August 24, 2019 - To an amazing coach, Lesley Smith, I could not have done this without your coaching, words of encouragement, and your faith. With that I was able to crush my goals.
So this is my first tried and true recap of a race…so if I’m long my apologies. I have to start off by saying that without my coach’s, Lesley Smith, insight, emails, phone calls, and wisdom I don’t think I could have crushed my second Ironman with a 48-minute PR. With shift work, teaching, and taking care of my personal stuff on my own while training I knew this was going to be interesting. This year, 2019, I came into Ironman Mont Tremblant with some expectations of the course through YouTube videos and reading about the course from other participants. I did Ironman Chattanooga back in 2017 but it was difficult, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer a month prior to the race but with his blessing I completed the race in 14:06. I was thrilled.
I arrived on Monday and had six days to get into a mindset for the race. I continued to listen to Lesley and followed her plan. I had the opportunity to swim the lake, bike the run course but kind of remained away from the major portion of the bike course, yes because I fear the hills.
I had two terrible practice swims alone and spoke with Lesley immediately. She was amazing, taking the time out of her day, her training to speak with me, to calm my nerves, and take away the bad jou jou. I returned to the lake and found 3 other ladies and swam with them and it was awesome, even made it to the coffee barge, yes there was a barge about 1200 yards out who served coffee to any of the participants. After speaking with these ladies, they convince me to self-seed myself at 1:15, I had planned on swimming 1:30-1:45.
Race Day: So race day came, and I was nervous as expected. I got into my wetsuit and hopped into the 1:15 corral towards the back so that I was between 1:15-1:20. I entered the water and let the large men around me go so that I could get myself settled. Of course, as always, my first 300 yards, go as what was I thinking, oh my god I think I’m going to drown, to finally getting into my groove. After making the first turn, with just a couple of guys swimming over me, I made the turn back. The water a bit choppier but I was happy, I had not drown. I exited the water at 1:27 not too bad since I knew I could not compare it to Chattanooga since it was a down stream swim, and I was out in an 1:03. I felt good and I was out of the water. I used the awesome wetsuit strippers and job to T1. I did not have much difference in my timing for T1: Chattanooga: 11:47, Mont Tremblant: 11:06. It was time for the real test the bike. I was under the impression that it was 6600 feet of climbing done in two loops boy was I wrong. I remember the last thing Lesley told me was to try and remain in the saddle except to crest a hill and that stayed with me until the second loop of Chemin Duplessis. I was shocked to later find out my top speed was 45.2 miles an hour with a total climb of 8570 feet. But surprisingly I felt awesome. I kept up with my nutrition and stayed in my saddle. Chattanooga: 6:56 averaging 16.14 mph with an elevation of 4334, Mont Tremblant: 6:44 averaging 16.6 mph, man there’s some major improvement.
On to T2, there took my bike and I jogged into the tent, quickly changing again, yes, I changed for all three aspects. Chattanooga: 11:46, Mont Tremblant: 8:15, another big improvement and I came out of T2 feeling great that I was high fiving the crowds as I made my way out onto the run course. I kept my cool knowing there were a few rolling hills in the beginning of the course, and I did not want to burn myself out. I also knew that there were aid stations almost every mile, so I chose to walk the aid stations and any hill I felt was overwhelming my legs. During the run, I kept chugging along, feeling pretty good and after completing the first loop and making my was through the village to all the cheering, I felt like I could have run a 5-minute mile. I looked at my watch and was surprised to see I was doing very well and knew I could run this marathon under 5 hours. I started the second loop and was feeling great. I continued with my plan of walking the aid stations and finishing strong. As I came out of the wooded area towards the finish about 1.5 miles out, it was still light out and the sun was setting so perfectly over the water of the lake we had swam in earlier. My thoughts of my Dad creeping into my head and I knew I had this. I rounded the last hill and entered the village again feeling like superman with the roar of the crowd. The faster I ran through the village the louder the crowd was. As I approached the finish, I sent a big kiss to my Dad, pointed to the sky and finished the race with tears in my eyes. It was truly a great race especially when I looked at my watch to see a finish time of 13:14, crushing Chattanooga’s time of 14:06.
Chattanooga: Gender rank: 307 Division Rank: 53 Overall Rank: 1140
Mont Tremblant: Gender rank: 248 Division Rank: 35 Overall Rank: 1131
I cannot say enough about Lesley Smith. I was happy with AJ decided to pair me with Lesley. After our first call, I knew this was a good fit and as you can see by the numbers it truly was.