::Ironman Canada- Magic # 3::

::The start for 2012 IMC and apparently the last in Penticton, BC::

Once in a while its nice to know what you been doing for along time pays off… especially if your not sure about how you go about it. Going all the way back to 2010 when I decided to do Ironman Canada after being introduced to the sport by a friend.

I read a list blogs, forums, and twitter to set me off in what I hoped was the right direction. I found a very popular training guide and (still using it to this day)started following it just after Christmas. I had a good first attempt at IMC and enjoyed every minute of it and did what I could to soak it in. After my race I sat and went over the many issues and problems I had, mainly, not remembering anything about the last mile. I was in so much pain, I don’t remember it at all. Looking back at the data, some the posts and pictures, it just looked so painful. Problem number 1, nutrition. Problem number 2, I had only been biking for about a one year on a 700 dollar road bike with no aerobars. Problem number 3, I was hooked. I would continue to read what others experienced, tried, raced, and would continue to venture without groups, coaching, or teams. I wanted to try this on my own. I wanted to make it just like the race itself, no outside help.

After my Second ironman in 2011, I was progressing thanks to more racing, more data, more experience, and of course a new bike. After my 2011 race I wasn’t happy with my result, I was starting to get a little frustrated with how little I progressed. Over the fall of 2010 and going into 2011, I had a new goal, Kona. I figured it would take me two years to reach my goal. So 2011 would be the year of the run, and 2012 would be the year of the bike. Well once I finished the 2011 IMC with a marathon slower then my first go around, the year of the run didn’t really happen. I clearly needed to learn a few more things about Ironman.

It was back to the drawing board for 2011-2012. I thought about a new training guide, or a few different methods, or just plain buying a race plan. After some digging I decided to stick with my original guide from 2010, but with some adjustments. Over the last 2-3 years I have gained a lot of knowledge of how I work. Probably one of the reasons why I have been able to stay away from major injuries. The original guide I use just makes sense, and works well with what I do for work. Its flexible and reasonable.

Going into 2012, I decided I would want to give myself two changes at Kona. Over the winter I signed up for Ironman St George in May with a second shot at Ironman Canada. After a very tough St George, I once again came out with little progress, but I was finding small positives. The wheels started to turn in my head that I am starting to figure out a little more about fueling, as well as a few tweaks to bike amoung many other things.

A few half iron races between St George and Ironman Canada showed more progress but not enough. I knew I could get my times down even more. I did a lot of result studying and number crunching before my Ironman Canada this year and everything was saying sub 10. 9:52 actually. I just had to convince myself that I can cycle with the top guys and run a 3:25 marathon to finish off. It was a tough thing to do especially after 3:25 marathon was what I was running about 3 years ago, fresh.

Going into the race I was hoping for a 5:20 bike, with a 5:25 being a more realistic number. I didn’t convince myself that I could ride that fast until I was coming back to Penticton. The winds were quiet and I was feeling good. I would continually run the numbers in my head…”Holy shit, I’m coming in under 5:25!”. I remember at this point last year I was thinking the total opposite, and was behind by 5 minutes. Once I was in the city of Penticton on my bike, I knew I had this sub 10 thing locked up if I just kept fueling just like I had in training for the last 3 months.

Running that marathon was the toughest yet. I kinda felt like when I was a kid playing Mario brothers and was trying to finish the level with all your extra dudes. I just didn’t want to wreck my perfect level by crashing out and losing all those extra dudes and the free Mario life in that invisible spot. I just kept popping water, coke, the odd banana and of course on the last 8 miles, my crazy double latte powergels.

After the finish I felt like I cheated. It wasn’t hot, it didn’t rain, and the wind on the bike was minimal. I thought forsure everyone else thought the same and had awesome day. I didn’t think I placed well, especially after a ton 40 plus guys passed me and I never saw them again. …I was 3rd in 30-34 with a 9:48. Aloha!