I finally [url=http://snail-male.blogspot.com/2010/09/muskoka-my-1st-him-reasons-why-cr... a RR[/url] on this event. Like [url=http://www.trifuel.com/forum/23978/ironman-muskoka-703]Jonovision said,[/url] it was a wonderful venue and great organization behind it.
I flat out couldn't have accomplished this without the support of the Trifuel community, so thank you [i]everyone[/i].
Here are some cuts-n-pastes to give you an overview (and to appease TriSooner :)
- ... my Timex failed to rouse me when it mattered most; I slept for another hour before stirring.
- weather radar showed scattered showers throughout the region, so I set up all of my transition supplies inside my long narrow plastic wetsuit bag. And by [i]set up[/i] I mean [i]tossed[/i]...
- [b]Question for other triathletes[/b]: What's your experience with wet carbon fibre braking? Are Swiss Stop Yellows sufficient (only cork pads are bad?) or do you pack your training clinchers for a last minute swap on threatening mornings? Those of you who have two sets of deep profile race wheels for just such an occasion don't even bother answering, because [i]I hate you[/i].
- My long training was with just Gatorade and gels for hydration and calories, my data was simply a Timex with chrono function, and I stashed the heart rate monitor months ago, once I had a sense for my RPE. My strides' and strokes' cadences were consistent and I just wanted to focus on self-awareness for this event.
[b]SWIM[/b]: 1.9 km - 40:09, 2:01/100m, 30/56 AG, 482/863 OA
The lake was calm, water temp quite ideal
- ... most everyone seemed to want to make it through this event unscathed...
- The final 1,000m was uneventful, at least until I approached the temporary staircase we were to exit by. Perhaps in my late arrival I missed the RD's announcement to not veer too far right, to avoid the silty mud. I stepped right in it and sank a half foot or so.
- ... and began gingerly running barefoot up the steep ~400m of pavement to T1. (for those of you unfamiliar with the metric system, a [i]steep 400m of pavement in bare feet[/i] is roughly the distance of Tallahassee, Florida to Hudson's Bay, Ontario)
[i]Note to self: leave an old pair of runners inside strip zone[/i]. The soles of my feet were the only real tenderness in the days following.
[b]T1[/b]: 07:48 - yes, Seven minutes, forty eight seconds.
Once one factors in the grade of climb, the tender bare feet vs. pavement, and the distance ([i]including the extra 90m Crowie and his ilk didn't need to cover![/i]) it may seem more reasonable. Oh yes, and hurriedly packing everything inside the plastic wetsuit bag meant that, although I had dry socks and bike shoes to put on, rummaging around for what I needed was like deconstructing a giant sausage...
[b]BIKE[/b]: 94 km - 03:02:56 - 30.8 kph/19.14 mph, 19/56 AG, 262/863 OA
I seemed to be passing people handily up the first hill which, ominously, began right where we clipped in...
- The course was terrific, and the huge outcrops of rock from this cusp of the Canadian Shield made the four additional kilometres seem like a bonus. Happily, the surface was, at worst, reasonable;
- The pavement from Dwight to Baysville was absolutely splendid, being repaved for this past summer's G8 summit.
- [b]Some simple pleasures[/b]:
1) in retrospect I found the basic hydration (Gatorade) and nutrition (Powergels) I'd trained with served me well. (Plus a few Endurolytes popped in the a.m. prior to dashing out the door; with a few faint hope extras - ultimately unused - tucked into my pocket for the bike & run.)
2) No cramps, no tightness, no GI issues. [i]Note to self: maybe push a tad harder next time... sounds like you were babying yourself![/i]
3) That feeling of looking over your shoulder before moving out to pass a slower cyclist, and seeing [i]absolutely no one[/i].
4) The locals were uniformly great. All generations were camped out at the ends of their driveways cheering us on and ringing cowbells. Hard to not feel you were leading a major stage race in Yurp. Drivers, too, swung far out when they passed, which wasn't often; the organizers' warning signs posted a few weeks before perhaps gave everyone fair warning to prepare their day accordingly.
- about halfway along the misty fog turned into a fairly gentle rainfall; the ambient temp was mild enough (10* C, 50* F) to make it mostly refreshing.
- learned the hard way to not shove the Gatorade bottle I rec'd at the handup quite so lustily into the Aerodrink opening - doing so popped the rubber baffle free, and it floated and bobbed near the opening for the rest of the ride, feebly allowing small waves of drink to breach the top of the bottle over bumps, covering me in a tasty shellac...
- I was a bit beyond the limits of my gearing - spun out in top gear several times while at least three climbs were out-of-the-seat granny gear mashfests, two of them intense enough I wondered if I'd need to unclip (as some others had).
[b]Question for other triathletes[/b]: right now I'm on the stock 50-34/12-25 setup. Would you opt for an 11-26 cassette (SRAM only?) to widen the range? If I try to swap out the chainrings I'd be restricted to increasing both in size - 53-39 - which would of course help my top speed but mess with my climbs...
- It was great rolling into transition knowing I met my fundamental goal: deliver the legs to the run...
- I was excited to see my watch under 4 hours, so my outside goal of sub-six (which I was still trying to suppress!) remained in the cards.
[b]RUN[/b]: 02:00:48 - 05:44/km, 33/56, 422/863 OA
On leaving T2 I came upon none other than Mirinda Carfrae, running, of course, in the other direction - 12 minutes ahead of the next nearest woman - a few hundred metres from the finish line...
- The hills were immediate and significant, but I was prepared for this and knew right away I wasn't going to eat the whole turkey in one mouthful. More than 300m. of climbing was ahead of me...
- I kept the cadence up around 90 and remembered by 1k to synch my watch to see about some pacing. The first few kms. were over half a minute/km faster than planned, so I reined it in as best I could...
- ... my pacing was taken care of for me by the hills that rose in plateaus right up to the turnaround.
- Once one makes the turnaround and heads down the toward the highway again, there is a remaining challenge: The Fairy Vista Trail. It's a local MUP but, really, outside of moose or 4x4s with bumper mounted winches (on the 4x4s, not the moose) I can't imagine people out casually strolling on this paved roller coaster. I felt like a cartoon trying to descend some of the grades at a run, my feet pedalling madly to stay under me.
[b]TOTAL[/b]: 05:54:10 - 27/56 AG, 355/863 OA
This event was a high point for me, no question. It was such a pleasure to train for and compete in that, ironically, I'm not as phased at the prospect of trying something longer - I guess that's a full IM! - as when I'd completed my shorter events. Time will tell..
[b]POST EVENT[/b]: With the generous help of many family members, friends, my employer & co-workers, I was able to raise over $2,500 towards the SickKids Foundation, this event's designated charity that supports Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.