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Ironman 70.3 Muskoka - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Huntsville, Ontario
Canada
World Triathlon Corporation
23C / 73F
Sunny
Total Time = 8h 10m 26s
Overall Rank = 786/847
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 29/33
Pre-race routine:

I have to start this report by describing my inspiration to do it. Last year I was toying with going long. I'm not fast but thought I could last and so the longer distance appealed to me but I was hesitant. I'd watch the 2008 Muskoka video clip ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3vcn-9yI_Q) with the powerful music and normal people doing something really amazing. Especially the 60year old woman who says "This is my 60th birthday present. Some people go on a cruise - I do 70.3miles." and so this year - I couldn't resist. I had completed my first 100mile century ride so I had the cycling volume base - I just needed to focus on hills and build the run/swim. Fast forward three months - training fueled by fear - feeling completely out of my element and I was ready to race!

I woke at 5:45am and smiled to myself as I listened to toilets flushing throughout the building...knowing racers were waking and getting ready just as I was. Ate two bananas and a carrot Cliff bar and slipped out while my family was asleep. Set up my transition, got body marked and went in search of NP (fellow racer I met at Cobourg). As we're standing in transition I hear a familiar voice and turn around and it's the woman from the video. I strike up a conversation and what an inspiration. She races with her son and her goal was to finish in 8 hours. Margaret ended up finishing in 7:46:45 in first place in her division at the age of 63!! Take a look at her photos and she's beaming in all of them.
Event warmup:

NP and I decided not to warm up. She was in the wave before me so we just got in our places and waited. I was hanging out in the water waiting for my start and trying to figure out where to go. Everyone seemed bunched up in the shallow area but this guy and I noticed no one in the deeper area so when they called a minute to start we swam over and treaded water until the horn went off. This proved to be a good strategy!
Swim
  • 45m 31s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 22s / 100 meters
Comments:

My goal was to finish in 45min or less.

I was having a great swim. I had to sight often as there was no one around me. My right arm felt a bit tired and I couldn't figure out why and then doh! Probably wasn't the wisest idea to pick up a tennis racquet the day before! But rounded the buoys and saw a few pink caps ahead of me and a lot of blue caps behind so was pleased. Towards the end I started feeling the familiar tightness in my right calf but was able to shake it off. Only once did I stray off course but caught it quickly and got back on track.

On the home stretch I noticed it getting shallow and got excited. Visibility was getting poor as the sedement was stirred so I reached down and stood but sadly I was still about 300m out and then my right calf cramped REALLY badly. Normally I can shake it off but this time every muscle - calf, shin, foot - from my knee down was cramped. I felt like a frog my leg was so cranked. I ended up stopping, rolled on to my back and tried to massage it out and just relax. It didn't help so I rolled back over and continued the swim. Sadly by this time I was surrounded by green caps from the wave behind.

The last portion of the swim was disgusting. I swam as close to shore as I could because I didn't want to put my feet down in the reeds but as I was swimming you could see big blooms of algae and weeds everywhere. When I finally reached the stairs I had grass hanging from my goggles!

What would you do differently?:

I haven't played tennis in over a decade - why I thought the day before this race was a good time to start is beyond me!! No clue about the calf cramp.

I met my goal but it would have been interesting to see what I could have accomplished had I not had the cramp at the end.
Transition 1
  • 08m 56s
Comments:

I've never used a wetsuit stripper so was a little apprehensive about what exactly I needed to do. Unzipped and went to lay down in front of a couple when this one woman slides in front of me like a baseball player sliding in to home plate! All the others were busy so I felt as though I was standing there for ages as they struggled to get hers off. Finally I just plopped down on my own and yanked it off. I was kind of annoyed by that and didn't even bother running up the steep hill out of transition to the parking lot.

I'm no where close to the podium so I only really care about my race times - I couldn't care less how long my transition time is. Probably not the most competitive approach!
What would you do differently?:

Be more aggressive and body chuck the woman out of the way... JOKING!!!
Bike
  • 4h 21m 36s
  • 94 kms
  • 21.56 km/hr
Comments:

Goal was 4 hours or less.

