Ironman Mont Tremblant – The Report

I hesitate to call this a race report, because I didn’t race.  I mean I started and all, but as most of you know I didn’t finish – it was my decision to pull the plug. 

Caratunk Girl

I'm good with it!

Here is the scoop.

I said in my last blog that I haven’t been training.  I don’t think a lot of people believed me…so let me first outline my training since May 1:

  • May  – went for a run
  • June – went for a bike ride
  • July – swam a handful of times

Yup. That’s it. 

That is why I said what I said in my last two blog posts – basically I planned on treating it as a training day. 

I was really going to meet up with my friends Jeff & Annie, Kevin & Jennie, and Jon & Beth and Adena and Fran.  Talk about the blog world all colliding!! These guys are all so awesome, I am so psyched to have them for friends and wish we all lived a little closer

Some people might not understand that (and I don’t really care) but I just decided to have a fun day – I mean, I figured I could make the swim cutoff, get on the bike and just see how I feel.  Mostly I just wanted to have a fun day.

Which is what I did. 

I am not going to give a blow by blow description – read Jon, Jeff, or Kevin’s blog for that – they all did the entire race in SPEEDY time.  I just did the swim and one bike loop. Here are a few bullet-like points about the course/my day.

  • If you are thinking about doing IMMT – do it.  What a venue!
  • The swim start was kind of funny.  There was supposed to be a cannon, but people got in front of the cannon (???WHY would you do that??), so some planes flew over, Mike Riley looked over to the cannons and then just went “GO GO GO” .
  • I ran into a green kayak.  I started sighting after that.
  • Due to the above situation, I’m pretty sure I swam like 3 miles.
  • When you are really far back in the swim, the kayaks and paddle boards surround you.  I was pretty sure I was the last one out there by the way they surrounded me, it was very weird.  But there were really people behind me! I was somewhere around 2 hours I think (1:50 something).  Swim cut off is 2:20.
  • The run from the swim to transition is about 6 miles. I could be exaggerating, but not by much.
  • Smile a lot and put your positive attitude out to people, and they WILL cheer their heads off for you.  Promise.
  • I LOVE the crowds at this race – holy crap.  They lined the streets in all the towns I biked through shouting “Bravo! GO GO GIRL GO”.
  • I think the bike course is challenging and beautiful – I did 1 loop in about 4:15 – that is long for me for that distance compared to the past (56 miles), but again, I didn’t train.  The hardest section of the course is the 12 miles/20 kilometers heading out to Lac Superior (aka Lac HELL)– lots of steep rollers the entire way.
  • When you are really far in the back of the pack, you get lapped by the pros (on their second loop).  You also get to meet a 70 year old who has is a 10 time Ironman – at least I did.
  • Adena and Michelle are so awesome – from start to “finish” they Sherpa’d my crap around, stored my stinky bike shoes in their room (I owe you girls a beer for that), and really just made me feel much less alone at the race.  Thank you so so much.  XOXOX
  • I really like poutine, it’s even better with bacon.  Don’t judge me.

So I did 1 loop and got to special needs at around 1:20 pm – the cutoff is 1:30.  I did the math and figured my second loop was going to be slower than my first loop, and the 5:30 cut-off was a long shot. 

I know most of you want to hear that I wanted to gut it out and go for it…but I just didn’t.  I was good.  I went into it knowing that I hadn’t trained (at all), and knowing what the distance requires (see my IMLP post HERE), I was sure it was time for me to throw in the towel.

I just didn’t have any reason to put myself through it for a race that I didn’t have my heart into.

That’s the thing about Ironman – you need to have your heart in it.   If you don’t, you are toast.

Since the new job my time has been really limited, especially when I first started…I still had the heart and desire for this race then, and I was getting some training in.   I was just getting back into a training groove and then my grandfather got sick…and I think after he died…I think that is when I really lost my heart and drive for this race.  The balloon just popped.

Anyway I guess I don’t need to justify it to anyone… except I have gotten some criticism over this (regarding my swim time, my choosing to stop, etc) and it kind annoys me.  I know most people wouldn’t have even shown up –and that is fine. 

I guess that would have been the easy way to deal with it.  But I had a SWEET condo, I had decided to come, and so then was here…I kind of figured why not?  What if I had a really great day and did finish (understand not likely, but what if?)

Mont Tremblant Condo

View from my condo

So that is my story of the race day of IMMT…not what I had hoped for or envisioned a year ago, but a good day nonetheless. 

I can’t wait to follow up with some awesome stories about the weekend.

About caratunkgirl

Short spunky girl from the tiny town of Caratunk, Maine. Active outdoor girl. I am a forester, whitewater raft guide, Ironman and 5x marathoner with Ultra dreams. Always ready for the next adventure with my dog Kineo by my side.
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24 Responses to Ironman Mont Tremblant – The Report

  1. Heather says:

    I am so happy to hear that you had a great day and that’s what is important in this journey. I can’t believe someone would even comment on this in a negative way. You shouldn’t have to justify any of it 🙂
    It’s not JUST about the finish it’s the experience and sounds like you had a great one! I hear the hills are hard as hell so kudos for the first 56!

  2. Jill Agresta says:

    You are such a star and a class act! I’m so glad you had a great day and were honest with yourself about any race expectations. Looks like a beautiful place to have a wonderful training day!!

