, as opposed to Svetlana, said: "that's crazy! You boys should be fcking for 15 hours...." Well, I thought to myself, If I wasn't racing in the morning; if I wasn't married and; if I had no standards whatsoever, this could have been an interesting endurance event. Instead I went to bed, dreaming of when I would take my nutrition.
Woke up just after 4 am. Had two hard boiled eggs, a cold microwaved potato, a roll with almond butter, an avocado, a small chocolate soy milk and a cup of coffee. No water. I've learned that water will get me peeing like a racehorse. In fact I stopped "hydrating" before dinner the night before the race.
Went to the bathroom in the motel. Put my timing belt/chip on around my right ankle and used two safety pins to keep it there.
Got dressed with the clothes I had laid out on the floor, after greasing myself up with glide. I took extra care to grease up my nether regions as I was wearing brand new tri shorts. My "tried" and true Zoots showed more of my @ss than I cared to show.
Just after 5 a.m., remembered my nutrition bottles from inside the fridge and my water bottle for pre-swim.
Highwaydog drove me close to race site, but wanted to get me closer and ended up dropping me off further off than I expected. It was all good, because the extra walking got me moving again and I made another trip to the bathroom in Gyro park. Of course my greased @ss made me slide off the toilet seat and I almost fell in.
Found a way into the racer's area behind the barricades on main street.
Checked and dropped of #1256's Special Needs Bike and Run bags in the designated boxes. Met some Regina folk as I got body marked.
Made my way into T1 and hugged and kissed Dirty Girl. She made it through the night well. Asked someone to borrow their pump. Good thing, my tires were at 80! (I had left them at 110psi.) It was 7 degrees overnight.
Put my two bottles (recycled gatorade bottles with 2.5 hours each worth of Perpetuum on the bike. (didn't use a third bottle this year). Water in the Aero bottle.
Wandered around a bit, talked to some of the peeps and had one more poop. Soon after the toilet line grew to about 70 people deep!
Put all my clothes in my dry bag and put it in the appropriate place and made one last check of dirty girl - and ensured she was in the right gear.
Put my wetsuit on and started walking towards the timing carpet...realized I still had my flip flops on. went back to the dry bag and put the flip flops away...yikes grass was cold!
Went through the start/finish chute and down to the water holding a powergel and bottle of water.
With about 5 minutes before the Pro start (20 minutes before my start). I ate the gel and had a big gulp of water.

Event warmup:

I had had some trouble with my goggles, so I played with them quite a lot in the water. I did some swimming, a couple of hundred metres. Peed a few times. Watched the pro start. Peed and swam again. It was cold. I didn't want to get out of the water.

  • 1h 22m 51s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 09s / 100 meters

I was feeling very good going into this swim, but I had no expectations.
I did something very different though. I started right at the buoys about only 40 racers back. When the race started I realized I was not in Kansas anymore. There were some freakin' fast swimmers.
Imagine a drying up, muddy river with muddy fish swimming over themselves to get their last gasp of water...this was the first 400 m. Washing machine nothing...I eventually found my groove, but I kept getting hit and punched and groped. There were 800 newbies in the swim, I think most of them around me. I did manage to get some good drafting in and I was never alone, always had tons of swimmers around me.
Goggles didn't leak - as I feared they would. Even though I got punched right in the goggle once.
Unfortunately, because of the current, when I got to the shallows, I found myself on the wrong side of the buoys and in the rocks. I had to walk gingerly through them rather than run...this could have been a good thing because I never cramped when I got to the strippers, even though, I ran uphill on the beach and through the chute.
What would you do differently?:

I have to get stronger in the swim. Taking 10 minutes off would be great. This year I took two minutes off.
Transition 1
  • 08m 33s

