Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. By the way, ironically, "blog" is not recognized by as a valid English word.

Back to the subject of this post. Miha and I both finished Ironman Mont Tremblant with little to nothing training. Which shows that an Ironman is not that hard after all or that Miha and I are naturally athletic. Of course, I tend to go with the latter.

The hero of the day was Miha. Her longest bike ride was 94 Km, at IM Muskoka 70.3 in 2011. And her longest swim was 3 Km. As usual, she had a big panic attack during the swim leg. No matter how warm the water is, it's still too cold for Miha. Add to it the excitement and nervousness of your first IM race, the fact that you need to swim for 3.8 Km and you get the perfect storm for a panic attack. So, a few minutes after the start, Miha was the dead last out of 2,198 participants arguing with with a lifeguard that she should quit the race. Not a great start for your first IM. Another hero of the day was the lifeguard who in the end convinced Miha to continue with her race. Kudos to the guy! Miha got herself together and slowly started to swim, knowing that there's really nothing to lose. And it worked, she had a good swim and actually managed to pass 20 people on the swim leg. She finished the swim leg in 2:01h, 19 minutes faster than the dreaded swim cut off.

I had a decent swim, considering my complete lack of training. I finished in 1:26h, 6 minutes slower than my PR at IM Lake Placid in 2010. I started the bike leg strong, passing quite a few people. My biggest worry was that I did not see Miha after the turn around. This was Miha's first IM and even though neither of us trained properly for this race I knew how important was for Miha to finish this race. When I started to lose hope, I suddenly heard Miha yelling my name. She looked great and had a big smile on her face.

As soon I knew Miha finished the swim I felt way better. I was quite worried about her. Feeling better made me push harder on the bike. It worked well for the first 2:30 h. Then I got to the big hills and all my energy evaporated after climbing hill after hill. I finished my first loop extenuated and worried that I won't be able to finish the second loop. I decided to ignore my pride and slow down. It worked and slowly got my energy back. I finished the bike leg in 6:26 h, nothing to be proud about, but at least I had enough energy left to start the run in a good shape. And again, considering my lack of training, I had an OK bike leg. 

My run started well and the first loop went pretty good, finishing the first 21.1 km in 2:13h. Then I started looking for Miha because according to my calculations I should cross paths with her soon. At some point I gave up and I thought that Miha did not make the bike cut off. I felt pretty bad about it. Then I saw her and I had a huge relief of joy. 

She told me that she was extremely happy that she made the bike leg.  Once I realized that she finished the bike leg I knew that she was going to finish her first Ironman. I decided to run the second run lap with her. The pressure was gone and we had good time running together and talking about all kind of things.

I finished in 12:58 h and Miha finished in 13:54 h and both of us are very happy with our results.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Athlete #2120 and #669

That's Miha and I on the Ironman Mont Tremblant participation list, which is going to take place in less than two weeks. Neither Miha or I are remotely ready for this race. Actually we were seriously thinking of bailing out of the race, but because neither the entry fees or the cottage rental are refundable, we've decided in the end that we're going to give it a try.

The reason we're so scared of it is because our training sucks big time. Really big time! Just to have an idea of how much our training sucks, this weekend was the second time this year we rode our tri bikes outside. The first time was for the DVP bike ride two months ago. Swimming wise, I probably swam like 6 or 7 times in total this year, none of it in open water. Running is better, with about two regular runs on average per week. I like running the most and that's why it's easier for me to train.

As I said, yesterday I did my second ride of the year and to my surprise it went better than expected. I managed to average 29.8 Km/h for 103 Km. The thing is that I had perfect weather, cloudy with no winds, which I am sure that it won't be the case at Mont Tremblant. I was tired after the ride, so if I were to ride another 80Km, my average speed would have probably decreased significantly.

As the other athletes are beginning their taper time, Miha and I are starting our training. As funny as it sounds, I am serious, we are planning to train the most for the next 10 days and then have a 3 day tapering period. It should be enough, considering how little we trained.

The only other races we did this year were Around the Bay 30k Road Race in March and Toronto Marathon in May. Both went pretty went well, considering our lack of training.

While I don't like at all where we are training wise, we had a pretty good year so far. I guess that one of the main reasons we did not train was that we took lots of holidays. We went for 7 days in Cuba in February then 5 days in Rome in June and another 16 days in July to go visit our families in Romania. We had a really great time and of course lots of drinking and eating. Holidays and triathlon training are just not blending well. Maybe if you are super organized, which is not my case. This is just one of the reasons, but the main reason in my case is definitely my lack of getting organized, having a concrete training plan and then following it.

Back to our race. Ironman Mont Tremblant is going to be Miha's first full Ironman, and of course she's very scared. Her main goal, actually her only goal, is to finish it, which is doable if she doesn't panic during the swim. Except for her last race, Ironman 70.3 Muskoka in 2011 where she got a swim PB, she panicked at all her other races in the past and ended up swimming breast stroke. She did buy a new wetsuit for Muskoka which she says that it helped her breathing much easier, so hopefully it will help her again at Mont Tremblant. If she makes the swim cut off, she should be able to make the bike cut off, even if it might be close if the weather is not cooperating. The running should not be a problem at all.

For me, my main goal is to finish in under 13:30h and if I ma lucky, in under 13h. That's sad, considering my 11:47h finish time at Ironman Lake Placid two years ago, but that's what happens when you're not training for such a long time.

Good luck to all my friends who are doing IMMT, happy tapering and we'll see you in less than two weeks in Mont Tremblant!