Ironman Canada: The Bike

31 Jul

Here is the next installment of my race report! If you missed the swim: you can find it here!!

Bike: (goal: 6:35-6:57; actual: 6:45) I was off to ride 112 miles that I had ridden just 6 weeks ago! I didn’t want to get caught up in all the people riding fast and passing me. I was going to go my speed and not worry about what everyone else was doing.

My friend Scott did this race last year and he said the most important thing to do on the ride is save something for the last 22 miles. It is a climb back to Whistler. There are a few relief points and rolling back into the village but your legs are tired. You have already ridden 90 miles and you still have a marathon to go. That was always in the back of my mind. Don’t get crazy!!!

This was my ride. I was going to have fun. I was going to smile. I was excited to be able to see all of my training partners and lots of friends doing this race. I tried to break up the ride in 5 parts.

T2—>to the Callaghan climb. I just wanted to get out of transition and the road from Alta Lake to 99 pretty quick and efficient. I did that well. I really thought it would be worse trying to dodge people on the ups and getting enough momentum on the downs to get up easy. I think that went well. I got to 99 and I was supposed to start eating. I started eating an uncrustable and drank Perform while cruising through the village. Off to a good start.

The Callaghan climb. Now in practice this was my favorite part of the ride. I was looking forward to it. I started up and was feeling good. I tried to keep my power down and my cadence up. I talked with a few people trying to gauge what I had swam. The sun was out and I was nervous it would get hot fast because it was already getting warm. I ate a Picky Bar and more Perform.

I had a great time on this climb. There are some harder stretches but I stayed focused and positive. I was getting to the top and I saw a few friends flying down. I got to the turn around and I was still happy! I started down. I really thought there would be too many people clumped up and I wouldn’t be able to go down as fast as I wanted. For the most part I was flying. FUN! Most of the 6 pack(my training partners) were right behind me. I was watching for who I knew and who I could scream at. More FUN! I saw Dan and was relieved to see that he had survived the swim.

Stolen photo that is cute!  If they didn't charge so much I would buy a bunch!

Stolen photo that is cute! If they didn’t charge so much I would buy a bunch!

Bottom of Callaghan—>Pemberton. I knew what was coming. Most of this section is rolling hills. My favorite. A few hard stretches back to the village. Once I got to the village the crowd was amazing. I saw no one I knew but a couple of people called out my name. There are so many people lining the course that you couldn’t tell who you knew and who you didn’t know. I was sad that I didn’t see my mom. But I just kept moving forward. The one thing that annoyed me here was: they had made the 2 lane highway 3 lanes: 1 lane for southbound bikes; 1 for northbound bikes; 1 for cars going northbound. So the northbound bikes were essentially riding in the middle of the road with the rumble strips. Just annoying especially when you wanted to pass someone! Got through Whistler to the mostly downhill section with a few uphill sections. Started in on my 2nd uncrustable. The time was flying by. I was still happy. My back was still ok. I was trying to keep my core engaged and my hips quiet.

This is an awesome part of the course because of the downhill but once you go down….

Pemberton Flats. I couldn’t believe I was already in Pemberton. I rolled very quickly through special needs. I grabbed my ½ bottle of slushy Dr. Pepper and the rest of my bars and clif bloks. I was back to moving. I had forgotten I wanted to sit there and drink my few sips of DP but was anxious to get back to it. I thought after I left that was stupid. I didn’t even open the bottle and I didn’t get a chance to stretch out my back! Trying to figure out how to open the bottle at least gave me something to do for a few minutes! (I used my teeth: don’t tell my hygienist)!! The plan was to stay aero and stay engaged by watching my cadence: 88-92. I started in on my Snickers bar and more Perform. I couldn’t tell if the wind was in front of me or behind me. I was positive. I was engaged. I was still happy. I looked at the beauty around me. I also wondered why nobody I knew had passed me yet. I was looking forward to seeing friends again. I was cruising right along. Almost to the turn around. Almost to the turn around.

I was headed home. The girls were still right behind me. I still couldn’t believe it! I ate another Picky Bar and more Perform. Every bottle of Perform got more and more gross. At least it was cold!! It was hot out there too! I started passing a bunch of people. Still feeling relatively good. Again I yelled at everyone I knew and told the people I passed good job. I stopped at the bathroom right before the climb back (at mile 90). I got off my bike (and was not as bad as it was when I got off my bike at mile 80 at IMAZ) reapplied some chamois butter (made a HUGE difference) and I was back on the road.