T1 last year was: 6:15
I felt like I was in there for ages. I got to the tent with about 20 other guys and quickly found that every seat in the tent was full. Lots of naked white bums...apparently, I learned later, lots of the volunteers had to help the racers dress because their fingers were so cold.
As usual, I took my time with my feet. I dried them very carefully. I had talcum in my socks and put them on carefully. Put my helmet on and my bike shoes. Put on race belt#1 and put on my rain/wind/ride jacket - my favourite piece of equipment that has probably been with me, even if unused, at every race.
This transition was slower than last year, but I really did not want to rush this crucial step.
Remembered my sunglasses, gave my bag of swim stuff to a volunteer and ran to the bathroom for one more pee.
Grabbed Dirty Girl and decided to take the direct route to the chute (I had two choices, one grass, the other asphalt. Ran gingerly on the asphalt, hoping that I didn't break a plastic cleat.
Got to the start line, jumped on bike and took off slowish. Almost nailed some @ss who was crossing Main Street illegally. He told me to Fcuk off for my trouble. Nice! Didn't let it bother me...kept my heart rate low.

What would you do differently?:

HTFU a little. Otherwise this was a good transition. Very crowded so had a bit of a run to find a seat. Also, my bike spot was way way way at the the back, so that must have added at least a minute to get to it, then to run back to the bike chute. Otherwise it was all good.
  • 7h 00m 32s
  • 180.25 kms
  • 25.72 km/hr

What can I say? 22 minutes slower than last year!
Strategy this year was to not put everything into the bike, so I would have something left for the run. Well I started slowly and let plenty pass me. After about 20k when I started speeding up, I realized that I couldn't really speed up because I was cycling right into a head wind. Got through that, then started hitting the rollers and hills. Never felt like I dominated the ride, but never felt weak either. I really felt the lack of epic rides in training this year made me a little weaker.
I passed plenty of people in the wind. Starcorp and I passed each other a couple of times on the hills. I hit 77.3 km/hr going down Richter. I think my slowest speed was 10k/hr going up Richter. My goal average speed was 28k/hr and I think I had that until I hit the hills, then I just slowed down.
Kept with more or less the same group in the last half of the ride. Kept up with Starcorp pretty much until we hit Penticton city limits and he went ahead. I slowed right down and spun a 95 cadence the whole way. I wasn't going to win the race here, but I could lose the ability to run if I wasn't careful.
Had a great ride into the city, much more comfortable than last year, but I didn't go any faster than 27k/hr. Got off the bike at the dismount line and felt very fresh. Hugged and kissed and thanked Dirty Girl and gave her to the
This was not my strongest ride, but it did not wear me out. The hills (and the cold and the wind) were a challenge - I spent some time zipping and unzipping my jacket - while riding of course, to deal with the heat and and cold. The ascents never really hurt me, even though I didn't hit them as strongly as I hoped. Solid, consistent riding.
Nutrition. During training, I realized that last year I had enough to eat for the ride, but not enough to get me through the run. This year I added more solid food. I had two 2.5 hour Perpetuum bottles plus a 3 hour bottle in special needs that this time was pre-mixed. The Hammer guy convinced me that it would not go bad during that period of time.
I also had 3 Hammer bars. A granola bar (my treat), two course gels - didn't eat mine, and about 5 big sips of Gatorade from bottles I got at aid stations and quickly chucked. I also had bananas every time they were offered and took about 10 Enduralyte salt pills and lots of water.
In special needs I had my third bottle of Perpetuum and a granola bar (another treat!)
Also took two Tylenol near the end.

What would you do differently?:

More epic training - rides longer than 6 hours.
More hill work.
More strength work.
Dirty Girl was great. But I need a faster bike - or at least race wheels.
Work harder on my run abilities so I can better use my bike strength.
Transition 2
  • 05m 59s

Last year did it in 6:17.
Keep in mind that this year I didn't use speed laces and had to tie my laces. Was pretty quick this time. Very efficient. Steady is smooth and smooth is fast.
Gave my bike up, ran as I took off my helmet. Yelled out the wrong number 1278...One of the volunteers got grumpy. I apologized. As I ran to transition tent. Found a chair quickly. Took off racebelt #1 and put on #2 - the one with 4 gels, asthma drugs, Endurolyte, Tylenol and Glide in it.
Tied shoes and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go a little faster...this was picture perfect for me.
  • 5h 12m 3s
  • 42.16 kms
  • 07m 24s  min/km

