Ironman Muskoka 2015 Race Report
Woke up at 3:30am
Breakfast: 2 instant oatmeals, banana with peanut butter, 1/2 cup of instant coffee with milk, 1/2 of a hard boiled egg
realized that I had frozen my perpetuem so couldn’t use that bottle for bike. Dave was able to empty it while I got ready and I made a new one.
Left cottage around 4:45, got to Deerhurst just after 5. Body marked by Signe. Put in water/Hammer Perpetuem on bike, Dropped off run gear bag, than bike gear bag. Walked to swim start.
After placing GenUCan in gear bags
Dave and I split as I went into swimmer start and he went to spectator area, but he ended up getting in another way and thank goodness. I still had my glasses on and he reminded me to change into the contacts. Waited for swim warm up as it was delayed due to medical not being there. Drank GenUCan. Finally got everything on and was able to get in a bit of a warm up. Peed in the water.
Waiting to get into water for warm up
The rolling start was kind of nice. Couldn’t hear much though and it was near the end of Oh Canada when I realized they were even playing it. Then I heard the gun go off for the start. We moved slowly, then finally I got in. Lots of people just walking in the water but I was trying to run and jumped in and got going. There were still a few people swimming on top of me but a lot less then if it was a mass start. I swam on top of people too by accident. Felt like I stayed close to the buoys. Saw lots of people swimming farther out then they probably should have. I felt like I was going pretty fast and knew I was going to be under 1:30. I almost felt like I was going to be faster then 1:20 but I wasn’t that fast. Still pretty close to 1:20 and was quite pleased with that time but I didn’t know how fast I was as I didn’t have my watch. Got out and I heard Dave call my name. Got stripped and ran off. Didn’t see Signe & Christine but the got video. Saw my friend Irina and we screamed at each other.
Ran up the hill and I almost veered off course but realized pretty quickly that I was off(I couldn’t have gone farther it was just bush). Got into transition and took off the wetsuit. A volunteer helped me out a bit. Pulled out the tampon and wasn’t going to bother with that again for the rest of the race. Got all my nutrition on me & went out for the bike. Glad I knew where the bike was so that was pretty easy and then headed out. Was able to settle in. I drank my GenuCan. I ate every half hour and was pretty good at doing that. I had to slow down going down Dwight Beach Rd as there were bikes ahead of me and they were slowing down. Road is rough in some patches there and lots of people slow down. I don’t like riding too close to cyclists so I took it easy there. Got to Seabreeze road and since I hadn’t ridden on it before I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but it was quite nice. Had a fast time there and since there was an aid station there I ended up grabbing a banana.
I think this is me grabbing the banana at the aid station on Seabreeze Rd
Getting into Dorset I was able to go pretty fast where I would typically slow down to stop so that was nice. 117 I went pretty fast and in no time I was in Baysville. I looked down and notice I may not make it to Aid Station without my Perpetuem so I grabbed an orange Gatorade. I saw Signe & Christine at S Portage road just before the hills and that helped me get through them. They weren’t too bad but my legs were still fresh. I finally ran out of the Hammer around 80ish km so I had to stop to put the Gatorade in. I wasn’t comfortable doing that without stopping as there were a few hills still go to through. Made the 90k (half way point) and I cheered.
I was then able to go down Dwight Beach again and I felt like I could do it faster as there was nobody in front of me. Got Special Needs and threw out some garbage. I filled up my aero bottle but I still had some frozen Hammer left and I put the rest of the Gatorade into the spare Hammer bottle. I think this weighed me down and at the next aid station on Seabreeze I tried to squeeze more into my aero bottle but I didn’t want to carry the extra bottle as it was quite heavy. So I dumped it there. Still eating every 30min but I was starting to get tired and my legs still felt like I had lots of weight on me. Was going a lot slower in sections where I knew I had gone faster in the 1st round. By 130km I realized I hadn’t been taking my salt pills. I didn’t grab them at Special Needs but I had them from my bike gear bag so I started taking 2 every 30min until I was done my bike. When I saw Signe & Christine again at S. Portage Rd I told them I wasn’t feeling great. Having to go through the hills again I was having thoughts of quitting but I knew if I could make it through there I would finish the race. I could always walk the marathon. I was able to push myself through the hills but it wasn’t pretty. Around the 170k mark I put some food in my mouth and almost barfed. I realized what my body was trying to do so I stopped got off the bike and did my barf/burp thing. Nice and loud. Nothing came out and I felt much better. Just before the turn somebody said it was around 3:30pm. Good. I was going to get this thing done way before cut off. I made the last turn and was into the last 9km. Some of the toughest parts but I knew I was almost done. I took it easy on the hills going down so I could rest my legs and just spinned around 85-90 until the end.
In transition I got off all my clothes. First thing I did was take off the socks and then I took the timer chip off. Yep, big mistake. I had to have those compression socks on and I completely forgot to put the timer chip back on. I did have somebody help me and they forgot too. Can’t blame them, it’s my fault but man I was upset when I figured it out. It took me 6km to figure it out. I was able to get all my nutrition on me. When leaving transition Signe was shouting out your advice. I was lacking salt an for sure I was. I was on the salt pills and I had all my nuun. My legs didn’t want to run but I forced them too as I knew that feeling would go away. Saw Dave again and Irina. It definitely felt good to see people I know. For awhile I was good. Taking in those salt pills. I was grabbing the chips and pretzels at each of the stations and still having my gels. I think at the 7km part I stopped and did the vomit/burp thing again. I know it was fairly early on. I think it was just after I realized I had forgotten my timer chip. I had looked down and realized my mistake. I started asking the volunteers on the run but nobody knew what to do. At the first turn around on Lake Dr I talked the person there. I stopped there for about 4min according to Garmin. The volunteer’s phone died so he went over to talk to medical who was able to report over to somebody. She got a pic of me and was told that I could keep going. If I was going to get DSQ I wanted to know at that point before moving on. Not exactly sure if it was the right thing to do but 4min is 4min and it was gone. Oh well, piece of mind I suppose. I was grabbing water at all the aid stations to fill up my water bottle and making sure to have the nuun. Once I got back to Deerhurst to finish the 1st loop I was walking. It’s a steep hill there and I wanted to save my energy/legs for where I could go faster. Once I got there I saw Signe, Christine and Dave right beside each other and I was able to inform them that I had no chip. I also spent some time here talking to more volunteers some couldn’t help me but one of them tried as much as he could to get somebody’s attention. I was so grateful to him. I stopped to go to the bathroom here.
About to start 2nd loop
Got my special needs and had my gels and my snack (a Snicker’s bar). Drank some of the pickle juice. I knew I had grabbed my baggy with nun and salt pills but I think I must have set them back down when I drank the pickle juice because about 500m away from there I realized I didn’t have my salt pills and nuun with me. WTH! D’oh! I wasn’t about to go back and I figured that at this point I am walking the rest of this. Before I got onto highway 60 I ran into @AnneElizabethRun and she gave me some salt pills she found on the ground. There were 4 and I could take 1 every 30min for a bit. Life Saver! I grabbed Gatorade at every aid station to make sure I never ran out. When I got to the 16mi mark and I another barf/burp but this time a bit of fluid came out. Uh oh! I made sure there was no more and then I felt much better and decided that I felt good and I started running again. Once I got into Huntsville again the soup was out. Not all the stations had it but when ever it was there I made sure to have it. I still walked a bit, through the aid stations and up the hills but when I could I ran. It was getting dark and nice and cool. Not cold, which was great. I felt pretty good. Legs weren’t as bad as I had thought, no blisters and I had no bad thoughts of quitting. I knew it wasn’t my goal times but I was going to finish this. I had stopped eating my gels but made sure to get food at all the aid stations. I ended up throwing out the snickes bar as it was weighing me down and making it difficult for me to run. When I got back into downtown there were still people out cheering us on. There was a guy with a mic and he encouraged me but at this point I was walking as it was up a hill, but since he was trying to cheer me on I decided to run up that hill and told him it was for him. He quite liked that and he cheered me on more. That sure help lift my spirits. At 1 point just after my last turn around point and before I was downtown again I saw a cat (tortoise shell) and it meowed at me. I petted it and for about 20 sec she ran with me. That felt good. When I got back to the guy on the mic he cheered me on again and I was on my way back to Deerhurst.
Still running. At the last aid station in the town I was able to get a glow stick and went back onto the highway where there was going to be lots of dark spots. There were a few places with street lights and one place where they had a generator with a bright light. Made sure to always have Gatorade on me. I tried cheering on other people as I passed and some cheered me on. There were a few times I wanted to cry but I stopped myself because I didn’t want to lose any salt. lol I got to the last 3 k and since there were a few uphills I had to walk. That was frustrating but I got up those hills. There were some pylons in the middle of the road where I was trying to run and since it was so dark twice I almost fell. Thankfully I was walking otherwise I probably would have gone flying. I started walking closer to the side of the road. I got up the last hill and started running again. I was so close, probably about 200m and all the lights and music. The song changed to Celebration by Kool and the Gang and I felt awesome. I came in and nobody was that close to me in front or behind so as I got in the crowd cheered and then I raised my hands and tried to pump them up and they got louder. It felt awesome!!!! I finished the line and I didn’t even realize that the guy didn’t know who I was because I didn’t have the chip. Dave had yelled out my name but the announcer didn’t hear him. But they ended up getting my # from my bib and called me out saying Carol Levesque you are an Ironman. The catcher got me and as I turned a corner Irina was able to see me and ran over to me. She walked me to get the timer chip off but I was like “oh yeah, I forgot it”. She said “That’s right!”. She hugged me and was so proud of me. I got to Dave at the end but forgot to get my pic taken with my medal. Oops. Dave got some pics of me and Signe and Signe got one of me and Dave.
Didn’t eat much of the food that was there. Checked my phone and ate some food (yogurt, ice cream & apple). Grabbed all my bags and walked back to the cabin.
It felt good! I am now an Ironman!
Thanks goes to my coach Rebecca Adamson! You helped me get through this. No way I would have done this without you! Another thanks to my fiancé, Dave, who was my sherpa and my rock. I would have been so lost without you. You cooked and cleaned for me when I was so useless. You got lots of pics of me during the race and your cheering and encouragement was awesome. I greatly appreciate all your hard work and I love you so much! Thanks to my mom who gave me the car for the weekend and on many other weekends for my long rides. I greatly appreciate that too. Thanks to Irina, Signe and Christine for getting some pics and cheering me on through the race. Also thanks to the KR Endurance crowd for cheering me on as well. Another thanks to the volunteers. You helped cheer me on during the course.
Final results: Swim: 1:22:41, Bike: 7:23:02, Run: 5:58:07 (from Garmin) - 15:07:29