Pemberton—>climb back to Whistler. Well it was here. I was already at mile 90. I think I was right about 5 hours. I ate a Lara Bar and choked down more Perform. I still felt good. I was still happy. I was mostly excited to do this climb and get off my bike. Right out of the gate there are 2 steep pitches that aren’t super fun even when you haven’t been on your bike for 5 hours! I got through those ok. I passed a ton of people. It was HOT!!! The sun was beating down on us. NO cloud cover. No trees. NOTHING! HOT!!!

I thought I will be lucky to get a sub 7 hour split. It was hard but I was doing ok. I knew I was hydrated. I knew I had been eating and drinking enough. My salt tabs went down easy. I was still smiling.

another stolen photo!

another stolen photo!

I was passing a guy about mile 100ish. I heard his tire start wheezing and I thought you poor bastard. It was so fucking hot! I just kept thinking don’t get a flat. Don’t run anything over!! There were people on the side of the road with bike problems. There were people on the side of the road that were obviously dehydrated/too hot/waiting for the sag wagon. I felt bad for all of them. I felt like I was going slow but I knew I would get it down. Just don’t get a flat!!!!!! 

I ate another Picky Bar and pouring water over my head. It.was.so.hot!!!!!!

I saw the sign for Whistler. 10K to go. So close but so far away. At this point most of the work was done. I was chomping on clif bloks just trying to get in the last of my nutrition. I have made the mistake before and stopped eating too early. Losing out on 100s of calories and wondering why I didn’t have enough energy to run!! It was back to rolling hills. I could see the people who were already running. So lucky!

The crowds were amazing the last mile of the bike. I tried getting mental prepared for the run while trying to finish off the bike.

All of a sudden I was at the dismount line with a 6:45 split. I.would.take.it!!!!!

T2: (goal <3:00; actual: 2:18) Another very fast Transition. You basically get off your bike; your bag is right there; you get right into the tent. I had an awesome volunteer who took my 4 items out of my bag. I took off my helmet and shoes. I put my run shoes on. The volunteered sprayed on my sunscreen. I am actually glad she did because I probably would have been to careless and not gotten enough on. She even sprayed some in her hands to wipe on my face even after I told her just to spray it on my face. She helped me with my race belt and I was walking out the door with my visor. I had all of my Gus in my race belt. As I was walking out I transferred them to my pockets and it began.

I had survived the swim. I survived the ride without any problems. I knew I had done everything thing I was supposed to do. I had hydrated. I had eaten all of my nutrition. I paced myself well. I just had a marathon to run!!

Ironman Canada: Pre-Race & Swim

30 Jul

The time came! Ironman Canada was here! I couldn’t believe we were leaving Portland!!

Arrival Thursday: Check in to condo, get settled in, race registration, grabbed a pizza from Misty Mountain Pizza that was amazing! Bed early!

Friday: We met for a quick ride/run “brick.”
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Athlete Briefing. He basically read us the athlete guide!
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My mom and aunt arrived in the afternoon. We met up with them and checked out the expo again to show them where everything was happening! Sugoi had a poster center at their booth. My mom and I made signs for Dan and I!
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Man had it only been this cloudy and cool on race day!!
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Saturday: We took our bikes to transition and dropped our bags at T1/T2.
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The group was going for a quick swim. I opted out because we weren’t really swimming, it was choppy, and I didn’t want to wash my hair again. 
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Everything was set. We met up with my family and Dan’s family was arriving in the afternoon. We hung out in the shade for a few hours in the afternoon chatting.
Lululemon had a big window sticker of all the Ironman participants! We finally cracked the code and figured out how they were listed! (by age group/alphabetical)
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They gave us well wishes and sent us off to make dinner and get in bed early!

Sunday: Go time!! We walked down to T2 to drop our special needs bags. We got on the shuttle to head over to the lake. We got set up, pumped tires, went to the bathroom, talked to some peeps and then it was time to get in the water (about 6:45).
The sun was out in full force!
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The calm before the storm!!

The calm before the storm!!


