How to lose 10lbs in one day, or my Ironman 2006 race report

Short Story:

I finished my third Ironman Canada triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 run). I came in at 13 hours 59 minutes and 39 seconds, about a 2 1/2 hour improvement from last year which was a 16:37 time. My swim was 1:27, my bike was 6:35, and my run was 5:44. It was more or less a good day, it was hot, about 90 degrees, but I had a good time. As usual, the folks from Canada were great. Oh, and I made the official video again! :)

The Long Story:

The Start

I started the day off at 4am. I ate a big 'ol bowl of steel cut oatmeal with raisins and maple syrup. I got my bags ready, headed over to Alex for some Peet's coffee went to the hotel lobby to chit chat, went back to the room, went to the bathroom, kissed Katina good bye, and took my bags out to the hotel lobby to get out on 5:15 van or so to get to the start. I actually got a ride w/ Debby, Marin, and Maritza and we went and dropped off our transition bags and got body marked. We went to the hotel bathroom and then headed to our bikes to pump our tires and last minute inspection. All was good, I was able to empty my bowels twice which is important since you really don't want to do that during the race.

The Swim

We got changed into our wetsuits and headed over to the beach to get ready for the swim which started at 7am. I did a little warm-up, found my friend Jeff (we were supposed to swim together) and we headed out for the swim. I lost him immediately and I just started swimming. I got into the middle of the pack so I could take advantage of the "draft" and it was a long, long swim. I "rolled over" someone's back which was cool, a technique we were taught when someone is trying to get into your swim space. Rolling over someone's back is a pretty cool method, it's not like the person can do anything when you're on their back. After the second turn around heading back to shore, it was cool, I felt like swimming with a pack of dolphins. When I got out of the swim, I saw my teammates cheering me on and I saw Katina and gave her a kiss before going into transition.

I finished the swim in 1:26, about 12 minutes faster than what I swam two years ago. My transition time from swim to bike was only a little over 5 minutes, about 5 minutes faster than last year.

The Bike

The bike was kind of uneventful, pretty as always, but still uneventful. I got onto my bike after a quick transition. I smoked the first 37 miles, it was flat and mostly downhill, I was averaging about 20mph or so. I kept it relaxed and tried to breathe through and not push too hard. When I got to the first challenge, Richter pass which is a fairly major hill, I attacked it as hard as I could and saw Alex and gang.

I cruised through the next 30 miles, saw Mary, Judy, and Paul w/ their outfits. I saw a bunch of folks on the "out and back" portion of the bike course, and then headed towards Yellow Lake. After the "out and back" is when the race really starts. People pretty much hit a wall around mile 70 or so of the bike ride. I just started feeling a bit of a cramp in my legs and I geared down and took it easy for the next 20 miles.

I started up Yellow Lake and cranked all the way up. It wasn't as hard as previous years at all. I was hoping for Katina to be at the top but they left a little late and got stuck in traffic. It's alright though. After I got to the top, I descended into town and started cranking home on the descent and flats. I thought I was going to burn out my legs for the run but I had strong legs still and was able to pass a bunch of folks on that last burst.

I finished that bike in 6:35, about an hour faster than I biked the first two years. That was pretty good.

The Run

I was hoping to run the whole marathon. I was able to run the first 7 miles only stopping briefly for water at each aid station. After mile 7 and catching a friend of mine on the team (who was recovering from a torn meniscus), I started a run/walk. The run is fairly brutal, slightly uphill for the first 13 miles. Thankfully, on the way back it was downhill. Michelle, a former IronTeamer, caught up with me and we started running together for a while. It was funny because our Coach Wayne sent out her race plan (a planning guide for the race) to the team. She caught up to me at the lake and I would run ahead and she would catch up and I would stop, and I would catch her until mile 22 or so when I didn't see her again. If it wasn't for her, I would've had a 14 hour time.

I was picking some steam coming into town and finally saw Katina. We ran in together, I didn't ham it up as much as I would've liked as in previous years but it was still good. I always run into people after I cross the finish line. Same happened here.

My final time for the event was 13:59:39.


After the race, we took the official finisher photo, I got some food, got a little massage (not so great), and then headed back before the finish to watch the rest of my teammates finish the race. We had a bunch of people from IronTeam/Team in Training do the course this year and it's quite an amazing group. One person who finished has leukemia, another is a pediatrician who's had patients with leukemia, and many more all different body shapes, different backgrounds, different challenges cross the finish line.

My goal this year was simple — get faster so I can finish faster and head back to where everyone is so I can watch them finish. While I'm not nearly fast enough to watch everyone on the team finish (our fastest guy came in at 11 hours 15 minutes), I was able to see a bunch of folks finish their first Ironman. It's pretty cool to watch.

