Monday, July 9, 2012
Mont-Tremblant is a lovely ski village north west of Montreal. I have never raced in Canada and was very attracted to this race. First off, it was the inaugural year for the race, and secondly, I knew the scenery and atmosphere would be gorgeous. It was right up my alley. It also fit into an open space in my race schedule, so why would I not race. The Ironman coordinators had a great expo area set up just below the village which was easy to get to, and had lots of different vendors that we don't see in the USA.
My husband, Rob, and I drove up to Mont-Tremblant. A 13 hour drive doesn't seem that bad with someone else along, especially after driving that far for the last race. We also got XM radio in our car recently. Helps the time fly by. I love taking my car to races. No bike fee, no chances of things getting lost or broken, and I can way over pack to make sure I have every single thing I need for the race. Love it!! I also am very grateful when Rob can come along to races. Although, when I leave home my bike seems to be in proper order, it is always helpful to know he is there to tweek whatever needs to be done pre race. I trust him a lot. It's also great to have the support and at least knowing that one person will be cheering you on. Thanks Rob!!!
The famed Canadian Snow Birds took a few fly overs above the race swim start. The Snow Birds Demonstration Team is a Canadian icon comprised of serving members of the Canadian forces. It was really cool and an honor to be present for something that is much respected in the country.
So now to the race. As I said before I felt really calm and just ready to give it my all but really enjoy the whole experience as well. I got a nice start in the water and actually hung onto a few girls for much longer than I normally would. After I got dropped I just took the best pace possible and kept calm. The water never got choppy, the sun wasn't in my eyes. It was just a successful swim for me. I ended up having my best swim time in two years on this course. Now having perfect conditions does help, but I have been working really hard on the swim, so I was pleased to see the clock read 2 minutes faster than I expected out of the water.
T1 was almost a quarter of a mile away. We all had to run a LONG way to get to our bikes. I was definitely out of breath and tired by the time I got to my transition spot. Everything went smoothly and off I went. The first 5 miles miles of the bike are on a beautiful country road, nice rolling hills. I took off and felt wonderful. I chose to use my HED Jet 6 front wheel, and HED Jet Disc on my back. I actually got to the long highway stretch after the first bit and was worried I went too hard because I was just cranking out the power and flying. I decided that so what if I went too hard, I needed to take some chances on this course, on this day, and see what I could do. Every race is a learning experience and if I didn't try to go all out, then I would never know if I could do it or how it would effect me. So I gave it everything I had and hammered the course the whole way. In my opinion the last 20 miles of the course were the most difficult and had the best scenery. We were really in the back country. I would get going fast on downhill, then the steep hills would come and I'd have to granny gear it to the top. It was hard to get into a rhythm and that is where the challenge comes in for most cyclist. I looked at it as a big feat for me to stay present and just push what I could push and go hard. In the end I had a top 5 bike split and I was super happy for that.
The crowd support around the village was just super fun. I get a lot of energy and emotion from the crowds and volunteers wherever I go. It is something that is always appreciated and bring positiveness into my race experience. T2 was great because that's where we got a chance to see tons of people and hear the crowds cheering us in on the bike and then a ton on the other side at the run out. Very cool.
The beginning of the run was pretty tough. There was a short but very steep climb and then a winding road and another longer less steep climb up into the actual town of Mont-Tremblant, with a few rollers. The temps were going up and I could really tell but it wasn't anything worse than what I had been training in Ohio. The mid section of the race is on a long flat sand trail. This time of day there was no shade. Although the less impact of running on the sand was nice, it got very hot out there and there was not enough water out there for me. I needed more for sure. About mile 9 I started feeling the burn and hit a wall. I had not caught any girls on the run, but was gaining on them. I dug deep to give it what I had, but the rollers at the end hit me hard. I could tell that my fitness wasn't the best at this point and maybe it was because I did take some chances on the run. Either way, I finished with what I had. The finish line was just spectacular! We ran in from above the ski village and down through the middle on a stone paved walkway through hundreds of people. The energy was amazing!!! In the end, I had a good swim, great bike, and a decent run. I am proud though that I executed the race exactly how I was hoping, minus the last slower 4 miles of the run. I was able to dig and stay present and not worry about anyone else, just myself and what I could do with what I had. It was a wonderful race and I hope that next year it fits into my schedule.
After the race I got to have a little girl time with two of my favs, Jenny and Magali. It was nice to celebrate in our great races, Jenny first out of water, and victory for Magali in her hometown race. It was a perfect time to celebrate, reconnect and unwind. Of course there were a few glasses of vino, yummy food, and lots of laughing. We had to have a little kid fun time to race down the mountain Alpine Slide. What A blast!!! Rob was a little competitive on this one. He had to join in on some competition during the weekend, right!?!?
Overall this was a refreshing and revitalizing weekend for me. I was in need of a race that was successful in my eyes, a get-a-way with my husband to a beautiful part of the world, and to reconnect with some good friends. It all fell into place just right.
Thank you always to my sponsors, Power Bar, HED Cycling, FuelBelt, Rudy Project, and Blueseventy. I wouldn't be able to race and succeed without the best products in the triathlon world! Thanks to my coach, Derick, for believing in me and helping me keep a level head on this journey, and pushing me to my max. Most of all, thank you to my husband Rob for being by my side and supporting my endeavors everyday. Next up is Ironman Lake Placid July 22nd.