I haven't posted since the Mont Tremblant 70.3 in June -damn Instagram! I find that my blog gets neglected because it's so easy to post on Instagram in bite-sized moments. I vow to get going on this more moving forward as it represents my personal time capsule. Anyway, Ironman number 11 is in the books - this one taking place in beautiful Mont Tremblant. Number 11 is significant for me for two reasons:
1) Number 11 was somewhat of a self imposed mental hurdle. When I did my first Ironman in 1989, I set out with the lifetime goal of completely 10 in total. Back then that seemed like a stretch goal. In many ways it was. I had gaps that were dictated by life - kids, work, not feeling it. In fact, my second Ironman (Lake Placid) did not come around til 2000 after an 11 year break.
2) This was my first Ironman since my Dad's passing. He loved these events. The scheduling on Ironman Mont Tremblant 2018 was two weeks from the one year anniversary of his death which made my day a little bittersweet. Needless to say, I had many conversations with him on the day.
This race was very cool for all the friends that were racing as well. My coworker from Alberta, Cory Spooner, brought his family and his parents. They were an absolute blast to hang out with. Sara, in particular, enjoyed the daily margaraita celebrations! All my friends from SO-TRI, TCoB, IronCanucks, TriHart, and Chris Dolson. I believe in the community of triathlon and this race was unique for me in that there were so many participants I crossed paths previously. It made it all the more enjoyable looking out for and cheering on everyone.
The leadup to race day was good. We stayed at La Bete golf course condos. This was our third time staying there and it's great. Easy access to the race plus quiet and peaceful. My prerace activities kept the motor warm and I felt ready to go. My internal motto for the race was "be grateful, give to others, and get after it." I'm grateful to be able to do this. Give encouragement and help others in need. Get after it in the sense that it's just another day and don't let fear guide the day.
All racked up and ready to go. I did not go with my race wheels as I wanted more control on the dsecents with the cross winds.
I don't have any pics from the swim. I had Sara drop me off and head back to the condo to look after Logan. The swim was significantly delayed due to fog. We started the swim over an hour late. Ironically, when they announced the delay the visibility was so much better than we actually started the race. Once I got going, I found the first kilometre challenging as you (and everyone else) could not see the next buoy. A couple of times a kayaker redirected us as we were off course. By the the halfway point the sun was burning off the fog and we were good to go. The other challenge during the swim was being hungry half way through. With the delay I was now needing some calories and could not wait to get to transition for some much needed nutrition. My swim time was 1:12.47 - not bad for 4000m covered instead of the 3800m. Oh that fog!
Once on the bike I realized that I didn't have the same pop in my legs that I had in training leading up to the race. Not sure if it was the delay or the nutrition deficiit early but I just didn't feel strong. I decided to keep things steady and within myself for the day and not try to force it. My goal was to "be boring" all day long - stay aerobic and keep my heartrate in check.
The Tremblant bike course is awesome. It feels like two courses in one - the highway section with long hills and more wind exposure and the Duplessis section which is more Muskoka like. The wind on the second loop definitely impacted the race and it was pretty hot as well. I focused on my pace, hydration and nutrition. I was way off my goal for the bike. I was targeting a sub 6 hour ride which was where my training showed but ended up with a 6:23. Again, I felt a little flat but I did not let any of this faze me - I was grateful for the day.
Once on the run I had the same strategy as I did for the bike. I focused particularly on kilometre 1-5 and 21-26 as there was significant climbing. Once onto the bike path I kept it steady. It was here that I got to see all of the friends and family. This was the best part of the race for me. I've never been at a race where I knew so many people. It was so cool to cheers each other on. It definitely kept me going - I looked forward to seeing each person. Sara was in her usual spot around kilometre 12 and 30 which is ideal as there is not many spectators in that area. It aslo allowed her to look after Logan as well. Once she saw me go by on the second loop she was able to get down to the finish.
The finish at Mont Tremblant is amazing. Once you enter the village near the top it's a meandering downhill. The crowds are big and loud and the setting in the village is spectacular. Sara surpised me with being right on the barrier so close to the finish. Her pics have been better than my FinisherPix. I was grateful for my day overall. Not my best time, not my worst. While I didn't meet my time goals I was completely satisfied. I was off my run goal by 11 minutes and finished with a 4:26 marathon. Given the heat and hills I was good with that. My overall time was 12:13:55.
This pic was from the Ironman website just after I crossed the line. Sadly I didn't have the stomach to drink the free craft beer offered in the food tent. I did grab the poutine but ate it once my stomach settled and it was so good!
Ironman #12 is coming up November 18th this year in Cozumel. If I'm able to get it done I will be able to apply to the Ironman Legacy Program at the end of the year. My journey has taken 29 years to get to 12. The closest I ever got to qualifying in my age group was 35 minutes in 2011. I've had to go a different route but the trip has been fun. Once I apply, I will receive a timestamp for my entry to the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii. It will likely be at least two years from now and I will have to complete a 70.3 to maintain my validation. The good thing about Cozumel is that I will have some time to enjoy the island, the beach, the margaritas and reflect on a great year.