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Swim: (goal 1:08-1:10; actual: 1:13) The swim is 2 laps. (unlike IMCdA and I think IMLP—we did not have to get out of the water between laps) Quickie warm up. I got to where I wanted to be. In the front 3 or 4 feet from the buoy. We waded and waded. No countdown. Nothing. The gun went off and we were swimming. It was a total battlefield from the beginning. The entire first stretch was miserable. I was beat up pretty good. A few times I almost got pushed under but I fought back. We got to the first turn buoy and the sun was directly in our eyes. You couldn’t see anything and there was no sighting but trying to keep up. Just hoping everyone around me was “sighting” ok. Finally got to turn again. I finally had some space. I thought great I can finally just swim!! Just like that I was in a huge crowd of people again. I had guys that were literally swimming in a diagonal in front of me. I couldn’t get away from anyone! The first lap went by in what I thought was a fast lap. I didn’t check my watch because it was under my wetsuit!

Second lap: here we go. I thought for sure I would get a little more room. I was wrong. The entire stretch was just like the first. Why couldn’t I get any space? Why wasn’t it thinning out at all?!

I am not sure if I have expressed this to you all my readers but I decided a while ago I was done with IM races. Too much training. Too much work. Dan and I joked this was my retire-man.

Back to the swim. I thought I am never doing an Ironman again but if I decided too (wink-wink) I am NEVER EVER MARK MY WORDS doing a mass start again!! I think that it is such bull shit that some of the races are now self seeded and by age group. I know that it is part of the experience but you can’t just change some of the races and not all of them! Stupid!

I got to the stretch that the sun was in our eyes. It was even worse than the first time around. I couldn’t see anything. It was insane. I am sure I lost time there. Still with the battle field until the last bouy. We were on our way home. It really thinned out there because there was a huge stretch of water. Of course you could barely see the Subaru arch! I got through exited the water and realized my watch was never started. Wah Wah! Didn’t know what my time was. I run through the wetsuit strippers and no one is available. I thought well I don’t have time to wait so I just took it off almost as quick as they could have got it off!

I felt like it was a FAST swim. I didn’t get my swim split until I finished. I did look at the “real” time while on the run at some point and had kind of figured it out! I was a little disappointed with the time because I did that distance 6 weeks ago 4 minutes faster but obviously not with 1900 of my best friends! It does not really matter. The swim is such a fraction of the race!

T1: (goal <6:00; actual: 3:35) I knew this would be a fast transition because there was no room at the park to make us run all of the place. (like my other 3 IM races) I grabbed my bag. Headed to the change tent. A volunteer dumped out my bag. I put sunscreen, my sunglasses, helmet, sweat(wrist)band, my socks, and shoes on. The volunteer put my wetsuit in the bag and took it away from me. I ran out quick and down the long stretch of bikes. My bike was pretty much in the most prime spot in transition. Right next to the bike out.
This was how close I was! This was Saturday when I dropped my bike off!!
This was how close I was!! This was Saturday at bike drop off!

I grabbed my bike and I was off! Another long run out of transition to the mount line. You are basically starting on a hill so you better be in a low gear!!

I was off to a great start! I was smiling and happy the swim was done!!

Ironman Canada: TOMORROW!

26 Jul

First I want to say thanks for all of the comments and motivation you have given me the last 6 months. The day has come. I will be “racing” my 4th Ironman tomorrow in Whistler, BC!
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I started stalking the weather 10 days ago and it has mostly been in the high 70s/low 80s which is way too hot for me. I expressed that to Jeremy at our pre-race meeting. We put together a solid hydration plan for the week leading up/race day! I am confident that the heat won’t get in my way of the goals I have made!

Here is what weather.com said today about tomorrow:
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Here is what accuweather.com said today about tomorrow:
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I am still nervous but I have been pumping in the salt, electrolytes, Nuun, and water! I am set! I am not going to let the heat or the wind get me down!! :)

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Goals: I have put some numbers together for tomorrow. I am positive and confident that I will have a good race! My training this season did not go as well as I would have liked. (the big big work outs) I did put in all the time and effort it just was not as fast as I would have liked. I just have to keep remembering all the long/hard days I was out there. The time spent doing what I love (just not on those days).

I have really re-worked my mental game these last several weeks and more confident now. That being said the course is no joke as I said when we got back from our training camp! I just want to go out there and have a good race and HAVE FUN!!

I will just give you a range of what I am thinking:
Swim: 1:08-1:10
T!: 0:06ish
Bike: 6:35-6:56
T2: 0:03ish
Run: 4:57-5:07

The low end of the bike and run I would love to do. If the day goes perfect or almost perfect it will be close to those numbers. The high end of the bike was my bike split in CdA and I just want to beat that. The high end of the run was my run split in AZ and I just want to beat that!

