Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yes, I did race Ironman Canada!

I have attempted to sit down and bust out this Ironman Canada race report for four weeks now, but am suffering from a huge case of writer's block. I'm currently sitting in the hospital waiting for Matt to get out (a story for another day, but yes, he is okay) and have nothing else to do besides write this thing, as Purse has abandoned gchat and left me all alone to my own devices. Despite my constant complaining about crap coverage at Kaiser, their wireless coverage is indeed second to none. Move over Palo Alto Medical Foundation!!!

Anyway, here is how I "remember" IMC:

Ahhhh....the "high desert" of Canada......beautiful venue, people, and terrain.

We arrived Thursday before the race and met up with Paulo and Khai and settled into a soon-to-be-familiar-to-lauren "chill" pattern throughout the rest of the week. I felt mentally prepared and as physically prepared as I could be, and was ready to "race" my second irondistance race and my first attempt as a pro.

We stayed in the guest house of an awesome couple near Skaha lake. Upon hearing that the AC window unit died the afternoon before the race, they took it upon themselves to purchase a new one. I eagerly set Matt to the not so small task of assembling said window unit....yet another of his unpredictable sherpa duties.

Race Day:

After I unsuccessfully attempted to shove down a bowl of rice and eggs (note to self: take Purse to all races as her egg bombers are edible), Matt drove us to transition where I sat around in the endless porta potty lines. Count down ensued and we were off...or once again....everyone was off but me. I took it out WCS hard but apparently not hard enough as the feet I found were actually slower than mine. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until halfway through the swim. The swim was a big disappointment for me, but I tried to put it behind me as I came out of the water and prepared for the bike.

Bike was solid for me and was another exercise in mental toughness as I attempted to follow The Plan. My typical 70.3 bike plan consists of just riding hard, but I learned at Kona that this is not a good ironman strategy. Jonny and Paulo gave me some bike course intel, but apparently my listening skills were suspect as when I thought I was at the second of the seven "bitches" (these are hills, mom) I was actually only at the top of Richter pass. I started passing people slowly throughout the course, and blocked out the bad mental moments with a few key phrases. I ended up gaining ground and passing a number of girls and was excited to face the unknown: the 26.2 mile run.

The run was what I unfortunately but realistically expected it to be. I felt as good as one can feel during an ironman for the first hour and then, as Matt would later confirm, I began to crumble and explode. I paid for my lack of run training on the first hill (dedicated blog readers will remember the foot saga). I knew I had ridden conservatively and had been relatively smart with my calorie intake, so I tried to hold out as long as possible and finish without getting delirious and yelling at loved ones. After I was passed by a girl with less than 3 minutes to go, I saw Paulo throw down an exasperated pirouette in the air, and this gave me the energy to make it to the finish line with a new PR, but not a time or place about which I was particularly proud or happy.

I definitely see this race as a building block for next year. I've learned much about the mental side of racing this year and will take all of what I learned and apply it to an INJURY FREE 2010. I have a couple more races this year and then plan to settle down and GTWD this winter, after a couple weeks of non-triathlon activities...KEEPING FINGERS CROSSED FOR AN EARLY SNOW SEASON.

Race video and lots of photos to follow when I get home tonight. This is Lauren speak for next month.


  1. Please god I hope your husband got a photo of Paulo doing a pirouette.

    Fantastic, solid performance. Pretty incredible especially given your running limitations before the race. Scary.

  2. the pirouette sounds awesome. Solid race - I think Lauren 100% healthy will DOMINATE :)