Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ironman Canada


Exactly a year ago I signed up for the Ironman Canada after a good friend convinced me to enter the race.  I have always been interested in completing a full ironman event but the expense, time away and  frequent sell outs have been limiting factors.  In 2011 I did two half's a week apart while visiting family and completed both in 5hrs even.  Of course I was expecting to do around a 10:30 or thereof... seemed reasonable- I actually felt fitter than a few years ago and LW has helped me incredibly the past couple of ITI races.

Well, after this years ITI my body was trashed and had to recover for a month before I started swimming in the pool.  Almost exclusively I swam building to 9-10km a week in the pool and finally felt good swimming-- till our pool closed in early June.  Then I switched back to training on the bike for a month and even completed the training "ride" across the seward peninsula as well as lots of biking in Maui. I had been running a little bit interspersed but not a lot, albeit the foreshadowing to my downfall.  I completed runs but overall felt lethargic- not sure if left over from ITI. In either case I managed a 20 miler two weeks before the Ironman in about 3 hours very casually and slowly.   I felt like I could "easily" do at least 3:45 or 4:00.  Yep not so much.

Kirk and me-- I should probably wear a hat these days...
About a month before the race I was in Maui talking with a fellow Ride to the Sun racer. He was from Canada and I was talking about the Ironman race and somehow he mentioned "passport"... then it clicked...oops.  I haven't traveled international since the kids were born and knew the passport was expired.  When I returned I had almost 3 weeks till race day.... In Nome Alaska there is no passport agency, in Alaska there is no passport agency.  I had to risk an expedited mailing. As a result I had no idea if I would be going.  Additionally, I had no tri bike.  I was in the middle of transforming my road bike but as a result of previous rides in Nome the rear derailleur was broken as well as the whole drivetrain and brake / shifter cables. In Nome Ak there are no bikes shops so my Amazon ordering (months ago) resulted in wrong parts and delays.  Foreshadowing, part II.

Was I nervous about not making the race and not having a bike?  Eh not really it just seems so me and worse case I don't race and lose an AK miles ticket. Typical. Amazingly, at 5 days pre race departure I rec'd my passport! Whew! Then.... two days before departure I received the balance of my bike parts.... I frantically put it together and hoped for the best.  

That's a LOT of expensive bikes!
Departure day.  I hopped on the plane and 12 hours later was in Vancouver.  The next day I met my friend Kirk and we drove to Whistler.  The scenery was incredible, Whistler was simply beautiful. The temps were mild and even chilly at night.  Pre race events and spending were 'fun'. I put my bike together and it seemed to all work out.  The swim course was in a lake that was about 66 degrees and I could tell that I haven't swam in a while.  The wetsuit, as always, felt constricting.  The cold water stimulated my balance canals (i.e. dizzy) so I used earplugs which worked great.  Everything was looking good.

Race day:   Next Post.... if I get around to writing again!



No comments: