Pre-Race Buildup to Ironman Canada
This past Thursday, I got some bad news. The TriOneOOne season finale in Woodlands, TX (suburb of Houston) was cancelled. From the beginning of the year, this series had been my focus. The money was great, HFP racing puts on great events, and I liked the distance (it is quite bike-centric, even among long course races). I also thought I was a good stepping stone should I ever want to do an Ironman. I really enjoyed the OneOOne series, so I didn’t have the Ironman itch. I kept saying “when I do my first one, I want to be prepared.” Well, with the cancellation of the race (and the series), that plan of “be prepared” went out the window. I was standing in the ocean with Simon icing my legs, as I do most every night, and I said “well, what should I do now?” In typical Simon fashion, he said “why don’t you race Ironman Canada on Sunday?” We laughed, and then, suddenly, it didn’t seem so crazy. So, after talking about it some more, we got it in our heads that this would be a good idea.
I called Steve Fleck of Nineteen Wetsuits, who is part of the whole Ironman Crew, and left him a voicemail saying “I think this is crazy, but do you think there is any chance I could do the race on Sunday?” After a hearty send off dinner at Hernandez for Dano Wells, who is taking a short leave of absence from Team BAMF, Fleck called back and said “yes, we can get you in.” I really didn’t think this was a possibility, so thanks Fleck!
Coach Joel didn’t seem thrilled by the idea, but he did support my decision and gave me a good prep speech. And, more than that, he gets all the credit for the an incredible year of training. After a short swim Friday morning, I booked a ticket to fly out of Victoria that afternoon. A HUGE thank you to Paula Newby-Fraser and the rest of the North America Sports crew for letting me race last minute. So after a last minute packing job, I landed in Penticton at 4:30PM on Friday. Jill was nice enough to pick me up, and we headed over to registration, but they were unfortunately closed for the evening. So, with the big day looming, we headed off to get some stuff to make dinner. I was careful to eat something I knew would sit well, and I also tried to get some extra salt in. I also tried to listen to several people’s advice to not overeat, as many folks are wont to do trying to cram in calories for the whole race at each meal. And then, it was time for bed.
Saturday, I got registered was assigned number 62, which seemed like a good omen since I was number 162 at the OneOOne race in Clearlake, which was my best race to date. Then I did a short swim and run just to stay loose. After that, Jill went over the course with me on a map, and helped me to know how Joel’s plan of racing by 60km increments on the bike would actually play out. I knew I had to be a bit conservative, since I’d never raced this far. Joel had a great gameplan, and laid out what I had to do well – keep your watts under control and stay on top of your nutrition. After registration, I had some lunch, got my gear bags ready, checked in my bike, and then dinner and bed. I did manage to take a few short naps during the day, since I didn’t think I’d sleep well that night. Not so much exciting there.
And that’s how I ended up racing my first Ironman on three days notice!