I would love love love a sub 13/12:59:59. I am telling you because everyone always says if you “EXPRESS” TO “EVERYONE” YOUR “GOALS” then you will work harder to actually achieve the goals!! I know that you all will be tracking me and I don’t want to disappoint you or me for that matter!! :)

Here is my number:
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You can track at ironman.com or on the IronTrac app.

It is almost go time!!

Ironman Canada Training: TAPER

23 Jul

Well I have made it to TAPER! It was like yesterday I was sitting at the computer in between patients at 11am sharp to sign up for my 4th Ironman. We all anxiously awaited the time because we thought it would sell out quick. Little did we know it was not going to sell out at all. This is my first Ironman that has not been sold out. Even CDA sold out eventually. I am not sure it is going to matter at 7am on Sunday in the mass start. It will still feel like a million people!
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It has been so nice to (for the most part) only have 1 work out a day! It has been nice to rest more!! Just letting all of the hard work soak in so I will be all ready to go on Sunday! Here is what taper looked like:

Sunday: Last day of regular work outs: 16 mile run. He wanted us to be a little faster than we will be on race day. Just a little uncomfortable. I was a little nervous after the Mt. St. Helens ride but it went really well. Dan and I left together. It was supposed to be hot. It was humid and cloudy. It even rained pretty good during miles 9-11. I was happy though. I could see the light. This was the end of the work! We stopped at about 12.5 miles to refill our water bottles. I pulled a little ahead of Dan(Who is chasing who now???!!) :) I finished a few minutes ahead. I thought I was going much faster than I actually was but it felt good!!

OWS–cancelled because of thunder and lightning. BOO!!

We went and had sushi to celebrate the beginning of Taper!! No dessert. We actually thought about having it but we ended up being good and not even tempting ourselves!
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Monday: REST

6 mile bike commute

Tuesday: 3700 yard swim: warm-up; drills; lots of pulling between sets of 100s.

8 mile bike commute

6 mile run: easy. I did a mix of rollers and flat. Felt good. A little different route than normal which is always fun!

Wednesday: 13 mile ride up to the zoo. The ride started good until I had a flat. No biggie. I got a little practice and we cut the ride short. We are in taper!!!

6 mile bike commute

Thursday: 3400 yard swim: warm up; pulling; 100s descending; 400 for our best time(TT if you will); 8x50s best time; another 400 for our best time but beat first one. 200s in between with drills/kicks. This was a great swim. I managed to beat my 1st 400 by 6 seconds! Holla!

15 mile bike commute

Friday: 6.17 mile run: 15 min warm up; 30 minute threshold test; 15 min cool down. I wish my first mile of the TT would have been a little faster. I did this on the road and I wished I would have gone to the track. But overall it was good! Hard but good!

Saturday: 24mile ride/3.1 mile run: Went out to Sauvie’s and did 2 loops. I had just had my pre-race meeting with Jeremy and I wanted to treat these 24 miles like I would the boring flat section of the race. I am going to watch my cadence and keep engaged that way! So that is what I did! Felt good. The run was awesome. Mixed in a few tempo sections.

Sunday: 2000 meter OWS. It felt good but my sighting was a little off. The cove where we swim is not great for sighting. There are 2 buoys that are very far from each other. The rest is trees that all look the same! Race day will be better with flailing arms and neon caps.

Monday: 4 mile run easy. I did it in the evening to try to run in the warmth. It wasn’t super hot and there was cloud cover.

6 mile bike commute

Tuesday: 1600 yard swim. Wow. So fast (as in I was only in the pool for 25 minutes). It has been a long time since I have done anything less than 2k in the water. My right shoulder was bothering a little bit so I cut it short. Just some fast/slow and build/hold stuff.

Wednesday: “Brick” 55 minute trainer ride/2 mile run: It was crazy weather. Poured all day. We decided just to be safe and ride the trainer. Definitely sluggish. But that is what taper will do. Looking forward to Sunday!

We have a shakeout work out on Friday and that is it!! Go time in:
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What is happening with you?

10 Day YOU Challenges: 8 Fears

22 Jul

Here is another installment of the YOU challenge. 8 fears this week! I was not sure how to do this one but here goes nothing!!

YOU

I hate roller coasters! Is that a fear? Not sure?! I just don’t like them!! I can do Disneyland rides. Mild rides if you will but nothing crazy. No Magic Mountain. No New York, New York roller coaster.