I'd attempted to ride the course twice over the summer. Once I accidentally rode it in the wrong direction getting as far as Baysville and then turning around. The second attempt was while South Portage Road was under construction - lots of loose gravel so again I rode it in the other direction. I'd done the stem of the lollipop - out and back - 3x before the race. I knew the hills on the way back would be tough and that I would be tired but I felt good in that I knew when to shift gears and how to prep for them.

Started the ride feeling good. Turned on to North Portage Road and at the first hill started to shift down and dropped my chain. I unclipped and pulled over to the side and it was stuck - REALLY stuck! I could not for the life of me get it out and meanwhile I was being passed by tons of riders some of which were asking me if I was okay. That athlete's guide freaked me out though so I couldn't ask for help - wouldn't I get disqualified? And it's a RACE! The beginning at that - how could I ask someone to get off and help?? My glasses were steaming up, I was covered in grease and I couldn't accept that I might have to walk back and then finally - I gave it one really hard tug and it was free. There were so many cyclists on the road so I had to wait for a gap to get back in and then I was off. I felt brutal - not exactly a confidence booster start! Used my wet shorts to clean off my greasy hands and prayed for no more issues.

Turned left on South Portage Road and just took my time on the bumpy road. Others seemed to slow too. I had no clue what this stretch was like but felt fine. Passed a couple of people. LOVED the downhill!

Then I started to notice a cramp in my side. This would stay with me until the 65km mark. I couldn't finish the Cliff bar I had started and at the bottle exchanges I switched to water. I forced a gel down every hour.

The highway stretch was long, boring and I'm not fast so I was passed by a lot of people. Happy that many of my age groupers didn't catch up to me until the 50km mark and I never saw them again. I couldn't help but concentrate on the annoying cramp. I had significant bike fit adjustments made the Wednesday night before the race (by a good fitter) in an effort to ease some discomfort on my foot - new stem, seat adjustment etc - so while I felt more in control and more compact, I wonder if that was the reason for the cramp. I train with music to drown out my whining complaining body so I tried to sing but couldn't remember the words to any songs so I hummed my happy song. Island in the Sun. hip hip

I promised myself that after I reached the top of the first hill on Brunel I would stop and stretch and so I did that and felt amazing. Cramp gone! I pressed the reset button and prepared for the hilly finish. The nasty short steep hill that I hate - it was funny to hear this one guy struggling and praying he would get to the top - a steady stream of curses coming out of his mouth. Some had to get off and walk up it and there was a girl stretching at the top. I was happy I was able to grind my way to the top.

I braked down Brunel and made the turn on Portage and geared down to climb and again... chain dropped and stuck. I had no patience this time and was rough and yanked it out. That sort of did it for me. I had been passed by a group and felt like the last person on the road. No strong happy finish!

Had I not spent the time on the side of the road dealing with the chain issues I probably would have hit my goal but I doubt I would have been happy with it.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe avoid getting a bike fit days before the race.
Transition 2
  • 03m 8s
Comments:

No clue why but I turned down a different lane thinking it looked shorter and then couldn't find my bike ? Otherwise uneventful.
What would you do differently?:

Just follow the same path back that I used to head out!
Run
  • 2h 51m 17s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 05s  min/mile
Comments:

I ran across the mat and ducked in to a port-a-potty to try and wash the bike grease off my hands. I gave up after what seemed forever getting the water to pump. I don't know why they didn't have these in transition so that was factored in to my run time.

I set off and felt GREAT being able to stretch out. No foot pain woo hoo! At the first aid station I checked my pace and I was doing an 11min/mile which was A-okay with me. My goal was to finish in around 2:30 but thought it might take a little longer.

Hit the highway and noticed a small cramp starting in my lower left quad. I'm not a runner and really don't know what to do in such situations so I did everything - stretched, walked the station, drank water, Perform and took a gel. I watched the runners on the trail opposite and there were a lot that were walking eek! By the time I got off the highway both quads were cramped and painful.

I walked all aid stations, drank everything available - even warm diluted pepsi and over the course of the run took 3 gels in an effort to get rid of the cramps. Nothing worked. I was afraid to walk - that they might seize up so I just kept going - my pace seemed to vary between 11:30-12min/mile. Still not too bad. I hit the half way mark at around 1:15.