I am so pleased with this run. I made a plan and I stuck to it. It was not exciting, just consistent. Didn't stop and talk with anyone. I just ran. Did a lot of thinking. My body performed well, like I had just started running and hadn't just been on a bike for 7 hours. Saw some familiar faces on Lakeshore and that made me smile and cheered me on. Took a sponge and put it under my shirt between my shoulder blades. Replace it a couple of times. It was great.
I had to laugh when volunteers kept saying "you are almost there, you will be an Ironman..." Most of the mileage markers were in miles, so I spent a long time trying to do the conversion to Kms..that kept me distracted. at about 5 miles, I stopped for a pee and Starcorp passed me - which is amazing because he hadn't run for more than 30 minutes since June! I had a brief convo with him as we ran together. I pulled ahead. He caught up to me several times again at the aid stations where I walked. I never saw him again after the turnaround.
All throughout the race there were great volunteers...super volunteers and great spectators cheering.
There were these three guys. They were wearing grass skirts, wigs and shell bras. They were everywhere. I don't know how they got around the course so quickly and easily. I saw them early on the bike course and run course and I saw them as I approached the run turnaround. They went out of their way to say your name, catch your attention and make you smile.
I got to my special needs bag. Bag of chips. Bottle of water (learned last year that salt and vinegar chips without liquid is a bad idea (aid station was up the hill)) and some mint Certs - Jason's most excellent idea to freshen the mouth.
I had some chips and gulped some water and threw the water away at the last chance garbage drop. Still had the bag of chips as I approached grass skirt/shell tits guy. He said "Terry...why are you carrying chips?" I said: "I brought them for you". He said "Really? Wow you rock. Hey everybody, Terry is the greatest, he brought me chips....he's the chip giver..." and I could still hear him as I ran away...I encountered them again on Lakeshore in the final K and he yelled: "Hey, everyone, that's Terry the chip giver, what a super guy!".
the rest of my run was uneventful as it started to get dark. A little slow, but consistent. I noticed there were boil water advisory signs everywhere...hmmmm.
Entering Penticton City Limits was a real let down, because there were still 5 or so miles to go before the end....and the end was terrible too because you come so close to the finish, then you have to run away from the finish chute only to turn around and come back.
With about 1 k, there were so many people on the road in the pitch black it was like some kind of zombie movie, it was fantastic!
Stuck to my plan and I even picked it up a bit, although at the top of main street I walked a little bit more than I should have. But I smartened up pretty quickly and increased my pace.
Once I got to Lakeshore, I saw Highwaydog and gave him a hug. I gave him another hug on the return trip on Lakeshore as I headed towards the finish chute. I could not believe that the clock said 13:50....I started my kick and my hamstring cramped! I hopped, limped and jumped and made it in. I felt so strong I wanted to do something interesting. I grabbed the banner and jumped...of course one of the little girls holding it didn't let go and I ended up turning around in mid air, going through the finish line bum fitting for my last of three IMCs for a while!
Auspicious even!

I had four gels with me, only took one. Took mostly course food. Started with Pepsi right away. It is like rocket fuel! Had chicken soup. Some crackers that I also had almost killed me because I forgot to take water and dried up completely and could barely breathe. Took about 8 Endurolytes and 3 Tylenols. And of course the magic Certs! And water too. No Gatorade.
Tri shorts were great. No chafing. Tie up laces were 100 times better than the speed laces.
Had my jacket tied around my waist and my cold weather, longsleeve shirt tied there too after I picked it up from special needs in turnaround.
What would you do differently?:

This run was perfectly executed. I'm ecstatic.
I have room for improvement, though. I can run faster if I train on more hills and more speed work.
I also didn't do anything longer than 27 k after doing my Marathon in May. That might have helped a bit.
Had plenty of energy.
Post race
Warm down:

