August 26, 2017 8:48 a.m.
T’was the day before…
It ain’t Christmas tomorrow but IRONMAN CDA 2017 gave me a great little gift yesterday.
A completely different bike course than I was expecting😡
It was 9 years ago when I did this race so I don’t remember the road names etc but I assumed the bike course would be the same. Rolling hills, no flats but no major climbs.
Imagine my surprise when we drove the bike course yesterday. It is a two loop course, first loop is the exact same. 25 km, no big surprises. Loop two, all climbing!!!
Unlike 2008 when it was just rolling hills, this year, you start with a 2 km climb, flatten out a bit, another big climb, a down hill and the up to the turnaround. Yes it is downhill back to the city but your speeds never average out. You can’t go downhill fast enough to bring your overall speed up. That is if you are a lousy climber like me.
Driving the course on Friday and seeing what I had ahead of me made me so mad. I hate climbing!!!! I can climb but I can’t go fast enough. There are people like my buddy Duff who loves to climb and does it well. RV, JOE and LAZ can all climb. Me, I am always last up any hill.
I was cursing out the bike course yesterday. I got back to the Hotel and I went to the outdoor bar to have a beer and regroup.
After a couple of hours of feeling sorry for myself I realized that there is a good chance the race organizers are not going to change back to the old course just for me😉 I have to ride the course, suck it up.
How will this affect my goals? Not sure. It will come down to the run (as it always does) because I don’t think, on this type of course, I can average 24-25 km/hour on the bike. I might be 8 hours. I just need to stay focused, keep pedalling, eat my food, drink and beat the bike cut off time. Then run my ass off👍
So what constitutes a good race day for me on Sunday?
First off, show up on time.
- 3.8 km, every 7 strokes, look up and make sure I am on track. It is a two loop course, all left turns. Rectangle.
- If I am having a good swim 1 hour 33 minutes will be a good time. Not having a good swim, beat the cut off of 2 hours 20 minutes.
- roughly 10 minutes, change into my bike gear and get onto the bike
- eat a bagel too👍
- 180 km. Every hour I have to finish a Gatorade mixed drink and 2 powergels. Also, eat some bananas and drink water from the aid stations
- In my special needs bag at 120 km I will pick up more gels, M and M’s, Gummies and some salt and vinegar chips (the salt) plus some electrolyte pills.
- If I am having a good bike, 7 hours 40 minutes would be great. If I am having a bad day, beat the cut off time of 10 hours 50 minutes from start of race.
- 10 minutes, change into run gear
- eat a cliff bar
- Run to each aid station, eat and drink whatever they have. Water, Coke, pretzels, fruit
- Keep moving.
- 3 loops = 42.2 KM
- If I am having a good race, 4 hours 40 minutes. If I am having a bad day, beat the cut off time of 17 hours. Just finish.
In 2004 at IRONMAN CANADA, my very first IRONMAN, I ran into a good friend of mine Todd Wilson. We were in the bike area waiting to enter the water. He was doing the race as well. Todd had done many IRONMAN races by that point and was an excellent triathlete. I asked him for advice. He said “Scott, you will be out there for a long time so just enjoy the day.” Underwhelming advice I thought.
Until I hit the half way point of run course that day and realized what was unfolding before me. Only then did I realize what Todd meant.
Enjoy the day. Give 100% whenever you can. Don’t stop moving forward. Think positive at all times, even when it is difficult to do so. Look around. Keep your head up. Smile as much as you can. Pat someone on the back. Hug someone.
ENJOY THE DAY.
It is all you get.
If you noticed, most of the time I sign off on my blogs with Enjoy the Day ( or take care ). Since 2004 I have tried to live by that motto. Not always successfully but I try. Thanks Todd for the great advice. You are like YODA.
I will do the same on Sunday.
Enjoy the day.
Take care and Enjoy your day😊
Talk to you Monday.