Falling down the stairs and cracking all of my teeth.
I have the fear I will have to call my boss and tell her to meet me at the office for a full re-vamp!

Being pregnant. My mom says she loved being pregnant. It sounds like a nightmare to me. I don’t want to get gain a bunch of weight and then have to take it all off again. No thanks!

Not being able to exercise.
I would seriously be the most depressing person you have ever known! My friends thought I would be grumpy when I didn’t eat dessert. If I could not work out it would be serious trouble!

Getting a flat tire in a race. I have had plenty of flat tires and I can change a flat. I just do not want one on a race. Nobody does though!

Getting a flat tire while going really fast down a hill. It is scary enough going downhill at 40 mph but what happens if you get a blow out? I am just not into wanting to find out!

FOMO–fear of missing out. I think that is why I do so many races. My friends are like just sign up for this and then another group of friends are like sign up for this. It is a never ending cycle. I just don’t want to miss out on anything!!

Getting old. I have never been one to get sad at a birthday. I love my birthday and I always like going up a number. Those numbers are getting bigger and bigger. I know that I am getting older because I have to sleep a million hours a week. Another reason not to have a baby! :)

I think my fears are pretty minor. You would think I had a huge fear of getting on my bike every day but not really! I remember when I first starting riding bikes I couldn’t go downhill. It is so funny how things change!!

What fears do you have?

Ironman Canada Training Week #23

17 Jul

Our last hard week. The week of “lasts.” I am glad that week is behind me and I am getting more excited for the race!
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Sunday: 6.3 mile run with 6 x 3:00 hill repeats. Legs were like lead from the triple brick but by the time I got to the hill they really felt good!

3800 meter open water swim: great swim. Sun was out. Great day to run and swim!!

Monday: 1 hour spin class + 10 mins of core work

13 mile bike commute

Tuesday: 3500 yard swim: warm up; drills; pull(every 4th 25 we did backstroke–has anyone tried to pull backstroke…much harder than I thought!); main set was 300s; fast/slow stuff to end

4 mile easy run

8 mile bike commute

Wednesday: LAST strength work out; squats; chest press; hamstring curls; lots of different ways

20 mile bike ride with Kat and Dan; We went in the evening and it was really hot but the loop that we did laps on was shady. It ended up being super nice!
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13 mile bike commute

Thursday: 3400 yard swim; warm up; kick/drills; did some pulling with different amounts of breathing; Main set: 125s with fast/mod; cool down

8.3 mile run; 2 mile warm up; 4 miles at :90hard/:60easy I was really excited about how this went. It was hard but I felt strong! 2.3 mile cool down

Last core workout! Lots of planks; swiss ball/med ball action

Friday: REST day! Holla!!

Saturday: Last long ride! 83 mile Mt. St Helens ride + 1.25 transition run

Another successful week of NO dessert!

10 days until GO TIME!!

A “flat” lesson!

16 Jul

Kat, Anne, and I set out for our weekly Wednesday morning ride up to the zoo this week. We had a double loop planned. All was going well until…

POP(not a pop–blow out pop but a pop I better slow down pop)….hhhhisssss…hiissssss…F**k! That is me! My brand spankin’ new tire. FLAT! We pulled over and I was nervous for a few reasons. I practiced with my new CO2 cartridge but awhile back. Plus this was a new tire which meant it would probably be super tight. (I didn’t change it the other day, the bike shop did and charged me labor which really pisses me off because I could have changed it for free but that’s another story)

I get the tube out. Check!

Moral support!!

Moral support!!

I find the culprit, what is a huge gash! (another tire down the drain). Check!
Get the tube in. Check!
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I try screwing the cartridge in. Couldn’t. Kat tried and said I was trying to screw it in the wrong way. (which I think I remember doing when I practiced) Check!
Put my Picky Bar Sweatband around the cartridge so I wouldn’t freeze off my hand that I needed for work later in the morning! Check!
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Got the air in. Thought there was enough. Took valve off but too early! Check!

We were on our way! It was definitely not full enough but it got me back to our meeting spot!

I am just glad that I got it today and not on race day!! I am actually glad that I got to practice. I might practice one more time when I get a new tire!

Just another reminder to always know how to change a flat and how to use a CO2 cartridge!

Any good stories when getting a flat or while fixing a flat?!

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