Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant: The Bike


From volunteering in the men's T1 tent at Lake Placid in 2010, I remember that the tent gets most crowded for the 1:05-1:15 range of swimmers. That is when the tent becomes utter mayhem. I landed in the tent at Lake Placid in 2011 with a 1:10 swim and was lucky to find a seat to put my bag on.

With a low 1:05 swim this year, I got into the tent just before the hordes took the place over and I had the entire tent to myself! This also meant that I would get onto the bike course before the hordes also took over.

I simply got in and out of T1 as fast as possible. As I was exiting, there was Beth! She was working on the sunscreening screw. I stopped for a split second, gave her a big kiss and away I went for my bike.

Onto the bike it was flashback city to June in the 70.3. I KNOW THIS COURSE!!! I OWN IT!!!

For the first loop, I just kept it in check (or so I thought) and did my thing (or so I thought).

Fast forward to starting the second loop after special needs, and I was NOT a happy boy any more.


Basically, I did what I vowed NOT to do: Go out too hard on 117. I also vowed NOT to big ring up every single tiny little up on the Lac Superior out and back. Did that!

Basically I screwed myself royally.

And as a result? My stomach wouldn't take the Uncrustables anymore, which those turned into gigantic sponges that blocked any more nutritional I piled in on top of it in my stomach.

So the 2nd loop of the bike went like this:

"Yep, I screwed up."

"I am not hungry. Full in fact, yet my legs feel like they want to bonk! WTF?"

"I might not finish the bike."

"I REALLY want to quit!"

"Oh, I am TOTALLY quitting!"

"Why would I spend the next 5.5 hours walking a stupid marathon."

"This isn't fun anymore. I knew I should have called it a season back in June."

Then I started to think about my fellow racers. My family. The disappointment in Beth's face. My coach's! Kevin, Jeff, Mandy, Dave. What would my explanation be? That I had a stomach ache and poor little legs hurt?!? And I dropped out because of that?

I eventually finished the 2nd loop of the bike in just about 3 hours, after going a 2:41:xx for the first loop. All said and done by that point of the race, I had 10 MORE HOURS TO FINISH A MARATHON!


Amazing how your mind can rationalize quitting in this way. I felt so......damn guilty about even thinking about this!

Then I remembered something: You will always have your dark moments in ANY race you do. This was my dark moment, and I simply didn't need to listen to it.

So I made a deal with myself: Get into T2, put your shoes on, and just start running and see what happens. That is all.

I knew I could finish this bike ride, I knew it would hurt and would take a bit more time than expected.

With about 45 mins left, or about when I hit town for the final out and back up to Lac Superior, those stupid Uncrustables in my stomach made their way through and the Gu's and EFS that had piled on top also made their way through, AND! into my legs FINALLY! So the final 45 mins of the bike I was feeling better. NOT great! But just better.

Trust me, I am still kicking myself for that awful performance on the bike.

Wait a second, yes, I did do the bike 25 mins faster than Placid, but I felt like I executed the bike at Placid 10,000,000,000% better, even with a broken front derailleur from mile 43 on. It is a matter of pride here! Haha!

Also, I am not blaming the Uncrustables. The harder you race, the more inefficient your stomach becomes, which means you need to eat simpler foods. An Uncrustable is NOT a simple food. At a slower pace (which I should have held and trained for), I can easily digest an Uncrustable. But I did not do that and shut my stomach down for digesting such as a thing. At that effort, I should have been consuming EFS, Gu, and Gatorade only.

Lesson learned!: Don't go harder than you trained for. Otherwise expect a big fat nutrition FAIL.

Once off the bike and running into T2, I dreaded what was to come....


  1. I think everyone feels like that at some point during an IM. I know I wanted to quit after the bike and not go run. Good job for pushing through!

  2. *facepalm*

    You are so special. I'm glad you didn't stop and were able to redeem yourself on the run!!

  3. It's nice to hear that a stud racer like yourself goes through low spots. I'm working on my mental strength to be able to press on through those dark times. It sounds like you did just great, and that once you made it past those negative thoughts, everything started working better. Thanks for the wisdom on the nutrition!

  4. Interesting about the nutrition indeed. I had no idea about thinking about what type of food to be eating based on how it is digested. I guess I only ever have powergels during races anyways, so I always opt for the easy to digest foods. But over an ironman, you probably need some more substantial food that than to survive that long. Nice job on the bike, even though it may have been rough physically and mentally.

  5. Dude. Why are you all of a sudden kissing random volunteers??? Isn't there are rule against that???

    It is a damn good thing you didn't quit. It would have made my run that much longer if I had to run back to transition and drag your ass out on the run with me!

    Quit kicking yourself. Seriously. You rock a sub 6 hour bike split by 20 minutes. Just chalk this up as a learning moment: no uncrustables and love the granny gear ;) And think of this as a HTFU moment of extraordinary proportion.

    PS: "sunscreening screw" - Freudian slip?

  6. That moment mid-race when you realized you've totally screwed yourself is the absolute worst. Unfortunately I've experienced it far too many times.

  7. well i know how you feel. i've beaten myself up after races plenty of times. it'll pass, it's not that big of a deal. you learned some lessons and now need to execute them the next time around. (easy, right? ha). glad you had the sense to talk yourself off the cliff!


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