  3. Molly says:

    You did what you wanted to do and you had fun – where’s the problem with that? Glad you hear you made it OK and it was your call on stopping the racing, it was hard to tell just from tracking you online! 🙂

  4. jennifer says:

    Ack! I keep reading about critical negative people and I do. Not. Get. It. So AWESOME you decided to go for it! Glad you had a great time. Way to know your own limits, take care of your body, and enjoy your day.

  5. I’m so sorry people were critical. Meeting Blogatistas is so cool and probably would have made the trip memorable alone.

    Maybe I’ll go to Placid next year and cheer on the faithful! I probably should train for that though.

  6. peter takeda says:

    Hey, at least you got to try the poutine!!

    great to meet you and sign up for next year. I’ll probably do the half in June and maybe the full again in 2014

  7. Kat says:

    Sounds like a totally healthy attitude to me. You knew you hadn’t trained, you started anyway, and you knew it wasn’t gonna happen. Nothing wrong with that! I’m glad you had such a great time – after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

    You’re still one of my heroes. 😉

  8. Katie says:

    I feel like at Ironman prices, you deserved to get a sweet training day out of it, even if life got in the way. It’s always great to see your big smile!!!

  9. Mandy, you did what was right for YOU and that’s all that counts! You had a great day with awesome friends, what more can you ask for? 🙂 Congrats for giving it a go!

  10. michelle says:

    Who the heck would negative comment about what YOU did with YOUR day and YOUR race?? ugh. What is wrong with people? Great job even trying–I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even have gone. What a great attitude you had and I’m impressed you made it as far as you did! Hope to see you this weekend.

  11. Anne-Marie says:

    You did the right thing! Glad to hear you still went, gave it your best shot, and enjoyed the trip. Sometimes life throws curveballs at us, and the only thing we can do is go with the flow and try our best to adapt!

    The green kayak comment cracked me up!

    I’ve read so many great reviews of IMMT… going to have to add it to “the list”!

  12. Matt Smith says:

    Ya know what? It sounds like you had an awesome time at IMMT! Who cares about finishing! I’m glad you got to hang out with all those cool people. Very fun! Sounds like you had a great training day! 🙂

  13. Jeff says:

    Mandy, it was awesome hanging out with you this week! We all had such a good time!

    In regards to the race, we already talked about it, and I think you did the right thing.

    Have fun at OBB this weekend!

  14. adena says:

    From a completely selfish place I am glad you stopped when you did because it gave us a chance to hang out more. You already know I supported your decision from the get go. Seriously the best weekend of my entire year, hands down to get to meet you in person, finally. Now we must plan that 70.3 for you, me and Colleen. Michelle said she’d sherpa for us!!!

  15. Colleen says:

    Obviously you and I have talked a lot about this and you know my thoughts on this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your attitude about it all. You always do what YOU want to do and that’s awesome. I think you would have regretted not starting. You came out of that with an amazing experience. Plus… when will you ever have the chance to come into T2 in third place again? 🙂

    For the haters, let them hate. They will get what’s coming to them! 😉

  16. Shannon says:

    ah, i think you had a FABULOUS attitude going into and coming out of this. sometimes life gets in the way, and you have to adjust. i think it’s great that you went and had a great time!! 🙂

  17. Coy says:

    Well you know what, you did it your way, just like Frank Sinatra said (or sang 🙂 I think it’s much better that you went and did what you wanted than not showing up at all. I would have done the same and you’re 100% right. You have to have your heart into it. Chips are ALL IN to play Ironman.

    Also, Just wanted to say that you inspired me to take the plunge to do my first 70.3. I remember your racing report from your first one and being so inspired that I wanted to try one for myself! Happy to report that I finished 70.3 Steelhead on Sunday! Thank you!

  18. At least you showed up and got out there. It does seem like a beautiful course, and it’s better to pull yourself out early than to let Ironman chew you up and spit you out into the hospital or something. Could have been much worse.

    And I’m totally jealous of the blogger meetups!

  19. Heather O says:

    BEST RACE REPORT EVER! You are so inspiring, Mandy! I think it took alot of courage to go out there and do what you did! Especially with everything else you had going on this year. I admittedly probably would not have even toed the line. But you went out there, made it your own, and had a blast! I love that! Great attitude!

    Seriously, what’s up with people give you crap about not finishing. That is total BS! They deserve a roundhouse kick to the face! Whoever gives people crap about attempting an IM is a total d-bag and needs to be put in their place!

  20. Ditto on the best race report, evar! I had a huge smile reading it. Loved your take on everything, and love your refreshing attitude about your entire year. You’ve had a lot to deal with this summer – and it’s great to see you keep your head on straight. 🙂

    Mad claps and tail wags to you!

  21. Kevin says:

    So great to finally meet you!!!!!!! You are so much fun to hang out with. Jennie and I (and Bailey) totally need to come and visit Maine. Hopefully we don’t start any fires while we are there though 😉

    You made the perfect decision for the race and I am so happy that you came out, did what you wanted, and had a positive attitude about the whole thing.

  22. Kristin says:

    Why would someone criticize you? It’s not their choice nor their business! Life happens and you are so right, if your heart isn’t in it you just can’t do it. Good for you for keeping a healthy perspective and for knowing what you were capable of doing that day without risking your health. Better to have a good time and be positive rather than feeling sad about not finishing.

  23. Alex says:

    Way to go for trying!

  24. Bob says:

    I have been where you have been… and f#ck the critics. The day is 50% mental, screw those that say it is 90%, you gotta have the miles in…
    Fight another day…. like CDA next year!!! I need some company!!!

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