At one point a girl offered me pretzels out of a bowl and being polite I took 2 - they tasted SO GOOD!!! So I went in search of them at all subsequent stations but they were always out. A woman from Ottawa remarked "We paid the same fee - we should have the same food!" Good point but I was in too much discomfort to be angry/argumentative.

Then at 17km it happened - I turned a bend and both quads locked, my calf cramped and spasmed. I fumbled towards some rocks at the side and tried to stretch out. The volunteer saw me and started walking towards me and all I thought of was how in the guide it said if you looked like you couldn't finish they would pull you from the course so I shuffled to the trail and when out of sight stopped to stretch. I must have looked funny trying to run away.

The rest of the race was a shuffle. I walked the uphills and shuffled down. I tried to smile and thank the volunteers but mostly I just stared at the ground and gritted my teeth. At the last rest stop a volunteer said "Take it Home" and it was like a lightbulb had been turned on! My daughter taught me a couple of lines from a song I like that I could chant to myself when I needed to "I'm Coming Home" by Dirty Money

Back where I belong yeah - I never felt so strong
I feel there's nothing I can't try yeah
I'm coming home, I'm coming home - tell the world that I'm coming home.

It's a catchy song and so I sang it all the way up that nasty hill to the finish.

It was really tough running the last stretch as they were dismantling everything. Workers stepping back out of your way but then I heard "Go Marce!" and it was my hubby's voice and people were still there cheering and I broke in to a big smile and got really emotional... trying to hold back the tears. In the background I could hear the announcer commenting on my big smile after a tough race and a long day. I searched for hubby and my daughter and there was her beautiful smiling little face. Then I had this panic that she would jump through the gap in the fence and try to run to the finish line with me and I WOULD be disqualified within minutes of finishing but instead she ran behind the fence and cheered me on.

I got all my bling - hat, shirt, medal - which was promptly taken by my child. She looked SO cute wearing everything. Hubby congratulated me and gave me a big hug. My final finisher photo shows me smiling but with my eyes closed - I guess I was just THAT tired!!
What would you do differently?:

No clue. I had made an effort to be really hydrated and drank a TON of water the day/night before - maybe I was a bit over hydrated.
Post race
Warm down:

After 8 hours on my feet I didn't feel like doing anything more!

I really wanted a souvenir but didn't see anything I liked at the expo. Later noticed everyone wearing a nice black zip up fleece so I asked a girl where she got it. She said I had to buy Powerbar products and I'd get it for free so I REALLY wanted to finish before the expo closed. As soon as I got past the finish line I sent hubby running for his wallet and I headed in the direction of the expo. Sadly I missed it. So ya - warm down was an attempt at a shop-til-I-drop!

Event comments:

Given that I placed in the bottom of the pack I guess it was too hard for my ability - I had done the training - I finished the race - but I'm just not fast. It is what it is!




Last updated: 2011-06-23 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:45:31 | 1931 meters | 02m 22s / 100meters
Age Group: 19/33
Overall: 666/847
Performance: Average
Suit: Nineteen Long Sleeved
Course: Rectangular course in Peninsula Lake
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 18C / 64F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 08:56
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
04:21:36 | 94 kms | 21.56 km/hr
Age Group: 31/33
Overall: 815/847
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Lollipop course circles Lake of Bays and passes through the entire District of Muskoka, including Dwight, Dorset and Baysville. oodles of hills with about 1000m of climbing.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 03:08
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
02:51:17 | 13.1 miles | 13m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/33
Overall: 761/847
Performance: Bad
Course: A stretch along a highway that offered no shade. Then hilly backroads followed by a hilly shadeless path that felt stifling hot.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2011-09-13 8:09 PM

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Master
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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka


2011-09-14 7:51 AM
in reply to: #3685217

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

That's a great race report!

I wish I could have hear you humming on the bike

2011-09-14 8:09 AM
in reply to: #3685217

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Really impressive - a long day, but you did fantastic.  Congratulations.
2011-09-14 9:38 AM
in reply to: #3685217

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Only a TRUE TRIATHLETE can write this sentence: I woke at 5:45am and smiled to myself as I listened to toilets flushing throughout the building...knowing racers were waking and getting ready just as I was.   That is poetry, Girl!! 

