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Race Review – Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

This was my 2nd time racing Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. I had a couple of shorter races under my belt coming into my 1st half of the year. After what I called a disastrous last race (Barelman), I was hoping to take a lot of things I learned from that race. I felt in a good spot for the race and well prepared with my plan. The 1st error was realized on my way to Muksoka on Saturday morning. I did not charge my watch, or bring my charger with me. Mistake No 1. I thought I might have enough power in the watch to get me through the race if I turned it off until the race. I was pretty close, died about 8KM into the run. At the end of the day, not that big of an issue, I don’t race to a heart rate, I go for the most part by feel. I have reminders to drink on the bike, majority of my nutrition is liquid on the bike, and to eat (gels) on the run. I just like to know the pace’s that I am keeping while biking and running.

Check in on Saturday was smooth, I was able to get what I needed from Ironman village, rack my bike and attend the race meeting.

Sunday morning came early and was in transition with plenty of time to set up. I still managed to forget a couple of things. Off to the swim start with plenty of time to get in water and have a decent swim warm-up. I was surprised how warm that water actually was. Nothing really unusual happen and I felt pretty good about my swim until I looked at my watch and it was slower then I was hoping for, but still slightly ahead of my swim time from last year. I though a realistic time was to be under 42 minutes and finished just under 43 minutes. As I continued to run to transition I also realized that my wedding band was now somewhere at the bottom of Fairy Lake. Mistake No 2. I thought to myself when setting up transition to give it to my wife on the walk to the swim start, but ended up forgetting.

Fairly quick transition, and off on the bike. A few KM’s into the bike, I had mistake number 3. Crossing over one of the bridges, I went over a fairly large bump and launched my aero bottle out of my bar. This is the 3rd time I have done that I usually use some electrical tape to keep in place. I felt I had enough nutrition on my extra bottles and a couple of gels that I did not need to stop to get it, which was good as it also skipped off the road into the ditch, making the worst part of it, have to buy a new one.

I had different wheels and a new cassette with different gearing that made climbing all the hills much easier. The only other hiccup on the bike was on one of the last climbs coming back into town and changed gears a little too quick and had the chain come off. A quick stop to put it back on and finished up bike. For the bike I was targeting 2:45, which was 5 mins off my time from last year. For some reason through the bike I had the number 2:40 in my head, so I was okay with finishing a little over 2:42. It wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I realized I was a couple minutes faster then the time I wanted.

A quick transition to the run and off the new run course. I was expecting a much tougher run this year, so was going to be happen to match my run time of last year. 1:46. Two things I did much better this time then I have in previous halfs, was paced better off the start, and manage nutrition much better. Without my watch to confirm, so using the time splits from sportstats, I believe I negative split the run. I did end up walking a little of the uphill after the turn and walked a couple of the later aid stations to ensure I taking in enough water. I finished the water bottle that I carry on the run. I ended up coming in about 10 seconds ahead of my run time from last year.

Being one of later waves to start crossing the finish line and look at the time clock, the math was not working in my head to determine my final time. I found my wife by the finish line that told me my time. My final time ended up 5:15:55, which was over 8 minutes quicker then last year. As is typical of my race, I was 94th our of 150 after swim, up to 46th after he bike, and finished 29th after the run.

All in all a good race for me, a few things to remember going into the race, and need to work on my swim. I have hired a swim coach work with over the summer. Hope I can see some significant improve by the time Barrelman and Ironman 70.3 North Carolina come around later this year.

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