First Wife wasn't with me this time, she had to work and First Born's birthday and Second Born's first day of high school. Highwaydog was. But he didn't have access to the finish line. Some well meaning older woman grabbed me as I crossed the line and would not let me go! No matter how much I pleaded. I finally convinced her (as I promised to clutch a fence) to get me a blanket. I was freezing.
I eventually got away after they removed my chip. I had some really dry bagel (and had to get help to open a can of ginger ale - try asking for that with dry bagel and peanut butter in your mouth! Got a slice of pizza and sat and chatted with some of the boys.
I then got my dry stuff on, grabbed Dirty Girl. Called Highwaydog and found him. We drove to Tim Hortons. And in a very fitting way to end my Ironman season, we had donuts....after I made all those donuts!

Sleep was golden. My two middle toes wear sore. I wore compression socks to bed and for the next three days and other than some tightness and the smirks of others on the 15-hour drive back, I felt great!
Had a Guinness by the pool!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

More training on the run and the bike...but the run was perfectly executed. I have no complaints. I would have liked a faster bike, but the weather conspired against me. If I had the same ride I did last year I would have come in at 13:30...but I probably wouldn't have had such a good run! You can't second guess these things. I'm very happy!

Event comments:

This is the last Ironman Canada I'll do for some time. I've now done three and it is time to move on to some other challenges and take a year focussing a little less on training and more on family.
I am very happy by the results. I am also thrilled by the "mantrip" that Highwaydog and I had. It was a super experience, one that absolutely made this a great race that I will not soon forget.
I am a 3X Ironman and The Chipgiver!

Olga and Svetlana left the day after the race without incident or further graphic imagery.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-24 12:00 AM
01:22:51 | 3862 meters | 02m 09s / 100meters
Age Group: 316/370
Overall: 2089/2732
Performance: Good
Last year I did 1:25. I was very relaxed and was very aware that my pulse was quite low. I wasn't as excited or apprehensive as I was in previous years.
Suit: Orca
Course: Triangular, clockwise course around two houseboats and back to beach. Morning started out perfectly calmly, but during the final 1000m the wind picked up and a current started pushing me off course - towards the pier and the rocks. Had to keep correcting.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 18C / 64F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:33
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
07:00:32 | 180.25 kms | 25.72 km/hr
Age Group: 317/370
Overall: 1972/2732
Performance: Below average
Last year did this in 6:38:47 Took my time to put the power down, tried to lower my heart rate for about 10k out of the T1. Had some trouble pushing very hard. Got a little bored. New shorts (Sugoi Ironman Canada) performed perfectly! No crotch issues. Dirty Girl was fantastic and never let me down!
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Ironman Canada Course including one short steep climb in the first 20 miles then Richter Pass climb and Yellow Lake in the 2nd 3rd of the ride. A lot windier this year and the road surfaces seem to have become worse. I thought I was riding in Saskatchewan! Some of the sections were wet. I got hailed on a little and rode through some rain. There was also significant headwind and side gusts and a head wind going up to Yellow Lake. Climbing both hills I was surrounded by spectators as in the Tour the France...They were everywhere. Very cool. Including the guys with the grass skirts and shell bras.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 70
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:59
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:12:03 | 42.16 kms | 07m 24s  min/km
Age Group: 280/370
Overall: 1827/2732
Performance: Good
Last year was 5:46:02 My run strategy...after the not killing myself on the bike...was to walk the aid stations and the hills. I learned at GWN half, where both my quads locked up with cramps, that I can keep running, albeit slowly, through anything - when I don't push too hard or try to run up hills. So that is what I did. I ran consistently. Got passed quite a lot, but then started passing others...that was a thrill. Only walked at aid stations and hills, except for after turnaround I walked the whole distance between two aid stations...this was mostly hilly, but I had run what seemed like a stupid fast 5:30 pace just before that because I felt so good. Heart rate never felt like it spiked - I was running on RPE (perceived exertion), didn't have belt on. It was a perfect day for a run. About 20C, a little humid, not too sunny and a light breeze.
Course: Out and back from Penticton to OK Falls. I know this course well. It is hilly and interesting. But long!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4