It's your first 70.3 so yes it hurt.  Yes you cramped.  And yes, you faced some adversity (chain falling off).  But in the end YOU PREVAILED.  You Conquered this course!!  As you train more and race more, the cramps get less and less.  And the pain is not as bad.  It gets easier.  It does.  You also will be less apt to make the same mistakes and you'll just get smoother all-around.  Your first 70.3, everyone's first 70.3 is rough around the edges!! 

Marcia, I hereby declare you BEGINNER TRIATHLETE FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER.  And MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR!!! 

You are such an inspiration and joy!!!
2011-09-14 9:58 AM
in reply to: #3685217

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
you sure chose a hard race for your first half IM!  I think you did terrific given the heat, hills, cramps and bike mechanical issues. 
2011-09-14 10:48 AM
in reply to: #3685858

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Master
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TORONTO
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Dream Chaser - 2011-09-14 10:38 AM Only a TRUE TRIATHLETE can write this sentence: I woke at 5:45am and smiled to myself as I listened to toilets flushing throughout the building...knowing racers were waking and getting ready just as I was.   That is poetry, Girl!! 

It's your first 70.3 so yes it hurt.  Yes you cramped.  And yes, you faced some adversity (chain falling off).  But in the end YOU PREVAILED.  You Conquered this course!!  As you train more and race more, the cramps get less and less.  And the pain is not as bad.  It gets easier.  It does.  You also will be less apt to make the same mistakes and you'll just get smoother all-around.  Your first 70.3, everyone's first 70.3 is rough around the edges!! 

Marcia, I hereby declare you BEGINNER TRIATHLETE FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER.  And MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR!!! 

You are such an inspiration and joy!!!

GUSH!! And you Bobby are the BEST MENTOR A BEGINNER TRIATHLETE CAN HAVE!!!



2011-09-14 11:12 AM
in reply to: #3685217

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Great report Marcia. Incredible job on your first HIM, you have a toughness about you that is very inspiring!

BTW, woulda loved to see you running away from the volunteer outa fear that you would get pulled off the course. That's dedication to finishing!

2011-09-14 11:34 AM
in reply to: #3685858

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Dream Chaser - 2011-09-13 7:38 PM

Marcia, I hereby declare you BEGINNER TRIATHLETE FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER.  And MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR!!! 

You are such an inspiration and joy!!!

 

Congrats Marcia!!  Since your video link above goes to a real estate site, I had to see this 70.3 video you were inspired by. I found it!  Nice

Well deserving of the BT'er of the month and most improved of the year!! 

2011-09-14 12:12 PM
in reply to: #3685217

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Master
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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Strong work Marcia!!  Your medal looks just like the winners and you deserve it just as much!!  Great race report.  Hope we can race together some time, you are an inspiration.
2011-09-14 12:18 PM
in reply to: #3686112

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Master
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TORONTO
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
RunRene - 2011-09-14 12:34 PM

Dream Chaser - 2011-09-13 7:38 PM

Marcia, I hereby declare you BEGINNER TRIATHLETE FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER.  And MOST IMPROVED TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR!!! 

You are such an inspiration and joy!!!

 

Congrats Marcia!!  Since your video link above goes to a real estate site, I had to see this 70.3 video you were inspired by. I found it!  Nice

Well deserving of the BT'er of the month and most improved of the year!! 

Oops!  Was working while writing Embarassed  Fixed it now!  Thanks Rene!

And Ted - I was SHUFFLING away from the volunteer LOL

2011-09-14 4:03 PM
in reply to: #3685217

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Extreme Veteran
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NW Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Great job, Marcia!!  Way to hang in there and tough it out. 


2011-09-14 4:19 PM
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Royal(PITA)
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

awesome work!!
Congratulations!!

 

I go all out singing on the bike , why hum when yo can sing? 

2011-09-14 4:55 PM
in reply to: #3685217

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Fanfrickentastic race and report....I to support for BT'er of the month and most improved....awesome job!
2011-09-15 5:55 PM
in reply to: #3685217

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Expert
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Sun Prairie, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

Marcia, great to read your report.  You had a great first HIM!  You should take pride in your accomplishment as not many people in the world will even try to attempt what you just finished.  Now you have a taste for what you are capable of, keep up the great work and attitude.

 

Greg

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