Ashley’s MT 70.3
I’m going to start this report with a confession: I almost bagged this sport in November, and was going to just ask ironman for $200 of my entry fees back. I didn’t really love it, and missed rowing. I was going to go back to my old training center in Boston and make one more run at the elite rowing scene. But then I remembered how shitty it was to make weight all the time, that I actually have a ‘real’ job now , logistically couldn’t be at the boathouse 2x/day, and ultimately decided to commit to this the same way I’d commit to rowing. I met a lot of great friends at camp last year too, and having those connections definitely made me start to like the sport. Now I like it, and am glad i chose this.
So this year I approached my training the same way I would have for rowing. And, not surprisingly, it seemed to work way better than last year. Colin does a pretty good job with the coaching plan too, I’ll give some credit there. He also didn’t tell me to go take a hike last year when training peaks was a lot of red and yellow. J
Before the race:
I drove to tremblant on Thursday and stayed at a nice bed and breakfast. The innkeepers were awesome, and treated me as their guest of honor. On Saturday AM I noticed my front wheel had rough spot in it that wouldn’t hold up so I stopped at a shop to get the tire switched.
Sunday of the race:
I went to transition and had the bike guy inflate my tire to 105. It looked like it was over 105, but he was the bike guy. Maybe it was metric 105. Next time I will make him do it over. I don’t care if there’s a line behind me. My front aero bottle cage broke, but I had electrical tape, and I Gerry-rigged it.
I brought an extra pair of sneakers, but had to surrender them to bag drop before my warm-up. So I did a 5min jog and dynamic warm-up without shoes. I regretted that later on because my feet hurt. I put my wetsuit on correctly (Thanks Stacy) and got a warm-up swim in. Ready to go.
I had mostly a clean swim, tried to stay on course since I have had problems with that in the past, and keep a strong smooth stroke. I have had difficulty swimming in my wetsuit, and was happy to get out under 40 mins. The wetsuit strippers were conservative (I had two kids) and I was yelling at them to “GET THIS THING OFF ME!!” One bad thing was that I noticed my stomach felt funny coming around the first turn buoy. I felt all the food from Saturday carbo load in there. When I stood up I got a bad gas cramp that just pierced me. When I ran in I tried to get it out either way. Unfortunately, that gas pain was going to stay all day.
I had a strong run out, even though I didn’t have my shoes attached to the bike. My bike steers pretty good so I was able to run with it. People were just standing at the mount line so I had to maneuver around them. I might have gently encouraged them to get on their bikes. On the bike, I planned to use Best Bike Split. Unfortunately, Best Bike Split did not locate the course for most of the ride. My target wattage was bw 185-200, with license to go higher on hills. I thought I was doing an ok job, but my average ended up lower than that so I guess not. (Avg 163/ np 177). Could have also been the zeros factored in with the stops, but I felt like I could have gone harder. (Next time…). Yup, I fell. At the U-turn, I put on the breaks, and flipped over the handlebars, skidded across the pavement, and my stomach didn’t hurt so bad anymore. I swear my bike felt like it was handling different, but I could have also been riding a bit too aggressive. (Hence, double check the psi). A volunteer came over and wanted to bandage me up but I told her I was fine. Then she was like, ‘does your bike work?’ and I was like, ‘YES’ (and then I was like, shit, does my bike work?). One aero bar was tilted down, and I had like 5 gears. Whatever, go.
I realized I wouldn’t make it up Casino with only 5 gears and stopped for a bike mechanic. He knocked the derailleur hanger over and it was better.
I also got a blue card violation for passing over the blue line, which was NOT in the athlete guide, but only in a supplemental piece of paper they handed out at registration… along with strawberries and tshirts. Luckily, I didn’t have to stay there the entire 5 mins. Regardless, I was pissed. Note to all racing IMMT – Don’t pass over the blue line.
I still had the stomach gas pain, and it hurt to move. I was like, how the hell am I running this thing? I don’t feel like I can go to the bathroom. It’s not that. It’s something else. But I ended up stopping at a porta potty near mile 2 and just tried to let it settle out. I stayed there a while. It killed me to do it. Something moved around and a bit of pressure was relieved but it wasn’t gone. A couple miles in the middle when I picked up the pace felt fine but then it came back with a vengeance. Man, really? Of all days to have stomach pains? I also got really hot and thought I was getting a bad sunburn. Turns out it was road rash, not sunburn. They didn’t have any sponges out, so I was dumping water over me. The village was like climbing a mountain, but every female I was like, “I bet she’s in my AG I need to pass her.’ (They did not write ages on calves). I still did not hit my goal paces for the run, so I’m bummed but feel I could do it next time.
Final time – 5:32:53 I finished the race and was promptly escorted to the med tent. With the challenges, I’m happy with that. I’m very thankful I was able to finish the race, and that I didn’t get injured or break my bike. Overall it was a great day. Looking forward to the next one!