Ironman Weekend

I've made it safe and sound to Penticton, Canada for Ironman Canada 2007.  The race is on Sunday, should be fun.

a plan for Ironman

Ironman Race Plan

Date/Time Physical Game/Food Mental Game Additional Notes
Thursday, August 24 – Travel day Travelno red meatbreakfast



Register if possible Relax and Stretch
Friday, August 25 Restno red meatbreakfast



Register, Pack transition bags Hang out at hot tub
Take epsom salt bath
Relax and Stretch
Saturday, August 26 Restno red meatbreakfast



  No hot tub
Relax and stretch
Go to bed at 8 – 9pm
Sunday, Aug 27 – Race Day      

Wake up: 3:30 – 4am

oatmeal, maple syrup, raisins, coffee, hardboil eggs relaxed
take pictures of teammates
coffee w/ Alex
_ sweat pants
_ IronTeam jacket
_ crocs
_ Oomph! Lava
_ IronTeam jersey
_ socks
_ race chip
_ glasses

Morning: 4 – 7am

head down: 5:30am
_ go to bathroom
_ drop of transition bags
_ body markings
_ check bike tires
_ sunglasses in transition bag
_ change into wetsuit
_ body glide up
_ go to start
_ hand glasses to Katina
relaxed listen to iPod  

Swim Start: 7am; 1:20 – 1:45 min

swig of cytomax/carbo pro
draft, draft, draft
swim like Joanna
– steady and strong
– find draft
– breathe rhythm
– focus on over the barrellswim like Susan Pope
– effortless
– focus on rotation, body roll

Transition 1: 5 – 10 min

_ put on sunglasses
_ put on socks and bike shoes
_ put on helmet
_ put wetsuit, cap and googles in bag
_ apply assos cream

Bike: 3pm – 4:30pm; 6 hrs – 7 hrs 30 min

Ideal finish time: 4pm

nose breathing
get in aero positionFood
_ 4 endurolytes every 15 min
_ one gulp every 15 minbottle 1: Cytomax, Carbo Pro blend, x calories
bottle 2: Cytomax, Carbo Pro blend, x calories

bottles 3 – 6

Clif bar

bike like Wayne
strong and anal about nutritionsteady: 1 – 37 milesbike like Tom
spin, spin, tough it out37 – 70 Richter and rollers
– moderately attack Richter stand under 5mphrecover through 70
– attack Yellow Lake

hard 70 – 100
recover, coast 100 – 112

special needs bag:tube, co 2, clif bar, turkey slices, 2 frozen water bottle w/ cytomax, bag of endurolytes

Transition 2: 5 – 10 minutes

_ put on running shoes, race belt
_ get water bottle
_ put bike shoes, helmet, gloves in bag

Run: 8:30pm – 10pm; 4 hrs 30 min – 6 hrs

nose breathing patternFood
1 endurolyte every even mile
GU every third mile
sip water throughout
run like Charlie
only 26 miles
(say bye as you leave
say hi as you return)run like Mary
lean forward, no effortslow: 1 – 5 miles
med: 5 – 13 miles
pick-up: 13 – 20 miles
kill: 20 – 26 miles


eat whatever is available
Denny's w/ the gangchocolate milk shake or chocolate milk

winding down w/ Ironman training

I'm winding down with Ironman training, we've got about 18 days left before the big day. Just this last Saturday I did the Marin century bike ride which I did the past two years and this year I felt unusually strong. We're in the taper phase now where we rest up from the 10 months of accumulated training.

One of my other benchmarks other than the Marin Century is the Claremont avenue ride. Last week, I went up Claremont, down South Park, back up South Park, down|up and back down Claremont avenue. Fairly excited since last year I was only able to go up Claremont w/ the new bike. My toes and feet are healthy so I'm able to run, my shins no longer hurt, and running an hour or two isn't such a big deal now. 4-5 hours will be rough but 1-2 hours not so bad.

Swimming is ramping up a bit though, doing 4-6 miles of swimming a week. It's about an hour and fifteen minutes plus worth of swimming in a pool which is really quite a long time to be in a pool. About 45 minutes to an hour is good, anything more than an hour is a bit too much.

I've figured that sane distances for regular exercise for regular people is: 1 mile swim or 30-45 minutes of swimming, 3-5 miles of running, and 25 – 45 miles of bicycling. Anything more than that is really kind of dumb.

Poor People Food

**draft** I had one of those curious moments and looked up "poor people food" in the various search engines and I got nothing good. I expected to see a list and then links to recipes. I guess there's no such thing as "poor people food" just as there's no such thing as an "oatmeal diet" so lets make it up (the reason for doing this list is to come up with the foods/recipes and such so we can eat a little better/tastier and a little more cheaply — we've been getting a little too crazy with our food budget). There is a bad connotation around "poor people food" but I also think that some of the best and most creative food around is based off of the need to eat cheaply — gumbo, collard greens, and red beans are rice are perfect examples. If all goes well I'll turn this into a book. breakfast

  • oatmeal
  • grits, polenta
  • chilaquiles


  • gumbo
  • red beans and rice
  • ramen noodles
  • macaroni and cheese
  • mashed potatoes
  • quesadillas
  • hummus w/ pita bread
  • fried rice (rice w/ some meat or vegetable)
  • casseroles (?)
  • cheap meats and fish: skirt steak, snapper, mussels (in season), catfish

If you got other suggestions, comment or send me mail :) — Update 11/1 There's a Thrifty Food Plan issued by the USDA. On the low-end, a single adult male can eat on $4.84 a day, females $4.37. On the high end, $9.42/$8.50 a day. They also have a recipe book. I don't think their plans are really good though. The way we all cook and eat is make a big meal and then have left overs for the next day or two, in other words the same meal more than once either once for dinner and again for lunch, or two or three dinners of the same thing.