My Ideal IronMan Race Day

I wrote this “Ideal Race Scenario” in preparation for my race in Penticton on August 26th, 2012.  Reading it over, six months later, I can see that what I wrote and visualized before race day serves as an excellent race report of what actually happened.  There were a few things different on the day but nothing really that different.  Where I veered off a bit from the plan was during the run.  The run never really felt good and I made a few mistakes with my nutrition**. Preparation, visualizing this plan, and enjoying the day, created a 1hr 4 min personal best finish time for me.  I also see potential for improving on this great day which is one of the reasons why I’ve signed up for doing the Challenge Race in 2013. 

I sleep well the night before because I know there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the day I’m ready for. I eat oatmeal with blueberries and honey, yum!

I get to transition early, stay away from stressed people, walk through transition routes, find a clean bathroom with no lineups, eat a gel to top me up, and then get into my wetsuit.  I am relaxed and excited and have a smile on my face. I stand at the swim start with calm friends, I know that nervous means I’m ready. I’m wearing my tinted goggles.

I swim and use the crazy start to make me go fast, I stay out of trouble but on toes.  I give myself 2-3 buoys, reevaluate, if I need to I find clear water mid way out. “Go for it, settle in, be smart!” I am long and fast, I exit the water.

I put on my bike helmet and shoes and get the heck out of town. I take in the atmosphere of the fans and the ride route I know well and I ride.  I am prepared to pass people, I don’t back off and I don’t draft. I use the excitement when I need it, I’m aiming for zone 3, 175-180 watts which is my go forever fast pace. I have four words on the handlebars of my bike to remind me of my plan, they are “Strong, Controlled, Focus, Smart.” Down to Oosoyos, my riding is contained and strong and I execute my nutrition plan. Before Richter, I drop all but one bottle and refill at the aid station at the top. I am resourceful, making adjustments to my plan and I keep going. In my special needs bag, I have Salt pills, CO2 and a spare tube. I plan on not picking it up but it’s there just in case. I drink 2×500 liquid per hour, one water, one perform. I eat 1 gel every 45 min. I take 1 salt every hour or two, as needed. I am smart and adjust as needed. I monitor my emotional responses. If I feel different, I pay attention to my nutrition. If I feel bad, it’s a sign my nutrition is going wrong. If this happens, I try something different and let 20 min go by. Breathe. I ride steady up Richter. I’m aggressive but safe on the descent staying as aerodynamic as possible. For the rollers, I get gear changes done ahead of time and I have tension on the pedals all the way through the rollers. I am strong and controlled.  I’m not aggressive but I’m also not soft pedaling. Into Cawson, I maintain my mental focus, technique, and recall my good training rides. On the out and back, I keep my focus. I ride strong controlled and do another nutrition assessment. As I approach Yellow Lake, I shift my focus to effort not speed. I use a steady energy (taking the energy from the crowd and put in the tank for the run). Riding back into town, I focus on technique. When I’m back in town, I focus on run and get ready.

I am so thankful to get off the bike. I give myself a wee bathroom break. I put on socks and shoes, and run. Now this what I’m, looking forward to. After the bike falls away, I’m free to run. I do 1 km then check in giving myself a bit of a run to let my legs get under me. I am really looking forward to this run. The key is to check my pace. I run 1km-2km and then dial the pace. For the first 5km, I aim for 5:15 pace.  Then, I start the run aiming for 5 min/km. I think of shady trails at UBC and my many great training runs. At the turnaround, I feel awesome. At the special needs, I grab my full bottle of perform**. I eat 1 gel + Perform / hour.  If not, I slow down to get my nutrition in. I will also have salt pills at ready (Be smart, if its not working, try something different). On the way back, the hill is hard but I’m running well.  I run back home, I see my friends and cheer for them on the way home.  Pace trumps finish time. I don’t think of finish time until cherry lane. At cherry lane use the finish line to pull in. I finish strong. I do the best time I can.

 ** I forgot to fill my water bottles before I put them in my special needs bag. Whoops.

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