3.8K / 2.4-mile swim 180K / 112-mile bike 42.2K / 26.2-mile run

“Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” Said by legendary triathlete, Dave Scott

I’ve had a lot of time to read internet articles while tapering and working myself into a frenzy about feeling underprepared. The Whistler public library is an excellent place.

I thought this quote was the best out of my reading material, “Final word of advice, sometime during the day you will feel really, really bad. Expect this. This is normal. Things will get better if persevere. Finish at all costs, you will thank yourself later.”

I’ve read checklists on what to pack for race day and I saw this one checklist that even tells me when to panic. He has a time for that, as well as the time you should pretend to go to sleep for race day. The person who wrote that has completed ten Ironman’s and seems to think they have the checklist down to a science. At least they feel confident about it.

So, to the best of my research, this is how the day will go. Wake up at 3:30 am. Get to T1 (Transition 1) by 5 am to get body marked – (volunteers right my bib number on my arm and my age on my calf), set up the rest of my bike transition (pump tires, add water bottles), eat breakfast, warm up in the water, race starts at 6:50 am for pro’s, 7:00 am for everyone else. Mass swim start. Since I’m not a fast or strong swimmer, I will start off towards the back of the pack or off to the side. I have no reason to be upfront where everyone will be jockeying for position to being close to the buoys. This is a 2 lap swim and I have 2 hours and 20 minutes to finish 2.4 miles which equals a 58 minute/mile pace (3:18 per 100 yards). My expectation is to be out of the water between 1:30-1:45.

Once out of the water, volunteers will help me take off my wetsuit (you lie down and they help strip it off you), or you can just get your bag of bike stuff handed to you and go change clothes in the tent. I am planning on wearing a regular cycling kit, the same outfit I have worn all summer. Bike helmet, headband, two pigtails, sunglasses, Bike the US for MS jersey, bibs, gloves and socks.

There is a food-aid station on the bike course every 10 miles. I plan to eat real foods at every 20 miles, like a sandwich, banana or granola bar. In between those miles, I will be drinking my drink mix and eating gummy energy chews.

Assuming it takes two hours to do the swim course and change, I’ll have another 8.5 hours to do the 112 mile bike course. This is averaging 13.18 mph. Realistically, it’s a possibility for me to average this speed because the course is very hilly and challenging but I hope to finish faster and with a bigger buffer from the swim, preferably coming in at 7 hours. I’ll also try not to stop more than a few minutes at each aid station to use the bathroom and eat snacks.

Arriving at T2 (transition from bike to run), a volunteer will take my bike from me and hand me my run bag. Similar to T1, I enter a tent, change clothes and go. I will be wearing a cap, run tshirt, capris, socks and shoes. No costume.

Assuming I made the bike cutoff, and started the run at 5:30 p.m., I have 6:30 to finish the run. This is a pace of 14:53 min/mile pace. I am thinking after the first two segments I will run a 11 minute mile, and walk thru each aid station which is every two miles or so. If I am feeling peppy, I will go faster in the second half.

At the finish, a volunteer helps me recover and hopefully does not usher me to the med tent for IV’s. Pro’s finish an ironman in under 9 hours. Normal people who are super fast, finish in 11-13 hours. I hope to just finish before 17 hours, midnight (cut off), still smiling.

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