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.!!!!!!

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.!!!!!

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!!

12 Responses to “Ironman Canada: The Bike”

  1. Sherrie July 31, 2014 at 9:59 PM #

    This is the best blog post ever and you are such a tease for breaking it into 3 parts!!! Love it all!!

  2. Jonathan94002 July 31, 2014 at 10:02 PM #

    Leslie, you are so awesome and inspiring! I can’t wait for the next installment.

  3. Single-Tracked Mind August 1, 2014 at 10:08 AM #

    You “just had a marathon to run” is the most ridiculous phrase ever. I love that you eat Snickers on the bike! It sounds like you paced yourself really well and made really impressive time. Nice work!!!!

  4. Jonathan94002 August 1, 2014 at 1:17 PM #

    Btw, I’m down for donating $25 to the buy-Leslie’s-Ironman-photos-if-she-really-wants-them fund. (They are outrageously expensive. But, come on, it’s an Ironman finish in 13 frickin’ hours! It’s worth having the pics!)

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats August 1, 2014 at 8:08 PM #

      You are so nice Jonathan!!! I will probably splurge and buy one of the bike and one on the run. I so rarely have good race photos!!! I should probably take advantage!! 🙂

  5. erin August 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM #

    Awesome, Leslie! You biked smart – and, smiled the whole way! Congrats! Isn’t the course amazing and beautiful?! As for pics… if you wait long enough, they’ll send you a discount code 🙂 I bought mine for 20 percent off (you could probably google it, too, and find one).

  6. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust August 5, 2014 at 6:40 AM #

    Loved reading about your experience on the bike. I feel like I have a million questions about the course. Did you wear the same clothes that you swam in (I know some people change)? Were you comfortable the entire time on the seat? Was the bike course really as difficult as I have heard from others? Did you have to go to the bathroom at all while on the bike? I know, I know, tons of questions… but I’m honestly considering this race for next year and want to learn about every detail. Haha.

  7. Kristin (@SweatCourage) August 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM #

    So awesome Leslie, loved reading this bike recap! I hear you about the back pain, mine tends to flare up when I’m over 80 miles on the bike and I’m scared about that for IMMT. Like you said, I need to remember to engage my core and not overuse my back… glad you were able to bike without pain! Great job staying on top of your nutrition! That SO important and I feel like you did everything the way you were supposed to. I am nervous about getting sick of drinking the perform. I’ve trained with it, but still worried it will get to me after ALL those hours. Excited for the perks of the changing tent, volunteers are amazing!

  8. Lee@tri*inspired*life August 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM #

    Solid bike performance! Way to stick to your plan! I can relate to a lot of what you planned (AND EXECUTED) on the bike with pacing and riding smart. it is so critical to keep a check on your effort and have enough in the tank to finish strong on the bike and then run a marathon. Both these pics are really great!

  9. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! August 5, 2014 at 1:01 PM #

    That bike recap was so exciting – love that it went well!

  10. Kecia August 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM #

    Congrats on a smart bike!! Staying on top of your nutrition is key…something I didn’t do well with IMWI in 2011. I hope I am much more successful this time around. I definitely want to race IM Canada someday…hopefully sooner than later 😉

  11. Change of Pace August 11, 2014 at 8:36 AM #

    Congratulations on such an awesome bike!! It sounds like it went so well with your nutrition and your back! YAY!!! Did you find it helped having rode it before?
    Slushy Dr. Pepper sounds amazing, too!
    I was also jealous of the people already out on the run 🙂

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