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.”
Athlete Briefing. He basically read us the athlete guide!

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!
Man had it only been this cloudy and cool on race day!!

Saturday: We took our bikes to transition and dropped our bags at T1/T2.
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. 

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)


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!

The calm before the storm!!

The calm before the storm!!


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!!

13 Responses to “Ironman Canada: Pre-Race & Swim”

  1. Kecia July 31, 2014 at 6:27 AM #

    Yay for having the swim done!! I hate that washing machine feeling and I’m not a fan of having the sun in my eyes while swimming and trying to sight off the buoys. I never understand why they line the buoys up so we swim into the sunrise…

  2. lauren July 31, 2014 at 9:17 AM #

    Um that swim sounds like my worst nightmare…being kicked and pushed under for over an hour…yikes! Way to power through and holy smokes on the transition time! Can’t wait to read more…

  3. erin July 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM #

    Ah, man… so sorry about the rough swim. I LOVED the swim at Canada last year (including the mass start) and had clean water the whole way. Weird how different it can be. But, you did it and rocked it! We would have been close to each other in T1; my bike was near there, too! Excited to read more!

  4. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust July 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM #

    I’m glad you made it out of the swim alive and well. That is always the scariest part for me and I can’t even imagine how I would handle a mass start. You predicted your time really well. It looks SO beautiful there. I am considering IM Canada next year just for the aesthetics and scenery alone. That bike transition area looks insane. I have never seen so many bikes crammed together in one spot. Can’t wait to read more and hear more about the rest of your experience!

  5. Heather @ July 31, 2014 at 6:32 PM #

    I would have drowned. Seriously. I love reading your recaps. Can’t wait until the bike and run! I still can’t believe it’s over… and I didn’t even race it, haha!

  6. bayrunnerjamie July 31, 2014 at 6:42 PM #

    Wow I can’t imagine swimming with that many people so close together! Kind of terrifying! Great job though navigating that mess, and surviving! Haha “1900 of my best friends”…love it. Only 3 minutes from your goal…not bad at all!! Looking forward to Part II! 🙂

  7. Single-Tracked Mind August 1, 2014 at 10:06 AM #

    That swim sounds terrible! Jesse said his IMLP was very similar – people climbing all over him and basically mass chaos.

    It sounds like your time leading up to race day was restful and relaxing! I’m sure that helped a lot.

  8. Kristin (@SweatCourage) August 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM #

    I’m FINALLY getting to your recaps! First of all a big congratulations on your 4th IM, amazing girl!! The swim start sounds like my WORST nightmare. One of the many reasons I chose IMMT was for the wave swim starts, I honestly don’t think I could ever do a mass start. I also agree with you that it’s bullshit how they didn’t change all of the races to a ‘wave start’ it doesn’t make any sense at all. But hey, I think you are more badass for doing a mass start! Talk about a fast T1 transition! At IMMT I will have almost a 1/4 mile run from the water to T1 (womp womp)… good thing I like running!

  9. Lee@tri*inspired*life August 5, 2014 at 12:44 PM #

    Way to hang in there with the craziness of the mass swim start! I was glad that Placid changed to a rolling start. I don’t know if I would have signed up for one with a mass start. It makes no sense that they have changed so many, but not others. I did have lots of contact on the LP swim, but nothing like what you have described. I am impressed with your swim time. I know it was just outside of what you were wanting, but that is solid. Also, wow on your T1 time. I know lots that would like that for a sprint. Way to go!!

  10. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! August 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM #

    That swim sounds crazy!!! Way to go on being so close to your goal time though.

  11. Jesica @rUnladylike August 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM #

    Awesome swim time but it sounded brutal. Another friend of mine who raced said she also could never get space. Way to rock it despite the challenges!!! And I love “retire-man.”

  12. Change of Pace August 11, 2014 at 8:32 AM #

    Way to swim through the chaos!!
    My sister-in-law found it rough, too. Last year I got hit a couple times and then swam SUPER wide (like so wide my Garmin showed 500m further!).
    Even though it was rough, you still swam a great time! Can’t wait to read about the rest of your day!


  1. Ironman Canada: The Bike | Triathlete Treats - July 31, 2014

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

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